WorldWideScience

Sample records for parasitic genetic elements

  1. Inevitability of Genetic Parasites

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

    2016-01-01

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

  2. Repetitive elements in parasitic protozoa

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    Clayton Christine

    2010-05-01

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

  3. Does genetic diversity hinder parasite evolution in social insect colonies?

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hughes, William Owen Hamar; Boomsma, Jacobus Jan

    2006-01-01

    of host genetic diversity on parasite evolution by carrying out serial passages of a virulent fungal pathogen through leaf-cutting ant workers of known genotypes. Parasite virulence increased over the nine-generation span of the experiment while spore production decreased. The effect of host relatedness...... upon virulence appeared limited. However, parasites cycled through more genetically diverse hosts were more likely to go extinct during the experiment and parasites cycled through more genetically similar hosts had greater spore production. These results indicate that host genetic diversity may indeed...

  4. Genetics of simple and complex host-parasite interactions

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sidhu, G.S.; Webster, J.M.

    1977-01-01

    In nature a host plant can be viewed as a miniature replica of an ecological system where true and incidental parasites share the same habitat. Consequently, they influence each other's presence directly by interspecific interaction, and indirectly by inducing changes in the host's physiology and so form disease complexes. Since all physiological phenomena have their counterpart in the respective genetic systems of interacting organisms, valuable genetic information can be derived from the analysis of complex parasitic systems. Disease complexes may be classified according to the nature of interaction between various parasites on the same host. One parasite may nullify the host's resistance to another (e.g. Tomato - Meloidogyne incognita + Fusarium oxysporum lycopersici system). Conversely, a parasite may invoke resistance in the host against another parasite (e.g. Tomato - Fusarium oxysporum lycopersici + Verticillium albo atrum system). From the study of simple parasitic systems we know that resistance versus susceptibility against a single parasite is normally monogenically controlled. However, when more than one parasite interacts to invoke or nullify each other's responses on the same host plant, the genetic results suggest epistatic ratios. Nevertheless, epistatic ratios have been obtained also from simple parasitic systems owing to gene interaction. The epistatic ratios obtained from complex and simple parasitic systems are contrasted and compared. It is suggested that epistatic ratios obtained from simple parasitic systems may, in fact, be artifacts resulting from complex parasitic associations that often occur in nature. Polygenic inheritance and the longevity of a cultivar is also discussed briefly in relation to complex parasitic associations. Induced mutations can play a significant role in the study of complex parasitic associations, and thus can be very useful in controlling plant diseases

  5. Extensive genetic diversity, unique population structure and evidence of genetic exchange in the sexually transmitted parasite Trichomonas vaginalis.

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    Melissa D Conrad

    Full Text Available Trichomonas vaginalis is the causative agent of human trichomoniasis, the most common non-viral sexually transmitted infection world-wide. Despite its prevalence, little is known about the genetic diversity and population structure of this haploid parasite due to the lack of appropriate tools. The development of a panel of microsatellite makers and SNPs from mining the parasite's genome sequence has paved the way to a global analysis of the genetic structure of the pathogen and association with clinical phenotypes.Here we utilize a panel of T. vaginalis-specific genetic markers to genotype 235 isolates from Mexico, Chile, India, Australia, Papua New Guinea, Italy, Africa and the United States, including 19 clinical isolates recently collected from 270 women attending New York City sexually transmitted disease clinics. Using population genetic analysis, we show that T. vaginalis is a genetically diverse parasite with a unique population structure consisting of two types present in equal proportions world-wide. Parasites belonging to the two types (type 1 and type 2 differ significantly in the rate at which they harbor the T. vaginalis virus, a dsRNA virus implicated in parasite pathogenesis, and in their sensitivity to the widely-used drug, metronidazole. We also uncover evidence of genetic exchange, indicating a sexual life-cycle of the parasite despite an absence of morphologically-distinct sexual stages.Our study represents the first robust and comprehensive evaluation of global T. vaginalis genetic diversity and population structure. Our identification of a unique two-type structure, and the clinically relevant phenotypes associated with them, provides a new dimension for understanding T. vaginalis pathogenesis. In addition, our demonstration of the possibility of genetic exchange in the parasite has important implications for genetic research and control of the disease.

  6. Extensive genetic diversity, unique population structure and evidence of genetic exchange in the sexually transmitted parasite Trichomonas vaginalis.

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    Conrad, Melissa D; Gorman, Andrew W; Schillinger, Julia A; Fiori, Pier Luigi; Arroyo, Rossana; Malla, Nancy; Dubey, Mohan Lal; Gonzalez, Jorge; Blank, Susan; Secor, William E; Carlton, Jane M

    2012-01-01

    Trichomonas vaginalis is the causative agent of human trichomoniasis, the most common non-viral sexually transmitted infection world-wide. Despite its prevalence, little is known about the genetic diversity and population structure of this haploid parasite due to the lack of appropriate tools. The development of a panel of microsatellite makers and SNPs from mining the parasite's genome sequence has paved the way to a global analysis of the genetic structure of the pathogen and association with clinical phenotypes. Here we utilize a panel of T. vaginalis-specific genetic markers to genotype 235 isolates from Mexico, Chile, India, Australia, Papua New Guinea, Italy, Africa and the United States, including 19 clinical isolates recently collected from 270 women attending New York City sexually transmitted disease clinics. Using population genetic analysis, we show that T. vaginalis is a genetically diverse parasite with a unique population structure consisting of two types present in equal proportions world-wide. Parasites belonging to the two types (type 1 and type 2) differ significantly in the rate at which they harbor the T. vaginalis virus, a dsRNA virus implicated in parasite pathogenesis, and in their sensitivity to the widely-used drug, metronidazole. We also uncover evidence of genetic exchange, indicating a sexual life-cycle of the parasite despite an absence of morphologically-distinct sexual stages. Our study represents the first robust and comprehensive evaluation of global T. vaginalis genetic diversity and population structure. Our identification of a unique two-type structure, and the clinically relevant phenotypes associated with them, provides a new dimension for understanding T. vaginalis pathogenesis. In addition, our demonstration of the possibility of genetic exchange in the parasite has important implications for genetic research and control of the disease.

  7. 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...

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

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    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

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

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    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.

  10. Genetic differentiation between the ant Myrmica rubra and its microgynous social parasite

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Vepsäläinen, K.; Ebsen, J. R.; Savolainen, R.

    2009-01-01

    Hymenopteran inquiline species have been proposed to originate by sympatric speciation through intraspecific social parasitism. One such parasite, Myrmica microrubra, was recently synonymized with its Myrmica rubra host, because comparisons across Europe indicated insufficient genetic differentia......Hymenopteran inquiline species have been proposed to originate by sympatric speciation through intraspecific social parasitism. One such parasite, Myrmica microrubra, was recently synonymized with its Myrmica rubra host, because comparisons across Europe indicated insufficient genetic...... differentiation. Here, we use microsatellite markers to study genetic differentiation more precisely in a sample of Finnish M. rubra and its inquilines collected at two localities, supplemented with mitochondrial DNA sequences. The parasite had much lower genetic variation than the host at three of the four loci...

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

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    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

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

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

    2014-12-01

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

  13. The genetics of indirect ecological effects - plant parasites and aphid herbivores

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    Jennifer K Rowntree

    2014-04-01

    Full Text Available When parasitic plants and aphid herbivores share a host, both direct and indirect ecological effects (IEEs can influence evolutionary processes. We used a hemiparasitic plant (Rhinanthus minor, a grass host (Hordeum vulgare and a cereal aphid (Sitobion avenae to investigate the genetics of IEEs between the aphid and the parasitic plant, and looked to see how these might affect or be influenced by the genetic diversity of the host plants. Survival of R. minor depended on the parasite’s population of origin, the genotypes of the aphids sharing the host and the genetic diversity in the host plant community. Hence the indirect effects of the aphids on the parasitic plants depended on the genetic environment of the system. Here, we show that genetic variation can be important in determining the outcome of IEEs. Therefore, IEEs have the potential to influence evolutionary processes and the continuity of species interactions over time.

  14. The cellular immune response of Daphnia magna under host-parasite genetic variation and variation in initial dose.

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    Auld, Stuart K J R; Edel, Kai H; Little, Tom J

    2012-10-01

    In invertebrate-parasite systems, the likelihood of infection following parasite exposure is often dependent on the specific combination of host and parasite genotypes (termed genetic specificity). Genetic specificity can maintain diversity in host and parasite populations and is a major component of the Red Queen hypothesis. However, invertebrate immune systems are thought to only distinguish between broad classes of parasite. Using a natural host-parasite system with a well-established pattern of genetic specificity, the crustacean Daphnia magna and its bacterial parasite Pasteuria ramosa, we found that only hosts from susceptible host-parasite genetic combinations mounted a cellular response following exposure to the parasite. These data are compatible with the hypothesis that genetic specificity is attributable to barrier defenses at the site of infection (the gut), and that the systemic immune response is general, reporting the number of parasite spores entering the hemocoel. Further supporting this, we found that larger cellular responses occurred at higher initial parasite doses. By studying the natural infection route, where parasites must pass barrier defenses before interacting with systemic immune responses, these data shed light on which components of invertebrate defense underlie genetic specificity. © 2012 The Author(s). Evolution© 2012 The Society for the Study of Evolution.

  15. Analysis of Resonance Response Performance of C-Band Antenna Using Parasitic Element

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    Islam, M. T.; Misran, N.; Mandeep, J. S.

    2014-01-01

    Analysis of the resonance response improvement of a planar C-band (4–8 GHz) antenna is proposed using parasitic element method. This parasitic element based method is validated for change in the active and parasitic antenna elements. A novel dual-band antenna for C-band application covering 5.7 GHz and 7.6 GHz is designed and fabricated. The antenna is composed of circular parasitic element with unequal microstrip lines at both sides and a rectangular partial ground plane. A fractional bandwidth of 13.5% has been achieved from 5.5 GHz to 6.3 GHz (WLAN band) for the lower band. The upper band covers from 7.1 GHz to 8 GHz with a fractional bandwidth of 12%. A gain of 6.4 dBi is achieved at the lower frequency and 4 dBi is achieved at the upper frequency. The VSWR of the antenna is less than 2 at the resonance frequency. PMID:24895643

  16. Haemosporidian parasite infections in grouse and ptarmigan: Prevalence and genetic diversity of blood parasites in resident Alaskan birds

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    Smith, Matthew M.; Van Hemert, Caroline R.; Merizon, Richard

    2016-01-01

    Projections related to future climate warming indicate the potential for an increase in the distribution and prevalence of blood parasites in northern regions. However, baseline data are lacking for resident avian host species in Alaska. Grouse and ptarmigan occupy a diverse range of habitat types throughout the northern hemisphere and are among the most well-known and important native game birds in North America. Information regarding the prevalence and diversity of haemosporidian parasites in tetraonid species is limited, with few recent studies and an almost complete lack of genetic data. To better understand the genetic diversity of haemosporidian parasites in Alaskan tetraonids and to determine current patterns of geographic range and host specificity, we used molecular methods to screen 459 tissue samples collected from grouse and ptarmigan species across multiple regions of Alaska for infection by Leucocytozoon, Haemoproteus, and Plasmodium blood parasites. Infections were detected in 342 individuals, with overall apparent prevalence of 53% for Leucocytozoon, 21% for Haemoproteus, and 9% for Plasmodium. Parasite prevalence varied by region, with different patterns observed between species groups (grouse versus ptarmigan). Leucocytozoon was more common in ptarmigan, whereas Haemoproteus was more common in grouse. We detected Plasmodium infections in grouse only. Analysis of haemosporidian mitochondrial DNA cytochrome b sequences revealed 23 unique parasite haplotypes, several of which were identical to lineages previously detected in other avian hosts. Phylogenetic analysis showed close relationships between haplotypes from our study and those identified in Alaskan waterfowl for Haemoproteus and Plasmodium parasites. In contrast, Leucocytozoon lineages were structured strongly by host family. Our results provide some of the first genetic data for haemosporidians in grouse and ptarmigan species, and provide an initial baseline on the prevalence and diversity

  17. Immunity to Visceral Leishmaniasis Using Genetically Defined Live-Attenuated Parasites

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    Angamuthu Selvapandiyan

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Leishmaniasis is a protozoan parasitic disease endemic to the tropical and subtropical regions of the world, with three major clinical forms, self-healing cutaneous leishmaniasis (CL, mucocutaneous leishmaniasis (MCL, and visceral leishmaniasis (VL. Drug treatments are expensive and often result in the development of drug resistance. No vaccine is available against leishmaniasis. Subunit Leishmania vaccine immunization in animal models has shown some efficacy but little or none in humans. However, individuals who recover from natural infection are protected from reinfection and develop life-long protection, suggesting that infection may be a prerequisite for immunological memory. Thus, genetically altered live-attenuated parasites with controlled infectivity could achieve such memory. In this paper, we discuss development and characteristics of genetically altered, live-attenuated Leishmania donovani parasites and their possible use as vaccine candidates against VL. In addition, we discuss the challenges and other considerations in the use of live-attenuated parasites.

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

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    Suarez, C E; Bishop, R P; Alzan, H F; Poole, W A; Cooke, B M

    2017-10-01

    Apicomplexan parasites such as Babesia, Theileria, Eimeria, Cryptosporidium and Toxoplasma greatly impact animal health globally, and improved, cost-effective measures to control them are urgently required. These parasites have complex multi-stage life cycles including obligate intracellular stages. Major gaps in our understanding of the biology of these relatively poorly characterised parasites and the diseases they cause severely limit options for designing novel control methods. Here we review potentially important shared aspects of the biology of these parasites, such as cell invasion, host cell modification, and asexual and sexual reproduction, and explore the potential of the application of relatively well-established or newly emerging genetic manipulation methods, such as classical transfection or gene editing, respectively, for closing important gaps in our knowledge of the function of specific genes and proteins, and the biology of these parasites. In addition, genetic manipulation methods impact the development of novel methods of control of the diseases caused by these economically important parasites. Transient and stable transfection methods, in conjunction with whole and deep genome sequencing, were initially instrumental in improving our understanding of the molecular biology of apicomplexan parasites and paved the way for the application of the more recently developed gene editing methods. The increasingly efficient and more recently developed gene editing methods, in particular those based on the CRISPR/Cas9 system and previous conceptually similar techniques, are already contributing to additional gene function discovery using reverse genetics and related approaches. However, gene editing methods are only possible due to the increasing availability of in vitro culture, transfection, and genome sequencing and analysis techniques. We envisage that rapid progress in the development of novel gene editing techniques applied to apicomplexan parasites of

  19. Selfish genetic elements favor the evolution of a distinction between soma and germline.

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    Johnson, Louise J

    2008-08-01

    Many multicellular organisms have evolved a dedicated germline. This can benefit the whole organism, but its advantages to genetic parasites have not been explored. Here I model the evolutionary success of a selfish element, such as a transposable element or endosymbiont, which is capable of creating or strengthening a germline-soma distinction in a primitively multicellular host, and find that it will always benefit the element to do so. Genes causing germline sequestration can therefore spread in a population even if germline sequestration is maladaptive for the host organism. Costly selfish elements are expected to survive only in sexual populations, so sexual species may experience an additional push toward germline-soma distinction, and hence toward cell differentiation and multicellularity.

  20. Effect of Parasitic Element on 408 MHz Antenna for Radio Astronomy Application

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    Radial Anwar

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Antenna is one of the important subsystem components in a radio telescope system. In this paper, analysis on the effect of parasitic element on 408 MHz antenna in a radio telescope system is presented. Higher gain up to 10.24 dBi with reduction on beamwidth size has been achieved by optimizing the position of parasitic element relative to the driven element. The proposed antenna is suitable to be utilized in a transient radio telescope array.

  1. Genetic variation for maternal effects on parasite susceptibility.

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    Stjernman, M; Little, T J

    2011-11-01

    The expression of infectious disease is increasingly recognized to be impacted by maternal effects, where the environmental conditions experienced by mothers alter resistance to infection in offspring, independent of heritability. Here, we studied how maternal effects (high or low food availability to mothers) mediated the resistance of the crustacean Daphnia magna to its bacterial parasite Pasteuria ramosa. We sought to disentangle maternal effects from the effects of host genetic background by studying how maternal effects varied across 24 host genotypes sampled from a natural population. Under low-food conditions, females produced offspring that were relatively resistant, but this maternal effect varied strikingly between host genotypes, i.e. there were genotype by maternal environment interactions. As infection with P. ramosa causes a substantial reduction in host fecundity, this maternal effect had a large effect on host fitness. Maternal effects were also shown to impact parasite fitness, both because they prevented the establishment of the parasites and because even when parasites did establish in the offspring of poorly fed mothers, and they tended to grow more slowly. These effects indicate that food stress in the maternal generation can greatly influence parasite susceptibility and thus perhaps the evolution and coevolution of host-parasite interactions. © 2011 The Authors. Journal of Evolutionary Biology © 2011 European Society For Evolutionary Biology.

  2. Genetics of host-parasite relationships and the stability of resistance

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Eenink, A.H.

    1977-01-01

    Between host and parasite there is an intimate relationship controlled by matching gene systems. Stability of resistance is determined by the genetics of this relationship and not by the genetics of resistance. Both monogenic and polygenic resistances can be stable or unstable. Research on the backgrounds of stable resistances is of great importance. (author)

  3. Genetic variability and population structure of Plasmodium falciparum parasite populations from different malaria ecological regions of Kenya.

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    Ingasia, Luicer A; Cheruiyot, Jelagat; Okoth, Sheila Akinyi; Andagalu, Ben; Kamau, Edwin

    2016-04-01

    Transmission intensity, movement of human and vector hosts, biogeographical features, and malaria control measures are some of the important factors that determine Plasmodium falciparum parasite genetic variability and population structure. Kenya has different malaria ecologies which might require different disease intervention methods. Refined parasite population genetic studies are critical for informing malaria control and elimination strategies. This study describes the genetic diversity and population structure of P. falciparum parasites from the different malaria ecological zones in Kenya. Twelve multi-locus microsatellite (MS) loci previously described were genotyped in 225 P. falciparum isolates collected between 2012 and 2013 from five sites; three in lowland endemic regions (Kisumu, Kombewa, and Malindi) and two in highland, epidemic regions (Kisii and Kericho). Parasites from the lowland endemic and highland epidemic regions of western Kenya had high genetic diversity compared to coastal lowland endemic region of Kenya [Malindi]. The Kenyan parasites had a mean genetic differentiation index (FST) of 0.072 (p=0.011). The multi-locus genetic analysis of the 12 MS revealed all the parasites had unique haplotypes. Significant linkage disequilibrium (LD) was observed in all the five parasite populations. Kisumu had the most significant index of association values (0.16; pKenya after introduction of the artemether-lumefantrine is important in refining the spread of drug resistant strains and malaria transmission for more effective control and eventual elimination of malaria in Kenya. Copyright © 2015. Published by Elsevier B.V.

  4. Virophages, polintons, and transpovirons: a complex evolutionary network of diverse selfish genetic elements with different reproduction strategies.

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    Yutin, Natalya; Raoult, Didier; Koonin, Eugene V

    2013-05-23

    Recent advances of genomics and metagenomics reveal remarkable diversity of viruses and other selfish genetic elements. In particular, giant viruses have been shown to possess their own mobilomes that include virophages, small viruses that parasitize on giant viruses of the Mimiviridae family, and transpovirons, distinct linear plasmids. One of the virophages known as the Mavirus, a parasite of the giant Cafeteria roenbergensis virus, shares several genes with large eukaryotic self-replicating transposon of the Polinton (Maverick) family, and it has been proposed that the polintons evolved from a Mavirus-like ancestor. We performed a comprehensive phylogenomic analysis of the available genomes of virophages and traced the evolutionary connections between the virophages and other selfish genetic elements. The comparison of the gene composition and genome organization of the virophages reveals 6 conserved, core genes that are organized in partially conserved arrays. Phylogenetic analysis of those core virophage genes, for which a sufficient diversity of homologs outside the virophages was detected, including the maturation protease and the packaging ATPase, supports the monophyly of the virophages. The results of this analysis appear incompatible with the origin of polintons from a Mavirus-like agent but rather suggest that Mavirus evolved through recombination between a polinton and an unknown virus. Altogether, virophages, polintons, a distinct Tetrahymena transposable element Tlr1, transpovirons, adenoviruses, and some bacteriophages form a network of evolutionary relationships that is held together by overlapping sets of shared genes and appears to represent a distinct module in the vast total network of viruses and mobile elements. The results of the phylogenomic analysis of the virophages and related genetic elements are compatible with the concept of network-like evolution of the virus world and emphasize multiple evolutionary connections between bona fide

  5. Host and parasite life history interplay to yield divergent population genetic structures in two ectoparasites living on the same bat species.

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    van Schaik, J; Dekeukeleire, D; Kerth, G

    2015-05-01

    Host-parasite interactions are ubiquitous in nature. However, how parasite population genetic structure is shaped by the interaction between host and parasite life history remains understudied. Studies comparing multiple parasites infecting a single host can be used to investigate how different parasite life history traits interplay with host behaviour and life history. In this study, we used 10 newly developed microsatellite loci to investigate the genetic structure of a parasitic bat fly (Basilia nana). Its host, the Bechstein's bat (Myotis bechsteinii), has a social system and roosting behaviour that restrict opportunities for parasite transmission. We compared fly genetic structure to that of the host and another parasite, the wing-mite, Spinturnix bechsteini. We found little spatial or temporal genetic structure in B. nana, suggesting a large, stable population with frequent genetic exchange between fly populations from different bat colonies. This contrasts sharply with the genetic structure of the wing-mite, which is highly substructured between the same bat colonies as well as temporally unstable. Our results suggest that although host and parasite life history interact to yield similar transmission patterns in both parasite species, the level of gene flow and eventual spatiotemporal genetic stability is differentially affected. This can be explained by the differences in generation time and winter survival between the flies and wing-mites. Our study thus exemplifies that the population genetic structure of parasites on a single host can vary strongly as a result of how their individual life history characteristics interact with host behaviour and life history traits. © 2015 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  6. Selfish genetic elements, genetic conflict, and evolutionary innovation.

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    Werren, John H

    2011-06-28

    Genomes are vulnerable to selfish genetic elements (SGEs), which enhance their own transmission relative to the rest of an individual's genome but are neutral or harmful to the individual as a whole. As a result, genetic conflict occurs between SGEs and other genetic elements in the genome. There is growing evidence that SGEs, and the resulting genetic conflict, are an important motor for evolutionary change and innovation. In this review, the kinds of SGEs and their evolutionary consequences are described, including how these elements shape basic biological features, such as genome structure and gene regulation, evolution of new genes, origin of new species, and mechanisms of sex determination and development. The dynamics of SGEs are also considered, including possible "evolutionary functions" of SGEs.

  7. Genetic architecture of resistance in Daphnia hosts against two species of host-specific parasites.

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    Routtu, J; Ebert, D

    2015-02-01

    Understanding the genetic architecture of host resistance is key for understanding the evolution of host-parasite interactions. Evolutionary models often assume simple genetics based on few loci and strong epistasis. It is unknown, however, whether these assumptions apply to natural populations. Using a quantitative trait loci (QTL) approach, we explore the genetic architecture of resistance in the crustacean Daphnia magna to two of its natural parasites: the horizontally transmitted bacterium Pasteuria ramosa and the horizontally and vertically transmitted microsporidium Hamiltosporidium tvaerminnensis. These two systems have become models for studies on the evolution of host-parasite interactions. In the QTL panel used here, Daphnia's resistance to P. ramosa is controlled by a single major QTL (which explains 50% of the observed variation). Resistance to H. tvaerminnensis horizontal infections shows a signature of a quantitative trait based in multiple loci with weak epistatic interactions (together explaining 38% variation). Resistance to H. tvaerminnensis vertical infections, however, shows only one QTL (explaining 13.5% variance) that colocalizes with one of the QTLs for horizontal infections. QTLs for resistance to Pasteuria and Hamiltosporidium do not colocalize. We conclude that the genetics of resistance in D. magna are drastically different for these two parasites. Furthermore, we infer that based on these and earlier results, the mechanisms of coevolution differ strongly for the two host-parasite systems. Only the Pasteuria-Daphnia system is expected to follow the negative frequency-dependent selection (Red Queen) model. How coevolution works in the Hamiltosporidium-Daphnia system remains unclear.

  8. Modeling of parasitic elements in high voltage multiplier modules

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Wang, J.

    2014-01-01

    It is an inevitable trend that the power conversion module will have higher switching frequency and smaller volume in the future. Bandgap devices, such as SiC and GaN devices, accelerate the process. With this process, the parasitic elements in the module will probably have stronger influence on

  9. Stable genetic diversity despite parasite and pathogen spread in honey bee colonies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jara, Laura; Muñoz, Irene; Cepero, Almudena; Martín-Hernández, Raquel; Serrano, José; Higes, Mariano; De la Rúa, Pilar

    2015-10-01

    In the last decades, the rapid spread of diseases, such as varroosis and nosemosis, associated with massive honey bee colonies mortality around the world has significantly decreased the number and size of honey bee populations and possibly their genetic diversity. Here, we compare the genetic diversity of Iberian honey bee colonies in two samplings performed in 2006 and 2010 in relation to the presence of the pathogenic agents Nosema apis, Nosema ceranae, and Varroa destructor in order to determine whether parasite and pathogen spread in honey bee colonies reflects changes in genetic diversity. We found that the genetic diversity remained similar, while the incidence of N. ceranae increased and the incidence of N. apis and V. destructor decreased slightly. These results indicate that the genetic diversity was not affected by the presence of these pathogenic agents in the analyzed period. However, the two groups of colonies with and without Nosema/Varroa detected showed significant genetic differentiation (G test). A detailed analysis of the allelic segregation of microsatellite loci in Nosema/Varroa-negative colonies and parasitized ones revealed two outlier loci related to genes involved in immune response.

  10. Stable genetic diversity despite parasite and pathogen spread in honey bee colonies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jara, Laura; Muñoz, Irene; Cepero, Almudena; Martín-Hernández, Raquel; Serrano, José; Higes, Mariano; De la Rúa, Pilar

    2015-10-01

    In the last decades, the rapid spread of diseases, such as varroosis and nosemosis, associated with massive honey bee colonies mortality around the world has significantly decreased the number and size of honey bee populations and possibly their genetic diversity. Here, we compare the genetic diversity of Iberian honey bee colonies in two samplings performed in 2006 and 2010 in relation to the presence of the pathogenic agents Nosema apis, Nosema ceranae, and Varroa destructor in order to determine whether parasite and pathogen spread in honey bee colonies reflects changes in genetic diversity. We found that the genetic diversity remained similar, while the incidence of N. ceranae increased and the incidence of N. apis and V. destructor decreased slightly. These results indicate that the genetic diversity was not affected by the presence of these pathogenic agents in the analyzed period. However, the two groups of colonies with and without Nosema/Varroa detected showed significant genetic differentiation (G test). A detailed analysis of the allelic segregation of microsatellite loci in Nosema/Varroa-negative colonies and parasitized ones revealed two outlier loci related to genes involved in immune response.

