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Sample records for malaria-parasite invaded red

  1. Does Magnetic Field Affect Malaria Parasite Replication in Human Red Blood Cells?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chanturiya, Alexandr N.; Glushakova, Svetlana; Yin, Dan; Zimmerberg, Joshua

    2004-01-01

    Digestion of red blood cell (RBC) hemoglobin by the malaria parasite results in the formation of paramagnetic hemazoin crystals inside the parasite body. A number of reports suggest that magnetic field interaction with hamazoin crystals significantly reduces the number of infected cells in culture, and thus magnetic field can be used to combat malaria. We studies the effects of magnetic filed on the Plasmodium falciparum asexual life cycle inside RBCs under various experimental conditions. No effect was found during prolonged exposure of infected RBCs to constant magnetic fields up to 6000 Gauss. Infected RBCs were also exposed, under temperature-controlled conditions, to oscillating magnetic fields with frequencies in the range of 500-20000 kHz, and field strength 30-600 Gauss. This exposure often changed the proportion of different parasite stages in treated culture compared to controls. However, no significant effect on parasitemia was observed in treated cultures. This result indicates that the magnetic field effect on Plasmodium falciparum is negligible, or that hypothetical negative and positive effects on different stages within one 48-hour compensate each other.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ewa Jaśkiewicz

    2010-11-01

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

  3. A new Python library to analyse skeleton images confirms malaria parasite remodelling of the red blood cell membrane skeleton

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Juan Nunez-Iglesias

    2018-02-01

    Full Text Available We present Skan (Skeleton analysis, a Python library for the analysis of the skeleton structures of objects. It was inspired by the “analyse skeletons” plugin for the Fiji image analysis software, but its extensive Application Programming Interface (API allows users to examine and manipulate any intermediate data structures produced during the analysis. Further, its use of common Python data structures such as SciPy sparse matrices and pandas data frames opens the results to analysis within the extensive ecosystem of scientific libraries available in Python. We demonstrate the validity of Skan’s measurements by comparing its output to the established Analyze Skeletons Fiji plugin, and, with a new scanning electron microscopy (SEM-based method, we confirm that the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum remodels the host red blood cell cytoskeleton, increasing the average distance between spectrin-actin junctions.

  4. A new Python library to analyse skeleton images confirms malaria parasite remodelling of the red blood cell membrane skeleton.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nunez-Iglesias, Juan; Blanch, Adam J; Looker, Oliver; Dixon, Matthew W; Tilley, Leann

    2018-01-01

    We present Skan (Skeleton analysis), a Python library for the analysis of the skeleton structures of objects. It was inspired by the "analyse skeletons" plugin for the Fiji image analysis software, but its extensive Application Programming Interface (API) allows users to examine and manipulate any intermediate data structures produced during the analysis. Further, its use of common Python data structures such as SciPy sparse matrices and pandas data frames opens the results to analysis within the extensive ecosystem of scientific libraries available in Python. We demonstrate the validity of Skan's measurements by comparing its output to the established Analyze Skeletons Fiji plugin, and, with a new scanning electron microscopy (SEM)-based method, we confirm that the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum remodels the host red blood cell cytoskeleton, increasing the average distance between spectrin-actin junctions.

  5. A novel ENU-mutation in ankyrin-1 disrupts malaria parasite maturation in red blood cells of mice.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andreas Greth

    Full Text Available The blood stage of the plasmodium parasite life cycle is responsible for the clinical symptoms of malaria. Epidemiological studies have identified coincidental malarial endemicity and multiple red blood cell (RBC disorders. Many RBC disorders result from mutations in genes encoding cytoskeletal proteins and these are associated with increased protection against malarial infections. However the mechanisms underpinning these genetic, host responses remain obscure. We have performed an N-ethyl-N-nitrosourea (ENU mutagenesis screen and have identified a novel dominant (haploinsufficient mutation in the Ank-1 gene (Ank1(MRI23420 of mice displaying hereditary spherocytosis (HS. Female mice, heterozygous for the Ank-1 mutation showed increased survival to infection by Plasmodium chabaudi adami DS with a concomitant 30% decrease in parasitemia compared to wild-type, isogenic mice (wt. A comparative in vivo red cell invasion and parasite growth assay showed a RBC-autonomous effect characterised by decreased proportion of infected heterozygous RBCs. Within approximately 6-8 hours post-invasion, TUNEL staining of intraerythrocytic parasites, showed a significant increase in dead parasites in heterozygotes. This was especially notable at the ring and trophozoite stages in the blood of infected heterozygous mutant mice compared to wt (p<0.05. We conclude that increased malaria resistance due to ankyrin-1 deficiency is caused by the intraerythrocytic death of P. chabaudi parasites.

  6. Rodent malaria parasites : genome organization & comparative genomics

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kooij, Taco W.A.

    2006-01-01

    The aim of the studies described in this thesis was to investigate the genome organization of rodent malaria parasites (RMPs) and compare the organization and gene content of the genomes of RMPs and the human malaria parasite P. falciparum. The release of the complete genome sequence of P.

  7. Signalling in malaria parasites. The MALSIG consortium.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Doerig, C.; Baker, D.; Billker, O.; Blackman, M.J.; Chitnis, C.; Dhar Kumar, S.; Heussler, V.; Holder, A.A.; Kocken, C.; Krishna, S.; Langsley, G.; Lasonder, E.; Menard, R.; Meissner, M.; Pradel, G.; Ranford-Cartwright, L.; Sharma, A.; Sharma, P.; Tardieux, T.; Tatu, U.; Alano, P.

    2009-01-01

    Depending on their developmental stage in the life cycle, malaria parasites develop within or outside host cells, and in extremely diverse contexts such as the vertebrate liver and blood circulation, or the insect midgut and hemocoel. Cellular and molecular mechanisms enabling the parasite to sense

  8. A Feast of Malaria Parasite Genomes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carlton, Jane M; Sullivan, Steven A

    2017-03-08

    The Plasmodium genus has evolved over time and across hosts, complexifying our understanding of malaria. In a recent Nature paper, Rutledge et al. (2017) describe the genome sequences of three major human malaria parasite species, providing insight into Plasmodium evolution and raising the question of how many species there are. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  9. Big bang in the evolution of extant malaria parasites.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hayakawa, Toshiyuki; Culleton, Richard; Otani, Hiroto; Horii, Toshihiro; Tanabe, Kazuyuki

    2008-10-01

    Malaria parasites (genus Plasmodium) infect all classes of terrestrial vertebrates and display host specificity in their infections. It is therefore assumed that malaria parasites coevolved intimately with their hosts. Here, we propose a novel scenario of malaria parasite-host coevolution. A phylogenetic tree constructed using the malaria parasite mitochondrial genome reveals that the extant primate, rodent, bird, and reptile parasite lineages rapidly diverged from a common ancestor during an evolutionary short time period. This rapid diversification occurred long after the establishment of the primate, rodent, bird, and reptile host lineages, which implies that host-switch events contributed to the rapid diversification of extant malaria parasite lineages. Interestingly, the rapid diversification coincides with the radiation of the mammalian genera, suggesting that adaptive radiation to new mammalian hosts triggered the rapid diversification of extant malaria parasite lineages.

  10. From malaria parasite point of view – Plasmodium falciparum evolution

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Agata Zerka

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available 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. Current status of malaria parasite among blood donors in Port ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    This study was carried out to determine the prevalence of malaria parasite among blood donors at the Police Clinic Port Harcourt, Rivers State, Nigeria. The standard parasitological techniques using both thick and thin blood films from the donors for the detection of malaria parasite was followed. Venous blood was ...

  12. Rapid identification of genes controlling virulence and immunity in malaria parasites

    KAUST Repository

    Abkallo, Hussein M.

    2017-07-13

    Identifying the genetic determinants of phenotypes that impact disease severity is of fundamental importance for the design of new interventions against malaria. Here we present a rapid genome-wide approach capable of identifying multiple genetic drivers of medically relevant phenotypes within malaria parasites via a single experiment at single gene or allele resolution. In a proof of principle study, we found that a previously undescribed single nucleotide polymorphism in the binding domain of the erythrocyte binding like protein (EBL) conferred a dramatic change in red blood cell invasion in mutant rodent malaria parasites Plasmodium yoelii. In the same experiment, we implicated merozoite surface protein 1 (MSP1) and other polymorphic proteins, as the major targets of strain-specific immunity. Using allelic replacement, we provide functional validation of the substitution in the EBL gene controlling the growth rate in the blood stages of the parasites.

  13. Stress Response and Artemisinin Resistance in Malaria Parasite

    Science.gov (United States)

    2017-07-01

    AWARD NUMBER: W81XWH-16-1-0241 TITLE: Stress Response and Artemisinin Resistance in Malaria Parasite PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR: Juan C. Pizarro...SUBTITLE Stress Response and Artemisinin Resistance in Malaria Parasite 5a. CONTRACT NUMBER 5b. GRANT NUMBER W81XWH-16-1-0241 5c. PROGRAM ELEMENT...13. SUPPLEMENTARY NOTES 14. ABSTRACT In malaria , drug resistance is a major treat to disease control efforts. Unfortunately, there is a significant

  14. Invading parasites cause a structural shift in red fox dynamics.

    OpenAIRE

    Forchhammer, M C; Asferg, T

    2000-01-01

    The influence of parasites on host life histories and populations is pronounced. Among several diseases affecting animal populations throughout the world, sarcoptic mange has influenced many carnivore populations dramatically and during the latest epizootic in Fennoscandia reduced the abundance of red fox by over 70%. While the numerical responses of red fox populations, their prey and their competitors as well as clinical implications are well known, knowledge of how sarcoptic mange affects ...

  15. Immune escape strategies of malaria parasites

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pollyanna Stephanie Gomes

    2016-10-01

    Full Text Available Malaria is one of the most life-threatening infectious diseases worldwide. Immunity to malaria is slow and short-lived despite the repeated parasite exposure in endemic areas. Malaria parasites have evolved refined machinery to evade the immune system based on a range of genetic changes that include allelic variation, biomolecular exposure of proteins and intracellular replication. All of these features increase the probability of survival in both mosquitoes and the vertebrate host. Plasmodium species escape from the first immunological trap in its invertebrate vector host, the Anopheles mosquitoes. The parasites have to pass through various immunological barriers within the mosquito such as anti-microbial molecules and the mosquito microbiota in order to achieve successful transmission to the vertebrate host. Within these hosts, Plasmodium species employ various immune evasion strategies during different life cycle stages. Parasite persistence against the vertebrate immune response depends on the balance among virulence factors, pathology, metabolic cost of the host immune response, and the parasites ability to evade the immune response. In this review we discuss the strategies that Plasmodium parasites use to avoid the vertebrate host immune system and how they promote successful infection and transmission.

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

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    Jessica K O'Hara

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

  17. Pitting of malaria parasites and spherocyte formation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gichuki Charity W

    2006-07-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background A high prevalence of spherocytes was detected in blood smears of children enrolled in a case control study conducted in the malaria holoendemic Lake Victoria basin. It was speculated that the spherocytes reflect intraerythrocytic removal of malarial parasites with a concurrent removal of RBC membrane through a process analogous to pitting of intraerythrocytic inclusion bodies. Pitting and re-circulation of RBCs devoid of malaria parasites could be a host mechanism for parasite clearance while minimizing the anaemia that would occur were the entire parasitized RBC removed. The prior demonstration of RBCs containing ring-infected erythrocyte surface antigen (pf 155 or RESA but no intracellular parasites, support the idea of pitting. Methods An in vitro model was developed to examine the phenomenon of pitting and spherocyte formation in Plasmodium falciparum infected RBCs (iRBC co-incubated with human macrophages. In vivo application of this model was evaluated using blood specimens from patients attending Kisumu Ditrict Hospital. RBCs were probed with anti-RESA monoclonal antibody and a DNA stain (propidium iodide. Flow cytometry and fluorescent microscopy was used to compare RBCs containing both the antigen and the parasites to those that were only RESA positive. Results Co-incubation of iRBC and tumor necrosis factor-alpha activated macrophages led to pitting (14% ± 1.31% macrophages with engulfed trophozoites as opposed to erythrophagocytosis (5.33% ± 0.95% (P Conclusion It is proposed that in malaria holoendemic areas where prevalence of asexual stage parasites approaches 100% in children, RBCs with pitted parasites are re-circulated and pitting may produce spherocytes.

  18. Changes in lipid composition during sexual development of the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tran, Phuong N; Brown, Simon H J; Rug, Melanie; Ridgway, Melanie C; Mitchell, Todd W; Maier, Alexander G

    2016-02-06

    The development of differentiated sexual stages (gametocytes) within human red blood cells is essential for the propagation of the malaria parasite, since only mature gametocytes will survive in the mosquito's midgut. Hence gametocytogenesis is a pre-requisite for transmission of the disease. Physiological changes involved in sexual differentiation are still enigmatic. In particular the lipid metabolism-despite being central to cellular regulation and development-is not well explored. Here the lipid profiles of red blood cells infected with the five different sexual stages of Plasmodium falciparum were analysed by mass spectrometry and compared to those from uninfected and asexual trophozoite infected erythrocytes. Fundamental differences between erythrocytes infected with the different parasite stages were revealed. In mature gametocytes many lipids that decrease in the trophozoite and early gametocyte infected red blood cells are regained. In particular, regulators of membrane fluidity, cholesterol and sphingomyelin, increased significantly during gametocyte maturation. Neutral lipids (serving mainly as caloriometric reserves) increased from 3 % of total lipids in uninfected to 27 % in stage V gametocyte infected red blood cells. The major membrane lipid class (phospholipids) decreased during gametocyte development. The lipid profiles of infected erythrocytes are characteristic for the particular parasite life cycle and maturity stages of gametocytes. The obtained lipid profiles are crucial in revealing the lipid metabolism of malaria parasites and identifying targets to interfere with this deadly disease.

  19. The Plasmodium bottleneck: malaria parasite losses in the mosquito vector

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, Ryan C; Vega-Rodríguez, Joel; Jacobs-Lorena, Marcelo

    2014-01-01

    Nearly one million people are killed every year by the malaria parasite Plasmodium. Although the disease-causing forms of the parasite exist only in the human blood, mosquitoes of the genus Anopheles are the obligate vector for transmission. Here, we review the parasite life cycle in the vector and highlight the human and mosquito contributions that limit malaria parasite development in the mosquito host. We address parasite killing in its mosquito host and bottlenecks in parasite numbers that might guide intervention strategies to prevent transmission. PMID:25185005

  20. The Plasmodium bottleneck: malaria parasite losses in the mosquito vector

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ryan C Smith

    2014-08-01

    Full Text Available Nearly one million people are killed every year by the malaria parasite Plasmodium. Although the disease-causing forms of the parasite exist only in the human blood, mosquitoes of the genus Anopheles are the obligate vector for transmission. Here, we review the parasite life cycle in the vector and highlight the human and mosquito contributions that limit malaria parasite development in the mosquito host. We address parasite killing in its mosquito host and bottlenecks in parasite numbers that might guide intervention strategies to prevent transmission.

  1. A Network Approach to Analyzing Highly Recombinant Malaria Parasite Genes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Larremore, Daniel B.; Clauset, Aaron; Buckee, Caroline O.

    2013-01-01

    The var genes of the human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum present a challenge to population geneticists due to their extreme diversity, which is generated by high rates of recombination. These genes encode a primary antigen protein called PfEMP1, which is expressed on the surface of infected red blood cells and elicits protective immune responses. Var gene sequences are characterized by pronounced mosaicism, precluding the use of traditional phylogenetic tools that require bifurcating tree-like evolutionary relationships. We present a new method that identifies highly variable regions (HVRs), and then maps each HVR to a complex network in which each sequence is a node and two nodes are linked if they share an exact match of significant length. Here, networks of var genes that recombine freely are expected to have a uniformly random structure, but constraints on recombination will produce network communities that we identify using a stochastic block model. We validate this method on synthetic data, showing that it correctly recovers populations of constrained recombination, before applying it to the Duffy Binding Like-α (DBLα) domain of var genes. We find nine HVRs whose network communities map in distinctive ways to known DBLα classifications and clinical phenotypes. We show that the recombinational constraints of some HVRs are correlated, while others are independent. These findings suggest that this micromodular structuring facilitates independent evolutionary trajectories of neighboring mosaic regions, allowing the parasite to retain protein function while generating enormous sequence diversity. Our approach therefore offers a rigorous method for analyzing evolutionary constraints in var genes, and is also flexible enough to be easily applied more generally to any highly recombinant sequences. PMID:24130474

  2. A network approach to analyzing highly recombinant malaria parasite genes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Larremore, Daniel B; Clauset, Aaron; Buckee, Caroline O

    2013-01-01

    The var genes of the human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum present a challenge to population geneticists due to their extreme diversity, which is generated by high rates of recombination. These genes encode a primary antigen protein called PfEMP1, which is expressed on the surface of infected red blood cells and elicits protective immune responses. Var gene sequences are characterized by pronounced mosaicism, precluding the use of traditional phylogenetic tools that require bifurcating tree-like evolutionary relationships. We present a new method that identifies highly variable regions (HVRs), and then maps each HVR to a complex network in which each sequence is a node and two nodes are linked if they share an exact match of significant length. Here, networks of var genes that recombine freely are expected to have a uniformly random structure, but constraints on recombination will produce network communities that we identify using a stochastic block model. We validate this method on synthetic data, showing that it correctly recovers populations of constrained recombination, before applying it to the Duffy Binding Like-α (DBLα) domain of var genes. We find nine HVRs whose network communities map in distinctive ways to known DBLα classifications and clinical phenotypes. We show that the recombinational constraints of some HVRs are correlated, while others are independent. These findings suggest that this micromodular structuring facilitates independent evolutionary trajectories of neighboring mosaic regions, allowing the parasite to retain protein function while generating enormous sequence diversity. Our approach therefore offers a rigorous method for analyzing evolutionary constraints in var genes, and is also flexible enough to be easily applied more generally to any highly recombinant sequences.

  3. A network approach to analyzing highly recombinant malaria parasite genes.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Daniel B Larremore

    Full Text Available The var genes of the human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum present a challenge to population geneticists due to their extreme diversity, which is generated by high rates of recombination. These genes encode a primary antigen protein called PfEMP1, which is expressed on the surface of infected red blood cells and elicits protective immune responses. Var gene sequences are characterized by pronounced mosaicism, precluding the use of traditional phylogenetic tools that require bifurcating tree-like evolutionary relationships. We present a new method that identifies highly variable regions (HVRs, and then maps each HVR to a complex network in which each sequence is a node and two nodes are linked if they share an exact match of significant length. Here, networks of var genes that recombine freely are expected to have a uniformly random structure, but constraints on recombination will produce network communities that we identify using a stochastic block model. We validate this method on synthetic data, showing that it correctly recovers populations of constrained recombination, before applying it to the Duffy Binding Like-α (DBLα domain of var genes. We find nine HVRs whose network communities map in distinctive ways to known DBLα classifications and clinical phenotypes. We show that the recombinational constraints of some HVRs are correlated, while others are independent. These findings suggest that this micromodular structuring facilitates independent evolutionary trajectories of neighboring mosaic regions, allowing the parasite to retain protein function while generating enormous sequence diversity. Our approach therefore offers a rigorous method for analyzing evolutionary constraints in var genes, and is also flexible enough to be easily applied more generally to any highly recombinant sequences.

  4. Prevalence of Malaria Parasites in Hospitals of Portharcourt ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    This investigation was conducted between March and July, 2010 in Portharcourt metropolis, Rivers State, Nigeria. The method of diagnosis utilised by the hospitals, clinics, and diagnostic laboratories was thick and thin method and malaria parasite was identified using standard criteria. In all the zones of the study, high ...

  5. Malaria Parasite Metabolic Pathways (MPMP) Upgraded with Targeted Chemical Compounds

    KAUST Repository

    Ginsburg, Hagai

    2015-10-31

    Malaria Parasite Metabolic Pathways (MPMP) is the website for the functional genomics of intraerythrocytic Plasmodium falciparum. All the published information about targeted chemical compounds has now been added. Users can find the drug target and publication details linked to a drug database for further information about the medicinal properties of each compound.

  6. Malaria Parasite Metabolic Pathways (MPMP) Upgraded with Targeted Chemical Compounds

    KAUST Repository

    Ginsburg, Hagai; Abdel-Haleem, Alyaa M.

    2015-01-01

    Malaria Parasite Metabolic Pathways (MPMP) is the website for the functional genomics of intraerythrocytic Plasmodium falciparum. All the published information about targeted chemical compounds has now been added. Users can find the drug target and publication details linked to a drug database for further information about the medicinal properties of each compound.

  7. Malaria Parasite Metabolic Pathways (MPMP) Upgraded with Targeted Chemical Compounds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ginsburg, Hagai; Abdel-Haleem, Alyaa M

    2016-01-01

    Malaria Parasite Metabolic Pathways (MPMP) is the website for the functional genomics of intraerythrocytic Plasmodium falciparum. All the published information about targeted chemical compounds has now been added. Users can find the drug target and publication details linked to a drug database for further information about the medicinal properties of each compound. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  8. Prevalence of malaria parasites and anaemia in pregnant and non ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    A study of the prevalence of Malaria parasites in pregnant women attending pre - natal care in Government hospitals in two major towns (Aba and Okigwe) in Southeast Ngeria was carried out.Blood was collected by vein puncture rom 500 pregnant women in different trimesters (300 from Aba and 200 from Okigwe) and 200 ...

  9. Prevalence of Malaria Parasites among Nnamdi Azikwe University ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The prevalence of malaria parasites and antimalarial drug of choice wereinvestigated among students of Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, Anambra State between February and May, 2008. A total of 800 blood samples were randomly collected from students aged 17-31 years. Thick films were prepared and microscopic ...

  10. Non-Genetic Determinants of Mosquito Competence for Malaria Parasites

    OpenAIRE

    Lef?vre, Thierry; Vantaux, Am?lie; Dabir?, Kounbobr R.; Mouline, Karine; Cohuet, Anna

    2013-01-01

    Understanding how mosquito vectors and malaria parasites interact is of fundamental interest, and it also offers novel perspectives for disease control. Both the genetic and environmental contexts are known to affect the ability of mosquitoes to support malaria development and transmission, i.e., vector competence. Although the role of environment has long been recognized, much work has focused on host and parasite genetic effects. However, the last few years have seen a surge of studies reve...

  11. Transformation of the rodent malaria parasite Plasmodium chabaudi

    OpenAIRE

    Spence, Philip J; Cunningham, Deirdre; Jarra, William; Lawton, Jennifer; Langhorne, Jean; Thompson, Joanne

    2011-01-01

    The rodent malaria parasite Plasmodium chabaudi chabaudi shares many features with human malaria species, including P. falciparum, and is the in vivo model of choice for many aspects of malaria research in the mammalian host, from sequestration of parasitized erythrocytes, to antigenic variation and host immunity and immunopathology. this protocol describes an optimized method for the transformation of mature blood-stage P.c. chabaudi and a description of a vector that targets efficient, sing...

  12. Insights on Heme Synthesis in the Malaria Parasite.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nagaraj, Viswanathan A; Padmanaban, Govindarajan

    2017-08-01

    The malaria parasite has a functional heme-biosynthetic pathway, although it can access host hemoglobin-heme. The heme pathway is dispensable for blood stages, but essential in the mosquito stages which do not acquire hemoglobin-heme. We propose that the blood stage parasites maintain a dynamic heme pool through multiple back-up mechanisms. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  13. Wild Anopheles funestus mosquito genotypes are permissive for infection with the rodent malaria parasite, Plasmodium berghei.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jiannong Xu

    Full Text Available Malaria parasites undergo complex developmental transitions within the mosquito vector. A commonly used laboratory model for studies of mosquito-malaria interaction is the rodent parasite, P. berghei. Anopheles funestus is a major malaria vector in sub-Saharan Africa but has received less attention than the sympatric species, Anopheles gambiae. The imminent completion of the A. funestus genome sequence will provide currently lacking molecular tools to describe malaria parasite interactions in this mosquito, but previous reports suggested that A. funestus is not permissive for P. berghei development.An A. funestus population was generated in the laboratory by capturing female wild mosquitoes in Mali, allowing them to oviposit, and rearing the eggs to adults. These F1 progeny of wild mosquitoes were allowed to feed on mice infected with a fluorescent P. berghei strain. Fluorescence microscopy was used to track parasite development inside the mosquito, salivary gland sporozoites were tested for infectivity to mice, and parasite development in A. funestus was compared to A. gambiae.P. berghei oocysts were detectable on A. funestus midguts by 7 days post-infection. By 18-20 days post-infection, sporozoites had invaded the median and distal lateral lobes of the salivary glands, and hemocoel sporozoites were observed in the hemolymph. Mosquitoes were capable of infecting mice via bite, demonstrating that A. funestus supports the complete life cycle of P. berghei. In a random sample of wild mosquito genotypes, A. funestus prevalence of infection and the characteristics of parasite development were similar to that observed in A. gambiae-P. berghei infections.The data presented in this study establish an experimental laboratory model for Plasmodium infection of A. funestus, an important vector of human malaria. Studying A. funestus-Plasmodium interactions is now feasible in a laboratory setting. This information lays the groundwork for exploitation of the

  14. A scalable pipeline for highly effective genetic modification of a malaria parasite

    KAUST Repository

    Pfander, Claudia

    2011-10-23

    In malaria parasites, the systematic experimental validation of drug and vaccine targets by reverse genetics is constrained by the inefficiency of homologous recombination and by the difficulty of manipulating adenine and thymine (A+T)-rich DNA of most Plasmodium species in Escherichia coli. We overcame these roadblocks by creating a high-integrity library of Plasmodium berghei genomic DNA (>77% A+T content) in a bacteriophage N15-based vector that can be modified efficiently using the lambda Red method of recombineering. We built a pipeline for generating P. berghei genetic modification vectors at genome scale in serial liquid cultures on 96-well plates. Vectors have long homology arms, which increase recombination frequency up to tenfold over conventional designs. The feasibility of efficient genetic modification at scale will stimulate collaborative, genome-wide knockout and tagging programs for P. berghei. © 2011 Nature America, Inc. All rights reserved.

  15. A scalable pipeline for highly effective genetic modification of a malaria parasite

    KAUST Repository

    Pfander, Claudia; Anar, Burcu; Schwach, Frank; Otto, Thomas D.; Brochet, Mathieu; Volkmann, Katrin; Quail, Michael A.; Pain, Arnab; Rosen, Barry; Skarnes, William; Rayner, Julian C.; Billker, Oliver

    2011-01-01

    In malaria parasites, the systematic experimental validation of drug and vaccine targets by reverse genetics is constrained by the inefficiency of homologous recombination and by the difficulty of manipulating adenine and thymine (A+T)-rich DNA of most Plasmodium species in Escherichia coli. We overcame these roadblocks by creating a high-integrity library of Plasmodium berghei genomic DNA (>77% A+T content) in a bacteriophage N15-based vector that can be modified efficiently using the lambda Red method of recombineering. We built a pipeline for generating P. berghei genetic modification vectors at genome scale in serial liquid cultures on 96-well plates. Vectors have long homology arms, which increase recombination frequency up to tenfold over conventional designs. The feasibility of efficient genetic modification at scale will stimulate collaborative, genome-wide knockout and tagging programs for P. berghei. © 2011 Nature America, Inc. All rights reserved.

  16. Red Lionfish (Pterois volitans Invade San Salvador, Bahamas: No Early Effects on Coral and Fish Communities

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alexander, Amanda K.

    2011-10-01

    Full Text Available Biological invaders are a leading contributor to global losses of biodiversity. A recent invader to the waters surrounding San Salvador, Bahamas, the red lionfish, Pterois volitans, was first reported in 2006; by 2009 they were common in waters 2-40 m deep around the island. Our study collected data on coral communities and fish assemblages at three patch reef complexes (Rice Bay, Rocky Point, Lindsay Reef in 2007, during the initial phase of the invasion, and compared the results to a nearly identical study done in 2001 before P. volitans colonized San Salvador. Prey selection and quantity of consumption by P. volitans were also examined. Coral and fish species richness, diversity, percent cover (corals and abundance (fish were similar in 2001 and 2007. Of the 5,078 fish recorded during our study on shallow patch reefs, only two were P. volitans, but they were more prevalent in deeper water along San Salvador’s “wall.” Captured P. volitans ranged in size from 19-32 cm, all longer than maturity length. Pallid goby (Coryphopterus eidolon, black cap basslet (Gramma melacara and red night shrimp (Rynchocienetes rigens were the most commonly identified stomach contents. The effects of the successful invasion and increasing population of P. volitans on San Salvador’s reef ecosystem are uncertain at this time; future monitoring of potential changes in coral and fish communities on the patch reefs of San Salvador is recommended to determine if population control measures need to be considered. Initial post-invasion data (2007, along with pre-invasion data (2001, are valuable benchmarks for future studies.

  17. Chimpanzee malaria parasites related to Plasmodium ovale in Africa.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Linda Duval

    Full Text Available Since the 1970's, the diversity of Plasmodium parasites in African great apes has been neglected. Surprisingly, P. reichenowi, a chimpanzee parasite, is the only such parasite to have been molecularly characterized. This parasite is closely phylogenetically related to P. falciparum, the principal cause of the greatest malaria burden in humans. Studies of malaria parasites from anthropoid primates may provide relevant phylogenetic information, improving our understanding of the origin and evolutionary history of human malaria species. In this study, we screened 130 DNA samples from chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes and gorillas (Gorilla gorilla from Cameroon for Plasmodium infection, using cytochrome b molecular tools. Two chimpanzees from the subspecies Pan t. troglodytes presented single infections with Plasmodium strains molecularly related to the human malaria parasite P. ovale. These chimpanzee parasites and 13 human strains of P. ovale originated from a various sites in Africa and Asia were characterized using cytochrome b and cytochrome c oxidase 1 mitochondrial partial genes and nuclear ldh partial gene. Consistent with previous findings, two genetically distinct types of P. ovale, classical and variant, were observed in the human population from a variety of geographical locations. One chimpanzee Plasmodium strain was genetically identical, on all three markers tested, to variant P. ovale type. The other chimpanzee Plasmodium strain was different from P. ovale strains isolated from humans. This study provides the first evidence of possibility of natural cross-species exchange of P. ovale between humans and chimpanzees of the subspecies Pan t. troglodytes.

  18. Regulatory hotspots in the malaria parasite genome dictate transcriptional variation.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Joseph M Gonzales

    2008-09-01

    Full Text Available The determinants of transcriptional regulation in malaria parasites remain elusive. The presence of a well-characterized gene expression cascade shared by different Plasmodium falciparum strains could imply that transcriptional regulation and its natural variation do not contribute significantly to the evolution of parasite drug resistance. To clarify the role of transcriptional variation as a source of stain-specific diversity in the most deadly malaria species and to find genetic loci that dictate variations in gene expression, we examined genome-wide expression level polymorphisms (ELPs in a genetic cross between phenotypically distinct parasite clones. Significant variation in gene expression is observed through direct co-hybridizations of RNA from different P. falciparum clones. Nearly 18% of genes were regulated by a significant expression quantitative trait locus. The genetic determinants of most of these ELPs resided in hotspots that are physically distant from their targets. The most prominent regulatory locus, influencing 269 transcripts, coincided with a Chromosome 5 amplification event carrying the drug resistance gene, pfmdr1, and 13 other genes. Drug selection pressure in the Dd2 parental clone lineage led not only to a copy number change in the pfmdr1 gene but also to an increased copy number of putative neighboring regulatory factors that, in turn, broadly influence the transcriptional network. Previously unrecognized transcriptional variation, controlled by polymorphic regulatory genes and possibly master regulators within large copy number variants, contributes to sweeping phenotypic evolution in drug-resistant malaria parasites.

  19. An Unusual Prohibitin Regulates Malaria Parasite Mitochondrial Membrane Potential

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Joachim Michael Matz

    2018-04-01

    Full Text Available Summary: Proteins of the stomatin/prohibitin/flotillin/HfIK/C (SPFH family are membrane-anchored and perform diverse cellular functions in different organelles. Here, we investigate the SPFH proteins of the murine malaria model parasite Plasmodium berghei, the conserved prohibitin 1, prohibitin 2, and stomatin-like protein and an unusual prohibitin-like protein (PHBL. The SPFH proteins localize to the parasite mitochondrion. While the conserved family members could not be deleted from the Plasmodium genome, PHBL was successfully ablated, resulting in impaired parasite fitness and attenuated virulence in the mammalian host. Strikingly, PHBL-deficient parasites fail to colonize the Anopheles vector because of complete arrest during ookinete development in vivo. We show that this arrest correlates with depolarization of the mitochondrial membrane potential (ΔΨmt. Our results underline the importance of SPFH proteins in the regulation of core mitochondrial functions and suggest that fine-tuning of ΔΨmt in malarial parasites is critical for colonization of the definitive host. : Matz et al. present an experimental genetics study of an unusual prohibitin-like protein in the malaria parasite and find that it regulates mitochondrial membrane polarity. Ablation of this protein causes almost complete mitochondrial depolarization in the mosquito vector, which, in turn, leads to a block in malaria parasite transmission. Keywords: Plasmodium berghei, malaria, SPFH, prohibitin, stomatin-like protein, mitochondrion, membrane potential, ookinete, transmission

  20. Rethinking the extrinsic incubation period of malaria parasites.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ohm, Johanna R; Baldini, Francesco; Barreaux, Priscille; Lefevre, Thierry; Lynch, Penelope A; Suh, Eunho; Whitehead, Shelley A; Thomas, Matthew B

    2018-03-12

    The time it takes for malaria parasites to develop within a mosquito, and become transmissible, is known as the extrinsic incubation period, or EIP. EIP is a key parameter influencing transmission intensity as it combines with mosquito mortality rate and competence to determine the number of mosquitoes that ultimately become infectious. In spite of its epidemiological significance, data on EIP are scant. Current approaches to estimate EIP are largely based on temperature-dependent models developed from data collected on parasite development within a single mosquito species in the 1930s. These models assume that the only factor affecting EIP is mean environmental temperature. Here, we review evidence to suggest that in addition to mean temperature, EIP is likely influenced by genetic diversity of the vector, diversity of the parasite, and variation in a range of biotic and abiotic factors that affect mosquito condition. We further demonstrate that the classic approach of measuring EIP as the time at which mosquitoes first become infectious likely misrepresents EIP for a mosquito population. We argue for a better understanding of EIP to improve models of transmission, refine predictions of the possible impacts of climate change, and determine the potential evolutionary responses of malaria parasites to current and future mosquito control tools.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  2. Transformation of the rodent malaria parasite Plasmodium chabaudi.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Spence, Philip J; Cunningham, Deirdre; Jarra, William; Lawton, Jennifer; Langhorne, Jean; Thompson, Joanne

    2011-04-01

    The rodent malaria parasite Plasmodium chabaudi chabaudi shares many features with human malaria species, including P. falciparum, and is the in vivo model of choice for many aspects of malaria research in the mammalian host, from sequestration of parasitized erythrocytes, to antigenic variation and host immunity and immunopathology. This protocol describes an optimized method for the transformation of mature blood-stage P.c. chabaudi and a description of a vector that targets efficient, single crossover integration into the P.c. chabaudi genome. Transformed lines are reproducibly generated and selected within 14-20 d, and show stable long-term protein expression even in the absence of drug selection. This protocol, therefore, provides the scientific community with a robust and reproducible method to generate transformed P.c. chabaudi parasites expressing fluorescent, bioluminescent and model antigens that can be used in vivo to dissect many of the fundamental principles of malaria infection.

  3. Functional profiles of orphan membrane transporters in the life cycle of the malaria parasite

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kenthirapalan, S.; Waters, A.P.; Matuschewski, K.; Kooij, T.W.A.

    2016-01-01

    Assigning function to orphan membrane transport proteins and prioritizing candidates for detailed biochemical characterization remain fundamental challenges and are particularly important for medically relevant pathogens, such as malaria parasites. Here we present a comprehensive genetic analysis of

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Pain, A; Böhme, U; Berry, A E

    2008-01-01

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

  5. Alien plants in urban nature reserves: from red-list species to future invaders?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vojtěch Jarošik

    2011-10-01

    Full Text Available Urban reserves, as other protected areas, are aimed at preserving species richness but the conservation effort in these protected areas is complicated by a high proportion of alien species. We examined which environmental factors determine the representation of alien species in 48 city reserves of Prague, Czech Republic, distinguishing between archaeophytes, i.e. alien species introduced since the beginning of Neolithic agriculture up to 1500 A. D., and neophytes, i.e. modern invaders introduced after that date, with the former group separately analysed for endangered archaeophytes (listed as C1 and C2 categories on national red list. Archaeophytes responded positively to the extent of arable land that was in place at the time of the reserve establishment, and to a low altitudinal range. Neophytes, beside soil properties responded to recent human activities proxied by current proportion of built-up area in the reserves. Endangered archaeophytes, besides the same affinity for past arable land as other archaeophytes, were supported by the presence of current wasteland habitats in the reserve. This suggests that for endangered archaeophytes it might have been difficult to adapt to changing agricultural practices, and ruderal wasteland might act as a refugium for them. From the viewpoint of conservation, ruderal habitats of nature reserves thus can be more important than was previously though. Forty-six of the 155 neophytes recorded in the reserves are classified as invasive. The reserves thus harbour 67% of the 69 invasive neophytes recorded in the country, and particularly warning is that among the most invasive species are many shrubs and trees, a life form that is known to account for widespread invasions with high impacts. Our results thus strongly suggest that in Prague nature reserves there is a warning potential for future invasions.

  6. Non-Genetic Determinants of Mosquito Competence for Malaria Parasites

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lefèvre, Thierry; Vantaux, Amélie; Dabiré, Kounbobr R.; Mouline, Karine; Cohuet, Anna

    2013-01-01

    Understanding how mosquito vectors and malaria parasites interact is of fundamental interest, and it also offers novel perspectives for disease control. Both the genetic and environmental contexts are known to affect the ability of mosquitoes to support malaria development and transmission, i.e., vector competence. Although the role of environment has long been recognized, much work has focused on host and parasite genetic effects. However, the last few years have seen a surge of studies revealing a great diversity of ways in which non-genetic factors can interfere with mosquito-Plasmodium interactions. Here, we review the current evidence for such environmentally mediated effects, including ambient temperature, mosquito diet, microbial gut flora, and infection history, and we identify additional factors previously overlooked in mosquito-Plasmodium interactions. We also discuss epidemiological implications, and the evolutionary consequences for vector immunity and parasite transmission strategies. Finally, we propose directions for further research and argue that an improved knowledge of non-genetic influences on mosquito-Plasmodium interactions could aid in implementing conventional malaria control measures and contribute to the design of novel strategies. PMID:23818841

  7. Non-genetic determinants of mosquito competence for malaria parasites.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Thierry Lefèvre

    Full Text Available Understanding how mosquito vectors and malaria parasites interact is of fundamental interest, and it also offers novel perspectives for disease control. Both the genetic and environmental contexts are known to affect the ability of mosquitoes to support malaria development and transmission, i.e., vector competence. Although the role of environment has long been recognized, much work has focused on host and parasite genetic effects. However, the last few years have seen a surge of studies revealing a great diversity of ways in which non-genetic factors can interfere with mosquito-Plasmodium interactions. Here, we review the current evidence for such environmentally mediated effects, including ambient temperature, mosquito diet, microbial gut flora, and infection history, and we identify additional factors previously overlooked in mosquito-Plasmodium interactions. We also discuss epidemiological implications, and the evolutionary consequences for vector immunity and parasite transmission strategies. Finally, we propose directions for further research and argue that an improved knowledge of non-genetic influences on mosquito-Plasmodium interactions could aid in implementing conventional malaria control measures and contribute to the design of novel strategies.

  8. Emerging Functions of Transcription Factors in Malaria Parasite

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Renu Tuteja

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available Transcription is a process by which the genetic information stored in DNA is converted into mRNA by enzymes known as RNA polymerase. Bacteria use only one RNA polymerase to transcribe all of its genes while eukaryotes contain three RNA polymerases to transcribe the variety of eukaryotic genes. RNA polymerase also requires other factors/proteins to produce the transcript. These factors generally termed as transcription factors (TFs are either associated directly with RNA polymerase or add in building the actual transcription apparatus. TFs are the most common tools that our cells use to control gene expression. Plasmodium falciparum is responsible for causing the most lethal form of malaria in humans. It shows most of its characteristics common to eukaryotic transcription but it is assumed that mechanisms of transcriptional control in P. falciparum somehow differ from those of other eukaryotes. In this article we describe the studies on the main TFs such as myb protein, high mobility group protein and ApiA2 family proteins from malaria parasite. These studies show that these TFs are slowly emerging to have defined roles in the regulation of gene expression in the parasite.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-09-23

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

  10. Polyamine uptake by the intraerythrocytic malaria parasite, Plasmodium falciparum.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Niemand, J; Louw, A I; Birkholtz, L; Kirk, K

    2012-09-01

    Polyamines and the enzymes involved in their biosynthesis are present at high levels in rapidly proliferating cells, including cancer cells and protozoan parasites. Inhibition of polyamine biosynthesis in asexual blood-stage malaria parasites causes cytostatic arrest of parasite development under in vitro conditions, but does not cure infections in vivo. This may be due to replenishment of the parasite's intracellular polyamine pool via salvage of exogenous polyamines from the host. However, the mechanism(s) of polyamine uptake by the intraerythrocytic parasite are not well understood. In this study, the uptake of the polyamines, putrescine and spermidine, into Plasmodium falciparum parasites functionally isolated from their host erythrocyte was investigated using radioisotope flux techniques. Both putrescine and spermidine were taken up into isolated parasites via a temperature-dependent process that showed cross-competition between different polyamines. There was also some inhibition of polyamine uptake by basic amino acids. Inhibition of polyamine biosynthesis led to an increase in the total amount of putrescine and spermidine taken up from the extracellular medium. The uptake of putrescine and spermidine by isolated parasites was independent of extracellular Na(+) but increased with increasing external pH. Uptake also showed a marked dependence on the parasite's membrane potential, decreasing with membrane depolarization and increasing with membrane hyperpolarization. The data are consistent with polyamines being taken up into the parasite via an electrogenic uptake process, energised by the parasite's inwardly negative membrane potential. Copyright © 2012 Australian Society for Parasitology Inc. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  11. Environmental Constraints Guide Migration of Malaria Parasites during Transmission

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hellmann, Janina Kristin; Münter, Sylvia; Kudryashev, Mikhail; Schulz, Simon; Heiss, Kirsten; Müller, Ann-Kristin; Matuschewski, Kai; Spatz, Joachim P.; Schwarz, Ulrich S.; Frischknecht, Friedrich

    2011-01-01

    Migrating cells are guided in complex environments mainly by chemotaxis or structural cues presented by the surrounding tissue. During transmission of malaria, parasite motility in the skin is important for Plasmodium sporozoites to reach the blood circulation. Here we show that sporozoite migration varies in different skin environments the parasite encounters at the arbitrary sites of the mosquito bite. In order to systematically examine how sporozoite migration depends on the structure of the environment, we studied it in micro-fabricated obstacle arrays. The trajectories observed in vivo and in vitro closely resemble each other suggesting that structural constraints can be sufficient to guide Plasmodium sporozoites in complex environments. Sporozoite speed in different environments is optimized for migration and correlates with persistence length and dispersal. However, this correlation breaks down in mutant sporozoites that show adhesion impairment due to the lack of TRAP-like protein (TLP) on their surfaces. This may explain their delay in infecting the host. The flexibility of sporozoite adaption to different environments and a favorable speed for optimal dispersal ensures efficient host switching during malaria transmission. PMID:21698220

  12. Stress and sex in malaria parasites: Why does commitment vary?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carter, Lucy M; Kafsack, Björn F C; Llinás, Manuel; Mideo, Nicole; Pollitt, Laura C; Reece, Sarah E

    2013-01-01

    For vector-borne parasites such as malaria, how within- and between-host processes interact to shape transmission is poorly understood. In the host, malaria parasites replicate asexually but for transmission to occur, specialized sexual stages (gametocytes) must be produced. Despite the central role that gametocytes play in disease transmission, explanations of why parasites adjust gametocyte production in response to in-host factors remain controversial. We propose that evolutionary theory developed to explain variation in reproductive effort in multicellular organisms, provides a framework to understand gametocyte investment strategies. We examine why parasites adjust investment in gametocytes according to the impact of changing conditions on their in-host survival. We then outline experiments required to determine whether plasticity in gametocyte investment enables parasites to maintain fitness in a variable environment. Gametocytes are a target for anti-malarial transmission-blocking interventions so understanding plasticity in investment is central to maximizing the success of control measures in the face of parasite evolution.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-12-23

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

  14. Structural and functional insights into the malaria parasite moving junction complex.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Brigitte Vulliez-Le Normand

    Full Text Available Members of the phylum Apicomplexa, which include the malaria parasite Plasmodium, share many features in their invasion mechanism in spite of their diverse host cell specificities and life cycle characteristics. The formation of a moving junction (MJ between the membranes of the invading apicomplexan parasite and the host cell is common to these intracellular pathogens. The MJ contains two key parasite components: the surface protein Apical Membrane Antigen 1 (AMA1 and its receptor, the Rhoptry Neck Protein (RON complex, which is targeted to the host cell membrane during invasion. In particular, RON2, a transmembrane component of the RON complex, interacts directly with AMA1. Here, we report the crystal structure of AMA1 from Plasmodium falciparum in complex with a peptide derived from the extracellular region of PfRON2, highlighting clear specificities of the P. falciparum RON2-AMA1 interaction. The receptor-binding site of PfAMA1 comprises the hydrophobic groove and a region that becomes exposed by displacement of the flexible Domain II loop. Mutations of key contact residues of PfRON2 and PfAMA1 abrogate binding between the recombinant proteins. Although PfRON2 contacts some polymorphic residues, binding studies with PfAMA1 from different strains show that these have little effect on affinity. Moreover, we demonstrate that the PfRON2 peptide inhibits erythrocyte invasion by P. falciparum merozoites and that this strong inhibitory potency is not affected by AMA1 polymorphisms. In parallel, we have determined the crystal structure of PfAMA1 in complex with the invasion-inhibitory peptide R1 derived by phage display, revealing an unexpected structural mimicry of the PfRON2 peptide. These results identify the key residues governing the interactions between AMA1 and RON2 in P. falciparum and suggest novel approaches to antimalarial therapeutics.

  15. Population genomic scan for candidate signatures of balancing selection to guide antigen characterization in malaria parasites.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Amambua-Ngwa, Alfred; Tetteh, Kevin K A; Manske, Magnus; Gomez-Escobar, Natalia; Stewart, Lindsay B; Deerhake, M Elizabeth; Cheeseman, Ian H; Newbold, Christopher I; Holder, Anthony A; Knuepfer, Ellen; Janha, Omar; Jallow, Muminatou; Campino, Susana; Macinnis, Bronwyn; Kwiatkowski, Dominic P; Conway, David J

    2012-01-01

    Acquired immunity in vertebrates maintains polymorphisms in endemic pathogens, leading to identifiable signatures of balancing selection. To comprehensively survey for genes under such selection in the human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum, we generated paired-end short-read sequences of parasites in clinical isolates from an endemic Gambian population, which were mapped to the 3D7 strain reference genome to yield high-quality genome-wide coding sequence data for 65 isolates. A minority of genes did not map reliably, including the hypervariable var, rifin, and stevor families, but 5,056 genes (90.9% of all in the genome) had >70% sequence coverage with minimum read depth of 5 for at least 50 isolates, of which 2,853 genes contained 3 or more single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) for analysis of polymorphic site frequency spectra. Against an overall background of negatively skewed frequencies, as expected from historical population expansion combined with purifying selection, the outlying minority of genes with signatures indicating exceptionally intermediate frequencies were identified. Comparing genes with different stage-specificity, such signatures were most common in those with peak expression at the merozoite stage that invades erythrocytes. Members of clag, PfMC-2TM, surfin, and msp3-like gene families were highly represented, the strongest signature being in the msp3-like gene PF10_0355. Analysis of msp3-like transcripts in 45 clinical and 11 laboratory adapted isolates grown to merozoite-containing schizont stages revealed surprisingly low expression of PF10_0355. In diverse clonal parasite lines the protein product was expressed in a minority of mature schizonts (<1% in most lines and ∼10% in clone HB3), and eight sub-clones of HB3 cultured separately had an intermediate spectrum of positive frequencies (0.9 to 7.5%), indicating phase variable expression of this polymorphic antigen. This and other identified targets of balancing selection are now

  16. Population genomic scan for candidate signatures of balancing selection to guide antigen characterization in malaria parasites.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alfred Amambua-Ngwa

    Full Text Available Acquired immunity in vertebrates maintains polymorphisms in endemic pathogens, leading to identifiable signatures of balancing selection. To comprehensively survey for genes under such selection in the human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum, we generated paired-end short-read sequences of parasites in clinical isolates from an endemic Gambian population, which were mapped to the 3D7 strain reference genome to yield high-quality genome-wide coding sequence data for 65 isolates. A minority of genes did not map reliably, including the hypervariable var, rifin, and stevor families, but 5,056 genes (90.9% of all in the genome had >70% sequence coverage with minimum read depth of 5 for at least 50 isolates, of which 2,853 genes contained 3 or more single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs for analysis of polymorphic site frequency spectra. Against an overall background of negatively skewed frequencies, as expected from historical population expansion combined with purifying selection, the outlying minority of genes with signatures indicating exceptionally intermediate frequencies were identified. Comparing genes with different stage-specificity, such signatures were most common in those with peak expression at the merozoite stage that invades erythrocytes. Members of clag, PfMC-2TM, surfin, and msp3-like gene families were highly represented, the strongest signature being in the msp3-like gene PF10_0355. Analysis of msp3-like transcripts in 45 clinical and 11 laboratory adapted isolates grown to merozoite-containing schizont stages revealed surprisingly low expression of PF10_0355. In diverse clonal parasite lines the protein product was expressed in a minority of mature schizonts (<1% in most lines and ∼10% in clone HB3, and eight sub-clones of HB3 cultured separately had an intermediate spectrum of positive frequencies (0.9 to 7.5%, indicating phase variable expression of this polymorphic antigen. This and other identified targets of balancing

  17. Signalling in malaria parasites – The MALSIG consortium#

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Doerig C.

    2009-09-01

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

  18. Prospective identification of malaria parasite genes under balancing selection.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kevin K A Tetteh

    Full Text Available Endemic human pathogens are subject to strong immune selection, and interrogation of pathogen genome variation for signatures of balancing selection can identify important target antigens. Several major antigen genes in the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum have shown such signatures in polymorphism-versus-divergence indices (comparing with the chimpanzee parasite P. reichenowi, and in allele frequency based indices.To compare methods for prospective identification of genes under balancing selection, 26 additional genes known or predicted to encode surface-exposed proteins of the invasive blood stage merozoite were first sequenced from a panel of 14 independent P. falciparum cultured lines and P. reichenowi. Six genes at the positive extremes of one or both of the Hudson-Kreitman-Aguade (HKA and McDonald-Kreitman (MK indices were identified. Allele frequency based analysis was then performed on a Gambian P. falciparum population sample for these six genes and three others as controls. Tajima's D (TjD index was most highly positive for the msp3/6-like PF10_0348 (TjD = 1.96 as well as the positive control ama1 antigen gene (TjD = 1.22. Across the genes there was a strong correlation between population TjD values and the relative HKA indices (whether derived from the population or the panel of cultured laboratory isolates, but no correlation with the MK indices.Although few individual parasite genes show significant evidence of balancing selection, analysis of population genomic and comparative sequence data with the HKA and TjD indices should discriminate those that do, and thereby identify likely targets of immunity.

  19. Methodology and application of flow cytometry for investigation of human malaria parasites.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grimberg, Brian T

    2011-03-31

    Historically, examinations of the inhibition of malaria parasite growth/invasion, whether using drugs or antibodies, have relied on the use of microscopy or radioactive hypoxanthine uptake. These are considered gold standards for measuring the effectiveness of antimalarial treatments, however, these methods have well known shortcomings. With the advent of flow cytometry coupled with the use of fluorescent DNA stains allowed for increased speed, reproducibility, and qualitative estimates of the effectiveness of antibodies and drugs to limit malaria parasite growth which addresses the challenges of traditional techniques. Because materials and machines available to research facilities are so varied, different methods have been developed to investigate malaria parasites by flow cytometry. This review is intended to serve as a reference guide for advanced users and importantly, as a primer for new users, to support expanded use and improvements to malaria flow cytometry, particularly in endemic countries. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lilburn Timothy G

    2011-12-01

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

  1. A new morphologically distinct avian malaria parasite that fails detection by established polymerase chain reaction-based protocols for amplification of the cytochrome B gene.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zehtindjiev, Pavel; Križanauskienė, Asta; Bensch, Staffan; Palinauskas, Vaidas; Asghar, Muhammad; Dimitrov, Dimitar; Scebba, Sergio; Valkiūnas, Gediminas

    2012-06-01

    Plasmodium polymorphum n. sp. (Haemosporida, Plasmodiidae) was found in the skylark, Alauda arvensis (Passeriformes: Alaudidae), during autumnal migration in southern Italy. This organism is illustrated and described based on the morphology of its blood stages. The most distinctive feature of this malaria parasite is the clear preference of its blood stages (trophozoites, meronts, and gametocytes) for immature red blood cells, including erythroblasts. Based on preference of erythrocytic meronts for immature red blood cells, P. polymorphum is most similar to species of the subgenus Huffia . This parasite can be readily distinguished from all other bird malaria parasites, including Plasmodium ( Huffia ) spp., due to preferential development and maturation of its gametocytes in immature red blood cells, a unique character for avian Plasmodium spp. In addition, the margins of nuclei in blood stages of P. polymorphum are markedly smooth and distinct; this is also a distinct diagnostic feature of this parasite. Plasmodium polymorphum has been recorded only in the skylark; it is probably a rare parasite, whose host range and geographical distribution remain unclear. Microscopic examination detected a light infection of Plasmodium relictum (lineage GRW11, parasitemia of 50-fold higher than that of P. relictum and several different primers were tested, we suggest that the failure to amplify P. polymorphum is a more complex problem than why co-infections are commonly overlooked in PCR-based studies. We suggest possible explanations of these results and call for additional research on evolution of mitochondrial genome of hemosporidian parasites.

  2. Prevalence of malaria parasites and Hepatitis-B virus in patients ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Malaria and Hepatitis-B virus (HBV) remain a threat to human health in many developing nations. Many regions with high malaria prevalence are also endemic for other infectious diseases which may predispose them to more of the malaria infection. Using thin and thick film preparations, malaria parasites were detected, ...

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2010-01-01

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

  4. A central role for P48/45 in malaria parasite male gamete fertility.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Dijk, M.R. van; Janse, C.J.; Thompson, J.; Waters, A.P.; Braks, J.A.M.; Dodemont, H.J.; Stunnenberg, H.G.; Gemert, G.J.A. van; Sauerwein, R.W.; Eling, W.M.C.

    2001-01-01

    Fertilization and zygote development are obligate features of the malaria parasite life cycle and occur during parasite transmission to mosquitoes. The surface protein PFS48/45 is expressed by male and female gametes of Plasmodium falciparum and PFS48/45 antibodies prevent zygote development and

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

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

  6. The structural basis for CD36 binding by the malaria parasite

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hsieh, Fu-Lien; Turner, Louise; Bolla, Jani Reddy

    2016-01-01

    CD36 is a scavenger receptor involved in fatty acid metabolism, innate immunity and angiogenesis. It interacts with lipoprotein particles and facilitates uptake of long chain fatty acids. It is also the most common target of the PfEMP1 proteins of the malaria parasite, Plasmodium falciparum...

  7. Direct and indirect immunosuppression by a malaria parasite in its mosquito vector

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Boëte, C.H.J.J.; Paul, R.E.L.; Koëlla, J.C.

    2004-01-01

    Malaria parasites develop as oocysts within the haemocoel of their mosquito vector during a period that is longer than the average lifespan of many of their vectors. How can they escape from the mosquito's immune responses during their long development? Whereas older oocysts might camouflage

  8. Malaria parasite cGMP-dependent protein kinase regulates blood stage merozoite secretory organelle discharge and egress.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christine R Collins

    2013-05-01

    Full Text Available The malaria parasite replicates within an intraerythrocytic parasitophorous vacuole (PV. Eventually, in a tightly regulated process called egress, proteins of the PV and intracellular merozoite surface are modified by an essential parasite serine protease called PfSUB1, whilst the enclosing PV and erythrocyte membranes rupture, releasing merozoites to invade fresh erythrocytes. Inhibition of the Plasmodium falciparum cGMP-dependent protein kinase (PfPKG prevents egress, but the underlying mechanism is unknown. Here we show that PfPKG activity is required for PfSUB1 discharge into the PV, as well as for release of distinct merozoite organelles called micronemes. Stimulation of PfPKG by inhibiting parasite phosphodiesterase activity induces premature PfSUB1 discharge and egress of developmentally immature, non-invasive parasites. Our findings identify the signalling pathway that regulates PfSUB1 function and egress, and raise the possibility of targeting PfPKG or parasite phosphodiesterases in therapeutic approaches to dysregulate critical protease-mediated steps in the parasite life cycle.

  9. Cheatgrass and red brome; the history and biology of two invaders

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chad R. Reid; Sherel Goodrich; James E. Bowns

    2008-01-01

    In recent history, there has not been a more ecologically important event than the introduction of cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum) and red brome (Bromus rubens) into the Intermountain West. These grasses are very similar in ecology and history and are separated mostly by function of elevation. Both species are from the Mediterranean...

  10. A novel genetic technique in Plasmodium berghei allows liver stage analysis of genes required for mosquito stage development and demonstrates that de novo heme synthesis is essential for liver stage development in the malaria parasite.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Upeksha L Rathnapala

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available The combination of drug resistance, lack of an effective vaccine, and ongoing conflict and poverty means that malaria remains a major global health crisis. Understanding metabolic pathways at all parasite life stages is important in prioritising and targeting novel anti-parasitic compounds. The unusual heme synthesis pathway of the rodent malaria parasite, Plasmodium berghei, requires eight enzymes distributed across the mitochondrion, apicoplast and cytoplasm. Deletion of the ferrochelatase (FC gene, the final enzyme in the pathway, confirms that heme synthesis is not essential in the red blood cell stages of the life cycle but is required to complete oocyst development in mosquitoes. The lethality of FC deletions in the mosquito stage makes it difficult to study the impact of these mutations in the subsequent liver stage. To overcome this, we combined locus-specific fluorophore expression with a genetic complementation approach to generate viable, heterozygous oocysts able to produce a mix of FC expressing and FC deficient sporozoites. These sporozoites show normal motility and can invade liver cells, where FC deficient parasites can be distinguished by fluorescence and phenotyped. Parasites lacking FC exhibit a severe growth defect within liver cells, with development failure detectable in the early to mid stages of liver development in vitro. FC deficient parasites could not complete liver stage development in vitro nor infect naïve mice, confirming liver stage arrest. These results validate the heme pathway as a potential target for prophylactic drugs targeting liver stage parasites. In addition, we demonstrate that our simple genetic approach can extend the phenotyping window beyond the insect stages, opening considerable scope for straightforward reverse genetic analysis of genes that are dispensable in blood stages but essential for completing mosquito development.

  11. A novel genetic technique in Plasmodium berghei allows liver stage analysis of genes required for mosquito stage development and demonstrates that de novo heme synthesis is essential for liver stage development in the malaria parasite.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rathnapala, Upeksha L; Goodman, Christopher D; McFadden, Geoffrey I

    2017-06-01

    The combination of drug resistance, lack of an effective vaccine, and ongoing conflict and poverty means that malaria remains a major global health crisis. Understanding metabolic pathways at all parasite life stages is important in prioritising and targeting novel anti-parasitic compounds. The unusual heme synthesis pathway of the rodent malaria parasite, Plasmodium berghei, requires eight enzymes distributed across the mitochondrion, apicoplast and cytoplasm. Deletion of the ferrochelatase (FC) gene, the final enzyme in the pathway, confirms that heme synthesis is not essential in the red blood cell stages of the life cycle but is required to complete oocyst development in mosquitoes. The lethality of FC deletions in the mosquito stage makes it difficult to study the impact of these mutations in the subsequent liver stage. To overcome this, we combined locus-specific fluorophore expression with a genetic complementation approach to generate viable, heterozygous oocysts able to produce a mix of FC expressing and FC deficient sporozoites. These sporozoites show normal motility and can invade liver cells, where FC deficient parasites can be distinguished by fluorescence and phenotyped. Parasites lacking FC exhibit a severe growth defect within liver cells, with development failure detectable in the early to mid stages of liver development in vitro. FC deficient parasites could not complete liver stage development in vitro nor infect naïve mice, confirming liver stage arrest. These results validate the heme pathway as a potential target for prophylactic drugs targeting liver stage parasites. In addition, we demonstrate that our simple genetic approach can extend the phenotyping window beyond the insect stages, opening considerable scope for straightforward reverse genetic analysis of genes that are dispensable in blood stages but essential for completing mosquito development.

  12. Structural and functional changes of soft-bottom ecosystems in northern fjords invaded by the red king crab (Paralithodes camtschaticus)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oug, Eivind; Sundet, Jan H.; Cochrane, Sabine K. J.

    2018-04-01

    The red king crab invaded Norwegian coastal waters in the early 1990s after having been introduced from the northern Pacific to the Russian Barents Sea coast. The crab stock increased rapidly in NE northern Norway in the latter half of the 1990s, and since 2002 there has been a commercial fishery in the eastern invaded areas. The crab is an active predator on benthic fauna especially feeding in deep soft-bottom environments. The present study is a follow-up of previous studies (2007-09) to assess the effects of the king crab predation on soft bottom species composition, ecological functioning and sediment quality. Macroinfauna (> 1 mm) was investigated in three fjord areas in the Varanger region with low, moderate and very high crab abundances, respectively. Compared with data from 1994, most benthic species were markedly reduced in abundance, in particular non-moving burrowing and tube-dwelling polychaetes, bivalves and echinoderms. However, a few species appeared to recover from 2007-09 to 2012. Changes in ecological functioning were assessed using 'biological traits analysis (BTA)'. Following the crab invasion there was a relative reduction of suspension and surface deposit feeding species, an increase in mobile and predatory organisms and an increase in those with planktotrophic larval development. From low to high crab abundances functioning changed from tube-building, deep deposit feeding and fairly large size to free-living, shallow burrowing and rather small size. With regard to sediment reworking, downward and upward conveyors were reduced whereas surficial modifiers increased. The changes imply that sediment biomixing and bioirrigation were reduced leading to a degraded sedimentary environment. It is suggested that establishing relationships between ecosystem functioning and crab abundances may form the basis for estimating ecological costs of the crab invasion. Such knowledge is important for managing the crab in the Barents Sea area being both a non

  13. Protocol for production of a genetic cross of the rodent malaria parasites.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pattaradilokrat, Sittiporn; Li, Jian; Su, Xin-zhuan

    2011-01-03

    Variation in response to antimalarial drugs and in pathogenicity of malaria parasites is of biologic and medical importance. Linkage mapping has led to successful identification of genes or loci underlying various traits in malaria parasites of rodents and humans. The malaria parasite Plasmodium yoelii is one of many malaria species isolated from wild African rodents and has been adapted to grow in laboratories. This species reproduces many of the biologic characteristics of the human malaria parasites; genetic markers such as microsatellite and amplified fragment length polymorphism (AFLP) markers have also been developed for the parasite. Thus, genetic studies in rodent malaria parasites can be performed to complement research on Plasmodium falciparum. Here, we demonstrate the techniques for producing a genetic cross in P. yoelii that were first pioneered by Drs. David Walliker, Richard Carter, and colleagues at the University of Edinburgh. Genetic crosses in P. yoelii and other rodent malaria parasites are conducted by infecting mice Mus musculus with an inoculum containing gametocytes of two genetically distinct clones that differ in phenotypes of interest and by allowing mosquitoes to feed on the infected mice 4 days after infection. The presence of male and female gametocytes in the mouse blood is microscopically confirmed before feeding. Within 48 hrs after feeding, in the midgut of the mosquito, the haploid gametocytes differentiate into male and female gametes, fertilize, and form a diploid zygote (Fig. 1). During development of a zygote into an ookinete, meiosis appears to occur. If the zygote is derived through cross-fertilization between gametes of the two genetically distinct parasites, genetic exchanges (chromosomal reassortment and cross-overs between the non-sister chromatids of a pair of homologous chromosomes; Fig. 2) may occur, resulting in recombination of genetic material at homologous loci. Each zygote undergoes two successive nuclear

  14. Plasmodial Hsp70s are functionally adapted to the malaria parasite life cycle

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jude M Przyborski

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available The human malaria parasite, Plasmodium falciparum, encodes a minimal complement of six heat shock protein 70s (PfHSP70s, some of which are highly expressed and are thought to play an important role in the survival and pathology of the parasite. In addition to canonical features of molecular chaperones, these HSP70s possess properties that reflect functional adaptation to a parasitic life style, including resistance to thermal insult during fever periods and host-parasite interactions. The parasite even exports an HSP70 to the host cell where it is likely to be involved in host cell modification. This review focuses on the features of the PfHSP70s, particularly with respect to their adaptation to the malaria parasite life cycle.

  15. Application of molecular methods for monitoring transmission stages of malaria parasites

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Babiker, Hamza A; Schneider, Petra

    2008-01-01

    Recent technical advances in malaria research have allowed specific detection of mRNA of genes that are expressed exclusively in sexual stages (gametocytes) of malaria parasites. The specificity and sensitivity of these techniques were validated on cultured laboratory clones of both human malaria parasites (Plasmodium falciparum) and rodent parasites (P. chabaudi). More recently, quantitative molecular techniques have been developed to quantify these sexual stages and used to monitor gametocyte dynamics and their transmission to mosquitoes. Molecular techniques showed that the infectious reservoir for malaria is larger than expected from previous microscopic studies; individual parasite genotypes within an infection can simultaneously produce infectious gametocytes; gametocyte production can be sustained for several months, and is modulated by environmental factors. The above techniques have empowered approaches for in-depth analysis of the biology of the transmission stages of the parasite and epidemiology of malaria transmission

  16. Motility precedes egress of malaria parasites from oocysts

    Science.gov (United States)

    Klug, Dennis; Frischknecht, Friedrich

    2017-01-01

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

  17. CHEMOTHERAPY, WITHIN-HOST ECOLOGY AND THE FITNESS OF DRUG-RESISTANT MALARIA PARASITES

    OpenAIRE

    Huijben, Silvie; Nelson, William A.; Wargo, Andrew R.; Sim, Derek G.; Drew, Damien R.; Read, Andrew F.

    2010-01-01

    A major determinant of the rate at which drug-resistant malaria parasites spread through a population is the ecology of resistant and sensitive parasites sharing the same host. Drug treatment can significantly alter this ecology by removing the drug-sensitive parasites, leading to competitive release of resistant parasites. Here, we test the hypothesis that the spread of resistance can be slowed by reducing drug treatment and hence restricting competitive release. Using the rodent malaria mod...

  18. Enlightening the malaria parasite life cycle: bioluminescent Plasmodium in fundamental and applied research

    OpenAIRE

    Siciliano, Giulia; Alano, Pietro

    2015-01-01

    The unicellular protozoan parasites of the genus Plasmodium impose on human health worldwide the enormous burden of malaria. The possibility to genetically modify several species of malaria parasites represented a major advance in the possibility to elucidate their biology and is now turning laboratory lines of transgenic Plasmodium into precious weapons to fight malaria. Amongst the various genetically modified plasmodia, transgenic parasite lines expressing bioluminescent reporters have bee...

  19. Lysine acetylation in sexual stage malaria parasites is a target for antimalarial small molecules.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Trenholme, Katharine; Marek, Linda; Duffy, Sandra; Pradel, Gabriele; Fisher, Gillian; Hansen, Finn K; Skinner-Adams, Tina S; Butterworth, Alice; Ngwa, Che Julius; Moecking, Jonas; Goodman, Christopher D; McFadden, Geoffrey I; Sumanadasa, Subathdrage D M; Fairlie, David P; Avery, Vicky M; Kurz, Thomas; Andrews, Katherine T

    2014-07-01

    Therapies to prevent transmission of malaria parasites to the mosquito vector are a vital part of the global malaria elimination agenda. Primaquine is currently the only drug with such activity; however, its use is limited by side effects. The development of transmission-blocking strategies requires an understanding of sexual stage malaria parasite (gametocyte) biology and the identification of new drug leads. Lysine acetylation is an important posttranslational modification involved in regulating eukaryotic gene expression and other essential processes. Interfering with this process with histone deacetylase (HDAC) inhibitors is a validated strategy for cancer and other diseases, including asexual stage malaria parasites. Here we confirm the expression of at least one HDAC protein in Plasmodium falciparum gametocytes and show that histone and nonhistone protein acetylation occurs in this life cycle stage. The activity of the canonical HDAC inhibitors trichostatin A (TSA) and suberoylanilide hydroxamic acid (SAHA; Vorinostat) and a panel of novel HDAC inhibitors on early/late-stage gametocytes and on gamete formation was examined. Several compounds displayed early/late-stage gametocytocidal activity, with TSA being the most potent (50% inhibitory concentration, 70 to 90 nM). In contrast, no inhibitory activity was observed in P. falciparum gametocyte exflagellation experiments. Gametocytocidal HDAC inhibitors caused hyperacetylation of gametocyte histones, consistent with a mode of action targeting HDAC activity. Our data identify HDAC inhibitors as being among a limited number of compounds that target both asexual and sexual stage malaria parasites, making them a potential new starting point for gametocytocidal drug leads and valuable tools for dissecting gametocyte biology. Copyright © 2014, American Society for Microbiology. All Rights Reserved.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  1. History of the discovery of the malaria parasites and their vectors

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cox Francis EG

    2010-02-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Malaria is caused by infection with protozoan parasites belonging to the genus Plasmodium transmitted by female Anopheles species mosquitoes. Our understanding of the malaria parasites begins in 1880 with the discovery of the parasites in the blood of malaria patients by Alphonse Laveran. The sexual stages in the blood were discovered by William MacCallum in birds infected with a related haematozoan, Haemoproteus columbae, in 1897 and the whole of the transmission cycle in culicine mosquitoes and birds infected with Plasmodium relictum was elucidated by Ronald Ross in 1897. In 1898 the Italian malariologists, Giovanni Battista Grassi, Amico Bignami, Giuseppe Bastianelli, Angelo Celli, Camillo Golgi and Ettore Marchiafava demonstrated conclusively that human malaria was also transmitted by mosquitoes, in this case anophelines. The discovery that malaria parasites developed in the liver before entering the blood stream was made by Henry Shortt and Cyril Garnham in 1948 and the final stage in the life cycle, the presence of dormant stages in the liver, was conclusively demonstrated in 1982 by Wojciech Krotoski. This article traces the main events and stresses the importance of comparative studies in that, apart from the initial discovery of parasites in the blood, every subsequent discovery has been based on studies on non-human malaria parasites and related organisms.

  2. Diverse sampling of East African haemosporidians reveals chiropteran origin of malaria parasites in primates and rodents.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lutz, Holly L; Patterson, Bruce D; Kerbis Peterhans, Julian C; Stanley, William T; Webala, Paul W; Gnoske, Thomas P; Hackett, Shannon J; Stanhope, Michael J

    2016-06-01

    Phylogenies of parasites provide hypotheses on the history of their movements between hosts, leading to important insights regarding the processes of host switching that underlie modern-day epidemics. Haemosporidian (malaria) parasites lack a well resolved phylogeny, which has impeded the study of evolutionary processes associated with host-switching in this group. Here we present a novel phylogenetic hypothesis that suggests bats served as the ancestral hosts of malaria parasites in primates and rodents. Expanding upon current taxon sampling of Afrotropical bat and bird parasites, we find strong support for all major nodes in the haemosporidian tree using both Bayesian and maximum likelihood approaches. Our analyses support a single transition of haemosporidian parasites from saurian to chiropteran hosts, and do not support a monophyletic relationship between Plasmodium parasites of birds and mammals. We find, for the first time, that Hepatocystis and Plasmodium parasites of mammals represent reciprocally monophyletic evolutionary lineages. These results highlight the importance of broad taxonomic sampling when analyzing phylogenetic relationships, and have important implications for our understanding of key host switching events in the history of malaria parasite evolution. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  3. Gametogenesis in malaria parasites is mediated by the cGMP-dependent protein kinase.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Louisa McRobert

    2008-06-01

    Full Text Available Malaria parasite transmission requires differentiation of male and female gametocytes into gametes within a mosquito following a blood meal. A mosquito-derived molecule, xanthurenic acid (XA, can trigger gametogenesis, but the signalling events controlling this process in the human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum remain unknown. A role for cGMP was revealed by our observation that zaprinast (an inhibitor of phosphodiesterases that hydrolyse cGMP stimulates gametogenesis in the absence of XA. Using cGMP-dependent protein kinase (PKG inhibitors in conjunction with transgenic parasites expressing an inhibitor-insensitive mutant PKG enzyme, we demonstrate that PKG is essential for XA- and zaprinast-induced gametogenesis. Furthermore, we show that intracellular calcium (Ca2+ is required for differentiation and acts downstream of or in parallel with PKG activation. This work defines a key role for PKG in gametogenesis, elucidates the hierarchy of signalling events governing this process in P. falciparum, and demonstrates the feasibility of selective inhibition of a crucial regulator of the malaria parasite life cycle.

  4. Comparative gene expression profiling of P. falciparum malaria parasites exposed to three different histone deacetylase inhibitors.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Katherine T Andrews

    Full Text Available Histone deacetylase (HDAC inhibitors are being intensively pursued as potential new drugs for a range of diseases, including malaria. HDAC inhibitors are also important tools for the study of epigenetic mechanisms, transcriptional control, and other important cellular processes. In this study the effects of three structurally related antimalarial HDAC inhibitors on P. falciparum malaria parasite gene expression were compared. The three hydroxamate-based compounds, trichostatin A (TSA, suberoylanilide hydroxamic acid (SAHA; Vorinostat® and a 2-aminosuberic acid derivative (2-ASA-9, all caused profound transcriptional effects, with ~2-21% of genes having >2-fold altered expression following 2 h exposure to the compounds. Only two genes, alpha tubulin II and a hydrolase, were up-regulated by all three compounds after 2 h exposure in all biological replicates examined. The transcriptional changes observed after 2 h exposure to HDAC inhibitors were found to be largely transitory, with only 1-5% of genes being regulated after removing the compounds and culturing for a further 2 h. Despite some structural similarity, the three inhibitors caused quite diverse transcriptional effects, possibly reflecting subtle differences in mode of action or cellular distribution. This dataset represents an important contribution to our understanding of how HDAC inhibitors act on malaria parasites and identifies alpha tubulin II as a potential transcriptional marker of HDAC inhibition in malaria parasites that may be able to be exploited for future development of HDAC inhibitors as new antimalarial agents.

  5. Encapsulation of metalloporphyrins improves their capacity to block the viability of the human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alves, Eduardo; Iglesias, Bernardo A; Deda, Daiana K; Budu, Alexandre; Matias, Tiago A; Bueno, Vânia B; Maluf, Fernando V; Guido, Rafael V C; Oliva, Glaucius; Catalani, Luiz H; Araki, Koiti; Garcia, Celia R S

    2015-02-01

    Several synthetic metallated protoporphyrins (M-PPIX) were tested for their ability to block the cell cycle of the lethal human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum. After encapsulating the porphyrin derivatives in micro- and nanocapsules of marine atelocollagen, their effects on cultures of red blood cells infected (RBC) with P. falciparum were verified. RBCs infected with synchronized P. falciparum incubated for 48 h showed a toxic effect over a micromolar range. Strikingly, the IC50 of encapsulated metalloporphyrins reached nanomolar concentrations, where Zn-PPIX showed the best antimalarial effect, with an IC50=330 nM. This value is an 80-fold increase in the antimalarial activity compared to the antimalarial effect of non-encapsulated Zn-PPIX. These findings reveal that the incubation of P. falciparum infected-RBCs with 20 μM Zn-PPIX reduced the size of hemozoin crystal by 34%, whereas a 28% reduction was noticed with chloroquine, confirming the importance of heme detoxification pathway in drug therapy. In this study, synthetic metalloporphyrins were tested as therapeutics that target Plasmodium falciparum. The IC50 of encapsulated metalloporphyrins was found to be in the nanomolar concentration range, with encapsulated Zn-PPIX showing an 80-fold increase in its antimalarial activity compared to the non-encapsulated form. Copyright © 2015. Published by Elsevier Inc.

  6. Evidence-based annotation of the malaria parasite's genome using comparative expression profiling.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yingyao Zhou

    2008-02-01

    Full Text Available A fundamental problem in systems biology and whole genome sequence analysis is how to infer functions for the many uncharacterized proteins that are identified, whether they are conserved across organisms of different phyla or are phylum-specific. This problem is especially acute in pathogens, such as malaria parasites, where genetic and biochemical investigations are likely to be more difficult. Here we perform comparative expression analysis on Plasmodium parasite life cycle data derived from P. falciparum blood, sporozoite, zygote and ookinete stages, and P. yoelii mosquito oocyst and salivary gland sporozoites, blood and liver stages and show that type II fatty acid biosynthesis genes are upregulated in liver and insect stages relative to asexual blood stages. We also show that some universally uncharacterized genes with orthologs in Plasmodium species, Saccharomyces cerevisiae and humans show coordinated transcription patterns in large collections of human and yeast expression data and that the function of the uncharacterized genes can sometimes be predicted based on the expression patterns across these diverse organisms. We also use a comprehensive and unbiased literature mining method to predict which uncharacterized parasite-specific genes are likely to have roles in processes such as gliding motility, host-cell interactions, sporozoite stage, or rhoptry function. These analyses, together with protein-protein interaction data, provide probabilistic models that predict the function of 926 uncharacterized malaria genes and also suggest that malaria parasites may provide a simple model system for the study of some human processes. These data also provide a foundation for further studies of transcriptional regulation in malaria parasites.

  7. Malaria parasite carriage and risk determinants in a rural population: a malariometric survey in Rwanda.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kateera, Fredrick; Mens, Petra F; Hakizimana, Emmanuel; Ingabire, Chantal M; Muragijemariya, Liberata; Karinda, Parfait; Grobusch, Martin P; Mutesa, Leon; van Vugt, Michèle

    2015-01-21

    Based on routine health facility case data, Rwanda has achieved a significant malaria burden reduction in the past ten years. However, community-based malaria parasitaemia burden and reasons for continued residual infections, despite a high coverage of control interventions, have yet to be characterized. Measurement of malaria parasitaemia rates and evaluation of associated risk factors among asymptomatic household members in a rural community in Rwanda were conducted. A malariometric household survey was conducted between June and November 2013, involving 12,965 persons living in 3,989 households located in 35 villages in a sector in eastern Rwanda. Screening for malaria parasite carriage and collection of demographic, socio-economic, house structural features, and prior fever management data, were performed. Logistic regression models with adjustment for within- and between-households clustering were used to assess malaria parasitaemia risk determinants. Overall, malaria parasitaemia was found in 652 (5%) individuals, with 518 (13%) of households having at least one parasitaemic member. High malaria parasite carriage risk was associated with being male, child or adolescent (age group 4-15), reported history of fever and living in a household with multiple occupants. A malaria parasite carriage risk-protective effect was associated with living in households of, higher socio-economic status, where the head of household was educated and where the house floor or walls were made of cement/bricks rather than mud/earth/wood materials. Parasitaemia cases were found to significantly cluster in the Gikundamvura area that neighbours marshlands. Overall, Ruhuha Sector can be classified as hypo-endemic, albeit with a particular 'cell of villages' posing a higher risk for malaria parasitaemia than others. Efforts to further reduce transmission and eventually eliminate malaria locally should focus on investments in programmes that improve house structure features (that limit

  8. Discovery of HDAC inhibitors with potent activity against multiple malaria parasite life cycle stages.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hansen, Finn K; Sumanadasa, Subathdrage D M; Stenzel, Katharina; Duffy, Sandra; Meister, Stephan; Marek, Linda; Schmetter, Rebekka; Kuna, Krystina; Hamacher, Alexandra; Mordmüller, Benjamin; Kassack, Matthias U; Winzeler, Elizabeth A; Avery, Vicky M; Andrews, Katherine T; Kurz, Thomas

    2014-07-23

    In this work we investigated the antiplasmodial activity of a series of HDAC inhibitors containing an alkoxyamide connecting-unit linker region. HDAC inhibitor 1a (LMK235), previously shown to be a novel and specific inhibitor of human HDAC4 and 5, was used as a starting point to rapidly construct a mini-library of HDAC inhibitors using a straightforward solid-phase supported synthesis. Several of these novel HDAC inhibitors were found to have potent in vitro activity against asexual stage Plasmodium falciparum malaria parasites. Representative compounds were shown to hyperacetylate P. falciparum histones and to inhibit deacetylase activity of recombinant PfHDAC1 and P. falciparum nuclear extracts. All compounds were also screened in vitro for activity against Plasmodium berghei exo-erythrocytic stages and selected compounds were further tested against late stage (IV and V) P. falciparum gametocytes. Of note, some compounds showed nanomolar activity against all three life cycle stages tested (asexual, exo-erythrocytic and gametocyte stages) and several compounds displayed significantly increased parasite selectivity compared to the reference HDAC inhibitor suberoylanilide hydroxamic acid (SAHA). These data suggest that it may be possible to develop HDAC inhibitors that target multiple malaria parasite life cycle stages. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Masson SAS. All rights reserved.

  9. Interferon-Mediated Innate Immune Responses against Malaria Parasite Liver Stages

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    Jessica L. Miller

    2014-04-01

    Full Text Available Mosquito-transmitted malaria parasites infect hepatocytes and asymptomatically replicate as liver stages. Using RNA sequencing, we show that a rodent malaria liver-stage infection stimulates a robust innate immune response including type I interferon (IFN and IFNγ pathways. Liver-stage infection is suppressed by these infection-engendered innate responses. This suppression was abrogated in mice deficient in IFNγ, the type I IFN α/β receptor (IFNAR, and interferon regulatory factor 3. Natural killer and CD49b+CD3+ natural killer T (NKT cells increased in the liver after a primary infection, and CD1d-restricted NKT cells, which secrete IFNγ, were critical in reducing liver-stage burden of a secondary infection. Lack of IFNAR signaling abrogated the increase in NKT cell numbers in the liver, showing a link between type I IFN signaling, cell recruitment, and subsequent parasite elimination. Our findings demonstrate innate immune sensing of malaria parasite liver-stage infection and that the ensuing innate responses can eliminate the parasite.

  10. Enlightening the malaria parasite life cycle: bioluminescent Plasmodium in fundamental and applied research

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    Giulia eSiciliano

    2015-05-01

    Full Text Available The unicellular protozoan parasites of the genus Plasmodium impose on human health worldwide the enormous burden of malaria. The possibility to genetically modify several species of malaria parasites represented a major advance in the possibility to elucidate their biology and is now turning laboratory lines of transgenic Plasmodium into precious weapons to fight malaria. Amongst the various genetically modified plasmodia, transgenic parasite lines expressing bioluminescent reporters have been essential to unveil mechanisms of parasite gene expression and to develop in vivo imaging approaches in mouse malaria models. Mainly the human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum and the rodent parasite Plasmodium berghei have been engineered to express bioluminescent reporters in almost all the developmental stages of the parasite along its complex life cycle between the insect and the vertebrate hosts. Plasmodium lines expressing conventional and improved luciferase reporters are now gaining a central role to develop cell based assays in the much needed search of new antimalarial drugs and to open innovative approaches for both fundamental and applied research in malaria.

  11. Enlightening the malaria parasite life cycle: bioluminescent Plasmodium in fundamental and applied research.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Siciliano, Giulia; Alano, Pietro

    2015-01-01

    The unicellular protozoan parasites of the genus Plasmodium impose on human health worldwide the enormous burden of malaria. The possibility to genetically modify several species of malaria parasites represented a major advance in the possibility to elucidate their biology and is now turning laboratory lines of transgenic Plasmodium into precious weapons to fight malaria. Amongst the various genetically modified plasmodia, transgenic parasite lines expressing bioluminescent reporters have been essential to unveil mechanisms of parasite gene expression and to develop in vivo imaging approaches in mouse malaria models. Mainly the human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum and the rodent parasite P. berghei have been engineered to express bioluminescent reporters in almost all the developmental stages of the parasite along its complex life cycle between the insect and the vertebrate hosts. Plasmodium lines expressing conventional and improved luciferase reporters are now gaining a central role to develop cell based assays in the much needed search of new antimalarial drugs and to open innovative approaches for both fundamental and applied research in malaria.

  12. Host-parasite interactions and ecology of the malaria parasite-a bioinformatics approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Izak, Dariusz; Klim, Joanna; Kaczanowski, Szymon

    2018-04-25

    Malaria remains one of the highest mortality infectious diseases. Malaria is caused by parasites from the genus Plasmodium. Most deaths are caused by infections involving Plasmodium falciparum, which has a complex life cycle. Malaria parasites are extremely well adapted for interactions with their host and their host's immune system and are able to suppress the human immune system, erase immunological memory and rapidly alter exposed antigens. Owing to this rapid evolution, parasites develop drug resistance and express novel forms of antigenic proteins that are not recognized by the host immune system. There is an emerging need for novel interventions, including novel drugs and vaccines. Designing novel therapies requires knowledge about host-parasite interactions, which is still limited. However, significant progress has recently been achieved in this field through the application of bioinformatics analysis of parasite genome sequences. In this review, we describe the main achievements in 'malarial' bioinformatics and provide examples of successful applications of protein sequence analysis. These examples include the prediction of protein functions based on homology and the prediction of protein surface localization via domain and motif analysis. Additionally, we describe PlasmoDB, a database that stores accumulated experimental data. This tool allows data mining of the stored information and will play an important role in the development of malaria science. Finally, we illustrate the application of bioinformatics in the development of population genetics research on malaria parasites, an approach referred to as reverse ecology.

  13. Leukocyte profiles for western fence lizards, Sceloporus occidentalis, naturally infected by the malaria parasite Plasmodium mexicanum.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Motz, Victoria L; Lewis, William D; Vardo-Zalik, Anne M

    2014-10-01

    Plasmodium mexicanum is a malaria parasite that naturally infects the western fence lizard, Sceloporus occidentalis , in northern California. We set out to determine whether lizards naturally infected with this malaria parasite have different leukocyte profiles, indicating an immune response to infection. We used 29 naturally infected western fence lizards paired with uninfected lizards based on sex, snout-to-vent length, tail status, and the presence-absence of ectoparasites such as ticks and mites, as well as the presence-absence of another hemoparasite, Schellackia occidentalis. Complete white blood cell (WBC) counts were conducted on blood smears stained with Giemsa, and the proportion of granulocytes per microliter of blood was estimated using the Avian Leukopet method. The abundance of each WBC class (lymphocytes, monocytes, heterophils, eosinophils, and basophils) in infected and uninfected lizards was compared to determine whether leukocyte densities varied with infection status. We found that the numbers of WBCs and lymphocytes per microliter of blood significantly differed (P lizard's immune response to increase the levels of circulating WBCs, but what effect this has on the biology of the parasite remains unclear.

  14. Investigating the evolution of apoptosis in malaria parasites: the importance of ecology

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    Pollitt Laura C

    2010-11-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Apoptosis is a precisely regulated process of cell death which occurs widely in multicellular organisms and is essential for normal development and immune defences. In recent years, interest has grown in the occurrence of apoptosis in unicellular organisms. In particular, as apoptosis has been reported in a wide range of species, including protozoan malaria parasites and trypanosomes, it may provide a novel target for intervention. However, it is important to understand when and why parasites employ an apoptosis strategy before the likely long- and short-term success of such an intervention can be evaluated. The occurrence of apoptosis in unicellular parasites provides a challenge for evolutionary theory to explain as organisms are expected to have evolved to maximise their own proliferation, not death. One possible explanation is that protozoan parasites undergo apoptosis in order to gain a group benefit from controlling their density as this prevents premature vector mortality. However, experimental manipulations to examine the ultimate causes behind apoptosis in parasites are lacking. In this review, we focus on malaria parasites to outline how an evolutionary framework can help make predictions about the ecological circumstances under which apoptosis could evolve. We then highlight the ecological considerations that should be taken into account when designing evolutionary experiments involving markers of cell death, and we call for collaboration between researchers in different fields to identify and develop appropriate markers in reference to parasite ecology and to resolve debates on terminology.

  15. The Plasmodium PHIST and RESA-Like Protein Families of Human and Rodent Malaria Parasites

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moreira, Cristina K.; Naissant, Bernina; Coppi, Alida; Bennett, Brandy L.; Aime, Elena; Franke-Fayard, Blandine; Janse, Chris J.; Coppens, Isabelle; Sinnis, Photini; Templeton, Thomas J.

    2016-01-01

    The phist gene family has members identified across the Plasmodium genus, defined by the presence of a domain of roughly 150 amino acids having conserved aromatic residues and an all alpha-helical structure. The family is highly amplified in P. falciparum, with 65 predicted genes in the genome of the 3D7 isolate. In contrast, in the rodent malaria parasite P. berghei 3 genes are identified, one of which is an apparent pseudogene. Transcripts of the P. berghei phist genes are predominant in schizonts, whereas in P. falciparum transcript profiles span different asexual blood stages and gametocytes. We pursued targeted disruption of P. berghei phist genes in order to characterize a simplistic model for the expanded phist gene repertoire in P. falciparum. Unsuccessful attempts to disrupt P. berghei PBANKA_114540 suggest that this phist gene is essential, while knockout of phist PBANKA_122900 shows an apparent normal progression and non-essential function throughout the life cycle. Epitope-tagging of P. falciparum and P. berghei phist genes confirmed protein export to the erythrocyte cytoplasm and localization with a punctate pattern. Three P. berghei PEXEL/HT-positive exported proteins exhibit at least partial co-localization, in support of a common vesicular compartment in the cytoplasm of erythrocytes infected with rodent malaria parasites. PMID:27022937

  16. Culture adaptation of malaria parasites selects for convergent loss-of-function mutants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Claessens, Antoine; Affara, Muna; Assefa, Samuel A; Kwiatkowski, Dominic P; Conway, David J

    2017-01-24

    Cultured human pathogens may differ significantly from source populations. To investigate the genetic basis of laboratory adaptation in malaria parasites, clinical Plasmodium falciparum isolates were sampled from patients and cultured in vitro for up to three months. Genome sequence analysis was performed on multiple culture time point samples from six monoclonal isolates, and single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) variants emerging over time were detected. Out of a total of five positively selected SNPs, four represented nonsense mutations resulting in stop codons, three of these in a single ApiAP2 transcription factor gene, and one in SRPK1. To survey further for nonsense mutants associated with culture, genome sequences of eleven long-term laboratory-adapted parasite strains were examined, revealing four independently acquired nonsense mutations in two other ApiAP2 genes, and five in Epac. No mutants of these genes exist in a large database of parasite sequences from uncultured clinical samples. This implicates putative master regulator genes in which multiple independent stop codon mutations have convergently led to culture adaptation, affecting most laboratory lines of P. falciparum. Understanding the adaptive processes should guide development of experimental models, which could include targeted gene disruption to adapt fastidious malaria parasite species to culture.

  17. Structural basis of malaria parasite lysyl-tRNA synthetase inhibition by cladosporin.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Khan, Sameena; Sharma, Arvind; Belrhali, Hassan; Yogavel, Manickam; Sharma, Amit

    2014-06-01

    Malaria parasites inevitably develop drug resistance to anti-malarials over time. Hence the immediacy for discovering new chemical scaffolds to include in combination malaria drug therapy. The desirable attributes of new chemotherapeutic agents currently include activity against both liver and blood stage malaria parasites. One such recently discovered compound called cladosporin abrogates parasite growth via inhibition of Plasmodium falciparum lysyl-tRNA synthetase (PfKRS), an enzyme central to protein translation. Here, we present crystal structure of ternary PfKRS-lysine-cladosporin (PfKRS-K-C) complex that reveals cladosporin's remarkable ability to mimic the natural substrate adenosine and thereby colonize PfKRS active site. The isocoumarin fragment of cladosporin sandwiches between critical adenine-recognizing residues while its pyran ring fits snugly in the ribose-recognizing cavity. PfKRS-K-C structure highlights ample space within PfKRS active site for further chemical derivatization of cladosporin. Such derivatives may be useful against additional human pathogens that retain high conservation in cladosporin chelating residues within their lysyl-tRNA synthetase.

  18. The Plasmodium falciparum pseudoprotease SERA5 regulates the kinetics and efficiency of malaria parasite egress from host erythrocytes.

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    Christine R Collins

    2017-07-01

    Full Text Available Egress of the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum from its host red blood cell is a rapid, highly regulated event that is essential for maintenance and completion of the parasite life cycle. Egress is protease-dependent and is temporally associated with extensive proteolytic modification of parasite proteins, including a family of papain-like proteins called SERA that are expressed in the parasite parasitophorous vacuole. Previous work has shown that the most abundant SERA, SERA5, plays an important but non-enzymatic role in asexual blood stages. SERA5 is extensively proteolytically processed by a parasite serine protease called SUB1 as well as an unidentified cysteine protease just prior to egress. However, neither the function of SERA5 nor the role of its processing is known. Here we show that conditional disruption of the SERA5 gene, or of both the SERA5 and related SERA4 genes simultaneously, results in a dramatic egress and replication defect characterised by premature host cell rupture and the failure of daughter merozoites to efficiently disseminate, instead being transiently retained within residual bounding membranes. SERA5 is not required for poration (permeabilization or vesiculation of the host cell membrane at egress, but the premature rupture phenotype requires the activity of a parasite or host cell cysteine protease. Complementation of SERA5 null parasites by ectopic expression of wild-type SERA5 reversed the egress defect, whereas expression of a SERA5 mutant refractory to processing failed to rescue the phenotype. Our findings implicate SERA5 as an important regulator of the kinetics and efficiency of egress and suggest that proteolytic modification is required for SERA5 function. In addition, our study reveals that efficient egress requires tight control of the timing of membrane rupture.

  19. Host scavenger receptor SR-BI plays a dual role in the establishment of malaria parasite liver infection

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Rodrigues, Cristina D.; Hannus, Michael; Prudencio, Miguel; Martin, Cecilie; Goncalves, Ligia A.; Portugal, Silvia; Epiphanio, Sabrina; Akinc, Akin; Hadwiger, Philipp; Jahn-Hofmann, Kerstin; Roehl, Ingo; van Gemert, Geert-Jan; Franetich, Jean-Francois; Luty, Adrian J. F.; Sauerwein, Robert; Mazier, Dominique; Koteliansky, Victor; Vornlocher, Hans-Peter; Echeverri, Christophe J.; Mota, Maria M.

    2008-01-01

    An obligatory step of malaria parasite infection is Plasmodium sporozoite invasion of host hepatocytes, and host lipoprotein clearance pathways have been linked to Plasmodium liver infection. By using RNA interference to screen lipoprotein-related host factors, we show here that the class B, type I

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

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    Kanako Komaki-Yasuda

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

  1. Plasmodium Cysteine Repeat Modular Proteins 3 and 4 are essential for malaria parasite transmission from the mosquito to the host

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    Mota Maria M

    2011-03-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The Plasmodium Cysteine Repeat Modular Proteins (PCRMP are a family of four conserved proteins of malaria parasites, that contain a number of motifs implicated in host-parasite interactions. Analysis of mutants of the rodent parasite Plasmodium berghei lacking expression of PCRMP1 or 2 showed that these proteins are essential for targeting of P. berghei sporozoites to the mosquito salivary gland and, hence, for transmission from the mosquito to the mouse. Methods In this work, the role of the remaining PCRMP family members, PCRMP3 and 4, has been investigated throughout the Plasmodium life cycle by generation and analysis of P. berghei gene deletion mutants, Δpcrmp3 and Δpcrmp4. The role of PCRMP members during the transmission and hepatic stages of the Plasmodium lifecycle has been evaluated by light- and electron microscopy and by analysis of liver stage development in HEPG2 cells in vitro and by infecting mice with mutant sporozoites. In addition, mice were immunized with live Δpcrmp3 and Δpcrmp4 sporozoites to evaluate their immunization potential as a genetically-attenuated parasite-based vaccine. Results Disruption of pcrmp3 and pcrmp4 in P. berghei revealed that they are also essential for transmission of the parasite through the mosquito vector, although acting in a distinct way to pbcrmp1 and 2. Mutants lacking expression of PCRMP3 or PCRMP4 show normal blood stage development and oocyst formation in the mosquito and develop into morphologically normal sporozoites, but these have a defect in egress from oocysts and do not enter the salivary glands. Sporozoites extracted from oocysts perform gliding motility and invade and infect hepatocytes but do not undergo further development and proliferation. Furthermore, the study shows that immunization with Δcrmp3 and Δcrmp4 sporozoites does not confer protective immunity upon subsequent challenge. Conclusions PCRMP3 and 4 play multiple roles during the Plasmodium life

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kerstin Leykauf

    2010-06-01

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

  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. Vitamin B6-Dependent Enzymes in the Human Malaria Parasite Plasmodium falciparum: A Druggable Target?

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    Thales Kronenberger

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Malaria is a deadly infectious disease which affects millions of people each year in tropical regions. There is no effective vaccine available and the treatment is based on drugs which are currently facing an emergence of drug resistance and in this sense the search for new drug targets is indispensable. It is well established that vitamin biosynthetic pathways, such as the vitamin B6 de novo synthesis present in Plasmodium, are excellent drug targets. The active form of vitamin B6, pyridoxal 5-phosphate, is, besides its antioxidative properties, a cofactor for a variety of essential enzymes present in the malaria parasite which includes the ornithine decarboxylase (ODC, synthesis of polyamines, the aspartate aminotransferase (AspAT, involved in the protein biosynthesis, and the serine hydroxymethyltransferase (SHMT, a key enzyme within the folate metabolism.

  5. Recent Advances of Malaria Parasites Detection Systems Based on Mathematical Morphology

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    Andrea Loddo

    2018-02-01

    Full Text Available Malaria is an epidemic health disease and a rapid, accurate diagnosis is necessary for proper intervention. Generally, pathologists visually examine blood stained slides for malaria diagnosis. Nevertheless, this kind of visual inspection is subjective, error-prone and time-consuming. In order to overcome the issues, numerous methods of automatic malaria diagnosis have been proposed so far. In particular, many researchers have used mathematical morphology as a powerful tool for computer aided malaria detection and classification. Mathematical morphology is not only a theory for the analysis of spatial structures, but also a very powerful technique widely used for image processing purposes and employed successfully in biomedical image analysis, especially in preprocessing and segmentation tasks. Microscopic image analysis and particularly malaria detection and classification can greatly benefit from the use of morphological operators. The aim of this paper is to present a review of recent mathematical morphology based methods for malaria parasite detection and identification in stained blood smears images.

  6. Recent Advances of Malaria Parasites Detection Systems Based on Mathematical Morphology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Loddo, Andrea; Di Ruberto, Cecilia; Kocher, Michel

    2018-02-08

    Malaria is an epidemic health disease and a rapid, accurate diagnosis is necessary for proper intervention. Generally, pathologists visually examine blood stained slides for malaria diagnosis. Nevertheless, this kind of visual inspection is subjective, error-prone and time-consuming. In order to overcome the issues, numerous methods of automatic malaria diagnosis have been proposed so far. In particular, many researchers have used mathematical morphology as a powerful tool for computer aided malaria detection and classification. Mathematical morphology is not only a theory for the analysis of spatial structures, but also a very powerful technique widely used for image processing purposes and employed successfully in biomedical image analysis, especially in preprocessing and segmentation tasks. Microscopic image analysis and particularly malaria detection and classification can greatly benefit from the use of morphological operators. The aim of this paper is to present a review of recent mathematical morphology based methods for malaria parasite detection and identification in stained blood smears images.

  7. A comprehensive evaluation of rodent malaria parasite genomes and gene expression

    KAUST Repository

    Otto, Thomas D

    2014-10-30

    Background: Rodent malaria parasites (RMP) are used extensively as models of human malaria. Draft RMP genomes have been published for Plasmodium yoelii, P. berghei ANKA (PbA) and P. chabaudi AS (PcAS). Although availability of these genomes made a significant impact on recent malaria research, these genomes were highly fragmented and were annotated with little manual curation. The fragmented nature of the genomes has hampered genome wide analysis of Plasmodium gene regulation and function. Results: We have greatly improved the genome assemblies of PbA and PcAS, newly sequenced the virulent parasite P. yoelii YM genome, sequenced additional RMP isolates/lines and have characterized genotypic diversity within RMP species. We have produced RNA-seq data and utilized it to improve gene-model prediction and to provide quantitative, genome-wide, data on gene expression. Comparison of the RMP genomes with the genome of the human malaria parasite P. falciparum and RNA-seq mapping permitted gene annotation at base-pair resolution. Full-length chromosomal annotation permitted a comprehensive classification of all subtelomeric multigene families including the `Plasmodium interspersed repeat genes\\' (pir). Phylogenetic classification of the pir family, combined with pir expression patterns, indicates functional diversification within this family. Conclusions: Complete RMP genomes, RNA-seq and genotypic diversity data are excellent and important resources for gene-function and post-genomic analyses and to better interrogate Plasmodium biology. Genotypic diversity between P. chabaudi isolates makes this species an excellent parasite to study genotype-phenotype relationships. The improved classification of multigene families will enhance studies on the role of (variant) exported proteins in virulence and immune evasion/modulation.

  8. Within-host competition does not select for virulence in malaria parasites; studies with Plasmodium yoelii.

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    Hussein M Abkallo

    2015-02-01

    Full Text Available In endemic areas with high transmission intensities, malaria infections are very often composed of multiple genetically distinct strains of malaria parasites. It has been hypothesised that this leads to intra-host competition, in which parasite strains compete for resources such as space and nutrients. This competition may have repercussions for the host, the parasite, and the vector in terms of disease severity, vector fitness, and parasite transmission potential and fitness. It has also been argued that within-host competition could lead to selection for more virulent parasites. Here we use the rodent malaria parasite Plasmodium yoelii to assess the consequences of mixed strain infections on disease severity and parasite fitness. Three isogenic strains with dramatically different growth rates (and hence virulence were maintained in mice in single infections or in mixed strain infections with a genetically distinct strain. We compared the virulence (defined as harm to the mammalian host of mixed strain infections with that of single infections, and assessed whether competition impacted on parasite fitness, assessed by transmission potential. We found that mixed infections were associated with a higher degree of disease severity and a prolonged infection time. In the mixed infections, the strain with the slower growth rate was often responsible for the competitive exclusion of the faster growing strain, presumably through host immune-mediated mechanisms. Importantly, and in contrast to previous work conducted with Plasmodium chabaudi, we found no correlation between parasite virulence and transmission potential to mosquitoes, suggesting that within-host competition would not drive the evolution of parasite virulence in P. yoelii.

  9. Sex and death: the effects of innate immune factors on the sexual reproduction of malaria parasites.

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    Ricardo S Ramiro

    2011-03-01

    Full Text Available Malaria parasites must undergo a round of sexual reproduction in the blood meal of a mosquito vector to be transmitted between hosts. Developing a transmission-blocking intervention to prevent parasites from mating is a major goal of biomedicine, but its effectiveness could be compromised if parasites can compensate by simply adjusting their sex allocation strategies. Recently, the application of evolutionary theory for sex allocation has been supported by experiments demonstrating that malaria parasites adjust their sex ratios in response to infection genetic diversity, precisely as predicted. Theory also predicts that parasites should adjust sex allocation in response to host immunity. Whilst data are supportive, the assumptions underlying this prediction - that host immune responses have differential effects on the mating ability of males and females - have not yet been tested. Here, we combine experimental work with theoretical models in order to investigate whether the development and fertility of male and female parasites is affected by innate immune factors and develop new theory to predict how parasites' sex allocation strategies should evolve in response to the observed effects. Specifically, we demonstrate that reactive nitrogen species impair gametogenesis of males only, but reduce the fertility of both male and female gametes. In contrast, tumour necrosis factor-α does not influence gametogenesis in either sex but impairs zygote development. Therefore, our experiments demonstrate that immune factors have complex effects on each sex, ranging from reducing the ability of gametocytes to develop into gametes, to affecting the viability of offspring. We incorporate these results into theory to predict how the evolutionary trajectories of parasite sex ratio strategies are shaped by sex differences in gamete production, fertility and offspring development. We show that medical interventions targeting offspring development are more likely

  10. Transformation of the rodent malaria parasite Plasmodium chabaudi and generation of a stable fluorescent line PcGFPCON

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Reece Sarah E

    2008-09-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The rodent malaria parasite Plasmodium chabaudi has proven of great value in the analysis of fundamental aspects of host-parasite-vector interactions implicated in disease pathology and parasite evolutionary ecology. However, the lack of gene modification technologies for this model has precluded more direct functional studies. Methods The development of in vitro culture methods to yield P. chabaudi schizonts for transfection and conditions for genetic modification of this rodent malaria model are reported. Results Independent P. chabaudi gene-integrant lines that constitutively express high levels of green fluorescent protein throughout their life cycle have been generated. Conclusion Genetic modification of P. chabaudi is now possible. The production of genetically distinct reference lines offers substantial advances to our understanding of malaria parasite biology, especially interactions with the immune system during chronic infection.

  11. Depletion of Plasmodium berghei plasmoredoxin reveals a non-essential role for life cycle progression of the malaria parasite.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Buchholz, Kathrin; Rahlfs, Stefan; Schirmer, R Heiner; Becker, Katja; Matuschewski, Kai

    2008-06-25

    Proliferation of the pathogenic Plasmodium asexual blood stages in host erythrocytes requires an exquisite capacity to protect the malaria parasite against oxidative stress. This function is achieved by a complex antioxidant defence system composed of redox-active proteins and low MW antioxidants. Here, we disrupted the P. berghei plasmoredoxin gene that encodes a parasite-specific 22 kDa member of the thioredoxin superfamily. The successful generation of plasmoredoxin knockout mutants in the rodent model malaria parasite and phenotypic analysis during life cycle progression revealed a non-vital role in vivo. Our findings suggest that plasmoredoxin fulfils a specialized and dispensable role for Plasmodium and highlights the need for target validation to inform drug development strategies.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-01-01

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

  13. Depletion of Plasmodium berghei Plasmoredoxin Reveals a Non-Essential Role for Life Cycle Progression of the Malaria Parasite

    OpenAIRE

    Buchholz, Kathrin; Rahlfs, Stefan; Schirmer, R. Heiner; Becker, Katja; Matuschewski, Kai

    2008-01-01

    Proliferation of the pathogenic Plasmodium asexual blood stages in host erythrocytes requires an exquisite capacity to protect the malaria parasite against oxidative stress. This function is achieved by a complex antioxidant defence system composed of redox-active proteins and low MW antioxidants. Here, we disrupted the P. berghei plasmoredoxin gene that encodes a parasite-specific 22 kDa member of the thioredoxin superfamily. The successful generation of plasmoredoxin knockout mutants in the...

  14. The Cytoplasmic Prolyl-tRNA Synthetase of the Malaria Parasite is a Dual-Stage Target for Drug Development

    Science.gov (United States)

    Herman, Jonathan D.; Pepper, Lauren R.; Cortese, Joseph F.; Estiu, Guillermina; Galinsky, Kevin; Zuzarte-Luis, Vanessa; Derbyshire, Emily R.; Ribacke, Ulf; Lukens, Amanda K.; Santos, Sofia A.; Patel, Vishal; Clish, Clary B.; Sullivan, William J.; Zhou, Huihao; Bopp, Selina E.; Schimmel, Paul; Lindquist, Susan; Clardy, Jon; Mota, Maria M.; Keller, Tracy L.; Whitman, Malcolm; Wiest, Olaf; Wirth, Dyann F.; Mazitschek, Ralph

    2015-01-01

    The emergence of drug resistance is a major limitation of current antimalarials. The discovery of new druggable targets and pathways including those that are critical for multiple life cycle stages of the malaria parasite is a major goal for the development of the next-generation of antimalarial drugs. Using an integrated chemogenomics approach that combined drug-resistance selection, whole genome sequencing and an orthogonal yeast model, we demonstrate that the cytoplasmic prolyl-tRNA synthetase (PfcPRS) of the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum is a biochemical and functional target of febrifugine and its synthetic derivatives such as halofuginone. Febrifugine is the active principle of a traditional Chinese herbal remedy for malaria. We show that treatment with febrifugine derivatives activated the amino acid starvation response in both P. falciparum and a transgenic yeast strain expressing PfcPRS. We further demonstrate in the P. berghei mouse model of malaria that halofuginol, a new halofuginone analog that we developed, is highly active against both liver and asexual blood stages of the malaria parasite. Halofuginol, unlike halofuginone and febrifugine, is well tolerated at efficacious doses, and represents a promising lead for the development of dual-stage next generation antimalarials. PMID:25995223

  15. Phylogenetic profiles of all membrane transport proteins of the malaria parasite highlight new drug targets

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    January Weiner 3rd

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available In order to combat the on-going malaria epidemic, discovery of new drug targets remains vital. Proteins that are essential to survival and specific to malaria parasites are key candidates. To survive within host cells, the parasites need to acquire nutrients and dispose of waste products across multiple membranes. Additionally, like all eukaryotes, they must redistribute ions and organic molecules between their various internal membrane bound compartments. Membrane transport proteins mediate all of these processes and are considered important mediators of drug resistance as well as drug targets in their own right. Recently, using advanced experimental genetic approaches and streamlined life cycle profiling, we generated a large collection of Plasmodium berghei gene deletion mutants and assigned essential gene functions, highlighting potential targets for prophylactic, therapeutic, and transmission-blocking anti-malarial drugs. Here, we present a comprehensive orthology assignment of all Plasmodium falciparum putative membrane transport proteins and provide a detailed overview of the associated essential gene functions obtained through experimental genetics studies in human and murine model parasites. Furthermore, we discuss the phylogeny of selected potential drug targets identified in our functional screen. We extensively discuss the results in the context of the functional assignments obtained using gene targeting available to date.

  16. Translational repression of the cpw-wpc gene family in the malaria parasite Plasmodium

    KAUST Repository

    Rao, Pavitra N.

    2016-06-14

    The technical challenges of working with the sexual stages of the malaria parasite Plasmodium have hindered the characterization of sexual stage antigens in the quest for a successful malaria transmission-blocking vaccine. One such predicted and largely uncharacterized group of sexual stage candidate antigens is the CPW-WPC family of proteins. CPW-WPC proteins are named for a characteristic domain that contains two conserved motifs, CPxxW and WPC. Conserved across Apicomplexa, this family is also present earlier in the Alveolata in the free-living, non-parasitophorous, photosynthetic chromerids, Chromera and Vitrella. In P. falciparum and P. berghei blood stage parasites the transcripts of all nine cpw-wpc genes have been detected in gametocytes. RNA immunoprecipitation followed by reverse transcriptase-PCR reveals all P. berghei cpw-wpc transcripts to be bound by the translational repressors DOZI and CITH, and thus are likely under translational control prior to transmission from the rodent host to the mosquito vector in P. berghei. The GFP tagging of two endogenous P. berghei genes confirmed translational silencing in the gametocyte and translation in ookinetes. Establishing a luciferase transgene assay we show that the 3′ untranslated region of PF3D7_1331400 controls protein expression of this reporter in P. falciparum gametocytes. Our analyses suggest that cpw-wpc genes are translationally silenced in gametocytes across Plasmodium spp. and activated during ookinete formation and thus may have a role in transmission to the mosquito.

  17. Synergistic Malaria Parasite Killing by Two Types of Plasmodial Surface Anion Channel Inhibitors.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Margaret Pain

    Full Text Available Malaria parasites increase their host erythrocyte's permeability to a broad range of ions and organic solutes. The plasmodial surface anion channel (PSAC mediates this uptake and is an established drug target. Development of therapies targeting this channel is limited by several problems including interactions between known inhibitors and permeating solutes that lead to incomplete channel block. Here, we designed and executed a high-throughput screen to identify a novel class of PSAC inhibitors that overcome this solute-inhibitor interaction. These new inhibitors differ from existing blockers and have distinct effects on channel-mediated transport, supporting a model of two separate routes for solute permeation though PSAC. Combinations of inhibitors specific for the two routes had strong synergistic action against in vitro parasite propagation, whereas combinations acting on a single route produced only additive effects. The magnitude of synergism depended on external nutrient concentrations, consistent with an essential role of the channel in parasite nutrient acquisition. The identified inhibitors will enable a better understanding of the channel's structure-function and may be starting points for novel combination therapies that produce synergistic parasite killing.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-12-14

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

  19. Rapid, low dose X-ray diffractive imaging of the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Jones, Michael W.M.; Dearnley, Megan K.; Riessen, Grant A. van; Abbey, Brian; Putkunz, Corey T.; Junker, Mark D.; Vine, David J.; McNulty, Ian; Nugent, Keith A.; Peele, Andrew G.; Tilley, Leann

    2014-01-01

    Phase-diverse X-ray coherent diffractive imaging (CDI) provides a route to high sensitivity and spatial resolution with moderate radiation dose. It also provides a robust solution to the well-known phase-problem, making on-line image reconstruction feasible. Here we apply phase-diverse CDI to a cellular sample, obtaining images of an erythrocyte infected by the sexual stage of the malaria parasite, Plasmodium falciparum, with a radiation dose significantly lower than the lowest dose previously reported for cellular imaging using CDI. The high sensitivity and resolution allow key biological features to be identified within intact cells, providing complementary information to optical and electron microscopy. This high throughput method could be used for fast tomographic imaging, or to generate multiple replicates in two-dimensions of hydrated biological systems without freezing or fixing. This work demonstrates that phase-diverse CDI is a valuable complementary imaging method for the biological sciences and ready for immediate application. - Highlights: • Phase-diverse coherent X-ray diffraction microscopy provides high-resolution and high-contrast images of intact biological samples. • Rapid nanoscale resolution imaging is demonstrated at orders of magnitude lower dose than previously possible. • Phase-diverse coherent X-ray diffraction microscopy is a robust technique for rapid, quantitative, and correlative X-ray phase imaging

  20. 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.

  1. Translational repression of the cpw-wpc gene family in the malaria parasite Plasmodium

    KAUST Repository

    Rao, Pavitra N.; Santos, Jorge M.; Pain, Arnab; Templeton, Thomas J.; Mair, Gunnar R.

    2016-01-01

    The technical challenges of working with the sexual stages of the malaria parasite Plasmodium have hindered the characterization of sexual stage antigens in the quest for a successful malaria transmission-blocking vaccine. One such predicted and largely uncharacterized group of sexual stage candidate antigens is the CPW-WPC family of proteins. CPW-WPC proteins are named for a characteristic domain that contains two conserved motifs, CPxxW and WPC. Conserved across Apicomplexa, this family is also present earlier in the Alveolata in the free-living, non-parasitophorous, photosynthetic chromerids, Chromera and Vitrella. In P. falciparum and P. berghei blood stage parasites the transcripts of all nine cpw-wpc genes have been detected in gametocytes. RNA immunoprecipitation followed by reverse transcriptase-PCR reveals all P. berghei cpw-wpc transcripts to be bound by the translational repressors DOZI and CITH, and thus are likely under translational control prior to transmission from the rodent host to the mosquito vector in P. berghei. The GFP tagging of two endogenous P. berghei genes confirmed translational silencing in the gametocyte and translation in ookinetes. Establishing a luciferase transgene assay we show that the 3′ untranslated region of PF3D7_1331400 controls protein expression of this reporter in P. falciparum gametocytes. Our analyses suggest that cpw-wpc genes are translationally silenced in gametocytes across Plasmodium spp. and activated during ookinete formation and thus may have a role in transmission to the mosquito.

  2. Rapid, low dose X-ray diffractive imaging of the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Jones, Michael W.M., E-mail: michael.jones@latrobe.edu.au [ARC Centre of Excellence for Coherent X-Ray Science, Department of Physics, La Trobe University, Victoria 3086 (Australia); Dearnley, Megan K. [ARC Centre of Excellence for Coherent X-Ray Science, Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Bio21 Institute, The University of Melbourne, Victoria 3010 (Australia); Riessen, Grant A. van [ARC Centre of Excellence for Coherent X-Ray Science, Department of Physics, La Trobe University, Victoria 3086 (Australia); Abbey, Brian [ARC Centre of Excellence for Coherent X-Ray Science, Department of Physics, La Trobe University, Victoria 3086 (Australia); Melbourne Centre for Nanofabrication, Victoria 3168 (Australia); Putkunz, Corey T. [ARC Centre of Excellence for Coherent X-Ray Science, School of Physics, The University of Melbourne, Victoria 3010 (Australia); Junker, Mark D. [ARC Centre of Excellence for Coherent X-Ray Science, Department of Physics, La Trobe University, Victoria 3086 (Australia); Vine, David J. [Advanced Photon Source, Argonne National Laboratory, Argonne, IL 60439 (United States); McNulty, Ian [Advanced Photon Source, Argonne National Laboratory, Argonne, IL 60439 (United States); Centre for Nanoscale Materials, Argonne National Laboratory, Argonne, Illinois 60439 (United States); Nugent, Keith A. [ARC Centre of Excellence for Coherent X-Ray Science, Department of Physics, La Trobe University, Victoria 3086 (Australia); Peele, Andrew G. [ARC Centre of Excellence for Coherent X-Ray Science, Department of Physics, La Trobe University, Victoria 3086 (Australia); Australian Synchrotron, 800 Blackburn Road, Clayton 3168 (Australia); Tilley, Leann [ARC Centre of Excellence for Coherent X-Ray Science, Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Bio21 Institute, The University of Melbourne, Victoria 3010 (Australia)

    2014-08-01

    Phase-diverse X-ray coherent diffractive imaging (CDI) provides a route to high sensitivity and spatial resolution with moderate radiation dose. It also provides a robust solution to the well-known phase-problem, making on-line image reconstruction feasible. Here we apply phase-diverse CDI to a cellular sample, obtaining images of an erythrocyte infected by the sexual stage of the malaria parasite, Plasmodium falciparum, with a radiation dose significantly lower than the lowest dose previously reported for cellular imaging using CDI. The high sensitivity and resolution allow key biological features to be identified within intact cells, providing complementary information to optical and electron microscopy. This high throughput method could be used for fast tomographic imaging, or to generate multiple replicates in two-dimensions of hydrated biological systems without freezing or fixing. This work demonstrates that phase-diverse CDI is a valuable complementary imaging method for the biological sciences and ready for immediate application. - Highlights: • Phase-diverse coherent X-ray diffraction microscopy provides high-resolution and high-contrast images of intact biological samples. • Rapid nanoscale resolution imaging is demonstrated at orders of magnitude lower dose than previously possible. • Phase-diverse coherent X-ray diffraction microscopy is a robust technique for rapid, quantitative, and correlative X-ray phase imaging.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  4. Transmission traits of malaria parasites within the mosquito: Genetic variation, phenotypic plasticity, and consequences for control.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lefevre, Thierry; Ohm, Johanna; Dabiré, Kounbobr R; Cohuet, Anna; Choisy, Marc; Thomas, Matthew B; Cator, Lauren

    2018-04-01

    Evaluating the risk of emergence and transmission of vector-borne diseases requires knowledge of the genetic and environmental contributions to pathogen transmission traits. Compared to the significant effort devoted to understanding the biology of malaria transmission from vertebrate hosts to mosquito vectors, the strategies that malaria parasites have evolved to maximize transmission from vectors to vertebrate hosts have been largely overlooked. While determinants of infection success within the mosquito host have recently received attention, the causes of variability for other key transmission traits of malaria, namely the duration of parasite development and its virulence within the vector, as well as its ability to alter mosquito behavior, remain largely unknown. This important gap in our knowledge needs to be bridged in order to obtain an integrative view of the ecology and evolution of malaria transmission strategies. Associations between transmission traits also need to be characterized, as they trade-offs and constraints could have important implications for understanding the evolution of parasite transmission. Finally, theoretical studies are required to evaluate how genetic and environmental influences on parasite transmission traits can shape malaria dynamics and evolution in response to disease control.

  5. cAMP-Signalling Regulates Gametocyte-Infected Erythrocyte Deformability Required for Malaria Parasite Transmission.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ghania Ramdani

    2015-05-01

    Full Text Available Blocking Plasmodium falciparum transmission to mosquitoes has been designated a strategic objective in the global agenda of malaria elimination. Transmission is ensured by gametocyte-infected erythrocytes (GIE that sequester in the bone marrow and at maturation are released into peripheral blood from where they are taken up during a mosquito blood meal. Release into the blood circulation is accompanied by an increase in GIE deformability that allows them to pass through the spleen. Here, we used a microsphere matrix to mimic splenic filtration and investigated the role of cAMP-signalling in regulating GIE deformability. We demonstrated that mature GIE deformability is dependent on reduced cAMP-signalling and on increased phosphodiesterase expression in stage V gametocytes, and that parasite cAMP-dependent kinase activity contributes to the stiffness of immature gametocytes. Importantly, pharmacological agents that raise cAMP levels in transmissible stage V gametocytes render them less deformable and hence less likely to circulate through the spleen. Therefore, phosphodiesterase inhibitors that raise cAMP levels in P. falciparum infected erythrocytes, such as sildenafil, represent new candidate drugs to block transmission of malaria parasites.

  6. The malaria parasite Plasmodium relictum in the endemic avifauna of eastern Cuba.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Soares, Letícia; Marra, Peter; Gray, Lindsey; Ricklefs, Robert E

    2017-12-01

    Island populations are vulnerable to introduced pathogens, as evidenced by extinction or population decline of several endemic Hawaiian birds caused by the malaria parasite, Plasmodium relictum (order Haemosporida). We analyzed blood samples from 363 birds caught near Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, for the presence of haemosporidian infections. We characterized parasite lineages by determining nucleotide variation of the parasite's mitochondrial cyt b gene. Fifty-nine individuals were infected, and we identified 7 lineages of haemosporidian parasites. Fifty individuals were infected by 6 Haemoproteus sp. lineages, including a newly characterized lineage of Haem. (Parahaemoproteus) sp. CUH01. Nine individuals carried the P. relictum lineage GRW4, including 5 endemic Cuban Grassquits (Tiaris canorus) and 1 migratory Cape May Warbler (Setophaga tigrina). A sequence of the merozoite surface protein gene from one Cuban Grassquit infected with GRW4 matched that of the Hawaiian haplotype Pr9. Our results indicate that resident and migratory Cuban birds are infected with a malaria lineage that has severely affected populations of several endemic Hawaiian birds. We suggest GRW4 may be associated with the lack of several bird species on Cuba that are ubiquitous elsewhere in the West Indies. From the standpoint of avian conservation in the Caribbean Basin, it will be important to determine the distribution of haemosporidian parasites, especially P. relictum GRW4, in Cuba as well as the pathogenicity of this lineage in species that occur and are absent from Cuba. © 2017 Society for Conservation Biology.

  7. Hamatological parameters and malaria parasite infection among pregnant women in Northwest Nigeria

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anigo Kola Matthew

    2013-02-01

    Full Text Available Objective: To evaluate some hematological and anthropometric parameters, malaria infection at different trimesters in pregnancy. Methods: Fifty pregnant women (6 in first trimester, 28 in second trimester and 16 in third trimester between ages of 15-40 years with ten age-matched non-pregnant women used as control were enrolled in the study. Consent were obtained from the subjects after which semi-structured questionnaires were administered to obtain data on demographic and socio-economic variables, reproductive and medical history. Anthropometric variables, and hematology were carried out using standard procedures. Results: Anthropometric characteristics showed no significant difference in weight, height and BMI when compared with non-pregnant control. Hematological values indicated higher values for non-pregnant women but not statistically significant. Prevalence of malaria infection in pregnant women showed that 40% of pregnant women examined were infected compared to 30% non-pregnant with those with first pregnancy (primagravid recording the highest infection (47.62% with pregnant women within age 15-18 years least infected (16.7%. Pregnant women in the third trimester had the highest (50% malaria infection and there was increase in prevalence with increase education status and those with first pregnancy (primagravid recorded the highest infection (47.62%. Treatment used when infected showed 36.8% and 42.9% used malaria drug and both drug/herbs respectively. Conclusions: Higher prevalence rate of malaria infection in pregnant women with the highest prevalence recorded in those with first conception (primigravidae. There is a need for continuous monitoring of hematological parameters and malaria parasite infection for better outcome of pregnancy.

  8. PCR detection of malaria parasites in desiccated Anopheles mosquitoes is uninhibited by storage time and temperature

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rider Mark A

    2012-06-01

    accessible desiccant will likely ensure accurate assessment of malaria parasite presence without diminishing PCR-detection of parasites in mosquitoes stored for at least six months.

  9. Dynamic epigenetic regulation of gene expression during the life cycle of malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Archna P Gupta

    2013-02-01

    Full Text Available Epigenetic mechanisms are emerging as one of the major factors of the dynamics of gene expression in the human malaria parasite, Plasmodium falciparum. To elucidate the role of chromatin remodeling in transcriptional regulation associated with the progression of the P. falciparum intraerythrocytic development cycle (IDC, we mapped the temporal pattern of chromosomal association with histone H3 and H4 modifications using ChIP-on-chip. Here, we have generated a broad integrative epigenomic map of twelve histone modifications during the P. falciparum IDC including H4K5ac, H4K8ac, H4K12ac, H4K16ac, H3K9ac, H3K14ac, H3K56ac, H4K20me1, H4K20me3, H3K4me3, H3K79me3 and H4R3me2. While some modifications were found to be associated with the vast majority of the genome and their occupancy was constant, others showed more specific and highly dynamic distribution. Importantly, eight modifications displaying tight correlations with transcript levels showed differential affinity to distinct genomic regions with H4K8ac occupying predominantly promoter regions while others occurred at the 5' ends of coding sequences. The promoter occupancy of H4K8ac remained unchanged when ectopically inserted at a different locus, indicating the presence of specific DNA elements that recruit histone modifying enzymes regardless of their broad chromatin environment. In addition, we showed the presence of multivalent domains on the genome carrying more than one histone mark, highlighting the importance of combinatorial effects on transcription. Overall, our work portrays a substantial association between chromosomal locations of various epigenetic markers, transcriptional activity and global stage-specific transitions in the epigenome.

  10. Dynamic epigenetic regulation of gene expression during the life cycle of malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gupta, Archna P; Chin, Wai Hoe; Zhu, Lei; Mok, Sachel; Luah, Yen-Hoon; Lim, Eng-How; Bozdech, Zbynek

    2013-02-01

    Epigenetic mechanisms are emerging as one of the major factors of the dynamics of gene expression in the human malaria parasite, Plasmodium falciparum. To elucidate the role of chromatin remodeling in transcriptional regulation associated with the progression of the P. falciparum intraerythrocytic development cycle (IDC), we mapped the temporal pattern of chromosomal association with histone H3 and H4 modifications using ChIP-on-chip. Here, we have generated a broad integrative epigenomic map of twelve histone modifications during the P. falciparum IDC including H4K5ac, H4K8ac, H4K12ac, H4K16ac, H3K9ac, H3K14ac, H3K56ac, H4K20me1, H4K20me3, H3K4me3, H3K79me3 and H4R3me2. While some modifications were found to be associated with the vast majority of the genome and their occupancy was constant, others showed more specific and highly dynamic distribution. Importantly, eight modifications displaying tight correlations with transcript levels showed differential affinity to distinct genomic regions with H4K8ac occupying predominantly promoter regions while others occurred at the 5' ends of coding sequences. The promoter occupancy of H4K8ac remained unchanged when ectopically inserted at a different locus, indicating the presence of specific DNA elements that recruit histone modifying enzymes regardless of their broad chromatin environment. In addition, we showed the presence of multivalent domains on the genome carrying more than one histone mark, highlighting the importance of combinatorial effects on transcription. Overall, our work portrays a substantial association between chromosomal locations of various epigenetic markers, transcriptional activity and global stage-specific transitions in the epigenome.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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

  12. Population genomic structure and adaptation in the zoonotic malaria parasite Plasmodium knowlesi

    KAUST Repository

    Assefa, Samuel

    2015-10-06

    Malaria cases caused by the zoonotic parasite Plasmodium knowlesi are being increasingly reported throughout Southeast Asia and in travelers returning from the region. To test for evidence of signatures of selection or unusual population structure in this parasite, we surveyed genome sequence diversity in 48 clinical isolates recently sampled from Malaysian Borneo and in five lines maintained in laboratory rhesus macaques after isolation in the 1960s from Peninsular Malaysia and the Philippines. Overall genomewide nucleotide diversity (π = 6.03 × 10) was much higher than has been seen in worldwide samples of either of the major endemic malaria parasite species Plasmodium falciparum and Plasmodium vivax. A remarkable substructure is revealed within P. knowlesi, consisting of two major sympatric clusters of the clinical isolates and a third cluster comprising the laboratory isolates. There was deep differentiation between the two clusters of clinical isolates [mean genomewide fixation index (F) = 0.21, with 9,293 SNPs having fixed differences of F = 1.0]. This differentiation showed marked heterogeneity across the genome, with mean F values of different chromosomes ranging from 0.08 to 0.34 and with further significant variation across regions within several chromosomes. Analysis of the largest cluster (cluster 1, 38 isolates) indicated long-term population growth, with negatively skewed allele frequency distributions (genomewide average Tajima\\'s D = -1.35). Against this background there was evidence of balancing selection on particular genes, including the circumsporozoite protein (csp) gene, which had the top Tajima\\'s D value (1.57), and scans of haplotype homozygosity implicate several genomic regions as being under recent positive selection.

  13. Malaria parasite carbonic anhydrase: inhibition of aromatic/heterocyclic sulfonamides and its therapeutic potential

    Science.gov (United States)

    Krungkrai, Sudaratana R; Krungkrai, Jerapan

    2011-01-01

    Plasmodium falciparum (P. falciparum) is responsible for the majority of life-threatening cases of human malaria, causing 1.5-2.7 million annual deaths. The global emergence of drug-resistant malaria parasites necessitates identification and characterization of novel drug targets and their potential inhibitors. We identified the carbonic anhydrase (CA) genes in P. falciparum. The pfCA gene encodes anα-carbonic anhydrase, a Zn2+-metalloenzme, possessing catalytic properties distinct from that of the human host CA enzyme. The amino acid sequence of the pfCA enzyme is different from the analogous protozoan and human enzymes. A library of aromatic/heterocyclic sulfonamides possessing a large diversity of scaffolds were found to be very good inhibitors for the malarial enzyme at moderate-low micromolar and submicromolar inhibitions. The structure of the groups substituting the aromatic-ureido- or aromatic-azomethine fragment of the molecule and the length of the parent sulfonamide were critical parameters for the inhibitory properties of the sulfonamides. One derivative, that is, 4- (3, 4-dichlorophenylureido)thioureido-benzenesulfonamide (compound 10) was the most effective in vitro Plasmodium falciparum CA inhibitor, and was also the most effective antimalarial compound on the in vitro P. falciparum growth inhibition. The compound 10 was also effective in vivo antimalarial agent in mice infected with Plasmodium berghei, an animal model of drug testing for human malaria infection. It is therefore concluded that the sulphonamide inhibitors targeting the parasite CA may have potential for the development of novel therapies against human malaria. PMID:23569766

  14. A plant-like proton-pump partnership in the malaria parasite

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Allen, R.J.W.; Saliba, K.J.; Zissis, S.; Kirk, K.

    2001-01-01

    Full text: The 'intraerythrocytic' form of the human malaria parasite. Plasmodium falciparum contains an acidic 'digestive vacuole' which is believed to be the main site of haemoglobin degradation, and the major site of action of many antimalarial drugs. The mechanism/s by which this organelle is acidified have not been investigated. In plant cells, the internal acidic vacuole has on its membrane two types of H + -pumps which contribute to the generation of an acidic pH: a vacuolar-type H + -ATPase (V-H + -ATPase) and a vacuolar H + -pyrophosphatase (V-H + -PPase). The presence of a V-H + -ATPase on the digestive vacuole membrane of P. falciparum has been demonstrated by immuno-electron microscopy (J. Biol. Chem. (2000) 275: 34353-34358) but its functional activity on this organelle has not been demonstrated. Two V-H + -PPase genes have been shown to be expressed in the intraerythrocytic stage of the P. falciparum parasite (Mol. Biochem. Parasitol. (2001) 114: 183-195); however, immunological methods failed to detect either on the parasite digestive vacuole. In this study we use a combination of NMR spectroscopy and fluorescence techniques to show that (i) P. falciparum contains low levels of pyrophosphate, and (ii) that both ATP and pyrophosphate are able to energise the acidification of the parasite's digestive vacuole. We propose that, like many plant cells the digestive vacuole of P. falciparum parasites has, on its membrane, a V-H + -PPase as well as a V-H + -ATPaSe, and that both pumps contribute to the pH regulation of this organelle

  15. A plant-like proton-pump partnership in the malaria parasite

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Allen, R J.W.; Saliba, K J; Zissis, S; Kirk, K [Australian National University, ACT (Australia)

    2001-07-01

    Full text: The 'intraerythrocytic' form of the human malaria parasite. Plasmodium falciparum contains an acidic 'digestive vacuole' which is believed to be the main site of haemoglobin degradation, and the major site of action of many antimalarial drugs. The mechanism/s by which this organelle is acidified have not been investigated. In plant cells, the internal acidic vacuole has on its membrane two types of H{sup +}-pumps which contribute to the generation of an acidic pH: a vacuolar-type H{sup +}-ATPase (V-H{sup +}-ATPase) and a vacuolar H{sup +}-pyrophosphatase (V-H{sup +}-PPase). The presence of a V-H{sup +}-ATPase on the digestive vacuole membrane of P. falciparum has been demonstrated by immuno-electron microscopy (J. Biol. Chem. (2000) 275: 34353-34358) but its functional activity on this organelle has not been demonstrated. Two V-H{sup +}-PPase genes have been shown to be expressed in the intraerythrocytic stage of the P. falciparum parasite (Mol. Biochem. Parasitol. (2001) 114: 183-195); however, immunological methods failed to detect either on the parasite digestive vacuole. In this study we use a combination of NMR spectroscopy and fluorescence techniques to show that (i) P. falciparum contains low levels of pyrophosphate, and (ii) that both ATP and pyrophosphate are able to energise the acidification of the parasite's digestive vacuole. We propose that, like many plant cells the digestive vacuole of P. falciparum parasites has, on its membrane, a V-H{sup +}-PPase as well as a V-H{sup +}-ATPaSe, and that both pumps contribute to the pH regulation of this organelle.