  11. Archaeal extrachromosomal genetic elements

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Wang, Haina; Peng, Nan; Shah, Shiraz Ali

    2015-01-01

    SUMMARY: Research on archaeal extrachromosomal genetic elements (ECEs) has progressed rapidly in the past decade. To date, over 60 archaeal viruses and 60 plasmids have been isolated. These archaeal viruses exhibit an exceptional diversity in morphology, with a wide array of shapes, such as spind......SUMMARY: Research on archaeal extrachromosomal genetic elements (ECEs) has progressed rapidly in the past decade. To date, over 60 archaeal viruses and 60 plasmids have been isolated. These archaeal viruses exhibit an exceptional diversity in morphology, with a wide array of shapes...... on archaeal ECEs has just started to unravel the molecular biology of these genetic entities and their interactions with archaeal hosts, it is expected to accelerate in the next decade....

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-03-01

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

  13. In-circuit-measurement of parasitic elements in high gain high bandwidth low noise transimpedance amplifiers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cochems, P; Kirk, A; Zimmermann, S

    2014-12-01

    Parasitic elements play an important role in the development of every high performance circuit. In the case of high gain, high bandwidth transimpedance amplifiers, the most important parasitic elements are parasitic capacitances at the input and in the feedback path, which significantly influence the stability, the frequency response, and the noise of the amplifier. As these parasitic capacitances range from a few picofarads down to only a few femtofarads, it is nearly impossible to measure them accurately using traditional LCR meters. Unfortunately, they also cannot be easily determined from the transfer function of the transimpedance amplifier, as it contains several overlapping effects and its measurement is only possible when the circuit is already stable. Therefore, we developed an in-circuit measurement method utilizing minimal modifications to the input stage in order to measure its parasitic capacitances directly and with unconditional stability. Furthermore, using the data acquired with this measurement technique, we both proposed a model for the complicated frequency response of high value thick film resistors as they are used in high gain transimpedance amplifiers and optimized our transimpedance amplifier design.

  14. Genetic variation in the cellular response of Daphnia magna (Crustacea: Cladocera) to its bacterial parasite.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Auld, Stuart K J R; Scholefield, Jennifer A; Little, Tom J

    2010-11-07

    Linking measures of immune function with infection, and ultimately, host and parasite fitness is a major goal in the field of ecological immunology. In this study, we tested for the presence and timing of a cellular immune response in the crustacean Daphnia magna following exposure to its sterilizing endoparasite Pasteuria ramosa. We found that D. magna possesses two cell types circulating in the haemolymph: a spherical one, which we call a granulocyte and an irregular-shaped amoeboid cell first described by Metchnikoff over 125 years ago. Daphnia magna mounts a strong cellular response (of the amoeboid cells) just a few hours after parasite exposure. We further tested for, and found, considerable genetic variation for the magnitude of this cellular response. These data fostered a heuristic model of resistance in this naturally coevolving host-parasite interaction. Specifically, the strongest cellular responses were found in the most susceptible hosts, indicating resistance is not always borne from a response that destroys invading parasites, but rather stems from mechanisms that prevent their initial entry. Thus, D. magna may have a two-stage defence--a genetically determined barrier to parasite establishment and a cellular response once establishment has begun.

  15. Molecular genetic transfection of the coccidian parasite Sarcocystis neurona.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gaji, Rajshekhar Y; Zhang, Deqing; Breathnach, Cormac C; Vaishnava, Shipra; Striepen, Boris; Howe, Daniel K

    2006-11-01

    Sarcocystis neurona is an apicomplexan parasite that is the major cause of equine protozoal myeloencephalitis (EPM). The biology of this pathogen remains poorly understood in part due to unavailability of molecular genetic tools. Hence, with an objective to develop DNA transfection capabilities for S. neurona, the 5' flanking region of the SnSAG1 gene was isolated from a genomic library and used to construct expression plasmids. In transient assays, the reporter molecules beta-galactosidase (beta-gal) and yellow fluorescent protein (YFP) could be detected in electroporated S. neurona, thereby confirming the feasibility of transgene expression in this organism. Stable transformation of S. neurona was achieved using a mutant dihydrofolate reductase thymidylate synthase (DHFR-TS) gene of Toxoplasma gondii that confers resistance to pyrimethamine. This selection system was used to create transgenic S. neurona that stably express beta-gal and YFP. As shown in this study, these transgenic clones can be useful for analyzing growth rate of parasites in vitro and for assessing drug sensitivities. More importantly, the DNA transfection methods described herein should greatly facilitate studies examining intracellular parasitism by this important coccidian pathogen.

  16. Phylogeographic Evidence for 2 Genetically Distinct Zoonotic Plasmodium knowlesi Parasites, Malaysia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yusof, Ruhani; Ahmed, Md Atique; Jelip, Jenarun; Ngian, Hie Ung; Mustakim, Sahlawati; Hussin, Hani Mat; Fong, Mun Yik; Mahmud, Rohela; Sitam, Frankie Anak Thomas; Japning, J Rovie-Ryan; Snounou, Georges; Escalante, Ananias A; Lau, Yee Ling

    2016-08-01

    Infections of humans with the zoonotic simian malaria parasite Plasmodium knowlesi occur throughout Southeast Asia, although most cases have occurred in Malaysia, where P. knowlesi is now the dominant malaria species. This apparently skewed distribution prompted an investigation of the phylogeography of this parasite in 2 geographically separated regions of Malaysia, Peninsular Malaysia and Malaysian Borneo. We investigated samples collected from humans and macaques in these regions. Haplotype network analyses of sequences from 2 P. knowlesi genes, type A small subunit ribosomal 18S RNA and cytochrome c oxidase subunit I, showed 2 genetically distinct divergent clusters, 1 from each of the 2 regions of Malaysia. We propose that these parasites represent 2 distinct P. knowlesi types that independently became zoonotic. These types would have evolved after the sea-level rise at the end of the last ice age, which separated Malaysian Borneo from Peninsular Malaysia.

  17. Host traits explain the genetic structure of parasites: a meta-analysis

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Blasco-Costa, Maria Isabel; Poulin, R.

    2013-01-01

    Roč. 140, č. 10 (2013), s. 1316-1322 ISSN 0031-1820 EU Projects: European Commission(XE) 252124 - PARAPOPGENE Institutional support: RVO:60077344 Keywords : meta-analysis * host traits * parasite traits * F-statistics * population genetic structure * dispersal * autogenic life cycle * allogenic life cycle Subject RIV: EH - Ecology, Behaviour Impact factor: 2.350, year: 2013

  18. The bandit, a new DNA transposon from a hookworm-possible horizontal genetic transfer between host and parasite.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Thewarach Laha

    2007-09-01

    Full Text Available An enhanced understanding of the hookworm genome and its resident mobile genetic elements should facilitate understanding of the genome evolution, genome organization, possibly host-parasite co-evolution and horizontal gene transfer, and from a practical perspective, development of transposon-based transgenesis for hookworms and other parasitic nematodes.A novel mariner-like element (MLE was characterized from the genome of the dog hookworm, Ancylostoma caninum, and termed bandit. The consensus sequence of the bandit transposon was 1,285 base pairs (bp in length. The new transposon was flanked by perfect terminal inverted repeats of 32 nucleotides in length with a common target site duplication TA, and it encoded an open reading frame (ORF of 342 deduced amino acid residues. Phylogenetic comparisons confirmed that the ORF encoded a mariner-like transposase, which included conserved catalytic domains, and that the bandit transposon belonged to the cecropia subfamily of MLEs. The phylogenetic analysis also indicated that the Hsmar1 transposon from humans was the closest known relative of bandit, and that bandit and Hsmar1 constituted a clade discrete from the Tc1 subfamily of MLEs from the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans. Moreover, homology models based on the crystal structure of Mos1 from Drosophila mauritiana revealed closer identity in active site residues of the catalytic domain including Ser281, Lys289 and Asp293 between bandit and Hsmar1 than between Mos1 and either bandit or Hsmar1. The entire bandit ORF was amplified from genomic DNA and a fragment of the bandit ORF was amplified from RNA, indicating that this transposon is actively transcribed in hookworms.A mariner-like transposon termed bandit has colonized the genome of the hookworm A. caninum. Although MLEs exhibit a broad host range, and are identified in other nematodes, the closest phylogenetic relative of bandit is the Hsmar1 element of humans. This surprising finding suggests

  19. Prevalence, transmission, and genetic diversity of blood parasites infecting tundra-nesting geese in Alaska

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ramey, Andy M.; Reed, John A.; Schmutz, Joel A.; Fondell, Tom F.; Meixell, Brandt W.; Hupp, Jerry W.; Ward, David H.; Terenzi, John; Ely, Craig R.

    2014-01-01

    A total of 842 blood samples collected from five species of tundra-nesting geese in Alaska was screened for haemosporidian parasites using molecular techniques. Parasites of the generaLeucocytozoon Danilewsky, 1890, Haemoproteus Kruse, 1890, and Plasmodium Marchiafava and Celli, 1885 were detected in 169 (20%), 3 (parasites and assess variation relative to species, age, sex, geographic area, year, and decade. Species, age, and decade were identified as important in explaining differences in prevalence of Leucocytozoonparasites. Leucocytozoon parasites were detected in goslings sampled along the Arctic Coastal Plain using both historic and contemporary samples, which provided support for transmission in the North American Arctic. In contrast, lack of detection of Haemoproteus and Plasmodiumparasites in goslings (n = 238) provided evidence to suggest that the transmission of parasites of these genera may not occur among waterfowl using tundra habitats in Alaska, or alternatively, may only occur at low levels. Five haemosporidian genetic lineages shared among different species of geese sampled from two geographic areas were indicative of interspecies parasite transmission and supported broad parasite or vector distributions. However, identicalLeucocytozoon and Haemoproteus lineages on public databases were limited to waterfowl hosts suggesting constraints in the range of parasite hosts.

  20. Population genetics, community of parasites, and resistance to rodenticides in an urban brown rat (Rattus norvegicus) population.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Desvars-Larrive, Amélie; Pascal, Michel; Gasqui, Patrick; Cosson, Jean-François; Benoît, Etienne; Lattard, Virginie; Crespin, Laurent; Lorvelec, Olivier; Pisanu, Benoît; Teynié, Alexandre; Vayssier-Taussat, Muriel; Bonnet, Sarah; Marianneau, Philippe; Lacôte, Sandra; Bourhy, Pascale; Berny, Philippe; Pavio, Nicole; Le Poder, Sophie; Gilot-Fromont, Emmanuelle; Jourdain, Elsa; Hammed, Abdessalem; Fourel, Isabelle; Chikh, Farid; Vourc'h, Gwenaël

    2017-01-01

    Brown rats are one of the most widespread urban species worldwide. Despite the nuisances they induce and their potential role as a zoonotic reservoir, knowledge on urban rat populations remains scarce. The main purpose of this study was to characterize an urban brown rat population from Chanteraines park (Hauts-de-Seine, France), with regards to haematology, population genetics, immunogenic diversity, resistance to anticoagulant rodenticides, and community of parasites. Haematological parameters were measured. Population genetics was investigated using 13 unlinked microsatellite loci. Immunogenic diversity was assessed for Mhc-Drb. Frequency of the Y139F mutation (conferring resistance to rodenticides) and two linked microsatellites were studied, concurrently with the presence of anticoagulant residues in the liver. Combination of microscopy and molecular methods were used to investigate the occurrence of 25 parasites. Statistical approaches were used to explore multiple parasite relationships and model parasite occurrence. Eighty-six rats were caught. The first haematological data for a wild urban R. norvegicus population was reported. Genetic results suggested high genetic diversity and connectivity between Chanteraines rats and surrounding population(s). We found a high prevalence (55.8%) of the mutation Y139F and presence of rodenticide residues in 47.7% of the sampled individuals. The parasite species richness was high (16). Seven potential zoonotic pathogens were identified, together with a surprisingly high diversity of Leptospira species (4). Chanteraines rat population is not closed, allowing gene flow and making eradication programs challenging, particularly because rodenticide resistance is highly prevalent. Parasitological results showed that co-infection is more a rule than an exception. Furthermore, the presence of several potential zoonotic pathogens, of which four Leptospira species, in this urban rat population raised its role in the maintenance

  1. A novel approach to parasite population genetics: experimental infection reveals geographic differentiation, recombination and host-mediated population structure in Pasteuria ramosa, a bacterial parasite of Daphnia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Andras, J P; Ebert, D

    2013-02-01

    The population structure of parasites is central to the ecology and evolution of host-parasite systems. Here, we investigate the population genetics of Pasteuria ramosa, a bacterial parasite of Daphnia. We used natural P. ramosa spore banks from the sediments of two geographically well-separated ponds to experimentally infect a panel of Daphnia magna host clones whose resistance phenotypes were previously known. In this way, we were able to assess the population structure of P. ramosa based on geography, host resistance phenotype and host genotype. Overall, genetic diversity of P. ramosa was high, and nearly all infected D. magna hosted more than one parasite haplotype. On the basis of the observation of recombinant haplotypes and relatively low levels of linkage disequilibrium, we conclude that P. ramosa engages in substantial recombination. Isolates were strongly differentiated by pond, indicating that gene flow is spatially restricted. Pasteuria ramosa isolates within one pond were segregated completely based on the resistance phenotype of the host-a result that, to our knowledge, has not been previously reported for a nonhuman parasite. To assess the comparability of experimental infections with natural P. ramosa isolates, we examined the population structure of naturally infected D. magna native to one of the two source ponds. We found that experimental and natural infections of the same host resistance phenotype from the same source pond were indistinguishable, indicating that experimental infections provide a means to representatively sample the diversity of P. ramosa while reducing the sampling bias often associated with studies of parasite epidemics. These results expand our knowledge of this model parasite, provide important context for the large existing body of research on this system and will guide the design of future studies of this host-parasite system. © 2012 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

  2. Molecular Genetic Analysis of Parasite Survival in P. falciparum Malaria.

    Science.gov (United States)

    1991-03-15

    conducting research utilizing recombinant DNA technology , the investigator(s) adhered to current guidelines promulgated by the National Institute of Health...oligonucleotides unrelated to the conserved elements of Plasmodium falciparum were used (lane marked random oligo). Furthermore, extracts prepared...once with Ix Trager’s buffer. The following steps were carried out on ice. Erythrocytes were lysed in 0.05% saponin (19). The released parasites were

  3. 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.

  4. Dual Band Parasitic Element Patch Antenna for LTE/WLAN Applications

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    BAG Biplab

    2017-05-01

    Full Text Available In this paper, a single layer coaxial fed dual band slotted microstrip antenna is proposed. The proposed antenna consists of two direct couple parasitic elements and L-shape slots on the main resonating element. Two resonant modes are excited and it covers 4G LTE and WLAN middle band. The -10dB impedance bandwidth for resonant frequency of 2.35GHz and 5.28GHz are 140MHz (2.25-2.39GHz and 570MHz (5.18-5.75GHz, respectively. The measured VSWR at 2.35GHz is 1.27 and at 5.28GHz is 1.41. The proposed antenna is simple in design and compact in size. The simulated and measured results are in good agreement.

  5. Modularization of genetic elements promotes synthetic metabolic engineering.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Qi, Hao; Li, Bing-Zhi; Zhang, Wen-Qian; Liu, Duo; Yuan, Ying-Jin

    2015-11-15

    In the context of emerging synthetic biology, metabolic engineering is moving to the next stage powered by new technologies. Systematical modularization of genetic elements makes it more convenient to engineer biological systems for chemical production or other desired purposes. In the past few years, progresses were made in engineering metabolic pathway using synthetic biology tools. Here, we spotlighted the topic of implementation of modularized genetic elements in metabolic engineering. First, we overviewed the principle developed for modularizing genetic elements and then discussed how the genetic modules advanced metabolic engineering studies. Next, we picked up some milestones of engineered metabolic pathway achieved in the past few years. Last, we discussed the rapid raised synthetic biology field of "building a genome" and the potential in metabolic engineering. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  6. The genetic basis of resistance and matching-allele interactions of a host-parasite system: The Daphnia magna-Pasteuria ramosa model.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gilberto Bento

    2017-02-01

    Full Text Available Negative frequency-dependent selection (NFDS is an evolutionary mechanism suggested to govern host-parasite coevolution and the maintenance of genetic diversity at host resistance loci, such as the vertebrate MHC and R-genes in plants. Matching-allele interactions of hosts and parasites that prevent the emergence of host and parasite genotypes that are universally resistant and infective are a genetic mechanism predicted to underpin NFDS. The underlying genetics of matching-allele interactions are unknown even in host-parasite systems with empirical support for coevolution by NFDS, as is the case for the planktonic crustacean Daphnia magna and the bacterial pathogen Pasteuria ramosa. We fine-map one locus associated with D. magna resistance to P. ramosa and genetically characterize two haplotypes of the Pasteuria resistance (PR- locus using de novo genome and transcriptome sequencing. Sequence comparison of PR-locus haplotypes finds dramatic structural polymorphisms between PR-locus haplotypes including a large portion of each haplotype being composed of non-homologous sequences resulting in haplotypes differing in size by 66 kb. The high divergence of PR-locus haplotypes suggest a history of multiple, diverse and repeated instances of structural mutation events and restricted recombination. Annotation of the haplotypes reveals striking differences in gene content. In particular, a group of glycosyltransferase genes that is present in the susceptible but absent in the resistant haplotype. Moreover, in natural populations, we find that the PR-locus polymorphism is associated with variation in resistance to different P. ramosa genotypes, pointing to the PR-locus polymorphism as being responsible for the matching-allele interactions that have been previously described for this system. Our results conclusively identify a genetic basis for the matching-allele interaction observed in a coevolving host-parasite system and provide a first insight into

  7. The genetic basis of resistance and matching-allele interactions of a host-parasite system: The Daphnia magna-Pasteuria ramosa model.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bento, Gilberto; Routtu, Jarkko; Fields, Peter D; Bourgeois, Yann; Du Pasquier, Louis; Ebert, Dieter

    2017-02-01

    Negative frequency-dependent selection (NFDS) is an evolutionary mechanism suggested to govern host-parasite coevolution and the maintenance of genetic diversity at host resistance loci, such as the vertebrate MHC and R-genes in plants. Matching-allele interactions of hosts and parasites that prevent the emergence of host and parasite genotypes that are universally resistant and infective are a genetic mechanism predicted to underpin NFDS. The underlying genetics of matching-allele interactions are unknown even in host-parasite systems with empirical support for coevolution by NFDS, as is the case for the planktonic crustacean Daphnia magna and the bacterial pathogen Pasteuria ramosa. We fine-map one locus associated with D. magna resistance to P. ramosa and genetically characterize two haplotypes of the Pasteuria resistance (PR-) locus using de novo genome and transcriptome sequencing. Sequence comparison of PR-locus haplotypes finds dramatic structural polymorphisms between PR-locus haplotypes including a large portion of each haplotype being composed of non-homologous sequences resulting in haplotypes differing in size by 66 kb. The high divergence of PR-locus haplotypes suggest a history of multiple, diverse and repeated instances of structural mutation events and restricted recombination. Annotation of the haplotypes reveals striking differences in gene content. In particular, a group of glycosyltransferase genes that is present in the susceptible but absent in the resistant haplotype. Moreover, in natural populations, we find that the PR-locus polymorphism is associated with variation in resistance to different P. ramosa genotypes, pointing to the PR-locus polymorphism as being responsible for the matching-allele interactions that have been previously described for this system. Our results conclusively identify a genetic basis for the matching-allele interaction observed in a coevolving host-parasite system and provide a first insight into its molecular basis.

  8. Multiple genetic origins of histidine-rich protein 2 gene deletion in Plasmodium falciparum parasites from Peru

    Science.gov (United States)

    Akinyi, Sheila; Hayden, Tonya; Gamboa, Dionicia; Torres, Katherine; Bendezu, Jorge; Abdallah, Joseph F.; Griffing, Sean M.; Quezada, Wilmer Marquiño; Arrospide, Nancy; De Oliveira, Alexandre Macedo; Lucas, Carmen; Magill, Alan J.; Bacon, David J.; Barnwell, John W.; Udhayakumar, Venkatachalam

    2013-01-01

    The majority of malaria rapid diagnostic tests (RDTs) detect Plasmodium falciparum histidine-rich protein 2 (PfHRP2), encoded by the pfhrp2 gene. Recently, P. falciparum isolates from Peru were found to lack pfhrp2 leading to false-negative RDT results. We hypothesized that pfhrp2-deleted parasites in Peru derived from a single genetic event. We evaluated the parasite population structure and pfhrp2 haplotype of samples collected between 1998 and 2005 using seven neutral and seven chromosome 8 microsatellite markers, respectively. Five distinct pfhrp2 haplotypes, corresponding to five neutral microsatellite-based clonal lineages, were detected in 1998-2001; pfhrp2 deletions occurred within four haplotypes. In 2003-2005, outcrossing among the parasite lineages resulted in eight population clusters that inherited the five pfhrp2 haplotypes seen previously and a new haplotype; pfhrp2 deletions occurred within four of these haplotypes. These findings indicate that the genetic origin of pfhrp2 deletion in Peru was not a single event, but likely occurred multiple times. PMID:24077522

  9. Identification of opportunistic enteric parasites among immunocompetent patients with diarrhoea from Northern India and genetic characterisation of Cryptosporidium and Microsporidia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ghoshal, U; Dey, A; Ranjan, P; Khanduja, S; Agarwal, V; Ghoshal, U C

    2016-01-01

    Enteric parasitic infestation is a major public health problem in developing countries. Parasites such as Cryptosporidium spp., Cyclospora spp., Cystoisospora spp. and Microsporidia may cause severe diarrhoea among immunocompromised patients. There is scanty data on their frequency among immunocompetent patients. Accordingly, we studied the frequency of enteric opportunistic parasites among immunocompetent patients with diarrhoea from northern India; we also performed genetic characterisation of Cryptosporidia and Microsporidia among them. Stool samples from 80 immunocompetent patients with diarrhoea, and 110 healthy controls were examined. Parasites were detected by direct microscopy, modified acid-fast (Kinyoun's) and modified trichrome stain. Polymerase chain reaction--restriction fragment length polymorphism was used for genetic characterisation of selected species such as Cryptosporidia and Microsporidia. Enteric parasites were detected in 16/80 (20%) patients (mean age 28.8±20 years, 45, 56% males) and in 2/110 (1.8%) healthy controls (P=0.00007). Parasites detected were Cryptosporidium spp. (8/16, 50.0%), Cystoisospora spp. (4/16, 25%), Microsporidia (1/16, 6.25%), Cyclospora spp. (1/16, 6.25%) and Giardia spp. (1/16, 6.25%). One patient had mixed infection with Cystoisospora spp. and Giardia spp. The species of Cryptosporidia and Microsporidia detected were Cryptosporidium hominis and Enterocytozoon bieneusi, respectively. Parasites were more often detected in younger patients (≤20 years of age) than in older. Most of the parasite infected patients presented with chronic diarrhoea. Opportunistic enteric parasitic infestation was more common among immunocompetent patients with diarrhoea than healthy subjects. Special staining as well as molecular methods are essential for appropriate diagnosis of these parasites.

  10. Landscape genetics of Schistocephalus solidus parasites in threespine stickleback (Gasterosteus aculeatus) from Alaska.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sprehn, C Grace; Blum, Michael J; Quinn, Thomas P; Heins, David C

    2015-01-01

    The nature of gene flow in parasites with complex life cycles is poorly understood, particularly when intermediate and definitive hosts have contrasting movement potential. We examined whether the fine-scale population genetic structure of the diphyllobothriidean cestode Schistocephalus solidus reflects the habits of intermediate threespine stickleback hosts or those of its definitive hosts, semi-aquatic piscivorous birds, to better understand complex host-parasite interactions. Seventeen lakes in the Cook Inlet region of south-central Alaska were sampled, including ten in the Matanuska-Susitna Valley, five on the Kenai Peninsula, and two in the Bristol Bay drainage. We analyzed sequence variation across a 759 bp region of the mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) cytochrome oxidase I region for 1,026 S. solidus individuals sampled from 2009-2012. We also analyzed allelic variation at 8 microsatellite loci for 1,243 individuals. Analysis of mtDNA haplotype and microsatellite genotype variation recovered evidence of significant population genetic structure within S. solidus. Host, location, and year were factors in structuring observed genetic variation. Pairwise measures revealed significant differentiation among lakes, including a pattern of isolation-by-distance. Bayesian analysis identified three distinct genotypic clusters in the study region, little admixture within hosts and lakes, and a shift in genotype frequencies over time. Evidence of fine-scale population structure in S. solidus indicates that movement of its vagile, definitive avian hosts has less influence on gene flow than expected based solely on movement potential. Observed patterns of genetic variation may reflect genetic drift, behaviors of definitive hosts that constrain dispersal, life history of intermediate hosts, and adaptive specificity of S. solidus to intermediate host genotype.

  11. Landscape genetics of Schistocephalus solidus parasites in threespine stickleback (Gasterosteus aculeatus from Alaska.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    C Grace Sprehn

    Full Text Available The nature of gene flow in parasites with complex life cycles is poorly understood, particularly when intermediate and definitive hosts have contrasting movement potential. We examined whether the fine-scale population genetic structure of the diphyllobothriidean cestode Schistocephalus solidus reflects the habits of intermediate threespine stickleback hosts or those of its definitive hosts, semi-aquatic piscivorous birds, to better understand complex host-parasite interactions. Seventeen lakes in the Cook Inlet region of south-central Alaska were sampled, including ten in the Matanuska-Susitna Valley, five on the Kenai Peninsula, and two in the Bristol Bay drainage. We analyzed sequence variation across a 759 bp region of the mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA cytochrome oxidase I region for 1,026 S. solidus individuals sampled from 2009-2012. We also analyzed allelic variation at 8 microsatellite loci for 1,243 individuals. Analysis of mtDNA haplotype and microsatellite genotype variation recovered evidence of significant population genetic structure within S. solidus. Host, location, and year were factors in structuring observed genetic variation. Pairwise measures revealed significant differentiation among lakes, including a pattern of isolation-by-distance. Bayesian analysis identified three distinct genotypic clusters in the study region, little admixture within hosts and lakes, and a shift in genotype frequencies over time. Evidence of fine-scale population structure in S. solidus indicates that movement of its vagile, definitive avian hosts has less influence on gene flow than expected based solely on movement potential. Observed patterns of genetic variation may reflect genetic drift, behaviors of definitive hosts that constrain dispersal, life history of intermediate hosts, and adaptive specificity of S. solidus to intermediate host genotype.

  12. 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.

  13. A parasitic selfish gene that affects host promiscuity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Giraldo-Perez, Paulina; Goddard, Matthew R

    2013-11-07

    Selfish genes demonstrate transmission bias and invade sexual populations despite conferring no benefit to their hosts. While the molecular genetics and evolutionary dynamics of selfish genes are reasonably well characterized, their effects on hosts are not. Homing endonuclease genes (HEGs) are one well-studied family of selfish genes that are assumed to be benign. However, we show that carrying HEGs is costly for Saccharomyces cerevisiae, demonstrating that these genetic elements are not necessarily benign but maybe parasitic. We estimate a selective load of approximately 1-2% in 'natural' niches. The second aspect we examine is the ability of HEGs to affect hosts' sexual behaviour. As all selfish genes critically rely on sex for spread, then any selfish gene correlated with increased host sexuality will enjoy a transmission advantage. While classic parasites are known to manipulate host behaviour, we are not aware of any evidence showing a selfish gene is capable of affecting host promiscuity. The data presented here show a selfish element may increase the propensity of its eukaryote host to undergo sex and along with increased rates of non-Mendelian inheritance, this may counterbalance mitotic selective load and promote spread. Demonstration that selfish genes are correlated with increased promiscuity in eukaryotes connects with ideas suggesting that selfish genes promoted the evolution of sex initially.