  16. Population genomic structure and adaptation in the zoonotic malaria parasite Plasmodium knowlesi

    KAUST Repository

    Assefa, Samuel; Lim, Caeul; Preston, Mark D.; Duffy, Craig W.; Nair, Mridul; Adroub, Sabir; Kadir, Khamisah A.; Goldberg, Jonathan M.; Neafsey, Daniel E.; Divis, Paul; Clark, Taane G.; Duraisingh, Manoj T.; Conway, David J.; Pain, Arnab; Singh, Balbir

    2015-01-01

    Malaria cases caused by the zoonotic parasite Plasmodium knowlesi are being increasingly reported throughout Southeast Asia and in travelers returning from the region. To test for evidence of signatures of selection or unusual population structure in this parasite, we surveyed genome sequence diversity in 48 clinical isolates recently sampled from Malaysian Borneo and in five lines maintained in laboratory rhesus macaques after isolation in the 1960s from Peninsular Malaysia and the Philippines. Overall genomewide nucleotide diversity (π = 6.03 × 10) was much higher than has been seen in worldwide samples of either of the major endemic malaria parasite species Plasmodium falciparum and Plasmodium vivax. A remarkable substructure is revealed within P. knowlesi, consisting of two major sympatric clusters of the clinical isolates and a third cluster comprising the laboratory isolates. There was deep differentiation between the two clusters of clinical isolates [mean genomewide fixation index (F) = 0.21, with 9,293 SNPs having fixed differences of F = 1.0]. This differentiation showed marked heterogeneity across the genome, with mean F values of different chromosomes ranging from 0.08 to 0.34 and with further significant variation across regions within several chromosomes. Analysis of the largest cluster (cluster 1, 38 isolates) indicated long-term population growth, with negatively skewed allele frequency distributions (genomewide average Tajima's D = -1.35). Against this background there was evidence of balancing selection on particular genes, including the circumsporozoite protein (csp) gene, which had the top Tajima's D value (1.57), and scans of haplotype homozygosity implicate several genomic regions as being under recent positive selection.

  17. Plant Hormone Salicylic Acid Produced by a Malaria Parasite Controls Host Immunity and Cerebral Malaria Outcome.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ryuma Matsubara

    Full Text Available The apicomplexan parasite Toxoplasma gondii produces the plant hormone abscisic acid, but it is unclear if phytohormones are produced by the malaria parasite Plasmodium spp., the most important parasite of this phylum. Here, we report detection of salicylic acid, an immune-related phytohormone of land plants, in P. berghei ANKA and T. gondii cell lysates. However, addition of salicylic acid to P. falciparum and T. gondii culture had no effect. We transfected P. falciparum 3D7 with the nahG gene, which encodes a salicylic acid-degrading enzyme isolated from plant-infecting Pseudomonas sp., and established a salicylic acid-deficient mutant. The mutant had a significantly decreased concentration of parasite-synthesized prostaglandin E2, which potentially modulates host immunity as an adaptive evolution of Plasmodium spp. To investigate the function of salicylic acid and prostaglandin E2 on host immunity, we established P. berghei ANKA mutants expressing nahG. C57BL/6 mice infected with nahG transfectants developed enhanced cerebral malaria, as assessed by Evans blue leakage and brain histological observation. The nahG-transfectant also significantly increased the mortality rate of mice. Prostaglandin E2 reduced the brain symptoms by induction of T helper-2 cytokines. As expected, T helper-1 cytokines including interferon-γ and interleukin-2 were significantly elevated by infection with the nahG transfectant. Thus, salicylic acid of Plasmodium spp. may be a new pathogenic factor of this threatening parasite and may modulate immune function via parasite-produced prostaglandin E2.

  18. Common dietary flavonoids inhibit the growth of the intraerythrocytic malaria parasite

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Saliba Kevin J

    2008-06-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Flavonoids are abundant plant phenolic compounds. More than 6000 have been identified to date, and some have been shown to possess antiparasitic activity. Here we investigate the effects of a range of common dietary flavonoids on the growth of two strains of the human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum. Findings A chloroquine-sensitive (3D7 and a chloroquine-resistant (7G8 strain of P. falciparum were tested for in vitro susceptibility to a range of individual dietary flavonoids and flavonoid combinations. Parasite susceptibility was measured in 96-well plates over 96 h using a previously described [3H]hypoxanthine incorporation assay. Of the eleven flavonoids tested, eight showed antiplasmodial activity against the 3D7 strain (with IC50 values between 11 and 66 μM, and all showed activity against the 7G8 strain (with IC50 values between 12 and 76 μM. The most active compound against both strains was luteolin, with IC50 values of 11 ± 1 μM and 12 ± 1 μM for 3D7 and 7G8, respectively. Luteolin was found to prevent the progression of parasite growth beyond the young trophozoite stage, and did not affect parasite susceptibility to the antimalarial drugs chloroquine or artemisinin. Combining low concentrations of flavonoids was found to produce an apparent additive antiplasmodial effect. Conclusion Certain common dietary flavonoids inhibit the intraerythrocytic growth of the 3D7 and 7G8 strains of P. falciparum. Flavonoid combinations warrant further investigation as antiplasmodial agents.

  19. Identification and characterization of a liver stage-specific promoter region of the malaria parasite Plasmodium.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Susanne Helm

    Full Text Available During the blood meal of a Plasmodium-infected mosquito, 10 to 100 parasites are inoculated into the skin and a proportion of these migrate via the bloodstream to the liver where they infect hepatocytes. The Plasmodium liver stage, despite its clinical silence, represents a highly promising target for antimalarial drug and vaccine approaches. Successfully invaded parasites undergo a massive proliferation in hepatocytes, producing thousands of merozoites that are transported into a blood vessel to infect red blood cells. To successfully develop from the liver stage into infective merozoites, a tight regulation of gene expression is needed. Although this is a very interesting aspect in the biology of Plasmodium, little is known about gene regulation in Plasmodium parasites in general and in the liver stage in particular. We have functionally analyzed a novel promoter region of the rodent parasite Plasmodium berghei that is exclusively active during the liver stage of the parasite. To prove stage-specific activity of the promoter, GFP and luciferase reporter assays have been successfully established, allowing both qualitative and accurate quantitative analysis. To further characterize the promoter region, the transcription start site was mapped by rapid amplification of cDNA ends (5'-RACE. Using promoter truncation experiments and site-directed mutagenesis within potential transcription factor binding sites, we suggest that the minimal promoter contains more than one binding site for the recently identified parasite-specific ApiAP2 transcription factors. The identification of a liver stage-specific promoter in P. berghei confirms that the parasite is able to tightly regulate gene expression during its life cycle. The identified promoter region might now be used to study the biology of the Plasmodium liver stage, which has thus far proven problematic on a molecular level. Stage-specific expression of dominant-negative mutant proteins and

  20. Antitumor effect of malaria parasite infection in a murine Lewis lung cancer model through induction of innate and adaptive immunity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Lili; He, Zhengxiang; Qin, Li; Li, Qinyan; Shi, Xibao; Zhao, Siting; Chen, Ling; Zhong, Nanshan; Chen, Xiaoping

    2011-01-01

    Lung cancer is the most common malignancy in humans and its high fatality means that no effective treatment is available. Developing new therapeutic strategies for lung cancer is urgently needed. Malaria has been reported to stimulate host immune responses, which are believed to be efficacious for combating some clinical cancers. This study is aimed to provide evidence that malaria parasite infection is therapeutic for lung cancer. Antitumor effect of malaria infection was examined in both subcutaneously and intravenously implanted murine Lewis lung cancer (LLC) model. The results showed that malaria infection inhibited LLC growth and metastasis and prolonged the survival of tumor-bearing mice. Histological analysis of tumors from mice infected with malaria revealed that angiogenesis was inhibited, which correlated with increased terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase-mediated (TUNEL) staining and decreased Ki-67 expression in tumors. Through natural killer (NK) cell cytotoxicity activity, cytokine assays, enzyme-linked immunospot assay, lymphocyte proliferation, and flow cytometry, we demonstrated that malaria infection provided anti-tumor effects by inducing both a potent anti-tumor innate immune response, including the secretion of IFN-γ and TNF-α and the activation of NK cells as well as adaptive anti-tumor immunity with increasing tumor-specific T-cell proliferation and cytolytic activity of CD8(+) T cells. Notably, tumor-bearing mice infected with the parasite developed long-lasting and effective tumor-specific immunity. Consequently, we found that malaria parasite infection could enhance the immune response of lung cancer DNA vaccine pcDNA3.1-hMUC1 and the combination produced a synergistic antitumor effect. Malaria infection significantly suppresses LLC growth via induction of innate and adaptive antitumor responses in a mouse model. These data suggest that the malaria parasite may provide a novel strategy or therapeutic vaccine vector for anti-lung cancer

  1. Antitumor effect of malaria parasite infection in a murine Lewis lung cancer model through induction of innate and adaptive immunity.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lili Chen

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Lung cancer is the most common malignancy in humans and its high fatality means that no effective treatment is available. Developing new therapeutic strategies for lung cancer is urgently needed. Malaria has been reported to stimulate host immune responses, which are believed to be efficacious for combating some clinical cancers. This study is aimed to provide evidence that malaria parasite infection is therapeutic for lung cancer. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Antitumor effect of malaria infection was examined in both subcutaneously and intravenously implanted murine Lewis lung cancer (LLC model. The results showed that malaria infection inhibited LLC growth and metastasis and prolonged the survival of tumor-bearing mice. Histological analysis of tumors from mice infected with malaria revealed that angiogenesis was inhibited, which correlated with increased terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase-mediated (TUNEL staining and decreased Ki-67 expression in tumors. Through natural killer (NK cell cytotoxicity activity, cytokine assays, enzyme-linked immunospot assay, lymphocyte proliferation, and flow cytometry, we demonstrated that malaria infection provided anti-tumor effects by inducing both a potent anti-tumor innate immune response, including the secretion of IFN-γ and TNF-α and the activation of NK cells as well as adaptive anti-tumor immunity with increasing tumor-specific T-cell proliferation and cytolytic activity of CD8(+ T cells. Notably, tumor-bearing mice infected with the parasite developed long-lasting and effective tumor-specific immunity. Consequently, we found that malaria parasite infection could enhance the immune response of lung cancer DNA vaccine pcDNA3.1-hMUC1 and the combination produced a synergistic antitumor effect. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Malaria infection significantly suppresses LLC growth via induction of innate and adaptive antitumor responses in a mouse model. These data suggest that the malaria

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kriti Tyagi

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  4. Using rapid diagnostic tests as source of malaria parasite DNA for molecular analyses in the era of declining malaria prevalence

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ishengoma, Deus S; Lwitiho, Sudi; Madebe, Rashid A

    2011-01-01

    was conducted to examine if sufficient DNA could be successfully extracted from malaria rapid diagnostic tests (RDTs), used and collected as part of routine case management services in health facilities, and thus forming the basis for molecular analyses, surveillance and quality control (QC) testing of RDTs....... continued molecular surveillance of malaria parasites is important to early identify emerging anti-malarial drug resistance, it is becoming increasingly difficult to obtain parasite samples from ongoing studies, such as routine drug efficacy trials. To explore other sources of parasite DNA, this study...

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Albert Lalremruata

    2015-09-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Glushakova Svetlana

    2013-01-01

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

  7. Initial characterization of the Pf-Int recombinase from the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mehdi Ghorbal

    Full Text Available Genetic variation is an essential means of evolution and adaptation in many organisms in response to environmental change. Certain DNA alterations can be carried out by site-specific recombinases (SSRs that fall into two families: the serine and the tyrosine recombinases. SSRs are seldom found in eukaryotes. A gene homologous to a tyrosine site-specific recombinase has been identified in the genome of Plasmodium falciparum. The sequence is highly conserved among five other members of Plasmodia.The predicted open reading frame encodes for a ∼57 kDa protein containing a C-terminal domain including the putative tyrosine recombinase conserved active site residues R-H-R-(H/W-Y. The N-terminus has the typical alpha-helical bundle and potentially a mixed alpha-beta domain resembling that of λ-Int. Pf-Int mRNA is expressed differentially during the P. falciparum erythrocytic life stages, peaking in the schizont stage. Recombinant Pf-Int and affinity chromatography of DNA from genomic or synthetic origin were used to identify potential DNA targets after sequencing or micro-array hybridization. Interestingly, the sequences captured also included highly variable subtelomeric genes such as var, rif, and stevor sequences. Electrophoretic mobility shift assays with DNA were carried out to verify Pf-Int/DNA binding. Finally, Pf-Int knock-out parasites were created in order to investigate the biological role of Pf-Int.Our data identify for the first time a malaria parasite gene with structural and functional features of recombinases. Pf-Int may bind to and alter DNA, either in a sequence specific or in a non-specific fashion, and may contribute to programmed or random DNA rearrangements. Pf-Int is the first molecular player identified with a potential role in genome plasticity in this pathogen. Finally, Pf-Int knock-out parasite is viable showing no detectable impact on blood stage development, which is compatible with such function.

  8. The Puf-family RNA-binding protein Puf2 controls sporozoite conversion to liver stages in the malaria parasite.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Katja Müller

    Full Text Available Malaria is a vector-borne infectious disease caused by unicellular, obligate intracellular parasites of the genus Plasmodium. During host switch the malaria parasite employs specialized latent stages that colonize the new host environment. Previous work has established that gametocytes, sexually differentiated stages that are taken up by the mosquito vector, control expression of genes required for mosquito colonization by translational repression. Sexual parasite development is controlled by a DEAD-box RNA helicase of the DDX6 family, termed DOZI. Latency of sporozoites, the transmission stage injected during an infectious blood meal, is controlled by the eIF2alpha kinase IK2, a general inhibitor of protein synthesis. Whether RNA-binding proteins participate in translational regulation in sporozoites remains to be studied. Here, we investigated the roles of two RNA-binding proteins of the Puf-family, Plasmodium Puf1 and Puf2, during sporozoite stage conversion. Our data reveal that, in the rodent malaria parasite P. berghei, Puf2 participates in the regulation of IK2 and inhibits premature sporozoite transformation. Inside mosquito salivary glands puf2⁻ sporozoites transform over time to round forms resembling early intra-hepatic stages. As a result, mutant parasites display strong defects in initiating a malaria infection. In contrast, Puf1 is dispensable in vivo throughout the entire Plasmodium life cycle. Our findings support the notion of a central role for Puf2 in parasite latency during switch between the insect and mammalian hosts.

  9. The malaria parasite RhopH protein complex interacts with erythrocyte calmyrin identified from a comprehensive erythrocyte protein library.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miura, Toyokazu; Takeo, Satoru; Ntege, Edward H; Otsuki, Hitoshi; Sawasaki, Tatsuya; Ishino, Tomoko; Takashima, Eizo; Tsuboi, Takafumi

    2018-06-02

    Malaria merozoite apical organelles; microneme and rhoptry secreted proteins play functional roles during and following invasion of host erythrocytes. Among numerous proteins, the rhoptries discharge high molecular weight proteins known as RhopH complex. Recent reports suggest that the RhopH complex is essential for growth and survival of the malaria parasite within erythrocytes. However, an in-depth understanding of the host-parasite molecular interactions is indispensable. Here we utilized a comprehensive mouse erythrocyte protein library consisting of 443 proteins produced by a wheat germ cell-free system, combined with AlphaScreen technology to identify mouse erythrocyte calmyrin as an interacting molecule of the rodent malaria parasite Plasmodium yoelii RhopH complex (PyRhopH). The PyRhopH interaction was dependent on the calmyrin N-terminus and divalent cation capacity. The finding unveils a recommendable and invaluable usefulness of our comprehensive mouse erythrocyte protein library together with the AlphaScreen technology in investigating a wide-range of host-parasite molecular interactions. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  10. Crystallization and preliminary crystallographic analysis of orotidine 5′-monophosphate decarboxylase from the human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Krungkrai, Sudaratana R.; Tokuoka, Keiji; Kusakari, Yukiko; Inoue, Tsuyoshi; Adachi, Hiroaki; Matsumura, Hiroyoshi; Takano, Kazufumi; Murakami, Satoshi; Mori, Yusuke; Kai, Yasushi; Krungkrai, Jerapan; Horii, Toshihiro

    2006-01-01

    Orotidine 5′-monophosphate decarboxylase of human malaria parasite P. falciparum was crystallized by the seeding method in a hanging drop using PEG 3000 as a precipitant. A complete set of diffraction data from a native crystal was collected to 2.7 Å resolution at 100 K using synchrotron radiation. Orotidine 5′-monophosphate (OMP) decarboxylase (OMPDC; EC 4.1.1.23) catalyzes the final step in the de novo synthesis of uridine 5′-monophosphate (UMP) and defects in the enzyme are lethal in the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum. Active recombinant P. falciparum OMPDC (PfOMPDC) was crystallized by the seeding method in a hanging drop using PEG 3000 as a precipitant. A complete set of diffraction data from a native crystal was collected to 2.7 Å resolution at 100 K using synchrotron radiation at the Swiss Light Source. The crystal exhibits trigonal symmetry (space group R3), with hexagonal unit-cell parameters a = b = 201.81, c = 44.03 Å. With a dimer in the asymmetric unit, the solvent content is 46% (V M = 2.3 Å 3 Da −1 )

  11. The impact of HIV-1 on the malaria parasite biomass in adults in sub-Saharan Africa contributes to the emergence of antimalarial drug resistance

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    J.P. van Geertruyden (Jean Pierre); J. Menten (Joris); R. Colebunders (Robert); E.L. Korenromp (Eline); U. D'Alessandro (Umberto)

    2008-01-01

    textabstractBackground. HIV-related immune-suppression increases the risk of malaria (infection, disease and treatment failure) and probably the circulating parasite biomass, favoring the emergence of drug resistance parasites. Methods. The additional malaria parasite biomass related to HIV-1

  12. Do the mitochondria of malaria parasites behave like the phoenix after return in the mosquito? Regeneration of degenerated mitochondria is required for successful Plasmodium infection.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bongaerts, G.P.A.

    2005-01-01

    Mitochondria are energy generators in eukaryotic organisms like man and the pathogenic malaria parasites, the Plasmodium spp. From the moment a mosquito-mediated malaria infection occurs in man the parasite multiplies profusely, but eventually the oxygen supply becomes the limiting factor in this

  13. Experimental evaluation of the relationship between lethal or non-lethal virulence and transmission success in malaria parasite infections

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    Nithiuthai S

    2004-09-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Evolutionary theory suggests that the selection pressure on parasites to maximize their transmission determines their optimal host exploitation strategies and thus their virulence. Establishing the adaptive basis to parasite life history traits has important consequences for predicting parasite responses to public health interventions. In this study we examine the extent to which malaria parasites conform to the predicted adaptive trade-off between transmission and virulence, as defined by mortality. The majority of natural infections, however, result in sub-lethal virulent effects (e.g. anaemia and are often composed of many strains. Both sub-lethal effects and pathogen population structure have been theoretically shown to have important consequences for virulence evolution. Thus, we additionally examine the relationship between anaemia and transmission in single and mixed clone infections. Results Whereas there was a trade-off between transmission success and virulence as defined by host mortality, contradictory clone-specific patterns occurred when defining virulence by anaemia. A negative relationship between anaemia and transmission success was found for one of the parasite clones, whereas there was no relationship for the other. Notably the two parasite clones also differed in a transmission phenotype (gametocyte sex ratio that has previously been shown to respond adaptively to a changing blood environment. In addition, as predicted by evolutionary theory, mixed infections resulted in increased anaemia. The increased anaemia was, however, not correlated with any discernable parasite trait (e.g. parasite density or with increased transmission. Conclusions We found some evidence supporting the hypothesis that there is an adaptive basis correlating virulence (as defined by host mortality and transmission success in malaria parasites. This confirms the validity of applying evolutionary virulence theory to biomedical

  14. Identification of a Golgi apparatus protein complex important for the asexual erythrocytic cycle of the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hallée, Stéphanie; Thériault, Catherine; Gagnon, Dominic; Kehrer, Jessica; Frischknecht, Friedrich; Mair, Gunnar R; Richard, Dave

    2018-03-26

    Compared with other eukaryotic cell types, malaria parasites appear to possess a more rudimentary Golgi apparatus being composed of dispersed, unstacked cis and trans-cisternae. Despite playing a central role in the secretory pathway of the parasite, few Plasmodium Golgi resident proteins have been characterised. We had previously identified a new Golgi resident protein of unknown function, which we had named Golgi Protein 1, and now show that it forms a complex with a previously uncharacterised transmembrane protein (Golgi Protein 2, GP2). The Golgi Protein complex localises to the cis-Golgi throughout the erythrocytic cycle and potentially also during the mosquito stages. Analysis of parasite strains where GP1 expression is conditionally repressed and/or the GP2 gene is inactivated reveals that though the Golgi protein complex is not essential at any stage of the parasite life cycle, it is important for optimal asexual development in the blood stages. © 2018 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  15. Genome-wide diversity and differentiation in New World populations of the human malaria parasite Plasmodium vivax.

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    Thais C de Oliveira

    2017-07-01

    Full Text Available The Americas were the last continent colonized by humans carrying malaria parasites. Plasmodium falciparum from the New World shows very little genetic diversity and greater linkage disequilibrium, compared with its African counterparts, and is clearly subdivided into local, highly divergent populations. However, limited available data have revealed extensive genetic diversity in American populations of another major human malaria parasite, P. vivax.We used an improved sample preparation strategy and next-generation sequencing to characterize 9 high-quality P. vivax genome sequences from northwestern Brazil. These new data were compared with publicly available sequences from recently sampled clinical P. vivax isolates from Brazil (BRA, total n = 11 sequences, Peru (PER, n = 23, Colombia (COL, n = 31, and Mexico (MEX, n = 19.We found that New World populations of P. vivax are as diverse (nucleotide diversity π between 5.2 × 10-4 and 6.2 × 10-4 as P. vivax populations from Southeast Asia, where malaria transmission is substantially more intense. They display several non-synonymous nucleotide substitutions (some of them previously undescribed in genes known or suspected to be involved in antimalarial drug resistance, such as dhfr, dhps, mdr1, mrp1, and mrp-2, but not in the chloroquine resistance transporter ortholog (crt-o gene. Moreover, P. vivax in the Americas is much less geographically substructured than local P. falciparum populations, with relatively little between-population genome-wide differentiation (pairwise FST values ranging between 0.025 and 0.092. Finally, P. vivax populations show a rapid decline in linkage disequilibrium with increasing distance between pairs of polymorphic sites, consistent with very frequent outcrossing. We hypothesize that the high diversity of present-day P. vivax lineages in the Americas originated from successive migratory waves and subsequent admixture between parasite lineages from geographically

  16. Genome-wide diversity and differentiation in New World populations of the human malaria parasite Plasmodium vivax.

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Oliveira, Thais C; Rodrigues, Priscila T; Menezes, Maria José; Gonçalves-Lopes, Raquel M; Bastos, Melissa S; Lima, Nathália F; Barbosa, Susana; Gerber, Alexandra L; Loss de Morais, Guilherme; Berná, Luisa; Phelan, Jody; Robello, Carlos; de Vasconcelos, Ana Tereza R; Alves, João Marcelo P; Ferreira, Marcelo U

    2017-07-01

    The Americas were the last continent colonized by humans carrying malaria parasites. Plasmodium falciparum from the New World shows very little genetic diversity and greater linkage disequilibrium, compared with its African counterparts, and is clearly subdivided into local, highly divergent populations. However, limited available data have revealed extensive genetic diversity in American populations of another major human malaria parasite, P. vivax. We used an improved sample preparation strategy and next-generation sequencing to characterize 9 high-quality P. vivax genome sequences from northwestern Brazil. These new data were compared with publicly available sequences from recently sampled clinical P. vivax isolates from Brazil (BRA, total n = 11 sequences), Peru (PER, n = 23), Colombia (COL, n = 31), and Mexico (MEX, n = 19). We found that New World populations of P. vivax are as diverse (nucleotide diversity π between 5.2 × 10-4 and 6.2 × 10-4) as P. vivax populations from Southeast Asia, where malaria transmission is substantially more intense. They display several non-synonymous nucleotide substitutions (some of them previously undescribed) in genes known or suspected to be involved in antimalarial drug resistance, such as dhfr, dhps, mdr1, mrp1, and mrp-2, but not in the chloroquine resistance transporter ortholog (crt-o) gene. Moreover, P. vivax in the Americas is much less geographically substructured than local P. falciparum populations, with relatively little between-population genome-wide differentiation (pairwise FST values ranging between 0.025 and 0.092). Finally, P. vivax populations show a rapid decline in linkage disequilibrium with increasing distance between pairs of polymorphic sites, consistent with very frequent outcrossing. We hypothesize that the high diversity of present-day P. vivax lineages in the Americas originated from successive migratory waves and subsequent admixture between parasite lineages from geographically diverse sites

  17. Expression, characterization, and cellular localization of knowpains, papain-like cysteine proteases of the Plasmodium knowlesi malaria parasite.

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    Rajesh Prasad

    Full Text Available Papain-like cysteine proteases of malaria parasites degrade haemoglobin in an acidic food vacuole to provide amino acids for intraerythrocytic parasites. These proteases are potential drug targets because their inhibitors block parasite development, and efforts are underway to develop chemotherapeutic inhibitors of these proteases as the treatments for malaria. Plasmodium knowlesi has recently been shown to be an important human pathogen in parts of Asia. We report expression and characterization of three P. knowlesi papain-like proteases, termed knowpains (KP2-4. Recombinant knowpains were produced using a bacterial expression system, and tested for various biochemical properties. Antibodies against recombinant knowpains were generated and used to determine their cellular localization in parasites. Inhibitory effects of the cysteine protease inhibitor E64 were assessed on P. knowlesi culture to validate drug target potential of knowpains. All three knowpains were present in the food vacuole, active in acidic pH, and capable of degrading haemoglobin at the food vacuolar pH (≈5.5, suggesting roles in haemoglobin degradation. The proteases showed absolute (KP2 and KP3 to moderate (KP4 preference for peptide substrates containing leucine at the P2 position; KP4 preferred arginine at the P2 position. While the three knowpains appear to have redundant roles in haemoglobin degradation, KP4 may also have a role in degradation of erythrocyte cytoskeleton during merozoite egress, as it displayed broad substrate specificity and was primarily localized at the parasite periphery. Importantly, E64 blocked erythrocytic development of P. knowlesi, with enlargement of food vacuoles, indicating inhibition of haemoglobin hydrolysis and supporting the potential for inhibition of knowpains as a strategy for the treatment of malaria. Functional expression and characterization of knowpains should enable simultaneous screening of available cysteine protease

  18. Genome-wide diversity and differentiation in New World populations of the human malaria parasite Plasmodium vivax

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Oliveira, Thais C.; Rodrigues, Priscila T.; Menezes, Maria José; Gonçalves-Lopes, Raquel M.; Bastos, Melissa S.; Lima, Nathália F.; Barbosa, Susana; Gerber, Alexandra L.; Loss de Morais, Guilherme; Berná, Luisa; Phelan, Jody; Robello, Carlos; de Vasconcelos, Ana Tereza R.

    2017-01-01

    Background The Americas were the last continent colonized by humans carrying malaria parasites. Plasmodium falciparum from the New World shows very little genetic diversity and greater linkage disequilibrium, compared with its African counterparts, and is clearly subdivided into local, highly divergent populations. However, limited available data have revealed extensive genetic diversity in American populations of another major human malaria parasite, P. vivax. Methods We used an improved sample preparation strategy and next-generation sequencing to characterize 9 high-quality P. vivax genome sequences from northwestern Brazil. These new data were compared with publicly available sequences from recently sampled clinical P. vivax isolates from Brazil (BRA, total n = 11 sequences), Peru (PER, n = 23), Colombia (COL, n = 31), and Mexico (MEX, n = 19). Principal findings/Conclusions We found that New World populations of P. vivax are as diverse (nucleotide diversity π between 5.2 × 10−4 and 6.2 × 10−4) as P. vivax populations from Southeast Asia, where malaria transmission is substantially more intense. They display several non-synonymous nucleotide substitutions (some of them previously undescribed) in genes known or suspected to be involved in antimalarial drug resistance, such as dhfr, dhps, mdr1, mrp1, and mrp-2, but not in the chloroquine resistance transporter ortholog (crt-o) gene. Moreover, P. vivax in the Americas is much less geographically substructured than local P. falciparum populations, with relatively little between-population genome-wide differentiation (pairwise FST values ranging between 0.025 and 0.092). Finally, P. vivax populations show a rapid decline in linkage disequilibrium with increasing distance between pairs of polymorphic sites, consistent with very frequent outcrossing. We hypothesize that the high diversity of present-day P. vivax lineages in the Americas originated from successive migratory waves and subsequent admixture between

  19. Protein kinase C-dependent signaling controls the midgut epithelial barrier to malaria parasite infection in anopheline mosquitoes.

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    Nazzy Pakpour

    Full Text Available Anopheline mosquitoes are the primary vectors of parasites in the genus Plasmodium, the causative agents of malaria. Malaria parasites undergo a series of complex transformations upon ingestion by the mosquito host. During this process, the physical barrier of the midgut epithelium, along with innate immune defenses, functionally restrict parasite development. Although these defenses have been studied for some time, the regulatory factors that control them are poorly understood. The protein kinase C (PKC gene family consists of serine/threonine kinases that serve as central signaling molecules and regulators of a broad spectrum of cellular processes including epithelial barrier function and immunity. Indeed, PKCs are highly conserved, ranging from 7 isoforms in Drosophila to 16 isoforms in mammals, yet none have been identified in mosquitoes. Despite conservation of the PKC gene family and their potential as targets for transmission-blocking strategies for malaria, no direct connections between PKCs, the mosquito immune response or epithelial barrier integrity are known. Here, we identify and characterize six PKC gene family members--PKCδ, PKCε, PKCζ, PKD, PKN, and an indeterminate conventional PKC--in Anopheles gambiae and Anopheles stephensi. Sequence and phylogenetic analyses of the anopheline PKCs support most subfamily assignments. All six PKCs are expressed in the midgut epithelia of A. gambiae and A. stephensi post-blood feeding, indicating availability for signaling in a tissue that is critical for malaria parasite development. Although inhibition of PKC enzymatic activity decreased NF-κB-regulated anti-microbial peptide expression in mosquito cells in vitro, PKC inhibition had no effect on expression of a panel of immune genes in the midgut epithelium in vivo. PKC inhibition did, however, significantly increase midgut barrier integrity and decrease development of P. falciparum oocysts in A. stephensi, suggesting that PKC

  20. Lineage-specific positive selection at the merozoite surface protein 1 (msp1 locus of Plasmodium vivax and related simian malaria parasites

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    Kawai Satoru

    2010-02-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The 200 kDa merozoite surface protein 1 (MSP-1 of malaria parasites, a strong vaccine candidate, plays a key role during erythrocyte invasion and is a target of host protective immune response. Plasmodium vivax, the most widespread human malaria parasite, is closely related to parasites that infect Asian Old World monkeys, and has been considered to have become a parasite of man by host switch from a macaque malaria parasite. Several Asian monkey parasites have a range of natural hosts. The same parasite species shows different disease manifestations among host species. This suggests that host immune responses to P. vivax-related malaria parasites greatly differ among host species (albeit other factors. It is thus tempting to invoke that a major immune target parasite protein such as MSP-1 underwent unique evolution, depending on parasite species that exhibit difference in host range and host specificity. Results We performed comparative phylogenetic and population genetic analyses of the gene encoding MSP-1 (msp1 from P. vivax and nine P. vivax-related simian malaria parasites. The inferred phylogenetic tree of msp1 significantly differed from that of the mitochondrial genome, with a striking displacement of P. vivax from a position close to P. cynomolgi in the mitochondrial genome tree to an outlier of Asian monkey parasites. Importantly, positive selection was inferred for two ancestral branches, one leading to P. inui and P. hylobati and the other leading to P. vivax, P. fieldi and P. cynomolgi. This ancestral positive selection was estimated to have occurred three to six million years ago, coinciding with the period of radiation of Asian macaques. Comparisons of msp1 polymorphisms between P. vivax, P. inui and P. cynomolgi revealed that while some positively selected amino acid sites or regions are shared by these parasites, amino acid changes greatly differ, suggesting that diversifying selection is acting species

  1. In-depth comparative analysis of malaria parasite genomes reveals protein-coding genes linked to human disease in Plasmodium falciparum genome.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Xuewu; Wang, Yuanyuan; Liang, Jiao; Wang, Luojun; Qin, Na; Zhao, Ya; Zhao, Gang

    2018-05-02

    Plasmodium falciparum is the most virulent malaria parasite capable of parasitizing human erythrocytes. The identification of genes related to this capability can enhance our understanding of the molecular mechanisms underlying human malaria and lead to the development of new therapeutic strategies for malaria control. With the availability of several malaria parasite genome sequences, performing computational analysis is now a practical strategy to identify genes contributing to this disease. Here, we developed and used a virtual genome method to assign 33,314 genes from three human malaria parasites, namely, P. falciparum, P. knowlesi and P. vivax, and three rodent malaria parasites, namely, P. berghei, P. chabaudi and P. yoelii, to 4605 clusters. Each cluster consisted of genes whose protein sequences were significantly similar and was considered as a virtual gene. Comparing the enriched values of all clusters in human malaria parasites with those in rodent malaria parasites revealed 115 P. falciparum genes putatively responsible for parasitizing human erythrocytes. These genes are mainly located in the chromosome internal regions and participate in many biological processes, including membrane protein trafficking and thiamine biosynthesis. Meanwhile, 289 P. berghei genes were included in the rodent parasite-enriched clusters. Most are located in subtelomeric regions and encode erythrocyte surface proteins. Comparing cluster values in P. falciparum with those in P. vivax and P. knowlesi revealed 493 candidate genes linked to virulence. Some of them encode proteins present on the erythrocyte surface and participate in cytoadhesion, virulence factor trafficking, or erythrocyte invasion, but many genes with unknown function were also identified. Cerebral malaria is characterized by accumulation of infected erythrocytes at trophozoite stage in brain microvascular. To discover cerebral malaria-related genes, fast Fourier transformation (FFT) was introduced to extract

  2. Using green fluorescent malaria parasites to screen for permissive vector mosquitoes

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    Martin Beatrice

    2006-03-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The Plasmodium species that infect rodents, particularly Plasmodium berghei and Plasmodium yoelii, are useful to investigate host-parasite interactions. The mosquito species that act as vectors of human plasmodia in South East Asia, Africa and South America show different susceptibilities to infection by rodent Plasmodium species. P. berghei and P. yoelii infect both Anopheles gambiae and Anopheles stephensi, which are found mainly in Africa and Asia, respectively. However, it was reported that P. yoelii can infect the South American mosquito, Anopheles albimanus, while P. berghei cannot. Methods P. berghei lines that express the green fluorescent protein were used to screen for mosquitoes that are susceptible to infection by P. berghei. Live mosquitoes were examined and screened for the presence of a fluorescent signal in the abdomen. Infected mosquitoes were then examined by time-lapse microscopy to reveal the dynamic behaviour of sporozoites in haemolymph and extracted salivary glands. Results A single fluorescent oocyst can be detected in live mosquitoes and P. berghei can infect A. albimanus. As in other mosquitoes, P. berghei sporozoites can float through the haemolymph and invade A. albimanus salivary glands and they are infectious in mice after subcutaneous injection. Conclusion Fluorescent Plasmodium parasites can be used to rapidly screen susceptible mosquitoes. These results open the way to develop a laboratory model in countries where importation of A. gambiae and A. stephensi is not allowed.

  3. Use of buffy coat thick films in detecting malaria parasites in patients with negative conventional thick films.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Duangdee, Chatnapa; Tangpukdee, Noppadon; Krudsood, Srivicha; Wilairatana, Polrat

    2012-04-01

    To determine the frequency of malaria parasite detection from the buffy coat blood films by using capillary tube in falciparum malaria patients with negative conventional thick films. Thirty six uncomplicated falciparum malaria patients confirmed by conventional thick and thin films were included in the study. The patients were treated with artemisinin combination therapy at Hospital for Tropical Diseases, Bangkok, Thailand for 28 day. Fingerpricks for conventional blood films were conducted every 6 hours until negative parasitemia, then daily fingerpricks for parasite checks were conducted until the patients were discharged from hospital. Blood samples were also concurrently collected in 3 heparinized capillary tubes at the same time of fingerpricks for conventional blood films when the prior parasitemia was negative on thin films and parasitemia was lower than 50 parasites/200 white blood cells by thick film. The first negative conventional thick films were compared with buffy coat thick films for parasite identification. Out of 36 patients with thick films showing negative for asexual forms of parasites, buffy coat films could detect remaining 10 patients (27.8%) with asexual forms of Plasmodium falciparum. The study shows that buffy coat thick films are useful and can detect malarial parasites in 27.8% of patients whose conventional thick films show negative parasitemia.

  4. Inhibition of protein synthesis and malaria parasite development by drug targeting of methionyl-tRNA synthetases.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hussain, Tahir; Yogavel, Manickam; Sharma, Amit

    2015-04-01

    Aminoacyl-tRNA synthetases (aaRSs) are housekeeping enzymes that couple cognate tRNAs with amino acids to transmit genomic information for protein translation. The Plasmodium falciparum nuclear genome encodes two P. falciparum methionyl-tRNA synthetases (PfMRS), termed PfMRS(cyt) and PfMRS(api). Phylogenetic analyses revealed that the two proteins are of primitive origin and are related to heterokonts (PfMRS(cyt)) or proteobacteria/primitive bacteria (PfMRS(api)). We show that PfMRS(cyt) localizes in parasite cytoplasm, while PfMRS(api) localizes to apicoplasts in asexual stages of malaria parasites. Two known bacterial MRS inhibitors, REP3123 and REP8839, hampered Plasmodium growth very effectively in the early and late stages of parasite development. Small-molecule drug-like libraries were screened against modeled PfMRS structures, and several "hit" compounds showed significant effects on parasite growth. We then tested the effects of the hit compounds on protein translation by labeling nascent proteins with (35)S-labeled cysteine and methionine. Three of the tested compounds reduced protein synthesis and also blocked parasite growth progression from the ring stage to the trophozoite stage. Drug docking studies suggested distinct modes of binding for the three compounds, compared with the enzyme product methionyl adenylate. Therefore, this study provides new targets (PfMRSs) and hit compounds that can be explored for development as antimalarial drugs. Copyright © 2015, American Society for Microbiology. All Rights Reserved.

  5. Trans-acting GC-rich non-coding RNA at var expression site modulates gene counting in malaria parasite.

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    Guizetti, Julien; Barcons-Simon, Anna; Scherf, Artur

    2016-11-16

    Monoallelic expression of the var multigene family enables immune evasion of the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum in its human host. At a given time only a single member of the 60-member var gene family is expressed at a discrete perinuclear region called the 'var expression site'. However, the mechanism of var gene counting remains ill-defined. We hypothesize that activation factors associating specifically with the expression site play a key role in this process. Here, we investigate the role of a GC-rich non-coding RNA (ncRNA) gene family composed of 15 highly homologous members. GC-rich genes are positioned adjacent to var genes in chromosome-central gene clusters but are absent near subtelomeric var genes. Fluorescence in situ hybridization demonstrates that GC-rich ncRNA localizes to the perinuclear expression site of central and subtelomeric var genes in trans. Importantly, overexpression of distinct GC-rich ncRNA members disrupts the gene counting process at the single cell level and results in activation of a specific subset of var genes in distinct clones. We identify the first trans-acting factor targeted to the elusive perinuclear var expression site and open up new avenues to investigate ncRNA function in antigenic variation of malaria and other protozoan pathogens. © The Author(s) 2016. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Nucleic Acids Research.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-07-05

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

  7. Structural analysis of malaria-parasite lysyl-tRNA synthetase provides a platform for drug development.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Khan, Sameena; Garg, Ankur; Camacho, Noelia; Van Rooyen, Jason; Kumar Pole, Anil; Belrhali, Hassan; Ribas de Pouplana, Lluis; Sharma, Vinay; Sharma, Amit

    2013-05-01

    Aminoacyl-tRNA synthetases are essential enzymes that transmit information from the genetic code to proteins in cells and are targets for antipathogen drug development. Elucidation of the crystal structure of cytoplasmic lysyl-tRNA synthetase from the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum (PfLysRS) has allowed direct comparison with human LysRS. The authors' data suggest that PfLysRS is dimeric in solution, whereas the human counterpart can also adopt tetrameric forms. It is shown for the first time that PfLysRS is capable of synthesizing the signalling molecule Ap4a (diadenosine tetraphosphate) using ATP as a substrate. The PfLysRS crystal structure is in the apo form, such that binding to ATP will require rotameric changes in four conserved residues. Differences in the active-site regions of parasite and human LysRSs suggest the possibility of exploiting PfLysRS for selective inhibition. These investigations on PfLysRS further validate malarial LysRSs as attractive antimalarial targets and provide new structural space for the development of inhibitors that target pathogen LysRSs selectively.

  8. Expression of senescent antigen on erythrocytes infected with a knobby variant of the human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Winograd, E.; Greenan, J.R.T.; Sherman, I.W.

    1987-01-01

    Erythrocytes infected with a knobby variant of Plasmodium falciparum selectively bind IgG autoantibodies in normal human serum. Quantification of membrane-bound IgG, by use of 125 I-labeled protein A, revealed that erythrocytes infected with the knobby variant bound 30 times more protein A than did noninfected erythrocytes; infection with a knobless variant resulted in less than a 2-fold difference compared with noninfected erythrocytes. IgG binding to knobby erythrocytes appeared to be related to parasite development, since binding of 125 I-labeled protein A to cells bearing young trophozoites (less than 20 hr after parasite invasion) was similar to binding to uninfected erythrocytes. By immunoelectron microscopy, the membrane-bound IgG on erythrocytes infected with the knobby variant was found to be preferentially associated with the protuberances (knobs) of the plasma membrane. The removal of aged or senescent erythrocytes from the peripheral circulation is reported to involve the binding of specific antibodies to an antigen (senescent antigen) related to the major erythrocyte membrane protein band 3. Since affinity-purified autoantibodies against band 3 specifically bound to the plasma membrane of erythrocytes infected with the knobby variant of P. falciparum, it is clear that the malaria parasite induces expression of senescent antigen

  9. Virulence of a malaria parasite, Plasmodium mexicanum, for its sand fly vectors, Lutzomyia vexator and Lutzomyia stewarti (Diptera: Psychodidae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schall, Jos J

    2011-11-01

    Evolutionary theory predicts that virulence of parasites for mobile vector insects will be low for natural parasite-host associations that have coevolved. I determined virulence of the malaria parasite of lizards, Plasmodium mexicanum, for its vectors, two species of sand fly (Diptera: Psychodidae), Lutzomyia vexator (Coquillett 1907) and Lutzomyia stewarti (Mangabeira Fo & Galindo 1944), by measuring several life history traits. Developmental rate from egg to eclosion differed for the two species when noninfected. For both sand fly species, developmental rate for each stage (egg to larval hatching, larval period, pupal period) and life span were not altered by infection. Infected sand flies, however, produced fewer eggs. This reduction in fecundity may be a result of lower quality of the blood meal taken from infected lizards (lower concentration of hemoglobin). This report is the first measure of virulence of Plasmodium for an insect vector other than a mosquito and concords with both expectations of theory and previous studies on natural parasite-host associations that revealed low virulence.

  10. MHC-I affects infection intensity but not infection status with a frequent avian malaria parasite in blue tits.

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    Helena Westerdahl

    Full Text Available Host resistance against parasites depends on three aspects: the ability to prevent, control and clear infections. In vertebrates the immune system consists of innate and adaptive immunity. Innate immunity is particularly important for preventing infection and eradicating established infections at an early stage while adaptive immunity is slow, but powerful, and essential for controlling infection intensities and eventually clearing infections. Major Histocompatibility Complex (MHC molecules are central in adaptive immunity, and studies on parasite resistance and MHC in wild animals have found effects on both infection intensity (parasite load and infection status (infected or not. It seems MHC can affect both the ability to control infection intensities and the ability to clear infections. However, these two aspects have rarely been considered simultaneously, and their relative importance in natural populations is therefore unclear. Here we investigate if MHC class I genotype affects infection intensity and infection status with a frequent avian malaria infection Haemoproteus majoris in a natural population of blue tits Cyanistes caeruleus. We found a significant negative association between a single MHC allele and infection intensity but no association with infection status. Blue tits that carry a specific MHC allele seem able to suppress H. majoris infection intensity, while we have no evidence that this allele also has an effect on clearance of the H. majoris infection, a result that is in contrast with some previous studies of MHC and avian malaria. A likely explanation could be that the clearance rate of avian malaria parasites differs between avian malaria lineages and/or between avian hosts.

  11. MHC-I affects infection intensity but not infection status with a frequent avian malaria parasite in blue tits.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Westerdahl, Helena; Stjernman, Martin; Råberg, Lars; Lannefors, Mimi; Nilsson, Jan-Åke

    2013-01-01

    Host resistance against parasites depends on three aspects: the ability to prevent, control and clear infections. In vertebrates the immune system consists of innate and adaptive immunity. Innate immunity is particularly important for preventing infection and eradicating established infections at an early stage while adaptive immunity is slow, but powerful, and essential for controlling infection intensities and eventually clearing infections. Major Histocompatibility Complex (MHC) molecules are central in adaptive immunity, and studies on parasite resistance and MHC in wild animals have found effects on both infection intensity (parasite load) and infection status (infected or not). It seems MHC can affect both the ability to control infection intensities and the ability to clear infections. However, these two aspects have rarely been considered simultaneously, and their relative importance in natural populations is therefore unclear. Here we investigate if MHC class I genotype affects infection intensity and infection status with a frequent avian malaria infection Haemoproteus majoris in a natural population of blue tits Cyanistes caeruleus. We found a significant negative association between a single MHC allele and infection intensity but no association with infection status. Blue tits that carry a specific MHC allele seem able to suppress H. majoris infection intensity, while we have no evidence that this allele also has an effect on clearance of the H. majoris infection, a result that is in contrast with some previous studies of MHC and avian malaria. A likely explanation could be that the clearance rate of avian malaria parasites differs between avian malaria lineages and/or between avian hosts.

  12. Gametocytes of the Malaria Parasite Plasmodium falciparum Interact With and Stimulate Bone Marrow Mesenchymal Cells to Secrete Angiogenetic Factors

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Valeria Messina

    2018-03-01

    Full Text Available The gametocytes of Plasmodium falciparum, responsible for the transmission of this malaria parasite from humans to mosquitoes, accumulate and mature preferentially in the human bone marrow. In the 10 day long sexual development of P. falciparum, the immature gametocytes reach and localize in the extravascular compartment of this organ, in contact with several bone marrow stroma cell types, prior to traversing the endothelial lining and re-entering in circulation at maturity. To investigate the host parasite interplay underlying this still obscure process, we developed an in vitro tridimensional co-culture system in a Matrigel scaffold with P. falciparum gametocytes and self-assembling spheroids of human bone marrow mesenchymal cells (hBM-MSCs. Here we show that this co-culture system sustains the full maturation of the gametocytes and that the immature, but not the mature, gametocytes adhere to hBM-MSCs via trypsin-sensitive parasite ligands exposed on the erythrocyte surface. Analysis of a time course of gametocytogenesis in the co-culture system revealed that gametocyte maturation is accompanied by the parasite induced stimulation of hBM-MSCs to secrete a panel of 14 cytokines and growth factors, 13 of which have been described to play a role in angiogenesis. Functional in vitro assays on human bone marrow endothelial cells showed that supernatants from the gametocyte mesenchymal cell co-culture system enhance ability of endothelial cells to form vascular tubes. These results altogether suggest that the interplay between immature gametocytes and hBM-MSCs may induce functional and structural alterations in the endothelial lining of the human bone marrow hosting the P. falciparum transmission stages.

  13. Complete avian malaria parasite genomes reveal features associated with lineage-specific evolution in birds and mammals

    Science.gov (United States)

    Böhme, Ulrike; Otto, Thomas D.; Cotton, James A.; Steinbiss, Sascha; Sanders, Mandy; Oyola, Samuel O.; Nicot, Antoine; Gandon, Sylvain; Patra, Kailash P.; Herd, Colin; Bushell, Ellen; Modrzynska, Katarzyna K.; Billker, Oliver; Vinetz, Joseph M.; Rivero, Ana; Newbold, Chris I.; Berriman, Matthew

    2018-01-01

    Avian malaria parasites are prevalent around the world and infect a wide diversity of bird species. Here, we report the sequencing and analysis of high-quality draft genome sequences for two avian malaria species, Plasmodium relictum and Plasmodium gallinaceum. We identify 50 genes that are specific to avian malaria, located in an otherwise conserved core of the genome that shares gene synteny with all other sequenced malaria genomes. Phylogenetic analysis suggests that the avian malaria species form an outgroup to the mammalian Plasmodium species, and using amino acid divergence between species, we estimate the avian- and mammalian-infective lineages diverged in the order of 10 million years ago. Consistent with their phylogenetic position, we identify orthologs of genes that had previously appeared to be restricted to the clades of parasites containing Plasmodium falciparum and Plasmodium vivax, the species with the greatest impact on human health. From these orthologs, we explore differential diversifying selection across the genus and show that the avian lineage is remarkable in the extent to which invasion-related genes are evolving. The subtelomeres of the P. relictum and P. gallinaceum genomes contain several novel gene families, including an expanded surf multigene family. We also identify an expansion of reticulocyte binding protein homologs in P. relictum, and within these proteins, we detect distinct regions that are specific to nonhuman primate, humans, rodent, and avian hosts. For the first time in the Plasmodium lineage, we find evidence of transposable elements, including several hundred fragments of LTR-retrotransposons in both species and an apparently complete LTR-retrotransposon in the genome of P. gallinaceum. PMID:29500236

  14. Spleen-dependent regulation of antigenic variation in malaria parasites: Plasmodium knowlesi SICAvar expression profiles in splenic and asplenic hosts.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stacey A Lapp

    Full Text Available Antigenic variation by malaria parasites was first described in Plasmodium knowlesi, which infects humans and macaque monkeys, and subsequently in P. falciparum, the most virulent human parasite. The schizont-infected cell agglutination (SICA variant proteins encoded by the SICAvar multigene family in P. knowlesi, and Erythrocyte Membrane Protein-1 (EMP-1 antigens encoded by the var multigene family in P. falciparum, are expressed at the surface of infected erythrocytes, are associated with virulence, and serve as determinants of naturally acquired immunity. A parental P. knowlesi clone, Pk1(A+, and a related progeny clone, Pk1(B+1+, derived by an in vivo induced variant antigen switch, were defined by the expression of distinct SICA variant protein doublets of 210/190 and 205/200 kDa, respectively. Passage of SICA[+] infected erythrocytes through splenectomized rhesus monkeys results in the SICA[-] phenotype, defined by the lack of surface expression and agglutination with variant specific antisera.We have investigated SICAvar RNA and protein expression in Pk1(A+, Pk1(B+1+, and SICA[-] parasites. The Pk1(A+ and Pk1(B+1+ parasites express different distinct SICAvar transcript and protein repertoires. By comparison, SICA[-] parasites are characterized by a vast reduction in SICAvar RNA expression, the lack of full-length SICAvar transcript signals on northern blots, and correspondingly, the absence of any SICA protein detected by mass spectrometry.SICA protein expression may be under transcriptional as well as post-transcriptional control, and we show for the first time that the spleen, an organ central to blood-stage immunity in malaria, exerts an influence on these processes. Furthermore, proteomics has enabled the first in-depth characterization of SICA[+] protein phenotypes and we show that the in vivo switch from Pk1(A+ to Pk1(B+1+ parasites resulted in a complete change in SICA profiles. These results emphasize the importance of studying

  15. A three-genome phylogeny of malaria parasites (Plasmodium and closely related genera): evolution of life-history traits and host switches.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martinsen, Ellen S; Perkins, Susan L; Schall, Jos J

    2008-04-01

    Phylogenetic analysis of genomic data allows insights into the evolutionary history of pathogens, especially the events leading to host switching and diversification, as well as alterations of the life cycle (life-history traits). Hundreds, perhaps thousands, of malaria parasite species exploit squamate reptiles, birds, and mammals as vertebrate hosts as well as many genera of dipteran vectors, but the evolutionary and ecological events that led to this diversification and success remain unresolved. For a century, systematic parasitologists classified malaria parasites into genera based on morphology, life cycle, and vertebrate and insect host taxa. Molecular systematic studies based on single genes challenged the phylogenetic significance of these characters, but several significant nodes were not well supported. We recovered the first well resolved large phylogeny of Plasmodium and related haemosporidian parasites using sequence data for four genes from the parasites' three genomes by combining all data, correcting for variable rates of substitution by gene and site, and using both Bayesian and maximum parsimony analyses. Major clades are associated with vector shifts into different dipteran families, with other characters used in traditional parasitological studies, such as morphology and life-history traits, having variable phylogenetic significance. The common parasites of birds now placed into the genus Haemoproteus are found in two divergent clades, and the genus Plasmodium is paraphyletic with respect to Hepatocystis, a group of species with very different life history and morphology. The Plasmodium of mammal hosts form a well supported clade (including Plasmodium falciparum, the most important human malaria parasite), and this clade is associated with specialization to Anopheles mosquito vectors. The Plasmodium of birds and squamate reptiles all fall within a single clade, with evidence for repeated switching between birds and squamate hosts.

  16. Do the mitochondria of malaria parasites behave like the phoenix after return in the mosquito? Regeneration of degenerated mitochondria is required for successful Plasmodium infection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bongaerts, Ger

    2005-01-01

    Mitochondria are energy generators in eukaryotic organisms like man and the pathogenic malaria parasites, the Plasmodium spp. From the moment a mosquito-mediated malaria infection occurs in man the parasite multiplies profusely, but eventually the oxygen supply becomes the limiting factor in this process. Consequently, the parasite will increasingly generate energy (and lactic acid) from sugar fermentation. Simultaneously, the cristate structure of Plasmodium mitochondria degenerates and becomes acristate. The degenerated acristate mitochondria of mammalian Plasmodium parasites seem to be able to revitalise by transforming to cristate mitochondria inside the oxygen-rich mosquito, like the rebirth of the old phoenix. In this way the infectivity of the parasite is revitalised.

  17. Challenges of DHS and MIS to capture the entire pattern of malaria parasite risk and intervention effects in countries with different ecological zones: the case of Cameroon.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Massoda Tonye, Salomon G; Kouambeng, Celestin; Wounang, Romain; Vounatsou, Penelope

    2018-04-06

    In 2011, the demographic and health survey (DHS) in Cameroon was combined with the multiple indicator cluster survey. Malaria parasitological data were collected, but the survey period did not overlap with the high malaria transmission season. A malaria indicator survey (MIS) was also conducted during the same year, within the malaria peak transmission season. This study compares estimates of the geographical distribution of malaria parasite risk and of the effects of interventions obtained from the DHS and MIS survey data. Bayesian geostatistical models were applied on DHS and MIS data to obtain georeferenced estimates of the malaria parasite prevalence and to assess the effects of interventions. Climatic predictors were retrieved from satellite sources. Geostatistical variable selection was used to identify the most important climatic predictors and indicators of malaria interventions. The overall observed malaria parasite risk among children was 33 and 30% in the DHS and MIS data, respectively. Both datasets identified the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index and the altitude as important predictors of the geographical distribution of the disease. However, MIS selected additional climatic factors as important disease predictors. The magnitude of the estimated malaria parasite risk at national level was similar in both surveys. Nevertheless, DHS estimates lower risk in the North and Coastal areas. MIS did not find any important intervention effects, although DHS revealed that the proportion of population with an insecticide-treated nets access in their household was statistically important. An important negative relationship between malaria parasitaemia and socioeconomic factors, such as the level of mother's education, place of residence and the household welfare were captured by both surveys. Timing of the malaria survey influences estimates of the geographical distribution of disease risk, especially in settings with seasonal transmission. In countries with

  18. Variation in apoptosis mechanisms employed by malaria parasites: the roles of inducers, dose dependence and parasite stages

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Matthews Holly

    2012-08-01

    , mitochondrial membrane potential remained intact. No relationship between ookinete density and apoptosis was detected but nutrient depletion significantly increased the proportion of ookinetes with chromatin condensation in four hours. Conclusions It is proposed that both a mitochondrial and an amitochondrial apoptotic pathway may be involved, dependent upon the trigger that induces apoptosis, and that pathways may differ between erythrocytic stages and ookinetes, or between rodent and human malaria parasites.

  19. A yeast expression system for functional and pharmacological studies of the malaria parasite Ca2+/H+ antiporter

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    Salcedo-Sora J

    2012-08-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Calcium (Ca2+ signalling is fundamental for host cell invasion, motility, in vivo synchronicity and sexual differentiation of the malaria parasite. Consequently, cytoplasmic free Ca2+ is tightly regulated through the co-ordinated action of primary and secondary Ca2+ transporters. Identifying selective inhibitors of Ca2+ transporters is key towards understanding their physiological role as well as having therapeutic potential, therefore screening systems to facilitate the search for potential inhibitors are a priority. Here, the methodology for the expression of a Calcium membrane transporter that can be scaled to high throughputs in yeast is presented. Methods The Plasmodium falciparum Ca2+/H+ antiporter (PfCHA was expressed in the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae and its activity monitored by the bioluminescence from apoaequorin triggered by divalent cations, such as calcium, magnesium and manganese. Results Bioluminescence assays demonstrated that PfCHA effectively suppressed induced cytoplasmic peaks of Ca2+, Mg2+ and Mn2+ in yeast mutants lacking the homologue yeast antiporter Vcx1p. In the scalable format of 96-well culture plates pharmacological assays with a cation antiporter inhibitor allowed the measurement of inhibition of the Ca2+ transport activity of PfCHA conveniently translated to the familiar concept of fractional inhibitory concentrations. Furthermore, the cytolocalization of this antiporter in the yeast cells showed that whilst PfCHA seems to locate to the mitochondrion of P. falciparum, in yeast PfCHA is sorted to the vacuole. This facilitates the real-time Ca2+-loading assays for further functional and pharmacological studies. Discussion The functional expression of PfCHA in S. cerevisiae and luminescence-based detection of cytoplasmic cations as presented here offer a tractable system that facilitates functional and pharmacological studies in a high-throughput format. PfCHA is shown to behave as a divalent

  20. A Novel ‘Gene Insertion/Marker Out’ (GIMO) Method for Transgene Expression and Gene Complementation in Rodent Malaria Parasites

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sajid, Mohammed; Chevalley-Maurel, Séverine; Ramesar, Jai; Klop, Onny; Franke-Fayard, Blandine M. D.; Janse, Chris J.; Khan, Shahid M.

    2011-01-01

    Research on the biology of malaria parasites has greatly benefited from the application of reverse genetic technologies, in particular through the analysis of gene deletion mutants and studies on transgenic parasites that express heterologous or mutated proteins. However, transfection in Plasmodium is limited by the paucity of drug-selectable markers that hampers subsequent genetic modification of the same mutant. We report the development of a novel ‘gene insertion/marker out’ (GIMO) method for two rodent malaria parasites, which uses negative selection to rapidly generate transgenic mutants ready for subsequent modifications. We have created reference mother lines for both P. berghei ANKA and P. yoelii 17XNL that serve as recipient parasites for GIMO-transfection. Compared to existing protocols GIMO-transfection greatly simplifies and speeds up the generation of mutants expressing heterologous proteins, free of drug-resistance genes, and requires far fewer laboratory animals. In addition we demonstrate that GIMO-transfection is also a simple and fast method for genetic complementation of mutants with a gene deletion or mutation. The implementation of GIMO-transfection procedures should greatly enhance Plasmodium reverse-genetic research. PMID:22216235

  1. The Malaria Parasite Cyclin H Homolog PfCyc1 Is Required for Efficient Cytokinesis in Blood-Stage Plasmodium falciparum.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Robbins, Jonathan A; Absalon, Sabrina; Streva, Vincent A; Dvorin, Jeffrey D

    2017-06-13

    All well-studied eukaryotic cell cycles are driven by cyclins, which activate cyclin-dependent kinases (CDKs), and these protein kinase complexes are viable drug targets. The regulatory control of the Plasmodium falciparum cell division cycle remains poorly understood, and the roles of the various CDKs and cyclins remain unclear. The P. falciparum genome contains multiple CDKs, but surprisingly, it does not contain any sequence-identifiable G 1 -, S-, or M-phase cyclins. We demonstrate that P. falciparum Cyc1 (PfCyc1) complements a G 1 cyclin-depleted Saccharomyces cerevisiae strain and confirm that other identified malaria parasite cyclins do not complement this strain. PfCyc1, which has the highest sequence similarity to the conserved cyclin H, cannot complement a temperature-sensitive yeast cyclin H mutant. Coimmunoprecipitation of PfCyc1 from P. falciparum parasites identifies PfMAT1 and PfMRK as specific interaction partners and does not identify PfPK5 or other CDKs. We then generate an endogenous conditional allele of PfCyc1 in blood-stage P. falciparum using a destabilization domain (DD) approach and find that PfCyc1 is essential for blood-stage proliferation. PfCyc1 knockdown does not impede nuclear division, but it prevents proper cytokinesis. Thus, we demonstrate that PfCyc1 has a functional divergence from bioinformatic predictions, suggesting that the malaria parasite cell division cycle has evolved to use evolutionarily conserved proteins in functionally novel ways. IMPORTANCE Human infection by the eukaryotic parasite Plasmodium falciparum causes malaria. Most well-studied eukaryotic cell cycles are driven by cyclins, which activate cyclin-dependent kinases (CDKs) to promote essential cell division processes. Remarkably, there are no identifiable cyclins that are predicted to control the cell cycle in the malaria parasite genome. Thus, our knowledge regarding the basic mechanisms of the malaria parasite cell cycle remains unsatisfactory. We

  2. Melatonin-Induced Temporal Up-Regulation of Gene Expression Related to Ubiquitin/Proteasome System (UPS in the Human Malaria Parasite Plasmodium falciparum

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    Fernanda C. Koyama

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available There is an increasing understanding that melatonin and the ubiquitin/ proteasome system (UPS interact to regulate multiple cellular functions. Post-translational modifications such as ubiquitination are important modulators of signaling processes, cell cycle and many other cellular functions. Previously, we reported a melatonin-induced upregulation of gene expression related to ubiquitin/proteasome system (UPS in Plasmodium falciparum, the human malaria parasite, and that P. falciparum protein kinase 7 influences this process. This implies a role of melatonin, an indolamine, in modulating intraerythrocytic development of the parasite. In this report we demonstrate by qPCR analysis, that melatonin induces gene upregulation in nine out of fourteen genes of the UPS, consisting of the same set of genes previously reported, between 4 to 5 h after melatonin treatment. We demonstrate that melatonin causes a temporally controlled gene expression of UPS members.

  3. Malaria parasite-synthesized heme is essential in the mosquito and liver stages and complements host heme in the blood stages of infection.

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    Viswanathan Arun Nagaraj

    Full Text Available Heme metabolism is central to malaria parasite biology. The parasite acquires heme from host hemoglobin in the intraerythrocytic stages and stores it as hemozoin to prevent free heme toxicity. The parasite can also synthesize heme de novo, and all the enzymes in the pathway are characterized. To study the role of the dual heme sources in malaria parasite growth and development, we knocked out the first enzyme, δ-aminolevulinate synthase (ALAS, and the last enzyme, ferrochelatase (FC, in the heme-biosynthetic pathway of Plasmodium berghei (Pb. The wild-type and knockout (KO parasites had similar intraerythrocytic growth patterns in mice. We carried out in vitro radiolabeling of heme in Pb-infected mouse reticulocytes and Plasmodium falciparum-infected human RBCs using [4-(14C] aminolevulinic acid (ALA. We found that the parasites incorporated both host hemoglobin-heme and parasite-synthesized heme into hemozoin and mitochondrial cytochromes. The similar fates of the two heme sources suggest that they may serve as backup mechanisms to provide heme in the intraerythrocytic stages. Nevertheless, the de novo pathway is absolutely essential for parasite development in the mosquito and liver stages. PbKO parasites formed drastically reduced oocysts and did not form sporozoites in the salivary glands. Oocyst production in PbALASKO parasites recovered when mosquitoes received an ALA supplement. PbALASKO sporozoites could infect mice only when the mice received an ALA supplement. Our results indicate the potential for new therapeutic interventions targeting the heme-biosynthetic pathway in the parasite during the mosquito and liver stages.

  4. Host-seeking behaviors of mosquitoes experimentally infected with sympatric field isolates of the human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum: no evidence for host manipulation

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    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

  5. Experimental evolution, genetic analysis and genome re-sequencing reveal the mutation conferring artemisinin resistance in an isogenic lineage of malaria parasites

    KAUST Repository

    Hunt, Paul

    2010-09-16

    Background: Classical and quantitative linkage analyses of genetic crosses have traditionally been used to map genes of interest, such as those conferring chloroquine or quinine resistance in malaria parasites. Next-generation sequencing technologies now present the possibility of determining genome-wide genetic variation at single base-pair resolution. Here, we combine in vivo experimental evolution, a rapid genetic strategy and whole genome re-sequencing to identify the precise genetic basis of artemisinin resistance in a lineage of the rodent malaria parasite, Plasmodium chabaudi. Such genetic markers will further the investigation of resistance and its control in natural infections of the human malaria, P. falciparum.Results: A lineage of isogenic in vivo drug-selected mutant P. chabaudi parasites was investigated. By measuring the artemisinin responses of these clones, the appearance of an in vivo artemisinin resistance phenotype within the lineage was defined. The underlying genetic locus was mapped to a region of chromosome 2 by Linkage Group Selection in two different genetic crosses. Whole-genome deep coverage short-read re-sequencing (IlluminaSolexa) defined the point mutations, insertions, deletions and copy-number variations arising in the lineage. Eight point mutations arise within the mutant lineage, only one of which appears on chromosome 2. This missense mutation arises contemporaneously with artemisinin resistance and maps to a gene encoding a de-ubiquitinating enzyme.Conclusions: This integrated approach facilitates the rapid identification of mutations conferring selectable phenotypes, without prior knowledge of biological and molecular mechanisms. For malaria, this model can identify candidate genes before resistant parasites are commonly observed in natural human malaria populations. 2010 Hunt et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.