  14. PCR detection and genetic diversity of bovine hemoprotozoan parasites in Vietnam.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sivakumar, Thillaiampalam; Lan, Dinh Thi Bich; Long, Phung Thang; Yoshinari, Takeshi; Tattiyapong, Muncharee; Guswanto, Azirwan; Okubo, Kazuhiro; Igarashi, Ikuo; Inoue, Noboru; Xuan, Xuenan; Yokoyama, Naoaki

    2013-11-01

    Hemoprotozoan infections often cause serious production losses in livestock. In the present study, we conducted a PCR-based survey of Babesia bovis, Babesia bigemina, Theileria annulata, Theileria orientalis, Trypanosoma evansi and Trypanosoma theileri, using 423 DNA samples extracted from blood samples of cattle (n=202), water buffaloes (n=43), sheep (n=51) and goats (n=127) bred in the Hue and Hanoi provinces of Vietnam. With the exception of T. annulata and T. evansi, all other parasite species (B. bovis, B. bigemina, T. orientalis and T. theileri) were detected in the cattle populations with B. bovis being the most common among them. Additionally, four water buffaloes and a single goat were infected with B. bovis and B. bigemina, respectively. The Hue province had more hemoprotozoan-positive animals than those from the Hanoi region. In the phylogenetic analyses, B. bovis-MSA-2b, B. bigemina-AMA-1 and T. theileri-CATL gene sequences were dispersed across four, one and three different clades in the respective phylograms. This is the first study in which the presence of Babesia, Theileria and Trypanosoma parasites was simultaneously investigated by PCR in Vietnam. The findings suggest that hemoprotozoan parasites, some of which are genetically diverse, continue to be a threat to the livestock industry in this country.

  15. Extrachromosomal genetic elements in Micrococcus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dib, Julián Rafael; Liebl, Wolfgang; Wagenknecht, Martin; Farías, María Eugenia; Meinhardt, Friedhelm

    2013-01-01

    Micrococci are Gram-positive G + C-rich, nonmotile, nonspore-forming actinomycetous bacteria. Micrococcus comprises ten members, with Micrococcus luteus being the type species. Representatives of the genus play important roles in the biodegradation of xenobiotics, bioremediation processes, production of biotechnologically important enzymes or bioactive compounds, as test strains in biological assays for lysozyme and antibiotics, and as infective agents in immunocompromised humans. The first description of plasmids dates back approximately 28 years, when several extrachromosomal elements ranging in size from 1.5 to 30.2 kb were found in Micrococcus luteus. Up to the present, a number of circular plasmids conferring antibiotic resistance, the ability to degrade aromatic compounds, and osmotolerance are known, as well as cryptic elements with unidentified functions. Here, we review the Micrococcus extrachromosomal traits reported thus far including phages and the only quite recently described large linear extrachromosomal genetic elements, termed linear plasmids, which range in size from 75 kb (pJD12) to 110 kb (pLMA1) and which confer putative advantageous capabilities, such as antibiotic or heavy metal resistances (inferred from sequence analyses and curing experiments). The role of the extrachromosomal elements for the frequently proven ecological and biotechnological versatility of the genus will be addressed as well as their potential for the development and use as genetic tools.

  16. Distinct genetic control of parasite elimination, dissemination, and disease after Leishmania major infection

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Kurey, Irina; Kobets, Tetyana; Havelková, Helena; Slapničková, Martina; Quan, L.; Trtková, Kateřina; Grekov, Igor; Svobodová, M.; Stassen, A. P. M.; Hutson, A.; Demant, P.; Lipoldová, Marie

    2009-01-01

    Roč. 61, č. 9 (2009), s. 619-633 ISSN 0093-7711 R&D Projects: GA ČR GA310/06/1745; GA MŠk(CZ) LC06009 Grant - others:EC(XE) 05-1000004-7761 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z50520514 Keywords : Leishmania major * Parasite elimination * QTL mapping Subject RIV: EB - Genetics ; Molecular Biology Impact factor: 2.988, year: 2009

  17. The mobile genetic element Alu in the human genome

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Novick, G.E. [Florida International Univ., Miami, FL (United States); Batzer, M.A.; Deininger, P.L. [Louisiana State Univ. Medical Center, New Orleans, LA (United States)] [and others

    1996-01-01

    Genetic material has been traditionally envisioned as relatively static with the exception of occasional, often deleterious mutations. The sequence DNA-to-RNA-to-protein represented for many years the central dogma relating gene structure and function. Recently, the field of molecular genetics has provided revolutionary information on the dynamic role of repetitive elements in the function of the genetic material and the evolution of humans and other organisms. Alu sequences represent the largest family of short interspersed repetitive elements (SINEs) in humans, being present in an excess of 500,000 copies per haploid genome. Alu elements, as well as the other repetitive elements, were once considered to be useless. Today, the biology of Alu transposable elements is being widely examined in order to determine the molecular basis of a growing number of identified diseases and to provide new directions in genome mapping and biomedical research. 66 refs., 5 figs.

  18. [Progress of research on genetic engineering antibody and its application in prevention and control of parasitic diseases].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yao, Yuan; Yu, Chuan-xin

    2013-08-01

    Antibody has extensive application prospects in the biomedical field. The inherent disadvantages of traditional polyclonal antibody and monoclonal antibody limit their application values. The humanized and fragmented antibody remodeling has given a rise to a series of genetic engineered antibody variant. This paper reviews the progress of research on genetic engineering antibody and its application in prevention and control of parasitic diseases.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. A genetic linkage map for the apicomplexan protozoan parasite Eimeria maxima and comparison with Eimeria tenella.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blake, Damer P; Oakes, Richard; Smith, Adrian L

    2011-02-01

    Eimeria maxima is one of the seven Eimeria spp. that infect the chicken and cause the disease coccidiosis. The well characterised immunogenicity and genetic diversity associated with E. maxima promote its use in genetics-led studies on avian coccidiosis. The development of a genetic map for E. maxima, presented here based upon 647 amplified fragment length polymorphism markers typed from 22 clonal hybrid lines and assembled into 13 major linkage groups, is a major new resource for work with this parasite. Comparison with genetic maps produced for other coccidial parasites indicates relatively high levels of genetic recombination. Conversion of ∼14% of the markers representing the major linkage groups to sequence characterised amplified region markers can provide a scaffold for the assembly of future genomic sequences as well as providing a foundation for more detailed genetic maps. Comparison with the Eimeria tenella genetic map produced 10years ago has revealed a less biased marker distribution, with no more than nine markers mapped within any unresolved heritable unit. Nonetheless, preliminary bioinformatic characterisation of the three largest publicly available genomic E. maxima sequences suggest that the feature-poor/feature-rich structure which has previously been found to define the first sequenced E. tenella chromosome also defines the E. maxima genome. The significance of such a segmented genome and the apparent potential for variation in genetic recombination will be relevant to haplotype stability and the longevity of future anticoccidial strategies based upon multiple loci targeted by novel chemotherapeutic drugs or recombinant subunit vaccines. Copyright © 2010 Australian Society for Parasitology Inc. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  2. Compensation of parasitic elements of transistor in the class F amplifier with the tuning of impedances at harmonics

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yefymovych A. P.

    2014-02-01

    Full Text Available The authors present a new method of construction and calculation of the output load circuit (OLC for class F power amplifiers (PA with the addition of the third harmonic of the voltage. This method allows compensating the negative influences of parasitic elements of transistor (output capacitance — COUT, and inductance — LOUT on the drain efficiency of the amplifier. The circuit of the parasitic elements was considered as a part of the proposed OLC. To calculate the OLC a system of three algebraic equations was compiled. The system is solved numerically relative to the three parameters of the OLC, for which the impedance on a chip of the transistor (on COUT for odd and even harmonics corresponds to the theory of class F PAs. This method is applicable for the calculation of the OLC, which is realized in the frequency range of 300—500 MHz, where the use of elements with lumped parameters only is not always possible, while using elements with distributed parameters leads to a substantial increase in the size of the whole amplifier. In the developed OLC, the authors used elements with both lumped and distributed parameters, thus achieving a compromise between the geometric dimensions and physical realizability of the circuit elements. The proposed OLC, taking into account the parasitic elements of the transistor, allows setting impedances independently at the first and third harmonics while maintaining impedance at the second harmonic tending to zero. This makes it possible to optimize the drain efficiency at a given level of output power. The efficiency ?d = 72,5% was experimentally obtained at POUT = 1,045 W for the class F amplifier running at 400 MHz. The proposed methodology for constructing and calculating the OLC can be used to implement class F power amplifiers in the integrated-circuit form.

  3. Selfish genetic elements and the gene’s-eye view of evolution

    Science.gov (United States)

    2016-01-01

    During the last few decades, we have seen an explosion in the influx of details about the biology of selfish genetic elements. Ever since the early days of the field, the gene’s-eye view of Richard Dawkins, George Williams, and others, has been instrumental to make sense of new empirical observations and to the generation of new hypotheses. However, the close association between selfish genetic elements and the gene’s-eye view has not been without critics and several other conceptual frameworks have been suggested. In particular, proponents of multilevel selection models have used selfish genetic elements to criticize the gene’s-eye view. In this paper, I first trace the intertwined histories of the study of selfish genetic elements and the gene’s-eye view and then discuss how their association holds up when compared with other proposed frameworks. Next, using examples from transposable elements and the major transitions, I argue that different models highlight separate aspects of the evolution of selfish genetic elements and that the productive way forward is to maintain a plurality of perspectives. Finally, I discuss how the empirical study of selfish genetic elements has implications for other conceptual issues associated with the gene’s-eye view, such as agential thinking, adaptationism, and the role of fitness maximizing models in evolution. PMID:29491953

  4. A proposition on the genetic history of visceral Leishmaniasis:glimpses from the side of parasite

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ibrahim, Muntasir E.

    1999-01-01

    The recorded history of diseases affecting man, contains hardly any reliable information on their state beyond few centuries ago. This is particularly true for diseases having symptoms common to others as is typically the case of visceral Leishmaniasis. Our increased understanding of the biology and epidemiology of VL during the last hundred years or so, nevertheless, raise more questions than answers. For example: what is the possible role played by such disease in shaping the population structure and range of expaion of their human host. Could resistance of certain populations to disease be explained by the distribution of less virulent parasite strains e.g. (Leishmania infantum) or by ancient episodes of strong selection? data obtained from molecular analysis of parasites isolated from patients in Sudan, indicates that the current outbreak is probably a recent event caused by stocks of closely related parasites. More recently, mitochondrial hapoltypes analysis gave further support to the homogeneity of these parasite populations. Cladistic analysis of Leishmania donovani strains from different continents make a clear distinction between two clades; one containing parasites of the infantum group in different continents and the other includes members of the donovani group in Africa and Asia. Furthermore, we did not encounter-a-presence-of Leishmania infantum specific sequence within paraite population sampled in the areas, covered by the outbreaks. The parasites from Sudan presented with the most ancestral haplotypes. The disease in Sudan may have passed through short periods of protraction and expansion, which may have resulted in stability of the parasite genetic population structure, but rather a fragile host-parasite relationship. Studying host sequence may reveal equally interesting situations and shed more light on these-aspects.(Author)

  5. A matching-allele model explains host resistance to parasites.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Luijckx, Pepijn; Fienberg, Harris; Duneau, David; Ebert, Dieter

    2013-06-17

    The maintenance of genetic variation and sex despite its costs has long puzzled biologists. A popular idea, the Red Queen Theory, is that under rapid antagonistic coevolution between hosts and their parasites, the formation of new rare host genotypes through sex can be advantageous as it creates host genotypes to which the prevailing parasite is not adapted. For host-parasite coevolution to lead to an ongoing advantage for rare genotypes, parasites should infect specific host genotypes and hosts should resist specific parasite genotypes. The most prominent genetics capturing such specificity are matching-allele models (MAMs), which have the key feature that resistance for two parasite genotypes can reverse by switching one allele at one host locus. Despite the lack of empirical support, MAMs have played a central role in the theoretical development of antagonistic coevolution, local adaptation, speciation, and sexual selection. Using genetic crosses, we show that resistance of the crustacean Daphnia magna against the parasitic bacterium Pasteuria ramosa follows a MAM. Simulation results show that the observed genetics can explain the maintenance of genetic variation and contribute to the maintenance of sex in the facultatively sexual host as predicted by the Red Queen Theory. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  6. Sexual reproduction and genetic exchange in parasitic protists.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weedall, Gareth D; Hall, Neil

    2015-02-01

    A key part of the life cycle of an organism is reproduction. For a number of important protist parasites that cause human and animal disease, their sexuality has been a topic of debate for many years. Traditionally, protists were considered to be primitive relatives of the 'higher' eukaryotes, which may have diverged prior to the evolution of sex and to reproduce by binary fission. More recent views of eukaryotic evolution suggest that sex, and meiosis, evolved early, possibly in the common ancestor of all eukaryotes. However, detecting sex in these parasites is not straightforward. Recent advances, particularly in genome sequencing technology, have allowed new insights into parasite reproduction. Here, we review the evidence on reproduction in parasitic protists. We discuss protist reproduction in the light of parasitic life cycles and routes of transmission among hosts.

  7. Genetics, chromatin diminution, and sex chromosome evolution in the parasitic nematode genus Strongyloides.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nemetschke, Linda; Eberhardt, Alexander G; Hertzberg, Hubertus; Streit, Adrian

    2010-10-12

    When chromatin diminution occurs during a cell division a portion of the chromatin is eliminated, resulting in daughter cells with a smaller amount of genetic material. In the parasitic roundworms Ascaris and Parascaris, chromatin diminution creates a genetic difference between the soma and the germline. However, the function of chromatin diminution remains a mystery, because the vast majority of the eliminated DNA is noncoding. Within the parasitic roundworm genus Strongyloides, S. stercoralis (in man) and S. ratti (in rat) employ XX/XO sex determination, but the situation in S. papillosus (in sheep) is different but controversial. We demonstrate genetically that S. papillosus employs sex-specific chromatin diminution to eliminate an internal portion of one of the two homologs of one chromosome pair in males. Contrary to ascarids, the eliminated DNA in S. papillosus contains a large number of genes. We demonstrate that the region undergoing diminution is homologous to the X chromosome of the closely related S. ratti. The flanking regions, which are not diminished, are homologous to the S. ratti autosome number I. Furthermore, we found that the diminished chromosome is not incorporated into sperm, resulting in a male-specific transmission ratio distortion. Our data indicate that on the evolutionary path to S. papillosus, the X chromosome fused with an autosome. Chromatin diminution serves to functionally restore an XX/XO sex-determining system. A consequence of the fusion and the process that copes with it is a transmission ratio distortion in males for certain loci. Copyright © 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  8. Population Genetics of Hirsutella rhossiliensis, a Dominant Parasite of Cyst Nematode Juveniles on a Continental Scale.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Niuniu; Zhang, Yongjie; Jiang, Xianzhi; Shu, Chi; Hamid, M Imran; Hussain, Muzammil; Chen, Senyu; Xu, Jianping; Xiang, Meichun; Liu, Xingzhong

    2016-11-01

    Hirsutella rhossiliensis is a parasite of juvenile nematodes, effective against a diversity of plant-parasitic nematodes. Its global distribution on various nematode hosts and its genetic variation for several geographic regions have been reported, while the global population genetic structure and factors underlying patterns of genetic variation of H. rhossiliensis are unclear. In this study, 87 H. rhossiliensis strains from five nematode species (Globodera sp., Criconemella xenoplax, Rotylenchus robustus, Heterodera schachtii, and Heterodera glycines) in Europe, the United States, and China were investigated by multilocus sequence analyses. A total of 280 variable sites (frequency, 0.6%) at eight loci and six clustering in high accordance with geographic populations or host nematode-associated populations were identified. Although H. rhossiliensis is currently recognized as an asexual fungus, recombination events were frequently detected. In addition, significant genetic isolation by geography and nematode hosts was revealed. Overall, our analyses showed that recombination, geographic isolation, and nematode host adaptation have played significant roles in the evolutionary history of H. rhossiliensis IMPORTANCE: H. rhossiliensis has great potential for use as a biocontrol agent to control nematodes in a sustainable manner as an endoparasitic fungus. Therefore, this study has important implications for the use of H. rhossiliensis as a biocontrol agent and provides interesting insights into the biology of this species. Copyright © 2016, American Society for Microbiology. All Rights Reserved.

  9. 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.

  10. Resolving the infection process reveals striking differences in the contribution of environment, genetics and phylogeny to host-parasite interactions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Duneau, David; Luijckx, Pepijn; Ben-Ami, Frida; Laforsch, Christian; Ebert, Dieter

    2011-02-22

    Infection processes consist of a sequence of steps, each critical for the interaction between host and parasite. Studies of host-parasite interactions rarely take into account the fact that different steps might be influenced by different factors and might, therefore, make different contributions to shaping coevolution. We designed a new method using the Daphnia magna - Pasteuria ramosa system, one of the rare examples where coevolution has been documented, in order to resolve the steps of the infection and analyse the factors that influence each of them. Using the transparent Daphnia hosts and fluorescently-labelled spores of the bacterium P. ramosa, we identified a sequence of infection steps: encounter between parasite and host; activation of parasite dormant spores; attachment of spores to the host; and parasite proliferation inside the host. The chances of encounter had been shown to depend on host genotype and environment. We tested the role of genetic and environmental factors in the newly described activation and attachment steps. Hosts of different genotypes, gender and species were all able to activate endospores of all parasite clones tested in different environments; suggesting that the activation cue is phylogenetically conserved. We next established that parasite attachment occurs onto the host oesophagus independently of host species, gender and environmental conditions. In contrast to spore activation, attachment depended strongly on the combination of host and parasite genotypes. Our results show that different steps are influenced by different factors. Host-type-independent spore activation suggests that this step can be ruled out as a major factor in Daphnia-Pasteuria coevolution. On the other hand, we show that the attachment step is crucial for the pronounced genetic specificities of this system. We suggest that this one step can explain host population structure and could be a key force behind coevolutionary cycles. We discuss how different

  11. Resolving the infection process reveals striking differences in the contribution of environment, genetics and phylogeny to host-parasite interactions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Laforsch Christian

    2011-02-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Infection processes consist of a sequence of steps, each critical for the interaction between host and parasite. Studies of host-parasite interactions rarely take into account the fact that different steps might be influenced by different factors and might, therefore, make different contributions to shaping coevolution. We designed a new method using the Daphnia magna - Pasteuria ramosa system, one of the rare examples where coevolution has been documented, in order to resolve the steps of the infection and analyse the factors that influence each of them. Results Using the transparent Daphnia hosts and fluorescently-labelled spores of the bacterium P. ramosa, we identified a sequence of infection steps: encounter between parasite and host; activation of parasite dormant spores; attachment of spores to the host; and parasite proliferation inside the host. The chances of encounter had been shown to depend on host genotype and environment. We tested the role of genetic and environmental factors in the newly described activation and attachment steps. Hosts of different genotypes, gender and species were all able to activate endospores of all parasite clones tested in different environments; suggesting that the activation cue is phylogenetically conserved. We next established that parasite attachment occurs onto the host oesophagus independently of host species, gender and environmental conditions. In contrast to spore activation, attachment depended strongly on the combination of host and parasite genotypes. Conclusions Our results show that different steps are influenced by different factors. Host-type-independent spore activation suggests that this step can be ruled out as a major factor in Daphnia-Pasteuria coevolution. On the other hand, we show that the attachment step is crucial for the pronounced genetic specificities of this system. We suggest that this one step can explain host population structure and could be a key

  12. Host-parasite genotypic interactions in the honey bee: the dynamics of diversity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Evison, Sophie E F; Fazio, Geraldine; Chappell, Paula; Foley, Kirsten; Jensen, Annette B; Hughes, William O H

    2013-07-01

    Parasites are thought to be a major driving force shaping genetic variation in their host, and are suggested to be a significant reason for the maintenance of sexual reproduction. A leading hypothesis for the occurrence of multiple mating (polyandry) in social insects is that the genetic diversity generated within-colonies through this behavior promotes disease resistance. This benefit is likely to be particularly significant when colonies are exposed to multiple species and strains of parasites, but host-parasite genotypic interactions in social insects are little known. We investigated this using honey bees, which are naturally polyandrous and consequently produce genetically diverse colonies containing multiple genotypes (patrilines), and which are also known to host multiple strains of various parasite species. We found that host genotypes differed significantly in their resistance to different strains of the obligate fungal parasite that causes chalkbrood disease, while genotypic variation in resistance to the facultative fungal parasite that causes stonebrood disease was less pronounced. Our results show that genetic variation in disease resistance depends in part on the parasite genotype, as well as species, with the latter most likely relating to differences in parasite life history and host-parasite coevolution. Our results suggest that the selection pressure from genetically diverse parasites might be an important driving force in the evolution of polyandry, a mechanism that generates significant genetic diversity in social insects.

  13. A maternal-effect selfish genetic element in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ben-David, Eyal; Burga, Alejandro; Kruglyak, Leonid

    2017-06-09

    Selfish genetic elements spread in natural populations and have an important role in genome evolution. We discovered a selfish element causing embryonic lethality in crosses between wild strains of the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans The element is made up of sup-35 , a maternal-effect toxin that kills developing embryos, and pha-1 , its zygotically expressed antidote. pha-1 has long been considered essential for pharynx development on the basis of its mutant phenotype, but this phenotype arises from a loss of suppression of sup-35 toxicity. Inactive copies of the sup-35/pha-1 element show high sequence divergence from active copies, and phylogenetic reconstruction suggests that they represent ancestral stages in the evolution of the element. Our results suggest that other essential genes identified by genetic screens may turn out to be components of selfish elements. Copyright © 2017, American Association for the Advancement of Science.

  14. Genetic diversity and host specificity varies across three genera of blood parasites in ducks of the Pacific Americas Flyway

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reeves, Andrew B.; Smith, Matthew M.; Meixell, Brandt W.; Fleskes, Joseph P.; Ramey, Andrew M.

    2015-01-01

    Birds of the order Anseriformes, commonly referred to as waterfowl, are frequently infected by Haemosporidia of the genera Haemoproteus, Plasmodium, and Leucocytozoon via dipteran vectors. We analyzed nucleotide sequences of the Cytochrome b (Cytb) gene from parasites of these genera detected in six species of ducks from Alaska and California, USA to characterize the genetic diversity of Haemosporidia infecting waterfowl at two ends of the Pacific Americas Flyway. In addition, parasite Cytb sequences were compared to those available on a public database to investigate specificity of genetic lineages to hosts of the order Anseriformes. Haplotype and nucleotide diversity of Haemoproteus Cytb sequences was lower than was detected for Plasmodium and Leucocytozoon parasites. Although waterfowl are presumed to be infected by only a single species of Leucocytozoon, L. simondi, diversity indices were highest for haplotypes from this genus and sequences formed five distinct clades separated by genetic distances of 4.9%–7.6%, suggesting potential cryptic speciation. All Haemoproteus andLeucocytozoon haplotypes derived from waterfowl samples formed monophyletic clades in phylogenetic analyses and were unique to the order Anseriformes with few exceptions. In contrast, waterfowl-origin Plasmodium haplotypes were identical or closely related to lineages found in other avian orders. Our results suggest a more generalist strategy for Plasmodiumparasites infecting North American waterfowl as compared to those of the generaHaemoproteus and Leucocytozoon.

  15. Molecular genetics and epigenetics of CACTA elements

    KAUST Repository

    Fedoroff, Nina V.

    2013-08-21

    The CACTA transposons, so named for a highly conserved motif at element ends, comprise one of the most abundant superfamilies of Class 2 (cut-and-paste) plant transposons. CACTA transposons characteristically include subterminal sequences of several hundred nucleotides containing closely spaced direct and inverted repeats of a short, conserved sequence of 14-15 bp. The Supressor-mutator (Spm) transposon, identified and subjected to detailed genetic analysis by Barbara McClintock, remains the paradigmatic element of the CACTA family. The Spm transposon encodes two proteins required for transposition, the transposase (TnpD) and a regulatory protein (TnpA) that binds to the subterminal repeats. Spm expression is subject to both genetic and epigenetic regulation. The Spm-encoded TnpA serves as an activator of the epigenetically inactivated, methylated Spm, stimulating both transient and heritable activation of the transposon. TnpA also serves as a negative regulator of the demethylated active element promoter and is required, in addition to the TnpD, for transposition. © Springer Science+Business Media, New York 2013.

  16. Population structure and genetic diversity of the parasite Trichomonas vaginalis in Bristol, UK.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hawksworth, Joseph; Levy, Max; Smale, Chloe; Cheung, Dean; Whittle, Alice; Longhurst, Denise; Muir, Peter; Gibson, Wendy

    2015-08-01

    The protozoan parasite Trichomonas vaginalis is the causative agent of trichomoniasis, an extremely common, but non-life-threatening, sexually-transmitted disease throughout the world. Recent population genetics studies of T. vaginalis have detected high genetic diversity and revealed a two-type population structure, associated with phenotypic differences in sensitivity to metronidazole, the drug commonly used for treatment, and presence of T. vaginalis virus. There is currently a lack of data on UK isolates; most isolates examined to date are from the US. Here we used a recently described system for multilocus sequence typing (MLST) of T. vaginalis to study diversity of clinical isolates from Bristol, UK. We used MLST to characterise 23 clinical isolates of T. vaginalis collected from female patients during 2013. Seven housekeeping genes were PCR-amplified for each isolate and sequenced. The concatenated sequences were then compared with data from other MLST-characterised isolates available from http://tvaginalis.mlst.net/ to analyse the population structure and construct phylogenetic trees. Among the 23 isolates from the Bristol population of T. vaginalis, we found 23 polymorphic nucleotide sites, 25 different alleles and 19 sequence types (genotypes). Most isolates had a unique genotype, in agreement with the high levels of heterogeneity observed elsewhere in the world. A two-type population structure was evident from population genetic analysis and phylogenetic reconstruction split the isolates into two major clades. Tests for recombination in the Bristol population of T. vaginalis gave conflicting results, suggesting overall a clonal pattern of reproduction. We conclude that the Bristol population of T. vaginalis parasites conforms to the two-type population structure found in most other regions of the world. We found the MLST scheme to be an efficient genotyping method. The online MLST database provides a useful repository and resource that will prove

  17. Textile antenna integrated with compact AMC and parasitic elements for WLAN/WBAN applications

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lago, Herwansyah; Soh, Ping Jack; Jamlos, Mohd Faizal; Shohaimi, Nursuriati; Yan, Sen; Vandenbosch, Guy A. E.

    2016-12-01

    A wearable antenna fully designed and fabricated using textile is presented. Both antenna and artificial magnetic conductor plane are designed for operation in the wireless local area network (WLAN)/wireless body area network (WBAN) band from 2.4 to 2.5 GHz. The AMC unit element is designed based on the rectangular patch structure, which is then integrated using slots and slits for bandwidth broadening. Meanwhile, the combination of the slits and L-shaped parasitic elements applied at four edges of the rectangular antenna structure enabled unidirectional radiation outwards from the body. The structure is coaxially fed using a rectangular ring slot centered on the radiating element. Simulated and measured reflection and radiation performance indicate a satisfactory agreement, fulfilling the requirements for WLAN/WBAN applications both in free space and on body. The shielding effectiveness provided by the AMC plane is also evaluated numerically in terms of specific absorption rate, indicating levels below the European regulatory limit of 2 W/kg.