  6. The unseen invaders

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Craven, Dylan; Thakur, Madhav P.; Cameron, Erin

    2017-01-01

    earthworms on plant diversity and community composition in North American forests. We conducted a meta-analysis using a total of 645 observations to quantify mean effect sizes of associations between introduced earthworm communities and plant diversity, cover of plant functional groups, and cover of native...... to the abiotic conditions of earthworm-invaded forests. Further, our study provides evidence that introduced earthworms are associated with declines in plant diversity in North American forests. Changing plant functional composition in these forests may have long-lasting effects on ecosystem functioning....

  7. Bionomics of Anopheles latens in Kapit, Sarawak, Malaysian Borneo in relation to the transmission of zoonotic simian malaria parasite Plasmodium knowlesi

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Matusop Asmad

    2008-03-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background A large focus of human infections with Plasmodium knowlesi, a simian parasite naturally found in long-tailed and pig-tailed macaques was discovered in the Kapit Division of Sarawak, Malaysian Borneo. A study was initiated to identify the vectors of malaria, to elucidate where transmission is taking place and to understand the bionomics of the vectors in Kapit. Methods Three different ecological sites in the forest, farm and longhouse in the Kapit district were selected for the study. Mosquitoes were collected by human landing collection at all sites and at the forest also by monkey-baited-traps situated on three different levels. All mosquitoes were identified and salivary glands and midguts of anopheline mosquitoes were dissected to determine the presence of malaria parasites. Results and Discussions Over an 11-month period, a total of 2,504 Anopheles mosquitoes comprising 12 species were caught; 1,035 at the farm, 774 at the forest and 425 at the longhouse. Anopheles latens (62.3% and Anopheles watsonii (30.6% were the predominant species caught in the forested ecotypes, while in the farm Anopheles donaldi (49.9% and An. latens (35.6% predominated. In the long house, An. latens (29.6% and An. donaldi (22.8% were the major Anopheline species. However, An. latens was the only mosquito positive for sporozoites and it was found to be attracted to both human and monkey hosts. In monkey-baited net traps, it preferred to bite monkeys at the canopy level than at ground level. An. latens was found biting early as 18.00 hours. Conclusion Anopheles latens is the main vector for P. knowlesi malaria parasites in the Kapit District of Sarawak, Malaysian Borneo. The study underscores the relationship between ecology, abundance and bionomics of anopheline fauna. The simio-anthropophagic and acrodendrophilic behaviour of An. latens makes it an efficient vector for the transmission of P. knowlesi parasites to both human and monkey hosts.

  8. Bionomics of Anopheles latens in Kapit, Sarawak, Malaysian Borneo in relation to the transmission of zoonotic simian malaria parasite Plasmodium knowlesi

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tan, Cheong H; Vythilingam, Indra; Matusop, Asmad; Chan, Seng T; Singh, Balbir

    2008-01-01

    Background A large focus of human infections with Plasmodium knowlesi, a simian parasite naturally found in long-tailed and pig-tailed macaques was discovered in the Kapit Division of Sarawak, Malaysian Borneo. A study was initiated to identify the vectors of malaria, to elucidate where transmission is taking place and to understand the bionomics of the vectors in Kapit. Methods Three different ecological sites in the forest, farm and longhouse in the Kapit district were selected for the study. Mosquitoes were collected by human landing collection at all sites and at the forest also by monkey-baited-traps situated on three different levels. All mosquitoes were identified and salivary glands and midguts of anopheline mosquitoes were dissected to determine the presence of malaria parasites. Results and Discussions Over an 11-month period, a total of 2,504 Anopheles mosquitoes comprising 12 species were caught; 1,035 at the farm, 774 at the forest and 425 at the longhouse. Anopheles latens (62.3%) and Anopheles watsonii (30.6%) were the predominant species caught in the forested ecotypes, while in the farm Anopheles donaldi (49.9%) and An. latens (35.6%) predominated. In the long house, An. latens (29.6%) and An. donaldi (22.8%) were the major Anopheline species. However, An. latens was the only mosquito positive for sporozoites and it was found to be attracted to both human and monkey hosts. In monkey-baited net traps, it preferred to bite monkeys at the canopy level than at ground level. An. latens was found biting early as 18.00 hours. Conclusion Anopheles latens is the main vector for P. knowlesi malaria parasites in the Kapit District of Sarawak, Malaysian Borneo. The study underscores the relationship between ecology, abundance and bionomics of anopheline fauna. The simio-anthropophagic and acrodendrophilic behaviour of An. latens makes it an efficient vector for the transmission of P. knowlesi parasites to both human and monkey hosts. PMID:18377652

  9. Rodent Plasmodium-infected red blood cells: imaging their fates and interactions within their hosts.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Claser, Carla; Malleret, Benoit; Peng, Kaitian; Bakocevic, Nadja; Gun, Sin Yee; Russell, Bruce; Ng, Lai Guan; Rénia, Laurent

    2014-02-01

    Malaria, a disease caused by the Plasmodium parasite, remains one of the most deadly infectious diseases known to mankind. The parasite has a complex life cycle, of which only the erythrocytic stage is responsible for the diverse pathologies induced during infection. To date, the disease mechanisms that underlie these pathologies are still poorly understood. In the case of infections caused by Plasmodium falciparum, the species responsible for most malaria related deaths, pathogenesis is thought to be due to the sequestration of infected red blood cells (IRBCs) in deep tissues. Other human and rodent malaria parasite species are also known to exhibit sequestration. Here, we review the different techniques that allow researchers to study how rodent malaria parasites modify their host cells, the distribution of IRBCs in vivo as well as the interactions between IRBCs and host tissues. © 2013. Published by Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  10. Aspidosperma (Apocynaceae plant cytotoxicity and activity towards malaria parasites. Part I: Aspidosperma nitidum (Benth used as a remedy to treat fever and malaria in the Amazon

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    Julia Penna Coutinho

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available Infusions of Aspidosperma nitidum (Apocynaceae wood bark are used to treat fever and malaria in the Amazon Region. Several species of this family are known to possess indole alkaloids and other classes of secondary metabolites, whereas terpenoids, an inositol and the indole alkaloids harmane-3 acid and braznitidumine have been described in A. nitidum . In the present study, extracts from the wood bark, leaves and branches of this species were prepared for assays against malaria parasites and cytotoxicity testing using human hepatoma and normal monkey kidney cells. The wood bark extracts were active against Plasmodium falciparum and showed a low cytotoxicity in vitro, whereas the leaf and branch extracts and the pure alkaloid braznitidumine were inactive. A crude methanol extract was subjected to acid-base fractionation aimed at obtaining alkaloid-rich fractions, which were active at low concentrations against P. falciparum and in mice infected with and sensitive Plasmodium berghei parasites. Our data validate the antimalarial usefulness of A. nitidum wood bark, a remedy that can most likely help to control malaria. However, the molecules responsible for this antimalarial activity have not yet been identified. Considering their high selectivity index, the alkaloid-rich fractions from the plant bark might be useful in the development of new antimalarials.

  11. HIGH-THROUGHPUT IDENTIFICATION OF THE PREDOMINANT MALARIA PARASITE CLONE IN COMPLEX BLOOD STAGE INFECTIONS USING A MULTI-SNP MOLECULAR HAPLOTYPING ASSAY

    Science.gov (United States)

    COLE-TOBIAN, JENNIFER L.; ZIMMERMAN, PETER A.; KING, CHRISTOPHER L.

    2013-01-01

    Individuals living in malaria endemic areas are often infected with multiple parasite clones. Currently used single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) genotyping methods for malaria parasites are cumbersome; furthermore, few methods currently exist that can rapidly determine the most abundant clone in these complex infections. Here we describe an oligonucleotide ligation assay (OLA) to distinguish SNPs in the Plasmodium vivax Duffy binding protein gene (Pvdbp) at 14 polymorphic residues simultaneously. Allele abundance is determined by the highest mean fluorescent intensity of each allele. Using mixtures of plasmids encoding known haplotypes of the Pvdbp, single clones of P. vivax parasites from infected Aotus monkeys, and well-defined mixed infections from field samples, we were able to identify the predominant Pvdbp genotype with > 93% accuracy when the dominant clone is twice as abundant as a lesser genotype and > 97% of the time if the ratio was 5:1 or greater. Thus, the OLA can accurately, reproducibly, and rapidly determine the predominant parasite haplotype in complex blood stage infections. PMID:17255222

  12. Robust inducible Cre recombinase activity in the human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum enables efficient gene deletion within a single asexual erythrocytic growth cycle.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Collins, Christine R; Das, Sujaan; Wong, Eleanor H; Andenmatten, Nicole; Stallmach, Robert; Hackett, Fiona; Herman, Jean-Paul; Müller, Sylke; Meissner, Markus; Blackman, Michael J

    2013-05-01

    Asexual blood stages of the malaria parasite, which cause all the pathology associated with malaria, can readily be genetically modified by homologous recombination, enabling the functional study of parasite genes that are not essential in this part of the life cycle. However, no widely applicable method for conditional mutagenesis of essential asexual blood-stage malarial genes is available, hindering their functional analysis. We report the application of the DiCre conditional recombinase system to Plasmodium falciparum, the causative agent of the most dangerous form of malaria. We show that DiCre can be used to obtain rapid, highly regulated site-specific recombination in P. falciparum, capable of excising loxP-flanked sequences from a genomic locus with close to 100% efficiency within the time-span of a single erythrocytic growth cycle. DiCre-mediated deletion of the SERA5 3' UTR failed to reduce expression of the gene due to the existence of alternative cryptic polyadenylation sites within the modified locus. However, we successfully used the system to recycle the most widely used drug resistance marker for P. falciparum, human dihydrofolate reductase, in the process producing constitutively DiCre-expressing P. falciparum clones that have broad utility for the functional analysis of essential asexual blood-stage parasite genes. © 2013 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  13. The structurally related auxin and melatonin tryptophan-derivatives and their roles in Arabidopsis thaliana and in the human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Koyama, Fernanda C; Carvalho, Thais L G; Alves, Eduardo; da Silva, Henrique B; de Azevedo, Mauro F; Hemerly, Adriana S; Garcia, Célia R S

    2013-01-01

    Indole compounds are involved in a range of functions in many organisms. In the human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum, melatonin and other tryptophan derivatives are able to modulate its intraerythrocytic cycle, increasing the schizont population as well as parasitemia, likely through ubiquitin-proteasome system (UPS) gene regulation. In plants, melatonin regulates root development, in a similar way to that described for indoleacetic acid, suggesting that melatonin and indoleacetic acid could co-participate in some physiological processes due to structural similarities. In the present work, we evaluate whether the chemical structure similarity found in indoleacetic acid and melatonin can lead to similar effects in Arabidopsis thaliana lateral root formation and P. falciparum cell cycle modulation, as well as in the UPS of gene regulation, by qRT-PCR. Our data show that P. falciparum is not able to respond to indoleacetic acid either in the modulation of the intraerythrocytic cycle or in the gene regulation mediated by the UPS as observed for melatonin. The similarities of these indole compounds are not sufficient to confer synergistic functions in P. falciparum cell cycle modulation, but could interplay in A. thaliana lateral root formation. © 2013 The Author(s) Journal of Eukaryotic Microbiology © 2013 International Society of Protistologists.

  14. Patterns of Infection and Patterns of Evolution: How a Malaria Parasite Brought "Monkeys and Man" Closer Together in the 1960s.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mason Dentinger, Rachel

    2016-04-01

    In 1960, American parasitologist Don Eyles was unexpectedly infected with a malariaparasite isolated from a macaque. He and his supervisor, G. Robert Coatney of the National Institutes of Health, had started this series of experiments with the assumption that humans were not susceptible to "monkey malaria." The revelation that a mosquito carrying a macaque parasite could infect a human raised a whole range of public health and biological questions. This paper follows Coatney's team of parasitologists and their subjects: from the human to the nonhuman; from the American laboratory to the forests of Malaysia; and between the domains of medical research and natural history. In the course of this research, Coatney and his colleagues inverted Koch's postulate, by which animal subjects are used to identify and understand human parasites. In contrast, Coatney's experimental protocol used human subjects to identify and understand monkey parasites. In so doing, the team repeatedly followed malaria parasites across the purported boundary separating monkeys and humans, a practical experience that created a sense of biological symmetry between these separate species. Ultimately, this led Coatney and his colleagues make evolutionary inferences, concluding "that monkeys and man are more closely related than some of us wish to admit." In following monkeys, men, and malaria across biological, geographical, and disciplinary boundaries, this paper offers a new historical narrative, demonstrating that the pursuit of public health agendas can fuel the expansion of evolutionary knowledge.

  15. Early gametocytes of the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum specifically remodel the adhesive properties of infected erythrocyte surface

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Tibúrcio, Marta; Silvestrini, Francesco; Bertuccini, Lucia

    2013-01-01

    to ultrastructurally and biochemically analyse parasite-induced modifications on the red blood cell surface and to measure their functional consequences on adhesion to human endothelial cells. This work revealed that stage I gametocytes are able to deform the infected erythrocytes like asexual parasites, but do...... not modify its surface with adhesive 'knob' structures and associated proteins. Reduced levels of the P. falciparum erythrocyte membrane protein 1 (PfEMP1) adhesins are exposed on the red blood cell surface bythese parasites, and the expression of the var gene family, which encodes 50-60 variants of PfEMP1......In Plasmodium falciparum infections the parasite transmission stages, the gametocytes, mature in 10 days sequestered in internal organs. Recent studies suggest that cell mechanical properties rather than adhesive interactions play a role in sequestration during gametocyte maturation. It remains...

  16. Plasmodium ookinetes coopt mammalian plasminogen to invade the mosquito midgut

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ghosh, Anil K; Coppens, Isabelle; Gårdsvoll, Henrik

    2011-01-01

    Ookinete invasion of the mosquito midgut is an essential step for the development of the malaria parasite in the mosquito. Invasion involves recognition between a presumed mosquito midgut receptor and an ookinete ligand. Here, we show that enolase lines the ookinete surface. An antienolase antibody...

  17. Bio-sensing with butterfly wings: naturally occurring nano-structures for SERS-based malaria parasite detection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garrett, Natalie L; Sekine, Ryo; Dixon, Matthew W A; Tilley, Leann; Bambery, Keith R; Wood, Bayden R

    2015-09-07

    Surface enhanced Raman scattering (SERS) is a powerful tool with great potential to provide improved bio-sensing capabilities. The current 'gold-standard' method for diagnosis of malaria involves visual inspection of blood smears using light microscopy, which is time consuming and can prevent early diagnosis of the disease. We present a novel surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy substrate based on gold-coated butterfly wings, which enabled detection of malarial hemozoin pigment within lysed blood samples containing 0.005% and 0.0005% infected red blood cells.

  18. Do the venous blood samples replicate malaria parasite densities found in capillary blood? A field study performed in naturally-infected asymptomatic children in Cameroon.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sandeu, Maurice M; Bayibéki, Albert N; Tchioffo, Majoline T; Abate, Luc; Gimonneau, Geoffrey; Awono-Ambéné, Parfait H; Nsango, Sandrine E; Diallo, Diadier; Berry, Antoine; Texier, Gaétan; Morlais, Isabelle

    2017-08-17

    The measure of new drug- or vaccine-based approaches for malaria control is based on direct membrane feeding assays (DMFAs) where gametocyte-infected blood samples are offered to mosquitoes through an artificial feeder system. Gametocyte donors are identified by the microscopic detection and quantification of malaria blood stages on blood films prepared using either capillary or venous blood. However, parasites are known to sequester in the microvasculature and this phenomenon may alter accurate detection of parasites in blood films. The blood source may then impact the success of mosquito feeding experiments and investigations are needed for the implementation of DMFAs under natural conditions. Thick blood smears were prepared from blood obtained from asymptomatic children attending primary schools in the vicinity of Mfou (Cameroon) over four transmission seasons. Parasite densities were determined microscopically from capillary and venous blood for 137 naturally-infected gametocyte carriers. The effect of the blood source on gametocyte and asexual stage densities was then assessed by fitting cumulative link mixed models (CLMM). DMFAs were performed to compare the infectiousness of gametocytes from the different blood sources to mosquitoes. Prevalence of Plasmodium falciparum asexual stages among asymptomatic children aged from 4 to 15 years was 51.8% (2116/4087). The overall prevalence of P. falciparum gametocyte carriage was 8.9% and varied from one school to another. No difference in the density of gametocyte and asexual stages was found between capillary and venous blood. Attempts to perform DMFAs with capillary blood failed. Plasmodium falciparum malaria parasite densities do not differ between capillary and venous blood in asymptomatic subjects for both gametocyte and trophozoite stages. This finding suggests that the blood source should not interfere with transmission efficiency in DMFAs.

  19. PfeIK1, a eukaryotic initiation factor 2α kinase of the human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum, regulates stress-response to amino-acid starvation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ranford-Cartwright Lisa

    2009-05-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Post-transcriptional control of gene expression is suspected to play an important role in malaria parasites. In yeast and metazoans, part of the stress response is mediated through phosphorylation of eukaryotic translation initiation factor 2α (eIF2α, which results in the selective translation of mRNAs encoding stress-response proteins. Methods The impact of starvation on the phosphorylation state of PfeIF2α was examined. Bioinformatic methods were used to identify plasmodial eIF2α kinases. The activity of one of these, PfeIK1, was investigated using recombinant protein with non-physiological substrates and recombinant PfeIF2α. Reverse genetic techniques were used to disrupt the pfeik1 gene. Results The data demonstrate that the Plasmodium falciparum eIF2α orthologue is phosphorylated in response to starvation, and provide bioinformatic evidence for the presence of three eIF2α kinases in P. falciparum, only one of which (PfPK4 had been described previously. Evidence is provided that one of the novel eIF2α kinases, PfeIK1, is able to phosphorylate the P. falciparum eIF2α orthologue in vitro. PfeIK1 is not required for asexual or sexual development of the parasite, as shown by the ability of pfeik1- parasites to develop into sporozoites. However, eIF2α phosphorylation in response to starvation is abolished in pfeik1- asexual parasites Conclusion This study strongly suggests that a mechanism for versatile regulation of translation by several kinases with a similar catalytic domain but distinct regulatory domains, is conserved in P. falciparum.

  20. Improving vector-borne pathogen surveillance: A laboratory-based study exploring the potential to detect dengue virus and malaria parasites in mosquito saliva.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Melanson, Vanessa R; Jochim, Ryan; Yarnell, Michael; Ferlez, Karen Bingham; Shashikumar, Soumya; Richardson, Jason H

    2017-01-01

    Vector-borne pathogen surveillance programmes typically rely on the collection of large numbers of potential vectors followed by screening protocols focused on detecting pathogens in the arthropods. These processes are laborious, time consuming, expensive, and require screening of large numbers of samples. To streamline the surveillance process, increase sample throughput, and improve cost-effectiveness, a method to detect dengue virus and malaria parasites (Plasmodium falciparum) by leveraging the sugar-feeding behaviour of mosquitoes and their habit of expectorating infectious agents in their saliva during feeding was investigated in this study. Dengue virus 2 (DENV-2) infected female Aedes aegypti mosquitoes and P. falciparum infected female Anopheles stephensi mosquitoes were allowed to feed on honey coated Flinders Technical Associates -FTA® cards dyed with blue food colouring. The feeding resulted in deposition of saliva containing either DENV-2 particles or P. falciparum sporozoites onto the FTA card. Nucleic acid was extracted from each card and the appropriate real-time PCR (qPCR) assay was run to detect the pathogen of interest. As little as one plaque forming unit (PFU) of DENV-2 and as few as 60 P. falciparum parasites deposited on FTA cards from infected mosquitoes were detected via qPCR. Hence, their use to collect mosquito saliva for pathogen detection is a relevant technique for vector surveillance. This study provides laboratory confirmation that FTA cards can be used to capture and stabilize expectorated DENV-2 particles and P. falciparum sporozoites from infectious, sugar-feeding mosquitoes in very low numbers. Thus, the FTA card-based mosquito saliva capture method offers promise to overcome current limitations and revolutionize traditional mosquito-based pathogen surveillance programmes. Field testing and further method development are required to optimize this strategy.

  1. A spatial individual-based model predicting a great impact of copious sugar sources and resting sites on survival of Anopheles gambiae and malaria parasite transmission

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhu, Lin; Qualls, Whitney A.; Marshall, John M; Arheart, Kris L.; DeAngelis, Donald L.; McManus, John W.; Traore, Sekou F.; Doumbia, Seydou; Schlein, Yosef; Muller, Gunter C.; Beier, John C.

    2015-01-01

    outdoor resting sites significantly increase the survival and human biting rates of An. gambiae mosquitoes. Survival of An. gambiae is more supported by random distribution of sugar sources than clustering of sugar sources around resting sites or houses. Density and spatial distribution of natural sugar sources and outdoor resting sites modulate vector populations and human biting rates, and thus malaria parasite transmission.

  2. Quantitative analysis of Plasmodium ookinete motion in three dimensions suggests a critical role for cell shape in the biomechanics of malaria parasite gliding motility.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kan, Andrey; Tan, Yan-Hong; Angrisano, Fiona; Hanssen, Eric; Rogers, Kelly L; Whitehead, Lachlan; Mollard, Vanessa P; Cozijnsen, Anton; Delves, Michael J; Crawford, Simon; Sinden, Robert E; McFadden, Geoffrey I; Leckie, Christopher; Bailey, James; Baum, Jake

    2014-05-01

    analysis suggests that the molecular basis of cell shape may, in addition to motor force, be a key adaptive strategy for malaria parasite dissemination and, as such, transmission. © 2014 The Authors. Cellular Microbiology published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  3. Malaria parasites: the great escape

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Laurent Rénia

    2016-11-01

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

  4. Informed decision-making before changing to RDT: a comparison of microscopy, rapid diagnostic test and molecular techniques for the diagnosis and identification of malaria parasites in Kassala, eastern Sudan.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Osman, Mamoun M M; Nour, Bakri Y M; Sedig, Mohamed F; De Bes, Laura; Babikir, Adil M; Mohamedani, Ahmed A; Mens, Petra F

    2010-12-01

    Rapid diagnostic tests (RDTs) are promoted for the diagnosis of malaria in many countries. The question arises whether laboratories where the current method of diagnosis is microscopy should also switch to RDT. This problem was studied in Kassala, Sudan where the issue of switching to RDT is under discussion. Two hundred and three blood samples were collected from febrile patients suspected of having malaria. These were subsequently analysed with microscopy, RDT (SD Bioline P.f/P.v) and PCR for the detection and identification of Plasmodium parasites. Malaria parasites were detected in 36 blood samples when examined microscopically, 54 (26.6%) samples were found positive for malaria parasites by RDT, and 44 samples were positive by PCR. Further analysis showed that the RDT used in our study resulted in a relatively high number of false positive samples. When microscopy was compared with PCR, an agreement of 96.1% and k = 0.88 (sensitivity 85.7% and specificity 100%) was found. However, when RDT was compared with PCR, an agreement of only 81.2 and k = 0.48 (sensitivity 69% and specificity 84%) was found. PCR has proven to be one of the most specific and sensitive diagnostic methods, particularly for malaria cases with low parasitaemia. However, this technique has limitations in its routine use under resource-limited conditions, such as our study location. At present, based on these results, microscopy remains the best option for routine diagnosis of malaria in Kassala, eastern Sudan. © 2010 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

  5. Phosphoinositide metabolism links cGMP-dependent protein kinase G to essential Ca²⁺ signals at key decision points in the life cycle of malaria parasites.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mathieu Brochet

    2014-03-01

    Full Text Available Many critical events in the Plasmodium life cycle rely on the controlled release of Ca²⁺ from intracellular stores to activate stage-specific Ca²⁺-dependent protein kinases. Using the motility of Plasmodium berghei ookinetes as a signalling paradigm, we show that the cyclic guanosine monophosphate (cGMP-dependent protein kinase, PKG, maintains the elevated level of cytosolic Ca²⁺ required for gliding motility. We find that the same PKG-dependent pathway operates upstream of the Ca²⁺ signals that mediate activation of P. berghei gametocytes in the mosquito and egress of Plasmodium falciparum merozoites from infected human erythrocytes. Perturbations of PKG signalling in gliding ookinetes have a marked impact on the phosphoproteome, with a significant enrichment of in vivo regulated sites in multiple pathways including vesicular trafficking and phosphoinositide metabolism. A global analysis of cellular phospholipids demonstrates that in gliding ookinetes PKG controls phosphoinositide biosynthesis, possibly through the subcellular localisation or activity of lipid kinases. Similarly, phosphoinositide metabolism links PKG to egress of P. falciparum merozoites, where inhibition of PKG blocks hydrolysis of phosphatidylinostitol (4,5-bisphosphate. In the face of an increasing complexity of signalling through multiple Ca²⁺ effectors, PKG emerges as a unifying factor to control multiple cellular Ca²⁺ signals essential for malaria parasite development and transmission.

  6. Detection of Malaria parasite species based on 18S rRNA and assessment of its resistance to the drug for DHPS gene to support the development of irradiation Malaria vaccine

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Mukh Syaifudin; Darlina; Siti Nurhayati

    2016-01-01

    Malaria remains a major public health problem because it causes 1-2 million mortality per year. Therefore the development of its vaccine, including vaccine created by ionizing radiation, is urgently needed to control the disease. Aim of this research was to determine the species of malaria parasite infecting the blood of malaria suspected patients and its resistance to sulfadoxine-pyrimethamine (SP). The number of samples used were 10 blood specimens that obtained from Dok II Hospital in Jayapura. Microscopic examination on thin blood smear was done according to standard procedure, followed by Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) based diagnosis to further confirm the parasite using 18S rRNA gene on deoxyribonucleic acid extract. The presence of mutation in the dhps (dihydropteroate synthetase) gene related to SP drugs was examined using restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP) method. Results showed that 9 samples were infected with Plasmodium falciparum and 1 infected with P. vivax. Allelic mutants of dhps gene at codon K540E were detected in 3 (33.3%) samples. Even though only in very limited number of samples analyzed, the information obtained will be a great value in additional knowledge for vaccine development with irradiation. (author)

  7. Wherever I may roam: protein and membrane trafficking in P. falciparum-infected red blood cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Deponte, Marcel; Hoppe, Heinrich C; Lee, Marcus C S; Maier, Alexander G; Richard, Dave; Rug, Melanie; Spielmann, Tobias; Przyborski, Jude M

    2012-12-01

    Quite aside from its immense importance as a human pathogen, studies in recent years have brought to light the fact that the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum is an interesting eukaryotic model system to study protein trafficking. Studying parasite cell biology often reveals an overrepresentation of atypical cell biological features, possibly driven by the parasites' need to survive in an unusual biological niche. Malaria parasites possess uncommon cellular compartments to which protein traffic must be directed, including secretory organelles such as rhoptries and micronemes, a lysosome-like compartment referred to as the digestive vacuole and a complex (four membrane-bound) plastid, the apicoplast. In addition, the parasite must provide proteins to extracellular compartments and structures including the parasitophorous vacuole, the parasitophorous vacuolar membrane, the Maurer's clefts and both cytosol and plasma membrane of the host cell, the mature human red blood cell. Although some of these unusual destinations are possessed by other cell types, only Plasmodium parasites contain them all within one cell. Here we review what is known about protein and membrane transport in the P. falciparum-infected cell, highlighting novel features of these processes. A growing body of evidence suggests that this parasite is a real "box of tricks" with regards to protein traffic. Possibly, these tricks may be turned against the parasite by exploiting them as novel therapeutic targets. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  8. Exotic woody plant invaders of the Transvaal

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    L. Henderson

    1984-12-01

    Full Text Available The frequency and abundance o ;f exotic, woody plant invaders were recorded in 60% of the quarter degree squares in the study area. Sixty-one invaders were encountered o f which the most important and aggressive were Acacia dealbaia, Populus spp.,  Melia azedarach, Opuntia ficus-indica, Salix babylonica and  Acacia mearnsii. Invasion patterns are discussed and an attempt is made to correlate distribution with environmental factors. Attention is drawn to the areas of greatest invasion and the areas that are liable to show the greatest expansion in the future.

  9. Effect of HIV and malaria parasites co-infection on immune-hematological profiles among patients attending anti-retroviral treatment (ART clinic in Infectious Disease Hospital Kano, Nigeria.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Feyisayo Ebenezer Jegede

    Full Text Available Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV and malaria co-infection may present worse health outcomes in the tropics. Information on HIV/malaria co-infection effect on immune-hematological profiles is critical for patient care and there is a paucity of such data in Nigeria.To evaluate immune-hematological profiles among HIV infected patients compared to HIV/malaria co-infected for ART management improvement.This was a cross sectional study conducted at Infectious Disease Hospital, Kano. A total of 761 consenting adults attending ART clinic were randomly selected and recruited between June and December 2015. Participants' characteristics and clinical details including two previous CD4 counts were collected. Venous blood sample (4ml was collected in EDTA tube for malaria parasite diagnosis by rapid test and confirmed with microscopy. Hematological profiles were analyzed by Sysmex XP-300 and CD4 count by Cyflow cytometry. Data was analyzed with SPSS 22.0 using Chi-Square test for association between HIV/malaria parasites co-infection with age groups, gender, ART, cotrimoxazole and usage of treated bed nets. Mean hematological profiles by HIV/malaria co-infection and HIV only were compared using independent t-test and mean CD4 count tested by mixed design repeated measures ANOVA. Statistical significant difference at probability of <0.05 was considered for all variables.Of the 761 HIV infected, 64% were females, with a mean age of ± (SD 37.30 (10.4 years. Prevalence of HIV/malaria co-infection was 27.7% with Plasmodium falciparum specie accounting for 99.1%. No statistical significant difference was observed between HIV/malaria co-infection in association to age (p = 0.498 and gender (p = 0.789. A significantly (p = 0.026 higher prevalence (35.2% of co-infection was observed among non-ART patients compared to (26% ART patients. Prevalence of co-infection was significantly lower (20.0% among cotrimoxazole users compared to those not on cotrimoxazole (37

  10. Dual stage synthesis and crucial role of cytoadherence-linked asexual gene 9 in the surface expression of malaria parasite var proteins

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Goel, Suchi; Valiyaveettil, Manojkumar; Achur, Rajeshwara N

    2010-01-01

    adherence. However, how CLAG9 influences this process remains unknown. In this study, we show that CLAG9 interacts with VAR2CSA, a PfEMP1 that mediates IRBC adherence to chondroitin 4-sulfate in the placenta. Importantly, our results show that the adherent parasites synthesize CLAG9 at two stages--the early......Plasmodium falciparum erythrocyte membrane protein 1 (PfEMP1) family members mediate the adherence of parasite-infected red blood cells (IRBCs) to various host receptors. A previous study has shown that the parasite protein, cytoadherence-linked asexual gene 9 (CLAG9), is also essential for IRBC...... within the parasite. Based on these findings, we propose that CLAG9 plays a critical role in the trafficking of PfEMP1s onto the IRBC surface. These results have important implications for the development of therapeutics for cerebral, placental, and other cytoadherence-associated malaria illnesses....

  11. The Plasmodium serine-type SERA proteases display distinct expression patterns and non-essential in vivo roles during life cycle progression of the malaria parasite.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Putrianti, Elyzana D; Schmidt-Christensen, Anja; Arnold, Iris; Heussler, Volker T; Matuschewski, Kai; Silvie, Olivier

    2010-06-01

    Parasite proteases play key roles in several fundamental steps of the Plasmodium life cycle, including haemoglobin degradation, host cell invasion and parasite egress. Plasmodium exit from infected host cells appears to be mediated by a class of papain-like cysteine proteases called 'serine repeat antigens' (SERAs). A SERA subfamily, represented by Plasmodium falciparum SERA5, contains an atypical active site serine residue instead of a catalytic cysteine. Members of this SERAser subfamily are abundantly expressed in asexual blood stages, rendering them attractive drug and vaccine targets. In this study, we show by antibody localization and in vivo fluorescent tagging with the red fluorescent protein mCherry that the two P. berghei serine-type family members, PbSERA1 and PbSERA2, display differential expression towards the final stages of merozoite formation. Via targeted gene replacement, we generated single and double gene knockouts of the P. berghei SERAser genes. These loss-of-function lines progressed normally through the parasite life cycle, suggesting a specialized, non-vital role for serine-type SERAs in vivo. Parasites lacking PbSERAser showed increased expression of the cysteine-type PbSERA3. Compensatory mechanisms between distinct SERA subfamilies may thus explain the absence of phenotypical defect in SERAser disruptants, and challenge the suitability to develop potent antimalarial drugs based on specific inhibitors of Plasmodium serine-type SERAs.

  12. Can Daphnia lumholtzi invade European lakes?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Meike Wittmann

    2013-03-01

    Full Text Available The cladoceran Daphnia lumholtzi is a subtropical and tropical zooplankter, and an invasive species in North America. Thus far, D. lumholtzi has not been detected in Europe. Here we investigated whether a hypothetical introduction to Europe could result in a successful invasion, either now or in the near future when facilitated by climate change. In laboratory experiments, we tested whether different clones of D. lumholtzi can invade a resident community consisting of native Daphnia from lake Klostersee, Germany, and how invasion success depends on temperature and the presence or absence of planktivorous fish. In some treatments, invasion success was consistently high, and D. lumholtzi reached densities similar to the native competitors by the end of the experiment. The presence of a planktivorous fish reduced the invasion success of D. lumholtzi, and a clone with an inducible defense against fish predation was a more successful invader than a permanently defended clone. Of the three temperatures tested in this study (15, 20, and 24 °C, invasion success was highest at 20 °C. To understand the competitive interaction between native and introduced Daphnia, we fit a Lotka-Volterra-type competition model to the population dynamics. Our experimental and modeling results suggest that D. lumholtzi can invade European lakes and can cause substantial declines in the population size of native Daphnia, with potential consequences for higher trophic levels.

  13. Hepatocellular carcinoma directly invading the duodenum

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Mohamed, Abdelrehman O.; Joshi, Sandhya; Czechowski, Janusz; Branicki, Frank

    2005-01-01

    Recurrent gastrointestinal bleeding from hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) invading the duodenum is very rare. We present a case of 50-year-old male who was admitted with a history of recurrent upper gastrointestinal tract (UGIT) bleeding, weight loss and anemia. The patient was known to have a chronic hepatitis C. Endoscopic examination showed grade-2 non-bleeding esophageal varices, and a large ulcerated duodenal mass partially obstructing the duodenal bulb outlet and causing recurrent UGIT bleeding. Pathological evaluation of the mass revealed HCC. (author)

  14. Quantifying Transmission Investment in Malaria Parasites.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Megan A Greischar

    2016-02-01

    Full Text Available Many microparasites infect new hosts with specialized life stages, requiring a subset of the parasite population to forgo proliferation and develop into transmission forms. Transmission stage production influences infectivity, host exploitation, and the impact of medical interventions like drug treatment. Predicting how parasites will respond to public health efforts on both epidemiological and evolutionary timescales requires understanding transmission strategies. These strategies can rarely be observed directly and must typically be inferred from infection dynamics. Using malaria as a case study, we test previously described methods for inferring transmission stage investment against simulated data generated with a model of within-host infection dynamics, where the true transmission investment is known. We show that existing methods are inadequate and potentially very misleading. The key difficulty lies in separating transmission stages produced by different generations of parasites. We develop a new approach that performs much better on simulated data. Applying this approach to real data from mice infected with a single Plasmodium chabaudi strain, we estimate that transmission investment varies from zero to 20%, with evidence for variable investment over time in some hosts, but not others. These patterns suggest that, even in experimental infections where host genetics and other environmental factors are controlled, parasites may exhibit remarkably different patterns of transmission investment.

  15. Compartmentation of redox metabolism in malaria parasites.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sebastian Kehr

    Full Text Available Malaria, caused by the apicomplexan parasite Plasmodium, still represents a major threat to human health and welfare and leads to about one million human deaths annually. Plasmodium is a rapidly multiplying unicellular organism undergoing a complex developmental cycle in man and mosquito - a life style that requires rapid adaptation to various environments. In order to deal with high fluxes of reactive oxygen species and maintain redox regulatory processes and pathogenicity, Plasmodium depends upon an adequate redox balance. By systematically studying the subcellular localization of the major antioxidant and redox regulatory proteins, we obtained the first complete map of redox compartmentation in Plasmodium falciparum. We demonstrate the targeting of two plasmodial peroxiredoxins and a putative glyoxalase system to the apicoplast, a non-photosynthetic plastid. We furthermore obtained a complete picture of the compartmentation of thioredoxin- and glutaredoxin-like proteins. Notably, for the two major antioxidant redox-enzymes--glutathione reductase and thioredoxin reductase--Plasmodium makes use of alternative-translation-initiation (ATI to achieve differential targeting. Dual localization of proteins effected by ATI is likely to occur also in other Apicomplexa and might open new avenues for therapeutic intervention.

  16. The distinct proteome of placental malaria parasites.

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Fried, Michal; Hixson, Kim K.; Anderson, Lori; Ogata, Yuko; Mutabingwa, Theonest K.; Duffy, Patrick E.

    2007-09-01

    Malaria proteins expressed on the surface of Plasmodium falciparum infected erythrocytes (IE) mediate adhesion and are targeted by protective immune responses. During pregnancy, IE sequester in the placenta. Placental IE bind to the molecule chondroitin sulfate A (CSA) and preferentially transcribe the gene that encodes VAR2CSA, a member of the PfEMP1 variant surface antigen family. Over successive pregnancies women develop specific immunity to CSA-binding IE and antibodies to VAR2CSA. We used tandem mass spectrometry together with accurate mass and time tag technology to study IE membrane fractions of placental parasites. VAR2CSA peptides were detected in placental IE and in IE from children, but the MC variant of VAR2CSA was specifically associated with placental IE. We identified six conserved hypothetical proteins with putative TM or signal peptides that were exclusively expressed by the placental IE, and 11 such proteins that were significantly more abundant in placental IE. One of these hypothetical proteins, PFI1785w, is a 42kDa molecule detected by Western blot in parasites infecting pregnant women but not those infecting children.

  17. Malaria parasite positivity among febrile neonates | Enyuma ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Background: Malaria, earlier considered rare in neonates, has been reported with increasing frequency in the last decade. Neonatal malaria diagnosis is challenging because the clinical features are non-specific, variable and also overlap with bacterial infection. Aim: To determine the prevalence of neonatal malaria and ...

  18. Evolution of competitive ability within Lonicera japonica's invaded range

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gregory A. Evans; Francis F. Kilkenny; Laura F. Galloway

    2013-01-01

    Factors influencing invasive taxa may change during the course of an invasion. For example, intraspecific competition is predicted to be more important in areas with older stands of dense monospecific invaders than at the margins of an invaded range. We evaluated evolution in response to predicted changes in competition by comparing the intraspecific competitive...

  19. Isolated Retroperitoneal Hydatid Cyst Invading Splenic Hilum

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Safak Ozturk

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Introduction. Hydatid disease (HD is an infestation that is caused by the larval stage of Echinococcus granulosus. The liver is affected in approximately two-thirds of patients, the lungs in 25%, and other organs in a small proportion. Primary retroperitoneal hydatid cyst is extremely rare. The most common complaint is abdominal pain; however, the clinical features of HD may be generally dependent on the location of the cyst. Case Presentation. A 43-year-old female was admitted with the complaint of abdominal pain. Her physical examination was normal. Computed tomography (CT revealed a 17 × 11 cm cystic lesion, with a thick and smooth wall that is located among the left liver lobe, diaphragm, spleen, tail of the pancreas, and transverse colon and invading the splenic hilum. Total cystectomy and splenectomy were performed. Pathological examination was reported as cyst hydatid. Discussion. Cysts in the peritoneal cavity are mainly the result of the spontaneous or traumatic rupture of concomitant hepatic cysts or surgical inoculation of a hepatic cyst. Serological tests contribute to diagnosis. In symptomatic and large hydatid peritoneal cysts, surgical resection is the only curative treatment. Total cystectomy is the gold standard. Albendazole or praziquantel is indicated for inoperable and disseminated cases. Percutaneous aspiration, injection, and reaspiration (PAIR technique is another nonsurgical option.

  20. Diffuse infiltrating retinoblastoma invading subarachnoid space

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kase S

    2011-06-01

    Full Text Available Satoru Kase1, Kazuhiko Yoshida1, Shigenobu Suzuki2, Koh-ichi Ohshima3, Shigeaki Ohno4, Susumu Ishida11Department of Ophthalmology, Hokkaido University Graduate School of Medicine, Sapporo; 2Department of Ophthalmic Oncology, National Cancer Center Hospital, Tokyo; 3Section of Ophthalmology, Okayama Medical Center, Okayama; 4Department of Ocular Inflammation and Immunology, Hokkaido University Graduate School of Medicine, Sapporo, JapanAbstract: We report herein an unusual case of diffuse infiltrating retinoblastoma involving the brain, which caused a patient’s death 27 months after enucleation. An eight-year-old boy complained of blurred vision in his right eye (OD in October 2006. Funduscopic examination showed optic disc swelling, dense whitish vitreous opacity, and an orange-colored subretinal elevated lesion adjacent to the optic disc. Fluorescein angiography revealed hyperfluorescence in the peripapillary region at an early-phase OD. Because the size of the subretinal lesion and vitreous opacity gradually increased, he was referred to us. His visual acuity was 20/1000 OD on June 20, 2007. Slit-lamp biomicroscopy showed a dense anterior vitreous opacity. Ophthalmoscopically, the subretinal orange-colored area spread out until reaching the mid peripheral region. A B-mode sonogram and computed tomography showed a thick homogeneous lesion without calcification. Gadolinium-enhanced magnetic resonance imaging showed a markedly enhanced appearance of the underlying posterior retina. Enucleation of the right eye was performed nine months after the initial presentation. Histopathology demonstrated retinal detachment and a huge choroidal mass invading the optic nerve head. The tumor was consistent with diffuse infiltrating retinoblastoma. The patient died due to brain involvement 27 months after enucleation. Ophthalmologists should be aware that diffuse infiltrating retinoblastoma may show an unfavorable course if its diagnosis is delayed

  1. Saddam Hussein's Decision to Invade Kuwait - Where Was Plan B

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Culpepper, Frances R

    1997-01-01

    ... in his decision to invade Kuwait in August 1990 Surveying the damage to the Iraqi economy following the Iran-Iraq war, Saddam knew that insufficient resources would force hum to shelve any domestic program...

  2. Genomic signatures of rapid adaptive evolution in the bluespotted cornetfish, a Mediterranean Lessepsian invader.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bernardi, Giacomo; Azzurro, Ernesto; Golani, Daniel; Miller, Michael Ryan

    2016-07-01

    Biological invasions are increasingly creating ecological and economical problems both on land and in aquatic environments. For over a century, the Mediterranean Sea has steadily been invaded by Indian Ocean/Red Sea species (called Lessepsian invaders) via the Suez Canal, with a current estimate of ~450 species. The bluespotted cornetfish, Fistularia commersonii, considered a 'Lessepsian sprinter', entered the Mediterranean in 2000 and by 2007 had spread through the entire basin from Israel to Spain. The situation is unique and interesting both because of its unprecedented rapidity and by the fact that it took this species c. 130 years to immigrate into the Mediterranean. Using genome scans, with restriction site-associated DNA (RAD) sequencing, we evaluated neutral and selected genomic regions for Mediterranean vs. Red Sea cornetfish individuals. We found that few fixed neutral changes were detectable among populations. However, almost half of the genes associated with the 47 outlier loci (potentially under selection) were related to disease resistance and osmoregulation. Due to the short time elapsed from the beginning of the invasion to our sampling, we interpret these changes as signatures of rapid adaptation that may be explained by several mechanisms including preadaptation and strong local selection. Such genomic regions are therefore good candidates to further study their role in invasion success. © 2016 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  3. Rifins, rosetting, and red blood cells

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Wang, Christian W; Hviid, Lars

    2015-01-01

    The binding of multiple uninfected erythrocytes to a central malaria parasite-infected erythrocyte (IE) is called rosetting. Rosetting has been associated with severe disease, but its functional significance,and the host receptors and parasite ligands involved are only partially known. A recent s...

  4. Invaders interfere with native parasite-host interactions

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2009-01-01

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

  5. Comparison of ground beetle (Coleoptera: Carabidae) assemblages in Rocky Mountain savannas invaded and un-invaded by an exotic forb, spotted knapweed

    Science.gov (United States)

    Allison K. Hansen; Yvette K. Ortega; Diana L. Six

    2009-01-01

    We compared ground beetle (Carabidae) assemblages between spotted knapweed (Centaurea maculosa Lam.) -invaded (invaded) and un-invaded (native) habitats in Rocky Mountain savannas. Carabids play important roles in biotic communities and are known as a good indictor group of environmental change. Carabid species activity-abundance and diversity were estimated, and...

  6. Deja vu? A second mytilid mussel, Semimytilus algosus , invades ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    A second marine mussel is shown to have invaded South Africa's west coast. Molecular techniques, based on intraspecific gene sequence divergences, prove its identity as Semimytilus algosus, a member of the family Mytilidae, native to Chile. The identity of an older introduced population found in Namibia is also ...

  7. Assessment of insect invaders of decaying banana and plantain ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Insect invaders of decaying banana and plantain pseudo stems in Umuagwo, Ohaji-Egbema, Imo State were investigated in randomly selected crop plots near living homes (<500 m) and far from living homes (.500m). Investigation was done by the use of trapping systems, dissections of cut decaying pseudo stems and ...

  8. Total or partial vertebrectomy for lung cancer invading the spine

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Soichi Oka

    2016-12-01

    Conclusions: In our experience, Lung cancer surgery combined with vertebrectomy is highly aggressive surgery associated with high morbidity. But, this procedure is a promising treatment option for selected patients, for example N0M0 disease with lung cancer invading the spine.

  9. Prospects for extirpating small populations of the wetland invader ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The broad-leaved paper bark tree Melaleuca quinquenervia is a major invader in the wetlands of the Florida Everglades, USA. In South Africa, this introduced species is known from eight locality records and is naturalising at two of these sites. The potential for its spread to other wetlands and estuaries is of concern.

  10. Surgical outcomes of hepatocellular carcinoma invading hepatocaval confluence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Wei; Wu, Hong; Han, Jun

    2016-12-01

    Combined liver and inferior vena cava (IVC) resection followed by IVC and/or hepatic vein reconstruction (HVR) is a curative operation for selected patients with hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) invading the hepatocaval confluence. The present study aimed to elucidate the prognostic factors for patients with HCC invading the hepatocaval confluence. Forty-two consecutive patients underwent hepatectomy, combined with IVC replacement and/or HVR for HCC between January 2009 and December 2014 were included in this study. The cases were divided into three groups based on the surgical approaches of HVR: group 1 (n=13), tumor invaded the hepatocaval confluence but with one or two hepatic veins intact in the residual liver, thus only the replacement of IVC, not HVR; group 2 (n=23), the hepatic vein of the residual liver was also partially invaded, and the hepatic vein defect was repaired with patches locally; group 3 (n=6), three hepatic veins at the hepatocaval confluence were infiltrated, and the hepatic vein remnant was re-implanted onto the side of the tube graft. The patient characteristics, intra- and postoperative results, and long-term overall survival were compared among the three groups. The survival-related factors were analyzed by univariate and multivariate analysis. The group 1 had higher preoperative alpha-fetoprotein level (PHVR (PHVR (group 1). HVR was one of the unfavorable prognostic factors of overall survival.

  11. Patterns of seed dispersal and establishment of the invader ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Invasive species in Africa have important impacts on food security and biodiversity conservation. African floodplains in arid areas are critical wildlife habitats in addition to crop production and dry season livestock grazing. The study aimed to understand the patterns of spread of the invader Prosopis juliflora in a typical ...

  12. Parasites of the raccoon dog – an invading species

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Al-Sabi, Mohammad Nafi Solaiman; Hammer, A. S.; Chriél, Mariann

    2012-01-01

    Invasive species have a marked negative influence on the biodiversity of ecosystems and may contribute to the transmission of diseases. During the 1920s until 1950s, thousands of Raccoon dogs were deliberately introduces to the eastern European countries from the Far East, in order to enrich...... the wild with this new valuable fur animal. The Raccoon dog is considered the most successful invading mammal in Europe, and in the last 20 years, it has invaded the western part of Denmark, namely Jutland. The Danish ministry of Environment reacted to the new threat by deciding to eradicate this species...... species were isolated from both hosts; however, foxes harboured more helminth species per infected animal (average 3,1 helminth species/fox) than raccoon dogs (average 1,7 helminth species/raccoon dog). Prevalences of nematodes (Uncinaria stenocephala, Toxocara canis and Toxascaris leonine) and cestodes...

  13. Metabolic characterization of invaded cells of the pancreatic cancer cell line, PANC?1

    OpenAIRE

    Fujita, Mayumi; Imadome, Kaori; Imai, Takashi

    2017-01-01

    We previously reported that about 0.4% of cells in the cultured human pancreatic cancer cell line, PANC?1, can invade matrigel during the transwell invasion assay, suggesting that these invaded PANC?1 cells may have specific characteristics to keep their invasive potential. To identify the metabolic characterization specific in the invaded PANC?1 cells, metabolome analysis of the invaded PANC?1 compared with the whole cultured PANC?1 was performed using CE?TOFMS, and concentrations of 110 met...

  14. Alien plants in urban nature reserves: from red-list species to future invaders

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Jarošík, Vojtěch; Pyšek, Petr; Kadlec, T.

    2011-01-01

    Roč. 10, - (2011), s. 27-46 ISSN 1619-0033 R&D Projects: GA ČR GA206/09/0563; GA MŠk LC06073 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z60050516 Keywords : plant invasions * nature reserve * threatened species Subject RIV: EF - Botanics

  15. Traits of Heracleum sosnowskyi Plants in Monostand on Invaded Area.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Igor V Dalke

    Full Text Available The ability of giant hogweeds to form monodominant communities and even pure monostands in invaded areas has been well documented. Understanding of the mechanisms leading to monostand formation can aid in determining the limitations of existing community ecology models and establishing an effective management plan for invasive species elimination. The aim of this observational study was to investigate traits of Heracleum sosnowskyi plants (demography, canopy structure, morphology and physiology of the plants in a pure stand in an invaded area useful for understanding potential monostand formation mechanisms. All measurements were performed in one typical Heracleum sosnowskyi monostand located in an abandoned agriculture field located in Syktyvkar city suburb (North-east Russia. This monostand consisted of five main plant growth stages: seed, seedling, juvenile, vegetative adult, and generative adult. Plants of all stages began to grow simultaneously shortly after the snowmelt, at the same time as spring ephemeral plant species grew. The density of generative plants did not change during the vegetation period, but the density of the other plant stages rapidly decreased after the formation of a tall (up to 2-2.5 m and dense (Leaf area index up to 6.5 canopy. The canopy captured approximately 97% of the light. H. sosnowskyi showed high (several orders of magnitude higher than average taiga zone grasses photosynthetic water use efficiency (6-7 μM CO2/μM H2O. Formation of H. sosnowskyi monostands occurs primarily in disturbed areas with relatively rich and well-moistened soils. Early commencement of growth, rapid formation of a dense canopy, high efficiency of light and water use during photosynthesis, ability of young plants to survive in low light conditions, rapid recovery of above-ground plant parts after damage, and the high density of the soil seed bank are the most important traits of H. sosnowskyi plants for monostand formation in invaded

  16. Area 51: How do Acanthamoeba invade the central nervous system?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Siddiqui, Ruqaiyyah; Emes, Richard; Elsheikha, Hany; Khan, Naveed Ahmed

    2011-05-01

    Acanthamoeba granulomatous encephalitis generally develops as a result of haematogenous spread, but it is unclear how circulating amoebae enter the central nervous system (CNS) and cause inflammation. At present, the mechanisms which Acanthamoeba use to invade this incredibly well-protected area of the CNS and produce infection are not well understood. In this paper, we propose two key virulence factors: mannose-binding protein and extracellular serine proteases as key players in Acanthamoeba traversal of the blood-brain barrier leading to neuronal injury. Both molecules should provide excellent opportunities as potential targets in the rational development of therapeutic interventions against Acanthamoeba encephalitis. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  17. Effects of a Major Tree Invader on Urban Woodland Arthropods

    Science.gov (United States)

    2015-01-01

    Biological invasions are a major threat to biodiversity; however, the degree of impact can vary depending on the ecosystem and taxa. Here, we test whether a top invader at a global scale, the tree Robinia pseudoacacia (black locust or false acacia), which is known to profoundly change site conditions, significantly affects urban animal diversity. As a first multi-taxon study of this kind, we analyzed the effects of Robinia dominance on 18 arthropod taxa by pairwise comparisons of woodlands in Berlin, Germany, that were dominated by R. pseudoacacia or the native pioneer tree Betula pendula. As a negative effect, abundances of five arthropod taxa decreased (Chilopoda, Formicidae, Diptera, Heteroptera, Hymenoptera); 13 others were not affected. Woodland type affected species composition of carabids and functional groups in spiders, but surprisingly did not decrease alpha and beta diversity of carabid and spider assemblages or the number of endangered species. Tree invasion thus did not induce biotic homogenization at the habitat scale. We detected no positive effects of alien dominance. Our results illustrate that invasions by a major tree invader can induce species turnover in ground-dwelling arthropods, but do not necessarily reduce arthropod species abundances or diversity and might thus contribute to the conservation of epigeal invertebrates in urban settings. Considering the context of invasion impacts thus helps to set priorities in managing biological invasions and can illustrate the potential of novel ecosystems to maintain urban biodiversity. PMID:26359665

  18. Effects of a Major Tree Invader on Urban Woodland Arthropods.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sascha Buchholz

    Full Text Available Biological invasions are a major threat to biodiversity; however, the degree of impact can vary depending on the ecosystem and taxa. Here, we test whether a top invader at a global scale, the tree Robinia pseudoacacia (black locust or false acacia, which is known to profoundly change site conditions, significantly affects urban animal diversity. As a first multi-taxon study of this kind, we analyzed the effects of Robinia dominance on 18 arthropod taxa by pairwise comparisons of woodlands in Berlin, Germany, that were dominated by R. pseudoacacia or the native pioneer tree Betula pendula. As a negative effect, abundances of five arthropod taxa decreased (Chilopoda, Formicidae, Diptera, Heteroptera, Hymenoptera; 13 others were not affected. Woodland type affected species composition of carabids and functional groups in spiders, but surprisingly did not decrease alpha and beta diversity of carabid and spider assemblages or the number of endangered species. Tree invasion thus did not induce biotic homogenization at the habitat scale. We detected no positive effects of alien dominance. Our results illustrate that invasions by a major tree invader can induce species turnover in ground-dwelling arthropods, but do not necessarily reduce arthropod species abundances or diversity and might thus contribute to the conservation of epigeal invertebrates in urban settings. Considering the context of invasion impacts thus helps to set priorities in managing biological invasions and can illustrate the potential of novel ecosystems to maintain urban biodiversity.

  19. Effects of a Major Tree Invader on Urban Woodland Arthropods.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Buchholz, Sascha; Tietze, Hedwig; Kowarik, Ingo; Schirmel, Jens

    2015-01-01

    Biological invasions are a major threat to biodiversity; however, the degree of impact can vary depending on the ecosystem and taxa. Here, we test whether a top invader at a global scale, the tree Robinia pseudoacacia (black locust or false acacia), which is known to profoundly change site conditions, significantly affects urban animal diversity. As a first multi-taxon study of this kind, we analyzed the effects of Robinia dominance on 18 arthropod taxa by pairwise comparisons of woodlands in Berlin, Germany, that were dominated by R. pseudoacacia or the native pioneer tree Betula pendula. As a negative effect, abundances of five arthropod taxa decreased (Chilopoda, Formicidae, Diptera, Heteroptera, Hymenoptera); 13 others were not affected. Woodland type affected species composition of carabids and functional groups in spiders, but surprisingly did not decrease alpha and beta diversity of carabid and spider assemblages or the number of endangered species. Tree invasion thus did not induce biotic homogenization at the habitat scale. We detected no positive effects of alien dominance. Our results illustrate that invasions by a major tree invader can induce species turnover in ground-dwelling arthropods, but do not necessarily reduce arthropod species abundances or diversity and might thus contribute to the conservation of epigeal invertebrates in urban settings. Considering the context of invasion impacts thus helps to set priorities in managing biological invasions and can illustrate the potential of novel ecosystems to maintain urban biodiversity.

  20. Metabolic characterization of invaded cells of the pancreatic cancer cell line, PANC-1.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fujita, Mayumi; Imadome, Kaori; Imai, Takashi

    2017-05-01

    We previously reported that about 0.4% of cells in the cultured human pancreatic cancer cell line, PANC-1, can invade matrigel during the transwell invasion assay, suggesting that these invaded PANC-1 cells may have specific characteristics to keep their invasive potential. To identify the metabolic characterization specific in the invaded PANC-1 cells, metabolome analysis of the invaded PANC-1 compared with the whole cultured PANC-1 was performed using CE-TOFMS, and concentrations of 110 metabolites were measured. In contrast to the whole cultured cells, the invaded PANC-1 was characterized as a population with reduced levels of amino acids and TCA cycle intermediates, and decreased and increased intermediates in glycolysis and nucleic acid metabolism. In particular, the ratio of both adenosine and guanosine energy charge was reduced in the invaded cells, revealing that the consumption of ATP and GTP was high in the invaded cells, and thus suggesting that ATP- or GTP-generating pathways are stimulated. In addition, the GSH/GSSG ratio was low in the invaded cells, but these cells had a higher surviving fraction after exposure to hydrogen peroxide. Thus, the invaded cells were the population resistant to oxidative stress. Furthermore, reduction in intracellular GSH content inhibited PANC-1 invasiveness, indicated that GSH has an important role in PANC-1 invasiveness. Overall, we propose the invaded cells have several unique metabolic profiles. © 2017 The Authors. Cancer Science published by John Wiley & Sons Australia, Ltd on behalf of Japanese Cancer Association.

  1. Detection of malaria parasites by microscopy and rapid diagnostic ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The effectiveness of Rapid Diagnostic Test Kit (RDT) was compared with microscopy for the evaluation of malaria infection in children and pregnant women attending two selected health facilities in Lagos State, south-western, Nigeria. A total of 482 patients comprising 252 pregnant women (mean age: 26.86±4.46 years) ...

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yaye Ramatoulaye Lawaly

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

  3. Mosquito transmission of the rodent malaria parasite Plasmodium chabaudi

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Spence Philip J

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Serial blood passage of Plasmodium increases virulence, whilst mosquito transmission inherently regulates parasite virulence within the mammalian host. It is, therefore, imperative that all aspects of experimental malaria research are studied in the context of the complete Plasmodium life cycle. Methods Plasmodium chabaudi chabaudi displays many characteristics associated with human Plasmodium infection of natural mosquito vectors and the mammalian host, and thus provides a unique opportunity to study the pathogenesis of malaria in a single infection setting. An optimized protocol that permits efficient and reproducible vector transmission of P. c. chabaudi via Anopheles stephensi was developed. Results and conclusions This protocol was utilized for mosquito transmission of genetically distinct P. c. chabaudi isolates, highlighting differential parasite virulence within the mosquito vector and the spectrum of host susceptibility to infection initiated via the natural route, mosquito bite. An apposite experimental system in which to delineate the pathogenesis of malaria is described in detail.

  4. Comparative Genomics and Systems Biology of Malaria Parasites Plasmodium

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cai, Hong; Zhou, Zhan; Gu, Jianying; Wang, Yufeng

    2013-01-01

    Malaria is a serious infectious disease that causes over one million deaths yearly. It is caused by a group of protozoan parasites in the genus Plasmodium. No effective vaccine is currently available and the elevated levels of resistance to drugs in use underscore the pressing need for novel antimalarial targets. In this review, we survey omics centered developments in Plasmodium biology, which have set the stage for a quantum leap in our understanding of the fundamental processes of the parasite life cycle and mechanisms of drug resistance and immune evasion. PMID:24298232

  5. Mitosis in the Human Malaria Parasite Plasmodium falciparum ▿

    OpenAIRE

    Gerald, Noel; Mahajan, Babita; Kumar, Sanjai

    2011-01-01

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

  6. African origin of the malaria parasite Plasmodium vivax.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  7. African origin of the malaria parasite Plasmodium vivax

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  8. Malaria parasite evasion of classical complement pathway attack

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Larsen, Mads Delbo; Ditlev, Sisse; Olmos, Rafael Bayarri

    2017-01-01

    of the protective antibodies that are gradually acquired in response to P. falciparum-IEs. Although this response is dominated by IgG1 and IgG3, complement-mediated attack following activation of the classical pathway does not appear to be a major effector mechanism. We hypothesized that this is related to the knob...... is that the knob-restricted expression of PfEMP1 on the IE surface may serve as a hitherto unappreciated immune evasion mechanism employed by P. falciparum parasites....

  9. Malaria Parasite Infection and Chloroquine-Induced Pruritus: The ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    induced body scratching, whereas, the histaminergic system was implicated in CQ-induced itching. Keywords: Rats, parasitaemia, chloroquine, opioids, antihistamine, naltrexone. West African Journal of Pharmacology and Drug Research Vol.

  10. Establishing malaria parasite transfection technology in South Africa.

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Van Brummelen, AC

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available reported to have bidirectional promoter activity, was utilized to drive expression through two genes (i.e. the antibiotic-resistance gene, human dhfr and the reporter gene) in a head-to-head orientation. In addition, protocols were adjusted by including DNA...

  11. Gestational and placental malaria parasites in pregnant mothers ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Also other blood parameters including Packed Cell Volume (PCV) and blood group were also determined using WHO standard methods. Personal information including information on gravidity and trimester was obtained through interviews and pre-designed questionnaires. Thirty-nine (39) of the pregnant women were ...

  12. Prevalence and associated determinants of malaria parasites among Kenyan children.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sultana, Marufa; Sheikh, Nurnabi; Mahumud, Rashidul Alam; Jahir, Tania; Islam, Ziaul; Sarker, Abdur Razzaque

    2017-01-01

    Approximately 80% of deaths attributed to malaria worldwide occurred mainly in Africa in 2015. Kenya is one of the major malaria endemic countries, making malaria the leading public health concern in this country. This study intended to document the prevalence of malaria and determine associated factors including socioeconomic status among children aged 6 months to 14 years in Kenya. This study analyzed the secondary data extracted from the 2015 Kenya Malaria Indicator Survey (KMIS), a cross-sectional country representative survey. Associations of demographic, socioeconomic, community-based, and behavioral factors with the prevalence of malaria in children were analyzed using multivariable logistic regression analysis. Data from 7040 children aged 6 months to 14 years were analyzed. The prevalence of malaria showed an upward trend in terms of age, with the highest prevalence among children aged 11-14 years. Prevalence was also higher among rural children (10.16%) compared to urban children (2.93%), as well as poor children (11.05%) compared to rich children (3.23%). The likelihood of having malaria was higher among children aged 10-14 years (AOR = 4.47, 95% CI = 3.33, 6.02; P level of the household head (AOR = 1.15, 95% CI = 1.08, 2.25; P knowledge in practice to control the malaria burden in Kenya. Furthermore, this study suggests that improving the information available through the mass media and introducing behavior change communication and intervention program specifically for those of poor socioeconomic status will help to reduce malaria cases.

  13. Establishing malaria parasite transfection technology in South Africa

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Van Brummelen, AC

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available -richness and intracellular location of the organism. As a result such successful transfection often requires prolonged periods (up to 2-3 months) of constant and patient culturing and selection. In addition, plasmids usually have a complicated composition and require lengthy...

  14. Communal prevalence of malaria parasite and evaluation of Long ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    This study investigates the prevalence of malaria and evaluates Long Lasting Insecticide Nets (LLINs) utilization for malaria control in Ikenne LGA, Ogun State, Nigeria. A cross-sectional survey was conducted in five major communities in Ikenne Local Government Area (LGA) namely: Ilisan, Ikenne, Iperu, Ogere and Irolu.

  15. An invaded invader: high prevalence of entocytherid ostracods on the red swamp crayfish Procambarus clarkii (Girard, 1852) in the Eastern Iberian Peninsula

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Aguilar-Alberola, J. A.; Mesquita-Joanes, F.; López, S.; Mestre, A.; Casanova, J. C.; Rueda, J.; Ribas, Alexis

    2012-01-01

    Roč. 688, č. 1 (2012), s. 63-73 ISSN 0018-8158 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z60930519 Keywords : Ostracoda * Commensalism * Alien species * Biological invasion Subject RIV: EG - Zoology Impact factor: 1.985, year: 2012

  16. Preoperative radiation therapy for muscle-invading bladder carcinoma

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Cox, J.A.; Greven, K.M.; Anscher, M.S.; Morgan, T.M.; Scott, J.

    1991-01-01

    This paper reports on low-dose and high-dose radiation therapy (RT) followed by cystectomy for bladder carcinoma that was evaluated for survival, failure patterns, and complications as these outcomes have been incompletely documented in the past. One hundred five patients with clinical stages T2-T4 (muscle-invading) transitional cell carcinoma of the bladder who completed preoperative RT followed by total cystectomy were evaluated. Eighty-five patients received 20-27 Gy in 4-7 fractions (group A). Twenty patients received 40-50 Gy in 20-28 fractions (group B). Actuarial 5-year survival was 45% and 29% (P = .06) for groups A and B, respectively; 6% of group A was stage T4 compared with 30% of group B. Five-year actuarial survival for patients with stages T2-T3 in groups A and B was 46% and 42%, respectively, while that for T4 was 33% and 0% in groups A and B, respectively. Multivariate analysis revealed that stage, grade, and presence of hydronephrosis independently affected survival. Five-year actuarial local control rates for T2, T3, and T4 were 93%, 93%, and 22%, respectively, with no significant difference between RT groups. Rates of distant metastasis and complications versus preoperative regime and stage were similar

  17. Vegetative Regeneration Capacities of Five Ornamental Plant Invaders After Shredding

    Science.gov (United States)

    Monty, Arnaud; Eugène, Marie; Mahy, Grégory

    2015-02-01

    Vegetation management often involves shredding to dispose of cut plant material or to destroy the vegetation itself. In the case of invasive plants, this can represent an environmental risk if the shredded material exhibits vegetative regeneration capacities. We tested the effect of shredding on aboveground and below-ground vegetative material of five ornamental widespread invaders in Western Europe that are likely to be managed by cutting and shredding techniques: Buddleja davidii (butterfly bush, Scrophulariaceae), Fallopia japonica (Japanese knotweed, Polygonaceae), Spiraea × billardii Hérincq (Billard's bridewort, Rosaceae), Solidago gigantea (giant goldenrod, Asteraceae), and Rhus typhina L. (staghorn sumac, Anacardiaceae). We looked at signs of vegetative regeneration and biomass production, and analyzed the data with respect to the season of plant cutting (spring vs summer), the type of plant material (aboveground vs below-ground), and the shredding treatment (shredded vs control). All species were capable of vegetative regeneration, especially the below-ground material. We found differences among species, but the regeneration potential was generally still present after shredding despite a reduction of growth rates. Although it should not be excluded in all cases (e.g., destruction of giant goldenrod and staghorn sumac aboveground material), the use of a shredder to destroy woody alien plant material cannot be considered as a general management option without significant environmental risk.

  18. Experimental control of Spanish broom (Spartium junceum invading natural grasslands

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cristina Sanhueza

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available A group of legumes generically known as brooms are among the most successful shrubs invading grasslands in South America and otherregions. These species share a set of biological features that enhance their invasiveness, such as abundant and long-lasting seed banks,aggressive root systems and rapid growth, combined with their ability for re-sprouting after cutting or burning and for avoiding herbivores.They grow in dense stands that exclude native vegetation and are able to change ecological processes, increasing fire frequency and intensity,and fixing atmospheric nitrogen. The Spanish broom (Spartium junceum is a shrub native form the Mediterranean that was introduced intothe Argentine Pampas grasslands where it spreads over remnants of pristine ecosystems, threatening their biodiversity. This paper reports theresults obtained after an adaptive management strategy aimed at controlling this species in a nature reserve, and compares the efficiency ofdifferent mechanical and chemical control techniques in terms of the number of plants killed and the effects on surrounding vegetation andon the recruitment of broom seedlings. Control was implemented in two phases, the first included three treatments: i cut at the base of theplant, ii cut followed by the immediate application of Togar (Picloram 3% + Triclopyr 6%, at a 5% dilution in diesel oil on top of the cut stump, and iii foliar spraying with Togar. The follow-up treatments, implemented one year later, consisted of spraying the re-sprouts with Togar (5% in diesel oil or Glyphosate 36% (2% in water. The best option in terms of controlling Spanish broom was spraying the resprouts with Togar which gave 100% mortality of the treated plants, compared with values of 40% - 100% re-sprouting for the other optionstested. None of the methods was associated with an increase in seedling recruitment, nor with significant changes in the vegetation in the immediate vicinity of the controlled brooms.

  19. Ecosystem impacts of exotic annual invaders in the Genus Bromus

    Science.gov (United States)

    Germino, Matthew J.; Belnap, Jayne; Stark, John M.; Allen, Edith B.; Rau, Benjamin M.

    2016-01-01

    An understanding of the impacts of exotic plant species on ecosystems is necessary to justify and guide efforts to limit their spread, restore natives, and plan for conservation. Invasive annual grasses such as Bromus tectorum, B. rubens, B. hordeaceus, and B. diandrus (hereafter collectively referred to as Bromus) transform the structure and function of ecosystems they dominate. Experiments that prove cause-and-effect impacts of Bromus are rare, yet inferences can be gleaned from the combination of Bromus-ecosystem associations, ecosystem condition before/after invasion, and an understanding of underlying mechanisms. Bromus typically establishes in bare soil patches and can eventually replace perennials such as woody species or bunchgrasses, creating a homogeneous annual cover. Plant productivity and cover are less stable across seasons and years when Bromus dominates, due to a greater response to annual climate variability. Bromus’ “flash” of growth followed by senescence early in the growing season, combined with shallow rooting and annual habit, may lead to incomplete use of deep soil water, reduced C sequestration, and accelerated nutrient cycling. Litter produced by Bromus alters nearly all aspects of ecosystems and notably increases wildfire occurrence. Where Bromus has become dominant, it can decrease soil stability by rendering soils bare for months following fire or episodic, pathogen-induced stand failure. Bromus-invaded communities have lower species diversity, and associated species tend to be generalists adapted to unstable and variable habitats. Changes in litter, fire, and soil properties appear to feedback to reinforce Bromus’ dominance in a pattern that portends desertification.

  20. Grassland invader responses to realistic changes in native species richness.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rinella, Matthew J; Pokorny, Monica L; Rekaya, Romdhane

    2007-09-01

    The importance of species richness for repelling exotic plant invasions varies from ecosystem to ecosystem. Thus, in order to prioritize conservation objectives, it is critical to identify those ecosystems where decreasing richness will most greatly magnify invasion risks. Our goal was to determine if invasion risks greatly increase in response to common reductions in grassland species richness. We imposed treatments that mimic management-induced reductions in grassland species richness (i.e., removal of shallow- and/or deep-rooted forbs and/or grasses and/or cryptogam layers). Then we introduced and monitored the performance of a notorious invasive species (i.e., Centaurea maculosa). We found that, on a per-gram-of-biomass basis, each resident plant group similarly suppressed invader growth. Hence, with respect to preventing C. maculosa invasions, maintaining overall productivity is probably more important than maintaining the productivity of particular plant groups or species. But at the sites we studied, all plant groups may be needed to maintain overall productivity because removing forbs decreased overall productivity in two of three years. Alternatively, removing forbs increased productivity in another year, and this led us to posit that removing forbs may inflate the temporal productivity variance as opposed to greatly affecting time-averaged productivity. In either case, overall productivity responses to single plant group removals were inconsistent and fairly modest, and only when all plant groups were removed did C. maculosa growth increase substantially over a no-removal treatment. As such, it seems that intense disturbances (e.g., prolonged drought, overgrazing) that deplete multiple plant groups may often be a prerequisite for C. maculosa invasion.

  1. The homeostasis of Plasmodium falciparum-infected red blood cells.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jakob M A Mauritz

    2009-04-01

    Full Text Available The asexual reproduction cycle of Plasmodium falciparum, the parasite responsible for severe malaria, occurs within red blood cells. A merozoite invades a red cell in the circulation, develops and multiplies, and after about 48 hours ruptures the host cell, releasing 15-32 merozoites ready to invade new red blood cells. During this cycle, the parasite increases the host cell permeability so much that when similar permeabilization was simulated on uninfected red cells, lysis occurred before approximately 48 h. So how could infected cells, with a growing parasite inside, prevent lysis before the parasite has completed its developmental cycle? A mathematical model of the homeostasis of infected red cells suggested that it is the wasteful consumption of host cell hemoglobin that prevents early lysis by the progressive reduction in the colloid-osmotic pressure within the host (the colloid-osmotic hypothesis. However, two critical model predictions, that infected cells would swell to near prelytic sphericity and that the hemoglobin concentration would become progressively reduced, remained controversial. In this paper, we are able for the first time to correlate model predictions with recent experimental data in the literature and explore the fine details of the homeostasis of infected red blood cells during five model-defined periods of parasite development. The conclusions suggest that infected red cells do reach proximity to lytic rupture regardless of their actual volume, thus requiring a progressive reduction in their hemoglobin concentration to prevent premature lysis.

  2. Product (RED)

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ponte, Stefano

    2011-01-01

    ) and the consumers who buy iconic brand products to help ‘distant others’. While in many other forms of causumerism, labels or certification systems ‘prove’ that a product is just, in RED, aid celebrities provide the proof. From the consumer point of view both labels and celebrities provide a similar simplification...... of complex social, economic, and environmental processes. At the same time, we argue that there are important distinctions as well—labels and certifications are ultimately about improving the conditions of production, whereas RED is about accepting existing production and trade systems and donating......(PRODUCT)RED™ (hereafter RED) is a cobranding initiative launched in 2006 by the aid celebrity Bono to raise money from product sales to support The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. In this paper we argue that RED is shifting the boundaries of ‘causumerism’ (shopping...

  3. Competitive interactions between co-occurring invaders: identifying asymmetries between two invasive crayfish species

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hudina, S.; Galic, N.G.; Roessink, I.; Hock, K.

    2011-01-01

    Ecosystems today increasingly suffer invasions by multiple invasive species. Complex interactions between invasive species can have different fitness implications for each invader, which can in turn determine the future progression of their invasions and result in differential impacts on native

  4. Investigation of Darwin’s naturalization hypothesis in invaded macrophyte communities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Although native macrophytes are beneficial in aquatic ecosystems, invasive macrophytes can cause significant ecological and economic harm. Numerous studies have attributed invasiveness to species’ characteristics, whereas others attribute invasion to biotic and abiotic characteristics of the invaded...

  5. Success of seeding native compared with introduced perennial vegetation for revegetating medusahead-invaded sagebrush rangeland

    Science.gov (United States)

    Millions of hectares of Wyoming big sagebrush (Artemisia tridentata Nutt. ssp. wyomingensis Beetle &Young) rangeland have been invaded by medusahead (Taeniatherum caput-medusae [L.] Nevski), an exotic annual grass that degrades wildlife habitat, reduces forage production, and decreases biodiversity....

  6. Predicting the spread of aquatic invaders: insight from 200 years of invasion by zebra mussels.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Karatayev, Alexander Y; Burlakova, Lyubov E; Mastitsky, Sergey E; Padilla, Dianna K

    2015-03-01

    Understanding factors controlling the introduction and spread of species is crucial to improving the management of both natural populations and introduced species. The zebra mussel, Dreissena polymorpha, is considered the most aggressive freshwater invader in the Northern Hemisphere, and is a convenient model system for invasion biology, offering one of the best aquatic examples for examining the invasion process. We used data on 553 of the 1040 glacial lakes in the Republic of Belarus that were examined for the presence of zebra mussels. We used these data to build, test, and construct modified models to predict the spread of this invader, including selection of important parameters that could limit the spread of this invader. In spite of 200 years of continuous invasion, by 1996, zebra mussels were found in only 16.8% of all lakes studied. Of those lakes without zebra mussels in 1996, 66% were predicted to be susceptible to invasion by zebra mussels in the future, and 33% were predicted to be immune to successful invasion due to their water chemistry. Eighty lakes free of zebra mussels in 1996 were reexamined from 1997 to 2008. Of these, zebra mussels successfully invaded an additional 31 lakes, all of which were classified initially as suitable for zebra mussels; none of the lakes previously classified as unsuitable were invaded. We used the Random Forests classification algorithm with 16 environmental variables to determine the most important factors that differed between invaded lakes and those lakes suitable for invasion that have not yet been invaded. Distance to the nearest infested lakes was found to be the most important variable, followed by the lake area, color, average depth, and concentration of chloride, magnesium, and bicarbonate. This study provides a useful approach for predicting the spread of an invader across a landscape with variable habitat suitability that can be applied to a variety of species and systems.

  7. Alien plant invasions--incorporating emerging invaders in regional prioritization: a pragmatic approach for Southern Africa.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mgidi, Theresa N; Le Maitre, David C; Schonegevel, Lucille; Nel, Jeanne L; Rouget, Mathieu; Richardson, David M

    2007-07-01

    Plant invasions are a serious threat to natural and semi-natural ecosystems worldwide. Most management-orientated research on invasions focuses on invaders that are already widespread and often have major impacts. This paper deals with "emerging" invaders-those alien species with the potential to become important problems without timely intervention. A climate matching procedure was developed to define areas of South Africa, Lesotho and Swaziland that could be invaded by 28 plant species that had previously been classified as emerging invaders. Information on the location of populations of these species in the study area was combined with information on their distributions (as native or alien) in parts of Australia and the United States of America. These two countries had the best available distribution data for this study. They also share many invasive alien plant species with South Africa. Climatic data obtained for weather stations near points of known occurrence in these countries were used to define the climatically suitable areas for each species in the study area. Almost 80% of the remaining natural environment in southern Africa was found to be vulnerable to invasion by at least one of these species, 50% by six or more and 24% by 16 or more species. The most vulnerable areas are the highveld grasslands and the eastern escarpment. The emerging invaders with the greatest potential range included Acacia podalyriifolia and Cortaderia selloana. The globally important invaders Ulex europaeus and Lythrum salicaria had a more limited invasion potential but could still become major invaders. There was no relationship between the extent of the climatically suitable areas for the different species and an expert ranking of their invasion potential, emphasising the uncertainties inherent in making expert assessments based on very little information. The methods used in this analysis establish a protocol for future modelling exercises to assess the invasion potential of

  8. Red Sirius

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Martynov, D Ya

    1976-01-01

    A hypothesis is proposed explaining the assumption that Sirius changed its colour from red in the second century to pale blue in the tenth century A.D. The hypothesis is based on the possibility of transformation of a Sirius satellite (Sirius B) from a red giant in the past to a white dwarf in the present. Such a transformation would have been accompanied by an explosion of Sirius B, which is clearly visible from the Earth. The fact that the increase in Sirius brightness by 4-5 units is not reflected in historical chronicles is attributed to the degradation of sciences in Europe in 4-10 centuries.

  9. Native birds and alien insects: spatial density dependence in songbird predation of invading oak gallwasps.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Karsten Schönrogge

    Full Text Available Revealing the interactions between alien species and native communities is central to understanding the ecological consequences of range expansion. Much has been learned through study of the communities developing around invading herbivorous insects. Much less, however, is known about the significance of such aliens for native vertebrate predators for which invaders may represent a novel food source. We quantified spatial patterns in native bird predation of invading gall-inducing Andricus wasps associated with introduced Turkey oak (Quercus cerris at eight sites across the UK. These gallwasps are available at high density before the emergence of caterpillars that are the principle spring food of native insectivorous birds. Native birds showed positive spatial density dependence in gall attack rates at two sites in southern England, foraging most extensively on trees with highest gall densities. In a subsequent study at one of these sites, positive spatial density dependence persisted through four of five sequential week-long periods of data collection. Both patterns imply that invading galls are a significant resource for at least some native bird populations. Density dependence was strongest in southern UK bird populations that have had longest exposure to the invading gallwasps. We hypothesise that this pattern results from the time taken for native bird populations to learn how to exploit this novel resource.

  10. Impact of invading alien plants on surface water resources in South Africa: a preliminary assessment

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Le Maitre, David C

    2000-07-01

    Full Text Available areas (the equivalent area with a canopy cover of 100%). Each of the invading species was classified as a tall shrub, medium tree or tall tree - based on growth form and likely water use - and its biomass was estimated from a function based on vegetation...

  11. Prescribed fire opportunities in grasslands invaded by Douglas-fir: state-of-the-art guidelines

    Science.gov (United States)

    George E. Gruell; James K. Brown; Charles L. Bushey

    1986-01-01

    Provides information on use of prescribed fire to enhance productivity of bunchgrass ranges that have been invaded by Douglas-fir. Six vegetative "situations" representative of treatment opportunities most commonly encountered in Montana are discussed. Included are fire prescription considerations and identification of the resource objective, fire objective,...

  12. Comparing methods for measuring the rate of spread of invading populations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marius Gilbert; Andrew. Liebhold

    2010-01-01

    Measuring rates of spread during biological invasions is important for predicting where and when invading organisms will spread in the future as well as for quantifying the influence of environmental conditions on invasion speed. While several methods have been proposed in the literature to measure spread rates, a comprehensive comparison of their accuracy when applied...

  13. Strategic management of five deciduous forest invaders using Microstegium vimineum as a model species

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cynthia D. Huebner

    2007-01-01

    This paper links key plant invasive traits with key landscape traits to define strategic management for five common forest invaders, using empirical data of Microstegium vimineum dispersal into forests as a preliminary model. Microstegium vimineum exhibits an Allee effect that may allow management to focus on treating its source...

  14. Habitat shift in invading species: Zebra and quagga mussel population characteristics on shallow soft substrates

    Science.gov (United States)

    Berkman, P.A.; Garton, D.W.; Haltuch, M.A.; Kennedy, G.W.; Febo, L.R.

    2000-01-01

    Unexpected habitat innovations among invading species are illustrated by the expansion of dreissenid mussels across sedimentary environments in shallow water unlike the hard substrates where they are conventionally known. In this note, records of population characteristics of invading zebra (Dreissena polymorpha) and quagga (Dreissena bugensis) mussels from 1994 through 1998 are reported from shallow (less than 20 m) sedimentary habitats in western Lake Erie. Haphazard SCUBA collections of these invading species indicated that combined densities of zebra and quagga mussels ranged from 0 to 32,500 individuals per square meter between 1994 and 1998, with D. polymorpha comprising 75-100% of the assemblages. These mixed mussel populations, which were attached by byssal threads to each other and underlying sand-grain sediments, had size-frequency distributions that were typical of colonizing populations on hard substrates. Moreover, the presence of two mussel cohorts within the 1994 samples indicated that these species began expanding onto soft substrates not later than 1992, within 4 years of their initial invasion in western Lake Erie. Such historical data provide baselines for interpreting adaptive innovations, ecological interactions and habitat shifts among the two invading dreissenid mussel species in North America.

  15. Management process invaded Ames as the Center shifted from NACA to NASA oversight. Ames constructed

    Science.gov (United States)

    1968-01-01

    Management process invaded Ames as the Center shifted from NACA to NASA oversight. Ames constructed a review room in its headquarters building where, in the graphical style that prevailed in the 1960's, Ames leadership could review progress against schedule, budget and performance measures. Shown, in October 1965 is Merrill Mead chief of Ames' program and resources office. (for H Julian Allen Retirement album)

  16. Plant invasions in the Czech Republic: current state, introduction dynamics, invasive species and invaded habitats

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Pyšek, Petr; Chytrý, M.; Pergl, Jan; Sádlo, Jiří; Wild, Jan

    2012-01-01

    Roč. 84, č. 3 (2012), s. 575-629 ISSN 0032-7786 R&D Projects: GA ČR(CZ) GAP504/11/1028 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z60050516 Institutional support: RVO:67985939 Keywords : invasive species * invaded habitats * Czech Republic Subject RIV: EF - Botanics Impact factor: 2.833, year: 2012

  17. Global Invader Impact Network (GIIN): toward standardized evaluation of the ecological impacts of invasive plants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barney, Jacob N; Tekiela, Daniel R; Barrios-Garcia, Maria Noelia; Dimarco, Romina D; Hufbauer, Ruth A; Leipzig-Scott, Peter; Nuñez, Martin A; Pauchard, Aníbal; Pyšek, Petr; Vítková, Michaela; Maxwell, Bruce D

    2015-07-01

    Terrestrial invasive plants are a global problem and are becoming ubiquitous components of most ecosystems. They are implicated in altering disturbance regimes, reducing biodiversity, and changing ecosystem function, sometimes in profound and irreversible ways. However, the ecological impacts of most invasive plants have not been studied experimentally, and most research to date focuses on few types of impacts, which can vary greatly among studies. Thus, our knowledge of existing ecological impacts ascribed to invasive plants is surprisingly limited in both breadth and depth. Our aim was to propose a standard methodology for quantifying baseline ecological impact that, in theory, is scalable to any terrestrial plant invader (e.g., annual grasses to trees) and any invaded system (e.g., grassland to forest). The Global Invader Impact Network (GIIN) is a coordinated distributed experiment composed of an observational and manipulative methodology. The protocol consists of a series of plots located in (1) an invaded area; (2) an adjacent removal treatment within the invaded area; and (3) a spatially separate uninvaded area thought to be similar to pre-invasion conditions of the invaded area. A standardized and inexpensive suite of community, soil, and ecosystem metrics are collected allowing broad comparisons among measurements, populations, and species. The method allows for one-time comparisons and for long-term monitoring enabling one to derive information about change due to invasion over time. Invader removal plots will also allow for quantification of legacy effects and their return rates, which will be monitored for several years. GIIN uses a nested hierarchical scale approach encompassing multiple sites, regions, and continents. Currently, GIIN has network members in six countries, with new members encouraged. To date, study species include representatives of annual and perennial grasses; annual and perennial forbs; shrubs; and trees. The goal of the GIIN

  18. Impacts of invading alien plant species on water flows at stand and catchment scales

    Science.gov (United States)

    Le Maitre, D. C.; Gush, M. B.; Dzikiti, S.

    2015-01-01

    There have been many studies of the diverse impacts of invasions by alien plants but few have assessed impacts on water resources. We reviewed the information on the impacts of invasions on surface runoff and groundwater resources at stand to catchment scales and covering a full annual cycle. Most of the research is South African so the emphasis is on South Africa's major invaders with data from commercial forest plantations where relevant. Catchment studies worldwide have shown that changes in vegetation structure and the physiology of the dominant plant species result in changes in surface runoff and groundwater discharge, whether they involve native or alien plant species. Where there is little change in vegetation structure [e.g. leaf area (index), height, rooting depth and seasonality] the effects of invasions generally are small or undetectable. In South Africa, the most important woody invaders typically are taller and deeper rooted than the native species. The impacts of changes in evaporation (and thus runoff) in dryland settings are constrained by water availability to the plants and, thus, by rainfall. Where the dryland invaders are evergreen and the native vegetation (grass) is seasonal, the increases can reach 300–400 mm/year. Where the native vegetation is evergreen (shrublands) the increases are ∼200–300 mm/year. Where water availability is greater (riparian settings or shallow water tables), invading tree water-use can reach 1.5–2.0 times that of the same species in a dryland setting. So, riparian invasions have a much greater impact per unit area invaded than dryland invasions. The available data are scattered and incomplete, and there are many gaps and issues that must be addressed before a thorough understanding of the impacts at the site scale can be gained and used in extrapolating to watershed scales, and in converting changes in flows to water supply system yields. PMID:25935861

  19. Scaling the consequences of interactions between invaders from the individual to the population level.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Griffen, Blaine D

    2016-03-01

    The impact of human-induced stressors, such as invasive species, is often measured at the organismal level, but is much less commonly scaled up to the population level. Interactions with invasive species represent an increasingly common source of stressor in many habitats. However, due to the increasing abundance of invasive species around the globe, invasive species now commonly cause stresses not only for native species in invaded areas, but also for other invasive species. I examine the European green crab Carcinus maenas, an invasive species along the northeast coast of North America, which is known to be negatively impacted in this invaded region by interactions with the invasive Asian shore crab Hemigrapsus sanguineus. Asian shore crabs are known to negatively impact green crabs via two mechanisms: by directly preying on green crab juveniles and by indirectly reducing green crab fecundity via interference (and potentially exploitative) competition that alters green crab diets. I used life-table analyses to scale these two mechanistic stressors up to the population level in order to examine their relative impacts on green crab populations. I demonstrate that lost fecundity has larger impacts on per capita population growth rates, but that both predation and lost fecundity are capable of reducing population growth sufficiently to produce the declines in green crab populations that have been observed in areas where these two species overlap. By scaling up the impacts of one invader on a second invader, I have demonstrated that multiple documented interactions between these species are capable of having population-level impacts and that both may be contributing to the decline of European green crabs in their invaded range on the east coast of North America.

  20. Impacts of invading alien plant species on water flows at stand and catchment scales.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Le Maitre, D C; Gush, M B; Dzikiti, S

    2015-05-01

    There have been many studies of the diverse impacts of invasions by alien plants but few have assessed impacts on water resources. We reviewed the information on the impacts of invasions on surface runoff and groundwater resources at stand to catchment scales and covering a full annual cycle. Most of the research is South African so the emphasis is on South Africa's major invaders with data from commercial forest plantations where relevant. Catchment studies worldwide have shown that changes in vegetation structure and the physiology of the dominant plant species result in changes in surface runoff and groundwater discharge, whether they involve native or alien plant species. Where there is little change in vegetation structure [e.g. leaf area (index), height, rooting depth and seasonality] the effects of invasions generally are small or undetectable. In South Africa, the most important woody invaders typically are taller and deeper rooted than the native species. The impacts of changes in evaporation (and thus runoff) in dryland settings are constrained by water availability to the plants and, thus, by rainfall. Where the dryland invaders are evergreen and the native vegetation (grass) is seasonal, the increases can reach 300-400 mm/year. Where the native vegetation is evergreen (shrublands) the increases are ∼200-300 mm/year. Where water availability is greater (riparian settings or shallow water tables), invading tree water-use can reach 1.5-2.0 times that of the same species in a dryland setting. So, riparian invasions have a much greater impact per unit area invaded than dryland invasions. The available data are scattered and incomplete, and there are many gaps and issues that must be addressed before a thorough understanding of the impacts at the site scale can be gained and used in extrapolating to watershed scales, and in converting changes in flows to water supply system yields. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Annals of Botany

  1. Populations dynamics of red brome (Bromus madritensis subsp. Rubens): Times for concern, opportunities for management

    Science.gov (United States)

    Salo, L.F.

    2004-01-01

    Red brome is a Mediterranean winter annual grass that has invaded south-western USA deserts. Unlike native annuals, it does not maintain a soil seed bank, but exhibits early and uniform germination. Above-average winter precipitation in these regions allows red brome to reach high density and biomass. These are time for concern, as large numbers of easily dispersed seeds increase the likelihood that it may spread into new areas. However, early and uniform germination can also lead to population crashes when drought precludes seed production. Winter droughts dramatically reduce densities of red brome, but provide opportunities for management of this exotic grass.

  2. Invading Bologna

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Schaub Jr, Gary John; Breitenbauch, Henrik Ø.; Pradhan-Blach, Flemming

    European NATO nations need better staff officers. Operation Unified Protector exposed a widespread deficiency in the professional knowledge of field-grade European officers. Professional military education (PME) is where corrective Alliance action must focus. The Nordic countries—Norway, Denmark...

  3. Contribution to the alien flora of Montenegro and Supplementum to the Preliminary list of plant invaders

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stešević, D.

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available This contribution is based on the field observations from 2011 to 2013. Besides new data about distribution of some known plant invaders, one new alien species for the flora of Montenegro is reported- Solidago gigantea. This plant was recorded in 2011, on two distinct localities near the road side in peri-urban area of Nikšić and Mojkovac, in the vicinity of gardens, were it has been grown as ornamental. In 2012 survey, species was again reported for Mojkovac, but it disappeared from Nikšić, due to environmental changes caused by road construction. Remaining locality is placed near the Tara river bank, so considering ecological preferences (roadsides, disturbed river banks and moist soils, this species might become more frequent in the area. It is included into the EPPO list of invasive alien plants. In addition, alien plant Tagetes minuta is added to the preliminary list of plant invaders in Montenegro.

  4. Increasing Potential Risk of a Global Aquatic Invader in Europe in Contrast to Other Continents under Future Climate Change

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Xuan; Guo, Zhongwei; Ke, Zunwei; Wang, Supen; Li, Yiming

    2011-01-01

    Background Anthropogenically-induced climate change can alter the current climatic habitat of non-native species and can have complex effects on potentially invasive species. Predictions of the potential distributions of invasive species under climate change will provide critical information for future conservation and management strategies. Aquatic ecosystems are particularly vulnerable to invasive species and climate change, but the effect of climate change on invasive species distributions has been rather neglected, especially for notorious global invaders. Methodology/Principal Findings We used ecological niche models (ENMs) to assess the risks and opportunities that climate change presents for the red swamp crayfish (Procambarus clarkii), which is a worldwide aquatic invasive species. Linking the factors of climate, topography, habitat and human influence, we developed predictive models incorporating both native and non-native distribution data of the crayfish to identify present areas of potential distribution and project the effects of future climate change based on a consensus-forecast approach combining the CCCMA and HADCM3 climate models under two emission scenarios (A2a and B2a) by 2050. The minimum temperature from the coldest month, the human footprint and precipitation of the driest quarter contributed most to the species distribution models. Under both the A2a and B2a scenarios, P. clarkii shifted to higher latitudes in continents of both the northern and southern hemispheres. However, the effect of climate change varied considerately among continents with an expanding potential in Europe and contracting changes in others. Conclusions/Significance Our findings are the first to predict the impact of climate change on the future distribution of a globally invasive aquatic species. We confirmed the complexities of the likely effects of climate change on the potential distribution of globally invasive species, and it is extremely important to develop

  5. A taste for novelty in invading house sparrows, Passer domesticus

    OpenAIRE

    Lynn B. Martin; Lisa Fitzgerald

    2005-01-01

    One of the central questions in invasion biology involves why some introductions succeed and others fail. Although several correlates of invasion success have been identified, patterns alone cannot identify the mechanisms underlying the invasion process. Here, we test the hypothesis that one predictor of invasion success, behavioral flexibility, is different between invading and established populations of the same species of bird. We predicted that neophobia (fear of novelty), a surrogate of ...

  6. Magnetic Resonance Imaging of a Liver Hydatid Cyst Invading the Portal Vein and Causing Portal Cavernomatosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Herek, Duygu; Sungurtekin, Ugur

    2015-01-01

    Hepatic hydatid cysts rarely invade portal veins causing portal cavernomatosis as a secondary complication. We report the case of a patient with direct invasion of the right portal vein by hydatid cysts causing portal cavernomatosis diagnosed via magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). The presented case highlights the useful application of MRI with T2-weighted images and gadolinium-enhanced T1-weighted images in the diagnosis of hepatic hydatid lesions presenting with a rare complication of portal cavernomatosis.

  7. Stoichiometric Constraints Do Not Limit Successful Invaders: Zebra Mussels in Swedish Lakes

    OpenAIRE

    Naddafi, Rahmat; Ekl?v, Peter; Pettersson, Kurt

    2009-01-01

    Background Elemental imbalances of carbon (C): nitrogen (N): phosphorus (P) ratios in food resources can constrain the growth of grazers owning to tight coupling between growth rate, RNA allocation and biomass P content in animals. Testing for stoichiometric constraints among invasive species is a novel challenge in invasion ecology to unravel how a successful invader tackles ecological barriers in novel ecosystems. Methodology/Principal Findings We examined the C?P and N?P ratios and the con...

  8. Mapping cryptic invaders and invisability of tropical forest ecosystems: Chromolaena odorata in Nepal

    OpenAIRE

    Joshi, C.

    2006-01-01

    For centuries, people continuously increased the rate of biological invasions and there is no sign of slowing down. From the depth of the Ocean to the crest of Himalayas, they are occupying pristine and semi-natural ecosystems at an alarming rate, threatening human, animal, plant as well as ecosystem health. Efforts to avoid or eradicate them are not achievable except for very few cases. Currently, therefore, their management aims at controlling invaders and mitigating their impact rather tha...

  9. Distinguishing neuroblastoma invading the kidney from nephroblastoma: evaluation in computed tomography

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Qiao Zhongwei; Li Guoping; Mamier; Wang Kang'an; Lv Zhibao; Miao Fei

    2005-01-01

    Objective: To evaluate the CT findings in the differential diagnosis between neuroblastoma invading the kidney and nephroblastoma. Methods: CT morphologic details in 13 patients with neuroblastoma invading the kidney confirmed by surgical operation and pathology were studied, and CT findings in 15 patients with nephroblastoma confirmed by surgery and pathology were compared. Results: In 13 cases of neuroblastoma, CT showed irregular mass in 12 cases, tumor with poorly defined margins in 11 cases, tumorous calcifications in 10 cases, invasion of retroperitoneal vessels in 9 cases, and retroperitoneal and retrocrural lymph nodes invasion in 12 cases. In 15 cases of nephroblastoma, round mass was p resented in 12 cases, tumor with poorly defined margins in 2 cases, tumorous calcifications in 2 cases, involvement of retroperitoneal vessels in 2 cases, and invasion of retroperitoneal lymph nodes in 3 cases. None of the nephroblastoma invaded retrocrural lymph nodes. Irregular mass with calcifications, involvement of retroperitoneal vessels, retrocrural and retroperitoneal lymph nodes were more common in cases of neuroblastoma than in nephroblastoma. Moreover, involvement of retrocrural lymph nodes and encasement of retroperitoneal vessels had higher positive prediction value on neuroblastoma. Conclusion: Involvement of retrocrural lymph nodes and encasement of retroperitoneal vessels were the specific CT findings of neuroblastoma and the most valuable evidence in distinguishing neuroblastoma from nephroblastoma. (authors)

  10. Spatial pattern and scale influence invader demographic response to simulated precipitation change in an annual grassland community

    Science.gov (United States)

    It is important to predict which invasive species will benefit from future changes in climate, and thereby identify those invaders that need particular attention and prioritization of management efforts. Because establishment, persistence, and spread determine invasion success, this prediction requ...

  11. Deformability measurement of red blood cells using a microfluidic channel array and an air cavity in a driving syringe with high throughput and precise detection of subpopulations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kang, Yang Jun; Ha, Young-Ran; Lee, Sang-Joon

    2016-01-07

    Red blood cell (RBC) deformability has been considered a potential biomarker for monitoring pathological disorders. High throughput and detection of subpopulations in RBCs are essential in the measurement of RBC deformability. In this paper, we propose a new method to measure RBC deformability by evaluating temporal variations in the average velocity of blood flow and image intensity of successively clogged RBCs in the microfluidic channel array for specific time durations. In addition, to effectively detect differences in subpopulations of RBCs, an air compliance effect is employed by adding an air cavity into a disposable syringe. The syringe was equally filled with a blood sample (V(blood) = 0.3 mL, hematocrit = 50%) and air (V(air) = 0.3 mL). Owing to the air compliance effect, blood flow in the microfluidic device behaved transiently depending on the fluidic resistance in the microfluidic device. Based on the transient behaviors of blood flows, the deformability of RBCs is quantified by evaluating three representative parameters, namely, minimum value of the average velocity of blood flow, clogging index, and delivered blood volume. The proposed method was applied to measure the deformability of blood samples consisting of homogeneous RBCs fixed with four different concentrations of glutaraldehyde solution (0%-0.23%). The proposed method was also employed to evaluate the deformability of blood samples partially mixed with normal RBCs and hardened RBCs. Thereafter, the deformability of RBCs infected by human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum was measured. As a result, the three parameters significantly varied, depending on the degree of deformability. In addition, the deformability measurement of blood samples was successfully completed in a short time (∼10 min). Therefore, the proposed method has significant potential in deformability measurement of blood samples containing hematological diseases with high throughput and precise detection of

  12. Malaria, Epstein-Barr virus infection and the pathogenesis of Burkitt's lymphoma.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mawson, Anthony R; Majumdar, Suvankar

    2017-11-01

    A geographical and causal connection has long been recognized between malaria, Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) infection and Burkitt's lymphoma (BL), but the underlying mechanisms remain obscure. Potential clues are that the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum selectively absorbs vitamin A from the host and depends on it for its biological activities; secondly, alterations in vitamin A (retinoid) metabolism have been implicated in many forms of cancer, including BL. The first author has proposed that the merozoite-stage malaria parasite, emerging from the liver, uses its absorbed vitamin A as a cell membrane destabilizer to invade the red blood cells, causing anemia and other signs and symptoms of the disease as manifestations of an endogenous form of hypervitaminosis A (Mawson AR, Path Global Health 2013;107(3):122-9). Repeated episodes of malaria would therefore be expected to expose the tissues of affected individuals to potentially toxic doses of vitamin A. It is proposed that such episodes activate latent EBV infection, which in turn activates retinoid-responsive genes. Expression of these genes enhances viral replication and induces germinal center (GC) B cell expansion, activation-induced cytidine deaminase (AID) expression, and c-myc translocation, which in turn predisposes to BL. Thus, an endogenous form of retinoid toxicity related to malaria infection may be the common factor linking frequent malaria, EBV infection and BL, whereby prolonged exposure of lymphatic tissues to high concentrations of retinoids may combine to induce B-cell translocation and increase the risk of Burkitt's lymphoma. © 2017 UICC.

  13. Contribution to the alien flora of Montenegro and Supplementum to the Preliminary list of plant invaders

    OpenAIRE

    Stešević, D.; Caković, D.

    2013-01-01

    This contribution is based on the field observations from 2011 to 2013. Besides new data about distribution of some known plant invaders, one new alien species for the flora of Montenegro is reported- Solidago gigantea. This plant was recorded in 2011, on two distinct localities near the road side in peri-urban area of Nikšić and Mojkovac, in the vicinity of gardens, were it has been grown as ornamental. In 2012 survey, species was again reported for Mojkovac, but it disappeared f...

  14. Recurrent malignant pilomatrixoma invading the cranial cavity: improved local control with adjuvant radiation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Aherne, N. J.; Fitzpatrick, D. A.; Armstrong, J. G.; Gibbons, D.; Collins, C. D.

    2009-01-01

    Full text: We report the case of a 41-year-old mentally retarded male with recurrent pilomatrix carcinoma of the occipital region which invaded the occipital bone, left cerebellum and left temporal lobe. At his initial presentation the patient had a craniotomy and subtotal excision of the lesion with positive margins. He received no adjuvant therapy. After an early intracranial recurrence he had subtotal debulking and was referred for external beam radiotherapy. At 27 months follow-up after adjuvant external beam radiotherapy the intracranial component has not progressed and the patient remains clinically well

  15. Induction concurrent chemoradiation therapy for invading apical non-small cell lung cancer

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Miyoshi, Shinichiro; Nakamura, Kenji

    2004-01-01

    Although non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) involving the superior sulcus has been generally treated with radiation therapy (RT) followed by surgery, local recurrence is still a big problem to be solved. We investigated a role of induction therapy, especially induction concurrent chemoradiation therapy (CRT), on the surgical results of this type of NSCLC. We retrospectively reviewed 30 patients with NSCLC invading the apex of the chest wall who underwent surgery from 1987 to 1996. Ten patients (57±8 years) received surgery alone, 9 (55±13 years) received RT (42±7 Gy) followed by surgery and 11 (51±9 years) received cisplatin based chemotherapy and RT (47±5 Gy) as an induction therapy. Two and 4-year survival rates were 30% and 20% in patients with surgery alone, 22% and 11% in patients with induction RT, and 73% and 53% in patients with induction CRT, respectively. The survival was significantly better in patients with induction CRT than those with induction RT or surgery alone. Univariate analysis demonstrated that curability (yes versus no: p=0.027) and induction therapy (surgery alone and RT versus CRT: p=0.0173) were significant prognostic factors. Multivariate analysis revealed that only induction therapy (p=0.0238) was a significant prognostic factor. Induction CRT seems to improve the survival in patients with NSCLC invading the apex of the chest wall compared with induction RT or surgery alone. (author)

  16. Fungal endophytes which invade insect galls: insect pathogens, benign saprophytes, or fungal inquilines?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilson, Dennis

    1995-08-01

    Fungi are frequently found within insect galls. However, the origin of these fungi, whether they are acting as pathogens, saprophytes invading already dead galls, or fungal inquilines which invade the gall but kill the gall maker by indirect means, is rarely investigated. A pathogenic role for these fungi is usually inferred but never tested. I chose the following leaf-galling-insect/host-plant pairs (1) a cynipid which forms two-chambered galls on the veins of Oregon white oak, (2) a cynipid which forms single-chambered galls on California coast live oak, and (3) an aphid which forms galls on narrowleaf cottonwood leaves. All pairs were reported to have fungi associated with dead insects inside the gall. These fungi were cultured and identified. For the two cynipids, all fungi found inside the galls were also present in the leaves as fungal endophytes. The cottonwood leaves examined did not harbor fungal endophytes. For the cynipid on Oregon white oak, the fungal endophyte grows from the leaf into the gall and infects all gall tissue but does not directly kill the gall maker. The insect dies as a result of the gall tissue dying from fungal infection. Therefore, the fungus acts as an inquiline. Approximately 12.5% of these galls die as a result of invasion by the fungal endophyte.

  17. Integrating novel chemical weapons and evolutionarily increased competitive ability in success of a tropical invader.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zheng, Yu-Long; Feng, Yu-Long; Zhang, Li-Kun; Callaway, Ragan M; Valiente-Banuet, Alfonso; Luo, Du-Qiang; Liao, Zhi-Yong; Lei, Yan-Bao; Barclay, Gregor F; Silva-Pereyra, Carlos

    2015-02-01

    The evolution of increased competitive ability (EICA) hypothesis and the novel weapons hypothesis (NWH) are two non-mutually exclusive mechanisms for exotic plant invasions, but few studies have simultaneously tested these hypotheses. Here we aimed to integrate them in the context of Chromolaena odorata invasion. We conducted two common garden experiments in order to test the EICA hypothesis, and two laboratory experiments in order to test the NWH. In common conditions, C. odorata plants from the nonnative range were better competitors but not larger than plants from the native range, either with or without the experimental manipulation of consumers. Chromolaena odorata plants from the nonnative range were more poorly defended against aboveground herbivores but better defended against soil-borne enemies. Chromolaena odorata plants from the nonnative range produced more odoratin (Eupatorium) (a unique compound of C. odorata with both allelopathic and defensive activities) and elicited stronger allelopathic effects on species native to China, the nonnative range of the invader, than on natives of Mexico, the native range of the invader. Our results suggest that invasive plants may evolve increased competitive ability after being introduced by increasing the production of novel allelochemicals, potentially in response to naïve competitors and new enemy regimes. © 2014 The Authors. New Phytologist © 2014 New Phytologist Trust.

  18. Predicting how altering propagule pressure changes establishment rates of biological invaders across species pools.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brockerhoff, Eckehard G; Kimberley, Mark; Liebhold, Andrew M; Haack, Robert A; Cavey, Joseph F

    2014-03-01

    Biological invasions resulting from international trade can cause major environmental and economic impacts. Propagule pressure is perhaps the most important factor influencing establishment, although actual arrival rates of species are rarely recorded. Furthermore, the pool of potential invaders includes many species that vary in their arrival rate and establishment potential. Therefore, we stress that it is essential to consider the size and composition of species pools arriving from source regions when estimating probabilities of establishment and effects of pathway infestation rates. To address this, we developed a novel framework and modeling approach to enable prediction of future establishments in relation to changes in arrival rate across entire species pools. We utilized 13 828 border interception records from the United States and New Zealand for 444 true bark beetle (Scolytinae) and longhorned beetle (Cerambycidae) species detected between 1949 and 2008 as proxies for arrival rates to model the relationship between arrival and establishment rates. Nonlinearity in this relationship implies that measures intended to reduce the unintended transport of potential invaders (such as phytosanitary treatments) must be highly effective in order to substantially reduce the rate of future invasions, particularly if trade volumes continue to increase.

  19. The role of adjuvant external beam radiation therapy for papillary thyroid carcinoma invading the trachea

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kim, Young Suk; Choi, Jae Hyuck; Kim, Kwang Sik [Jeju National University Hospital, Jeju National University School of Medicine, Jeju (Korea, Republic of); and others

    2017-06-15

    To evaluate the effect of adjuvant external beam radiation therapy (EBRT) on local failure-free survival rate (LFFS) for papillary thyroid cancer (PTC) invading the trachea. Fifty-six patients with locally advanced PTC invading the trachea were treated with surgical resection. After surgery, 21 patients received adjuvant EBRT and radioactive iodine therapy (EBRT group) and 35 patients were treated with radioactive iodine therapy (control group). The age range was 26–87 years (median, 56 years). The median follow-up period was 43 months (range, 4 to 145 months). EBRT doses ranged from 50.4 to 66 Gy (median, 60 Gy). Esophagus invasion and gross residual disease was more frequent in the EBRT group. In the control group, local recurrence developed in 9 (9/35, 26%) and new distant metastasis in 2 (2/35, 6%) patients, occurring 4 to 68 months (median, 37 months) and 53 to 68 months (median, 60 months) after surgery, respectively. Two patients had simultaneous local recurrence and new distant metastasis. There was one local failure in the EBRT group at 18 months after surgery (1/21, 5%). The 5-year LFFS was 95% in the EBRT group and 63% in the control group (p = 0.103). In the EBRT group, one late grade 2 xerostomia was developed. Although, EBRT group had a higher incidence of esophagus invasion and gross residual disease, EBRT group showed a better 5-year LFFS. Adjuvant EBRT may have contributed to the better LFFS in these patients.

  20. Life History Variation in Invading Applesnails (Pomacea canaliculata) May Pose Ecological Threats to Wetlands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marfurt, R. K.; Boland, B. B.; Burks, R. L.

    2005-05-01

    In native habitats, channeled applesnails (Pomacea canaliculata) graze periphyton. However, casual observations from introduced populations suggest these invaders show variation in feeding ecology, predator response and life history strategies. Attempts to predict this consumer influence on ecosystem function suffer from a lack of basic data. We tested how salinity affected snail mortality. Both adults and hatchlings tolerated salinity levels up to 8 ppt. Adult feeding on lettuce increased significantly at 8 ppt compared to 0 ppt (p = 0.002), while hatchling consumption of algae did not vary (p = 0.284). To see how these consumers responded to predators from the invaded ecosystem, we tested behavioural responses to predatory cues from fish, turtles, crayfish and adult applesnails. Results indicated that fish and crayfish prompted similar predator-avoidance behaviors in hatchlings (p's 0.05) between native (ramshorn) and exotic applesnails, whereas adult fish consumed more applesnails (x2, p < 0.001). Our current efforts focus on examining if predator presence or macrophyte choice alters applesnail feeding rates. Research providing insight into the basic ecology of applesnails can foster management efforts at the ecosystem scale.

  1. Invaders do not require high resource levels to maintain physiological advantages in a temperate deciduous forest.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heberling, J Mason; Fridley, Jason D

    2016-04-01

    Non-native, invasive plants are commonly typified by trait strategies associated with high resource demands and plant invasions are often thought to be dependent upon site resource availability or disturbance. However, the invasion of shade-tolerant woody species into deciduous forests of the Eastern United States seems to contradict such generalization, as growth in this ecosystem is strongly constrained by light and, secondarily, nutrient stress. In a factorial manipulation of light and soil nitrogen availability, we established an experimental resource gradient in a secondary deciduous forest to test whether three common, woody, invasive species displayed increased metabolic performance and biomass production compared to six co-occurring woody native species, and whether these predicted differences depend upon resource supply. Using hierarchical Bayesian models of photosynthesis that included leaf trait effects, we found that invasive species exhibited functional strategies associated with higher rates of carbon gain. Further, invader metabolic and growth-related attributes were more responsive to increasing light availability than those of natives, but did not fall below average native responses even in low light. Surprisingly, neither group showed direct trait or growth responses to soil N additions. However, invasive species showed increased photosynthetic nitrogen use efficiencies with decreasing N availability, while that of natives remained constant. Although invader advantage over natives was amplified in higher resource conditions in this forest, our results indicate that some invasive species can maintain physiological advantages over co-occurring natives regardless of resource conditions.

  2. Red blood cell production

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... bone marrow of bones. Stem cells in the red bone marrow called hemocytoblasts give rise to all of the formed elements in blood. If a hemocytoblast commits to becoming a cell called a proerythroblast, it will develop into a new red blood cell. The formation of a red blood ...

  3. Rheopathologic Consequence of Plasmodium vivax Rosette Formation.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rou Zhang

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available Malaria parasites dramatically alter the rheological properties of infected red blood cells. In the case of Plasmodium vivax, the parasite rapidly decreases the shear elastic modulus of the invaded RBC, enabling it to avoid splenic clearance. This study highlights correlation between rosette formation and altered membrane deformability of P. vivax-infected erythrocytes, where the rosette-forming infected erythrocytes are significantly more rigid than their non-rosetting counterparts. The adhesion of normocytes to the PvIRBC is strong (mean binding force of 440pN resulting in stable rosette formation even under high physiological shear flow stress. Rosetting may contribute to the sequestration of PvIRBC schizonts in the host microvasculature or spleen.

  4. Propagule pressure, genetic structure, and geographic origins of Chondrilla juncea (Asteraceae): an apomictic invader on three continents.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gaskin, John F; Schwarzländer, Mark; Kinter, C Lynn; Smith, James F; Novak, Stephen J

    2013-09-01

    Assessing propagule pressure and geographic origins of invasive species provides insight into the invasion process. Rush skeletonweed (Chondrilla juncea; Asteraceae) is an apomictic, perennial plant that is invasive in Australia, South America (Argentina), and North America (Canada and the United States). This study comprehensively compares propagule pressure and geographic structure of genotypes to improve our understanding of a clonal invasion and enhance management strategies. • We analyzed 1056 native range plants from Eurasia and 1156 plants from three invaded continents using amplified fragment length polymorphism (AFLP) techniques. We used measures of diversity (Simpson's D) and evenness (E), analysis of molecular variance, and Mantel tests to compare invasions, and genotype similarity to determine origins of invasive genotypes. • We found 682 unique genotypes in the native range, but only 13 in the invaded regions. Each invaded region contained distinct AFLP genotypes, suggesting independent introduction events, probably with different geographic origins. Relatively low propagule pressure was associated with each introduction around the globe, but levels of among-population variation differed. We found exact AFLP genotype matches between the native and invaded ranges for five of the 13 invasive genotypes. • Invasion dynamics can vary across invaded ranges within a species. Intensive sampling for molecular analyses can provide insight for understanding intraspecific invasion dynamics, which can hold significance for the management of plant species, especially by finding origins and distributions of invasive genotypes for classical biological control efforts.

  5. Facilitating the recovery of natural evergreen forests in South Africa via invader plant stands

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Coert J. Geldenhuys

    2017-11-01

    Full Text Available Contrary to general belief, planted and naturalized stands of introduced species facilitate the recovery of natural evergreen forests and their diversity. Forest rehabilitation actions are often performed at great cost: mature forest species are planted, while species with adaptations to recover effectively and quickly after severe disturbance are ignored; or stands are cleared of invasive alien species before native tree species are planted. By contrast, cost-effective commercial plantation forestry systems generally use fast-growing pioneer tree species introduced from other natural forest regions. Such planted tree stands often facilitate the recovery of shade-tolerant native forest species. This paper provides a brief overview of disturbance-recovery processes at landscape level, and how pioneer stands of both native and introduced tree species develop from monocultures to diverse mature forest communities. It uses one example of a study of how natural forest species from small forest patches of 3 ha in total invaded a 90-ha stand of the invasive Black wattle, Acacia mearnsii, over a distance of 3.1 ha at Swellendam near Cape Town, South Africa. The study recorded 329 forest species clusters across the wattle stand: more large clusters closer to and more smaller clusters further away from natural forest patches. The 28 recorded forest species (of potentially 40 species in the surrounding forest patches included 79% tree and 21% shrub species. Colonizing forest species had mostly larger fleshy fruit and softer small seeds, and were dispersed by mostly birds and primate species. Maturing forest trees within developing clusters in the wattle stand became a source for forest regeneration away from the clusters, showing different expansion patterns. Four sets of fenced-unfenced plots in the wattle stand showed the impact of browsing by livestock, antelope, rodents and insects on the successful establishment of regenerating forest species, and the

  6. Listeria monocytogenes efficiently invades caco-2 cells after low-temperature storage in broth and on deli meat

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Larsen, Marianne Halberg; Koch, Anette Granly; Ingmer, Hanne

    2010-01-01

    The objective of this study was to investigate how various growth conditions influence the virulence of Listeria monocytogenes monitored by its ability to invade the epithelial cell lines Caco-2 and INT-407. The growth conditions examined were modified atmosphere-packaged deli meat and brain heart...... infusion broth (BHI) with and without salt. Five strains of L. monocytogenes were selected to investigate their invasiveness and all strains invaded Caco-2 cells at higher levels than INT-407 cells. Further, the clinical strains (3443 and 3734) were more invasive (p ... to invade Caco-2 cells was compared after growth on a fermented sausage and on cured cooked ham to that of bacteria grown in BHI broth supplemented with salt. Samples were stored under chilling conditions for up to 4 weeks. The results showed no difference (p > 0.05) in invasiveness after 7 days at 10...

  7. Inverted papilloma of lacrimal sac invading into the orbit: Case report and review of literature

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alistair W Hardy

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Inverted papilloma (IP is a sinonasal tumor of benign etiology with local invasion and malignant potential. IP arising in lacrimal sac invading the orbit is extremely rare with only one case reported so far. The presented case appears to be the second such case reported in the literature. A 60-year-old Caucasian male presented with a medial canthal mass and epiphora. Incisional biopsy confirmed a transitional neoplasm. The lesion was completely excised enbloc with clear margins by using a Weber-Ferguson incision; orbital clearance and nasolacrimalfossa clearance was achieved via a medial maxillectomy. Enbloc resection of orbital and nasolacrimal parts of the tumor with clear margins is recommended.

  8. Competitive helping increases with the size of biological markets and invades defection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barclay, Pat

    2011-07-21

    Cooperation between unrelated individuals remains a puzzle in evolutionary biology. Recent work indicates that partner choice can select for high levels of helping. More generally, helping can be seen as but one strategy used to compete for partners within a broader biological market, yet giving within such markets has received little mathematical investigation. In the present model, individuals help others to attract attention from them and thus receive a larger share of any help actively or passively provided by those others. The evolutionarily stable level of helping increases with the size of the biological market and the degree of partner choice. Furthermore, if individuals passively produce some no-cost help to partners, competitive helping can then invade populations of non-helpers because helpers directly benefit from increasing their access to potential partners. This framework of competitive helping demonstrates how high helping can be achieved and why different populations may differ in helping levels. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  9. Control fast or control smart: When should invading pathogens be controlled?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Robin N Thompson

    2018-02-01

    Full Text Available The intuitive response to an invading pathogen is to start disease management as rapidly as possible, since this would be expected to minimise the future impacts of disease. However, since more spread data become available as an outbreak unfolds, processes underpinning pathogen transmission can almost always be characterised more precisely later in epidemics. This allows the future progression of any outbreak to be forecast more accurately, and so enables control interventions to be targeted more precisely. There is also the chance that the outbreak might die out without any intervention whatsoever, making prophylactic control unnecessary. Optimal decision-making involves continuously balancing these potential benefits of waiting against the possible costs of further spread. We introduce a generic, extensible data-driven algorithm based on parameter estimation and outbreak simulation for making decisions in real-time concerning when and how to control an invading pathogen. The Control Smart Algorithm (CSA resolves the trade-off between the competing advantages of controlling as soon as possible and controlling later when more information has become available. We show-using a generic mathematical model representing the transmission of a pathogen of agricultural animals or plants through a population of farms or fields-how the CSA allows the timing and level of deployment of vaccination or chemical control to be optimised. In particular, the algorithm outperforms simpler strategies such as intervening when the outbreak size reaches a pre-specified threshold, or controlling when the outbreak has persisted for a threshold length of time. This remains the case even if the simpler methods are fully optimised in advance. Our work highlights the potential benefits of giving careful consideration to the question of when to start disease management during emerging outbreaks, and provides a concrete framework to allow policy-makers to make this decision.

  10. Control fast or control smart: When should invading pathogens be controlled?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thompson, Robin N; Gilligan, Christopher A; Cunniffe, Nik J

    2018-02-01

    The intuitive response to an invading pathogen is to start disease management as rapidly as possible, since this would be expected to minimise the future impacts of disease. However, since more spread data become available as an outbreak unfolds, processes underpinning pathogen transmission can almost always be characterised more precisely later in epidemics. This allows the future progression of any outbreak to be forecast more accurately, and so enables control interventions to be targeted more precisely. There is also the chance that the outbreak might die out without any intervention whatsoever, making prophylactic control unnecessary. Optimal decision-making involves continuously balancing these potential benefits of waiting against the possible costs of further spread. We introduce a generic, extensible data-driven algorithm based on parameter estimation and outbreak simulation for making decisions in real-time concerning when and how to control an invading pathogen. The Control Smart Algorithm (CSA) resolves the trade-off between the competing advantages of controlling as soon as possible and controlling later when more information has become available. We show-using a generic mathematical model representing the transmission of a pathogen of agricultural animals or plants through a population of farms or fields-how the CSA allows the timing and level of deployment of vaccination or chemical control to be optimised. In particular, the algorithm outperforms simpler strategies such as intervening when the outbreak size reaches a pre-specified threshold, or controlling when the outbreak has persisted for a threshold length of time. This remains the case even if the simpler methods are fully optimised in advance. Our work highlights the potential benefits of giving careful consideration to the question of when to start disease management during emerging outbreaks, and provides a concrete framework to allow policy-makers to make this decision.

  11. Efficacy of prophylactic splenectomy for proximal advanced gastric cancer invading greater curvature.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ohkura, Yu; Haruta, Shusuke; Shindoh, Junichi; Tanaka, Tsuyoshi; Ueno, Masaki; Udagawa, Harushi

    2017-05-25

    For proximal gastric cancer invading the greater curvature, concomitant splenectomy is frequently performed to secure the clearance of lymph node metastases. However, prognostic impact of prophylactic splenectomy remains unclear. The aim of this study was to clarify the oncological significance of prophylactic splenectomy for advanced proximal gastric cancer invading the greater curvature. Retrospective review of 108 patients who underwent total or subtotal gastrectomy for advanced proximal gastric cancer involving the greater curvature was performed. Short-term and long-term outcomes were compared between the patients who underwent splenectomy (n = 63) and those who did not (n = 45). Patients who underwent splenectomy showed higher amount of blood loss (538 vs. 450 mL, p = 0.016) and morbidity rate (30.2 vs. 13.3, p = 0.041) compared with those who did not undergo splenectomy. In particular, pancreas-related complications were frequently observed among patients who received splenectomy (17.4 vs. 0%, p = 0.003). However, no significant improvement of long-term outcomes were confirmed in the cases with splenectomy (5-year recurrence-free rate, 60.2 vs. 67.3%; p = 0.609 and 5-year overall survival rates, 63.7 vs. 73.6%; p = 0.769). On the other hand, splenectomy was correlated with marginally better survival in patients with Borrmann type 1 or 2 gastric cancer (p = 0.072). For advanced proximal gastric cancer involving the greater curvature, prophylactic splenectomy may have no significant prognostic impact despite the increased morbidity rate after surgery. Such surgical procedure should be avoided as long as lymph node involvement is not evident.

  12. Stoichiometric constraints do not limit successful invaders: zebra mussels in Swedish lakes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Naddafi, Rahmat; Eklöv, Peter; Pettersson, Kurt

    2009-01-01

    Elemental imbalances of carbon (C): nitrogen (N): phosphorus (P) ratios in food resources can constrain the growth of grazers owning to tight coupling between growth rate, RNA allocation and biomass P content in animals. Testing for stoichiometric constraints among invasive species is a novel challenge in invasion ecology to unravel how a successful invader tackles ecological barriers in novel ecosystems. We examined the C:P and N:P ratios and the condition factor of a successful invader in lakes, the zebra mussel (Dreissena polymorpha), collected from two Swedish lakes. Concurrently, we analyzed the elemental composition of the food (seston) and tissue of the mussels in which nutrient composition of food and mussels varied over time. Zebra mussel condition factor was weakly related to the their own tissue N:P and C:P ratios, although the relation with the later ratio was not significant. Smaller mussels had relatively lower tissue N:P ratio and higher condition factor. There was no difference in C:P and N:P ratios between seston and mussels' tissues. Our results indicated that the variation in nutrient stoichiometry of zebra mussels can be explained by food quality and quantity. Our study suggests that fitness of invasive zebra mussels is not constrained by nutrient stoichiometry which is likely to be important for their proliferation in novel ecosystems. The lack of imbalance in C:P and N:P ratios between seston and mussels along with high tissue C:P ratio of the mussel allow them to tolerate potential P limitation and maintain high growth rate. Moreover, zebra mussels are able to change their tissue C:P and N:P ratios in response to the variation in elemental composition of their food. This can also help them to bypass potential nutrient stoichiometric constraints. Our finding is an important step towards understanding the mechanisms contributing to the success of exotic species from stoichiometric principles.

  13. Stoichiometric constraints do not limit successful invaders: zebra mussels in Swedish lakes.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rahmat Naddafi

    Full Text Available Elemental imbalances of carbon (C: nitrogen (N: phosphorus (P ratios in food resources can constrain the growth of grazers owning to tight coupling between growth rate, RNA allocation and biomass P content in animals. Testing for stoichiometric constraints among invasive species is a novel challenge in invasion ecology to unravel how a successful invader tackles ecological barriers in novel ecosystems.We examined the C:P and N:P ratios and the condition factor of a successful invader in lakes, the zebra mussel (Dreissena polymorpha, collected from two Swedish lakes. Concurrently, we analyzed the elemental composition of the food (seston and tissue of the mussels in which nutrient composition of food and mussels varied over time. Zebra mussel condition factor was weakly related to the their own tissue N:P and C:P ratios, although the relation with the later ratio was not significant. Smaller mussels had relatively lower tissue N:P ratio and higher condition factor. There was no difference in C:P and N:P ratios between seston and mussels' tissues. Our results indicated that the variation in nutrient stoichiometry of zebra mussels can be explained by food quality and quantity.Our study suggests that fitness of invasive zebra mussels is not constrained by nutrient stoichiometry which is likely to be important for their proliferation in novel ecosystems. The lack of imbalance in C:P and N:P ratios between seston and mussels along with high tissue C:P ratio of the mussel allow them to tolerate potential P limitation and maintain high growth rate. Moreover, zebra mussels are able to change their tissue C:P and N:P ratios in response to the variation in elemental composition of their food. This can also help them to bypass potential nutrient stoichiometric constraints. Our finding is an important step towards understanding the mechanisms contributing to the success of exotic species from stoichiometric principles.

  14. Linking Native and Invader Traits Explains Native Spider Population Responses to Plant Invasion.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jennifer N Smith

    Full Text Available Theoretically, the functional traits of native species should determine how natives respond to invader-driven changes. To explore this idea, we simulated a large-scale plant invasion using dead spotted knapweed (Centaurea stoebe stems to determine if native spiders' web-building behaviors could explain differences in spider population responses to structural changes arising from C. stoebe invasion. After two years, irregular web-spiders were >30 times more abundant and orb weavers were >23 times more abundant on simulated invasion plots compared to controls. Additionally, irregular web-spiders on simulated invasion plots built webs that were 4.4 times larger and 5.0 times more likely to capture prey, leading to >2-fold increases in recruitment. Orb-weavers showed no differences in web size or prey captures between treatments. Web-spider responses to simulated invasion mimicked patterns following natural invasions, confirming that C. stoebe's architecture is likely the primary attribute driving native spider responses to these invasions. Differences in spider responses were attributable to differences in web construction behaviors relative to historic web substrate constraints. Orb-weavers in this system constructed webs between multiple plants, so they were limited by the overall quantity of native substrates but not by the architecture of individual native plant species. Irregular web-spiders built their webs within individual plants and were greatly constrained by the diminutive architecture of native plant substrates, so they were limited both by quantity and quality of native substrates. Evaluating native species traits in the context of invader-driven change can explain invasion outcomes and help to identify factors limiting native populations.

  15. Inquiring into Red/Red Inquiring

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ken Gale

    2013-05-01

    Full Text Available This layered account of an inquiry into ‘red’ emerged out of a collective biography workshop. In the middle of the Wiltshire countryside, an international and interdisciplinary group of scholars gathered together to write and make other things and marks on paper that asked questions of, and into, the spaces between words, people, things and their environments. We did not set out to workshop or write into or paint ‘red’ but, rather, it was red that slipped in, uninvited, and painted and wrote us. Red arose as a blush or a stain seeping amongst us that became referenced obliquely by material objects, metaphors and fairytales. The stain spread, became noticeable through our weekend together and beyond it, creating another (bright red artery vein of connection to write with.

  16. The impact of failure: unsuccessful bacterial invasions steer the soil microbial community away from the invader's niche.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mallon, C A; Le Roux, X; van Doorn, G S; Dini-Andreote, F; Poly, F; Salles, J F

    2018-03-01

    Although many environments like soils are constantly subjected to invasion by alien microbes, invaders usually fail to succeed, succumbing to the robust diversity often found in nature. So far, only successful invasions have been explored, and it remains unknown to what extent an unsuccessful invasion can impact resident communities. Here we hypothesized that unsuccessful invasions can cause impacts to soil functioning by decreasing the diversity and niche breadth of resident bacterial communities, which could cause shifts to community composition and niche structure-an effect that is likely exacerbated when diversity is compromised. To examine this question, diversity gradients of soil microbial communities were subjected to invasion by the frequent, yet oft-unsuccessful soil invader, Escherichia coli, and evaluated for changes to diversity, bacterial community composition, niche breadth, and niche structure. Contrary to expectations, diversity and niche breadth increased across treatments upon invasion. Community composition and niche structure were also altered, with shifts of niche structure revealing an escape by the resident community away from the invader's resources. Importantly, the extent of the escape varied in response to the community's diversity, where less diverse communities experienced larger shifts. Thus, although transient and unsuccessful, the invader competed for resources with resident species and caused tangible impacts that modified both the diversity and functioning of resident communities, which can likely generate a legacy effect that influences future invasion attempts.

  17. Darwin's naturalization hypothesis up-close: Intermountain grassland invaders differ morphologically and phenologically from native community dominants

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dean E. Pearson; Yvette K. Ortega; Samantha J. Sears

    2012-01-01

    Darwin's naturalization hypothesis predicts that successful invaders will tend to differ taxonomically from native species in recipient communities because less related species exhibit lower niche overlap and experience reduced biotic resistance. This hypothesis has garnered substantial support at coarse scales. However, at finer scales, the influence of traits...

  18. Relative roles of climatic suitability and anthropogenic influence in determining the pattern of spread in a global invader

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Roura-Pascual, Núria; Hui, Cang; Ikeda, Takayoshi

    2011-01-01

    Because invasive species threaten the integrity of natural ecosystems, a major goal in ecology is to develop predictive models to determine which species may become widespread and where they may invade. Indeed, considerable progress has been made in understanding the factors that influence the lo...

  19. Persistence of Native Trees in an Invaded Hawaiian Lowland Wet Forest: Experimental Evaluation of Light and Water Constraints

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jodie R. Schulten; T. Colleen Cole; Susan Cordell; Keiko M. Publico; Rebecca Ostertag; Jaime E. Enoka; Jené D. Michaud

    2014-01-01

    Hawaiian lowland wet forests are heavily invaded and their restoration is most likely to be successful if native species selected for restoration have efficient resource-use traits. We evaluated growth, survival, and ecophysiological responses of four native and four invasive species in a greenhouse experiment that simulated reduced light and water conditions commonly...

  20. Habitat heterogeneity influences restoration efficacy: Implications of a habitat-specific management regime for an invaded marsh

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tang, Long; Gao, Yang; Wang, Cheng-Huan; Li, Bo; Chen, Jia-Kuan; Zhao, Bin

    2013-07-01

    Invasive species have to be managed to prevent adverse consequences. Spartina alterniflora has invaded many marshes where salinity and inundation are often key factors affecting vegetation. The former was surface clipped twice and native Phragmites australis was planted in invaded zones to examine the effects of habitat properties on the efficacy of invader control and native restoration. The results showed that two clipping treatments almost eliminated S. alterniflora in the zones with long inundation periods of 80 h/15 d but stimulated compensatory growth of S. alterniflora in the zones with short inundation periods. Transplanted P. australis performed better over time in zones with low salinity (removal of the above-ground parts of S. alterniflora should be used only in the middle tidal zones and that native vegetation should be planted in zones above the mean high water level while the others zones in the saltmarsh should be restored to mud flats. Usually, invasive plants can flourish in highly heterogeneous habitats, which can influence management efficacy by influencing the re-growth of treated invaders and the performance of restored native species. Therefore, habitat-specific management regimes for invasive species can be expected to be more efficient because of their dependence on specific habitats.