  18. Genetic variation in anti-parasite behavior in oysters

    Science.gov (United States)

    Behavioral avoidance of disease-causing parasites provides a first line of defense against the threat of infection, particularly when hosts are exposed to free-living parasite stages in the external environment. We report that suspension-feeding oysters (Crassostrea virginica) respond to the presenc...

  19. Foodborne parasites from wildlife

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kapel, Christian Moliin Outzen; Fredensborg, Brian Lund

    2015-01-01

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

  20. Toward forward genetic screens in malaria-causing parasites using the piggyBac transposon

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    de Koning-Ward Tania F

    2011-03-01

    Full Text Available Abstract The ability to analyze gene function in malaria-causing Plasmodium parasites has received a boost with a recent paper in BMC Genomics that describes a genome-wide mutagenesis system in the rodent malaria species Plasmodium berghei using the transposon piggyBac. This advance holds promise for identifying and validating new targets for intervention against malaria. But further improvements are still needed for the full power of genome-wide molecular genetic screens to be utilized in this organism. See research article: http://www.biomedcentral.com/1471-2164/12/155

  1. Life in a rock pool: Radiation and population genetics of myxozoan parasites in hosts inhabiting restricted spaces.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bartošová-Sojková, Pavla; Lövy, Alena; Reed, Cecile C; Lisnerová, Martina; Tomková, Tereza; Holzer, Astrid S; Fiala, Ivan

    2018-01-01

    Intertidal rock pools where fish and invertebrates are in constant close contact due to limited space and water level fluctuations represent ideal conditions to promote life cycles in parasites using these two alternate hosts and to study speciation processes that could contribute to understanding the roles of parasitic species in such ecosystems. Gall bladder and liver samples from five clinid fish species (Blenniiformes: Clinidae) were morphologically and molecularly examined to determine the diversity, prevalence, distribution and host specificity of Ceratomyxa parasites (Cnidaria: Myxozoa) in intertidal habitats along the coast of South Africa. Phylogenetic relationships of clinid ceratomyxids based on the SSU rDNA, LSU rDNA and ITS regions were assessed additionally to the investigation of population genetic structure of Ceratomyxa cottoidii and subsequent comparison with the data known from type fish host Clinus cottoides. Seven Ceratomyxa species including previously described Ceratomyxa dehoopi and C. cottoidii were recognized in clinids. They represent a diverse group of rapidly evolving, closely related species with a remarkably high prevalence in their hosts, little host specificity and frequent concurrent infections, most probably as a result of parasite radiation after multiple speciation events triggered by limited host dispersal within restricted spaces. C. cottoidii represents the most common clinid parasite with a population structure characterized by young expanding populations in the south west and south east coast and by older populations in equilibrium on the west coast of its distribution. Parasite and fish host population structures show overlapping patterns and are very likely affected by similar oceanographic barriers possibly due to reduced host dispersal enhancing parasite community differentiation. While fish host specificity had little impact on parasite population structure, the habitat preference of the alternate invertebrate host as

  2. Targeted mutagenesis in a human-parasitic nematode

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gang, Spencer S.; Castelletto, Michelle L.

    2017-01-01

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

  3. Assessment of nuclear and mitochondrial genes in precise identification and analysis of genetic polymorphisms for the evaluation of Leishmania parasites.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fotouhi-Ardakani, Reza; Dabiri, Shahriar; Ajdari, Soheila; Alimohammadian, Mohammad Hossein; AlaeeNovin, Elnaz; Taleshi, Neda; Parvizi, Parviz

    2016-12-01

    The polymorphism and genetic diversity of Leishmania genus has status under discussion depending on many items such as nuclear and/or mitochondrial genes, molecular tools, Leishmania species, geographical origin, condition of micro-environment of Leishmania parasites and isolation of Leishmania from clinical samples, reservoir host and vectors. The genetic variation of Leishmania species (L. major, L. tropica, L. tarentolae, L. mexicana, L. infantum) were analyzed and compared using mitochondrial (COII and Cyt b) and nuclear (nagt, ITS-rDNA and HSP70) genes. The role of each enzymatic (COII, Cyt b and nagt) or housekeeping (ITS-rDNA, HSP70) gene was employed for accurate identification of Leishmania parasites. After DNA extractions and amplifying of native, natural and reference strains of Leishmania parasites, polymerase chain reaction (PCR) products were sequenced and evaluation of genetic proximity and phylogenetic analysis were performed using MEGA6 and DnaSP5 software. Among the 72 sequences of the five genes, the number of polymorphic sites was significantly lower as compared to the monomorphic sites. Of the 72 sequences, 54 new haplotypes (five genes) of Leishmania species were submitted in GenBank (Access number: KU680818 - KU680871). Four genes had a remarkable number of informative sites (P=0.00), except HSP70 maybe because of its microsatellite regions. The non-synonymous (dN) variants of nagt gene were more than that of other expression genes (47.4%). The synonymous (dS)/dN ratio in three expression genes showed a significant variation between five Leishmania species (P=0.001). The highest and lowest levels of haplotype diversity were observed in L. tropica (81.35%) and L. major (28.38%) populations, respectively. Tajima's D index analyses showed that Cyt b gene in L. tropica species was significantly negative (Tajima's D=-2.2, PLeishmania parasites. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  4. Expression of parasite genetic variation changes over the course of infection: implications of within-host dynamics for the evolution of virulence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clerc, Melanie; Ebert, Dieter; Hall, Matthew D

    2015-04-07

    How infectious disease agents interact with their host changes during the course of infection and can alter the expression of disease-related traits. Yet by measuring parasite life-history traits at one or few moments during infection, studies have overlooked the impact of variable parasite growth trajectories on disease evolution. Here we show that infection-age-specific estimates of host and parasite fitness components can reveal new insight into the evolution of parasites. We do so by characterizing the within-host dynamics over an entire infection period for five genotypes of the castrating bacterial parasite Pasteuria ramosa infecting the crustacean Daphnia magna. Our results reveal that genetic variation for parasite-induced gigantism, host castration and parasite spore loads increases with the age of infection. Driving these patterns appears to be variation in how well the parasite maintains control of host reproduction late in the infection process. We discuss the evolutionary consequences of this finding with regard to natural selection acting on different ages of infection and the mechanism underlying the maintenance of castration efficiency. Our results highlight how elucidating within-host dynamics can shed light on the selective forces that shape infection strategies and the evolution of virulence. © 2015 The Author(s) Published by the Royal Society. All rights reserved.

  5. THE EVOLUTION OF PARASITES FROM THEIR HOSTS: A CASE STUDY IN THE PARASITIC RED ALGAE.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goff, Lynda J; Ashen, Jon; Moon, Debra

    1997-08-01

    Morphological similarities of many parasites and their hosts have led to speculation that some groups of plant, animal, fungal, and algal parasites may have evolved directly from their hosts. These parasites, which have been termed adelphoparasites in the botanical literature, and more recently, agastoparasites in the insect literature, may evolve monophyletically from one host and radiate secondarily to other hosts or, these parasites may arise polyphyletically, each arising from its own host. In this study we compare the internal transcribed spacer regions of the nuclear ribosomal repeats of species and formae specialis (host races) included in the red algal parasite genus Asterocolax with its hosts, which all belong to the Phycodrys group of the Delesseriaceae and with closely related nonhost taxa of the Delesseriaceae. These analyses reveal that species of Asterocolax have evolved polyphyletically. Asterocolax erythroglossi from the North Atlantic host Erythroglossum laciniatum appears to have evolved from its host, whereas taxa included in the north Pacific species Asterocolax gardneri have had two independent origins. Asterocolax gardneri from the host Polyneura latissima probably arose directly from this host. In contrast, all other A. gardneri formae specialis appear to have originated from either Phycodrys setchellii or P. isabelliae and radiated secondarily onto other closely related taxa of the Phycodrys group, including Nienburgia andersoniana and Anisocladella pacifica. Gamete crossing experiments confirm that A. gardneri from each host is genetically isolated from both its host, and from other A. gardneri and their hosts. Cross-infection experiments reveal that A. gardneri develops normally only on its natural host, although some abberrant growth may occur on alternate hosts. The ability of red algal parasites to radiate secondarily to other red algal taxa, where they may become isolated genetically and speciate, suggests that this process of

  6. Genetic diversity of the Plasmodium falciparum apical membrane antigen I gene in parasite population from the China-Myanmar border area.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhu, Xiaotong; Zhao, Zhenjun; Feng, Yonghui; Li, Peipei; Liu, Fei; Liu, Jun; Yang, Zhaoqing; Yan, Guiyun; Fan, Qi; Cao, Yaming; Cui, Liwang

    2016-04-01

    To investigate the genetic diversity of the Plasmodium falciparum apical membrane antigen 1 (PfAMA1) gene in Southeast Asia, we determined PfAMA1 sequences from 135 field isolates collected from the China-Myanmar border area and compared them with 956 publically available PfAMA1 sequences from seven global P. falciparum populations. This analysis revealed high genetic diversity of PfAMA1 in global P. falciparum populations with a total of 229 haplotypes identified. The genetic diversity of PfAMA1 gene from the China-Myanmar border is not evenly distributed in the different domains of this gene. Sequence diversity in PfAMA1 from the China-Myanmar border is lower than that observed in Thai, African and Oceanian populations, but higher than that in the South American population. This appeared to correlate well with the levels of endemicity of different malaria-endemic regions, where hyperendemic regions favor genetic cross of the parasite isolates and generation of higher genetic diversity. Neutrality tests show significant departure from neutrality in the entire ectodomain and Domain I of PfAMA1 in the China-Myanmar border parasite population. We found evidence supporting a substantial continent-wise genetic structure among P. falciparum populations, with the highest genetic differentiation detected between the China-Myanmar border and the South American populations. Whereas no alleles were unique to a specific region, there were considerable geographical differences in major alleles and their frequencies, highlighting further necessity to include more PfAMA1 alleles in vaccine designs. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  7. Transposable elements and genetic instabilities in crop plants

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Burr, B.; Burr, F.

    1981-04-10

    Transposable elements have long been associated with certain unstable loci in maize and have been intensively studied by McClintock and others. It is known that a transposable element can control the expression of the structural genes at the locus where it resides. These controlling elements in maize are now beginning to be studied at the molecular level. Using recombinant molecular probes we have been able to describe the changes induced by the controlling element Ds at the shrunken locus. Ds elements appear to be large and dissimilar insertions into the wild-type locus - two elements actually map within the transcribed region of the gene. Genetic instabilities have been described in other economically important plants but the bases for these phenomena have not been understood. We believe that it is likely that some of these instabilities are the result of transposable element activity much as in the case of maize.

  8. Virus world as an evolutionary network of viruses and capsidless selfish elements.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Koonin, Eugene V; Dolja, Valerian V

    2014-06-01

    Viruses were defined as one of the two principal types of organisms in the biosphere, namely, as capsid-encoding organisms in contrast to ribosome-encoding organisms, i.e., all cellular life forms. Structurally similar, apparently homologous capsids are present in a huge variety of icosahedral viruses that infect bacteria, archaea, and eukaryotes. These findings prompted the concept of the capsid as the virus "self" that defines the identity of deep, ancient viral lineages. However, several other widespread viral "hallmark genes" encode key components of the viral replication apparatus (such as polymerases and helicases) and combine with different capsid proteins, given the inherently modular character of viral evolution. Furthermore, diverse, widespread, capsidless selfish genetic elements, such as plasmids and various types of transposons, share hallmark genes with viruses. Viruses appear to have evolved from capsidless selfish elements, and vice versa, on multiple occasions during evolution. At the earliest, precellular stage of life's evolution, capsidless genetic parasites most likely emerged first and subsequently gave rise to different classes of viruses. In this review, we develop the concept of a greater virus world which forms an evolutionary network that is held together by shared conserved genes and includes both bona fide capsid-encoding viruses and different classes of capsidless replicons. Theoretical studies indicate that selfish replicons (genetic parasites) inevitably emerge in any sufficiently complex evolving ensemble of replicators. Therefore, the key signature of the greater virus world is not the presence of a capsid but rather genetic, informational parasitism itself, i.e., various degrees of reliance on the information processing systems of the host. Copyright © 2014, American Society for Microbiology. All Rights Reserved.

  9. Host-Parasite Interactions and Purifying Selection in a Microsporidian Parasite of Honey Bees.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huang, Qiang; Chen, Yan Ping; Wang, Rui Wu; Cheng, Shang; Evans, Jay D

    2016-01-01

    To clarify the mechanisms of Nosema ceranae parasitism, we deep-sequenced both honey bee host and parasite mRNAs throughout a complete 6-day infection cycle. By time-series analysis, 1122 parasite genes were significantly differently expressed during the reproduction cycle, clustering into 4 expression patterns. We found reactive mitochondrial oxygen species modulator 1 of the host to be significantly down regulated during the entire infection period. Our data support the hypothesis that apoptosis of honey bee cells was suppressed during infection. We further analyzed genome-wide genetic diversity of this parasite by comparing samples collected from the same site in 2007 and 2013. The number of SNP positions per gene and the proportion of non-synonymous substitutions per gene were significantly reduced over this time period, suggesting purifying selection on the parasite genome and supporting the hypothesis that a subset of N. ceranae strains might be dominating infection.

  10. A selfish genetic element confers non-Mendelian inheritance in rice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yu, Xiaowen; Zhao, Zhigang; Zheng, Xiaoming; Zhou, Jiawu; Kong, Weiyi; Wang, Peiran; Bai, Wenting; Zheng, Hai; Zhang, Huan; Li, Jing; Liu, Jiafan; Wang, Qiming; Zhang, Long; Liu, Kai; Yu, Yang; Guo, Xiuping; Wang, Jiulin; Lin, Qibing; Wu, Fuqing; Ren, Yulong; Zhu, Shanshan; Zhang, Xin; Cheng, Zhijun; Lei, Cailin; Liu, Shijia; Liu, Xi; Tian, Yunlu; Jiang, Ling; Ge, Song; Wu, Chuanyin; Tao, Dayun; Wang, Haiyang; Wan, Jianmin

    2018-06-08

    Selfish genetic elements are pervasive in eukaryote genomes, but their role remains controversial. We show that qHMS7 , a major quantitative genetic locus for hybrid male sterility between wild rice ( Oryza meridionalis ) and Asian cultivated rice ( O. sativa ), contains two tightly linked genes [ Open Reading Frame 2 ( ORF2 ) and ORF3 ]. ORF2 encodes a toxic genetic element that aborts pollen in a sporophytic manner, whereas ORF3 encodes an antidote that protects pollen in a gametophytic manner. Pollens lacking ORF3 are selectively eliminated, leading to segregation distortion in the progeny. Analysis of the genetic sequence suggests that ORF3 arose first, followed by gradual functionalization of ORF2 Furthermore, this toxin-antidote system may have promoted the differentiation and/or maintained the genome stability of wild and cultivated rice. Copyright © 2018 The Authors, some rights reserved; exclusive licensee American Association for the Advancement of Science. No claim to original U.S. Government Works.

  11. In silico exploration of the impact of pasture larvae contamination and anthelmintic treatment on genetic parameter estimates for parasite resistance in grazing sheep.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Laurenson, Y C S M; Kyriazakis, I; Bishop, S C

    2012-07-01

    A mathematical model was developed to investigate the impact of level of Teladorsagia circumcincta larval pasture contamination and anthelmintic treatment on genetic parameter estimates for performance and resistance to parasites in sheep. Currently great variability is seen for published correlations between performance and resistance, with estimates appearing to vary with production environment. The model accounted for host genotype and parasitism in a population of lambs, incorporating heritable between-lamb variation in host-parasite interactions, with genetic independence of input growth and immunological variables. An epidemiological module was linked to the host-parasite interaction module via food intake (FI) to create a grazing scenario. The model was run for a population of lambs growing from 2 mo of age, grazing on pasture initially contaminated with 0, 1,000, 3,000, or 5,000 larvae/kg DM, and given either no anthelmintic treatment or drenched at 30-d intervals. The mean population values for FI and empty BW (EBW) decreased with increasing levels of initial larval contamination (IL(0)), with non-drenched lambs having a greater reduction than drenched ones. For non-drenched lambs the maximum mean population values for worm burden (WB) and fecal egg count (FEC) increased and occurred earlier for increasing IL(0), with values being similar for all IL(0) at the end of the simulation. Drenching was predicted to suppress WB and FEC, and cause reduced pasture contamination. The heritability of EBW for non-drenched lambs was predicted to be initially high (0.55) and decreased over time with increasing IL(0), whereas drenched lambs remained high throughout. The heritability of WB and FEC for all lambs was initially low (∼0.05) and increased with time to ∼0.25, with increasing IL(0) leading to this value being reached at faster rates. The genetic correlation between EBW and FEC was initially ∼-0.3. As time progressed the correlation tended towards 0, before

  12. Method of electronic beam steering for circular switched parasitic dipole arrays

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Mofolo, M

    2010-09-01

    Full Text Available is controlled by open- and shortcircuiting the parasitic elements. By appropriately selecting correct combination of short- and opencircuited parasitic elements together with the active element, a set of radiation patterns is formed covering the horizontal plane...

  13. Genetic parameters of infectious bovine keratoconjunctivitis and its relationship with weight and parasite infestations in Australian tropical Bos taurus cattle

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ali, A.; O'Neill, C.J.; Thomson, P.C.

    2012-01-01

    recorded for tick counts, helminth eggs counts as an indicator of intestinal parasites and live weights at several ages including 18 months. Results: Negative genetic correlations were estimated between IBK incidence and weight traits for animals in pre-weaning and post-weaning datasets. Genetic......Background: Infectious bovine keratoconjunctivitis (IBK) or 'pinkeye' is an economically important ocular disease that significantly impacts animal performance. Genetic parameters for IBK infection and its genetic and phenotypic correlations with cattle tick counts, number of helminth (unspecified...... correlations among weight measurements were positive, with moderate to high values. Genetic correlations of IBK incidence with tick counts were positive for the pre-weaning and negative for the post-weaning datasets but negative with helminth eggs counts for the pre-weaning dataset and slightly positive...

  14. Host-Parasite Interactions and Purifying Selection in a Microsporidian Parasite of Honey Bees.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Qiang Huang

    Full Text Available To clarify the mechanisms of Nosema ceranae parasitism, we deep-sequenced both honey bee host and parasite mRNAs throughout a complete 6-day infection cycle. By time-series analysis, 1122 parasite genes were significantly differently expressed during the reproduction cycle, clustering into 4 expression patterns. We found reactive mitochondrial oxygen species modulator 1 of the host to be significantly down regulated during the entire infection period. Our data support the hypothesis that apoptosis of honey bee cells was suppressed during infection. We further analyzed genome-wide genetic diversity of this parasite by comparing samples collected from the same site in 2007 and 2013. The number of SNP positions per gene and the proportion of non-synonymous substitutions per gene were significantly reduced over this time period, suggesting purifying selection on the parasite genome and supporting the hypothesis that a subset of N. ceranae strains might be dominating infection.

  15. 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.

  16. Intestinal parasite infections in a rural community of Rio de Janeiro (Brazil): Prevalence and genetic diversity of Blastocystis subtypes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barbosa, Carolina Valença; Barreto, Magali Muniz; Andrade, Rosemary de Jesus; Sodré, Fernando; d'Avila-Levy, Claudia Masini; Peralta, José Mauro; Igreja, Ricardo Pereira; de Macedo, Heloisa Werneck; Santos, Helena Lucia Carneiro

    2018-01-01

    Intestinal parasitic infections are considered a serious public health problem and widely distributed worldwide, mainly in urban and rural environments of tropical and subtropical countries. Globally, soil-transmitted helminths and protozoa are the most common intestinal parasites. Blastocystis sp. is a highly prevalent suspected pathogenic protozoan, and considered an unusual protist due to its significant genetic diversity and host plasticity. A total of 294 stool samples were collected from inhabitants of three rural valleys in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The stool samples were evaluated by parasitological methods, fecal culture, nested PCR and PCR/Sequencing. Overall prevalence by parasitological analyses was 64.3% (189 out of 294 cases). Blastocystis sp. (55.8%) was the most prevalent, followed by Endolimax nana (18.7%), Entamoeba histolytica complex (7.1%), hookworm infection (7.1%), Entomoeba coli (5.8%), Giardia intestinalis (4.1%), Iodamoeba butchilii (1.0%), Trichuris trichiura (1.0%), Pentatrichomonas hominis (0.7%), Enterobius vermicularis (0.7%), Ascaris lumbricoides (0.7%) and Strongyloides stercoralis (0.7%). Prevalence of IPIs was significantly different by gender. Phylogenetic analysis of Blastocystis sp. and BLAST search revealed five different subtypes: ST3 (34.0%), ST1 (27.0%), ST2 (27.0%), ST4 (3.5%), ST8 (7.0%) and a non-identified subtype. Our findings demonstrate that intestinal parasite infection rates in rural areas of the Sumidouro municipality of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil are still high and remain a challenge to public health. Moreover, our data reveals significant genetic heterogeneity of Blastocystis sp. subtypes and a possible novel subtype, whose confirmation will require additional data. Our study contributes to the understanding of potential routes of transmission, epidemiology, and genetic diversity of Blastocystis sp. in rural areas both at a regional and global scale.

  17. Introduction of New Parasites in Denmark

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Enemark, Heidi L.

    examples of such parasites/parasitic diseases: Setaria tundra, a mosquito-borne filarioid nematode which was detected for the first time in Danish deer in 2010. This parasite is usually considered harmless but is capable of causing peritonitis and mortality in ungulates. The newly detected parasite...... was genetically very similar to previously published isolates from France and Italy, and may have been spread to Denmark from southern Europe. Giardia spp. a zoonotic, unicellular parasite (protozoa) well known in Danish livestock but recently found in extremely high numbers in Danish deer with chronic diarrhea...... for the first time in Denmark approximately 10 years ago in 3 foxes from the Copenhagen area. Since then, no systematic surveillance has been performed, and therefore the current prevalence among wildlife and pets is unknown. So far the parasite has not been found in intermediate hosts (rodents) in Denmark...

  18. Concentrations of 17 elements in the zebra mussel (Dreissena polymorpha), in different tissues of perch (Perca fluviatilis), and in perch intestinal parasites (Acanthocephalus lucii) from the subalpine lake Mondsee, Austria

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Sures, B.; Steiner, W.; Rydlo, M.; Taraschewski, H.

    1999-11-01

    Concentrations of the elements Al, Ag, Ba, ca, Cd, Co, Cr, cu, Fe, Ga, Mg, Mn, Ni, Pb, Sr, Tl, and Zn were analyzed by inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry in the acanthocephalan Acanthocephalus lucii (Mueller); in its host, Perca fluviatilis (L.), and in the soft tissue of the zebra mussel, Dreissena polymorpha (Pallas). All animals were collected from the same sampling site in a subalpine lake, Mondsee, in Austria. Most of the elements were found at significantly higher concentrations in the acanthocephalan than in different tissues (muscle, liver, and intestinal wall) of its perch host. Only Co was concentrated in the liver of perch to a level that was significantly higher than that found in the parasite. Most of the analyzed elements were also present at significantly higher concentrations in A. lucii than in D. polymorpha. Barium and Cr were the only elements recorded at higher concentrations in the mussel compared with the acanthocephalan. Thus, when comparing the accumulation of elements, the acanthocephalans appear to be even more suitable than the zebra mussels in terms of their use in the detection of metal contamination within aquatic biotopes. Spearman correlation analysis revealed that the concentrations of several elements within the parasites decreased with increasing infrapopulation. Furthermore, the levels of some elements in the perch liver were negatively correlated with the weight of A. lucii in the intestine. Thus, it emerged that not only is there competition for elements between acanthocephalans inside the gut but there is also competition for these elements between the host and the parasites. The elevated element concentrations demonstrated here in the parasitic worm A. lucii provide support for further investigations of these common helminthes and of their accumulation properties.

  19. Empirical support for optimal virulence in a castrating parasite.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Knut Helge Jensen

    2006-07-01

    Full Text Available The trade-off hypothesis for the evolution of virulence predicts that parasite transmission stage production and host exploitation are balanced such that lifetime transmission success (LTS is maximised. However, the experimental evidence for this prediction is weak, mainly because LTS, which indicates parasite fitness, has been difficult to measure. For castrating parasites, this simple model has been modified to take into account that parasites convert host reproductive resources into transmission stages. Parasites that kill the host too early will hardly benefit from these resources, while postponing the killing of the host results in diminished returns. As predicted from optimality models, a parasite inducing castration should therefore castrate early, but show intermediate levels of virulence, where virulence is measured as time to host killing. We studied virulence in an experimental system where a bacterial parasite castrates its host and produces spores that are not released until after host death. This permits estimating the LTS of the parasite, which can then be related to its virulence. We exposed replicate individual Daphnia magna (Crustacea of one host clone to the same amount of bacterial spores and followed individuals until their death. We found that the parasite shows strong variation in the time to kill its host and that transmission stage production peaks at an intermediate level of virulence. A further experiment tested for the genetic basis of variation in virulence by comparing survival curves of daphniids infected with parasite spores obtained from early killing versus late killing infections. Hosts infected with early killer spores had a significantly higher death rate as compared to those infected with late killers, indicating that variation in time to death was at least in part caused by genetic differences among parasites. We speculate that the clear peak in lifetime reproductive success at intermediate killing times

  20. The origin of malarial parasites in orangutans.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M Andreína Pacheco

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Recent findings of Plasmodium in African apes have changed our perspectives on the evolution of malarial parasites in hominids. However, phylogenetic analyses of primate malarias are still missing information from Southeast Asian apes. In this study, we report molecular data for a malaria parasite lineage found in orangutans. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We screened twenty-four blood samples from Pongo pygmaeus (Kalimantan, Indonesia for Plasmodium parasites by PCR. For all the malaria positive orangutan samples, parasite mitochondrial genomes (mtDNA and two antigens: merozoite surface protein 1 42 kDa (MSP-1(42 and circumsporozoite protein gene (CSP were amplified, cloned, and sequenced. Fifteen orangutans tested positive and yielded 5 distinct mitochondrial haplotypes not previously found. The haplotypes detected exhibited low genetic divergence among them, indicating that they belong to one species. We report phylogenetic analyses using mitochondrial genomes, MSP-1(42 and CSP. We found that the orangutan malaria parasite lineage was part of a monophyletic group that includes all the known non-human primate malaria parasites found in Southeast Asia; specifically, it shares a recent common ancestor with P. inui (a macaque parasite and P. hylobati (a gibbon parasite suggesting that this lineage originated as a result of a host switch. The genetic diversity of MSP-1(42 in orangutans seems to be under negative selection. This result is similar to previous findings in non-human primate malarias closely related to P. vivax. As has been previously observed in the other Plasmodium species found in non-human primates, the CSP shows high polymorphism in the number of repeats. However, it has clearly distinctive motifs from those previously found in other malarial parasites. CONCLUSION: The evidence available from Asian apes indicates that these parasites originated independently from those found in Africa, likely as the result of host

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-03-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wendy Gibson

    2015-03-01

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

  3. Genotype-specific interactions and the trade-off between host and parasite fitness

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shykoff Jacqui A

    2007-10-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Evolution of parasite traits is inextricably linked to their hosts. For instance one common definition of parasite virulence is the reduction in host fitness due to infection. Thus, traits of infection must be viewed in both protagonists and may be under shared genetic and physiological control. We investigated these questions on the oomycete Hyaloperonospora arabidopsis (= parasitica, a natural pathogen of the Brassicaceae Arabidopsis thaliana. Results We performed a controlled cross inoculation experiment confronting six lines of the host plant with seven strains of the parasite in order to evaluate genetic variation for phenotypic traits of infection among hosts, parasites, and distinct combinations. Parasite infection intensity and transmission were highly variable among parasite strains and host lines but depended also on the interaction between particular genotypes of the protagonists, and genetic variation for the infection phenotype of parasites from natural populations was found even at a small spatial scale within population. Furthermore, increased parasite fitness led to a significant decrease in host fitness only on a single host line (Gb, although a trade-off between these two traits was expected because host and parasite share the same resource pool for their respective reproduction. We propose that different levels of compatibility dependent on genotype by genotype interactions might lead to different amounts of resources available for host and parasite reproduction. This variation in compatibility could thus mask the expected negative relationship between host and parasite fitness, as the total resource pool would not be constant. Conclusion These results highlight the importance of host variation in the determination of parasite fitness traits. This kind of interaction may in turn decouple the relationship between parasite transmission and its negative effect on host fitness, altering theoretical predictions

  4. Inadvertent presence of genetically modified elements in maize food ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    owner

    2013-07-31

    Jul 31, 2013 ... The maize imported into Kenya contained Bt genetic elements. Nevertheless, the .... obtained from various open air markets and retail shops located in ... Magic, Bokomo and Temmy) was not successful. Assessment of cry1Ab ...