  1. A contribution to improved radiotherapy for muscle invading urinary bladder cancer

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Muren, Ludvig PAul

    2002-07-01

    Cystectomy has traditionally been regarded the treatment of choice for muscle invading urinary bladder cancer in most countries. Radiotherapy has been offered patients considered unfit for cystectomy. Since the contraindications of surgery are frequent among bladder cancer patients, a substantial amount of patients with muscle invading bladder cancer (typically 50%) are still managed primarily with radiation. Recently, a tri-modality, organsparing treatment (trans-urethral resection and radio-chemotherapy) has been proposed for bladder cancer, like in the management of a range of other common malignancies. This approach may provide as high control rates as cystectomy yet maintain a higher quality of life for selected patient groups. In both the radical radiotherapy and the combined modality approach, high radiation doses are needed to improve local disease control. Radiation dose escalation requires improved conformation of dose distributions. This PhD programme aimed to develop improved conformal radiotherapy procedures in the management of patients with muscle invading urinary bladder cancer. In the initial phase of this work, computer-controlled movement of the linear accelerator collimator jaws during beam delivery was applied to shape so-called partially wedged beams (PWBs), that were designed specifically to tailor the dose distribution in bladder irradiation closer to the defined bladder target. The dosimetric verification and treatment planning implementation of this beam delivery concept were addressed, and we documented that these dynamic beams were delivered as accurately as standard beams. Particular attention was given to the BMS-96 diode array system, as it was adapted to dynamic beam dosimetry. Next, the potential clinical impact of these beams was analysed. In a retrospectively study of a set of urinary bladder treatment plans, the PWBs were seen to improve the dose homogeneity inside the bladder target as well as to reduce normal tissue (small

  2. A contribution to improved radiotherapy for muscle invading urinary bladder cancer

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Muren, Ludvig PAul

    2002-01-01

    Cystectomy has traditionally been regarded the treatment of choice for muscle invading urinary bladder cancer in most countries. Radiotherapy has been offered patients considered unfit for cystectomy. Since the contraindications of surgery are frequent among bladder cancer patients, a substantial amount of patients with muscle invading bladder cancer (typically 50%) are still managed primarily with radiation. Recently, a tri-modality, organsparing treatment (trans-urethral resection and radio-chemotherapy) has been proposed for bladder cancer, like in the management of a range of other common malignancies. This approach may provide as high control rates as cystectomy yet maintain a higher quality of life for selected patient groups. In both the radical radiotherapy and the combined modality approach, high radiation doses are needed to improve local disease control. Radiation dose escalation requires improved conformation of dose distributions. This PhD programme aimed to develop improved conformal radiotherapy procedures in the management of patients with muscle invading urinary bladder cancer. In the initial phase of this work, computer-controlled movement of the linear accelerator collimator jaws during beam delivery was applied to shape so-called partially wedged beams (PWBs), that were designed specifically to tailor the dose distribution in bladder irradiation closer to the defined bladder target. The dosimetric verification and treatment planning implementation of this beam delivery concept were addressed, and we documented that these dynamic beams were delivered as accurately as standard beams. Particular attention was given to the BMS-96 diode array system, as it was adapted to dynamic beam dosimetry. Next, the potential clinical impact of these beams was analysed. In a retrospectively study of a set of urinary bladder treatment plans, the PWBs were seen to improve the dose homogeneity inside the bladder target as well as to reduce normal tissue (small

  3. Using a prescribed fire to test custom and standard fuel models for fire behaviour prediction in a non-native, grass-invaded tropical dry shrubland

    Science.gov (United States)

    Andrew D. Pierce; Sierra McDaniel; Mark Wasser; Alison Ainsworth; Creighton M. Litton; Christian P. Giardina; Susan Cordell; Ralf Ohlemuller

    2014-01-01

    Questions: Do fuel models developed for North American fuel types accurately represent fuel beds found in grass-invaded tropical shrublands? Do standard or custom fuel models for firebehavior models with in situ or RAWS measured fuel moistures affect the accuracy of predicted fire behavior in grass-invaded tropical shrublands? Location: Hawai’i Volcanoes National...

  4. Stealthy invaders: the biology of Cardiocondyla tramp ants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Heinze, J.; Cremer, Sylvia; Eckl, N.

    2006-01-01

    Many invasive ant species, such as the Argentine ant or the red imported fire ant, have huge colonies with thousands of mass-foraging workers, which quickly monopolise resources and therefore represent a considerable threat to the native ant fauna. Cardiocondyla obscurior and several other specie...

  5. USE OF UAV PLATFORM AS AN AUTONOMOUS TOOL FOR ESTIMATING EXPANSION ON INVADED AGRICULTURAL LAND

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Niarkios Luiz Santos de Salles Graça

    Full Text Available Abstract: For a long time, in many countries, questions involving disputes about land ownership has generated demand for geoinformation and documentation. In most cases, access for researchers is restricted or humanely impossible by eminence of conflicts, even armed. In these cases, researchers use Remote Sensing and Photogrammetry to enable their studies. However, the dynamics of the phenomenon being studied often requires approaches that traditional techniques become unviable or unable to fulfil. This work shows the results of an approach that used a photogrammetric UAV platform to take pictures of an invaded rural area in Brazil and estimate its expansion over two years. From the taken images, mosaics were generated and then classified using Decision Tree to identify tents. Then it was developed a Matlab algorithm, to detect and quantify the tents on the classified Images. It was possible to infer that there was an expansion of 7.3% between the two analyzed dates and probably more than three thousand people occupied the invasion site.

  6. Mechanical properties of metastatic breast cancer cells invading into collagen I matrices

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ros, Robert

    2014-03-01

    Mechanical interactions between cells and the extracellular matrix (ECM) are critical to the metastasis of cancer cells. To investigate the mechanical interplay between the cells and ECM during invasion, we created thin bovine collagen I hydrogels ranging from 0.1-5 kPa in Young's modulus that were seeded with highly metastatic MDA-MB-231 breast cancer cells. Significant population fractions invaded the matrices either partially or fully within 24 h. We then combined confocal fluorescence microscopy and indentation with an atomic force microscope to determine the Young's moduli of individual embedded cells and the pericellular matrix using novel analysis methods for heterogeneous samples. In partially embedded cells, we observe a statistically significant correlation between the degree of invasion and the Young's modulus, which was up to an order of magnitude greater than that of the same cells measured in 2D. ROCK inhibition returned the cells' Young's moduli to values similar to 2D and diminished but did not abrogate invasion. This provides evidence that Rho/ROCK-dependent acto-myosin contractility is employed for matrix reorganization during initial invasion, and suggests the observed cell stiffening is due to an attendant increase in actin stress fibers. This work was supported by the National Cancer Institute under the grant U54 CA143862.

  7. Alien roadside species more easily invade alpine than lowland plant communities in a subarctic mountain ecosystem.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jonas J Lembrechts

    Full Text Available Effects of roads on plant communities are not well known in cold-climate mountain ecosystems, where road building and development are expected to increase in future decades. Knowledge of the sensitivity of mountain plant communities to disturbance by roads is however important for future conservation purposes. We investigate the effects of roads on species richness and composition, including the plant strategies that are most affected, along three elevational gradients in a subarctic mountain ecosystem. We also examine whether mountain roads promote the introduction and invasion of alien plant species from the lowlands to the alpine zone. Observations of plant community composition were made together with abiotic, biotic and anthropogenic factors in 60 T-shaped transects. Alpine plant communities reacted differently to road disturbances than their lowland counterparts. On high elevations, the roadside species composition was more similar to that of the local natural communities. Less competitive and ruderal species were present at high compared with lower elevation roadsides. While the effects of roads thus seem to be mitigated in the alpine environment for plant species in general, mountain plant communities are more invasible than lowland communities. More precisely, relatively more alien species present in the roadside were found to invade into the surrounding natural community at high compared to low elevations. We conclude that effects of roads and introduction of alien species in lowlands cannot simply be extrapolated to the alpine and subarctic environment.

  8. Alien roadside species more easily invade alpine than lowland plant communities in a subarctic mountain ecosystem.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lembrechts, Jonas J; Milbau, Ann; Nijs, Ivan

    2014-01-01

    Effects of roads on plant communities are not well known in cold-climate mountain ecosystems, where road building and development are expected to increase in future decades. Knowledge of the sensitivity of mountain plant communities to disturbance by roads is however important for future conservation purposes. We investigate the effects of roads on species richness and composition, including the plant strategies that are most affected, along three elevational gradients in a subarctic mountain ecosystem. We also examine whether mountain roads promote the introduction and invasion of alien plant species from the lowlands to the alpine zone. Observations of plant community composition were made together with abiotic, biotic and anthropogenic factors in 60 T-shaped transects. Alpine plant communities reacted differently to road disturbances than their lowland counterparts. On high elevations, the roadside species composition was more similar to that of the local natural communities. Less competitive and ruderal species were present at high compared with lower elevation roadsides. While the effects of roads thus seem to be mitigated in the alpine environment for plant species in general, mountain plant communities are more invasible than lowland communities. More precisely, relatively more alien species present in the roadside were found to invade into the surrounding natural community at high compared to low elevations. We conclude that effects of roads and introduction of alien species in lowlands cannot simply be extrapolated to the alpine and subarctic environment.

  9. Invading species in the Eel River, California: Successes, failures, and relationships with resident species

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brown, L.R.; Moyle, P.B.

    1997-01-01

    We examined invasions of non-native fishes into the Eel River, California. At least 16 species of fish have been introduced into the drainage which originally supported 12-14 fish species. Our study was prompted by the unauthorized introduction in 1979 of Sacramento squawfish, Ptychocheilus grandis, a large predatory cyprinid. From 1986 to 1990, we conducted growth and diet studies of squaw fish, conducted intensive surveys of the distribution and habitat associations of both native and introduced species, and examined the nature of species-habitat and interspecies relationships. We found no evidence for increased growth or expanded feeding habits, compared to native populations, of Sacramento squawfish as they invaded the Eel River drainage. Ten of the introduced species were well established, with four species limited to a reservoir and six species established in streams. The success or failure of introductions of stream species appeared to be a function of the ability of a species to survive the fluctuating, highly seasonal, flow regime. The present mixture of native and exotic species has not formed stable fish assemblages but it seems likely that four habitat-associated assemblages will develop. The overall effect of the successful species introductions has been to assemble a group of species, with some exceptions, that are native to and occur together in many California streams. The assemblages now forming are similar to those found in other California streams. The assemblage characterized by squawfish and suckers is likely to be resistant to invasion, in the absence of human caused habitat modifications.

  10. Irradiation effects for the growth inhibition of weed seeds invaded from foreign countries

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Takatani, Yasuyuki; Ito, Hitoshi

    1999-01-01

    Weeds of foreign origin have been invaded through imported maize or dried grass which using for animal feeds, and causing serious damages to agricultural crops and farm animals in Japan. These weeds are spreading mainly through animal feeds to feces. For the purpose to decrease the damage from these weeds, we investigated the gamma-irradiation effect on 7 species of the weed seed to suppress the germination or elongation of stem and root. After the irradiation of the weed seeds, all species kept the ability of germination even at 4 kGy in petri dish cultivation, whereas decreased the germination ratio in some species. However, many species of weed decreased the ability on elongation of stem or root below l kGy irradiation. Furthermore, all of species lost the ability on the development of root hair and appearance of first leaf after germination of seeds below 1 kGy irradiation. From this study, necessary dose for growth inhibition was estimated to be 1 kGy which should be able to apply with combination treatment of the animal feeds for elimination of pathogenic bacteria such as salmonellae at 3 to 5 kGy irradiation. (author)

  11. Herbivory more limiting than competition on early and established native plants in an invaded meadow.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gonzales, Emily K; Arcese, Peter

    2008-12-01

    The dominance of nonnative plants coupled with declines of native plants suggests that competitive displacement drives extinctions, yet empirical examples are rare. Herbivores, however, can alter vegetation structure and reduce diversity when abundant. Herbivores may act on mature, reproductive life stages whereas some of the strongest competitive effects might occur at early life stages that are difficult to observe. For example, competition by perennial nonnative grasses can interfere with the establishment of native seeds. We contrasted the effects of ungulate herbivory and competition by neighboring plants on the performance of native plant species at early and established life stages in invaded oak meadows. We recorded growth, survival, and flowering in two native species transplanted as established plants, six native species grown from seed, and five extant lily species as part of two 2 x 2 factorial experiments that manipulated herbivory and competition. Herbivory reduced the performance of nearly all focal native species at early and established life stages, whereas competition had few measurable effects. Our results suggest that herbivory has a greater local influence on native plant species than competition and that reducing herbivore impacts will be required to successfully restore endangered oak meadows where ungulates are now abundant.

  12. Management of invading pathogens should be informed by epidemiology rather than administrative boundaries.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thompson, Robin N; Cobb, Richard C; Gilligan, Christopher A; Cunniffe, Nik J

    2016-03-24

    Plant and animal disease outbreaks have significant ecological and economic impacts. The spatial extent of control is often informed solely by administrative geography - for example, quarantine of an entire county or state once an invading disease is detected - with little regard for pathogen epidemiology. We present a stochastic model for the spread of a plant pathogen that couples spread in the natural environment and transmission via the nursery trade, and use it to illustrate that control deployed according to administrative boundaries is almost always sub-optimal. We use sudden oak death (caused by Phytophthora ramorum ) in mixed forests in California as motivation for our study, since the decision as to whether or not to deploy plant trade quarantine is currently undertaken on a county-by-county basis for that system. However, our key conclusion is applicable more generally: basing management of any disease entirely upon administrative borders does not balance the cost of control with the possible economic and ecological costs of further spread in the optimal fashion.

  13. Northward invading non-native vascular plant species in and adjacent to Wood Buffalo National Park

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wein, R.W.; Wein, G.; Bahret, S.; Cody, W.J. (Alberta University, Edmonton, AB (Canada). Canadian Circumpolar Institute)

    A survey of the non-native vascular plant species in Wood Buffalo National Park, Canada's largest forested National Park, documented their presence and abundance in key locations. Most of the fifty-four species (nine new records) were found in disturbed sites including roadsides, settlements, farms, areas of altered hydrological regimes, recent bums, and intensive bison grazing. Species that have increased most in geographic area and abundance in recent years include [ital Agropyron repens], [ital Bromus inermis], [ital Chenopodium album], [ital Melilotus spp.], [ital Trifolium spp.], [ital Plantago major], [ital Achillea millefolium], [ital Crepis tectorum] and [ital Sonchus arvensis]. An additional 20 species, now common in the Peace River and Fort Vermilion areas, have the potential to invade the Park if plant communities are subjected to additional stress as northern climates are modified by the greenhouse effect and as other human-caused activities disturb the vegetation. It is recommended that permanent plots be located in key locations and monitored for species invasion and changing abundances as input to management plans.

  14. Microbial hara-kiri: Exploiting lysosomal cell death in malaria parasites

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jun-Hong Ch’ng

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available The antimalarial drug chloroquine (CQ has been sidelined in the fight against falciparum malaria due to wide-spread CQ resistance. Replacement drugs like sulfadoxine, pyrimethamine and mefloquine have also since been surpassed with the evolution of multi-drug resistant parasites. Even the currently recommended artemisinin-based combination therapies show signs of compromise due to the recent spread of artemisinin delayed-clearance parasites. Though there have been promising breakthroughs in the pursuit of new effective antimalarials, the development and strategic deployment of such novel chemical entities takes time. We therefore argue that there is a crucial need to re-examine the usefulness of ‘outdated’ drugs like chloroquine, and explore if they might be effective alternative therapies in the interim. We suggest that a novel parasite cell death (pCD pathway may be exploited through the reformulation of CQ to address this need.

  15. The fitness of drug-resistant malaria parasites in a rodent model: multiplicity of infection

    OpenAIRE

    Huijben, Silvie; Sim, Derek G.; Nelson, William, A.; Read, Andrew F.

    2011-01-01

    Malaria infections normally consist of more than one clonally-replicating lineage. Within-host interactions between sensitive and resistant parasites can have profound effects on the evolution of drug resistance. Here, using the Plasmodium chabaudi mouse malaria model, we ask whether the costs and benefits of resistance are affected by the number of co-infecting strains competing with a resistant clone. We found strong competitive suppression of resistant parasites in untreated infections and...

  16. Experimental studies on the ecology and evolution of drug-resistant malaria parasites

    OpenAIRE

    Huijben, Silvie

    2010-01-01

    Drug resistance is a serious problem in health care in general, and in malaria treatment in particular, rendering many of our previously considered ‘wonder drugs’ useless. Recently, large sums of money have been allocated for the continuous development of new drugs to replace the failing ones. We seem to be one step behind the evolution of antimalarial resistance; is it possible to get one step ahead? Are interventions which slow down the evolution and spread of drug-resistant ...

  17. Immunogenicity of a malaria parasite antigen displayed by Lactococcus lactis in oral immunisations

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ramasamy, R; Yasawardena, S; Zomer, A; Venema, G; Kok, J; Leenhouts, K

    2006-01-01

    A putative protective protein from Plasmodium falciparum merozoites, MSA2, was expressed in two different ways on the cell surface of the Gram-positive food-grade bacterium, Lactococcus lactis. The first display format exploits an LPXTG-type anchoring motif of the lactococcal proteinase PrtP to

  18. 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.

  19. PEST sequences in the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum: a genomic study

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bell Angus

    2003-06-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Inhibitors of the protease calpain are known to have selectively toxic effects on Plasmodium falciparum. The enzyme has a natural inhibitor calpastatin and in eukaryotes is responsible for turnover of proteins containing short sequences enriched in certain amino acids (PEST sequences. The genome of P. falciparum was searched for this protease, its natural inhibitor and putative substrates. Methods The publicly available P. falciparum genome was found to have too many errors to permit reliable analysis. An earlier annotation of chromosome 2 was instead examined. PEST scores were determined for all annotated proteins. The published genome was searched for calpain and calpastatin homologs. Results Typical PEST sequences were found in 13% of the proteins on chromosome 2, including a surprising number of cell-surface proteins. The annotated calpain gene has a non-biological "intron" that appears to have been created to avoid an unrecognized frameshift. Only the catalytic domain has significant similarity with the vertebrate calpains. No calpastatin homologs were found in the published annotation. Conclusion A calpain gene is present in the genome and many putative substrates of this enzyme have been found. Calpastatin homologs may be found once the re-annotation is completed. Given the selective toxicity of calpain inhibitors, this enzyme may be worth exploring further as a potential drug target.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-01-01

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

  1. Long- and short-term selective forces on malaria parasite genomes

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nygaard, Sanne; Braunstein, Alexander; Malsen, Gareth

    2010-01-01

    Plasmodium parasites, the causal agents of malaria, result in more than 1 million deaths annually. Plasmodium are unicellular eukaryotes with small ~23 Mb genomes encoding ~5200 protein-coding genes. The protein-coding genes comprise about half of these genomes. Although evolutionary processes ha...

  2. Molecular cloning of a K+ channel from the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ellekvist, Peter; Ricke, Christina Høier; Litman, Thomas

    2004-01-01

    In most living cells, K(+) channels are important for the generation of the membrane potential and for volume regulation. The parasite Plasmodium falciparum, which causes malignant malaria, must be able to deal with large variations in the ambient K(+) concentration: it is exposed to high...... concentrations of K(+) when inside the erythrocyte and low concentrations when in plasma. In the recently published genome of P. falciparum, we have identified a gene, pfkch1, encoding a potential K(+) channel, which to some extent resembles the big-conductance (BK) K(+) channel. We have cloned the approximately...

  3. Submicroscopic malaria parasite carriage: how reproducible are polymerase chain reaction-based methods?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Daniela Camargos Costa

    2014-02-01

    Full Text Available The polymerase chain reaction (PCR-based methods for the diagnosis of malaria infection are expected to accurately identify submicroscopic parasite carriers. Although a significant number of PCR protocols have been described, few studies have addressed the performance of PCR amplification in cases of field samples with submicroscopic malaria infection. Here, the reproducibility of two well-established PCR protocols (nested-PCR and real-time PCR for the Plasmodium 18 small subunit rRNA gene were evaluated in a panel of 34 blood field samples from individuals that are potential reservoirs of malaria infection, but were negative for malaria by optical microscopy. Regardless of the PCR protocol, a large variation between the PCR replicates was observed, leading to alternating positive and negative results in 38% (13 out of 34 of the samples. These findings were quite different from those obtained from the microscopy-positive patients or the unexposed individuals; the diagnosis of these individuals could be confirmed based on the high reproducibility and specificity of the PCR-based protocols. The limitation of PCR amplification was restricted to the field samples with very low levels of parasitaemia because titrations of the DNA templates were able to detect < 3 parasites/µL in the blood. In conclusion, conventional PCR protocols require careful interpretation in cases of submicroscopic malaria infection, as inconsistent and false-negative results can occur.

  4. Evaluation of a novel magneto-optical method for the detection of malaria parasites.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Agnes Orbán

    Full Text Available Improving the efficiency of malaria diagnosis is one of the main goals of current malaria research. We have recently developed a magneto-optical (MO method which allows high-sensitivity detection of malaria pigment (hemozoin crystals in blood via the magnetically induced rotational motion of the hemozoin crystals. Here, we evaluate this MO technique for the detection of Plasmodium falciparum in infected erythrocytes using in-vitro parasite cultures covering the entire intraerythrocytic life cycle. Our novel method detected parasite densities as low as ∼ 40 parasites per microliter of blood (0.0008% parasitemia at the ring stage and less than 10 parasites/µL (0.0002% parasitemia in the case of the later stages. These limits of detection, corresponding to approximately 20 pg/µL of hemozoin produced by the parasites, exceed that of rapid diagnostic tests and compete with the threshold achievable by light microscopic observation of blood smears. The MO diagnosis requires no special training of the operator or specific reagents for parasite detection, except for an inexpensive lysis solution to release intracellular hemozoin. The devices can be designed to a portable format for clinical and in-field tests. Besides testing its diagnostic performance, we also applied the MO technique to investigate the change in hemozoin concentration during parasite maturation. Our preliminary data indicate that this method may offer an efficient tool to determine the amount of hemozoin produced by the different parasite stages in synchronized cultures. Hence, it could eventually be used for testing the susceptibility of parasites to antimalarial drugs.

  5. Lys48 ubiquitination during the intraerythrocytic cycle of the rodent malaria parasite, Plasmodium chabaudi.

    Science.gov (United States)

    González-López, Lorena; Carballar-Lejarazú, Rebeca; Arrevillaga Boni, Gerardo; Cortés-Martínez, Leticia; Cázares-Raga, Febe Elena; Trujillo-Ocampo, Abel; Rodríguez, Mario H; James, Anthony A; Hernández-Hernández, Fidel de la Cruz

    2017-01-01

    Ubiquitination tags proteins for different functions within the cell. One of the most abundant and studied ubiquitin modification is the Lys48 polyubiquitin chain that modifies proteins for their destruction by proteasome. In Plasmodium is proposed that post-translational regulation is fundamental for parasite development during its complex life-cycle; thus, the objective of this work was to analyze the ubiquitination during Plasmodium chabaudi intraerythrocytic stages. Ubiquitinated proteins were detected during intraerythrocytic stages of Plasmodium chabaudi by immunofluorescent microscopy, bidimensional electrophoresis (2-DE) combined with immunoblotting and mass spectrometry. All the studied stages presented protein ubiquitination and Lys48 polyubiquitination with more abundance during the schizont stage. Three ubiquitinated proteins were identified for rings, five for trophozoites and twenty for schizonts. Only proteins detected with a specific anti- Lys48 polyubiquitin antibody were selected for Mass Spectrometry analysis and two of these identified proteins were selected in order to detect the specific amino acid residues where ubiquitin is placed. Ubiquitinated proteins during the ring and trophozoite stages were related with the invasion process and in schizont proteins were related with nucleic acid metabolism, glycolysis and protein biosynthesis. Most of the ubiquitin detection was during the schizont stage and the Lys48 polyubiquitination during this stage was related to proteins that are expected to be abundant during the trophozoite stage. The evidence that these Lys48 polyubiquitinated proteins are tagged for destruction by the proteasome complex suggests that this type of post-translational modification is important in the regulation of protein abundance during the life-cycle and may also contribute to the parasite cell-cycle progression.

  6. Long- and short-term selective forces on malaria parasite genomes

    KAUST Repository

    Nygaard, Sanne

    2010-09-09

    Plasmodium parasites, the causal agents of malaria, result in more than 1 million deaths annually. Plasmodium are unicellular eukaryotes with small ~23 Mb genomes encoding ~5200 protein-coding genes. The protein-coding genes comprise about half of these genomes. Although evolutionary processes have a significant impact on malaria control, the selective pressures within Plasmodium genomes are poorly understood, particularly in the non-protein-coding portion of the genome. We use evolutionary methods to describe selective processes in both the coding and non-coding regions of these genomes. Based on genome alignments of seven Plasmodium species, we show that protein-coding, intergenic and intronic regions are all subject to purifying selection and we identify 670 conserved non-genic elements. We then use genome-wide polymorphism data from P. falciparum to describe short-term selective processes in this species and identify some candidate genes for balancing (diversifying) selection. Our analyses suggest that there are many functional elements in the non-genic regions of these genomes and that adaptive evolution has occurred more frequently in the protein-coding regions of the genome. © 2010 Nygaard et al.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alfonso Marzal

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

  8. Malaria parasite carriage and risk determinants in a rural population: a malariometric survey in Rwanda

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kateera, Fredrick; Mens, Petra F.; Hakizimana, Emmanuel; Ingabire, Chantal M.; Muragijemariya, Liberata; Karinda, Parfait; Grobusch, Martin P.; Mutesa, Leon; van Vugt, Michèle

    2015-01-01

    Based on routine health facility case data, Rwanda has achieved a significant malaria burden reduction in the past ten years. However, community-based malaria parasitaemia burden and reasons for continued residual infections, despite a high coverage of control interventions, have yet to be

  9. Long term persistence of clonal malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum lineages in the Colombian Pacific region.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Echeverry, Diego F; Nair, Shalini; Osorio, Lyda; Menon, Sanjay; Murillo, Claribel; Anderson, Tim J C

    2013-01-07

    Resistance to chloroquine and antifolate drugs has evolved independently in South America, suggesting that genotype - phenotype studies aimed at understanding the genetic basis of resistance to these and other drugs should be conducted in this continent. This research was conducted to better understand the population structure of Colombian Plasmodium falciparum in preparation for such studies. A set of 384 SNPs were genotyped in blood spot DNA samples from 447 P. falciparum infected subjects collected over a ten year period from four provinces of the Colombian Pacific coast to evaluate clonality, population structure and linkage disequilibrium (LD). Most infections (81%) contained a single predominant clone. These clustered into 136 multilocus genotypes (MLGs), with 32% of MLGs recovered from multiple (2 - 28) independent subjects. We observed extremely low genotypic richness (R = 0.42) and long persistence of MLGs through time (median = 537 days, range = 1 - 2,997 days). There was a high probability (>5%) of sampling parasites from the same MLG in different subjects within 28 days, suggesting caution is needed when using genotyping methods to assess treatment success in clinical drug trials. Panmixia was rejected as four well differentiated subpopulations (FST = 0.084 - 0.279) were identified. These occurred sympatrically but varied in frequency within the four provinces. Linkage disequilibrium (LD) decayed more rapidly (r2 = 0.17 for markers Colombian populations have several advantages for association studies, because multiple clone infections are uncommon and LD decays over the scale of one or a few genes. However, the extensive population structure and low genotype richness will need to be accounted for when designing and analyzing association studies.

  10. Long term persistence of clonal malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum lineages in the Colombian Pacific region

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Echeverry Diego F

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Resistance to chloroquine and antifolate drugs has evolved independently in South America, suggesting that genotype - phenotype studies aimed at understanding the genetic basis of resistance to these and other drugs should be conducted in this continent. This research was conducted to better understand the population structure of Colombian Plasmodium falciparum in preparation for such studies. Results A set of 384 SNPs were genotyped in blood spot DNA samples from 447 P. falciparum infected subjects collected over a ten year period from four provinces of the Colombian Pacific coast to evaluate clonality, population structure and linkage disequilibrium (LD. Most infections (81% contained a single predominant clone. These clustered into 136 multilocus genotypes (MLGs, with 32% of MLGs recovered from multiple (2 – 28 independent subjects. We observed extremely low genotypic richness (R = 0.42 and long persistence of MLGs through time (median = 537 days, range = 1 – 2,997 days. There was a high probability (>5% of sampling parasites from the same MLG in different subjects within 28 days, suggesting caution is needed when using genotyping methods to assess treatment success in clinical drug trials. Panmixia was rejected as four well differentiated subpopulations (FST = 0.084 - 0.279 were identified. These occurred sympatrically but varied in frequency within the four provinces. Linkage disequilibrium (LD decayed more rapidly (r2 = 0.17 for markers Conclusions We conclude that Colombian populations have several advantages for association studies, because multiple clone infections are uncommon and LD decays over the scale of one or a few genes. However, the extensive population structure and low genotype richness will need to be accounted for when designing and analyzing association studies.

  11. Effectiveness of Gamma Rays in Attenuating Rodent Malaria Parasites of Plasmodium berghei in Blood of Mice

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Syaifudin, M.; Darlina; Rahardjo, T.; Tetriana, D.; Nurhayati, S.; Surniyantoro, H.N.E.; Kisnanto, T.

    2013-01-01

    Malaria is a major public health problem in Indonesia. Therefore, an effective vaccine against this disease is actively being sought by using gamma rays to attenuate the parasites. However, the safety and efficacy of the resulting vaccine are dependent on the precise irradiation dose. The aim of this research was to determine the exact time when the parasites are attenuated by gamma ray exposure. Mice blood containing Plasmodium berghei of 5,0 X 10 7 parasites/ml was irradiated with gamma rays at doses of 0, 150, 175 and 200 Gy (doses rate of 380 Gy/h) and then was injected intraperitoneally to mice at 0, 1, 2, 3, and 4 h post irradiation. The parasitemia (parasite density) in mouse blood was observed starting with day 2 and repeated every 2-4 days up to 28 days. The survival of the mice was also observed during the experiment. The results showed that the pre-patent period advanced with exposing infected blood to 150 and 175 Gy irradiations, suggesting some degree of attenuation. The amount of radiation required to render the parasites non-viable is about 175 Gy for an inoculum of a number of parasites, but a delay of 4 h resulted in the death of parasites. There was no difference in the infectivity of irradiated parasite injected 1 h and 2 h post irradiation in terms of parasitemia and the survival of mouse. For a dose of 200 Gy which was injected 2 h post irradiation, no parasitemia was found in the blood and animals which died after times varying from 1 to 4 weeks. We concluded that irradiated parasites should be injected into the host within 1 h after irradiation. (author)

  12. Gene encoding a deubiquitinating enzyme is mutated in artesunate- and chloroquine-resistant rodent malaria parasites.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hunt, Paul; Afonso, Ana; Creasey, Alison; Culleton, Richard; Sidhu, Amar Bir Singh; Logan, John; Valderramos, Stephanie G; McNae, Iain; Cheesman, Sandra; do Rosario, Virgilio; Carter, Richard; Fidock, David A; Cravo, Pedro

    2007-07-01

    Artemisinin- and artesunate-resistant Plasmodium chabaudi mutants, AS-ART and AS-ATN, were previously selected from chloroquine-resistant clones AS-30CQ and AS-15CQ respectively. Now, a genetic cross between AS-ART and the artemisinin-sensitive clone AJ has been analysed by Linkage Group Selection. A genetic linkage group on chromosome 2 was selected under artemisinin treatment. Within this locus, we identified two different mutations in a gene encoding a deubiquitinating enzyme. A distinct mutation occurred in each of the clones AS-30CQ and AS-ATN, relative to their respective progenitors in the AS lineage. The mutations occurred independently in different clones under drug selection with chloroquine (high concentration) or artesunate. Each mutation maps to a critical residue in a homologous human deubiquitinating protein structure. Although one mutation could theoretically account for the resistance of AS-ATN to artemisinin derivates, the other cannot account solely for the resistance of AS-ART, relative to the responses of its sensitive progenitor AS-30CQ. Two lines of Plasmodium falciparum with decreased susceptibility to artemisinin were also selected. Their drug-response phenotype was not genetically stable. No mutations in the UBP-1 gene encoding the P. falciparum orthologue of the deubiquitinating enzyme were observed. The possible significance of these mutations in parasite responses to chloroquine or artemisinin is discussed.

  13. Long- and short-term selective forces on malaria parasite genomes

    KAUST Repository

    Nygaard, Sanne; Braunstein, Alexander; Malsen, Gareth; Van Dongen, Stijn; Gardner, Paul P.; Krogh, Anders; Otto, Thomas D.; Pain, Arnab; Berriman, Matthew; McAuliffe, Jon; Dermitzakis, Emmanouil T.; Jeffares, Daniel C.

    2010-01-01

    of these genomes. Although evolutionary processes have a significant impact on malaria control, the selective pressures within Plasmodium genomes are poorly understood, particularly in the non-protein-coding portion of the genome. We use evolutionary methods

  14. A cyclic GMP signalling module that regulates gliding motility in a malaria parasite.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Robert W Moon

    2009-09-01

    Full Text Available The ookinete is a motile stage in the malaria life cycle which forms in the mosquito blood meal from the zygote. Ookinetes use an acto-myosin motor to glide towards and penetrate the midgut wall to establish infection in the vector. The regulation of gliding motility is poorly understood. Through genetic interaction studies we here describe a signalling module that identifies guanosine 3', 5'-cyclic monophosphate (cGMP as an important second messenger regulating ookinete differentiation and motility. In ookinetes lacking the cyclic nucleotide degrading phosphodiesterase delta (PDEdelta, unregulated signalling through cGMP results in rounding up of the normally banana-shaped cells. This phenotype is suppressed in a double mutant additionally lacking guanylyl cyclase beta (GCbeta, showing that in ookinetes GCbeta is an important source for cGMP, and that PDEdelta is the relevant cGMP degrading enzyme. Inhibition of the cGMP-dependent protein kinase, PKG, blocks gliding, whereas enhanced signalling through cGMP restores normal gliding speed in a mutant lacking calcium dependent protein kinase 3, suggesting at least a partial overlap between calcium and cGMP dependent pathways. These data demonstrate an important function for signalling through cGMP, and most likely PKG, in dynamically regulating ookinete gliding during the transmission of malaria to the mosquito.

  15. Rationale for the Coadministration of Albendazole and Ivermectin to Humans for Malaria Parasite Transmission Control

    Science.gov (United States)

    2014-07-28

    Exp Parasitol 88: 154–156. 86. Dow GS, O’Hara AJ, Newton SC, Reynoldson JA, Thompson RCA, 2000. Plasmodium berghei: the antimalarial activity of...Trichuris trichiura but not hookworm.18 Ivermectin exerts strongactivity againstAscaris,moderate activity againstTrichuris, andminimal tono effect against...programs and supported by global public health funding agencies. Albendazole belongs to the class of benzimidazole anthel- mintics that are active against

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

    KAUST Repository

    Ramaprasad, Abhinay; Pain, Arnab; Ravasi, Timothy

    2012-01-01

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

  17. High-Throughput Testing of Antibody-Dependent Binding Inhibition of Placental Malaria Parasites

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nielsen, Morten A; Salanti, Ali

    2015-01-01

    The particular virulence of Plasmodium falciparum manifests in diverse severe malaria syndromes as cerebral malaria, severe anemia and placental malaria. The cause of both the severity and the diversity of infection outcome, is the ability of the infected erythrocyte (IE) to bind a range......-throughput assay used in the preclinical and clinical development of a VAR2CSA based vaccine against placental malaria....

  18. Rapid identification of genes controlling virulence and immunity in malaria parasites

    KAUST Repository

    Abkallo, Hussein M.; Martinelli, Axel; Inoue, Megumi; Ramaprasad, Abhinay; Xangsayarath, Phonepadith; Gitaka, Jesse; Tang, Jianxia; Yahata, Kazuhide; Zoungrana, Augustin; Mitaka, Hayato; Acharjee, Arita; Datta, Partha P.; Hunt, Paul; Carter, Richard; Kaneko, Osamu; Mustonen, Ville; Illingworth, Christopher J. R.; Pain, Arnab; Culleton, Richard

    2017-01-01

    Identifying the genetic determinants of phenotypes that impact disease severity is of fundamental importance for the design of new interventions against malaria. Here we present a rapid genome-wide approach capable of identifying multiple genetic

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Molina-Cruz, A.; Garver, L.S.; Alabaster, A.; Bangiolo, L.; Haile, A.; Winikor, J.; Ortega, C.; Schaijk, B.C.L. van; Sauerwein, R.W.; Taylor-Salmon, E.; Barillas-Mury, C.

    2013-01-01

    Plasmodium falciparum transmission by Anopheles gambiae mosquitoes is remarkably efficient, resulting in a very high prevalence of human malaria infection in sub-Saharan Africa. A combination of genetic mapping, linkage group selection, and functional genomics was used to identify Pfs47 as a P.

  20. 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.

  1. Functional characterization of malaria parasites deficient in the K+ channel Kch2

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ellekvist, Peter; Mlambo, Godfree; Kumar, Nirbhay

    2017-01-01

    parasite P. berghei, the functional significance of K+ channel homologue PbKch2 was studied using targeted gene knock-out. The knockout parasites were characterized in a mouse model in terms of growth-kinetics and infectivity in the mosquito vector. Furthermore, using a tracer-uptake technique with 86Rb...... of forming oocysts in female Anopheles stephensi mosquitoes. 86Rb+ uptake in Kch2-deficient blood-stage P. berghei parasites (Kch2-null) did not differ from that of wild-type (WT) parasites. About two-thirds of the 86Rb+ uptake in WT and in Kch2-null parasites could be inhibited by K+ channel blockers...... and could be inferred to the presence of functional Kch1 in Kch2 knockout parasites. Kch2 is therefore not required for transport of K+ in P. berghei and is not essential to mosquito-stage sporogonic development of the parasite....

  2. Antisense long noncoding RNAs regulate var gene activation in the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Amit-Avraham, Inbar; Pozner, Guy; Eshar, Shiri; Fastman, Yair; Kolevzon, Netanel; Yavin, Eylon; Dzikowski, Ron

    2015-03-03

    The virulence of Plasmodium falciparum, the causative agent of the deadliest form of human malaria, is attributed to its ability to evade human immunity through antigenic variation. These parasites alternate between expression of variable antigens, encoded by members of a multicopy gene family named var. Immune evasion through antigenic variation depends on tight regulation of var gene expression, ensuring that only a single var gene is expressed at a time while the rest of the family is maintained transcriptionally silent. Understanding how a single gene is chosen for activation is critical for understanding mutually exclusive expression but remains a mystery. Here, we show that antisense long noncoding RNAs (lncRNAs) initiating from var introns are associated with the single active var gene at the time in the cell cycle when the single var upstream promoter is active. We demonstrate that these antisense transcripts are incorporated into chromatin, and that expression of these antisense lncRNAs in trans triggers activation of a silent var gene in a sequence- and dose-dependent manner. On the other hand, interference with these lncRNAs using complement peptide nucleic acid molecules down-regulated the active var gene, erased the epigenetic memory, and induced expression switching. Altogether, our data provide evidence that these antisense lncRNAs play a key role in regulating var gene activation and mutually exclusive expression.

  3. HIV impairs opsonic phagocytic clearance of pregnancy-associated malaria parasites.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jessica Keen

    2007-05-01

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Primigravid (PG women are at risk for pregnancy-associated malaria (PAM. Multigravid (MG women acquire protection against PAM; however, HIV infection impairs this protective response. Protection against PAM is associated with the production of IgG specific for variant surface antigens (VSA-PAM expressed by chondroitin sulfate A (CSA-adhering parasitized erythrocytes (PEs. We hypothesized that VSA-PAM-specific IgG confers protection by promoting opsonic phagocytosis of PAM isolates and that HIV infection impairs this response. METHODS AND FINDINGS: We assessed the ability of VSA-PAM-specific IgG to promote opsonic phagocytosis of CSA-adhering PEs and the impact of HIV infection on this process. Opsonic phagocytosis assays were performed using the CSA-adherent parasite line CS2 and human and murine macrophages. CS2 PEs were opsonized with plasma or purified IgG subclasses from HIV-negative or HIV-infected PG and MG Kenyan women or sympatric men. Levels of IgG subclasses specific for VSA-PAM were compared in HIV-negative and HIV-infected women by flow cytometry. Plasma from HIV-negative MG women, but not PG women or men, promoted the opsonic phagocytosis of CSA-binding PEs (p < 0.001. This function depended on VSA-PAM-specific plasma IgG1 and IgG3. HIV-infected MG women had significantly lower plasma opsonizing activity (median phagocytic index 46 [interquartile range (IQR 18-195] versus 251 [IQR 93-397], p = 0.006 and levels of VSA-PAM-specific IgG1 (mean fluorescence intensity [MFI] 13 [IQR 11-20] versus 30 [IQR 23-41], p < 0.001 and IgG3 (MFI 17 [IQR 14-23] versus 28 [IQR 23-37], p < 0.001 than their HIV-negative MG counterparts. CONCLUSIONS: Opsonic phagocytosis may represent a novel correlate of protection against PAM. HIV infection may increase the susceptibility of multigravid women to PAM by impairing this clearance mechanism.

  4. Apicomplexa-specific tRip facilitates import of exogenous tRNAs into malaria parasites.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bour, Tania; Mahmoudi, Nassira; Kapps, Delphine; Thiberge, Sabine; Bargieri, Daniel; Ménard, Robert; Frugier, Magali

    2016-04-26

    The malaria-causing Plasmodium parasites are transmitted to vertebrates by mosquitoes. To support their growth and replication, these intracellular parasites, which belong to the phylum Apicomplexa, have developed mechanisms to exploit their hosts. These mechanisms include expropriation of small metabolites from infected host cells, such as purine nucleotides and amino acids. Heretofore, no evidence suggested that transfer RNAs (tRNAs) could also be exploited. We identified an unusual gene in Apicomplexa with a coding sequence for membrane-docking and structure-specific tRNA binding. This Apicomplexa protein-designated tRip (tRNA import protein)-is anchored to the parasite plasma membrane and directs import of exogenous tRNAs. In the absence of tRip, the fitness of the parasite stage that multiplies in the blood is significantly reduced, indicating that the parasite may need host tRNAs to sustain its own translation and/or as regulatory RNAs. Plasmodium is thus the first example, to our knowledge, of a cell importing exogenous tRNAs, suggesting a remarkable adaptation of this parasite to extend its reach into host cell biology.

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

    KAUST Repository

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

    2014-01-01

    related chimpanzee parasite species P. reichenowi, and obtaining partial sequence data from a more distantly related chimpanzee parasite (P. gaboni). The close relationship between P. reichenowi and P. falciparum is emphasized by almost complete

  6. A comprehensive evaluation of rodent malaria parasite genomes and gene expression

    KAUST Repository

    Otto, Thomas D; Bö hme, Ulrike; Jackson, Andrew P; Hunt, Martin; Franke-Fayard, Blandine; Hoeijmakers, Wieteke A M; Religa, Agnieszka A; Robertson, Lauren; Sanders, Mandy; Ogun, Solabomi A; Cunningham, Deirdre; Erhart, Annette; Billker, Oliver; Khan, Shahid M; Stunnenberg, Hendrik G; Langhorne, Jean; Holder, Anthony A; Waters, Andrew P; Newbold, Chris I; Pain, Arnab; Berriman, Matthew; Janse, Chris J

    2014-01-01

    Plasmodium biology. Genotypic diversity between P. chabaudi isolates makes this species an excellent parasite to study genotype-phenotype relationships. The improved classification of multigene families will enhance studies on the role of (variant) exported

  7. Sonoran Desert winter annuals affected by density of red brome and soil nitrogen

    Science.gov (United States)

    Salo, L.F.; McPherson, G.R.; Williams, D.G.

    2005-01-01

    Red brome [Bromus madritensis subsp. rubens (L.) Husn.] is a Mediterranean winter annual grass that has invaded Southwestern USA deserts. This study evaluated interactions among 13 Sonoran Desert annual species at four densities of red brome from 0 to the equivalent of 1200 plants ma??2. We examined these interactions at low (3 I?g) and high (537 I?g NO3a?? g soila??1) nitrogen (N) to evaluate the relative effects of soil N level on survival and growth of native annuals and red brome. Red brome did not affect emergence or survival of native annuals, but significantly reduced growth of natives, raising concerns about effects of this exotic grass on the fecundity of these species. Differences in growth of red brome and of the three dominant non nitrogen-fixing native annuals at the two levels of soil N were similar. Total species biomass of red brome was reduced by 83% at low, compared to high, N levels, whereas that of the three native species was reduced by from 42 to 95%. Mean individual biomass of red brome was reduced by 87% at low, compared to high, N levels, whereas that of the three native species was reduced by from 72 to 89%.

  8. Next generation red teaming

    CERN Document Server

    Dalziel, Henry

    2015-01-01

    Red Teaming is can be described as a type of wargaming.In private business, penetration testers audit and test organization security, often in a secretive setting. The entire point of the Red Team is to see how weak or otherwise the organization's security posture is. This course is particularly suited to CISO's and CTO's that need to learn how to build a successful Red Team, as well as budding cyber security professionals who would like to learn more about the world of information security. Teaches readers how to dentify systemic security issues based on the analysis of vulnerability and con

  9. Hepatocyte CD81 is required for Plasmodium falciparum and Plasmodium yoelii sporozoite infectivity.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Silvie, O.; Rubinstein, E.; Franetich, J.F.; Prenant, M.; Belnoue, E.; Renia, L.; Hannoun, L.; Eling, W.M.C.; Levy, S.; Boucheix, C.; Mazier, D.

    2003-01-01

    Plasmodium sporozoites are transmitted through the bite of infected mosquitoes and first invade the liver of the mammalian host, as an obligatory step of the life cycle of the malaria parasite. Within hepatocytes, Plasmodium sporozoites reside in a membrane-bound vacuole, where they differentiate

  10. CT differentiation of renal tumor invading parenchyma and pelvis: renal cell carcinoma vs transitional cell carcinoma

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lee, Chang Hee; Cho, Seong Beum; Park, Cheol Min; Cha, In Ho; Chung, Kyoo Byung

    1994-01-01

    The differentiation between renal cell carcinoma(RCC) and transitional cell carcinoma(TCC) is important due to the different methods of treatment and prognosis. But occasionally it is difficult to draw a distinction between the two diseases when renal parenchyma and renal collecting systems are invaded simultaneously. We reviewed CT scans of 37 cases of renal cell carcinoma and 12 cases of transitional cell carcinoma which showed involvement of renal parenchyma and renal sinus fat on CT. Retrospective analysis was performed by 3 abdominal radiologists. Check points were renal contour bulging or reinform shape, location of mass center, intact parenchyma overlying the tumor, cystic change, calcification, LN metastasis, vessel invasion, and perirenal extention. There were renal contour bulging due to the tumor mass in 33 out of 37 cases of renal cell carcinoma, where a and nine of 12 cases of transitional cell carcinoma maintained the reinform appearance. This is significant statiscal difference between the two(P<0.005). Center of all TCCs were located in the renal sinus, and 24 out of 35 cases of RCC were located in the cortex(P<0.005). Thirty-six out of 37 cases of RCC lost the overlying parenchyma, where as 4 out of 9 cases of well enhanced TCC had intact overlying parenchyma(P<0.005) RCC showed uptic change within the tumor mags in 31 cases which was significanity higher than the 4 cases in TCC(P<0.05). CT findings of renal cell carcinoma are contour bulging, peripheral location, obliteration of parenchyma, and cystic change. Findings of transitional cell carcinoma are reinform appearance, central location within the kidney, intact overlying parenchyma, and rare cystic change

  11. Generalist dispersers promote germination of an alien fleshy-fruited tree invading natural grasslands.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Martín Raúl Amodeo

    Full Text Available Plants with animal-dispersed fruits seem to overcome the barriers that limit their spread into new habitats more easily than other invasive plants and, at the same time, they pose special difficulties for containment, control or eradication. The effects of animals on plant propagules can be very diverse, with positive, neutral or negative consequences for germination and recruitment. Moreover, the environmental conditions where the seeds are deposited and where the post-dispersal processes take place can be crucial for their fate. Prunus mahaleb is a fleshy-fruited tree invading natural grasslands in the Argentine Pampas. In this study, we analyzed the importance of pulp removal, endocarp scarification and the effects of vectors on its germination response, by means of germination experiments both in the laboratory and under semi-natural conditions. Our laboratory results demonstrated that endocarp scarification enhances germination and suggests that vestiges of pulp on the stones have inhibitory effects. Frugivores exert a variety of effects on germination responses and this variation can be explained by their differing influence on pulp removal and endocarp scarification. Most frugivores produced a positive effect on germination under laboratory conditions, in comparison to intact fruits and hand-peeled stones. We observed different degrees of pulp removal from the surface of the stones by the dispersers which was directly correlated to the germination response. On the other hand, all the treatments showed high germination responses under semi-natural conditions suggesting that post-dispersal processes, like seed burial, and the exposure to natural conditions might exert a positive effect on germination response, attenuating the plant's dependence on the dispersers' gut treatment. Our results highlight the need to consider the whole seed dispersal process and the value of combining laboratory and field tests.

  12. Intraperitoneal ectopic infestation of parasites invading through gastrointestinal tract : CT findings

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kim, Jeong Kon; Rha, Sung Eun; Ha, Hyun Kwon; Kim, Pyo Nyun; Lee, Moon Gyu; Auh, Yong Ho [Asan Medical Center, Ulsan Univ., Ulsan (Korea, Republic of); Choi, Byung Ihn [Seoul National Univ. College of Medicine, Seoul (Korea, Republic of); Shim, Jae Chul [Inje Univ. College of Medicine, Kimhae (Korea, Republic of); Kim, Hyun [St. Mary' s Hospital, The Catholic Univ. of Korea, Seoul (Korea, Republic of); Lee, Jong Hwa; Ham, Soo Youn [Ulsan Univ. Hospital, Ulsan (Korea, Republic of)

    1999-03-01

    The purpose of this study was to evaluate the CT findings of parasitic ectopic infestation in the peritoneal cavity, a transitional route for parasites invading the gastrointestinal tract, to migrate to various target organs. CT scans of nine patients with pathologically(n=8) or serologically(n=1) proven intraperitoneal involvement of parasitic infestation were retrospectively reviewed. The primary causes of parasitic infestation in nine patients were Paragonimus westermani(n=5), Sparganosis(n=2), and hepatic fascioliasis(n=2). We analyzed the CT findings with regard to the sites and patterns of lesions in the peritoneal cavity and gastrointestinal track, as well as in other solid organs. The clinical features of these patients were also evaluated. The clinical symptoms and signs were chronic abdominal pain and general weakness in seven patients, while peripheral blood eosinophilia was observed in four. The CT features of these nine patients included multiseptated cystic masses of 2-6cm, diameter (mean 4.1{+-}1.7cm) in the omentum or mesentery in six(67%), omental or mesenteric infiltration in seven(78%), focal peritoneal thickening in seven(78%), 1ymphadenopathy in five(56%), and ascites in four(44%). In six of the nine patients, the gastrointestinal tract(stomach in four, colon in one, both stomach and colon in one) was concomitantly involved with focal wall thickening. Branching patterns of hypoattenuating lesions were noted in the liver of three patients; two of these had hepatic fascioliasis and one had paragonimiasis. Ectopic parasitic infestation in the peritoneal cavity manifests as mass formation, adjacent gastrointestinal wall thickening, and focal peritonitis. An understanding of these image features is important for both early diagnosis and adequate treatment.

  13. Intraperitoneal ectopic infestation of parasites invading through gastrointestinal tract : CT findings

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kim, Jeong Kon; Rha, Sung Eun; Ha, Hyun Kwon; Kim, Pyo Nyun; Lee, Moon Gyu; Auh, Yong Ho; Choi, Byung Ihn; Shim, Jae Chul; Kim, Hyun; Lee, Jong Hwa; Ham, Soo Youn

    1999-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to evaluate the CT findings of parasitic ectopic infestation in the peritoneal cavity, a transitional route for parasites invading the gastrointestinal tract, to migrate to various target organs. CT scans of nine patients with pathologically(n=8) or serologically(n=1) proven intraperitoneal involvement of parasitic infestation were retrospectively reviewed. The primary causes of parasitic infestation in nine patients were Paragonimus westermani(n=5), Sparganosis(n=2), and hepatic fascioliasis(n=2). We analyzed the CT findings with regard to the sites and patterns of lesions in the peritoneal cavity and gastrointestinal track, as well as in other solid organs. The clinical features of these patients were also evaluated. The clinical symptoms and signs were chronic abdominal pain and general weakness in seven patients, while peripheral blood eosinophilia was observed in four. The CT features of these nine patients included multiseptated cystic masses of 2-6cm, diameter (mean 4.1±1.7cm) in the omentum or mesentery in six(67%), omental or mesenteric infiltration in seven(78%), focal peritoneal thickening in seven(78%), 1ymphadenopathy in five(56%), and ascites in four(44%). In six of the nine patients, the gastrointestinal tract(stomach in four, colon in one, both stomach and colon in one) was concomitantly involved with focal wall thickening. Branching patterns of hypoattenuating lesions were noted in the liver of three patients; two of these had hepatic fascioliasis and one had paragonimiasis. Ectopic parasitic infestation in the peritoneal cavity manifests as mass formation, adjacent gastrointestinal wall thickening, and focal peritonitis. An understanding of these image features is important for both early diagnosis and adequate treatment

  14. Role of proline and pyrroline-5-carboxylate metabolism in plant defense against invading pathogens

    Science.gov (United States)

    Qamar, Aarzoo; Mysore, Kirankumar S.; Senthil-Kumar, Muthappa

    2015-01-01

    Pyrroline-5-carboxylate (P5C) is an intermediate product of both proline biosynthesis and catabolism. Recent evidences indicate that proline-P5C metabolism is tightly regulated in plants, especially during pathogen infection and abiotic stress. However, role of P5C and its metabolism in plants has not yet been fully understood. Studies indicate that P5C synthesized in mitochondria has a role in both resistance (R)-gene-mediated and non-host resistance against invading pathogens. Proline dehydrogenase and delta-ornithine amino transferase-encoding genes, both involved in P5C synthesis in mitochondria are implicated in defense response of Nicotiana benthamiana and Arabidopsis thaliana against bacterial pathogens. Such defense response is proposed to involve salicylic acid-dependent pathway, reactive oxygen species (ROS) and hypersensitive response (HR)-associated cell death. Recently HR, a form of programmed cell death (PCD), has been proposed to be induced by changes in mitochondrial P5C synthesis or the increase in P5C levels per se in plants inoculated with either a host pathogen carrying suitable avirulent (Avr) gene or a non-host pathogen. Consistently, A. thaliana mutant plants deficient in P5C catabolism showed HR like cell death when grown in external P5C or proline supplemented medium. Similarly, yeast and plant cells under oxidative stress were shown to increase ROS production and PCD due to increase in P5C levels. Similar mechanism has also been reported as one of the triggers for apoptosis in mammalian cells. This review critically analyzes results from various studies and enumerates the pathways for regulation of P5C levels in the plant cell, especially in mitochondria, during pathogen infection. Further, mechanisms regulating P5C- mediated defense responses, namely HR are outlined. This review also provides new insights into the differential role of proline-P5C metabolism in plants exposed to pathogen infection. PMID:26217357

  15. The ant genomes have been invaded by several types of mariner transposable elements

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lorite, Pedro; Maside, Xulio; Sanllorente, Olivia; Torres, María I.; Periquet, Georges; Palomeque, Teresa

    2012-12-01

    To date, only three types of full-length mariner elements have been described in ants, each one in a different genus of the Myrmicinae subfamily: Sinvmar was isolated from various Solenopsis species, Myrmar from Myrmica ruginodis, and Mboumar from Messor bouvieri. In this study, we report the coexistence of three mariner elements ( Tnigmar- Si, Tnigmar- Mr, and Tnigmar- Mb) in the genome of a single species, Tapinoma nigerrimum (subfamily Dolichoderinae). Molecular evolutionary analyses of the nucleotide sequence data revealed a general agreement between the evolutionary history of most the elements and the ant species that harbour them, and suggest that they are at the vertical inactivation stage of the so-called Mariner Life Cycle. In contrast, significantly reduced levels of synonymous divergence between Mboumar and Tnigmar- Mb and between Myrmar and Botmar (a mariner element isolated from Bombus terrestris), relative to those observed between their hosts, suggest that these elements arrived to the species that host them by horizontal transfer, long after the species' split. The horizontal transfer events for the two pairs of elements could be roughly dated within the last 2 million years and about 14 million years, respectively. As would be expected under this scenario, the coding sequences of the youngest elements, Tnigmar- Mb and Mboumar, are intact and, thus, potentially functional. Each mariner element has a different chromosomal distribution pattern according to their stage within the Mariner Life Cycle. Finally, a new defective transposable element ( Azteca) has also been found inserted into the Tnigmar- Mr sequences showing that the ant genomes have been invaded by at least four different types of mariner elements.

  16. Mapping areas invaded by Prosopis juliflora in Somaliland on Landsat 8 imagery

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rembold, Felix; Leonardi, Ugo; Ng, Wai-Tim; Gadain, Hussein; Meroni, Michele; Atzberger, Clement

    2015-10-01

    Prosopis juliflora is a fast growing tree species originating from South and Central America with a high invasion potential in semi-arid areas around the globe. It was introduced to East Africa for the stabilization of dune systems and for providing fuel wood after prolonged droughts and deforestation in the 1970s and 1980s. In many dry lands in East Africa the species has expanded rapidly and has become challenging to control. The species generally starts its colonization on deep soils with high water availability while in later stages or on poorer soils, its thorny thickets expand into drier grasslands and rangelands. Abandoned or low input farmland is also highly susceptible for invasion as P. juliflora has competitive advantages to native species and is extremely drought tolerant. In this work we describe a rapid approach to detect and map P. juliflora invasion at country level for the whole of Somaliland. Field observations were used to delineate training sites for a supervised classification of Landsat 8 imagery collected during the driest period of the year (i.e., from late February to early April). The choice of such a period allowed to maximise the spectral differences between P. juliflora and other species present in the area, as P. juliflora tends to maintain a higher vigour and canopy water content than native vegetation, when exposed to water stress. The results of our classification map the current status of invasion of Prosopis in Somaliland showing where the plant is invading natural vegetation or agricultural areas. These results have been verified for two spatial subsets of the whole study area with very high resolution (VHR) imagery, proving that Landsat 8 imagery is highly adequate to map P. juliflora. The produced map represents a baseline for understanding spatial distribution of P. juliflora across Somaliland but also for change detection and monitoring of long term dynamics in support to P. juliflora management and control activities.

  17. Chemoradiotherapy for muscle invading bladder carcinoma. final report of a single institutional organ-sparing program

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Arias, Fernando; Dominguez, Miguel A.; Martinez, Enrique; Illarramendi, Jose J.; Miquelez, Santiago; Pascual, Ignacio; Marcos, Marta

    2000-01-01

    Purpose: Chemoradiotherapy is becoming an alternative to radical cystectomy among patients with muscle invading bladder cancer. We began a prospective study in 1988 to determine the possibilities of conservative treatment and aiming to improve the results obtained by cystectomy alone in invasive bladder cancer. A combination of methotrexate, vinblastine, adriamycin, and cisplatin (M-VAC), followed by radiotherapy and concomitant cisplatin was used. Methods: Fifty patients with good performance status and with stages T2 to T4 operable untreated invasive bladder cancer were entered in the study. Treatment protocol was as follows: (i) cytoreductive transurethral resection; (ii) two cycles of M-VAC chemotherapy; (iii) radiotherapy, 45 Gy on pelvic volume and, at the same time, 20 mg/m 2 cisplatin on days 1 to 5. Cystoscopic evaluation: if there was a complete response, radiotherapy was completed up to 65 Gy; if there was not a complete response, a cystectomy was performed. Median follow-up of the series was 73 months (18-180 m). Results: Tumor response was as follows: 34 complete responses (68%), 9 partial responses (18%), and 7 nonresponses (14%) were observed. The 5-year overall survival and local control were 48% and 47%, respectively. For the complete responder patient, 5-year survival and local control were 65% and 70%, respectively. Severe toxicity was uncommon. The most frequent were leucopenia and cystitis. No treatment-related deaths occurred with either treatment protocol. Conclusions: Conservative combination treatment may be an acceptable alternative to immediate cystectomy in selected patients with bladder cancer, although a randomized clinical trial would be required to produce definitive results

  18. Astrophysics of Red Supergiants

    Science.gov (United States)

    Levesque, Emily M.

    2017-12-01

    'Astrophysics of Red Supergiants' is the first book of its kind devoted to our current knowledge of red supergiant stars, a key evolutionary phase that is critical to our larger understanding of massive stars. It provides a comprehensive overview of the fundamental physical properties of red supergiants, their evolution, and their extragalactic and cosmological applications. It serves as a reference for researchers from a broad range of fields (including stellar astrophysics, supernovae, and high-redshift galaxies) who are interested in red supergiants as extreme stages of stellar evolution, dust producers, supernova progenitors, extragalactic metallicity indicators, members of massive binaries and mergers, or simply as compelling objects in their own right. The book is accessible to a range of experience levels, from graduate students up to senior researchers.

  19. red flour beetle

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    STORAGESEVER

    2009-12-01

    Dec 1, 2009 ... 2Institute of Biochemistry and Biotechnology, University of the Punjab, Lahore, Pakistan. 3Department of ... most important energy source around the globe ... T. castaneum (red flour beetle) samples were collected from rice.

  20. RED-ML

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Xiong, Heng; Liu, Dongbing; Li, Qiye

    2017-01-01

    using diverse RNA-seq datasets, we have developed a software tool, RED-ML: RNA Editing Detection based on Machine learning (pronounced as "red ML"). The input to RED-ML can be as simple as a single BAM file, while it can also take advantage of matched genomic variant information when available...... accurately detect novel RNA editing sites without relying on curated RNA editing databases. We have also made this tool freely available via GitHub . We have developed a highly accurate, speedy and general-purpose tool for RNA editing detection using RNA-seq data....... With the availability of RED-ML, it is now possible to conveniently make RNA editing a routine analysis of RNA-seq. We believe this can greatly benefit the RNA editing research community and has profound impact to accelerate our understanding of this intriguing posttranscriptional modification process....

  1. Elucidating mechanical transition effects of invading cancer cells with a subnucleus-scaled microfluidic serial dimensional modulation device†

    OpenAIRE

    Mak, Michael; Reinhart-King, Cynthia A.; Erickson, David

    2013-01-01

    Mechanical boundaries that define and regulate biological processes, such as cell-cell junctions and dense extracellular matrix networks, exist throughout the physiological landscape. During metastasis, cancer cells are able to invade across these barriers and spread to distant tissues. While transgressing boundaries is a necessary step for distal colonies to form, little is known about interface effects on cell behavior during invasion. Here we introduce a device and metric to assess cell tr...

  2. Invading of intrauterine contraceptive device into the sigmoid colon through uterine perforation caused by a blunt trauma.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Davoodabadi, Abdoulhossein; Mohammadzadeh, Mahdi; Amirbeigi, Mahdieh; Jazayeri, Hoda

    2015-01-01

    Intrauterine contraceptive device (IUCD) is relatively safe but still with some serious risks. Uterus perforation is rare and would be fatal. A case of Cu-7 IUCD invading into the sigmoid colon through uterine perforation caused by a pelvic blunt trauma was presented. Our case showed that uterus perforation by an IUCD could induce utero-sigmoid fistula which is likely to be missed. Imaging is required when the patients with IUCD present abdominal pain, particularly with a history of trauma.

  3. Responses to invasion and invader removal differ between native and exotic plant groups in a coastal dune.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Magnoli, Susan M; Kleinhesselink, Andrew R; Cushman, J Hall

    2013-12-01

    The spread of exotic, invasive species is a global phenomenon that is recognized as a major source of environmental change. Although many studies have addressed the effects of exotic plants on the communities they invade, few have quantified the effects of invader removal on plant communities, or considered the degree to which different plant groups vary in response to invasion and invader removal. We evaluated the effects of an exotic succulent, iceplant (Carpobrotus edulis), on a coastal dune plant community in northern California, as well as the community responses to its removal. To assess possible mechanisms by which iceplant affects other plants, we also evaluated its above- and belowground influences on the germination and growth of a dominant exotic annual grass, Bromus diandrus. We found that iceplant invasion was associated with reduced native plant cover as well as increased cover and density of some exotic plants-especially exotic annual grasses. However, iceplant removal did not necessarily lead to a reversal of these effects: removal increased the cover and density of both native and exotic species. We also found that B. diandrus grown in iceplant patches, or in soil where iceplant had been removed, had poorer germination and growth than B. diandrus grown in soil not influenced by iceplant. This suggests that the influence of iceplant on this dune plant community occurs, at least in part, due to belowground effects, and that these effects remain after iceplant has been removed. Our study demonstrates the importance of considering how exotic invasive plants affect not only native species, but also co-occurring exotic taxa. It also shows that combining observational studies with removal experiments can lead to important insights into the influence of invaders and the mechanisms of their effects.

  4. Candida albicans: The Ability to Invade Epithelial Cells and Survive under Oxidative Stress Is Unlinked to Hyphal Length

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Paloma K. Maza

    2017-07-01

    Full Text Available In its hyphal form, Candida albicans invades epithelial and endothelial cells by two distinct mechanisms: active penetration and induced endocytosis. The latter is dependent on a reorganization of the host cytoskeleton (actin/cortactin recruitment, whilst active penetration does not rely on the host's cellular machinery. The first obstacle for the fungus to reach deep tissues is the epithelial barrier and this interaction is crucial for commensal growth, fungal pathogenicity and host defense. This study aimed to characterize in vitro epithelial HeLa cell invasion by four different isolates of C. albicans with distinct clinical backgrounds, including a C. albicans SC5314 reference strain. All isolates invaded HeLa cells, recruited actin and cortactin, and induced the phosphorylation of both Src-family kinases (SFK and cortactin. Curiously, L3881 isolated from blood culture of a patient exhibited the highest resistance to oxidative stress, although this isolate showed reduced hyphal length and displayed the lowest cell damage and invasion rates. Collectively, these data suggest that the ability of C. albicans to invade HeLa cells, and to reach and adapt to the host's blood, including resistance to oxidative stress, may be independent of hyphal length.

  5. Listeria monocytogenes efficiently invades Caco-2 cells after low-temperature storage in broth and on deli meat.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Larsen, Marianne Halberg; Koch, Anette Granly; Ingmer, Hanne

    2010-09-01

    The objective of this study was to investigate how various growth conditions influence the virulence of Listeria monocytogenes monitored by its ability to invade the epithelial cell lines Caco-2 and INT-407. The growth conditions examined were modified atmosphere-packaged deli meat and brain heart infusion broth (BHI) with and without salt. Five strains of L. monocytogenes were selected to investigate their invasiveness and all strains invaded Caco-2 cells at higher levels than INT-407 cells. Further, the clinical strains (3443 and 3734) were more invasive (p 0.05) in invasiveness after 7 days at 10 degrees C in BHI broth or on sausage, whereas a slight increase (p < 0.05) was observed after incubation on ham for 2 and 4 weeks compared to that in BHI broth. Most importantly, our results show that L. monocytogenes efficiently invade Caco-2 cells even after 4 weeks of storage at chilled temperature. This is highly relevant for safety assessment of this organism in food as these conditions reflect storage of ready-to-eat food products in domestic refrigerators.

  6. Placenta Percreta Invading Broad Ligament and Parametrium in a Woman with Two Previous Cesarean Sections: A Case Report

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mansoureh Vahdat

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Introduction. The incidence of placenta accreta has dramatically increased due to increasing caesarean section rate all over the world. Placenta percreta is the most severe form of placenta accretes. It frequently results in maternal morbidity and mortality mainly caused by massive obstetric hemorrhage or emergency hysterectomy. Percreta invading into the broad ligament has rarely been previously reported. Case presenting. We presented a case of placenta percreta invading left broad ligament and parametrium in a woman with two previous cesarean sections, which led to massive intraoperative hemorrhage during hysterectomy and transient ischemic encephalopathy. Conclusion. In cases of parametrial involvement, it would be more difficult to decide whether to remove placenta or leave it in site. In surgical removal neither local excision of placental bed and uterine repair nor traditional hysterectomy is adequate if parametrium invaded by placenta. We suggest delayed elective hysterectomy in such cases. So, pregnancy-induced pelvic congestion would be decreased, we can gather an expert team of gynecologists, urologists, and vascular surgeons, we could get plenty of blood products, and we may have the chance to administer methotrexate.

  7. Cost-effective treatment of low-risk carcinoma not invading bladder muscle.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Green, David A; Rink, Michael; Cha, Eugene K; Xylinas, Evanguelos; Chughtai, Bilal; Scherr, Douglas S; Shariat, Shahrokh F; Lee, Richard K

    2013-03-01

    Study Type - Therapy (cost effectiveness analysis) Level of Evidence 2a What's known on the subject? and What does the study add? Bladder cancer is one of the costliest malignancies to treat throughout the life of a patient. The most cost-effective management for low-risk non-muscle-invasive bladder cancer is not known. The current study shows that employing cystoscopic office fulguration for low-risk appearing bladder cancer recurrences can materially impact the cost-effectiveness of therapy. In a follow-up protocol where office fulguration is routinely employed for low-risk bladder cancers, peri-operative intravesical chemotherapy may not provide any additional cost-effectiveness benefit. To examine the cost-effectiveness of fulguration vs transurethral resection of bladder tumour (TURBT) with and without perioperative intravesical chemotherapy (PIC) for managing low-risk carcinoma not invading bladder muscle (NMIBC). Low-risk NMIBC carries a low progression rate, lending support to the use of office-based fulguration for small recurrences rather than traditional TURBT. A Markov state transition model was created to simulate treatment of NMIBC with vs without PIC, with recurrence treated by formal TURBT vs treatment with fulguration. Costing data were obtained from the Medicare Resource Based Relative Value Scale. Data regarding the success of PIC were obtained from the peer-reviewed literature, as were corresponding utilities for bladder cancer-related procedures. Sensitivity analyses were performed. At 5-year follow-up, a strategy of fulguration without PIC was the most cost-effective (mean cost-effectiveness = US $654.8/quality-adjusted life year), despite a lower recurrence rate with PIC. Both fulguration strategies dominated each TURBT strategy. Sensitivity analysis showed that fulguration without PIC dominated all other strategies when the recurrence rate after PIC was increased to ≥14.2% per year. Similarly, the cost-effectiveness of TURBT becomes more

  8. Linking removal targets to the ecological effects of invaders: a predictive model and field test.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Green, Stephanie J; Dulvy, Nicholas K; Brooks, Annabelle M L; Akins, John L; Cooper, Andrew B; Miller, Skylar; Côté, Isabelle M

    , means that we could not identify a single rule of thumb for guiding control efforts. However, our model provides a method for setting reef-specific targets for population control using local monitoring data. Our work is the first to demonstrate that for ongoing invasions, suppressing invaders below densities that cause environmental harm can have a similar effect, in terms of protecting the native ecosystem on a local scale, to achieving complete eradication.

  9. Spreaders, igniters, and burning shrubs: plant flammability explains novel fire dynamics in grass-invaded deserts.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fuentes-Ramirez, Andres; Veldman, Joseph W; Holzapfel, Claus; Moloney, Kirk A

    2016-10-01

    Novel fire regimes are an important cause and consequence of global environmental change that involve interactions among biotic, climatic, and human components of ecosystems. Plant flammability is key to these interactions, yet few studies directly measure flammability or consider how multiple species with different flammabilities interact to produce novel fire regimes. Deserts of the southwestern United States are an ideal system for exploring how novel fire regimes can emerge when fire-promoting species invade ecosystems comprised of species that did not evolve with fire. In these deserts, exotic annual grasses provide fuel continuity across landscapes that did not historically burn. These fires often ignite a keystone desert shrub, the fire-intolerant creosote bush, Larrea tridentata (DC.) Coville. Ignition of Larrea is likely catalyzed by fuels produced by native plants that grow beneath the shrubs. We hypothesize that invasive and native species exhibit distinct flammability characteristics that in combination determine spatial patterns of fire spread and intensity. We measured flammability metrics of Larrea, two invasive grasses, Schismus arabicus and Bromus madritensis, and two native plants, the sub-shrub Ambrosia dumosa and the annual herb Amsinckia menziesii. Results of laboratory experiments show that the grasses carry fire quickly (1.32 cm/s), but burn for short duration (0.5 min) at low temperatures. In contrast, native plants spread fire slowly (0.12 cm/s), but burn up to eight times longer (4 min) and produced hotter fires. Additional experiments on the ignition requirements of Larrea suggest that native plants burn with sufficient temperature and duration to ignite dead Larrea branches (time to ignition, 2 min; temperature at ignition 692°C). Once burning, these dead branches ignite living branches in the upper portions of the shrub. Our study provides support for a conceptual model in which exotic grasses are "spreaders" of fire and native

  10. Cultivation of zebra mussels (Dreissena polymorpha) within their invaded range to improve water quality in reservoirs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McLaughlan, C; Aldridge, D C

    2013-09-01

    Algal and cyanobacterial blooms in reservoirs are driven by nutrient enrichment and may present economic and conservation challenges for water managers. Current approaches such as suppression of algal growth with barley straw, ferric dosing or manipulation of fish stocks have not yielded long term successes. A possibility that has sparked growing interest is the encouragement and cultivation of natural filter feeders, such as mussels, which remove suspended matter from the water and reduce nutrient levels through biodeposition and assimilation. This review focusses on the zebra mussel (Dreissena polymorpha) as a tool for enhancement of water quality in reservoirs. Native to the Ponto-Caspian region, this species has invaded many lakes and reservoirs across North America and Western Europe, where it occurs in very high densities. While purposeful introduction of a non-native species into new sites is socially unacceptable, we investigate the possible benefits of encouraging increased abundance of zebra mussels in sites where the species is already established. We estimate that the annual nitrogen and phosphorus input into a large UK reservoir (Grafham Water) could be assimilated into zebra mussel biomass by encouraging settlement onto 3075 m and 1400 m of commercial mussel ropes, respectively. While zebra mussel cultivation has an incredible capacity to push eutrophic systems towards a clear water state, there are many risks associated with encouraging an invasive species, even within sites where it has already established. The zebra mussel is a prominent biofouler of native unionid mussels and raw water pipes, it changes the physical characteristics of the places it inhabits, in sites low in phosphorus it can be responsible for toxic cyanobacterial blooms, it alters nutrient cycling and community structure and it can have negative impacts on amenity value. Increased propagule pressure from elevated numbers of veliger larvae in the water column may increase the risk

  11. Low susceptibility of invasive red lionfish (Pterois volitans) to a generalist ectoparasite in both its introduced and native ranges.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sikkel, Paul C; Tuttle, Lillian J; Cure, Katherine; Coile, Ann Marie; Hixon, Mark A

    2014-01-01

    Escape from parasites in their native range is one of many mechanisms that can contribute to the success of an invasive species. Gnathiid isopods are blood-feeding ectoparasites that infest a wide range of fish hosts, mostly in coral reef habitats. They are ecologically similar to terrestrial ticks, with the ability to transmit blood-borne parasites and cause damage or even death to heavily infected hosts. Therefore, being highly resistant or highly susceptible to gnathiids can have significant fitness consequences for reef-associated fishes. Indo-Pacific red lionfish (Pterois volitans) have invaded coastal habitats of the western tropical and subtropical Atlantic and Caribbean regions. We assessed the susceptibility of red lionfish to parasitic gnathiid isopods in both their native Pacific and introduced Atlantic ranges via experimental field studies during which lionfish and other, ecologically-similar reef fishes were caged and exposed to gnathiid infestation on shallow coral reefs. Lionfish in both ranges had very few gnathiids when compared with other species, suggesting that lionfish are not highly susceptible to infestation by generalist ectoparasitic gnathiids. While this pattern implies that release from gnathiid infestation is unlikely to contribute to the success of lionfish as invaders, it does suggest that in environments with high gnathiid densities, lionfish may have an advantage over species that are more susceptible to gnathiids. Also, because lionfish are not completely resistant to gnathiids, our results suggest that lionfish could possibly have transported blood parasites between their native Pacific and invaded Atlantic ranges.

  12. Low susceptibility of invasive red lionfish (Pterois volitans to a generalist ectoparasite in both its introduced and native ranges.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Paul C Sikkel

    Full Text Available Escape from parasites in their native range is one of many mechanisms that can contribute to the success of an invasive species. Gnathiid isopods are blood-feeding ectoparasites that infest a wide range of fish hosts, mostly in coral reef habitats. They are ecologically similar to terrestrial ticks, with the ability to transmit blood-borne parasites and cause damage or even death to heavily infected hosts. Therefore, being highly resistant or highly susceptible to gnathiids can have significant fitness consequences for reef-associated fishes. Indo-Pacific red lionfish (Pterois volitans have invaded coastal habitats of the western tropical and subtropical Atlantic and Caribbean regions. We assessed the susceptibility of red lionfish to parasitic gnathiid isopods in both their native Pacific and introduced Atlantic ranges via experimental field studies during which lionfish and other, ecologically-similar reef fishes were caged and exposed to gnathiid infestation on shallow coral reefs. Lionfish in both ranges had very few gnathiids when compared with other species, suggesting that lionfish are not highly susceptible to infestation by generalist ectoparasitic gnathiids. While this pattern implies that release from gnathiid infestation is unlikely to contribute to the success of lionfish as invaders, it does suggest that in environments with high gnathiid densities, lionfish may have an advantage over species that are more susceptible to gnathiids. Also, because lionfish are not completely resistant to gnathiids, our results suggest that lionfish could possibly have transported blood parasites between their native Pacific and invaded Atlantic ranges.

  13. Invader Relative Impact Potential: a new metric to understand and predict the ecological impacts of existing, emerging and future invasive alien species

    OpenAIRE

    Dick, JTA; Laverty, C; Lennon, JJ; Barrios-O'Neill, D; Mensink, PJ; Britton, JR; Medoc, V; Boets, P; Alexander, ME; Taylor, NG; Dunn, AM; Hatcher, MJ; Rosewarne, PJ; Crookes, S; MacIsaac, HJ

    2017-01-01

    1. Predictions of the identities and ecological impacts of invasive alien species are critical for risk assessment, but presently we lack universal and standardized metrics that reliably predict the likelihood and degree of impact of such invaders (i.e. measurable changes in populations of affected species). This need is especially pressing for emerging and potential future invaders that have no invasion history. Such a metric would also ideally apply across diverse taxonomic and trophic gro...

  14. Measuring landscape-scale spread and persistence of an invaded submerged plant community from airborne remote sensing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Santos, Maria J; Khanna, Shruti; Hestir, Erin L; Greenberg, Jonathan A; Ustin, Susan L

    2016-09-01

    Processes of spread and patterns of persistence of invasive species affect species and communities in the new environment. Predicting future rates of spread is of great interest for timely management decisions, but this depends on models that rely on understanding the processes of invasion and historic observations of spread and persistence. Unfortunately, the rates of spread and patterns of persistence are difficult to model or directly observe, especially when multiple rates of spread and diverse persistence patterns may be co-occurring over the geographic distribution of the invaded ecosystem. Remote sensing systematically acquires data over large areas at fine spatial and spectral resolutions over multiple time periods that can be used to quantify spread processes and persistence patterns. We used airborne imaging spectroscopy data acquired once a year for 5 years from 2004 to 2008 to map an invaded submerged aquatic vegetation (SAV) community across 2220 km 2 of waterways in the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta, California, USA, and measured its spread rate and its persistence. Submerged aquatic vegetation covered 13-23 km 2 of the waterways (6-11%) every year. Yearly new growth accounted for 40-60% of the SAV area, ~50% of which survived to following year. Spread rates were overall negative and persistence decreased with time. From this dataset, we were able to identify both radial and saltatorial spread of the invaded SAV in the entire extent of the Delta over time. With both decreasing spread rate and persistence, it is possible that over time the invasion of this SAV community could decrease its ecological impact. A landscape-scale approach allows measurements of all invasion fronts and the spatial anisotropies associated with spread processes and persistence patterns, without spatial interpolation, at locations both proximate and distant to the focus of invasion at multiple points in time. © 2016 by the Ecological Society of America.

  15. Clover, Red (Trifolium pretense)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Genetic modification of plants by the insertion of transgenes can be a powerful experimental approach to answer basic questions about gene product function. This technology can also be used to make improved crop varieties for use in the field. To apply this powerful tool to red clover, an important ...

  16. The use of steady state neutron flux measurement to determine the size of an invaded region following fluid injection

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Parsons, R.J.

    1983-01-01

    By using a combination of Monte-Carlo and diffusion theory techniques, the behaviour of the thermal neutron flux during fluid injection is studied. It is shown that the change in neutron flux induced by the fluid injection, is equal to the neutron flux due to a certain thermal neutron source distribution. Using this result, a method of estimating the size of an elliptical invaded region is given. This choice of region shape is not a necessity but a convenience and it is possible that the method may be generalised to include higher order shapes. (author)

  17. [A case of recurrent transverse colon cancer invading the pancreas and duodenum successfully treated with biliary and duodenal stenting].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tonooka, Toru; Yoshioka, Shigeru; Shiobara, Masayuki; Wakatsuki, Kazuo; Kataoka, Masaaki; Arai, Shuka; Miyazawa, Kotaro; Nakada, Shinichiro; Kita, Kazuhiko; Saito, Hirofumi; Nomoto, Hiromasa; Usui, Masatoshi; Yabiki, Masashi; Ota, Yuki; Oeda, Yoshio

    2013-11-01

    We report a case of recurrent transverse colon cancer invading the pancreas and duodenum that was successfully treated with biliary and duodenal stenting. A 46-year-old man underwent ascending colostomy for the treatment of obstructive transverse colon cancer with hepatic metastasis. Chemotherapy achieved a partial response, but the levels of tumor markers later began to rise again. He then underwent right hemicolectomy and partial hepatectomy. Post-operative chemotherapy was administered, but the recurrent tumor caused obstructive jaundice and duodenal obstruction. These were successfully treated with biliary and duodenal stenting, and the patient was able to remain at home and maintain his quality of life.

  18. Spatial distributions of the red palm mite, Raoiella indica (Acari: Tenuipalpidae) on coconut and their implications for development of efficient sampling plans

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Roda, A.; Nachman, G.; Hosein, F.

    2012-01-01

    The red palm mite (Raoiella indica), an invasive pest of coconut, entered the Western hemisphere in 2004, then rapidly spread through the Caribbean and into Florida, USA. Developing effective sampling methods may aid in the timely detection of the pest in a new area. Studies were conducted...... to provide and compare intra tree spatial distribution of red palm mite populations on coconut in two different geographical areas, Trinidad and Puerto Rico, recently invaded by the mite. The middle stratum of a palm hosted significantly more mites than fronds from the upper or lower canopy and fronds from...

  19. Skin quality in red potatoes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Attractive appearance is a highly desirable characteristic of fresh market red-skinned potatoes. The ideal red potato has a rich, uniform, deep red color. Color fading, netting, browning, and discoloration caused by skinning and disease decrease marketability and may reduce profits to growers and pa...

  20. Red alder potential in Alaska

    Science.gov (United States)

    Allen Brackley; David Nicholls; Mike Hannan

    2010-01-01

    Over the past several decades, red alder has established itself as a commercially important species in the Pacific Northwest. Once considered a weed species, red alder now commands respect within many markets, including furniture, architectural millwork, and other secondary manufactured products. Although red alder's natural range extends to southeast Alaska, an...

  1. Variations of selected soil properties in the grass fields invaded and uninvaded by invasive goldenrod (Solidago canadensis L.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Baranová Beáta

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available Although the invasion of exotic plants has been recognised as the serious cause of the biodiversity loss and natural habitats degradation and threat to the ecosystems functions, just the little attention has been paid to the potential impacts of the goldenrod invasion on the soil properties. Equally, currently obtained results are contrary and ambiguous. We tested whether the grass fields invaded and uninvaded by Canadian goldenrod (Solidago canadensis L. differ in pH, soil moisture, organic carbon (Cox, humus and P, K and Mg contents and related the variations to the chosen environmental variables. We did not find significant distinctions of the studied types of habitats in the selected physico-chemical soil properties as well as the relation between the goldenrod invasion and the changes in soil properties. Nevertheless, whereas the soil reaction, soil moisture and Mg content were higher in the invaded soils, the Cox, humus and P and K contents were higher in the uninvaded ones. Doubtless, further attention need to be paid to this problem.

  2. The fungus that came in from the cold: dry rot's pre-adapted ability to invade buildings.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Balasundaram, S V; Hess, J; Durling, M B; Moody, S C; Thorbek, L; Progida, C; LaButti, K; Aerts, A; Barry, K; Grigoriev, I V; Boddy, L; Högberg, N; Kauserud, H; Eastwood, D C; Skrede, I

    2018-03-01

    Many organisms benefit from being pre-adapted to niches shaped by human activity, and have successfully invaded man-made habitats. One such species is the dry rot fungus Serpula lacrymans, which has a wide distribution in buildings in temperate and boreal regions, where it decomposes coniferous construction wood. Comparative genomic analyses and growth experiments using this species and its wild relatives revealed that S. lacrymans evolved a very effective brown rot decay compared to its wild relatives, enabling an extremely rapid decay in buildings under suitable conditions. Adaptations in intracellular transport machineries promoting hyphal growth, and nutrient and water transport may explain why it is has become a successful invader of timber in houses. Further, we demonstrate that S. lacrymans has poor combative ability in our experimental setup, compared to other brown rot fungi. In sheltered indoor conditions, the dry rot fungus may have limited encounters with other wood decay fungi compared to its wild relatives. Overall, our analyses indicate that the dry rot fungus is an ecological specialist with poor combative ability against other fungi.

  3. Human sepsis-associated Escherichia coli (SEPEC) is able to adhere to and invade kidney epithelial cells in culture

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Conceição, R.A. [Departamento de Genética, Evolução e Bioagentes, Universidade Estadual de Campinas, Campinas, SP (Brazil); Ludovico, M.S. [Departamento de Microbiologia, Universidade Estadual de Londrina, Londrina, PR (Brazil); Andrade, C.G.T.J. [Departamento de Biologia Geral, Universidade Estadual de Londrina, Londrina, PR (Brazil); Yano, T. [Departamento de Genética, Evolução e Bioagentes, Universidade Estadual de Campinas, Campinas, SP (Brazil)

    2012-04-13

    The adhesins of extraintestinal pathogenic Escherichia coli are essential for mediating direct interactions between the microbes and the host cell surfaces that they infect. Using fluorescence microscopy and gentamycin protection assays, we observed that 49 sepsis-associated E. coli (SEPEC) strains isolated from human adults adhered to and invaded Vero cells in the presence of D-mannose (100%). In addition, bacteria concentrations of approximately 2 × 10{sup 7} CFU/mL were recovered from Vero cells following an invasion assay. Furthermore, PCR analysis of adhesin genes showed that 98.0% of these SEPEC strains tested positive for fimH, 69.4% for flu, 53.1% for csgA, 38.8% for mat, and 32.7% for iha. Analysis of the invasin genes showed that 16.3% of the SEPEC strains were positive for tia, 12.3% for gimB, and 10.2% for ibeA. Therefore, these data suggest that SEPEC adhesion to cell surfaces occurs through non-fimH mechanisms. Scanning electron microscopy showed the formation of microcolonies on the Vero cell surface. SEPEC invasiveness was also confirmed by the presence of intracellular bacteria, and ultrastructural analysis using electron transmission microscopy revealed bacteria inside the Vero cells. Taken together, these results demonstrate that these SEPEC strains had the ability to adhere to and invade Vero cells. Moreover, these data support the theory that renal cells may be the predominant pathway through which SEPEC enters human blood vessels.

  4. Spatial Pattern and Scale Influence Invader Demographic Response to Simulated Precipitation Change in an Annual Grassland Community.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Meghan J Skaer Thomason

    Full Text Available It is important to predict which invasive species will benefit from future changes in climate, and thereby identify those invaders that need particular attention and prioritization of management efforts. Because establishment, persistence, and spread determine invasion success, this prediction requires detailed demographic information. Explicit study of the impact of pattern on demographic response is particularly important for species that are naturally patchy, such as the invasive grass, Aegilops triuncialis. In the northern California Coast Range, where climate change may increase or decrease mean annual rainfall, we conducted a field experiment to understand the interaction of climate change and local-scale patterning on the demography of A. triuncialis. We manipulated precipitation (reduced, ambient, or augmented, seed density, and seeding pattern. Demographic and environmental data were collected for three years following initial seeding. Pattern and scale figure prominently in the demographic response of A. triuncialis to precipitation manipulation. Pattern interacts with precipitation and seeding density in its influence on per-plant seed output. Although per-plot seed production was highest when seeds were not aggregated, per-plant seed output was higher in aggregated patches. Results suggest aggregation of invasive A. triuncialis reduces the detrimental impact of interspecific competition in its invaded community, and that interspecific competition per se has a stronger impact than intraspecific competition.

  5. Co-invading symbiotic mutualists of Medicago polymorpha retain high ancestral diversity and contain diverse accessory genomes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Porter, Stephanie S; Faber-Hammond, Joshua J; Friesen, Maren L

    2018-01-01

    Exotic, invasive plants and animals can wreak havoc on ecosystems by displacing natives and altering environmental conditions. However, much less is known about the identities or evolutionary dynamics of the symbiotic microbes that accompany invasive species. Most leguminous plants rely upon symbiotic rhizobium bacteria to fix nitrogen and are incapable of colonizing areas devoid of compatible rhizobia. We compare the genomes of symbiotic rhizobia in a portion of the legume's invaded range with those of the rhizobium symbionts from across the legume's native range. We show that in an area of California the legume Medicago polymorpha has invaded, its Ensifer medicae symbionts: (i) exhibit genome-wide patterns of relatedness that together with historical evidence support host-symbiont co-invasion from Europe into California, (ii) exhibit population genomic patterns consistent with the introduction of the majority of deep diversity from the native range, rather than a genetic bottleneck during colonization of California and (iii) harbor a large set of accessory genes uniquely enriched in binding functions, which could play a role in habitat invasion. Examining microbial symbiont genome dynamics during biological invasions is critical for assessing host-symbiont co-invasions whereby microbial symbiont range expansion underlies plant and animal invasions. © FEMS 2017. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  6. Invasion Age and Invader Removal Alter Species Cover and Composition at the Suisun Tidal Marsh, California, USA

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sarah Estrella

    2011-05-01

    Full Text Available Wetland ecosystems are vulnerable to plant species invasions, which can greatly alter species composition and ecosystem functioning. The response of these communities to restoration can vary following invader removal, but few studies have evaluated how recent and long-term invasions can affect the plant community’s restoration potential. Perennial pepperweed (Lepidium latifolium has invaded thousands of hectares of marshland in the San Francisco Estuary, California, United States of America, while the effects of invasion and removal of this weed remain poorly studied. In this study, perennial pepperweed was removed along a gradient of invasion age in brackish tidal marshes of Suisun Marsh, within the Estuary. In removal plots, resident plant cover significantly increased during the 2-year study period, particularly in the densest and oldest parts of the perennial pepperweed colonies, while species richness did not change significantly. In bare areas created by removal of perennial pepperweed, recolonization was dominated by three-square bulrush (Schoenoplectus americanus. Ultimately, removal of invasive perennial pepperweed led to reinvasion of the resident plant community within two years. This study illustrates that it is important to consider invasion age, along with exotic species removal, when developing a restoration strategy in wetland ecosystems.

  7. Who's your neighbor? Acoustic cues to individual identity in red squirrel Tamiasciurus hudsonicus rattle calls

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shannon M. DIGWEED, Drew RENDALL, Teana IMBEAU

    2012-10-01

    Full Text Available North American red squirrels Tamiasciurus hudsonicus often produce a loud territorial rattle call when conspecifics enter or invade a territory. Previous playback experiments suggest that the territorial rattle call may indicate an invader's identity as squirrels responded more intensely to calls played from strangers than to calls played from neighbors. This dear-enemy effect is well known in a variety of bird and mammal species and functions to reduce aggressive interactions between known neighbors. However, although previous experiments on red squirrels suggest some form of individual differentiation and thus recognition, detailed acoustic analysis of potential acoustic cues in rattle calls have not been conducted. If calls function to aid in conspecific identification in order to mitigate aggressive territorial interactions, we would expect that individual recognition cues would be acoustically represented. Our work provides a detailed analysis of acoustic cues to identity within rattle calls. A total of 225 calls across 32 individual squirrels from Sheep River Provincial Park, Kananaskis, AB, Canada, were analyzed with discriminant function analysis for potential acoustic cues to individual identity. Initial analysis of all individuals revealed a reliable acoustic differentiation across individuals. A more detailed analysis of clusters of neighboring squirrels was performed and results again indicated a statistically significant likelihood that calls were assigned correctly to specific squirrels (55%-75% correctly assigned; in other words squirrels have distinct voices that should allow for individual identification and discrimination by conspecifics [Current Zoology 58 (5: 758–764, 2012].

  8. Red giants seismology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mosser, B.; Samadi, R.; Belkacem, K.

    2013-11-01

    The space-borne missions CoRoT and Kepler are indiscreet. With their asteroseismic programs, they tell us what is hidden deep inside the stars. Waves excited just below the stellar surface travel throughout the stellar interior and unveil many secrets: how old is the star, how big, how massive, how fast (or slow) its core is dancing. This paper intends to paparazze the red giants according to the seismic pictures we have from their interiors.

  9. Multiplicar la red

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    John Young

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available La tecnología comunicacional nos ha conducido precipitadamente a una existencia completamente nueva. En la carrera por crear una sociedad sustentable, una "red de redes mundiales" de computadoras personales que puedan ofrecer la primera esperanza real de acelerar ampliamente las comunicaciones. Las redes computacionales no solo sirven como un sistema de comunicación interactivo, rápido sino también como una herramienta de investigación de poderes insospechados.

  10. RedNemo

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Alkan, Ferhat; Erten, Cesim

    2017-01-01

    is their erroneous nature; they contain false-positive interactions and usually many more false-negatives. Recently, several computational methods have been proposed for network reconstruction based on topology, where given an input PPI network the goal is to reconstruct the network by identifying false...... material including source code, useful scripts, experimental data and the results are available at http://webprs.khas.edu.tr/∼cesim/Red Nemo. tar.gz CONTACT: cesim@khas.edu.tr Supplementary information: Supplementary data are available at Bioinformatics online....

  11. Deep Red (Profondo Rosso)

    CERN Multimedia

    Cine Club

    2015-01-01

    Wednesday 29 April 2015 at 20:00 CERN Council Chamber    Deep Red (Profondo Rosso) Directed by Dario Argento (Italy, 1975) 126 minutes A psychic who can read minds picks up the thoughts of a murderer in the audience and soon becomes a victim. An English pianist gets involved in solving the murders, but finds many of his avenues of inquiry cut off by new murders, and he begins to wonder how the murderer can track his movements so closely. Original version Italian; English subtitles

  12. Red DirCom

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Joan Costa

    2007-01-01

    Full Text Available Catorce países congregados de manera activa, a través de una plataforma de encuentro donde se comparten conocimiento y experiencias en la gestión estratégica de la comunicación en las organizaciones. La red reconoce en el DirCom una figura clave del desarrollo corporativo en el nuevo contexto de los negocios, impulsa la exigencia ética a través de la formación y consolida la proyección profesional para posicionar la gestión integral del DirCom en Iberoamérica.

  13. The importance of the human footprint in shaping the global distribution of terrestrial, freshwater and marine invaders.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Belinda Gallardo

    Full Text Available Human activities such as transport, trade and tourism are likely to influence the spatial distribution of non-native species and yet, Species Distribution Models (SDMs that aim to predict the future broad scale distribution of invaders often rely on environmental (e.g. climatic information only. This study investigates if and to what extent do human activities that directly or indirectly influence nature (hereafter the human footprint affect the global distribution of invasive species in terrestrial, freshwater and marine ecosystems. We selected 72 species including terrestrial plants, terrestrial animals, freshwater and marine invasive species of concern in a focus area located in NW Europe (encompassing Great Britain, France, The Netherlands and Belgium. Species Distribution Models were calibrated with the global occurrence of species and a set of high-resolution (9×9 km environmental (e.g. topography, climate, geology layers and human footprint proxies (e.g. the human influence index, population density, road proximity. Our analyses suggest that the global occurrence of a wide range of invaders is primarily limited by climate. Temperature tolerance was the most important factor and explained on average 42% of species distribution. Nevertheless, factors related to the human footprint explained a substantial amount (23% on average of species distributions. When global models were projected into the focus area, spatial predictions integrating the human footprint featured the highest cumulative risk scores close to transport networks (proxy for invasion pathways and in habitats with a high human influence index (proxy for propagule pressure. We conclude that human related information-currently available in the form of easily accessible maps and databases-should be routinely implemented into predictive frameworks to inform upon policies to prevent and manage invasions. Otherwise we might be seriously underestimating the species and areas under

  14. Mercury and persistent organic pollutants in native and invading forage species of the Canadian Arctic: Consequences for food web dynamics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pedro, Sara; Fisk, Aaron T; Tomy, Gregg T; Ferguson, Steven H; Hussey, Nigel E; Kessel, Steven T; McKinney, Melissa A

    2017-10-01

    Contaminant dynamics within Arctic marine food webs may be altered through the climate-driven northward invasions of temperate/boreal species. Here, we compare tissue concentrations of total mercury (THg) and legacy and emerging persistent organic pollutants (POPs) in native versus invading forage species sampled from 2012 to 2014 near Arviat, Clyde River, and Resolute Bay, NU, representing, low, mid- and high eastern Canadian Arctic regions, respectively. Concentrations of THg, legacy Σ-polychlorinated biphenyls (ΣPCB) and Σ-organochlorine (ΣOC) pesticides were detected in all forage species, whereas emerging halogenated flame retardants were detected in only a few individuals. Concentrations of major contaminant groups among regions did not vary for Arctic cod (Boreogadus saida), while for sculpin (Cottoidea) there was no clear latitudinal trend. Thus, considering interspecific variation, native sculpin and northern shrimp (Pandalus borealis) had the highest overall concentrations of THg (0.17 ± 0.02 and 0.21 ± 0.01 μg g -1 wet weight, respectively), ΣPCB (322 ± 35 and 245 ± 25 ng g -1 lipid weight (lw), respectively), and ΣOC (413 ± 38 and 734 ± 64 ng g -1 lw, respectively). Comparing the keystone native species, Arctic cod, to its 'replacement' species, capelin (Mallotus villosus) and sandlance (Ammodytes spp.), THg concentrations were higher in Arctic cod compared to capelin (p compound patterns, in capelin and sandlance relative to Arctic cod seem, therefore, more likely related to a more "temperate"-type contaminant signature in the invaders. Nevertheless, the relatively small (up to two-fold) magnitude of these differences suggested limited effects of these ecological changes on contaminant uptake by Arctic piscivores. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  15. Planting sentinel European trees in eastern Asia as a novel method to identify potential insect pest invaders.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roques, Alain; Fan, Jian-Ting; Courtial, Béatrice; Zhang, Yan-Zhuo; Yart, Annie; Auger-Rozenberg, Marie-Anne; Denux, Olivier; Kenis, Marc; Baker, Richard; Sun, Jiang-Hua

    2015-01-01

    Quarantine measures to prevent insect invasions tend to focus on well-known pests but a large proportion of the recent invaders were not known to cause significant damage in their native range, or were not even known to science before their introduction. A novel method is proposed to detect new potential pests of woody plants in their region of origin before they are introduced to a new continent. Since Asia is currently considered to be the main supplier of insect invaders to Europe, sentinel trees were planted in China during 2007-2011 as an early warning tool to identify the potential for additional Asian insect species to colonize European trees. Seedlings (1-1.5 m tall) of five broadleaved (Quercus petraea, Q. suber, Q. ilex, Fagus sylvatica, and Carpinus betulus) and two conifer species (Abies alba and Cupressus sempervirens) were planted in blocks of 100 seedlings at two widely separated sites (one in a nursery near Beijing and the other in a forest environment near Fuyang in eastern China), and then regularly surveyed for colonization by insects. A total of 104 insect species, mostly defoliators, were observed on these new hosts, and at least six species were capable of larval development. Although a number of the insects observed were probably incidental feeders, 38 species had more than five colonization events, mostly infesting Q. petraea, and could be considered as being capable of switching to European trees if introduced to Europe. Three years was shown to be an appropriate duration for the experiment, since the rate of colonization then tended to plateau. A majority of the identified species appeared to have switched from agricultural crops and fruit trees rather than from forest trees. Although these results are promising, the method is not appropriate for xylophagous pests and other groups developing on larger trees. Apart from the logistical problems, the identification to species level of the specimens collected was a major difficulty. This

  16. The potential distribution of invading Helicoverpa armigera in North America: is it just a matter of time?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Darren J Kriticos

    Full Text Available Helicoverpa armigera has recently invaded South and Central America, and appears to be spreading rapidly. We update a previously developed potential distribution model to highlight the global invasion threat, with emphasis on the risks to the United States. The continued range expansion of H. armigera in Central America is likely to change the invasion threat it poses to North America qualitatively, making natural dispersal from either the Caribbean islands or Mexico feasible. To characterise the threat posed by H. armigera, we collated the value of the major host crops in the United States growing within its modelled potential range, including that area where it could expand its range during favourable seasons. We found that the annual value of crops that would be exposed to H. armigera totalled approximately US$78 billion p.a., with US$843 million p.a. worth growing in climates that are optimal for the pest. Elsewhere, H. armigera has developed broad-spectrum pesticide resistance; meaning that if it invades the United States, protecting these crops from significant production impacts could be challenging. It may be cost-effective to undertake pre-emptive biosecurity activities such as slowing the spread of H. armigera throughout the Americas, improving the system for detecting H. armigera, and methods for rapid identification, especially distinguishing between H. armigera, H. zea and potential H. armigera x H. zea hybrids. Developing biological control programs, especially using inundative techniques with entomopathogens and parasitoids could slow the spread of H. armigera, and reduce selective pressure for pesticide resistance. The rapid spread of H. armigera through South America into Central America suggests that its spread into North America is a matter of time. The likely natural dispersal routes preclude aggressive incursion responses, emphasizing the value of preparatory communication with agricultural producers in areas suitable for

  17. Red - take a closer look.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vanessa L Buechner

    Full Text Available Color research has shown that red is associated with avoidance of threat (e.g., failure or approach of reward (e.g., mating depending on the context in which it is perceived. In the present study we explored one central cognitive process that might be involved in the context dependency of red associations. According to our theory, red is supposed to highlight the relevance (importance of a goal-related stimulus and correspondingly intensifies the perceivers' attentional reaction to it. Angry and happy human compared to non-human facial expressions were used as goal-relevant stimuli. The data indicate that the color red leads to enhanced attentional engagement to angry and happy human facial expressions (compared to neutral ones - the use of non-human facial expressions does not bias attention. The results are discussed with regard to the idea that red induced attentional biases might explain the red-context effects on motivation.

  18. Listening to Red

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sinazo Mtshemla

    Full Text Available Following a distinction John Mowitt draws between hearing (and phonics, and listening (and sonics, this article argues that the dominant notion of listening to sound was determined by the disciplinary framework of South African history and by the deployment of a cinematic documentary apparatus, both of which have served to disable the act of listening. The conditions of this hearing, and a deafness to a reduced or bracketed listening (Chion via Schaeffer that would enable us to think the post in post-apartheid differently, is thus at the centre of our concerns here. We stage a series of screenings of expected possible soundtracks for Simon Gush's film and installation Red, simultaneously tracking the ways that sound - and particularly music and dialogue - can be shown to hold a certain way of thinking both the political history of South Africa and the politics of South African history. We conclude by listening more closely to hiss and murmur in the soundtrack to Red and suggest this has major implications for considering ways of thinking and knowing.

  19. Red Teaming: Past and Present

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Longbine, David F

    2008-01-01

    .... Key aspects of the Army red teaming definition are its emphasis on independent thinking, challenging organizational thinking, incorporating alternative perspectives, and incorporating alternative analysis...

  20. International red meat trade.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brester, Gary W; Marsh, John M; Plain, Ronald L

    2003-07-01

    The maturation of the US beef and pork markets and increasing consumer demands for convenience, safety, and nutrition suggests that the beef and pork industries must focus on product development and promotion. New marketing arrangements are developing that help coordinate production with consumer demands. The relative high levels of incomes in the United States are likely to increase the demands for branded products rather than increase total per capita consumption. Foreign markets represent the greatest opportunity for increased demand for commodity beef and pork products. Increasing incomes in developing countries will likely allow consumers to increase consumption of animal-source proteins. Real prices of beef and pork have declined substantially because of sagging domestic demand and increasing farm-level production technologies. Increasing US beef and pork exports have obviated some of the price declines. Pork attained a net export position from a quantity perspective in 1995. The United States continues to be a net importer of beef on a quantity basis but is close to becoming a net exporter in terms of value. By-products continue to play a critical role in determining the red meat trade balance and producer prices. The United States, however, must continue to become cost, price, and quality competitive with other suppliers and must secure additional market access if it is to sustain recent trade trends. Several trade tensions remain in the red meat industry. For example, mandated COOL will undoubtedly have domestic and international effects on the beef and pork sectors. Domestically, uncertainty regarding consumer demand responses or quality perceptions regarding product origin, as well as added processor-retailer costs will be nontrivial. How these factors balance out in terms of benefits versus costs to the industry is uncertain. From an international perspective, some beef and pork export suppliers to the United States could view required labeling as a

  1. Pulsating red variables

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Whitelock, P.A.

    1990-01-01

    The observational characteristics of pulsating red variables are reviewed with particular emphasis on the Miras. These variables represent the last stage in the evolution of stars on the Asymptotic Giant Branch (AGB). A large fraction of the IRAS sources in the Bulge are Mira variables and a subset of these are also OH/IR sources. Their periods range up to 720 days, though most are between 360 and 560 days. At a given period those stars with the highest pulsation amplitudes have the highest mass-loss rates; this is interpreted as evidence for a causal connection between mass-loss and pulsation. It is suggested that once an AGB star has become a Mira it will evolve with increasing pulsation amplitude and mass-loss, but with very little change of luminosity or logarithmic period. 26 refs

  2. Coupling legacy geomorphic surface facies to riparian vegetation: Assessing red cedar invasion along the Missouri River downstream of Gavins Point dam, South Dakota

    Science.gov (United States)

    Greene, Samantha L.; Knox, James C.

    2014-01-01

    Floods increase fluvial complexity by eroding established surfaces and creating new alluvial surfaces. As dams regulate channel flow, fluvial complexity often decreases and the hydro-eco-geomorphology of the riparian habitat changes. Along the Missouri River, flow regulation resulted in channel incision of 1-3 m within the study area and disconnected the pre-dam floodplain from the channel. Evidence of fluvial complexity along the pre-dam Missouri River floodplain can be observed through the diverse depositional environments represented by areas of varying soil texture. This study evaluates the role of flow regulation and depositional environment along the Missouri River in the riparian invasion of red cedar downstream of Gavins Point dam, the final dam on the Missouri River. We determine whether invasion began before or after flow regulation, determine patterns of invasion using Bayesian t-tests, and construct a Bayesian multivariate linear model of invaded surfaces. We surveyed 59 plots from 14 riparian cottonwood stands for tree age, plot composition, plot stem density, and soil texture. Red cedars existed along the floodplain prior to regulation, but at a much lower density than today. We found 2 out of 565 red cedars established prior to regulation. Our interpretation of depositional environments shows that the coarser, sandy soils reflect higher energy depositional pre-dam surfaces that were geomorphically active islands and point bars prior to flow regulation and channel incision. The finer, clayey soils represent lower energy depositional pre-dam surfaces, such as swales or oxbow depressions. When determining patterns of invasion for use in a predictive statistical model, we found that red cedar primarily establishes on the higher energy depositional pre-dam surfaces. In addition, as cottonwood age and density decrease, red cedar density tends to increase. Our findings indicate that flow regulation caused hydrogeomorphic changes within the study area that

  3. Plant litter effects on soil nutrient availability and vegetation dynamics: changes that occur when annual grasses invade shrub-steppe communities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sheel Bansal; Roger L. Sheley; Bob Blank; Edward A. Vasquez

    2014-01-01

    Changes in the quantity and quality of plant litter occur in many ecosystems as they are invaded by exotic species, which impact soil nutrient cycling and plant community composition. Such changes in sagebrush-steppe communities are occurring with invasion of annual grasses (AG) into a perennial grass (PG) dominated system. We conducted a 5-year litter manipulation...

  4. Powerful qPCR assays for the early detection of latent invaders: interdisciplinary approaches in clinical cancer research and plant pathology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Luchi, Nicola; Capretti, Paolo; Pazzagli, Mario; Pinzani, Pamela

    2016-06-01

    Latent invaders represent the first step of disease before symptoms occur in the host. Based on recent findings, tumors are considered to be ecosystems in which cancer cells act as invasive species that interact with the native host cell species. Analogously, in plants latent fungal pathogens coevolve within symptomless host tissues. For these reasons, similar detection approaches can be used for an early diagnosis of the invasion process in both plants and humans to prevent or reduce the spread of the disease. Molecular tools based on the evaluation of nucleic acids have been developed for the specific, rapid, and early detection of human diseases. During the last decades, these techniques to assess and quantify the proliferation of latent invaders in host cells have been transferred from the medical field to different areas of scientific research, such as plant pathology. An improvement in molecular biology protocols (especially referring to qPCR assays) specifically designed and optimized for detection in host plants is therefore advisable. This work is a cross-disciplinary review discussing the use of a methodological approach that is employed within both medical and plant sciences. It provides an overview of the principal qPCR tools for the detection of latent invaders, focusing on comparisons between clinical cancer research and plant pathology, and recent advances in the early detection of latent invaders to improve prevention and control strategies.

  5. The effects of insect biological control on a Tamarix invaded ecosystem: ecosystem water and carbon fluxes and plant-level responses

    Science.gov (United States)

    Background / Questions / Methods: Tamarix spp. (saltcedar) has invaded many river systems in the western United States with detrimental impacts to flora and fauna. Traditional methods of invasive plant control have been ineffective or costly. Therefore, insect biological control of Tamarix with Di...

  6. Volume tables for red alder.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Floyd A. Johnson; R. M. Kallander; Paul G. Lauterbach

    1949-01-01

    The increasing importance of red alder as a commercial species in the Pacific Northwest has prompted the three agencies listed above to pool their tree measurement data for the construction of standard regional red alder volume tables. The tables included here were based on trees from a variety of sites and form classes. Approximately one quarter of the total number of...

  7. Skeleton decay in red cedar

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kevin T. Smith; Jessie A. Glaeser

    2013-01-01

    Eastern red cedar (Juniperus virginiana) is a common tree species throughout the eastern United States and the Great Plains. Although “cedar” is in the common name, the scientifc name shows a botanical kinship to the juniper species of the American southwest. Red cedar can survive and thrive within a broad range of soil conditions, seasonal...

  8. Planting sentinel European trees in eastern Asia as a novel method to identify potential insect pest invaders.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alain Roques

    Full Text Available Quarantine measures to prevent insect invasions tend to focus on well-known pests but a large proportion of the recent invaders were not known to cause significant damage in their native range, or were not even known to science before their introduction. A novel method is proposed to detect new potential pests of woody plants in their region of origin before they are introduced to a new continent. Since Asia is currently considered to be the main supplier of insect invaders to Europe, sentinel trees were planted in China during 2007-2011 as an early warning tool to identify the potential for additional Asian insect species to colonize European trees. Seedlings (1-1.5 m tall of five broadleaved (Quercus petraea, Q. suber, Q. ilex, Fagus sylvatica, and Carpinus betulus and two conifer species (Abies alba and Cupressus sempervirens were planted in blocks of 100 seedlings at two widely separated sites (one in a nursery near Beijing and the other in a forest environment near Fuyang in eastern China, and then regularly surveyed for colonization by insects. A total of 104 insect species, mostly defoliators, were observed on these new hosts, and at least six species were capable of larval development. Although a number of the insects observed were probably incidental feeders, 38 species had more than five colonization events, mostly infesting Q. petraea, and could be considered as being capable of switching to European trees if introduced to Europe. Three years was shown to be an appropriate duration for the experiment, since the rate of colonization then tended to plateau. A majority of the identified species appeared to have switched from agricultural crops and fruit trees rather than from forest trees. Although these results are promising, the method is not appropriate for xylophagous pests and other groups developing on larger trees. Apart from the logistical problems, the identification to species level of the specimens collected was a major

  9. The Arf GTPase-activating protein family is exploited by Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium to invade nonphagocytic host cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Davidson, Anthony C; Humphreys, Daniel; Brooks, Andrew B E; Hume, Peter J; Koronakis, Vassilis

    2015-02-10

    To establish intracellular infections, Salmonella bacteria trigger host cell membrane ruffling and invasion by subverting cellular Arf guanine nucleotide exchange factors (GEFs) that activate Arf1 and Arf6 GTPases by promoting GTP binding. A family of cellular Arf GTPase-activating proteins (GAPs) can downregulate Arf signaling by stimulating GTP hydrolysis, but whether they do this during infection is unknown. Here, we uncovered a remarkable role for distinct Arf GAP family members in Salmonella invasion. The Arf6 GAPs ACAP1 and ADAP1 and the Arf1 GAP ASAP1 localized at Salmonella-induced ruffles, which was not the case for the plasma membrane-localized Arf6 GAPs ARAP3 and GIT1 or the Golgi-associated Arf1 GAP1. Surprisingly, we found that loss of ACAP1, ADAP1, or ASAP1 impaired Salmonella invasion, revealing that GAPs cannot be considered mere terminators of cytoskeleton remodeling. Salmonella invasion was restored in Arf GAP-depleted cells by expressing fast-cycling Arf derivatives, demonstrating that Arf GTP/GDP cycles facilitate Salmonella invasion. Consistent with this view, both constitutively active and dominant-negative Arf derivatives that cannot undergo GTP/GDP cycles inhibited invasion. Furthermore, we demonstrated that Arf GEFs and GAPs colocalize at invading Salmonella and collaborate to drive Arf1-dependent pathogen invasion. This study revealed that Salmonella bacteria exploit a remarkable interplay between Arf GEFs and GAPs to direct cycles of Arf GTPase activation and inactivation. These cycles drive Salmonella cytoskeleton remodeling and enable intracellular infections. To initiate infections, the Salmonella bacterial pathogen remodels the mammalian actin cytoskeleton and invades host cells by subverting host Arf GEFs that activate Arf1 and Arf6 GTPases. Cellular Arf GAPs deactivate Arf GTPases and negatively regulate cell processes, but whether they target Arfs during infection is unknown. Here, we uncovered an important role for the Arf GAP

  10. Linking niche theory to ecological impacts of successful invaders: insights from resource fluctuation-specialist herbivore interactions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gidoin, Cindy; Roques, Lionel; Boivin, Thomas

    2015-03-01

    Theories of species coexistence and invasion ecology are fundamentally connected and provide a common theoretical framework for studying the mechanisms underlying successful invasions and their ecological impacts. Temporal fluctuations in resource availability and differences in life-history traits between invasive and resident species are considered as likely drivers of the dynamics of invaded communities. Current critical issues in invasion ecology thus relate to the extent to which such mechanisms influence coexistence between invasive and resident species and to the ability of resident species to persist in an invasive-dominated ecosystem. We tested how a fluctuating resource, and species trait differences may explain and help predict long-term impacts of biological invasions in forest specialist insect communities. We used a simple invasion system comprising closely related invasive and resident seed-specialized wasps (Hymenoptera: Torymidae) competing for a well-known fluctuating resource and displaying divergent diapause, reproductive and phenological traits. Based on extensive long-term field observations (1977-2010), we developed a combination of mechanistic and statistical models aiming to (i) obtain a realistic description of the population dynamics of these interacting species over time, and (ii) clarify the respective contributions of fluctuation-dependent and fluctuation-independent mechanisms to long-term impact of invasion on the population dynamics of the resident wasp species. We showed that a fluctuation-dependent mechanism was unable to promote coexistence of the resident and invasive species. Earlier phenology of the invasive species was the main driver of invasion success, enabling the invader to exploit an empty niche. Phenology also had the greatest power to explain the long-term negative impact of the invasive on the resident species, through resource pre-emption. This study provides strong support for the critical role of species

  11. Bladder cancer: The combination of chemotherapy and irradiation in the treatment of patients with muscle-invading tumors

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Shipley, William U.; Zietman, Anthony L.

    1996-01-01

    In the USA the recommended treatment for patients with muscle-invading transitional cell cancer of the bladder is usually radical cystectomy. Conservative surgery irradiation, and cisplatin-based systemic chemotherapy are, however, each effective for some patients. Although they provide the opportunity for bladder preservation, each modality, when used alone, is inferior to radical cystectomy in terms of local control and, perhaps, survival. Many recent publications have now documented the efficacy of combined modality treatment protocols employing all three of these modalities together. All employ a selective approach in which the patients only receive full-dose radiation if they have had a complete response to induction CMT. Overall survival data for T2-T3a patients are certainly as good as any reported cystectomy series of similarly clinically staged and similar aged patients. Radiation adds very significantly to the transurethral resection and systemic chemotherapy to maintain the bladder free of tumor. Substantially higher rates of pathologic confirmation of complete response are found following transurethral surgery and chemoradiation when compared with transurethral surgery and chemotherapy omitting the radiation. Overall survival is as good as cystectomy based approaches at 48-54% and over 80% of these long-term survivors keep their bladders. Following such therapies, 20-30% will subsequently develop superficial tumors. These patients may still be well treated by standard methods using transurethral resection and intravesical drugs. The concern of urologists that the conserved irradiated bladder functions poorly has also been answered by recent reports using modern radiation techniques. The instance of cystectomy for bladder shrinkage is repeatedly below 2%. Furthermore, sexual function is commonly preserved. The systemic morbidity of the chemotherapy is relatively high, but new approached using anti-emetics and GCSF now allow this to be reduced. In many

  12. Red Cedar Invasion Along the Missouri River, South Dakota: Cause and Consequence

    Science.gov (United States)

    Greene, S.; Knox, J. C.

    2012-12-01

    This research evaluates drivers of and ecosystem response to red cedar (Juniperus virginiana) invasion of riparian surfaces downstream of Gavin's Point Dam on the Missouri River. Gavin's Point Dam changed the downstream geomorphology and hydrology of the river and its floodplain by reducing scouring floods and flood-deposited sediment. The native cottonwood species (Populus deltoides) favors cleared surfaces with little to no competitors to establish. Now that there are infrequent erosive floods along the riparian surfaces to remove competitor seeds and seedlings, other vegetation is able to establish. Red cedar is invading the understory of established cottonwood stands and post-dam riparian surfaces. To assess reasons and spatial patterns for the recent invasion of red cedar, a stratified random sampling of soil, tree density and frequency by species, and tree age of 14 forest stands was undertaken along 59 river kilometers of riparian habitat. Soil particle size was determined using laser diffraction and tree ages were estimated from ring counts of tree cores. As an indicator of ecosystem response to invasion, we measured organic matter content in soil collected beneath red cedar and cottonwood trees at three different depths. Of 565 red cedars, only two trees were established before the dam was built. We applied a multiple regression model of red cedar density as a function of cottonwood density and percent sand (63-1000 microns in diameter) in StatPlus© statistical software. Cottonwood density and percent sand are strongly correlated with invasion of red cedar along various riparian surfaces (n = 59, R2 = 0.42, p-values cedar and cottonwood trees (p-value > 0.05 for all depths). These findings suggest that the dam's minimization of downstream high-stage flows opened up new habitat for red cedar to establish. Fluvial geomorphic surfaces reflect soil type and cottonwood density and, in turn, predict susceptibility of a surface to red cedar invasion. Nonetheless

  13. The Indian scad (Decapterus russelli, (Osteichtyes: Carangidae, a new Indo-Pacific fish invader of the eastern Mediterranean

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Daniel Golani

    2006-12-01

    Full Text Available The Indian scad, Decapterus russelli, is recorded for the first time from the Mediterranean. The presence of this Indo-Pacific species on the Mediterranean coast of Israel is evidently due to migration from the Red Sea via the Suez Canal. The collection of six specimens in the Mediterranean suggests that this species is well established in the Levant.

  14. Characterization of a newly established aggregation of the invasive ladybeetle Harmonia axyridis and current status of the invader in Spain

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Pons, X.; Roca, M.; Lumbierres, B.; Lucas, E.

    2015-07-01

    The multicoloured Asian ladybeetle, Harmonia axyridis (Pallas), an invasive biocontrol agent introduced in North and South America, as well as in Europe for aphid control, drastically affected assemblages of native coccinellid species, local communities and people. Although the insect is common in several European countries and it was released in Spain for aphid control in 1995, no evidence of population establishment has been reported until 2011. In the present paper, 1) we summarize the records of the invasive ladybeetle in Spain and provide numerous new mentions, and 2) we follow for the first time an overwintering aggregation from autumn to spring and characterize some individual features which allow us to determine its phenology of the establishment and spreading. The results establish clearly that: 1) H. axyridis is (until now) restricted to Catalonia (NE Spain) but the invading process is in progress and the insect is able to occupy different habitats; 2) the ladybeetle overwinters successfully in Spain without significant natural mortality or parasitism; 3) the form succinea represents 73-81% of the overwintering individuals, and 4) the invasion takes probably its origin from Southern France. The potential impact of the invasion by H. axyridis in Spain is discussed. (Author)

  15. Secondary Contact and Admixture between Independently Invading Populations of the Western Corn Rootworm, Diabrotica virgifera virgifera in Europe

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bermond, Gérald; Ciosi, Marc; Lombaert, Eric; Blin, Aurélie; Boriani, Marco; Furlan, Lorenzo; Toepfer, Stefan; Guillemaud, Thomas

    2012-01-01

    The western corn rootworm, Diabrotica virgifera virgifera (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae), is one of the most destructive pests of corn in North America and is currently invading Europe. The two major invasive outbreaks of rootworm in Europe have occurred, in North-West Italy and in Central and South-Eastern Europe. These two outbreaks originated from independent introductions from North America. Secondary contact probably occurred in North Italy between these two outbreaks, in 2008. We used 13 microsatellite markers to conduct a population genetics study, to demonstrate that this geographic contact resulted in a zone of admixture in the Italian region of Veneto. We show that i) genetic variation is greater in the contact zone than in the parental outbreaks; ii) several signs of admixture were detected in some Venetian samples, in a Bayesian analysis of the population structure and in an approximate Bayesian computation analysis of historical scenarios and, finally, iii) allelic frequency clines were observed at microsatellite loci. The contact between the invasive outbreaks in North-West Italy and Central and South-Eastern Europe resulted in a zone of admixture, with particular characteristics. The evolutionary implications of the existence of a zone of admixture in Northern Italy and their possible impact on the invasion success of the western corn rootworm are discussed. PMID:23189184

  16. Geographic structuring and transgenerational maternal effects shape germination in native, but not introduced, populations of a widespread plant invader.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alba, Christina; Moravcová, Lenka; Pyšek, Petr

    2016-05-01

    Germination is critical in determining species distributions and invasion dynamics. However, is it unclear how often invasive populations evolve germination characteristics different from native populations, because few studies have isolated genetic variation by using seed from garden-grown plants. Additionally, while herbivore-induced transgenerational effects are common, it is unknown whether maternal herbivory differentially shapes germination in native and introduced offspring. We explored germination in native and introduced populations of the North American invader Verbascum thapsus using seed from garden-grown maternal plants, half of which were protected from herbivores. To elucidate (1) germination niche breadth and (2) whether germination conditions affected expression of genetic structuring among populations, we germinated seed under four ecologically relevant temperature regimes. Native populations had a wide germination niche breadth, germinating as well as or better than introduced populations. At cooler temperatures, native populations exhibited a genetically based environmental cline indicative of local adaptation, with populations from warmer locales germinating better than populations from cooler locales. However, this cline was obscured when maternal plants were attacked by herbivores, revealing that local stressors can override the expression of geographic structuring. Introduced populations did not exhibit clinal variation, suggesting its disruption during the introduction process. Native and introduced populations have evolved genetic differences in germination. The result of this difference manifests in a wider germination niche breadth in natives, suggesting that the invasive behavior of V. thapsus in North America is attributable to other factors. © 2016 Botanical Society of America.

  17. Fusarium spp. is able to grow and invade healthy human nails as a single source of nutrients.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Galletti, J; Negri, M; Grassi, F L; Kioshima-Cotica, É S; Svidzinski, T I E

    2015-09-01

    Onychomycosis caused by Fusarium spp. is emerging, but some factors associated with its development remain unclear, such as whether this genus is keratinolytic. The main aim of the present study was to evaluate the ability of Fusarium to use the human nail as a single source of nutrients. We also performed an epidemiological study and antifungal susceptibility testing of Fusarium spp. that were isolated from patients with onychomycosis. The epidemiological study showed that Fusarium species accounted for 12.4 % of onychomycosis cases, and it was the most common among nondermatophyte molds. The most frequent species identified were F. oxysporum (36.5 %), F. solani (31.8 %), and F. subglutinans (8.3 %). Fluconazole was not active against Fusarium spp., and the response to terbinafine varied according to species. Fusarium was able to grow in vitro without the addition of nutrients and invade healthy nails. Thus, we found that Fusarium uses keratin as a single source of nutrients, and the model proposed herein may be useful for future studies on the pathogenesis of onychomycosis.

  18. Potential Asteraceae Invaders in Taiwan: Insights from the Flora and Herbarium Records of Casual and Naturalized Alien Species

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shan-Huah Wu

    2005-03-01

    Full Text Available Naturalization has been shown to be one of the primary stages of plant invasions; therefore, studies on naturalized plant species may generate valuable insights of possible invaders and invasions. Background information of casual and naturalized Asteraceae species provided by a comprehensive list of casual and naturalized species in Taiwan was examined to estimate the basic biological traits and geological origins of potential invasive species in this study. Besides, herbarium records were collected and analyzed to predict the invasiveness of casual and naturalized Asteraceae species. Our results showed that 44.0% out of the 51 casual and naturalized Asteraceae species were classified as invasive in the field, and a notable portion of these species were probably introduced accidently. Tropical Americas were the most important origins of casual and naturalized Asteraceae species, followed by Europe and temperate Americas. Most of the casual and naturalized Asteraceae species were annual herbs, and a few perennial species categorized as invasive may cause profound environmental problems. The herbarium record showed that species possessed different numbers of localities within the same time frame. We suggested that casual and naturalized Asteraceae species collected in more localities are more invasive than those species found in fewer localities within the same period of time.

  19. Detection of virulence genes determining the ability to adhere and invade in Campylobacter spp. from cattle and swine in Poland.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wysok, Beata; Wojtacka, Joanna

    2018-02-01

    The aim of the study was to determine the prevalence of virulence genes responsible for the adhesion (flaA, cadF and racR) and invasion (virB11, iam and pldA) in Campylobacter isolates from cattle and swine and determine their adherence and invasion abilities. The studies conducted revealed high prevalence rate of adherence and invasion associated genes irrespective of the isolates origin. All Campylobacter strains of swine and cattle origin adhered to HeLa cells at mean level 0.1099% ± SD 0.1341% and 0.0845% ± SD 0.1304% of starting viable inoculum, respectively. However swine isolates exhibited higher invasion abilities (0.0012% ± SD 0.0011%) compared to bovine isolates (0.00038% ± SD 0.00055%). The results obtained revealed significantly positive correlation between invasion and adherence abilities of swine origin isolates (R = 0.4867 in regard to C. jejuni and R = 0.4507 in regard to C. coli) and bovine origin isolates (R = 0.726 in regard to C. jejuni). Bacterial virulence is multifactorial and it is affected by the expression of virulence genes. Moreover the presence of virulence genes determines the ability of Campylobacter isolates to adhere and invade the cells. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  20. Host persistence or extinction from emerging infectious disease: insights from white-nose syndrome in endemic and invading regions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hoyt, Joseph R; Langwig, Kate E; Sun, Keping; Lu, Guanjun; Parise, Katy L; Jiang, Tinglei; Frick, Winifred F; Foster, Jeffrey T; Feng, Jiang; Kilpatrick, A Marm

    2016-03-16

    Predicting species' fates following the introduction of a novel pathogen is a significant and growing problem in conservation. Comparing disease dynamics between introduced and endemic regions can offer insight into which naive hosts will persist or go extinct, with disease acting as a filter on host communities. We examined four hypothesized mechanisms for host-pathogen persistence by comparing host infection patterns and environmental reservoirs for Pseudogymnoascus destructans (the causative agent of white-nose syndrome) in Asia, an endemic region, and North America, where the pathogen has recently invaded. Although colony sizes of bats and hibernacula temperatures were very similar, both infection prevalence and fungal loads were much lower on bats and in the environment in Asia than North America. These results indicate that transmission intensity and pathogen growth are lower in Asia, likely due to higher host resistance to pathogen growth in this endemic region, and not due to host tolerance, lower transmission due to smaller populations, or lower environmentally driven pathogen growth rate. Disease filtering also appears to be favouring initially resistant species in North America. More broadly, determining the mechanisms allowing species persistence in endemic regions can help identify species at greater risk of extinction in introduced regions, and determine the consequences for disease dynamics and host-pathogen coevolution. © 2016 The Author(s).

  1. [A Case Report on Successful Larynx-Preserving Surgery for a Cervical Esophageal Cancer That Invaded the Hypopharynx].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shiraishi, Osamu; Kato, Hiroaki; Iwama, Mitsuru; Hiraki, Yoko; Yasuda, Atsushi; Shinkai, Masayuki; Imano, Motohiro; Kimura, Yutaka; Imamoto, Haruhiko; Yasuda, Takushi

    2017-11-01

    The patient was a 58-year-old man suffering from dysphagia. He was diagnosed with T3 cervicalesophagealcancer that invaded the posterior hypopharyngealwal lwith lymph node metastasis. The patient received neoadjuvant chemoradiotherapy (30 Gy with CDDP/5-FU), followed by larynx-preserving surgery(LPS)for cervicalesophagealcancer. Two techniques for successfulLPS consist of the dissections of cricopharyngealmuscl e and the inferior pharyngealsphincter, and the complete division of the bilateral infrahyoid muscles attached to the sternum(CDBIMS). The former technique of releasing the esophagus from the trachea at the cricoid cartilage level results in the extension of the oral surgical margin. The latter technique is expected to prevent postoperative aspiration pneumonia, as the lack of flexibility of scarred infrahyoid muscles is regarded as one of the major causes of dysfunction in swallowing. Free jejunum was transferred for cervical reconstruction. Pathological examination indicated degenerated squamous cell carcinoma(ypT2, INF b, ly0, v0, PM0, ypN0, ypStage II A). Although the patient had recurrent nerve palsy, he could eat meals without aspiration. He returned to normal life after discharge from the hospital. Five years after surgery, no recurrence had been observed.

  2. Stable isotopes of nitrogen and carbon in an aquatic food web recently invaded by Dreissena polymorpha (Pallas)

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Mitchell, M.J.; Mills, E.L.; Idrisi, N.; Michener, R.

    1996-01-01

    The carbon and nitrogen concentrations and the stable isotopic compositions (δ 13 C and δ 15 N) of major abiotic and biotic constituents were determined in Oneida Lake, New York. This lake was invaded by the zebra mussel (Dreissena polymorpha) in 1990 and there have been concomitant changes in various biotic and abiotic lake properties. The C (46-49%) and N (12%) concentrations and C:N ratios (3.9-4) of zebra mussel flesh were similar to those reported for other lakes. Trophic positions were reflected in the δ 15 N values for which walleye > gizzard shad and yellow perch > Daphnia spp. and zebra mussel flesh > seston and sediment. There was an average increase of 3.6% 0 15 N per trophic transfer. Results from the δ 13 C analysis suggest that Daphnia spp. were using a distinct source of organic carbon whereas zebra mussel were using the entire seston resource. Only yellow perch showed a significant shift in δ 13 C values (1.1% 0 ), possibly reflecting a shift in a food source and diet from 1992 to 1993. (author). 48 refs., 2 tabs., 2 figs

  3. Stress tolerance and ecophysiological ability of an invader and a native species in a seasonally dry tropical forest.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oliveira, Marciel Teixeira; Matzek, Virginia; Dias Medeiros, Camila; Rivas, Rebeca; Falcão, Hiram Marinho; Santos, Mauro Guida

    2014-01-01

    Ecophysiological traits of Prosopis juliflora (Sw.) DC. and a phylogenetically and ecologically similar native species, Anadenanthera colubrina (Vell.) Brenan, were studied to understand the invasive species' success in caatinga, a seasonally dry tropical forest ecosystem of the Brazilian Northeast. To determine if the invader exhibited a superior resource-capture or a resource-conservative strategy, we measured biophysical and biochemical parameters in both species during dry and wet months over the course of two years. The results show that P. juliflora benefits from a flexible strategy in which it frequently outperforms the native species in resource capture traits under favorable conditions (e.g., photosynthesis), while also showing better stress tolerance (e.g., antioxidant activity) and water-use efficiency in unfavorable conditions. In addition, across both seasons the invasive has the advantage over the native with higher chlorophyll/carotenoids and chlorophyll a/b ratios, percent N, and leaf protein. We conclude that Prosopis juliflora utilizes light, water and nutrients more efficiently than Anadenanthera colubrina, and suffers lower intensity oxidative stress in environments with reduced water availability and high light radiation.