  5. 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...

  6. Parasites as Biological Tags for Stock Discrimination of Beaked Redfish (Sebastes mentella: Parasite Infra-Communities vs. Limited Resolution of Cytochrome Markers.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Regina Klapper

    Full Text Available The use of parasites as biological tags for discrimination of fish stocks has become a commonly used approach in fisheries management. Metazoan parasite community analysis and anisakid nematode population genetics based on a mitochondrial cytochrome marker were applied in order to assess the usefulness of the two parasitological methods for stock discrimination of beaked redfish Sebastes mentella of three fishing grounds in the North East Atlantic. Multivariate, model-based approaches demonstrated that the metazoan parasite fauna of beaked redfish from East Greenland differed from Tampen, northern North Sea, and Bear Island, Barents Sea. A joint model (latent variable model was used to estimate the effects of covariates on parasite species and identified four parasite species as main source of differences among fishing grounds; namely Chondracanthus nodosus, Anisakis simplex s.s., Hysterothylacium aduncum, and Bothriocephalus scorpii. Due to its high abundance and differences between fishing grounds, Anisakis simplex s.s. was considered as a major biological tag for host stock differentiation. Whilst the sole examination of Anisakis simplex s.s. on a population genetic level is only of limited use, anisakid nematodes (in particular, A. simplex s.s. can serve as biological tags on a parasite community level. This study confirmed the use of multivariate analyses as a tool to evaluate parasite infra-communities and to identify parasite species that might serve as biological tags. The present study suggests that S. mentella in the northern North Sea and Barents Sea is not sub-structured.

  7. Mobile genetic elements in protozoan parasites

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Unknown

    thought to aid the transposition of their nonautonomous counterparts .... experiments with gene fusion constructs) and vary in number in ... T. brucei. Since RIME insertion is thought to activate ..... actions to form an aggregate or core particle.

  8. Identification of Multiple Loci Associated with Social Parasitism in Honeybees.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wallberg, Andreas; Pirk, Christian W; Allsopp, Mike H; Webster, Matthew T

    2016-06-01

    In colonies of the honeybee Apis mellifera, the queen is usually the only reproductive female, which produces new females (queens and workers) by laying fertilized eggs. However, in one subspecies of A. mellifera, known as the Cape bee (A. m. capensis), worker bees reproduce asexually by thelytoky, an abnormal form of meiosis where two daughter nucleii fuse to form single diploid eggs, which develop into females without being fertilized. The Cape bee also exhibits a suite of phenotypes that facilitate social parasitism whereby workers lay such eggs in foreign colonies so their offspring can exploit their resources. The genetic basis of this switch to social parasitism in the Cape bee is unknown. To address this, we compared genome variation in a sample of Cape bees with other African populations. We find genetic divergence between these populations to be very low on average but identify several regions of the genome with extreme differentiation. The regions are strongly enriched for signals of selection in Cape bees, indicating that increased levels of positive selection have produced the unique set of derived phenotypic traits in this subspecies. Genetic variation within these regions allows unambiguous genetic identification of Cape bees and likely underlies the genetic basis of social parasitism. The candidate loci include genes involved in ecdysteroid signaling and juvenile hormone and dopamine biosynthesis, which may regulate worker ovary activation and others whose products localize at the centrosome and are implicated in chromosomal segregation during meiosis. Functional analysis of these loci will yield insights into the processes of reproduction and chemical signaling in both parasitic and non-parasitic populations and advance understanding of the process of normal and atypical meiosis.

  9. Identification of Multiple Loci Associated with Social Parasitism in Honeybees.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andreas Wallberg

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available In colonies of the honeybee Apis mellifera, the queen is usually the only reproductive female, which produces new females (queens and workers by laying fertilized eggs. However, in one subspecies of A. mellifera, known as the Cape bee (A. m. capensis, worker bees reproduce asexually by thelytoky, an abnormal form of meiosis where two daughter nucleii fuse to form single diploid eggs, which develop into females without being fertilized. The Cape bee also exhibits a suite of phenotypes that facilitate social parasitism whereby workers lay such eggs in foreign colonies so their offspring can exploit their resources. The genetic basis of this switch to social parasitism in the Cape bee is unknown. To address this, we compared genome variation in a sample of Cape bees with other African populations. We find genetic divergence between these populations to be very low on average but identify several regions of the genome with extreme differentiation. The regions are strongly enriched for signals of selection in Cape bees, indicating that increased levels of positive selection have produced the unique set of derived phenotypic traits in this subspecies. Genetic variation within these regions allows unambiguous genetic identification of Cape bees and likely underlies the genetic basis of social parasitism. The candidate loci include genes involved in ecdysteroid signaling and juvenile hormone and dopamine biosynthesis, which may regulate worker ovary activation and others whose products localize at the centrosome and are implicated in chromosomal segregation during meiosis. Functional analysis of these loci will yield insights into the processes of reproduction and chemical signaling in both parasitic and non-parasitic populations and advance understanding of the process of normal and atypical meiosis.

  10. Enhanced transmission of drug-resistant parasites to mosquitoes following drug treatment in rodent malaria.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andrew S Bell

    Full Text Available The evolution of drug resistant Plasmodium parasites is a major challenge to effective malaria control. In theory, competitive interactions between sensitive parasites and resistant parasites within infections are a major determinant of the rate at which parasite evolution undermines drug efficacy. Competitive suppression of resistant parasites in untreated hosts slows the spread of resistance; competitive release following treatment enhances it. Here we report that for the murine model Plasmodium chabaudi, co-infection with drug-sensitive parasites can prevent the transmission of initially rare resistant parasites to mosquitoes. Removal of drug-sensitive parasites following chemotherapy enabled resistant parasites to transmit to mosquitoes as successfully as sensitive parasites in the absence of treatment. We also show that the genetic composition of gametocyte populations in host venous blood accurately reflects the genetic composition of gametocytes taken up by mosquitoes. Our data demonstrate that, at least for this mouse model, aggressive chemotherapy leads to very effective transmission of highly resistant parasites that are present in an infection, the very parasites which undermine the long term efficacy of front-line drugs.

  11. Fauna Europaea: Helminths (Animal Parasitic)

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

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

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

  12. Non-specific immunization against parasites

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Cox, F.E.G.

    1981-01-01

    Non-specific resistance to tumours can be induced by pretreating animals with micro-organisms, microbial extracts or various synthetic substances. Mycobacterium bovis, Corynebacterium parvum and a number of other micro-organisms also protect mice against rodent piroplasms and there is evidence that they are also protective against other parasites including Schistosoma mansoni. The actual mechanisms of non-specific immunity are still unclear but it is influenced by both the genetic make-up of the host and the nature of the parasite. Non-specific immunization may be a possible alternative to specific immunization and may avoid many of the potential immunopathological changes induced during parasite infections. Irradiated vaccines (Dictyocaulus viviparus, schistomiasis) are mentioned marginally only

  13. Performance and parasite control of different genetic groups of lambs finished in irrigated pasture

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    G.A. Fernandes Júnior

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available The aim of this study was to compare the following four genetic groups of hair sheep: Santa Inês (SI, Morada Nova (MN, Brazilian Somali (BS, and the F1 1/2Dorper x 1/2Morada Nova crossbreed on traits related to growth and parasitic infection. Thirty-three male lambs of the same age and of simple birth, under the same pre-weaning management conditions were used in the experiment. After weaning the animals were housed in a completely randomized design in paddocks made of Panicum maximum cv. Tanzania. Along the course of the research, the performance of the four groups of sheep was observed to be negatively affected by gastrointestinal parasites, but there was a genotype effect to the average daily weight gain (ADWG, where the SI and F1 genotypes presented higher values. The effects of genotype, time and genotype x time interaction were significant in weight and corporal score (CS measurements. The BS lambs had the highest CS values throughout the experiment despite not presenting greater weight gain when compared to the SI and F1 breeds. There were also significant effects of time and genotype x time interaction for packed cell volume (PCV and FAMACHA© score (FAM and only the time effect was significant in the total number of eggs per gram (EPG and total plasma protein (TPP. The MN lambs showed higher PCV values and unlike the other groups, presented a FAMACHA© score below 3 and PCV above 23% even having a higher EPG tendency, especially in the initial phase, indicating a possible higher resilience to infection caused by gastrointestinal parasites.

  14. Parasites and deleterious mutations: interactions influencing the evolutionary maintenance of sex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Park, A W; Jokela, J; Michalakis, Y

    2010-05-01

    The restrictive assumptions associated with purely genetic and purely ecological mechanisms suggest that neither of the two forces, in isolation, can offer a general explanation for the evolutionary maintenance of sex. Consequently, attention has turned to pluralistic models (i.e. models that apply both ecological and genetic mechanisms). Existing research has shown that combining mutation accumulation and parasitism allows restrictive assumptions about genetic and parasite parameter values to be relaxed while still predicting the maintenance of sex. However, several empirical studies have shown that deleterious mutations and parasitism can reduce fitness to a greater extent than would be expected if the two acted independently. We show how interactions between these genetic and ecological forces can completely reverse predictions about the evolution of reproductive modes. Moreover, we demonstrate that synergistic interactions between infection and deleterious mutations can render sex evolutionarily stable even when there is antagonistic epistasis among deleterious mutations, thereby widening the conditions for the evolutionary maintenance of sex.

  15. Found in Translation: Applying Lessons from Model Systems to Strigolactone Signaling in Parasitic Plants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lumba, Shelley; Subha, Asrinus; McCourt, Peter

    2017-07-01

    Strigolactones (SLs) are small molecules that act as endogenous hormones to regulate plant development as well as exogenous cues that help parasitic plants to infect their hosts. Given that parasitic plants are experimentally challenging systems, researchers are using two approaches to understand how they respond to host-derived SLs. The first involves extrapolating information on SLs from model genetic systems to dissect their roles in parasitic plants. The second uses chemicals to probe SL signaling directly in the parasite Striga hermonthica. These approaches indicate that parasitic plants have co-opted a family of α/β hydrolases to perceive SLs. The importance of this genetic and chemical information cannot be overstated since parasitic plant infestations are major obstacles to food security in the developing world. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  16. 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.

  17. ADOPTION OF YOUNG AND INTRASPECIFIC NEST PARASITISM IN BARNACLE GEESE

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    CHOUDHURY, S; JONES, CS; BLACK, JM; PROP, J

    Prior to use of genetic techniques, extra-pair copulations and intraspecific brood parasitism were rarely observed in long-term monogamous geese. DNA fingerprinting analysis of nine families of Barnacle Geese (Branta leucopsis) revealed one case of intraspecific nest parasitism with the offspring

  18. Genetic regulation of parasite infection: empirical evidence of the functional significance of an IL4 gene SNP on nematode infections in wild primates

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kappeler Peter M

    2011-04-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Susceptibility to parasite infection affects fitness-related processes, such as mate choice and survival, yet its genetic regulation remains poorly understood. Interleukin-4 (IL4 plays a central role in the humoral immune defence against nematode parasite infections, inducing IgE switch and regulation of worm expulsion from the intestines. The evolutionary and functional significance of single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs in IL4-genes is known, yet empirical information on the effect of IL4 SNPs on gastro-intestinal infections is lacking. Using samples from a population of wild red-fronted lemurs (Eulemur fulvus rufus, Primates: Lemuridae, from western Madagascar, we explored the association of IL4-gene promoter polymorphisms with nematode infections and investigated a possible functional role of the IL4 polymorphism on male reproductive success. Results Using sequence analyses of lemur DNA we detected a new SNP in the IL4 gene promoter area. Carriers of the genotype T/T showed higher nematode infection intensities than individuals of genotypes C/T and C/C. Genetic population analyses using data from more than 10 years, suggested higher reproductive success of T/T males than expected. Conclusions Our results suggest a regulatory effect of an IL4 gene promoter polymorphism on the intensity of parasite infections in a natural population of red-fronted lemurs, with a seemingly disadvantageous genotype represented in low frequencies. Long-term population analyses, however, point in the direction of a negative frequency-dependent association, giving a fitness advantage to the rare genotype. Due to low frequencies of the genotype in question conclusive evidence of a functional role of IL4 polymorphism cannot be drawn here; still, we suggest the use of IL4 polymorphism as a new molecular tool for quick assessment of individual genetic constitution with regard to nematode infection intensities, contributing to a better

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Apicomplexan parasites such as Babesia, Theileria, Cryptosporidium, and Toxoplasma have a high negative impact on animal health globally, and improved, cost-effective measures to control them are urgently required. These parasites have complex multi-stage life cycles including obligate intracellular...

  20. Bioinformatic analysis of Entamoeba histolytica SINE1 elements

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Butcher Sarah A

    2010-05-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Invasive amoebiasis, caused by infection with the human parasite Entamoeba histolytica remains a major cause of morbidity and mortality in some less-developed countries. Genetically E. histolytica exhibits a number of unusual features including having approximately 20% of its genome comprised of repetitive elements. These include a number of families of SINEs - non-autonomous elements which can, however, move with the help of partner LINEs. In many eukaryotes SINE mobility has had a profound effect on gene expression; in this study we concentrated on one such element - EhSINE1, looking in particular for evidence of recent transposition. Results EhSINE1s were detected in the newly reassembled E. histolytica genome by searching with a Hidden Markov Model developed to encapsulate the key features of this element; 393 were detected. Examination of their sequences revealed that some had an internal structure showing one to four 26-27 nt repeats. Members of the different classes differ in a number of ways and in particular those with two internal repeats show the properties expected of fairly recently transposed SINEs - they are the most homogeneous in length and sequence, they have the longest (i.e. the least decayed target site duplications and are the most likely to show evidence (in a cDNA library of active transcription. Furthermore we were able to identify 15 EhSINE1s (6 pairs and one triplet which appeared to be identical or very nearly so but inserted into different sites in the genome; these provide good evidence that if mobility has now ceased it has only done so very recently. Conclusions Of the many families of repetitive elements present in the genome of E. histolytica we have examined in detail just one - EhSINE1. We have shown that there is evidence for waves of transposition at different points in the past and no evidence that mobility has entirely ceased. There are many aspects of the biology of this parasite which

  1. Functional genomics approaches in parasitic helminths.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hagen, J; Lee, E F; Fairlie, W D; Kalinna, B H

    2012-01-01

    As research on parasitic helminths is moving into the post-genomic era, an enormous effort is directed towards deciphering gene function and to achieve gene annotation. The sequences that are available in public databases undoubtedly hold information that can be utilized for new interventions and control but the exploitation of these resources has until recently remained difficult. Only now, with the emergence of methods to genetically manipulate and transform parasitic worms will it be possible to gain a comprehensive understanding of the molecular mechanisms involved in nutrition, metabolism, developmental switches/maturation and interaction with the host immune system. This review focuses on functional genomics approaches in parasitic helminths that are currently used, to highlight potential applications of these technologies in the areas of cell biology, systems biology and immunobiology of parasitic helminths. © 2011 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

  2. Finite element analysis and genetic algorithm optimization design for the actuator placement on a large adaptive structure

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sheng, Lizeng

    The dissertation focuses on one of the major research needs in the area of adaptive/intelligent/smart structures, the development and application of finite element analysis and genetic algorithms for optimal design of large-scale adaptive structures. We first review some basic concepts in finite element method and genetic algorithms, along with the research on smart structures. Then we propose a solution methodology for solving a critical problem in the design of a next generation of large-scale adaptive structures---optimal placements of a large number of actuators to control thermal deformations. After briefly reviewing the three most frequently used general approaches to derive a finite element formulation, the dissertation presents techniques associated with general shell finite element analysis using flat triangular laminated composite elements. The element used here has three nodes and eighteen degrees of freedom and is obtained by combining a triangular membrane element and a triangular plate bending element. The element includes the coupling effect between membrane deformation and bending deformation. The membrane element is derived from the linear strain triangular element using Cook's transformation. The discrete Kirchhoff triangular (DKT) element is used as the plate bending element. For completeness, a complete derivation of the DKT is presented. Geometrically nonlinear finite element formulation is derived for the analysis of adaptive structures under the combined thermal and electrical loads. Next, we solve the optimization problems of placing a large number of piezoelectric actuators to control thermal distortions in a large mirror in the presence of four different thermal loads. We then extend this to a multi-objective optimization problem of determining only one set of piezoelectric actuator locations that can be used to control the deformation in the same mirror under the action of any one of the four thermal loads. A series of genetic algorithms

  3. The Chagas disease domestic transmission cycle in Guatemala: Parasite-vector switches and lack of mitochondrial co-diversification between Triatoma dimidiata and Trypanosoma cruzi subpopulations suggest non-vectorial parasite dispersal across the Motagua valley.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pennington, Pamela M; Messenger, Louisa Alexandra; Reina, Jeffrey; Juárez, José G; Lawrence, Gena G; Dotson, Ellen M; Llewellyn, Martin S; Cordón-Rosales, Celia

    2015-11-01

    Parasites transmitted by insects must adapt to their vectors and reservoirs. Chagas disease, an American zoonosis caused by Trypanosoma cruzi, is transmitted by several species of triatomines. In Central America, Triatoma dimidiata is a widely dispersed vector found in sylvatic and domestic habitats, with distinct populations across the endemic region of Guatemala. Our aim was to test the strength of association between vector and parasite genetic divergence in domestic environments. Microsatellite (MS) loci were used to characterize parasites isolated from T. dimidiata (n=112) collected in domestic environments. Moderate genetic differentiation was observed between parasites north and south of the Motagua Valley, an ancient biogeographic barrier (FST 0.138, p=0.009). Slightly reduced genotypic diversity and increased heterozygosity in the north (Allelic richness (Ar)=1.00-6.05, FIS -0.03) compared to the south (Ar=1.47-6.30, FIS 0.022) suggest either a selective or demographic process during parasite dispersal. Based on parasite genotypes and geographic distribution, 15 vector specimens and their parasite isolates were selected for mitochondrial co-diversification analysis. Genetic variability and phylogenetic congruence were determined with mitochondrial DNA sequences (10 parasite maxicircle gene fragments and triatomine ND4+CYT b). A Mantel test as well as phylogenetic, network and principal coordinates analyses supported at least three T. dimidiata haplogroups separated by geographic distance across the Motagua Valley. Maxicircle sequences showed low T. cruzi genetic variability (π nucleotide diversity 0.00098) with no evidence of co-diversification with the vector, having multiple host switches across the valley. Sylvatic Didelphis marsupialis captured across the Motagua Valley were found to be infected with T. cruzi strains sharing MS genotypes with parasites isolated from domiciliated triatomines. The current parasite distribution in domestic environments

  4. Homologous Recombination in Protozoan Parasites and Recombinase Inhibitors

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andrew A. Kelso

    2017-09-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

  6. Reproduction in Leishmania: A focus on genetic exchange.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rougeron, V; De Meeûs, T; Bañuls, A-L

    2017-06-01

    One key process of the life cycle of pathogens is their mode of reproduction. Indeed, this fundamental biological process conditions the multiplication and the transmission of genes and thus the propagation of diseases in the environment. Reproductive strategies of protozoan parasites have been a subject of debate for many years, principally due to the difficulty in making direct observations of sexual reproduction (i.e. genetic recombination). Traditionally, these parasites were considered as characterized by a preeminent clonal structure. Nevertheless, with the development of elaborate culture experiments, population genetics and evolutionary and population genomics, several studies suggested that most of these pathogens were also characterized by constitutive genetic recombination events. In this opinion, we focused on Leishmania parasites, pathogens responsible of leishmaniases, a major public health issue. We first discuss the evolutionary advantages of a mixed mating reproductive strategy, then we review the evidence of genetic exchange, and finally we detail available tools to detect naturally occurring genetic recombination in Leishmania parasites and more generally in protozoan parasites. Copyright © 2016. Published by Elsevier B.V.

  7. The biology and potential for genetic research of transposable elements in filamentous fungi

    OpenAIRE

    Fávaro,Léia Cecilia de Lima; Araújo,Welington Luiz de; Azevedo,João Lúcio de; Paccola-Meirelles,Luzia Doretto

    2005-01-01

    Recently many transposable elements have been identified and characterized in filamentous fungi, especially in species of agricultural, biotechnological and medical interest. Similar to the elements found in other eukaryotes, fungal transposons can be classified as class I elements (retrotransposons) that use RNA and reverse transcriptase and class II elements (DNA transposons) that use DNA. The changes (transposition and recombination) caused by transposons can supply wide-ranging genetic va...

  8. Sex as a strategy against rapidly evolving parasites.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Auld, Stuart K J R; Tinkler, Shona K; Tinsley, Matthew C

    2016-12-28

    Why is sex ubiquitous when asexual reproduction is much less costly? Sex disrupts coadapted gene complexes; it also causes costs associated with mate finding and the production of males who do not themselves bear offspring. Theory predicts parasites select for host sex, because genetically variable offspring can escape infection from parasites adapted to infect the previous generations. We examine this using a facultative sexual crustacean, Daphnia magna, and its sterilizing bacterial parasite, Pasteuria ramosa We obtained sexually and asexually produced offspring from wild-caught hosts and exposed them to contemporary parasites or parasites isolated from the same population one year later. We found rapid parasite adaptation to replicate within asexual but not sexual offspring. Moreover, sexually produced offspring were twice as resistant to infection as asexuals when exposed to parasites that had coevolved alongside their parents (i.e. the year two parasite). This fulfils the requirement that the benefits of sex must be both large and rapid for sex to be favoured by selection. © 2016 The Author(s).

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2006-12-26

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  12. 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.

  13. Specific developmental pathways underlie host specificity in the parasitic plant Orobanche

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hiscock, Simon

    2010-01-01

    Parasitic angiosperms are an ecologically and economically important group of plants. However our understanding of the basis for host specificity in these plants is embryonic. Recently we investigated host specificity in the parasitic angiosperm Orobanche minor, and demonstrated that this host generalist parasite comprises genetically defined races that are physiologically adapted to specific hosts. Populations occurring naturally on red clover (Trifolium pratense) and sea carrot (Daucus carota subsp. gummifer) respectively, showed distinct patterns of host specificity at various developmental stages, and a higher fitness on their natural hosts, suggesting these races are locally adapted. Here we discuss the implications of our findings from a broader perspective. We suggest that differences in signal responsiveness and perception by the parasite, as well as qualitative differences in signal production by the host, may elicit host specificity in this parasitic plant. Together with our earlier demonstration that these O. minor races are genetically distinct based on molecular markers, our recent data provide a snapshot of speciation in action, driven by host specificity. Indeed, host specificity may be an underestimated catalyst for speciation in parasitic plants generally. We propose that identifying host specific races using physiological techniques will complement conventional molecular marker-based approaches to provide a framework for delineating evolutionary relationships among cryptic host-specific parasitic plants. PMID:20081361

  14. Parasite-Derived Proteins for the Treatment of Allergies and Autoimmune Diseases

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zhenyu Wu

    2017-11-01

    Full Text Available The morbidity associated with atopic diseases and immune dysregulation disorders such as asthma, food allergies, multiple sclerosis, atopic dermatitis, type 1 diabetes mellitus, and inflammatory bowel disease has been increasing all around the world over the past few decades. Although the roles of non-biological environmental factors and genetic factors in the etiopathology have been particularly emphasized, they do not fully explain the increase; for example, genetic factors in a population change very gradually. Epidemiological investigation has revealed that the increase also parallels a decrease in infectious diseases, especially parasitic infections. Thus, the reduced prevalence of parasitic infections may be another important reason for immune dysregulation. Parasites have co-evolved with the human immune system for a long time. Some parasite-derived immune-evasion molecules have been verified to reduce the incidence and harmfulness of atopic diseases in humans by modulating the immune response. More importantly, some parasite-derived products have been shown to inhibit the progression of inflammatory diseases and consequently alleviate their symptoms. Thus, parasites, and especially their products, may have potential applications in the treatment of autoimmune diseases. In this review, the potential of parasite-derived products and their analogs for use in the treatment of atopic diseases and immune dysregulation is summarized.

  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. Mammalian small nucleolar RNAs are mobile genetic elements.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michel J Weber

    2006-12-01

    Full Text Available Small nucleolar RNAs (snoRNAs of the H/ACA box and C/D box categories guide the pseudouridylation and the 2'-O-ribose methylation of ribosomal RNAs by forming short duplexes with their target. Similarly, small Cajal body-specific RNAs (scaRNAs guide modifications of spliceosomal RNAs. The vast majority of vertebrate sno/scaRNAs are located in introns of genes transcribed by RNA polymerase II and processed by exonucleolytic trimming after splicing. A bioinformatic search for orthologues of human sno/scaRNAs in sequenced mammalian genomes reveals the presence of species- or lineage-specific sno/scaRNA retroposons (sno/scaRTs characterized by an A-rich tail and an approximately 14-bp target site duplication that corresponds to their insertion site, as determined by interspecific genomic alignments. Three classes of snoRTs are defined based on the extent of intron and exon sequences from the snoRNA parental host gene they contain. SnoRTs frequently insert in gene introns in the sense orientation at genomic hot spots shared with other genetic mobile elements. Previously characterized human snoRNAs are encoded in retroposons whose parental copies can be identified by phylogenic analysis, showing that snoRTs can be faithfully processed. These results identify snoRNAs as a new family of mobile genetic elements. The insertion of new snoRNA copies might constitute a safeguard mechanism by which the biological activity of snoRNAs is maintained in spite of the risk of mutations in the parental copy. I furthermore propose that retroposition followed by genetic drift is a mechanism that increased snoRNA diversity during vertebrate evolution to eventually acquire new RNA-modification functions.

  17. Reexamining the P-Element Invasion of Drosophila melanogaster Through the Lens of piRNA Silencing

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kelleher, Erin S.