  4. Metabolic Profiling of Pyrrolizidine Alkaloids in Foliage of Two Echium spp. Invaders in Australia—A Case of Novel Weapons?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dominik Skoneczny

    2015-11-01

    Full Text Available Metabolic profiling allows for simultaneous and rapid annotation of biochemically similar organismal metabolites. An effective platform for profiling of toxic pyrrolizidine alkaloids (PAs and their N-oxides (PANOs was developed using ultra high pressure liquid chromatography quadrupole time-of-flight (UHPLC-QTOF mass spectrometry. Field-collected populations of invasive Australian weeds, Echium plantagineum and E. vulgare were raised under controlled glasshouse conditions and surveyed for the presence of related PAs and PANOs in leaf tissues at various growth stages. Echium plantagineum possessed numerous related and abundant PANOs (>17 by seven days following seed germination, and these were also observed in rosette and flowering growth stages. In contrast, the less invasive E. vulgare accumulated significantly lower levels of most PANOs under identical glasshouse conditions. Several previously unreported PAs were also found at trace levels. Field-grown populations of both species were also evaluated for PA production and highly toxic echimidine N-oxide was amongst the most abundant PANOs in foliage of both species. PAs in field and glasshouse plants were more abundant in the more widely invasive species, E. plantagineum, and may provide competitive advantage by increasing the plant’s capacity to deter natural enemies in its invaded range through production of novel weapons.

  5. Metabolic Profiling of Pyrrolizidine Alkaloids in Foliage of Two Echium spp. Invaders in Australia—A Case of Novel Weapons?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Skoneczny, Dominik; Weston, Paul A.; Zhu, Xiaocheng; Gurr, Geoff M.; Callaway, Ragan M.; Weston, Leslie A.

    2015-01-01

    Metabolic profiling allows for simultaneous and rapid annotation of biochemically similar organismal metabolites. An effective platform for profiling of toxic pyrrolizidine alkaloids (PAs) and their N-oxides (PANOs) was developed using ultra high pressure liquid chromatography quadrupole time-of-flight (UHPLC-QTOF) mass spectrometry. Field-collected populations of invasive Australian weeds, Echium plantagineum and E. vulgare were raised under controlled glasshouse conditions and surveyed for the presence of related PAs and PANOs in leaf tissues at various growth stages. Echium plantagineum possessed numerous related and abundant PANOs (>17) by seven days following seed germination, and these were also observed in rosette and flowering growth stages. In contrast, the less invasive E. vulgare accumulated significantly lower levels of most PANOs under identical glasshouse conditions. Several previously unreported PAs were also found at trace levels. Field-grown populations of both species were also evaluated for PA production and highly toxic echimidine N-oxide was amongst the most abundant PANOs in foliage of both species. PAs in field and glasshouse plants were more abundant in the more widely invasive species, E. plantagineum, and may provide competitive advantage by increasing the plant’s capacity to deter natural enemies in its invaded range through production of novel weapons. PMID:26561809

  6. Metabolic Profiling of Pyrrolizidine Alkaloids in Foliage of Two Echium spp. Invaders in Australia--A Case of Novel Weapons?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Skoneczny, Dominik; Weston, Paul A; Zhu, Xiaocheng; Gurr, Geoff M; Callaway, Ragan M; Weston, Leslie A

    2015-11-06

    Metabolic profiling allows for simultaneous and rapid annotation of biochemically similar organismal metabolites. An effective platform for profiling of toxic pyrrolizidine alkaloids (PAs) and their N-oxides (PANOs) was developed using ultra high pressure liquid chromatography quadrupole time-of-flight (UHPLC-QTOF) mass spectrometry. Field-collected populations of invasive Australian weeds, Echium plantagineum and E. vulgare were raised under controlled glasshouse conditions and surveyed for the presence of related PAs and PANOs in leaf tissues at various growth stages. Echium plantagineum possessed numerous related and abundant PANOs (>17) by seven days following seed germination, and these were also observed in rosette and flowering growth stages. In contrast, the less invasive E. vulgare accumulated significantly lower levels of most PANOs under identical glasshouse conditions. Several previously unreported PAs were also found at trace levels. Field-grown populations of both species were also evaluated for PA production and highly toxic echimidine N-oxide was amongst the most abundant PANOs in foliage of both species. PAs in field and glasshouse plants were more abundant in the more widely invasive species, E. plantagineum, and may provide competitive advantage by increasing the plant's capacity to deter natural enemies in its invaded range through production of novel weapons.

  7. Romantic red: red enhances men's attraction to women.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Elliot, Andrew J; Niesta, Daniela

    2008-11-01

    In many nonhuman primates, the color red enhances males' attraction to females. In 5 experiments, the authors demonstrate a parallel effect in humans: Red, relative to other achromatic and chromatic colors, leads men to view women as more attractive and more sexually desirable. Men seem unaware of this red effect, and red does not influence women's perceptions of the attractiveness of other women, nor men's perceptions of women's overall likeability, kindness, or intelligence. The findings have clear practical implications for men and women in the mating game and, perhaps, for fashion consultants, product designers, and marketers. Furthermore, the findings document the value of extending research on signal coloration to humans and of considering color as something of a common language, both within and across species. (c) 2008 APA, all rights reserved.

  8. Predation on seabirds by red foxes at Shaiak Island, Alaska

    Science.gov (United States)

    Petersen, M.R.

    1982-01-01

    Two Red Foxes (Vulpes fulva) that invaded Shaiak Island before the 1976 nesting season had a marked impact on the nesting success of five of seven species of seabirds breeding on the island that year. Common Eiders (Somateria mollissima), Glaucous-winged Gulls (Larus glaucescens), and Common Murres (Uria aalge), that nest in areas accessible to foxes, did not raise any young to fledging. Double-crested Cormorants (Phalacrocorax auritus) were only slightly more successful; 13 (4.3%) of 300 pairs raised one or more young to fledging. Evidence suggested that 21 (35.6%) of 62 pairs of Tufted Puffins (Lunda cirrhata) lost eggs or chicks to foxes, and foxes killed at least 13 (8.3%) of 156 adult puffins on ten sample plots. Conversely, Black-Legged Kittiwakes (Rissa tridactyla) and Pelagic Cormorants (Phalacrocorax pelagicus), which nested primarily on cliffs inaccessible to foxes, lost very few nests. There was no apparent change in general nest site selections by seabirds the following year, when foxes were no longer present. Any avoidance by birds of areas vulnerable to fox predation would probably be discernible only after several years of continuous predation.

  9. Red Yeast Rice: An Introduction

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... rice are used in food products in Chinese cuisine, including Peking duck. Others have been sold as ... Medicine . 2010;170(19):1722–1727. Halbert SC, French B, Gordon RY, et al. Tolerability of red ...

  10. Ombud's corner: space invaders

    CERN Multimedia

    Sudeshna Datta-Cockerill

    2015-01-01

    When normal communication breaks down and there is no sharing anymore, office-mates can become ‘space invaders’. Very often, the situation can be resolved effectively by taking just a few simple steps...   The lack of office space at CERN is a permanent issue that the various departments regularly have to address. As a result, very often this precious space where we spend the entire day has to be shared with other colleagues. Office-mates may come from different backgrounds and cultures and may have very different habits and behaviours; they may also have different activities during the day, sometimes requiring unusual, (perhaps even strange?) interactions with the space they occupy; finally, their presence might be irregular, making it very difficult for us to establish a stable relationship. Mark and Claire share an office as well as some professional activities. In the beginning, the relationship seems to work normally but, over time, the communication between them ste...

  11. Verdi Invades the Kindergarten.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McGirr, Paula Ifft

    1995-01-01

    Children can complement all areas of their language learning with music, and can enhance their musical activities with language. Opportunities to experience sounds, language, and rhythmic movement support the learning and development of the whole child. Activities dealing with children's books that have musical themes, song picture books, and…

  12. "Congo" red: out of Africa?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Steensma, D P

    2001-02-01

    Congo red is the essential histologic stain for demonstrating the presence of amyloidosis in fixed tissues. To the best of my knowledge, nothing has been written about why the stain is named "Congo." To understand the etymology and history of the Congo red histologic stain. Primary sources were consulted extensively, including 19th-century corporate documents, newspapers, legal briefs, patents, memoirs, and scientific papers. Sources were obtained from multiple university libraries and German corporate archives. To Europeans in 1885, the word Congo evoked exotic images of far-off central Africa known as The Dark Continent. The African Congo was also a political flashpoint during the Age of Colonialism. "Congo" red was introduced in Berlin in 1885 as the first of the economically lucrative direct textile dyes. A patent on Congo red was filed by the AGFA Corporation of Berlin 3 weeks after the conclusion of the well-publicized Berlin West Africa Conference. During these important diplomatic talks, German Chancellor Otto von Bismarck presided over a discussion of free trade issues in the Congo River basin. A challenge to AGFA's Congo red patent led to a precedent-setting decision in intellectual property law. The Congo red stain was named "Congo" for marketing purposes by a German textile dyestuff company in 1885, reflecting geopolitical current events of that time.

  13. [War Relief of Japanese Red Cross Nurses in the Lost Battle of Burma].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kawahara, Yukari

    2015-12-01

    This paper aims to reveal changes in the relief support of the Japanese Red Cross relief units dispatched to Burma during the Second World War, from the beginning of fighting in Burma to the Japanese withdrawal. Japanese Red Cross relief units began their relief support when Japan invaded Burma in February of 1942. Counterattacks by the British, Indian and Chinese armies from December 1942 caused an increase in the number of patients. There were also many cases of malnutrition and malaria due to the extreme shortage of medical supplies as a result of the Battle of Imphal, which began in March of 1944. Bomb raids became even more intense after the battle ended in July 1944, and patients were carried into bomb shelters and caves on a daily basis. Just prior to invasion by enemy troops, they were ordered to evacuate to neighboring Thailand. Nurses from the Wakayama group hid their identity as members of the Red Cross and evacuated, with 15 out of 23 dying or being reported missing in action.

  14. Red brome (Bromus rubens subsp. madritensis) in North America: Possible modes for early introductions, subsequent spread

    Science.gov (United States)

    Salo, L.F.

    2005-01-01

    Although invasions by exotic plants have increased dramatically as human travel and commerce have increased, few have been comprehensively described. Understanding the patterns of invasive species spread over space and time will help guide management activities and policy. Tracing the earliest appearances of an exotic plant reveals likely sites of introduction, paving the way for genetic studies to quantify founder events and identify potential source populations. Red brome (Bromus madritensis subsp. rubens) is a Mediterranean winter annual grass that has invaded even relatively undisturbed areas of western North America, where it threatens native plant communities. This study used herbarium records and contemporary published accounts to trace the early introductions and subsequent spread of red brome in western North America. The results challenge the most frequently cited sources describing the early history of this grass and suggest three possible modes for early introductions: the California Gold Rush and Central Valley wheat, southern California shipping, and northern California sheep. Subsequent periods of most rapid spread into new areas, from 1930 to 1942, and of greatest spread into new regions, during the past 50 years, coincide with warm Pacific Decadal Oscillation regimes, which are linked to increased winter precipitation in the southwestern USA and northern Mexico. Global environmental change, including increased atmospheric CO2 levels and N deposition, may be contributing to the success of red brome, relative to native species.

  15. Brown trout as an invader: A synthesis of problems and perspectives in western North America: Chapter 20

    Science.gov (United States)

    Budy, Phaedra; Gaeta, Jereme W.; Lobón-Cerviá, Javier; Sanz, Nuria

    2017-01-01

    Brown trout are one of the most pervasive and successful invaders worldwide and are ubiquitous across the Intermountain West, USA (IMW). This species is the foundation of extremely popular and economically significant sport fisheries despite well-established negative effects on native fishes and ecosystems, resulting in very challenging, and often opposing, conservation and management goals. Herein, we review the direct (e.g., competition and predation) and indirect (e.g., disease vectors) pathways through which brown trout across the IMW have posed a threat to native species. We discuss the importance of brown trout as economically and culturally important fisheries, especially in novel tailwater ecosystems created by damming. To this end, we surveyed 24 experts from eight states across the IMW to document the relevance of novel brown trout fisheries in 51 tailwaters and found brown trout are thriving in these novel ecosystems, which are often unsuitable for native fishes. We discuss the challenging interplay between protecting native species and managing novel brown trout fisheries. Notably, the future of exotic brown trout in the IMW is shifting as the prestige of native fisheries is growing and many non-native eradication efforts have occurred. The future of exotic brown trout in the IMW, will depend on the nexus of public sentiment and policy, the effectiveness of eradication efforts, and the effect of climate change on both the native fishes and exotic brown trout. Regardless, because brown trout are pervasive and have a broad distribution through the IMW, populations of this species will likely persist at least in some locations into the future.

  16. Comparative Transcriptomic Exploration Reveals Unique Molecular Adaptations of Neuropathogenic Trichobilharzia to Invade and Parasitize Its Avian Definitive Host.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Roman Leontovyč

    2016-02-01

    Full Text Available To date, most molecular investigations of schistosomatids have focused principally on blood flukes (schistosomes of humans. Despite the clinical importance of cercarial dermatitis in humans caused by Trichobilharzia regenti and the serious neuropathologic disease that this parasite causes in its permissive avian hosts and accidental mammalian hosts, almost nothing is known about the molecular aspects of how this fluke invades its hosts, migrates in host tissues and how it interacts with its hosts' immune system. Here, we explored selected aspects using a transcriptomic-bioinformatic approach. To do this, we sequenced, assembled and annotated the transcriptome representing two consecutive life stages (cercariae and schistosomula of T. regenti involved in the first phases of infection of the avian host. We identified key biological and metabolic pathways specific to each of these two developmental stages and also undertook comparative analyses using data available for taxonomically related blood flukes of the genus Schistosoma. Detailed comparative analyses revealed the unique involvement of carbohydrate metabolism, translation and amino acid metabolism, and calcium in T. regenti cercariae during their invasion and in growth and development, as well as the roles of cell adhesion molecules, microaerobic metabolism (citrate cycle and oxidative phosphorylation, peptidases (cathepsins and other histolytic and lysozomal proteins in schistosomula during their particular migration in neural tissues of the avian host. In conclusion, the present transcriptomic exploration provides new and significant insights into the molecular biology of T. regenti, which should underpin future genomic and proteomic investigations of T. regenti and, importantly, provides a useful starting point for a range of comparative studies of schistosomatids and other trematodes.

  17. Knocking on Heaven's Door: Are Novel Invaders Necessarily Facing Naïve Native Species on Islands?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Agathe Gérard

    Full Text Available The impact of alien predator species on insular native biota has often been attributed to island prey naïveté (i.e. lack of, or inefficient, anti-predator behavior. Only rarely, however, has the concept of island prey naïveté been tested, and then only a posteriori (i.e. hundreds or thousands of years after alien species introduction. The presence of native or anciently introduced predators or competitors may be crucial for the recognition and development of adaptive behavior toward unknown predators or competitors of the same archetype (i.e. a set of species that occupy a similar ecological niche and show similar morphological and behavioral traits when interacting with other species. Here, we tested whether two squamates endemic to New Caledonia, a skink, Caledoniscincus austrocaledonicus, and a gecko, Bavayia septuiclavis, recognized and responded to the odor of two major invaders introduced into the Pacific islands, but not yet into New Caledonia. We chose one predator, the small Indian mongoose Herpestes javanicus and one competitor, the cane toad Rhinella marina, which belong respectively to the same archetype as the following two species already introduced into New Caledonia in the nineteenth century: the feral cat Felis catus and the golden bell frog Litoria aurea. Our experiment reveals that geckos are naïve with respect to the odors of both an unknown predator and an unknown competitor, as well as to the odors of a predator and a competitor they have lived with for centuries. In contrast, skinks seem to have lost some naïveté regarding the odor of a predator they have lived with for centuries and seem "predisposed" to avoid the odor of an unknown potential competitor. These results indicate that insular species living in contact with invasive alien species for centuries may be, although not systematically, predisposed toward developing adaptive behavior with respect to species belonging to the same archetype and introduced into

  18. Bladder cancer: the combination of chemotherapy and irradiation in the treatment of patients with muscle-invading tumors

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Shipley, William U.; Zietman, Anthony L.

    1995-01-01

    In the USA the recommended treatment for patients with muscle-invading transitional cell cancer of the bladder is usually radical cystectomy. Conservative surgery (transurethral resection and partial cystectomy), irradiation, and cis-platinum based systemic chemotherapy are, however, each effective for some patients. Although they provide the opportunity for bladder preservation, each modality, when used alone, is inferior to radical cystectomy in terms of local control and, perhaps, survival. Initial response and local control rates are improved when a multimodality approach is used. Up to 85% of patients selected for bladder sparing therapy on the basis of their initial response to chemo-radiation may keep their bladders. This figure could increase further when other powerful prognostic factors, such as the presence of hydronephrosis or carcinoma in situ, are taken into account in initial patient selection. Deferring the patient from immediate cystectomy does not appear to compromise survival. The most appropriate sequencing of radiation and chemotherapy is yet to be established. Concomitant cis-platinum and irradiation improves local control and bladder preservation when compared with irradiation alone but does not decrease the metastatic rate. It is hoped that the well recognized activity of cis-platinum based combination chemotherapy in advanced disease will translate into effective eradication of micrometastatic disease (known to be present in up to 40% of patients at diagnosis). This has yet to be clearly demonstrated in a randomized trial. The addition of combination chemotherapy to radiation does not increase bladder morbidity but carries a considerable systemic risk. Thus, despite promising phase II studies, until a survival benefit is proven in a randomized trial, neoadjuvant or adjuvant combination chemotherapy in conjunction with irradiation should continue to be regarded as experimental

  19. Habitat complexity and fish size affect the detection of Indo-Pacific lionfish on invaded coral reefs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Green, S. J.; Tamburello, N.; Miller, S. E.; Akins, J. L.; Côté, I. M.

    2013-06-01

    A standard approach to improving the accuracy of reef fish population estimates derived from underwater visual censuses (UVCs) is the application of species-specific correction factors, which assumes that a species' detectability is constant under all conditions. To test this assumption, we quantified detection rates for invasive Indo-Pacific lionfish ( Pterois volitans and P. miles), which are now a primary threat to coral reef conservation throughout the Caribbean. Estimates of lionfish population density and distribution, which are essential for managing the invasion, are currently obtained through standard UVCs. Using two conventional UVC methods, the belt transect and stationary visual census (SVC), we assessed how lionfish detection rates vary with lionfish body size and habitat complexity (measured as rugosity) on invaded continuous and patch reefs off Cape Eleuthera, the Bahamas. Belt transect and SVC surveys performed equally poorly, with both methods failing to detect the presence of lionfish in >50 % of surveys where thorough, lionfish-focussed searches yielded one or more individuals. Conventional methods underestimated lionfish biomass by ~200 %. Crucially, detection rate varied significantly with both lionfish size and reef rugosity, indicating that the application of a single correction factor across habitats and stages of invasion is unlikely to accurately characterize local populations. Applying variable correction factors that account for site-specific lionfish size and rugosity to conventional survey data increased estimates of lionfish biomass, but these remained significantly lower than actual biomass. To increase the accuracy and reliability of estimates of lionfish density and distribution, monitoring programs should use detailed area searches rather than standard visual survey methods. Our study highlights the importance of accounting for sources of spatial and temporal variation in detection to increase the accuracy of survey data from

  20. Irradiation as a quarantine treatment against the invader fruit fly (Bactrocera Invadens, Drew) in mangoes (Mangifera Indica L,)

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Odai, B.T.

    2010-06-01

    The detection of the African invader fly, Bactrocera invadens Drew, Tsuruta and White, in Ghana has led to limitations in the export of mango fruits from Ghana to other countries. The limitations ranging from increased control costs to outright rejection of exports has necessitated a study in the area of quarantine treatment. A study was conducted to ascertain the effectiveness of gamma radiation for control of Bactrocera invadens in fruit destined for export. Pupae were obtained from the incubation of mango fruits collected from various locations. Adults were reared and infestation levels were determined after fruits were exposed to 5, 10, 20 females in different cages. Late instar larvae in fruits were irradiated at 15, 25, 35, 45, 50, 60 and 75 Gy to determine an effective dose for B. invadens. The mortality of the fly was determined at the various doses to obtain a probit 9 figure of 68.06 Gy (rounded to 70 Gy). The confirmatory test for 3050 larvae endorsed the effective dose as the probit 9 dose. Non-infested mature green export grade mango fruits were irradiated with 0, 70 and 150 Gy to determine its effect on ascorbic acid and total acidity content, sweetness, colour, juiciness, sourness, aroma and firmness of the mango fruits. Ascorbic acid and total acidity were not irradiation dependent. Varietal differences (p 0.05) by irradiation. Varietal differences did not affect the acceptability of the sweetness, sourness and colour of the fruits (p>0.05). Storage days significantly affected (p<0.05) the acceptability of all the sensory attributes. (au)

  1. Count your eggs before they invade: identifying and quantifying egg clutches of two invasive apple snail species (Pomacea.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Colin H Kyle

    Full Text Available Winning the war against invasive species requires early detection of invasions. Compared to terrestrial invaders, aquatic species often thrive undetected under water and do not garner notice until too late for early action. However, fortunately for managers, apple snails (Family Ampullariidae, Genus Pomacea provide their own conspicuous sign of invasion in the form of vibrantly colored egg clutches. Managers can potentially use egg clutches laid in the riparian zone as a means of early detection and species identification. To facilitate such efforts, we quantified differences in characteristics (length, width, depth, mass, egg number of field-laid clutches for the two most common invasive species of apple snail, P. canaliculata and P. maculata, in native and non-native populations. Pomacea canaliculata native and non-native populations differed noticeably only in width. Native P. maculata clutches possessed significantly greater width, mass and eggs numbers compared with native P. canaliculata. Non-native P. maculata clutches significantly exceeded all other populations in all measured characteristics. Consequently, these traits may successfully distinguish between species. Fecundity data also allowed us to develop models that accurately estimated the number of eggs per clutch for each species based on clutch dimensions. We tested one, two and three dimensional models of clutches, including rendering a clutch as either a complete ellipsoid or an ellipsoid intersected by a cylinder to represent the oviposition site. Model comparisons found the product of length and depth, with a different function for each population, best predicted egg number for both species. Comparisons of egg number to clutch volume and mass implied non-native P. canaliculata may be food limited, while non-native P. maculata appeared to produce such enormous clutches by having access to greater nutrients than the native population. With these new tools, researchers and

  2. Fungal and bacterial contributions to nitrogen cycling in cheatgrass-invaded and uninvaded native sagebrush soils of the western USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    DeCrappeo, Nicole; DeLorenze, Elizabeth J.; Giguere, Andrew T; Pyke, David A.; Bottomley, Peter J.

    2017-01-01

    AimThere is interest in determining how cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum L.) modifies N cycling in sagebrush (Artemisia tridentata Nutt.) soils of the western USA.MethodsTo gain insight into the roles of fungi and bacteria in N cycling of cheatgrass-invaded and uninvaded sagebrush soils, the fungal protein synthesis inhibitor, cycloheximide (CHX), and the bacteriocidal compound, bronopol (BRO) were combined with a 15NH4+ isotope pool dilution approach.ResultsCHX reduced gross N mineralization to the same rate in both sagebrush and cheatgrass soils indicating a role for fungi in N mineralization in both soil types. In cheatgrass soils BRO completely inhibited gross N mineralization, whereas, in sagebrush soils a BRO-resistant gross N mineralization rate was detected that was slower than CHX sensitive gross N mineralization, suggesting that the microbial drivers of gross N mineralization were different in sagebrush and cheatgrass soils. Net N mineralization was stimulated to a higher rate in sagebrush than in cheatgrass soils by CHX, implying that a CHX inhibited N sink was larger in the former than the latter soils. Initial gross NH4+ consumption rates were reduced significantly by both CHX and BRO in both soil types, yet, consumption rates recovered significantly between 24 and 48 h in CHX-treated sagebrush soils. The recovery of NH4+ consumption in sagebrush soils corresponded with an increase in the rate of net nitrification.ConclusionsThese results suggest that cheatgrass invasion of sagebrush soils of the northern Great Basin reduces the capacity of the fungal N consumption sink, enhances the capacity of a CHX resistant N sink and alters the contributions of bacteria and fungi to gross N mineralization.

  3. Do species differ in their ability to coexist with the dominant alien Lupinus polyphyllus? A comparison between two distinct invaded ranges and a native range

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Martin Hejda

    2013-06-01

    Full Text Available The community-level impacts of invasive plants are likely to vary depending on the character of native species of the target communities and their ability to thrive within the stands of the dominant alien invader. Therefore, I examined the response of native species richness to the cover of the dominant alien Lupinus polyphyllus in two distinct invaded ranges: Czech Republic (Central Europe and New Zealand. I compared the relation between native species richness and the cover of the dominant alien L. polyphyllus with that in its native range, Pacific Northwest, USA.In the native range, I found no response of native species richness to the cover of L. polyphyllus. In the Czech Republic (central Europe, the richness of native species related to it negativelly, but the relation was only marginally significant. Contrary to that, the richness of species native to New Zealand related to the cover of L. polyphyllus strongly negatively and the negative relation was significantly stronger than that of species native to Europe.Of the two invaded ranges, species native to New Zealand have been documented to be much more vulnerable to the conditions associated with the invasion and dominance of L. polyphyllus, compared to species native to central Europe. This principle has been shown both across these two invaded ranges and in New Zealand, where the aliens of european origin successfully coexist with the dominant invasive alien L. polyphyllus. Similarly, species in the native range of L. polyphyllus showed no relation to its cover, indicating their ability to thrive even in dense stands of this dominant species.

  4. One-stage surgery in combination with thoracic endovascular grafting and resection of T4 lung cancer invading the thoracic aorta and spine

    OpenAIRE

    Sato, Seijiro; Goto, Tatsuya; Koike, Terumoto; Okamoto, Takeshi; Shoji, Hirokazu; Ohashi, Masayuki; Watanabe, Kei; Tsuchida, Masanori

    2017-01-01

    A novel strategy of one-stage surgery in combination with thoracic endovascular grafting and resection for T4 lung cancer invading the thoracic aorta and spine is described. A 56-year-old man with locally advanced lung cancer infiltrating the aortic wall and spine underwent neoadjuvant chemotherapy and thoracic irradiation, followed by en bloc resection of the aortic wall and spine with thoracic endovascular grafting. He developed postoperative chylothorax, but there were no stent graft-relat...

  5. Habitability of planets around red dwarf stars.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heath, M J; Doyle, L R; Joshi, M M; Haberle, R M

    1999-08-01

    Recent models indicate that relatively moderate climates could exist on Earth-sized planets in synchronous rotation around red dwarf stars. Investigation of the global water cycle, availability of photosynthetically active radiation in red dwarf sunlight, and the biological implications of stellar flares, which can be frequent for red dwarfs, suggests that higher plant habitability of red dwarf planets may be possible.

  6. Silvical characteristics of red maple (Acer rubrum)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Russell J. Hutnik; Harry W. Yawney

    1961-01-01

    Red maple (Acer rubrum L.) is also known as Carolina red maple, scarlet maple, soft maple, swamp maple, water maple, and white maple. Taxonomists recognize several varieties of red maple. The most common is Drummond red maple (Acer rubrum var. drummondii (Hook, & Arn.) Sarg.).

  7. Menoctone Resistance in Malaria Parasites Is Conferred by M133I Mutations in Cytochrome b That Are Transmissible through Mosquitoes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blake, Lynn D; Johnson, Myles E; Siegel, Sasha V; McQueen, Adonis; Iyamu, Iredia D; Shaikh, Abdul Kadar; Shultis, Michael W; Manetsch, Roman; Kyle, Dennis E

    2017-08-01

    Malaria-related mortality has slowly decreased over the past decade; however, eradication of malaria requires the development of new antimalarial chemotherapies that target liver stages of the parasite and combat the emergence of drug resistance. The diminishing arsenal of anti-liver-stage compounds sparked our interest in reviving the old and previously abandoned compound menoctone. In support of these studies, we developed a new convergent synthesis method that was facile, required fewer steps, produced better yields, and utilized less expensive reagents than the previously published method. Menoctone proved to be highly potent against liver stages of Plasmodium berghei (50 percent inhibitory concentration [IC 50 ] = 0.41 nM) and erythrocytic stages of Plasmodium falciparum (113 nM). We selected for resistance to menoctone and found M133I mutations in cytochrome b of both P. falciparum and P. berghei The same mutation has been observed previously in atovaquone resistance, and we confirmed cross-resistance between menoctone and atovaquone in vitro (for P. falciparum ) and in vivo (for P. berghei ). Finally, we assessed the transmission potential of menoctone-resistant P. berghei and found that the M133I mutant parasites were readily transmitted from mouse to mosquitoes and back to mice. In each step, the M133I mutation in cytochrome b , inducing menoctone resistance, was confirmed. In summary, this study is the first to show the mechanism of resistance to menoctone and that menoctone and atovaquone resistance is transmissible through mosquitoes. Copyright © 2017 American Society for Microbiology.

  8. Quantitative Seq-LGS: Genome-Wide Identification of Genetic Drivers of Multiple Phenotypes in Malaria Parasites

    KAUST Repository

    Abkallo, Hussein M.; Martinelli, Axel; Inoue, Megumi; Ramaprasad, Abhinay; Xangsayarath, Phonepadith; Gitaka, Jesse; Tang, Jianxia; Yahata, Kazuhide; Zoungrana, Augustin; Mitaka, Hayato; Hunt, Paul; Carter, Richard; Kaneko, Osamu; Mustonen, Ville; Illingworth, Christopher J.R.; Pain, Arnab; Culleton, Richard

    2016-01-01

    Identifying the genetic determinants of phenotypes that impact on disease severity is of fundamental importance for the design of new interventions against malaria. Traditionally, such discovery has relied on labor-intensive approaches that require

  9. Amplified fragment length polymorphism mapping of quantitative trait loci for malaria parasite susceptibility in the yellow fever mosquito Aedes aegypti.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhong, Daibin; Menge, David M; Temu, Emmanuel A; Chen, Hong; Yan, Guiyun

    2006-07-01

    The yellow fever mosquito Aedes aegypti has been the subject of extensive genetic research due to its medical importance and the ease with which it can be manipulated in the laboratory. A molecular genetic linkage map was constructed using 148 amplified fragment length polymorphism (AFLP) and six single-strand conformation polymorphism (SSCP) markers. Eighteen AFLP primer combinations were used to genotype two reciprocal F2 segregating populations. Each primer combination generated an average of 8.2 AFLP markers eligible for linkage mapping. The length of the integrated map was 180.9 cM, giving an average marker resolution of 1.2 cM. Composite interval mapping revealed a total of six QTL significantly affecting Plasmodium susceptibility in the two reciprocal crosses of Ae. aegypti. Two common QTL on linkage group 2 were identified in both crosses that had similar effects on the phenotype, and four QTL were unique to each cross. In one cross, the four main QTL accounted for 64% of the total phenotypic variance, and digenic epistasis explained 11.8% of the variance. In the second cross, the four main QTL explained 66% of the variance, and digenic epistasis accounted for 16% of the variance. The actions of these QTL were either dominance or underdominance. Our results indicated that at least three new QTL were mapped on chromosomes 1 and 3. The polygenic nature of susceptibility to P. gallinaceum and epistasis are important factors for significant variation within or among mosquito strains. The new map provides additional information useful for further genetic investigation, such as identification of new genes and positional cloning.

  10. Molecular architecture of a complex between an adhesion protein from the malaria parasite and intracellular adhesion molecule 1

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Brown, Alan; Turner, Louise; Christoffersen, Stig

    2013-01-01

    The adhesion of Plasmodium falciparum-infected erythrocytes to human tissues or endothelium is central to the pathology caused by the parasite during malaria. It contributes to the avoidance of parasite clearance by the spleen and to the specific pathologies of cerebral and placental malaria....... The PfEMP1 family of adhesive proteins is responsible for this sequestration by mediating interactions with diverse human ligands. In addition, as the primary targets of acquired, protective immunity, the PfEMP1s are potential vaccine candidates. PfEMP1s contain large extracellular ectodomains made from......, intercellular adhesion molecule-1 (ICAM-1). We show through small angle x-ray scattering that IT4VAR13 is rigid, elongated, and monomeric. We also show that it interacts with ICAM-1 through the DBLß domain alone, forming a 1:1 complex. These studies provide a first low resolution structural view of a PfEMP1...

  11. A novel tetratricopeptide repeat (TPR containing PP5 serine/threonine protein phosphatase in the malaria parasite, Plasmodium falciparum

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Adams Brian

    2001-11-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The malarial parasite, Plasmodium falciparum (Pf, is responsible for nearly 2 million deaths worldwide. However, the mechanisms of cellular signaling in the parasite remain largely unknown. Recent discovery of a few protein kinases and phosphatases point to a thriving reversible phosphorylation system in the parasite, although their function and regulation need to be determined. Results We provide biochemical and sequence evidence for a protein serine/threonine phosphatase type PP5 in Plasmodium falciparum, and named it PfPP5. The 594-amino acid polypeptide was encoded by a 1785 nucleotide long intronless gene in the parasite. The recombinant protein, expressed in bacteria, was indistinguishable from native PfPP5. Sequencing comparison indicated that the extra-long N-terminus of PfPP5 outside the catalytic core contained four tetratricopeptide repeats (TPRs, compared to three such repeats in other PP5 phosphatases. The PfPP5 N-terminus was required for stimulation of the phosphatase activity by polyunsaturated fatty acids. Co-immunoprecipitation demonstrated an interaction between native PfPP5 and Pf heat shock protein 90 (hsp90. PfPP5 was expressed in all the asexual erythrocytic stages of the parasite, and was moderately sensitive to okadaic acid. Conclusions This is the first example of a TPR-domain protein in the Apicomplexa family of parasites. Since TPR domains play important roles in protein-protein interaction, especially relevant to the regulation of PP5 phosphatases, PfPP5 is destined to have a definitive role in parasitic growth and signaling pathways. This is exemplified by the interaction between PfPP5 and the cognate chaperone hsp90.

  12. Mechanisms of stage-transcending protection following immunization of mice with late liver stage-arresting genetically attenuated malaria parasites.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Brandon K Sack

    2015-05-01

    Full Text Available Malaria, caused by Plasmodium parasite infection, continues to be one of the leading causes of worldwide morbidity and mortality. Development of an effective vaccine has been encumbered by the complex life cycle of the parasite that has distinct pre-erythrocytic and erythrocytic stages of infection in the mammalian host. Historically, malaria vaccine development efforts have targeted each stage in isolation. An ideal vaccine, however, would target multiple life cycle stages with multiple arms of the immune system and be capable of eliminating initial infection in the liver, the subsequent blood stage infection, and would prevent further parasite transmission. We have previously shown that immunization of mice with Plasmodium yoelii genetically attenuated parasites (GAP that arrest late in liver stage development elicits stage-transcending protection against both a sporozoite challenge and a direct blood stage challenge. Here, we show that this immunization strategy engenders both T- and B-cell responses that are essential for stage-transcending protection, but the relative importance of each is determined by the host genetic background. Furthermore, potent anti-blood stage antibodies elicited after GAP immunization rely heavily on FC-mediated functions including complement fixation and FC receptor binding. These protective antibodies recognize the merozoite surface but do not appear to recognize the immunodominant merozoite surface protein-1. The antigen(s targeted by stage-transcending immunity are present in both the late liver stages and blood stage parasites. The data clearly show that GAP-engendered protective immune responses can target shared antigens of pre-erythrocytic and erythrocytic parasite life cycle stages. As such, this model constitutes a powerful tool to identify novel, protective and stage-transcending T and B cell targets for incorporation into a multi-stage subunit vaccine.

  13. Plasmodium cysteine repeat modular proteins 1-4: complex proteins with roles throughout the malaria parasite life cycle.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thompson, Joanne; Fernandez-Reyes, Delmiro; Sharling, Lisa; Moore, Sally G; Eling, Wijnand M; Kyes, Sue A; Newbold, Christopher I; Kafatos, Fotis C; Janse, Chris J; Waters, Andrew P

    2007-06-01

    The Cysteine Repeat Modular Proteins (PCRMP1-4) of Plasmodium, are encoded by a small gene family that is conserved in malaria and other Apicomplexan parasites. They are very large, predicted surface proteins with multipass transmembrane domains containing motifs that are conserved within families of cysteine-rich, predicted surface proteins in a range of unicellular eukaryotes, and a unique combination of protein-binding motifs, including a >100 kDa cysteine-rich modular region, an epidermal growth factor-like domain and a Kringle domain. PCRMP1 and 2 are expressed in life cycle stages in both the mosquito and vertebrate. They colocalize with PfEMP1 (P. falciparum Erythrocyte Membrane Antigen-1) during its export from P. falciparum blood-stage parasites and are exposed on the surface of haemolymph- and salivary gland-sporozoites in the mosquito, consistent with a role in host tissue targeting and invasion. Gene disruption of pcrmp1 and 2 in the rodent malaria model, P. berghei, demonstrated that both are essential for transmission of the parasite from the mosquito to the mouse and has established their discrete and important roles in sporozoite targeting to the mosquito salivary gland. The unprecedented expression pattern and structural features of the PCRMPs thus suggest a variety of roles mediating host-parasite interactions throughout the parasite life cycle.

  14. Description, molecular characterisation, diagnostics and life cycle of Plasmodium elongatum (lineage pERIRUB01), the virulent avian malaria parasite.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Palinauskas, Vaidas; Žiegytė, Rita; Iezhova, Tatjana A; Ilgūnas, Mikas; Bernotienė, Rasa; Valkiūnas, Gediminas

    2016-10-01

    Plasmodium elongatum causes severe avian malaria and is distributed worldwide. This parasite is of particular importance due to its ability to develop and cause lethal malaria not only in natural hosts, but also in non-adapted endemic birds such as the brown kiwi and different species of penguins. Information on vectors of this infection is available but is contradictory. PCR-based analysis indicated the possible existence of a cluster of closely related P. elongatum lineages which might differ in their ability to develop in certain mosquitoes and birds. This experimental study provides information about molecular and morphological characterisation of a virulent P. elongatum strain (lineage pERIRUB01) isolated from a naturally infected European robin, Erithacus rubecula. Phylogenetic analysis based on partial cytochrome b gene sequences showed that this parasite lineage is closely related to P. elongatum (lineage pGRW6). Blood stages of both parasite lineages are indistinguishable, indicating that they belong to the same species. Both pathogens develop in experimentally infected canaries, Serinus canaria, causing death of the hosts. In both these lineages, trophozoites and erythrocytic meronts develop in polychromatic erythrocytes and erythroblasts, gametocytes parasitize mature erythrocytes, exoerythrocytic stages develop in cells of the erythrocytic series in bone marrow and are occasionally reported in spleen and liver. Massive infestation of bone marrow cells is the main reason for bird mortality. We report here on syncytium-like remnants of tissue meronts, which slip out of the bone marrow into the peripheral circulation, providing evidence that the syncytia can be a template for PCR amplification. This finding contributes to better understanding positive PCR amplifications in birds when parasitemia is invisible and improved diagnostics of abortive haemosporidian infections. Sporogony of P. elongatum (pERIRUB01) completes the cycle and sporozoites develop in widespread Culex quinquefasciatus and Culex pipiens pipiens form molestus mosquitoes. This experimental study provides information on virulence and within species lineage diversity in a single pathogenic species of haemosporidian parasite. Copyright © 2016 Australian Society for Parasitology. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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

    KAUST Repository

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

    2016-01-01

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

  16. Global histone analysis by mass spectrometry reveals a high content of acetylated lysine residues in the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Trelle, Morten Beck; Salcedo-Amaya, Adriana M; Cohen, Adrian

    2009-01-01

    Post-translational modifications (PTMs) of histone tails play a key role in epigenetic regulation of gene expression in a range of organisms from yeast to human, however, little is known about histone proteins from the parasite that causes malaria in humans, Plasmodium falciparum. We characterize...... comprehensive map of histone modifications in Plasmodium falciparum and highlight the utility of tandem MS for detailed analysis of peptides containing multiple PTMs....

  17. Quantitative Seq-LGS: Genome-Wide Identification of Genetic Drivers of Multiple Phenotypes in Malaria Parasites

    KAUST Repository

    Abkallo, Hussein M.

    2016-10-01

    Identifying the genetic determinants of phenotypes that impact on disease severity is of fundamental importance for the design of new interventions against malaria. Traditionally, such discovery has relied on labor-intensive approaches that require significant investments of time and resources. By combining Linkage Group Selection (LGS), quantitative whole genome population sequencing and a novel mathematical modeling approach (qSeq-LGS), we simultaneously identified multiple genes underlying two distinct phenotypes, identifying novel alleles for growth rate and strain specific immunity (SSI), while removing the need for traditionally required steps such as cloning, individual progeny phenotyping and marker generation. The detection of novel variants, verified by experimental phenotyping methods, demonstrates the remarkable potential of this approach for the identification of genes controlling selectable phenotypes in malaria and other apicomplexan parasites for which experimental genetic crosses are amenable.

  18. Genome content analysis yields new insights into the relationship between the human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum and its anopheline vectors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oppenheim, Sara J; Rosenfeld, Jeffrey A; DeSalle, Rob

    2017-02-27

    The persistent and growing gap between the availability of sequenced genomes and the ability to assign functions to sequenced genes led us to explore ways to maximize the information content of automated annotation for studies of anopheline mosquitos. Specifically, we use genome content analysis of a large number of previously sequenced anopheline mosquitos to follow the loss and gain of protein families over the evolutionary history of this group. The importance of this endeavor lies in the potential for comparative genomic studies between Anopheles and closely related non-vector species to reveal ancestral genome content dynamics involved in vector competence. In addition, comparisons within Anopheles could identify genome content changes responsible for variation in the vectorial capacity of this family of important parasite vectors. The competence and capacity of P. falciparum vectors do not appear to be phylogenetically constrained within the Anophelinae. Instead, using ancestral reconstruction methods, we suggest that a previously unexamined component of vector biology, anopheline nucleotide metabolism, may contribute to the unique status of anophelines as P. falciparum vectors. While the fitness effects of nucleotide co-option by P. falciparum parasites on their anopheline hosts are not yet known, our results suggest that anopheline genome content may be responding to selection pressure from P. falciparum. Whether this response is defensive, in an attempt to redress improper nucleotide balance resulting from P. falciparum infection, or perhaps symbiotic, resulting from an as-yet-unknown mutualism between anophelines and P. falciparum, is an open question that deserves further study. Clearly, there is a wealth of functional information to be gained from detailed manual genome annotation, yet the rapid increase in the number of available sequences means that most researchers will not have the time or resources to manually annotate all the sequence data they generate. We believe that efforts to maximize the amount of information obtained from automated annotation can help address the functional annotation deficit that most evolutionary biologists now face, and here demonstrate the value of such an approach.

  19. Use of the polymerase chain reaction to directly detect malaria parasites in blood samples from the Venezuelan Amazon.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Laserson, K F; Petralanda, I; Hamlin, D M; Almera, R; Fuentes, M; Carrasquel, A; Barker, R H

    1994-02-01

    We have examined the reproducibility, sensitivity, and specificity of detecting Plasmodium falciparum using the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and the species-specific probe pPF14 under field conditions in the Venezuelan Amazon. Up to eight samples were field collected from each of 48 consenting Amerindians presenting with symptoms of malaria. Sample processing and analysis was performed at the Centro Amazonico para la Investigacion y Control de Enfermedades Tropicales Simon Bolivar. A total of 229 samples from 48 patients were analyzed by PCR methods using four different P. falciparum-specific probes. One P. vivax-specific probe and by conventional microscopy. Samples in which results from PCR and microscopy differed were reanalyzed at a higher sensitivity by microscopy. Results suggest that microscopy-negative, PCR-positive samples are true positives, and that microscopy-positive and PCR-negative samples are true negatives. The sensitivity of the DNA probe/PCR method was 78% and its specificity was 97%. The positive predictive value of the PCR method was 88%, and the negative predictive value was 95%. Through the analysis of multiple blood samples from each individual, the DNA probe/PCR methodology was found to have an inherent reproducibility that was highly statistically significant.

  20. Gene encoding a deubiquitinating enzyme is mutated in artesunate- and chloroquine-resistant rodent malaria parasites§

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hunt, Paul; Afonso, Ana; Creasey, Alison; Culleton, Richard; Sidhu, Amar Bir Singh; Logan, John; Valderramos, Stephanie G; McNae, Iain; Cheesman, Sandra; do Rosario, Virgilio; Carter, Richard; Fidock, David A; Cravo, Pedro

    2007-01-01

    Artemisinin- and artesunate-resistant Plasmodium chabaudi mutants, AS-ART and AS-ATN, were previously selected from chloroquine-resistant clones AS-30CQ and AS-15CQ respectively. Now, a genetic cross between AS-ART and the artemisinin-sensitive clone AJ has been analysed by Linkage Group Selection. A genetic linkage group on chromosome 2 was selected under artemisinin treatment. Within this locus, we identified two different mutations in a gene encoding a deubiquitinating enzyme. A distinct mutation occurred in each of the clones AS-30CQ and AS-ATN, relative to their respective progenitors in the AS lineage. The mutations occurred independently in different clones under drug selection with chloroquine (high concentration) or artesunate. Each mutation maps to a critical residue in a homologous human deubiquitinating protein structure. Although one mutation could theoretically account for the resistance of AS-ATN to artemisinin derivates, the other cannot account solely for the resistance of AS-ART, relative to the responses of its sensitive progenitor AS-30CQ. Two lines of Plasmodium falciparum with decreased susceptibility to artemisinin were also selected. Their drug-response phenotype was not genetically stable. No mutations in the UBP-1 gene encoding the P. falciparum orthologue of the deubiquitinating enzyme were observed. The possible significance of these mutations in parasite responses to chloroquine or artemisinin is discussed. PMID:17581118

  1. 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.

  2. Kinetics of B Cell responses to Plasmodium falciparum erythrocyte membrane protein 1 in Ghanaian women naturally exposed to malaria parasites

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ampomah, Paulina; Stevenson, Liz; Ofori, Michael F

    2014-01-01

    . In this first, to our knowledge, longitudinal study of its kind, we measured B cell subset composition, as well as PfEMP1-specific Ab levels and memory B cell frequencies, in Ghanaian women followed from early pregnancy up to 1 y after delivery. Cell phenotypes and Ag-specific B cell function were assessed...... three times during and after pregnancy. Levels of IgG specific for pregnancy-restricted, VAR2CSA-type PfEMP1 increased markedly during pregnancy and declined after delivery, whereas IgG levels specific for two PfEMP1 proteins not restricted to pregnancy did not. Changes in VAR2CSA-specific memory B cell...

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Elizabeth S Zuccala

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

  4. Evaluation of the utility value of three diagnostic methods in the detection of malaria parasites in endemic area.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ugah, Uchenna Iyioku; Alo, Moses Nnaemeka; Owolabi, Jacob Oluwabusuyi; Okata-Nwali, Oluchi DivineGift; Ekejindu, Ifeoma Mercy; Ibeh, Nancy; Elom, Michael Okpara

    2017-05-06

    Malaria is a debilitating disease with high morbidity and mortality in Africa, commonly caused by different species of the genus Plasmodium in humans. Misdiagnosis is a major challenge in endemic areas because of other disease complications and technical expertise of the medical laboratory staff. Microscopic method using Giemsa-stained blood film has been the mainstay of diagnosis of malaria. However, since 1993 when rapid diagnostic test (RDT) kits were introduced, they have proved to be effective in the diagnosis of malaria. This study was aimed at comparing the accuracy of microscopy and RDTs in the diagnosis of malaria using nested PCR as the reference standard. Four hundred and twenty (420) venous blood specimens were collected from patients attending different General Hospitals in Ebonyi State with clinical symptoms of malaria. The samples were tested with Giemsa-stained microscopy and three RDTs. Fifty specimens were randomly selected for molecular analysis. Using different diagnostic methods, the prevalence of malaria among the subjects studied was 25.95% as detected by microscopy, prevalence found among the RDTs was 22.90, 15.20 and 54.80% for Carestart, SD Bioline PF and SD Bioline PF/PV, respectively. Molecular assay yielded a prevalence of 32%. The major specie identified was Plasmodium falciparum; there was co-infection of P. falciparum with Plasmodium malariae and Plasmodium ovale. The sensitivity and specificity of microscopy was 50.00 and 70.59% while that of the RDTs were (25.00 and 85.29%), (25.00 and 94.12%) and (68.75 and 52.94%) for Carestart, SD Bioline PF and SD Bioline PF/PV, respectively. Cohen's kappa coefficient was used to measure the level of agreement of the methods with nested PCR. Microscopy showed a moderate measure of agreement (k = 0.491), Carestart showed a good measure of agreement (k = 0.611), SD Bioline PF showed a fair measure of agreement (k = 0.226) while SD Bioline PF/PV showed a poor measure of agreement (k = 0.172). This study recommends that the policy of malaria diagnosis be changed such that the routine diagnosis of malaria is done by a combination of both microscopy and a RDT kit of high sensitivity and specificity so as to complement the errors associated with either of the methods. The finding of P. ovale in the study area necessitates an expanded molecular epidemiology of malaria within the study area.

  5. Pre-trained convolutional neural networks as feature extractors toward improved malaria parasite detection in thin blood smear images

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sivaramakrishnan Rajaraman

    2018-04-01

    Full Text Available Malaria is a blood disease caused by the Plasmodium parasites transmitted through the bite of female Anopheles mosquito. Microscopists commonly examine thick and thin blood smears to diagnose disease and compute parasitemia. However, their accuracy depends on smear quality and expertise in classifying and counting parasitized and uninfected cells. Such an examination could be arduous for large-scale diagnoses resulting in poor quality. State-of-the-art image-analysis based computer-aided diagnosis (CADx methods using machine learning (ML techniques, applied to microscopic images of the smears using hand-engineered features demand expertise in analyzing morphological, textural, and positional variations of the region of interest (ROI. In contrast, Convolutional Neural Networks (CNN, a class of deep learning (DL models promise highly scalable and superior results with end-to-end feature extraction and classification. Automated malaria screening using DL techniques could, therefore, serve as an effective diagnostic aid. In this study, we evaluate the performance of pre-trained CNN based DL models as feature extractors toward classifying parasitized and uninfected cells to aid in improved disease screening. We experimentally determine the optimal model layers for feature extraction from the underlying data. Statistical validation of the results demonstrates the use of pre-trained CNNs as a promising tool for feature extraction for this purpose.

  6. Plasmodium chabaudi chabaudi malaria parasites can develop stable resistance to atovaquone with a mutation in the cytochrome b gene

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alves Ana C

    2010-05-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Plasmodium falciparum, has developed resistance to many of the drugs in use. The recommended treatment policy is now to use drug combinations. The atovaquone-proguanil (AP drug combination, is one of the treatment and prophylaxis options. Atovaquone (ATQ exerts its action by inhibiting plasmodial mitochondria electron transport at the level of the cytochrome bc1 complex. Plasmodium falciparum in vitro resistance to ATQ has been associated with specific point mutations in the region spanning codons 271-284 of the cytochrome b gene. ATQ -resistant Plasmodium yoelii and Plasmodium berghei lines have been obtained and resistant lines have amino acid mutations in their CYT b protein sequences. Plasmodium chabaudi model for studying drug-responses and drug-resistance selection is a very useful rodent malaria model but no ATQ resistant parasites have been reported so far. The aim of this study was to determine the ATQ sensitivity of the P. chabaudi clones, to select a resistant parasite line and to perform genotypic characterization of the cytb gene of these clones. Methods To select for ATQ resistance, Plasmodium. chabaudi chabaudi clones were exposed to gradually increasing concentrations of ATQ during several consecutive passages in mice. Plasmodium chabaudi cytb gene was amplified and sequenced. Results ATQ resistance was selected from the clone AS-3CQ. In order to confirm whether an heritable genetic mutation underlies the response of AS-ATQ to ATQ, the stability of the drug resistance phenotype in this clone was evaluated by measuring drug responses after (i multiple blood passages in the absence of the drug, (ii freeze/thawing of parasites in liquid nitrogen and (iii transmission through a mosquito host, Anopheles stephensi. ATQ resistance phenotype of the drug-selected parasite clone kept unaltered. Therefore, ATQ resistance in clone AS-ATQ is genetically encoded. The Minimum Curative Dose of AS-ATQ showed a six-fold increase in MCD to ATQ relative to AS-3CQ. Conclusions A mutation was found on the P. chabaudi cytb gene from the AS-ATQ sample a substitution at the residue Tyr268 for an Asn, this mutation is homologous to the one found in P. falciparum isolates resistant to ATQ.

  7. Exploring the diversity and distribution of neotropical avian malaria parasites--a molecular survey from Southeast Brazil.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gustavo A Lacorte

    Full Text Available Southeast Brazil is a neotropical region composed of a mosaic of different tropical habitats and mountain chains, which allowed for the formation of bird-rich communities with distinct ecological niches. Although this region has the potential to harbor a remarkable variety of avian parasites, there is a lack of information about the diversity of malarial parasites. We used molecular approaches to characterize the lineage diversity of Plasmodium and Haemoproteus in bird communities from three different habitats in southeast Brazil based on the prevalence, richness and composition of lineages. We observed an overall prevalence of 35.3%, with a local prevalence ranging from 17.2% to 54.8%. Moreover, no significant association between prevalence and habitat type could be verified (p>0.05. We identified 89 Plasmodium and 22 Haemoproteus lineages, with 86% of them described for the first time here, including an unusual infection of a non-columbiform host by a Haemoproteus (Haemoproteus parasite. The composition analyses of the parasite communities showed that the lineage composition from Brazilian savannah and tropical dry forest was similar, but it was different from the lineage composition of Atlantic rainforest, reflecting the greater likeness of the former habitats with respect to seasonality and forest density. No significant effects of habitat type on lineage richness were observed based on GLM analyses. We also found that sites whose samples had a greater diversity of bird species showed a greater diversity of parasite lineages, providing evidence that areas with high bird richness also have high parasite richness. Our findings point to the importance of the neotropical region (southeast Brazil as a major reservoir of new haemosporidian lineages.

  8. Generation of genetically attenuated blood-stage malaria parasites; characterizing growth and virulence in a rodent model of malaria

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Lin, Jingwen

    2013-01-01

    Despite intense efforts over the past 50 years to develop a vaccine, there is currently no licensed malaria vaccine available. The limited success in inducing sufficient protection against malaria with subunit-vaccines has renewed an interest in whole-parasite vaccination strategies. While

  9. Dual fluorescence labeling of surface-exposed and internal proteins in erythrocytes infected with the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bengtsson, Dominique C; Sowa, Kordai M P; Arnot, David E

    2008-01-01

    There is a need for improved methods for in situ localization of surface proteins on Plasmodium falciparum-infected erythrocytes to help understand how these antigens are trafficked to, and positioned within, the host cell membrane. This protocol for confocal immunofluorescence microscopy combines...... and permeabilization; indirect labeling of the internal antigen using a secondary antibody tagged with a spectrally distinct fluorescent dye; and detection of the differentially labeled antigens using a laser scanning confocal microscope. The protocol can be completed in approximately 7 h. Although the protocol...... surface antigen labeling on live cells with subsequent fixation and permeabilization, which enables antibodies to penetrate the cell and label internal antigens. The key steps of the protocol are as follows: indirect labeling of the surface antigen using a fluorescently tagged secondary antibody; fixation...

  10. 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 Much research remains to be done in order to understand the Plasmodium-liver interaction process. While previous in vitro studies have focused on two-dimensional (2D) cell culture, it is becoming more evident to researchers that the context in which...

  11. Invasive, naturalized and casual alien plants in southern Africa: a sum­mary based on the Southern African Plant Invaders Atlas (SAPIA

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    L. Henderson

    2007-08-01

    Full Text Available The primary objective of this publication is to provide an overview of the species identity, invasion status, geographical extent, and abundance of alien plants in South Africa, Swaziland and Lesotho, based on field records from 1979 to the end of 2000. The dataset is all the species records for the study area in the Southern African Plant Invaders Atlas (SAPIA database during this time period. A total of 548 naturalized and casual alien plant species were catalogued and invasion was recorded almost throughout the study area. Most invasion, in terms of both species numbers and total species abundance, was recorded along the southern, southwestern and eastern coastal belts and in the adjacent interior. This area includes the whole of the Fynbos and Forest Biomes, and the moister eastern parts of the Grassland and Savanna Biomes. This study reinforces previous studies that the Fynbos Biome is the most extensively invaded vegetation type in South Africa but it also shows that parts of Savanna and Grassland are as heavily invaded as parts of the Fynbos. The Fabaceae is prominent in all biomes and Acacia with 17 listed species, accounts for a very large proportion of all invasion. Acacia mearmii was by far the most prominent invasive species in the study area, followed by A. saligna, Lantana camara, A. cyclops, Opuntia ficus-indica. Solarium mauritianum, Populus alba/xcanescens, Melia azedarach, A. dealbata and species of Prosopis.

  12. Synergistic interactions of CO2 enrichment and nitrogen deposition promote growth and ecophysiological advantages of invading Eupatorium adenophorum in Southwest China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lei, Yan-bao; Wang, Wei-bin; Feng, Yu-long; Zheng, Yu-long; Gong, He-de

    2012-10-01

    Global environmental change and ongoing biological invasions are the two prominent ecological issues threatening biodiversity worldwide, and investigations of their interaction will aid to predict plant invasions and inform better management strategies in the future. In this study, invasive Eupatorium adenophorum and native congener E. stoechadosmum were compared at ambient and elevated atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO(2)) concentrations combined with three levels of nitrogen (N; reduced, control and increased) in terms of growth, energy gain, and cost. Compared with E. stoechadosmum, E. adenophorum adopted a quicker-return energy-use strategy, i.e. higher photosynthetic energy-use efficiency and shorter payback time. Lower leaf mass per area may be a pivotal trait for the invader, which contributed to an increased N allocation to Rubisco at the expense of cell walls and therefore to higher photosynthetic energy gain. CO(2) enrichment and N deposition synergistically promoted plant growth and influenced some related ecophysiological traits, and the synergistic effects were greater for the invader than for the native congener. Reducing N availability by applying sugar eliminated the advantages of the invader over its native congener at both CO(2) levels. Our results indicate that CO(2) enrichment and N deposition may exacerbate E. adenophorum's invasion in the future, and manipulating environmental resources such as N availability may be a feasible tool for managing invasion impacts of E. adenophorum.

  13. Reconstruction of a Marjolin Ulcer Defect of the Scalp Invading Brain and Causing Brain Abscess Formation Using Free Latissimus Dorsi Flap.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tenekeci, Goktekin; Sari, Alper; Hamzaoglu, Vural; Ozalp, Hakan

    2017-07-01

    Marjolin ulcers are known as aggressive malignant tumors that mostly arise over chronic wounds and cutaneous scars. Brain abscess is a serious medical condition that requires surgical drainage along with antibiotic treatment. Here, we report a case with a Marjolin ulcer located over the right parietal bone with intracranial abscess formation along with tumor invasion into brain parenchyma. This patient was a 64-year-old man and had a 4 × 4 cm open wound on his scalp from which a purulent discharge was coming. This wound required surgical excision with security margins, resection of bone, evacuation of the cystic cavity, and excision of the walls of the cystic cavity, which were invaded by the tumor. Duraplasty and reconstruction of the defect with a free lattisimus dorsi flap are performed. To the best of our knowledge, the case reported here is unique because of the formation of brain abscess in the background of a long-lasting Marjolin ulcer invading brain parenchyma. It must be remembered that on the background of cutaneous scars located over the scalp, a Marjolin ulcer may develop, and if left untreated, tumor cells may invade even the brain parenchyma. Long-term asymptomatic brain infections may also accompany the given scenario, and complicate differential diagnosis.

  14. Plasmodium falciparum Hop (PfHop Interacts with the Hsp70 Chaperone in a Nucleotide-Dependent Fashion and Exhibits Ligand Selectivity.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tawanda Zininga

    Full Text Available Heat shock proteins (Hsps play an important role in the development and pathogenicity of malaria parasites. One of the most prominent functions of Hsps is to facilitate the folding of other proteins. Hsps are thought to play a crucial role when malaria parasites invade their host cells and during their subsequent development in hepatocytes and red blood cells. It is thought that Hsps maintain proteostasis under the unfavourable conditions that malaria parasites encounter in the host environment. Although heat shock protein 70 (Hsp70 is capable of independent folding of some proteins, its functional cooperation with heat shock protein 90 (Hsp90 facilitates folding of some proteins such as kinases and steroid hormone receptors into their fully functional forms. The cooperation of Hsp70 and Hsp90 occurs through an adaptor protein called Hsp70-Hsp90 organising protein (Hop. We previously characterised the Hop protein from Plasmodium falciparum (PfHop. We observed that the protein co-localised with the cytosol-localised chaperones, PfHsp70-1 and PfHsp90 at the blood stages of the malaria parasite. In the current study, we demonstrated that PfHop is a stress-inducible protein. We further explored the direct interaction between PfHop and PfHsp70-1 using far Western and surface plasmon resonance (SPR analyses. The interaction of the two proteins was further validated by co-immunoprecipitation studies. We observed that PfHop and PfHsp70-1 associate in the absence and presence of either ATP or ADP. However, ADP appears to promote the association of the two proteins better than ATP. In addition, we investigated the specific interaction between PfHop TPR subdomains and PfHsp70-1/ PfHsp90, using a split-GFP approach. This method allowed us to observe that TPR1 and TPR2B subdomains of PfHop bind preferentially to the C-terminus of PfHsp70-1 compared to PfHsp90. Conversely, the TPR2A motif preferentially interacted with the C-terminus of PfHsp90. Finally, we

  15. Complement Receptor 1 Is a Sialic Acid-Independent Erythrocyte Receptor of Plasmodium falciparum

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-06-17

    Sciences, Bethesda, MD, ...... 14. ABSTRACT Plasmodium falciparum is a highly lethal malaria parasite of humans. A major portion of its life cycle is...parasite of humans. A major portion of its life cycle is dedicated to invading and multiplying inside erythrocytes. The molecular mechanisms of...Complement Receptor 1 Is a Sialic Acid-Independent Erythrocyte Receptor of Plasmodium falciparum Carmenza Spadafora1,2,3, Gordon A. Awandare4

  16. Matrix density alters zyxin phosphorylation, which limits peripheral process formation and extension in endothelial cells invading 3D collagen matrices.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abbey, Colette A; Bayless, Kayla J

    2014-09-01

    This study was designed to determine the optimal conditions required for known pro-angiogenic stimuli to elicit successful endothelial sprouting responses. We used an established, quantifiable model of endothelial cell (EC) sprout initiation where ECs were tested for invasion in low (1 mg/mL) and high density (5 mg/mL) 3D collagen matrices. Sphingosine 1-phosphate (S1P) alone, or S1P combined with stromal derived factor-1α (SDF) and phorbol ester (TPA), elicited robust sprouting responses. The ability of these factors to stimulate sprouting was more effective in higher density collagen matrices. S1P stimulation resulted in a significant increase in invasion distance, and with the exception of treatment groups containing phorbol ester, invasion distance was longer in 1mg/mL compared to 5mg/mL collagen matrices. Closer examination of cell morphology revealed that increasing matrix density and supplementing with SDF and TPA enhanced the formation of multicellular structures more closely resembling capillaries. TPA enhanced the frequency and size of lumen formation and correlated with a robust increase in phosphorylation of p42/p44 Erk kinase, while S1P and SDF did not. Also, a higher number of significantly longer extended processes formed in 5mg/mL compared to 1mg/mL collagen matrices. Because collagen matrices at higher density have been reported to be stiffer, we tested for changes in the mechanosensitive protein, zyxin. Interestingly, zyxin phosphorylation levels inversely correlated with matrix density, while levels of total zyxin did not change significantly. Immunofluorescence and localization studies revealed that total zyxin was distributed evenly throughout invading structures, while phosphorylated zyxin was slightly more intense in extended peripheral processes. Silencing zyxin expression increased extended process length and number of processes, while increasing zyxin levels decreased extended process length. Altogether these data indicate that ECs

  17. DAVs: Red Edge and Outbursts

    Science.gov (United States)

    Luan, Jing

    2018-04-01

    As established by ground based surveys, white dwarfs with hydrogen atmospheres pulsate as they cool across the temperature range, 12500Kred edge is a two-decade old puzzle. Recently, Kepler discovered a number of cool DAVs exhibiting sporadic outbursts separated by days, each lasting several hours, and releasing \\sim 10^{33}-10^{34} {erg}. We provide quantitative explanations for both the red edge and the outbursts. The minimal frequency for overstable modes rises abruptly near the red edge. Although high frequency overstable modes exist below the red edge, their photometric amplitudes are generally too small to be detected by ground based observations. Nevertheless, these overstable parent modes can manifest themselves through nonlinear mode couplings to damped daughter modes which generate limit cycles giving rise to photometric outbursts.

  18. Red Plague Control Plan (RPCP)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cooke, Robert W.

    2010-01-01

    SCOPE: Prescribes the minimum requirements for the control of cuprous / cupric oxide corrosion (a.k.a. Red Plague) of silver-coated copper wire, cable, and harness assemblies. PURPOSE: Targeted for applications where exposure to assembly processes, environmental conditions, and contamination may promote the development of cuprous / cupric oxide corrosion (a.k.a. Red Plague) in silver-coated copper wire, cable, and harness assemblies. Does not exclude any alternate or contractor-proprietary documents or processes that meet or exceed the baseline of requirements established by this document. Use of alternate or contractor-proprietary documents or processes shall require review and prior approval of the procuring NASA activity.

  19. Red de senderos universitarios inteligentes

    OpenAIRE

    Ibarra-Berrocal, I.J.; Romero, J.; Pérez, J.

    2017-01-01

    Introducción: El Proyecto de red de senderos universitarios inteligentes UR se inspira en tres realidades, la red de senderos europeos ya existentes y su importancia en el fomento de la actividad deportiva y los hábitos saludables, la creciente importancia de la implantación, intercambio y difusión de políticas y planes de acción en materia de sostenibilidad ambiental en el ámbito universitario europeo, y por último, el uso y desarrollo de infraestructuras y aplicaciones, cada vez más impresc...

  20. Seguridad en una red universitaria

    OpenAIRE

    Bernal España, Juan Antonio

    2014-01-01

    Las redes de comunicaciones son muy importantes para las empresas. Se solicita una red de altas prestaciones que pueda llevar muchos sistemas sobre ella (cámaras de seguridad, video, voz, datos, SCADA, wifi). Ahora también necesitamos que la red sea segura. Cuando hablamos de seguridad no solo nos referimos a evitar ataques o virus, también hablamos de cómo puede afectarnos el incendio de un centro de proceso de datos. Basándonos en la ISO 27001:2013 daremos las principales pau...