    2016-01-01

    Transposable elements (TEs) are both important drivers of genome evolution and genetic parasites with potentially dramatic consequences for host fitness. The recent explosion of research on regulatory RNAs reveals that small RNA-mediated silencing is a conserved genetic mechanism through which hosts repress TE activity. The invasion of the Drosophila melanogaster genome by P elements, which happened on a historical timescale, represents an incomparable opportunity to understand how small RNA-mediated silencing of TEs evolves. Repression of P-element transposition emerged almost concurrently with its invasion. Recent studies suggest that this repression is implemented in part, and perhaps predominantly, by the Piwi-interacting RNA (piRNA) pathway, a small RNA-mediated silencing pathway that regulates TE activity in many metazoan germlines. In this review, I consider the P-element invasion from both a molecular and evolutionary genetic perspective, reconciling classic studies of P-element regulation with the new mechanistic framework provided by the piRNA pathway. I further explore the utility of the P-element invasion as an exemplar of the evolution of piRNA-mediated silencing. In light of the highly-conserved role for piRNAs in regulating TEs, discoveries from this system have taxonomically broad implications for the evolution of repression. PMID:27516614

  18. Bovine immunity - a driver for diversity in Theileria parasites?

    Science.gov (United States)

    McKeever, Declan J

    2009-06-01

    Theileria parva and Theileria annulata are tick-borne parasites of cattle that infect and transform leukocytes, causing severe and often fatal parasitic leukoses. Both species provoke strong immunity against subsequent infection. However, considerable diversity is observed in field populations of each parasite and protection is only assured against homologous challenge. The life cycles of these parasites are complex and involve prolonged exposure to host and vector defence mechanisms. Although the relevant vector mechanisms are poorly defined, protective responses of cattle seem to be tightly focused and variable in their specificity between individuals. This review considers whether bovine immunity acts as a driver for diversity in T. parva and T. annulata and explores other factors that might underlie genetic variation in these parasites.

  19. 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.

  20. Testing parasite 'intimacy': the whipworm Trichuris muris in the European house mouse hybrid zone.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wasimuddin; Bryja, Josef; Ribas, Alexis; Baird, Stuart J E; Piálek, Jaroslav; Goüy de Bellocq, Joëlle

    2016-05-01

    Host-parasite interaction studies across hybrid zones often focus on host genetic variation, treating parasites as homogeneous. 'Intimately' associated hosts and parasites might be expected to show similar patterns of genetic structure. In the literature, factors such as no intermediate host and no free-living stage have been proposed as 'intimacy' factors likely constraining parasites to closely follow the evolutionary history of their hosts. To test whether the whipworm, Trichuris muris, is intimately associated with its house mouse host, we studied its population genetics across the European house mouse hybrid zone (HMHZ) which has a strong central barrier to gene flow between mouse taxa. T. muris has a direct life cycle and nonmobile free stage: if these traits constrain the parasite to an intimate association with its host we expect a geographic break in the parasite genetic structure across the HMHZ. We genotyped 205 worms from 56 localities across the HMHZ and additionally T. muris collected from sympatric woodmice (Apodemus spp.) and allopatric murine species, using mt-COX1, ITS1-5.8S-ITS2 rDNA and 10 microsatellites. We show four haplogroups of mt-COX1 and three clear ITS1-5.8S-ITS2 clades in the HMHZ suggesting a complex demographic/phylogeographic history. Microsatellites show strong structure between groups of localities. However, no marker type shows a break across the HMHZ. Whipworms from Apodemus in the HMHZ cluster, and share mitochondrial haplotypes, with those from house mice. We conclude Trichuris should not be regarded as an 'intimate' parasite of the house mouse: while its life history might suggest intimacy, passage through alternate hosts is sufficiently common to erase signal of genetic structure associated with any particular host taxon.

  1. Active Parasitic Arrays for Low Cost Compact MIMO Transmitters

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Han, Bo; Barousis, V; Kalis, A

    2011-01-01

    presents a method for generating parasitic loads with a negative real part using active circuit blocks. The proposed method could be used for increasing the modulation order of the aforementioned systems, decrease the required number of parasitic elements or even optimize the antenna efficiency in energy...

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. Genetic control of acquired resistance to gastrointestinal nematode parasites in sheep

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Windon, R.G.; Wagland, B.M.; Dineen, J.K.

    1988-01-01

    A radiation attenuated larval vaccine has been used to evaluate the role of genetic components of the immune response in the control of Trichostrongylus colubriformis in sheep. Through selection based on age dependent responsiveness, lines of sheep have been established in which lambs are either high or low responders to vaccination and challenge infection. The estimated and realized heritabilities for the selected trait are 0.35-0.41. Significant interline differences were demonstrated and, within the lines, ewe lambs were consistently more responsive than rams or wethers. The effect of selection was not antigenically specific, since high responsiveness to T. colubriformis was associated with increased responsiveness to other related (T. rugatus) and unrelated parasites (Ostertagia circumcincta and Haemonchus contortus). In addition, high responders had a more vigorous reaction against naturally acquired infections than low responders. The general immunological competence was also increased in high responders; this was shown by the levels of serum complement fixing antibody to larval antigens after vaccination and challenge, in vitro blastogenic responses stimulated by larval antigens and the phagocytic function of peripheral leucocytes. No production penalty (weight gain and wool growth) was associated with heightened responsiveness. (author). 10 refs, 1 fig

  5. Is trace element concentration correlated to parasite abundance? A case study in a population of the green frog Pelophylax synkl. hispanicus from the Neto River (Calabria, southern Italy).

    Science.gov (United States)

    De Donato, Carlo; Barca, Donatella; Milazzo, Concetta; Santoro, Raffaella; Giglio, Gianni; Tripepi, Sandro; Sperone, Emilio

    2017-06-01

    Bioaccumulation of 13 trace elements in the livers of 38 Pelophylax sinkl. hispanicus (Ranidae) and its helminth communities were studied and compared among three sites, each with a different degree of pollution along River Neto (south Italy) during September, 2014. Trace element concentrations in water and liver were measured using inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry. For most elements, the highest concentration was recorded in the frogs inhabiting the third site, the one with the highest degree of pollution. The trend of trace element concentration in the liver can be represented as follows: Cu > Zn > Mn > Se > Cr. Concentrations of some elements in water and liver samples were significantly different among the three sites and this is evidenced by the bioaccumulation in the frogs. Four species of helminths, all belonging to Nematoda, were found: Rhabdias sp., Oswaldocruzia filiformis (Goeze, 1782), Cosmocerca ornata (Dujarden, 1845), Seuratascaris numidica (Seurat, 1917). The parasite survey presents an important difference of prevalence and average number of helminths in frogs between the three sites. Correlating parasitological and ecotoxicological data showed a strong positive correlation between prevalence and number of parasites with some trace elements such as Mn, Co, Ni, As, Se, and Cd.

  6. Malaria case clinical profiles and Plasmodium falciparum parasite genetic diversity: a cross sectional survey at two sites of different malaria transmission intensities in Rwanda.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kateera, Fredrick; Nsobya, Sam L; Tukwasibwe, Stephen; Mens, Petra F; Hakizimana, Emmanuel; Grobusch, Martin P; Mutesa, Leon; Kumar, Nirbhay; van Vugt, Michele

    2016-04-26

    Malaria remains a public health challenge in sub-Saharan Africa with Plasmodium falciparum being the principal cause of malaria disease morbidity and mortality. Plasmodium falciparum virulence is attributed, in part, to its population-level genetic diversity-a characteristic that has yet to be studied in Rwanda. Characterizing P. falciparum molecular epidemiology in an area is needed for a better understand of malaria transmission and to inform choice of malaria control strategies. In this health-facility based survey, malaria case clinical profiles and parasite densities as well as parasite genetic diversity were compared among P. falciparum-infected patients identified at two sites of different malaria transmission intensities in Rwanda. Data on demographics and clinical features and finger-prick blood samples for microscopy and parasite genotyping were collected(.) Nested PCR was used to genotype msp-2 alleles of FC27 and 3D7. Patients' variables of age group, sex, fever (both by patient report and by measured tympanic temperatures), parasite density, and bed net use were found differentially distributed between the higher endemic (Ruhuha) and lower endemic (Mubuga) sites. Overall multiplicity of P. falciparum infection (MOI) was 1.73 but with mean MOI found to vary significantly between 2.13 at Ruhuha and 1.29 at Mubuga (p < 0.0001). At Ruhuha, expected heterozygosity (EH) for FC27 and 3D7 alleles were 0.62 and 0.49, respectively, whilst at Mubuga, EH for FC27 and 3D7 were 0.26 and 0.28, respectively. In this study, a higher geometrical mean parasite counts, more polyclonal infections, higher MOI, and higher allelic frequency were observed at the higher malaria-endemic (Ruhuha) compared to the lower malaria-endemic (Mubuga) area. These differences in malaria risk and MOI should be considered when choosing setting-specific malaria control strategies, assessing p. falciparum associated parameters such as drug resistance, immunity and impact of used

  7. Importance and pitfalls of molecular analysis to parasite epidemiology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Constantine, Clare C

    2003-08-01

    Molecular tools are increasingly being used to address questions about parasite epidemiology. Parasites represent a diverse group and they might not fit traditional population genetic models. Testing hypotheses depends equally on correct sampling, appropriate tool and/or marker choice, appropriate analysis and careful interpretation. All methods of analysis make assumptions which, if violated, make the results invalid. Some guidelines to avoid common pitfalls are offered here.

  8. Contrasting parasite communities among allopatric colour morphs of the Lake Tanganyika cichlid Tropheus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Raeymaekers, Joost A M; Hablützel, Pascal I; Grégoir, Arnout F; Bamps, Jolien; Roose, Anna K; Vanhove, Maarten P M; Van Steenberge, Maarten; Pariselle, Antoine; Huyse, Tine; Snoeks, Jos; Volckaert, Filip A M

    2013-02-14

    Adaptation to different ecological environments is thought to drive ecological speciation. This phenomenon culminates in the radiations of cichlid fishes in the African Great Lakes. Multiple characteristic traits of cichlids, targeted by natural or sexual selection, are considered among the driving factors of these radiations. Parasites and pathogens have been suggested to initiate or accelerate speciation by triggering both natural and sexual selection. Three prerequisites for parasite-driven speciation can be inferred from ecological speciation theory. The first prerequisite is that different populations experience divergent infection levels. The second prerequisite is that these infection levels cause divergent selection and facilitate adaptive divergence. The third prerequisite is that parasite-driven adaptive divergence facilitates the evolution of reproductive isolation. Here we investigate the first and the second prerequisite in allopatric chromatically differentiated lineages of the rock-dwelling cichlid Tropheus spp. from southern Lake Tanganyika (Central Africa). Macroparasite communities were screened in eight populations belonging to five different colour morphs. Parasite communities were mainly composed of acanthocephalans, nematodes, monogeneans, copepods, branchiurans, and digeneans. In two consecutive years (2011 and 2012), we observed significant variation across populations for infection with acanthocephalans, nematodes, monogeneans of the genera Gyrodactylus and Cichlidogyrus, and the copepod Ergasilus spp. Overall, parasite community composition differed significantly between populations of different colour morphs. Differences in parasite community composition were stable in time. The genetic structure of Tropheus populations was strong and showed a significant isolation-by-distance pattern, confirming that spatial isolation is limiting host dispersal. Correlations between parasite community composition and Tropheus genetic differentiation were

  9. Evolution of parasitism in kinetoplastid flagellates

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Lukeš, Julius; Skalický, Tomáš; Týč, Jiří; Votýpka, Jan; Yurchenko, Vyacheslav

    2014-01-01

    Roč. 195, č. 2 (2014), s. 115-122 ISSN 0166-6851 R&D Projects: GA MŠk(CZ) EE2.3.30.0032 Institutional support: RVO:60077344 Keywords : Evolution * Phylogeny * Vectors * Diversity * Parasitism * Trypanosome Subject RIV: EB - Genetics ; Molecular Biology Impact factor: 1.787, year: 2014

  10. Host density drives the postglacial migration of the tree parasite, Epifagus virginiana.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tsai, Yi-Hsin Erica; Manos, Paul S

    2010-09-28

    To survive changes in climate, successful species shift their geographic ranges to remain in suitable habitats. For parasites and other highly specialized species, distributional changes not only are dictated by climate but can also be engineered by their hosts. The extent of host control on parasite range expansion is revealed through comparisons of host and parasite migration and demographic histories. However, understanding the codistributional history of entire forest communities is complicated by challenges in synthesizing datasets from multiple interacting species of differing datatypes. Here we integrate genetic and fossil pollen datasets from a host-parasite pair; specifically, the population structure of the parasitic plant (Epifagus virginiana) was compared with both its host (Fagus grandifolia) genetic patterns and abundance data from the paleopollen record of the last 21,000 y. Through tests of phylogeographic structure and spatial linear regression models we find, surprisingly, host range changes had little effect on the parasite's range expansion and instead host density is the main driver of parasite spread. Unlike other symbionts that have been used as proxies to track their host's movements, this parasite's migration routes are incongruent with the host and instead reflect the greater importance of host density in this community's assembly. Furthermore, these results confirm predictions of disease ecological models regarding the role of host density in the spread of pathogens. Due to host density constraints, highly specialized species may have low migration capacities and long lag times before colonization of new areas.

  11. Nematode parasites of animals are more prone to develop xenobiotic resistance than nematode parasites of plants

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Silvestre A.

    2004-06-01

    Full Text Available In this paper, we concentrate on a comparison of plant and animal-parasitic nematodes, to gain insight into the factors that influence the acquisition of the drug resistance by nematodes. Comparing nematode parasite of domestic animals and cultivated plants, it appears that drug resistance threatens only domestic animal production. Does the paucity of report on nematicide field resistance reflect reality or, is nematicide resistance bypassed by other management practices, specific to cultivated plants (i.e. agricultural control ? First, it seems that selection pressure by treatments in plants is not as efficient as selection pressure in ruminants. Agronomic practices (i.e. sanitation, early planting, usage of nematodes resistant cultivar and crop rotation are frequently used to control parasitic-plant nematodes. Although the efficiency of such measures is generally moderate to high, integrated approaches are developing successfully in parasitic-plant nematode models. Secondly, the majority of anthelmintic resistance cases recorded in animal-parasitic nematodes concern drug families that are not used in plant-parasitic nematodes control (i.e. benzimidazoles, avermectines and levamisole. Thirdly, particular life traits of parasitic-plant nematodes (low to moderate fecundity and reproductive strategy are expected to reduce probability of appearance and transmission of drug resistance genes. It has been demonstrated that, for a large number of nematodes such as Meloidogyne spp., the mode of reproduction by mitotic parthenogenesis reduced genetic diversity of populations which may prevent a rapid drug resistance development. In conclusion, anthelmintic resistance develops in nematode parasite of animals as a consequence of an efficient selection pressure. Early detection of anthelmintic resistance is then crucial : it is not possible to avoid it, but only to delay its development in farm animal industry.

  12. 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.

  13. Meso- and bathy-pelagic fish parasites at the Mid-Atlantic Ridge (MAR): Low host specificity and restricted parasite diversity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Klimpel, Sven; Busch, Markus Wilhelm; Sutton, Tracey; Palm, Harry Wilhelm

    2010-04-01

    Seven meso- and bathy-pelagic fish species from the Mid-Atlantic Ridge (MAR) were firstly studied for fish parasites and feeding ecology. With a total of seven parasite species, the 247 meso- and bathy-pelagic deep-sea fish specimens belonging to the families Melamphaidae (3 spp.), Myctophidae (3 spp.) and Stomiidae (1 sp.) revealed low parasite diversity. The genetically identified nematodes Anisakis simplex (s.s.) and Anisakis pegreffii from the body cavity, liver and muscles of Myctophum punctatum were the most abundant parasites, reaching a prevalence of 91.4% and mean intensity of 3.1 (1-14). Anisakis sp. (unidentified) infected Chauliodus sloani and Poromitra crassiceps. Bothriocephalidean and tetraphyllidean cestode larvae infected Benthosema glaciale, the latter also occurring in C. sloani and Scopelogadus beanii, at low prevalences. Adult parasites at low infection rates included the digenean Lethadena sp. (2.9%), and the two copepod species Sarcotretes scopeli (5.7%) and Tautochondria dolichoura (5.3-11.4%). The myctophid Lampanyctus macdonaldi and the melamphaid Scopelogadus mizolepis mizolepis were free of parasites. Analyses of the stomach contents revealed crustaceans, especially copepods and euphausiids for the myctophids and also amphipods for the melamphaids as predominant prey items. While all stomachs showing distinct content comprising often unidentified 'tissue' (possibly gelatinous zooplankton), only C. sloani preyed upon fish. Though this feeding habit would enable transfer of a variety of crustacean-transmitted parasites into the fish, the parasite fauna in the meso- and bathy-pelagic fish was species poor. All observed parasites showed low host specificity, demonstrating no distinct pattern of host-parasite co-evolution. The MAR is no barrier for the parasite distribution in the North Atlantic meso- and bathy-pelagial.

  14. The biology and potential for genetic research of transposable elements in filamentous fungi

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Léia Cecilia de Lima Fávaro

    2005-12-01

    Full Text Available Recently many transposable elements have been identified and characterized in filamentous fungi, especially in species of agricultural, biotechnological and medical interest. Similar to the elements found in other eukaryotes, fungal transposons can be classified as class I elements (retrotransposons that use RNA and reverse transcriptase and class II elements (DNA transposons that use DNA. The changes (transposition and recombination caused by transposons can supply wide-ranging genetic variation, especially for species that do not have a sexual phase. The application of transposable elements to gene isolation and population analysis is an important tool for molecular biology and studies of fungal evolution.

  15. Genetic diversity, virulence and fitness evolution in an obligate fungal parasite of bees.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Evison, S E F; Foley, K; Jensen, A B; Hughes, W O H

    2015-01-01

    Within-host competition is predicted to drive the evolution of virulence in parasites, but the precise outcomes of such interactions are often unpredictable due to many factors including the biology of the host and the parasite, stochastic events and co-evolutionary interactions. Here, we use a serial passage experiment (SPE) with three strains of a heterothallic fungal parasite (Ascosphaera apis) of the Honey bee (Apis mellifera) to assess how evolving under increasing competitive pressure affects parasite virulence and fitness evolution. The results show an increase in virulence after successive generations of selection and consequently faster production of spores. This faster sporulation, however, did not translate into more spores being produced during this longer window of sporulation; rather, it appeared to induce a loss of fitness in terms of total spore production. There was no evidence to suggest that a greater diversity of competing strains was a driver of this increased virulence and subsequent fitness cost, but rather that strain-specific competitive interactions influenced the evolutionary outcomes of mixed infections. It is possible that the parasite may have evolved to avoid competition with multiple strains because of its heterothallic mode of reproduction, which highlights the importance of understanding parasite biology when predicting disease dynamics. © 2014 European Society For Evolutionary Biology. Journal of Evolutionary Biology © 2014 European Society For Evolutionary Biology.

  16. 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.

  17. The landscape genetics of infectious disease emergence and spread.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Biek, Roman; Real, Leslie A

    2010-09-01

    The spread of parasites is inherently a spatial process often embedded in physically complex landscapes. It is therefore not surprising that infectious disease researchers are increasingly taking a landscape genetics perspective to elucidate mechanisms underlying basic ecological processes driving infectious disease dynamics and to understand the linkage between spatially dependent population processes and the geographic distribution of genetic variation within both hosts and parasites. The increasing availability of genetic information on hosts and parasites when coupled to their ecological interactions can lead to insights for predicting patterns of disease emergence, spread and control. Here, we review research progress in this area based on four different motivations for the application of landscape genetics approaches: (i) assessing the spatial organization of genetic variation in parasites as a function of environmental variability, (ii) using host population genetic structure as a means to parameterize ecological dynamics that indirectly influence parasite populations, for example, gene flow and movement pathways across heterogeneous landscapes and the concurrent transport of infectious agents, (iii) elucidating the temporal and spatial scales of disease processes and (iv) reconstructing and understanding infectious disease invasion. Throughout this review, we emphasize that landscape genetic principles are relevant to infection dynamics across a range of scales from within host dynamics to global geographic patterns and that they can also be applied to unconventional 'landscapes' such as heterogeneous contact networks underlying the spread of human and livestock diseases. We conclude by discussing some general considerations and problems for inferring epidemiological processes from genetic data and try to identify possible future directions and applications for this rapidly expanding field.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jessica K O'Hara

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

  19. 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

  20. Finding an optimization of the plate element of Egyptian research reactor using genetic algorithm

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wahed, M.; Ibrahim, W.; Effat, A.

    2008-01-01

    The second Egyptian research reactor ET-RR-2 went critical on the 27th of November 1997. The National Center of Nuclear Safety and Radiation Control (NCNSRC) has the responsibility of the evaluation and assessment of the safety of this reactor. The purpose of this paper is to present an approach to optimization of the fuel element plate. For an efficient search through the solution space we use a multi objective genetic algorithm which allows us to identify a set of Pareto optimal solutions providing the decision maker with the complete spectrum of optimal solutions with respect to the various targets. The aim of this paper is to propose a new approach for optimizing the fuel element plate in the reactor. The fuel element plate is designed with a view to improve reliability and lifetime and it is one of the most important elements during the shut down. In this present paper, we present a conceptual design approach for fuel element plate, in conjunction with a genetic algorithm to obtain a fuel plate that maximizes a fitness value to optimize the safety design of the fuel plate. (authors)

  1. The systematics and population genetics of Opisthorchis viverrini sensu lato: implications in parasite epidemiology and bile duct cancer.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sithithaworn, Paiboon; Andrews, Ross H; Petney, Trevor N; Saijuntha, Weerachai; Laoprom, Nonglak

    2012-03-01

    Together with host and environmental factors, the systematics and population genetic variation of Opisthorchis viverrini may contribute to recorded local and regional differences in epidemiology and host morbidity in opisthorchiasis and cholangiocarcinoma (CCA). In this review, we address recent findings that O. viverrini comprises a species complex with varying degrees of population genetic variation which are associated with specific river wetland systems within Thailand as well as the Lao PDR. Having an accurate understanding of systematics is a prerequisite for a meaningful assessment of the population structure of each species within the O. viverrini complex in nature, as well as a better understanding of the magnitude of genetic variation that occurs within different species of hosts in its life cycle. Whether specific genotypes are related to habitat type(s) and/or specific intermediate host species are discussed based on current available data. Most importantly, we focus on whether there is a correlation between incidence of CCA and genotype(s) of O. viverrini. This will provide a solid basis for further comprehensive investigations of the role of genetic variation within each species of O. viverrini sensu lato in human epidemiology and genotype related morbidity as well as co-evolution of parasites with primary and secondary intermediate species of host. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  2. Spatial variation in the parasite communities and genomic structure of urban rats in New York City.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Angley, L P; Combs, M; Firth, C; Frye, M J; Lipkin, I; Richardson, J L; Munshi-South, J

    2018-02-01

    Brown rats (Rattus norvegicus) are a globally distributed pest. Urban habitats can support large infestations of rats, posing a potential risk to public health from the parasites and pathogens they carry. Despite the potential influence of rodent-borne zoonotic diseases on human health, it is unclear how urban habitats affect the structure and transmission dynamics of ectoparasite and microbial communities (all referred to as "parasites" hereafter) among rat colonies. In this study, we use ecological data on parasites and genomic sequencing of their rat hosts to examine associations between spatial proximity, genetic relatedness and the parasite communities associated with 133 rats at five sites in sections of New York City with persistent rat infestations. We build on previous work showing that rats in New York carry a wide variety of parasites and report that these communities differ significantly among sites, even across small geographical distances. Ectoparasite community similarity was positively associated with geographical proximity; however, there was no general association between distance and microbial communities of rats. Sites with greater overall parasite diversity also had rats with greater infection levels and parasite species richness. Parasite community similarity among sites was not linked to genetic relatedness of rats, suggesting that these communities are not associated with genetic similarity among host individuals or host dispersal among sites. Discriminant analysis identified site-specific associations of several parasite species, suggesting that the presence of some species within parasite communities may allow researchers to determine the sites of origin for newly sampled rats. The results of our study help clarify the roles that colony structure and geographical proximity play in determining the ecology of R. norvegicus as a significant urban reservoir of zoonotic diseases. Our study also highlights the spatial variation present in urban

  3. 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.

  4. The geography of malaria genetics in the Democratic Republic of Congo: A complex and fragmented landscape

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carrel, Margaret; Patel, Jaymin; Taylor, Steve M.; Janko, Mark; Mwandagalirwa, Melchior Kashamuka; Tshefu, Antoinette K.; Escalante, Ananias A.; McCollum, Andrea; Alam, Md Tauqeer; Udhayakumar, Venkatachalam; Meshnick, Steven; Emch, Michael

    2014-01-01

    Understanding how malaria parasites move between populations is important, particularly given the potential for malaria to be reintroduced into areas where it was previously eliminated. We examine the distribution of malaria genetics across seven sites within the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and two nearby countries, Ghana and Kenya, in order to understand how the relatedness of malaria parasites varies across space, and whether there are barriers to the flow of malaria parasites within the DRC or across borders. Parasite DNA was retrieved from dried blood spots from 7 Demographic and Health Survey sample clusters in the DRC. Malaria genetic characteristics of parasites from Ghana and Kenya were also obtained. For each of 9 geographic sites (7 DRC, 1 Ghana and 1 Kenya), a pair-wise RST statistic was calculated, indicating the genetic distance between malaria parasites found in those locations. Mapping genetics across the spatial extent of the study area indicates a complex genetic landscape, where relatedness between two proximal sites may be relatively high (RST > 0.64) or low (RST < 0.05), and where distal sites also exhibit both high and low genetic similarity. Mantel’s tests suggest that malaria genetics differ as geographic distances increase. Principal Coordinate Analysis suggests that genetically related samples are not co-located. Barrier analysis reveals no significant barriers to gene flow between locations. Malaria genetics in the DRC have a complex and fragmented landscape. Limited exchange of genes across space is reflected in greater genetic distance between malaria parasites isolated at greater geographic distances. There is, however, evidence for close genetic ties between distally located sample locations, indicating that movement of malaria parasites and flow of genes is being driven by factors other than distance decay. This research demonstrates the contributions that spatial disease ecology and landscape genetics can make to

  5. Insulated transcriptional elements enable precise design of genetic circuits.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zong, Yeqing; Zhang, Haoqian M; Lyu, Cheng; Ji, Xiangyu; Hou, Junran; Guo, Xian; Ouyang, Qi; Lou, Chunbo

    2017-07-03

    Rational engineering of biological systems is often complicated by the complex but unwanted interactions between cellular components at multiple levels. Here we address this issue at the level of prokaryotic transcription by insulating minimal promoters and operators to prevent their interaction and enable the biophysical modeling of synthetic transcription without free parameters. This approach allows genetic circuit design with extraordinary precision and diversity, and consequently simplifies the design-build-test-learn cycle of circuit engineering to a mix-and-match workflow. As a demonstration, combinatorial promoters encoding NOT-gate functions were designed from scratch with mean errors of 96% using our insulated transcription elements. Furthermore, four-node transcriptional networks with incoherent feed-forward loops that execute stripe-forming functions were obtained without any trial-and-error work. This insulation-based engineering strategy improves the resolution of genetic circuit technology and provides a simple approach for designing genetic circuits for systems and synthetic biology.Unwanted interactions between cellular components can complicate rational engineering of biological systems. Here the authors design insulated minimal promoters and operators that enable biophysical modeling of bacterial transcription without free parameters for precise circuit design.

  6. Gene expression during ovarian differentiation in parasitic and non-parasitic lampreys: implications for fecundity and life history types.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Spice, Erin K; Whyard, Steven; Docker, Margaret F

    2014-11-01

    Lampreys diverged from the jawed vertebrate lineage approximately 500million years ago. Lampreys undergo sex differentiation much later than most other vertebrates, and ovarian differentiation occurs several years before testicular differentiation. The genetic basis of lamprey sex differentiation is of particular interest both because of the phylogenetic importance of lampreys and because of their unusual pattern of sex differentiation. As well, differences between parasitic and non-parasitic lampreys may first become evident at ovarian differentiation. However, nothing is known about the genetic basis of ovarian differentiation in lampreys. This study examined potential differences in gene expression before, during, and after ovarian differentiation in parasitic chestnut lamprey Ichthyomyzon castaneus and non-parasitic northern brook lamprey Ichthyomyzonfossor. Eight target genes (17β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase, germ cell-less, estrogen receptor β, insulin-like growth factor 1 receptor, daz-associated protein 1, cytochrome c oxidase subunit III, Wilms' tumour suppressor protein 1, and dehydrocholesterol reductase 7) were examined. Northern brook lamprey displayed higher expression of cytochrome c oxidase subunit III, whereas chestnut lamprey displayed higher expression of insulin-like growth factor 1 receptor; these genes may be involved in apoptosis and oocyte growth, respectively. Presumptive male larvae had higher expression of Wilms' tumour suppressor protein 1, which may be involved in the undifferentiated gonad and/or later testicular development. Differentiated females had higher expression of 17β hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase and daz-associated protein 1, which may be involved in female development. This study is the first to identify genes that may be involved in ovarian differentiation and fecundity in lampreys. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  7. Macrolide resistance gene erm(TR) and erm(TR)-carrying genetic elements in Streptococcus agalactiae: characterization of ICESagTR7, a new composite element containing IMESp2907.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mingoia, Marina; Morici, Eleonora; Marini, Emanuela; Brenciani, Andrea; Giovanetti, Eleonora; Varaldo, Pietro E

    2016-03-01

    The objective of this study was to investigate macrolide-resistant Streptococcus agalactiae isolates harbouring erm(TR), an erm(A) gene subclass, with emphasis on their erm(TR)-carrying genetic elements. Four erm(TR)-carrying elements have been described to date: three closely related (ICE10750-RD.2, Tn1806 and ICESp1108) in Streptococcus pyogenes, Streptococcus pneumoniae and S. pyogenes, respectively; and one completely different (IMESp2907, embedded in ICESp2906 to form ICESp2905) in S. pyogenes. Seventeen macrolide-resistant erm(TR)-positive S. agalactiae isolates were phenotypically and genotypically characterized. Their erm(TR)-carrying elements were explored by analysing the distinctive recombination genes of known erm(TR)-carrying integrative and conjugative elements (ICEs) and by PCR mapping. The new genetic context and organization of IMESp2907 in S. agalactiae were explored using several experimental procedures and in silico analyses. Five isolates harboured ICE10750-RD.2/Tn1806, five isolates harboured ICESp1108 and five isolates bore unknown erm(TR)-carrying elements. The remaining two isolates, exhibiting identical serotypes and pulsotypes, harboured IMESp2907 in a new genetic environment, which was further investigated in one of the two isolates, SagTR7. IMESp2907 was circularizable in S. agalactiae, as described in S. pyogenes. The new IMESp2907 junctions were identified based on its site-specific integration; the att sites were almost identical to those in S. pyogenes. In strain SagTR7, erm(TR)-carrying IMESp2907 was embedded in an erm(TR)-less internal element related to ICE10750-RD.2/Tn1806, which, in turn, was embedded in an ICESde3396-like element. The resulting whole ICE, ICESagTR7 (∼129 kb), was integrated into the chromosome downstream of the rplL gene, and was excisable in circular form and transferable by conjugation. This is the first study exploring erm(TR)-carrying genetic elements in S. agalactiae. © The Author 2015. Published by

  8. Immunological change in a parasite-impoverished environment: divergent signals from four island taxa.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jon S Beadell

    2007-09-01

    Full Text Available Dramatic declines of native Hawaiian avifauna due to the human-mediated emergence of avian malaria and pox prompted an examination of whether island taxa share a common altered immunological signature, potentially driven by reduced genetic diversity and reduced exposure to parasites. We tested this hypothesis by characterizing parasite prevalence, genetic diversity and three measures of immune response in two recently-introduced species (Neochmia temporalis and Zosterops lateralis and two island endemics (Acrocephalus aequinoctialis and A. rimitarae and then comparing the results to those observed in closely-related mainland counterparts. The prevalence of blood parasites was significantly lower in 3 of 4 island taxa, due in part to the absence of certain parasite lineages represented in mainland populations. Indices of genetic diversity were unchanged in the island population of N. temporalis; however, allelic richness was significantly lower in the island population of Z. lateralis while both allelic richness and heterozygosity were significantly reduced in the two island-endemic species examined. Although parasite prevalence and genetic diversity generally conformed to expectations for an island system, we did not find evidence for a pattern of uniformly altered immune responses in island taxa, even amongst endemic taxa with the longest residence times. The island population of Z. lateralis exhibited a significantly reduced inflammatory cell-mediated response while levels of natural antibodies remained unchanged for this and the other recently introduced island taxon. In contrast, the island endemic A. rimitarae exhibited a significantly increased inflammatory response as well as higher levels of natural antibodies and complement. These measures were unchanged or lower in A. aequinoctialis. We suggest that small differences in the pathogenic landscape and the stochastic history of mutation and genetic drift are likely to be important in

  9. A synthetic maternal-effect selfish genetic element drives population replacement in Drosophila.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Chun-Hong; Huang, Haixia; Ward, Catherine M; Su, Jessica T; Schaeffer, Lorian V; Guo, Ming; Hay, Bruce A

    2007-04-27

    One proposed strategy for controlling the transmission of insect-borne pathogens uses a drive mechanism to ensure the rapid spread of transgenes conferring disease refractoriness throughout wild populations. Here, we report the creation of maternal-effect selfish genetic elements in Drosophila that drive population replacement and are resistant to recombination-mediated dissociation of drive and disease refractoriness functions. These selfish elements use microRNA-mediated silencing of a maternally expressed gene essential for embryogenesis, which is coupled with early zygotic expression of a rescuing transgene.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

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    Yaye Ramatoulaye Lawaly

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

  12. Phenomics, Genomics and Genetics in Plasmodium vinckei

    KAUST Repository

    Ramaprasad, Abhinay

    2017-11-01

    Rodent malaria parasites (RMPs) serve as tractable models for experimental genetics, and as valuable tools to study malaria parasite biology and host-parasitevector interactions. Plasmodium vinckei, one of four RMPs adapted to laboratory mice, is the most geographically widespread species and displays considerable phenotypic and genotypic diversity amongst its subspecies and strains. The phenotypes and genotypes of P. vinckei isolates have been relatively less characterized compared to other RMPs, hampering its use as an experimental model for malaria. Here, we have studied the phenotypes and sequenced the genomes and transcriptomes of ten P. vinckei isolates including representatives of all five subspecies, all of which were collected from wild thicket rats (Thamnomys rutilans) in sub-Saharan Central Africa between the late 1940s and mid 1960s. We have generated a comprehensive resource for P. vinckei comprising of five high-quality reference genomes, growth profiles and genotypes of P. vinckei isolates, and expression profiles of genes across the intra-erythrocytic developmental stages of the parasite. We observe significant phenotypic and genotypic diversity among P. vinckei isolates, making them particularly suitable for classical genetics and genomics-driven studies on malaria parasite biology. As part of a proof of concept study, we have shown that experimental genetic crosses can be performed between P. vinckei parasites to potentially identify genotype-phenotype relationships. We have also shown that they are amenable to genetic manipulation in the laboratory.

  13. Control of toxic marine dinoflagellate blooms by serial parasitic killers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chambouvet, Aurelie; Morin, Pascal; Marie, Dominique; Guillou, Laure

    2008-11-21

    The marine dinoflagellates commonly responsible for toxic red tides are parasitized by other dinoflagellate species. Using culture-independent environmental ribosomal RNA sequences and fluorescence markers, we identified host-specific infections among several species. Each parasitoid produces 60 to 400 offspring, leading to extraordinarily rapid control of the host's population. During 3 consecutive years of observation in a natural estuary, all dinoflagellates observed were chronically infected, and a given host species was infected by a single genetically distinct parasite year after year. Our observations in natural ecosystems suggest that although bloom-forming dinoflagellates may escape control by grazing organisms, they eventually succumb to parasite attack.

  14. 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.

  15. Circulating nucleic acids: a new class of physiological mobile genetic elements [version 1; referees: 2 approved

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Indraneel Mittra

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available Mobile genetic elements play a major role in shaping biotic genomes and bringing about evolutionary transformations. Herein, a new class of mobile genetic elements is proposed in the form of circulating nucleic acids (CNAs derived from the billions of cells that die in the body every day due to normal physiology and that act intra-corporeally. A recent study shows that CNAs can freely enter into healthy cells, integrate into their genomes by a unique mechanism and cause damage to their DNA. Being ubiquitous and continuously arising, CNA-induced DNA damage may be the underlying cause of ageing, ageing-related disabilities and the ultimate demise of the organism. Thus, DNA seems to act in the paradoxical roles of both preserver and destroyer of life. This new class of mobile genetic element may be relevant not only to multi-cellular organisms with established circulatory systems, but also to other multi-cellular organisms in which intra-corporeal mobility of nucleic acids may be mediated via the medium of extra-cellular fluid.

  16. The inverse niche model for food webs with parasites

    Science.gov (United States)

    Warren, Christopher P.; Pascual, Mercedes; Lafferty, Kevin D.; Kuris, Armand M.

    2010-01-01

    Although parasites represent an important component of ecosystems, few field and theoretical studies have addressed the structure of parasites in food webs. We evaluate the structure of parasitic links in an extensive salt marsh food web, with a new model distinguishing parasitic links from non-parasitic links among free-living species. The proposed model is an extension of the niche model for food web structure, motivated by the potential role of size (and related metabolic rates) in structuring food webs. The proposed extension captures several properties observed in the data, including patterns of clustering and nestedness, better than does a random model. By relaxing specific assumptions, we demonstrate that two essential elements of the proposed model are the similarity of a parasite's hosts and the increasing degree of parasite specialization, along a one-dimensional niche axis. Thus, inverting one of the basic rules of the original model, the one determining consumers' generality appears critical. Our results support the role of size as one of the organizing principles underlying niche space and food web topology. They also strengthen the evidence for the non-random structure of parasitic links in food webs and open the door to addressing questions concerning the consequences and origins of this structure.

  17. The ecology and evolution of animal medication: genetically fixed response versus phenotypic plasticity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Choisy, Marc; de Roode, Jacobus C

    2014-08-01

    Animal medication against parasites can occur either as a genetically fixed (constitutive) or phenotypically plastic (induced) behavior. Taking the tritrophic interaction between the monarch butterfly Danaus plexippus, its protozoan parasite Ophryocystis elektroscirrha, and its food plant Asclepias spp. as a test case, we develop a game-theory model to identify the epidemiological (parasite prevalence and virulence) and environmental (plant toxicity and abundance) conditions that predict the evolution of genetically fixed versus phenotypically plastic forms of medication. Our model shows that the relative benefits (the antiparasitic properties of medicinal food) and costs (side effects of medicine, the costs of searching for medicine, and the costs of plasticity itself) crucially determine whether medication is genetically fixed or phenotypically plastic. Our model suggests that animals evolve phenotypic plasticity when parasite risk (a combination of virulence and prevalence and thus a measure of the strength of parasite-mediated selection) is relatively low to moderately high and genetically fixed medication when parasite risk becomes very high. The latter occurs because at high parasite risk, the costs of plasticity are outweighed by the benefits of medication. Our model provides a simple and general framework to study the conditions that drive the evolution of alternative forms of animal medication.

  18. Quantifying Transmission Investment in Malaria Parasites.

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    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.

  19. Disentangling the influence of parasite genotype, host genotype and maternal environment on different stages of bacterial infection in Daphnia magna.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hall, Matthew D; Ebert, Dieter

    2012-08-22

    Individuals naturally vary in the severity of infectious disease when exposed to a parasite. Dissecting this variation into genetic and environmental components can reveal whether or not this variation depends on the host genotype, parasite genotype or a range of environmental conditions. Complicating this task, however, is that the symptoms of disease result from the combined effect of a series of events, from the initial encounter between a host and parasite, through to the activation of the host immune system and the exploitation of host resources. Here, we use the crustacean Daphnia magna and its parasite Pasteuria ramosa to show how disentangling genetic and environmental factors at different stages of infection improves our understanding of the processes shaping infectious disease. Using compatible host-parasite combinations, we experimentally exclude variation in the ability of a parasite to penetrate the host, from measures of parasite clearance, the reduction in host fecundity and the proliferation of the parasite. We show how parasite resistance consists of two components that vary in environmental sensitivity, how the maternal environment influences all measured aspects of the within-host infection process and how host-parasite interactions following the penetration of the parasite into the host have a distinct temporal component.

  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. An Unusual Prohibitin Regulates Malaria Parasite Mitochondrial Membrane Potential

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    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

  2. Genetic local search algorithm for optimization design of diffractive optical elements.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhou, G; Chen, Y; Wang, Z; Song, H

    1999-07-10

    We propose a genetic local search algorithm (GLSA) for the optimization design of diffractive optical elements (DOE's). This hybrid algorithm incorporates advantages of both genetic algorithm (GA) and local search techniques. It appears better able to locate the global minimum compared with a canonical GA. Sample cases investigated here include the optimization design of binary-phase Dammann gratings, continuous surface-relief grating array generators, and a uniform top-hat focal plane intensity profile generator. Two GLSA's whose incorporated local search techniques are the hill-climbing method and the simulated annealing algorithm are investigated. Numerical experimental results demonstrate that the proposed algorithm is highly efficient and robust. DOE's that have high diffraction efficiency and excellent uniformity can be achieved by use of the algorithm we propose.

  3. Modeling of a Stacked Power Module for Parasitic Inductance Extraction

    Science.gov (United States)

    2017-09-15

    ARL-TR-8138 ● SEP 2017 US Army Research Laboratory Modeling of a Stacked Power Module for Parasitic Inductance Extraction by...not return it to the originator. ARL-TR-8138 ● SEP 2017 US Army Research Laboratory Modeling of a Stacked Power Module for... Power Module for Parasitic Inductance Extraction 5a. CONTRACT NUMBER 5b. GRANT NUMBER 5c. PROGRAM ELEMENT NUMBER 6. AUTHOR(S) Steven Kaplan

  4. Life cycles, molecular phylogeny and historical biogeography of the ‘pygmaeus’ microphallids (Digenea: Microphallidae): widespread parasites of marine and coastal birds in the Holarctic

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Galaktionov, K.V.; Blasco-Costa, Maria Isabel; Olson, P. D.

    2012-01-01

    Roč. 139, č. 10 (2012), s. 1346-1360 ISSN 0031-1820 Institutional support: RVO:60077344 Keywords : marine parasites * trematode * Microphallus * parasite speciation * parasite transmission * host-parasite co-evolution * host switching * host-parasite assemblages Subject RIV: EH - Ecology, Behaviour; EB - Genetics ; Molecular Biology (BC-A) Impact factor: 2.355, year: 2012

  5. Spatial heterogeneity, frequency-dependent selection and polymorphism in host-parasite interactions

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    Tellier Aurélien

    2011-11-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Genomic and pathology analysis has revealed enormous diversity in genes involved in disease, including those encoding host resistance and parasite effectors (also known in plant pathology as avirulence genes. It has been proposed that such variation may persist when an organism exists in a spatially structured metapopulation, following the geographic mosaic of coevolution. Here, we study gene-for-gene relationships governing the outcome of plant-parasite interactions in a spatially structured system and, in particular, investigate the population genetic processes which maintain balanced polymorphism in both species. Results Following previous theory on the effect of heterogeneous environments on maintenance of polymorphism, we analysed a model with two demes in which the demes have different environments and are coupled by gene flow. Environmental variation is manifested by different coefficients of natural selection, the costs to the host of resistance and to the parasite of virulence, the cost to the host of being diseased and the cost to an avirulent parasite of unsuccessfully attacking a resistant host. We show that migration generates negative direct frequency-dependent selection, a condition for maintenance of stable polymorphism in each deme. Balanced polymorphism occurs preferentially if there is heterogeneity for costs of resistance and virulence alleles among populations and to a lesser extent if there is variation in the cost to the host of being diseased. We show that the four fitness costs control the natural frequency of oscillation of host resistance and parasite avirulence alleles. If demes have different costs, their frequencies of oscillation differ and when coupled by gene flow, there is amplitude death of the oscillations in each deme. Numerical simulations show that for a multiple deme island model, costs of resistance and virulence need not to be present in each deme for stable polymorphism to occur

  6. Canine faecal contamination and parasitic risk in the city of Naples (southern Italy

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    Veneziano Vincenzo

    2006-09-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Dogs are associated with more than 60 zoonotic diseases among which, parasitosis and, in particular, helminthosis, can pose serious public-health concerns worldwide. Many canine gastrointestinal parasites eliminate their dispersion elements (eggs, larvae, oocysts by the faecal route. The quantity of canine faeces deposited on public and private property in cities worldwide is both a perennial nuisance and an important health issue. Public sites such as playgrounds, parks, gardens, public squares and sandpits may be an important source of human infection. The aim of this study was to evaluate the extent of both canine faecal contamination in the city of Naples (southern Italy, and presence of canine parasitic elements, with particular regard to those which are potential agents of zoonosis. A regular grid of sub-areas (1 km × 700 m was overlaid on the city map using a Geographical Information System (GIS. In each sub-area the straightest 1 km transect was drawn and digitalized on-screen in the GIS. Between February and May 2005 canine faeces were counted along the 1 km transects in 143 sub-areas, and 415 canine faecal samples were collected and submitted to coprological examinations. Negative binomial regression models and Gaussian random effects models were used to analyze the association between faeces count and human population density taking into account for extraPoisson variability. Logistic regression model was used to evaluate the association between positivity to parasitic elements and number of canine faeces. Results Out of the 143 studied sub-areas, 141 (98.6% contained canine faeces. There was a strong spatial gradient with 48% of the total variability accounted by between neighbourhood variability; a positive association between the number of faeces and the human population density was found. Seventy (over 415, 16.9% canine faecal samples were positive for parasitic elements. There was no association between

  7. Novel synthetic Medea selfish genetic elements drive population replacement in Drosophila; a theoretical exploration of Medea-dependent population suppression.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Akbari, Omar S; Chen, Chun-Hong; Marshall, John M; Huang, Haixia; Antoshechkin, Igor; Hay, Bruce A

    2014-12-19

    Insects act as vectors for diseases of plants, animals, and humans. Replacement of wild insect populations with genetically modified individuals unable to transmit disease provides a potentially self-perpetuating method of disease prevention. Population replacement requires a gene drive mechanism in order to spread linked genes mediating disease refractoriness through wild populations. We previously reported the creation of synthetic Medea selfish genetic elements able to drive population replacement in Drosophila. These elements use microRNA-mediated silencing of myd88, a maternally expressed gene required for embryonic dorso-ventral pattern formation, coupled with early zygotic expression of a rescuing transgene, to bring about gene drive. Medea elements that work through additional mechanisms are needed in order to be able to carry out cycles of population replacement and/or remove existing transgenes from the population, using second-generation elements that spread while driving first-generation elements out of the population. Here we report the synthesis and population genetic behavior of two new synthetic Medea elements that drive population replacement through manipulation of signaling pathways involved in cellular blastoderm formation or Notch signaling, demonstrating that in Drosophila Medea elements can be generated through manipulation of diverse signaling pathways. We also describe the mRNA and small RNA changes in ovaries and early embryos associated from Medea-bearing females. Finally, we use modeling to illustrate how Medea elements carrying genes that result in diapause-dependent female lethality could be used to bring about population suppression.

  8. Sex-specific effects of a parasite evolving in a female-biased host population.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Duneau, David; Luijckx, Pepijn; Ruder, Ludwig F; Ebert, Dieter

    2012-12-18

    Males and females differ in many ways and might present different opportunities and challenges to their parasites. In the same way that parasites adapt to the most common host type, they may adapt to the characteristics of the host sex they encounter most often. To explore this hypothesis, we characterized host sex-specific effects of the parasite Pasteuria ramosa, a bacterium evolving in naturally, strongly, female-biased populations of its host Daphnia magna. We show that the parasite proliferates more successfully in female hosts than in male hosts, even though males and females are genetically identical. In addition, when exposure occurred when hosts expressed a sexual dimorphism, females were more infected. In both host sexes, the parasite causes a similar reduction in longevity and leads to some level of castration. However, only in females does parasite-induced castration result in the gigantism that increases the carrying capacity for the proliferating parasite. We show that mature male and female Daphnia represent different environments and reveal one parasite-induced symptom (host castration), which leads to increased carrying capacity for parasite proliferation in female but not male hosts. We propose that parasite induced host castration is a property of parasites that evolved as an adaptation to specifically exploit female hosts.

  9. Sex-specific effects of a parasite evolving in a female-biased host population

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Duneau David

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Males and females differ in many ways and might present different opportunities and challenges to their parasites. In the same way that parasites adapt to the most common host type, they may adapt to the characteristics of the host sex they encounter most often. To explore this hypothesis, we characterized host sex-specific effects of the parasite Pasteuria ramosa, a bacterium evolving in naturally, strongly, female-biased populations of its host Daphnia magna. Results We show that the parasite proliferates more successfully in female hosts than in male hosts, even though males and females are genetically identical. In addition, when exposure occurred when hosts expressed a sexual dimorphism, females were more infected. In both host sexes, the parasite causes a similar reduction in longevity and leads to some level of castration. However, only in females does parasite-induced castration result in the gigantism that increases the carrying capacity for the proliferating parasite. Conclusions We show that mature male and female Daphnia represent different environments and reveal one parasite-induced symptom (host castration, which leads to increased carrying capacity for parasite proliferation in female but not male hosts. We propose that parasite induced host castration is a property of parasites that evolved as an adaptation to specifically exploit female hosts.

  10. Sex-specific effects of a parasite evolving in a female-biased host population

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-01-01

    Background Males and females differ in many ways and might present different opportunities and challenges to their parasites. In the same way that parasites adapt to the most common host type, they may adapt to the characteristics of the host sex they encounter most often. To explore this hypothesis, we characterized host sex-specific effects of the parasite Pasteuria ramosa, a bacterium evolving in naturally, strongly, female-biased populations of its host Daphnia magna. Results We show that the parasite proliferates more successfully in female hosts than in male hosts, even though males and females are genetically identical. In addition, when exposure occurred when hosts expressed a sexual dimorphism, females were more infected. In both host sexes, the parasite causes a similar reduction in longevity and leads to some level of castration. However, only in females does parasite-induced castration result in the gigantism that increases the carrying capacity for the proliferating parasite. Conclusions We show that mature male and female Daphnia represent different environments and reveal one parasite-induced symptom (host castration), which leads to increased carrying capacity for parasite proliferation in female but not male hosts. We propose that parasite induced host castration is a property of parasites that evolved as an adaptation to specifically exploit female hosts. PMID:23249484

  11. APPLICATION OF BIOTECHNOLOGY TO THE STUDY OF FILARIAL PARASITES AND THEIR VECTORS

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    A. C. Vickery

    2012-09-01

    Full Text Available Over 200 species of filarial parasites have been described, although the life cycle and nature of their obligate intermediate arthropod vectors have been identified for only about a quarter of them. Traditional methods of studying phylogenetic relationships between closely related parasite species have utilized morphologic, biochemical and biologic characteristics, usually of the microfilarial stage. Identification of competent vectors from among complexes of sibling species, has employed similar techniques, despite the fact that differences between geographical isolates may reflect environmental rather than genetically controlled factors. Studies of the prevalence and transmission of animal, human and zoonotic filarids, so important for vector identification and control, has lead to the examination of filarial parasites at the genetic level. Genomic DNA libraries are being constructed and screened for clones which are species specific. From this work, DNA probes which can accurately enumerate larval stages in vector squash preparations, and monoclonal antibodies specific for defined filarial antigens, are being prepared. The nucleotide sequences of rRNA are also being defined. The application of these technologies to the study of filarial parasites and their vectors, promises to not only allow the construction of accurate phylogenetic trees, but also to provide the data necessary for the identification and control of the vectors of filarial pathogens of animals and man.

  12. Genetic parameters of infectious bovine keratoconjunctivitis and its relationship with weight and parasite infestations in Australian tropical Bos taurus cattle

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    Ali Abdirahman A

    2012-07-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Infectious bovine keratoconjunctivitis (IBK or ‘pinkeye’ is an economically important ocular disease that significantly impacts animal performance. Genetic parameters for IBK infection and its genetic and phenotypic correlations with cattle tick counts, number of helminth (unspecified species eggs per gram of faeces and growth traits in Australian tropically adapted Bos taurus cattle were estimated. Methods Animals were clinically examined for the presence of IBK infection before and after weaning when the calves were 3 to 6 months and 15 to 18 months old, respectively and were also recorded for tick counts, helminth eggs counts as an indicator of intestinal parasites and live weights at several ages including 18 months. Results Negative genetic correlations were estimated between IBK incidence and weight traits for animals in pre-weaning and post-weaning datasets. Genetic correlations among weight measurements were positive, with moderate to high values. Genetic correlations of IBK incidence with tick counts were positive for the pre-weaning and negative for the post-weaning datasets but negative with helminth eggs counts for the pre-weaning dataset and slightly positive for the post-weaning dataset. Genetic correlations between tick and helminth eggs counts were moderate and positive for both datasets. Phenotypic correlations of IBK incidence with helminth eggs per gram of faeces were moderate and positive for both datasets, but were close to zero for both datasets with tick counts. Conclusions Our results suggest that genetic selection against IBK incidence in tropical cattle is feasible and that calves genetically prone to acquire IBK infection could also be genetically prone to have a slower growth. The positive genetic correlations among weight traits and between tick and helminth eggs counts suggest that they are controlled by common genes (with pleiotropic effects. Genetic correlations between IBK incidence

  13. Genetic parameters of infectious bovine keratoconjunctivitis and its relationship with weight and parasite infestations in Australian tropical Bos taurus cattle.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ali, Abdirahman A; O'Neill, Christopher J; Thomson, Peter C; Kadarmideen, Haja N

    2012-07-27

    Infectious bovine keratoconjunctivitis (IBK) or 'pinkeye' is an economically important ocular disease that significantly impacts animal performance. Genetic parameters for IBK infection and its genetic and phenotypic correlations with cattle tick counts, number of helminth (unspecified species) eggs per gram of faeces and growth traits in Australian tropically adapted Bos taurus cattle were estimated. Animals were clinically examined for the presence of IBK infection before and after weaning when the calves were 3 to 6 months and 15 to 18 months old, respectively and were also recorded for tick counts, helminth eggs counts as an indicator of intestinal parasites and live weights at several ages including 18 months. Negative genetic correlations were estimated between IBK incidence and weight traits for animals in pre-weaning and post-weaning datasets. Genetic correlations among weight measurements were positive, with moderate to high values. Genetic correlations of IBK incidence with tick counts were positive for the pre-weaning and negative for the post-weaning datasets but negative with helminth eggs counts for the pre-weaning dataset and slightly positive for the post-weaning dataset. Genetic correlations between tick and helminth eggs counts were moderate and positive for both datasets. Phenotypic correlations of IBK incidence with helminth eggs per gram of faeces were moderate and positive for both datasets, but were close to zero for both datasets with tick counts. Our results suggest that genetic selection against IBK incidence in tropical cattle is feasible and that calves genetically prone to acquire IBK infection could also be genetically prone to have a slower growth. The positive genetic correlations among weight traits and between tick and helminth eggs counts suggest that they are controlled by common genes (with pleiotropic effects). Genetic correlations between IBK incidence and tick and helminth egg counts were moderate and opposite between pre

  14. Morphological variation in the cosmopolitan fish parasite Neobenedenia girellae (Capsalidae: Monogenea).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brazenor, Alexander K; Saunders, Richard J; Miller, Terrence L; Hutson, Kate S

    2018-02-01

    Intra-species morphological variation presents a considerable problem for species identification and can result in taxonomic confusion. This is particularly pertinent for species of Neobenedenia which are harmful agents in captive fish populations and have historically been identified almost entirely based on morphological characters. This study aimed to understand how the morphology of Neobenedenia girellae varies with host fish species and the environment. Standard morphological features of genetically indistinct parasites from various host fish species were measured under controlled temperatures and salinities. An initial field-based investigation found that parasite morphology significantly differed between genetically indistinct parasites infecting various host fish species. The majority of the morphological variation observed (60%) was attributed to features that assist in parasite attachment to the host (i.e. the posterior and anterior attachment organs and their accessory hooks) which are important characters in monogenean taxonomy. We then experimentally examined the effects of the interaction between host fish species and environmental factors (temperature and salinity) on the morphology of isogenic parasites derived from a single, isolated hermaphroditic N. girellae infecting barramundi, Lates calcarifer. Experimental infection of L. calcarifer and cobia, Rachycentron canadum, under controlled laboratory conditions did not confer host-mediated phenotypic plasticity in N. girellae, suggesting that measured morphological differences could be adaptive and only occur over multiple parasite generations. Subsequent experimental infection of a single host species, L. calcarifer, at various temperatures (22, 30 and 32 °C) and salinities (35 and 40‰) showed that in the cooler environments (22 °C) N. girellae body proportions were significantly smaller compared with warmer temperatures (30 and 32 °C; P < 0.0001), whereas salinity had no effect. This

  15. Footprints of directional selection in wild Atlantic salmon populations: evidence for parasite-driven evolution?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zueva, Ksenia J; Lumme, Jaakko; Veselov, Alexey E; Kent, Matthew P; Lien, Sigbjørn; Primmer, Craig R

    2014-01-01

    Mechanisms of host-parasite co-adaptation have long been of interest in evolutionary biology; however, determining the genetic basis of parasite resistance has been challenging. Current advances in genome technologies provide new opportunities for obtaining a genome-scale view of the action of parasite-driven natural selection in wild populations and thus facilitate the search for specific genomic regions underlying inter-population differences in pathogen response. European populations of Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar L.) exhibit natural variance in susceptibility levels to the ectoparasite Gyrodactylus salaris Malmberg 1957, ranging from resistance to extreme susceptibility, and are therefore a good model for studying the evolution of virulence and resistance. However, distinguishing the molecular signatures of genetic drift and environment-associated selection in small populations such as land-locked Atlantic salmon populations presents a challenge, specifically in the search for pathogen-driven selection. We used a novel genome-scan analysis approach that enabled us to i) identify signals of selection in salmon populations affected by varying levels of genetic drift and ii) separate potentially selected loci into the categories of pathogen (G. salaris)-driven selection and selection acting upon other environmental characteristics. A total of 4631 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) were screened in Atlantic salmon from 12 different northern European populations. We identified three genomic regions potentially affected by parasite-driven selection, as well as three regions presumably affected by salinity-driven directional selection. Functional annotation of candidate SNPs is consistent with the role of the detected genomic regions in immune defence and, implicitly, in osmoregulation. These results provide new insights into the genetic basis of pathogen susceptibility in Atlantic salmon and will enable future searches for the specific genes involved.

  16. A Cas9 transgenic Plasmodium yoelii parasite for efficient gene editing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Qian, Pengge; Wang, Xu; Yang, Zhenke; Li, Zhenkui; Gao, Han; Su, Xin-Zhuan; Cui, Huiting; Yuan, Jing

    2018-06-01

    The RNA-guided endonuclease Cas9 has applied as an efficient gene-editing method in malaria parasite Plasmodium. However, the size (4.2 kb) of the commonly used Cas9 from Streptococcus pyogenes (SpCas9) limits its utility for genome editing in the parasites only introduced with cas9 plasmid. To establish the endogenous and constitutive expression of Cas9 protein in the rodent malaria parasite P. yoelii, we replaced the coding region of an endogenous gene sera1 with the intact SpCas9 coding sequence using the CRISPR/Cas9-mediated genome editing method, generating the cas9-knockin parasite (PyCas9ki) of the rodent malaria parasite P. yoelii. The resulted PyCas9ki parasite displays normal progression during the whole life cycle and possesses the Cas9 protein expression in asexual blood stage. By introducing the plasmid (pYCs) containing only sgRNA and homologous template elements, we successfully achieved both deletion and tagging modifications for different endogenous genes in the genome of PyCas9ki parasite. This cas9-knockin PyCas9ki parasite provides a new platform facilitating gene functions study in the rodent malaria parasite P. yoelii. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  17. The Use of Arabidopsis to Study Interactions between Parasitic Angiosperms and Their Plant Hosts

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goldwasser, Y.; Westwood, J. H.; Yoder, J. I.

    2002-01-01

    Parasitic plants invade host plants in order to rob them of water, minerals and nutrients. The consequences to the infected hosts can be debilitating and some of the world's most pernicious agricultural weeds are parasitic. Parasitic genera of the Scrophulariaceae and Orobanchaceae directly invade roots of neighboring plants via underground structures called haustoria. The mechanisms by which these parasites identify and associate with host plants present unsurpassed opportunities for studying chemical signaling in plant-plant interactions. Seeds of some parasites require specific host factors for efficient germination, thereby insuring the availability of an appropriate host root prior to germination. A second set of signal molecules is required to induce haustorium development and the beginning of heterotrophy. Later stages in parasitism also require the presence of host factors, although these have not yet been well characterized. Arabidopsis is being used as a model host plant to identify genetic loci associated with stimulating parasite germination, haustorium development, and parasite support. Arabidopsis is also being employed to explore how host plants respond to parasite attack. Current methodologies and recent findings in Arabidopsis – parasitic plant interactions will be discussed. PMID:22303205

  18. Resistance to a bacterial parasite in the crustacean Daphnia magna shows Mendelian segregation with dominance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Luijckx, P; Fienberg, H; Duneau, D; Ebert, D

    2012-05-01

    The influence of host and parasite genetic background on infection outcome is a topic of great interest because of its pertinence to theoretical issues in evolutionary biology. In the present study, we use a classical genetics approach to examine the mode of inheritance of infection outcome in the crustacean Daphnia magna when exposed to the bacterial parasite Pasteuria ramosa. In contrast to previous studies in this system, we use a clone of P. ramosa, not field isolates, which allows for a more definitive interpretation of results. We test parental, F1, F2, backcross and selfed parental clones (total 284 genotypes) for susceptibility against a clone of P. ramosa using two different methods, infection trials and the recently developed attachment test. We find that D. magna clones reliably exhibit either complete resistance or complete susceptibility to P. ramosa clone C1 and that resistance is dominant, and inherited in a pattern consistent with Mendelian segregation of a single-locus with two alleles. The finding of a single host locus controlling susceptibility to P. ramosa suggests that the previously observed genotype-genotype interactions in this system have a simple genetic basis. This has important implications for the outcome of host-parasite co-evolution. Our results add to the growing body of evidence that resistance to parasites in invertebrates is mostly coded by one or few loci with dominance.

  19. Nuclear techniqes in the study of genetic resistance to gastrointestinal nematode infections of sheep

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Dargie, J.D.

    1984-01-01

    The paper reviews genetic resistance of sheep to gastrointestinal nematodes from the standpoint of resistance to the parasites themselves and of resistance to the diseases they produce. Attention is focused on infections with the abomasal parasite Haemonchus contortus and the small intestinal nematode Trichostrongylus colubriformis, and on the role of nuclear techniques both in verifying the existence of genetically based differences in resistance to these parasites and in gaining an understanding of the mechanisms involved. It is concluded that resistance to disease per se is much less important than resistance to parasite establishment and survival and that genetic studies could contribute substantially to the identification of the factors and variables responsible for the present inability to successfully vaccinate young animals against these infections. (author)

  20. Host ploidy, parasitism and immune defence in a coevolutionary snail-trematode system.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Osnas, E E; Lively, C M

    2006-01-01

    We studied the role of host ploidy and parasite exposure on immune defence allocation in a snail-trematode system (Potamopyrgus antipodarum-Microphallus sp.). In the field, haemocyte (the defence cell) concentration was lowest in deep-water habitats where infection is relatively low and highest in shallow-water habitats where infection is common. Because the frequency of asexual triploid snails is positively correlated with depth, we also experimentally studied the role of ploidy by exposing both diploid sexual and triploid asexual snails to Microphallus eggs. We found that triploid snails had lower haemocyte concentrations than did diploids in both parasite-addition and parasite-free treatments. We also found that both triploids and diploids increased their numbers of large granular haemocytes at similar rates after parasite exposure. Because triploid P. antipodarum have been shown to be more resistant to allopatric parasites than diploids, the current results suggest that the increased resistance of triploids is because of intrinsic genetic properties rather than to greater allocation to defence cells. This finding is consistent with recent theory on the advantages of increased ploidy for hosts combating coevolving parasites.

  1. Genetic diversity of Trichomonas vaginalis reinfection in HIV-positive women.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Conrad, Melissa D; Kissinger, Patricia; Schmidt, Norine; Martin, David H; Carlton, Jane M

    2013-09-01

    Recently developed genotyping tools allow better understanding of Trichomonas vaginalis population genetics and epidemiology. These tools have yet to be applied to T vaginalis collected from HIV+ populations, where understanding the interaction between the pathogens is of great importance due to the correlation between T vaginalis infection and HIV transmission. The objectives of the study were twofold: first, to compare the genetic diversity and population structure of T vaginalis collected from HIV+ women with parasites from reference populations; second, to use the genetic markers to perform a case study demonstrating the usefulness of these techniques in investigating the mechanisms of repeat infections. Repository T vaginalis samples from a previously described treatment trial were genotyped at 11 microsatellite loci. Estimates of genetic diversity and population structure were determined using standard techniques and compared with previously reported estimates of global populations. Genotyping data were used in conjunction with behavioural data to evaluate mechanisms of repeat infections. T vaginalis from HIV+ women maintain many of the population genetic characteristics of parasites from global reference populations. Although there is evidence of reduced diversity and bias towards type 1 parasites in the HIV+ population, the populations share a two-type population structure and parasite haplotypes. Genotyping/behavioural data suggest that 36% (12/33) of repeat infections in HIV+ women can be attributed to treatment failure. T vaginalis infecting HIV+ women is not genetically distinct from T vaginalis infecting reference populations. Information from genotyping can be valuable for understanding mechanisms of repeat infections.

  2. Modulation of Dendritic Cell Responses by Parasites: A Common Strategy to Survive

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    César A. Terrazas

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available Parasitic infections are one of the most important causes of morbidity and mortality in our planet and the immune responses triggered by these organisms are critical to determine their outcome. Dendritic cells are key elements for the development of immunity against parasites; they control the responses required to eliminate these pathogens while maintaining host homeostasis. However, there is evidence showing that parasites can influence and regulate dendritic cell function in order to promote a more permissive environment for their survival. In this review we will focus on the strategies protozoan and helminth parasites have developed to interfere with dendritic cell activities as well as in the possible mechanisms involved.

  3. Preparation of live attenuated leishmania parasites by using laser technology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hussain, Nabiha; Alkhouri, Hassan; Haddad, Shaden

    2018-05-01

    Leishmaniasis is a parasitic disease of humans, affecting the skin, mucosal and/or internal organs, caused by flagellate protozoa Leishmania of the Trypanosomatidae family. Leishmania would be one for which a vaccine could be developed with relative ease. Many studies mount an effective response that resolves the infection and confers solid immunity to reinfection and suggesting that infection may be a prerequisite for immunological memory. Genetically altered live attenuated parasites with controlled infectivity could achieve such immunological memory. Recent concepts include use of genetically modified live-attenuated Leishmania parasites, and proteomics approach for the search of a cross-protective leishmanial vaccine that would ideally protect against both cutaneous and visceral forms of the disease. No licensed vaccine is available till date against any form of leishmaniasis. The present study evaluated role of laser technology in development of a safe live Leishmania vaccine, a vaccine is a biological preparation that improves immunity to a particular disease, and is often made from weakened or killed forms of LPs. The parasite culture was expanded in RPMI 1640 medium with 10% fetal calf serum (FCS) and grown until stationary phase for experiments. 80 samples of leishmania promastigotes (Culture media of LPs) were exposed to Nd:YAG laser (wavelength 1064 nm, single spot or double) with different outputs powers (7w, 100 Hz, 99.03w/cm2, 0.99 J/cm2 and 8 w, 100 Hz, 113.18w/cm2 1.13J/cm2)) for suitable exposer times. The effect of semiconductor laser (wavelength 810 nm, 7w, 2000 Hz, 99.03w/cm2, 0.05 J/cm2) or (7 w, 500 Hz, 99.03 w/cm2, 0.2J/cm2) single spot or double with long exposure times. The viability of Leishmania parasites was measured using XTT method; viable parasites were decreased with long exposure times. XTT test referred both these wavelengths were effective in killing percentage of Leishmania promastigotes, the remaining were devoid flagellum that

  4. [Mobile genetic elements in plant sex evolution].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gerashchenkov, G A; Rozhnova, N A

    2010-11-01

    The most significant theories of the appearance and maintenance of sex are presented. However, in the overwhelming majority of existing theories, the problem of sex, which is the central problem of evolutionary biology, is considered primarily through the prism of reproductive features of living organisms, whereas the issue of molecular driving forces of sexual reproduction id restricted to the possible role of mobile genetic elements (MGEs) in the appearance of sexual reproduction. The structural and functional significance of MGEs in the genomic organization of plants is illustrated. It is shown that MGEs could act as important molecular drivers of sex evolution in plants. The involvement of MGEs in the formation of sex chromosomes and possible participation in seeds-without-sex reproduction (apomixis) is discussed. Thus, the hypothesis on the active MGE participation in sex evolution is in good agreement with the modern views on pathways and directions of sex evolution in plants.

  5. Paternity-parasitism trade-offs: a model and test of host-parasite cooperation in an avian conspecific brood parasite.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lyon, Bruce E; Hochachka, Wesley M; Eadie, John M

    2002-06-01

    Efforts to evaluate the evolutionary and ecological dynamics of conspecific brood parasitism in birds and other animals have focused on the fitness costs of parasitism to hosts and fitness benefits to parasites. However, it has been speculated recently that, in species with biparental care, host males might cooperate with parasitic females by allowing access to the host nest in exchange for copulations. We develop a cost-benefit model to explore the conditions under which such host-parasite cooperation might occur. When the brood parasite does not have a nest of her own, the only benefit to the host male is siring some of the parasitic eggs (quasi-parasitism). Cooperation with the parasite is favored when the ratio of host male paternity of his own eggs relative to his paternity of parasitic eggs exceeds the cost of parasitism. When the brood parasite has a nest of her own, a host male can gain additional, potentially more important benefits by siring the high-value, low-cost eggs laid by the parasite in her own nest. Under these conditions, host males should be even more likely to accept parasitic eggs in return for copulations with the parasitic female. We tested these predictions for American coots (Fulica americana), a species with a high frequency of conspecific brood parasitism. Multilocus DNA profiling indicated that host males did not sire any of the parasitic eggs laid in host nests, nor did they sire eggs laid by the parasite in her own nest. We used field estimates of the model parameters from a four-year study of coots to predict the minimum levels of paternity required for the costs of parasitism to be offset by the benefits of mating with brood parasites. Observed levels of paternity were significantly lower than those predicted under a variety of assumptions, and we reject the hypothesis that host males cooperated with parasitic females. Our model clarifies the specific costs and benefits that influence host-parasite cooperation and, more generally

  6. Intraspecific queen parasitism in a highly eusocial bee

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wenseleers, Tom; Alves, Denise A.; Francoy, Tiago M.; Billen, Johan; Imperatriz-Fonseca, Vera L.

    2011-01-01

    Insect societies are well-known for their advanced cooperation, but their colonies are also vulnerable to reproductive parasitism. Here, we present a novel example of an intraspecific social parasitism in a highly eusocial bee, the stingless bee Melipona scutellaris. In particular, we provide genetic evidence which shows that, upon loss of the mother queen, many colonies are invaded by unrelated queens that fly in from unrelated hives nearby. The reasons for the occurrence of this surprising form of social parasitism may be linked to the fact that unlike honeybees, Melipona bees produce new queens in great excess of colony needs, and that this exerts much greater selection on queens to seek alternative reproductive options, such as by taking over other nests. Overall, our results are the first to demonstrate that queens in highly eusocial bees can found colonies not only via supersedure or swarming, but also by infiltrating and taking over other unrelated nests. PMID:20961883

  7. Intraspecific queen parasitism in a highly eusocial bee.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wenseleers, Tom; Alves, Denise A; Francoy, Tiago M; Billen, Johan; Imperatriz-Fonseca, Vera L

    2011-04-23

    Insect societies are well-known for their advanced cooperation, but their colonies are also vulnerable to reproductive parasitism. Here, we present a novel example of an intraspecific social parasitism in a highly eusocial bee, the stingless bee Melipona scutellaris. In particular, we provide genetic evidence which shows that, upon loss of the mother queen, many colonies are invaded by unrelated queens that fly in from unrelated hives nearby. The reasons for the occurrence of this surprising form of social parasitism may be linked to the fact that unlike honeybees, Melipona bees produce new queens in great excess of colony needs, and that this exerts much greater selection on queens to seek alternative reproductive options, such as by taking over other nests. Overall, our results are the first to demonstrate that queens in highly eusocial bees can found colonies not only via supersedure or swarming, but also by infiltrating and taking over other unrelated nests.

  8. Social Parasites

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-01-01

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

  9. A Small RNA-Based Immune System Defends Germ Cells against Mobile Genetic Elements

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Astrid D. Haase

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Transposons are mobile genetic elements that threaten the survival of species by destabilizing the germline genomes. Limiting the spread of these selfish elements is imperative. Germ cells employ specialized small regulatory RNA pathways to restrain transposon activity. PIWI proteins and Piwi-interacting RNAs (piRNAs silence transposons at the transcriptional and posttranscriptional level with loss-of-function mutant animals universally exhibiting sterility often associated with germ cell defects. This short review aims to illustrate basic strategies of piRNA-guided defense against transposons. Mechanisms of piRNA silencing are most readily studied in Drosophila melanogaster, which serves as a model to delineate molecular concepts and as a reference for mammalian piRNA systems. PiRNA pathways utilize two major strategies to handle the challenges of transposon control: (1 the hard-wired molecular memory of prior transpositions enables recognition of mobile genetic elements and discriminates transposons from host genes; (2 a feed-forward adaptation mechanism shapes piRNA populations to selectively combat the immediate threat of transposon transcripts. In flies, maternally contributed PIWI-piRNA complexes bolster both of these lines of defense and ensure transgenerational immunity. While recent studies have provided a conceptual framework of what could be viewed as an ancient immune system, we are just beginning to appreciate its many molecular innovations.

  10. Leishmania parasite detection and quantification using PCR-ELISA

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Kobets, Tetyana; Badalová, Jana; Grekov, Igor; Havelková, Helena; Lipoldová, Marie

    2010-01-01

    Roč. 5, č. 6 (2010), s. 1074-1080 ISSN 1754-2189 R&D Projects: GA ČR GA310/08/1697; GA MŠk(CZ) LC06009 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z50520514 Keywords : polymerase chain reaction * Leishmania major infection * parasite quantification Subject RIV: EB - Genetics ; Molecular Biology Impact factor: 8.362, year: 2010

  11. Novel Synthetic Medea selfish genetic elements drive population replacement in Drosophila, and a theoretical exploration of Medea-dependent population suppression

    Science.gov (United States)

    Akbari, Omar S.; Chen, Chun-Hong; Marshall, John M.; Huang, Haixia; Antoshechkin, Igor; Hay, Bruce A.

    2013-01-01

    Insects act as vectors for diseases of plants, animals and humans. Replacement of wild insect populations with genetically modified individuals unable to transmit disease provides a potentially self-perpetuating method of disease prevention. Population replacement requires a gene drive mechanism in order to spread linked genes mediating disease refractoriness through wild populations. We previously reported the creation of synthetic Medea selfish genetic elements able to drive population replacement in Drosophila. These elements use microRNA-mediated silencing of myd88, a maternally expressed gene required for embryonic dorso-ventral pattern formation, coupled with early zygotic expression of a rescuing transgene, to bring about gene drive. Medea elements that work through additional mechanisms are needed in order to be able to carry out cycles of population replacement and/or remove existing transgenes from the population, using second-generation elements that spread while driving first-generation elements out of the population. Here we report the synthesis and population genetic behavior of two new synthetic Medea elements that drive population replacement through manipulation of signaling pathways involved in cellular blastoderm formation or Notch signaling, demonstrating that in Drosophila Medea elements can be generated through manipulation of diverse signaling pathways. We also describe the mRNA and small RNA changes in ovaries and early embryos associated from Medea-bearing females. Finally, we use modeling to illustrate how Medea elements carrying genes that result in diapause-dependent female lethality could be used to bring about population suppression. PMID:23654248

  12. Maternal tissue is involved in stimulant reception by seeds of the parasitic plant Orobanche.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Plakhine, Dina; Tadmor, Yaakov; Ziadne, Hammam; Joel, Daniel M

    2012-04-01

    A fundamental element in the evolution of obligate root-parasitic angiosperms is their ability to germinate only in response to chemical stimulation by roots, to ensure contact with a nearby nourishing host. The aim of this study was to explore inheritance of the unique germination control in this group of plants. Analysis was made of the segregation of spontaneous (non-induced) germination that appeared in hybrid progenies derived from crosses between Orobanche cernua and O. cumana, which, like all other Orobanche species, are totally dependent on chemical stimulation for the onset of germination, and show negligible spontaneous germination in their natural seed populations. F(1) and F(2) seeds did not germinate in the absence of chemical stimulation, but significant spontaneous germination was found in some F(3) seed families. This indicates that the prevention of non-induced germination in Orobanche seeds, i.e. dependence on an external chemical stimulation for seed germination, is genetically controlled, that this genetic control is expressed in a seed tissue with maternal origin (presumably the perisperm that originates from the nucellus) and that genetic variation for this trait exists in Orobanche species. Similar segregation results were obtained in reciprocal crosses, suggesting that stimulated germination is controlled by nuclear genes.

  13. Genome Dynamics of Escherichia coli during Antibiotic Treatment: Transfer, Loss, and Persistence of Genetic Elements In situ of the Infant Gut.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Porse, Andreas; Gumpert, Heidi; Kubicek-Sutherland, Jessica Z; Karami, Nahid; Adlerberth, Ingegerd; Wold, Agnes E; Andersson, Dan I; Sommer, Morten O A

    2017-01-01

    Elucidating the adaptive strategies and plasticity of bacterial genomes in situ is crucial for understanding the epidemiology and evolution of pathogens threatening human health. While much is known about the evolution of Escherichia coli in controlled laboratory environments, less effort has been made to elucidate the genome dynamics of E. coli in its native settings. Here, we follow the genome dynamics of co-existing E. coli lineages in situ of the infant gut during the first year of life. One E. coli lineage causes a urinary tract infection (UTI) and experiences several alterations of its genomic content during subsequent antibiotic treatment. Interestingly, all isolates of this uropathogenic E. coli strain carried a highly stable plasmid implicated in virulence of diverse pathogenic strains from all over the world. While virulence elements are certainly beneficial during infection scenarios, their role in gut colonization and pathogen persistence is poorly understood. We performed in vivo competitive fitness experiments to assess the role of this highly disseminated virulence plasmid in gut colonization, but found no evidence for a direct benefit of plasmid carriage. Through plasmid stability assays, we demonstrate that this plasmid is maintained in a parasitic manner, by strong first-line inheritance mechanisms, acting on the single-cell level, rather than providing a direct survival advantage in the gut. Investigating the ecology of endemic accessory genetic elements, in their pathogenic hosts and native environment, is of vital importance if we want to understand the evolution and persistence of highly virulent and drug resistant bacterial isolates.

  14. 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.

  15. Evidence for the exchange of blood parasites between North America and the Neotropics in blue-winged teal (Anas discors)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ramey, Andy M.; Reed, John; Walther, Patrick; Link, Paul; Schmutz, Joel A.; Douglas, David C.; Stallknecht, David E.; Soos, Catherine

    2016-01-01

    Blue-winged teal (Anas discors) are abundant, small-bodied dabbling ducks that breed throughout the prairies of the northcentral USA and central Canada and that winter in the southern USA and northern Neotropics. Given the migratory tendencies of this species, it is plausible that blue-winged teal may disperse avian pathogens, such as parasites causing avian malaria, between spatially distant areas. To test the hypothesis that blue-winged teal play a role in the exchange of blood parasites between North America and areas further south, we collected information on migratory tendencies of this species and sampled birds at spatially distant areas during breeding and non-breeding periods to diagnose and genetically characterize parasitic infections. Using a combination of band recovery data, satellite telemetry, molecular diagnostics, and genetic analyses, we found evidence for (1) migratory connectivity of blue-winged teal between our sampling locations in the Canadian prairies and along the US Gulf Coast with areas throughout the northern Neotropics, (2) parasite acquisition at both breeding and non-breeding areas, (3) infection of blue-winged teal sampled in Canada and the USA withPlasmodium parasite lineages associated with the Neotropics, and (4) infection of blue-winged teal with parasites that were genetically related to those previously reported in waterfowl in both North America and South America. Collectively, our results suggest that blue-winged teal likely play a role in the dispersal of blood parasites between the Neotropics and North America, and therefore, the targeting of this species in surveillance programs for the early detection of Neotropical-origin avian pathogens in the USA may be informative.

  16. In silico discovery of transcription regulatory elements in Plasmodium falciparum

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Le Roch Karine G

    2008-02-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background With the sequence of the Plasmodium falciparum genome and several global mRNA and protein life cycle expression profiling projects now completed, elucidating the underlying networks of transcriptional control important for the progression of the parasite life cycle is highly pertinent to the development of new anti-malarials. To date, relatively little is known regarding the specific mechanisms the parasite employs to regulate gene expression at the mRNA level, with studies of the P. falciparum genome sequence having revealed few cis-regulatory elements and associated transcription factors. Although it is possible the parasite may evoke mechanisms of transcriptional control drastically different from those used by other eukaryotic organisms, the extreme AT-rich nature of P. falciparum intergenic regions (~90% AT presents significant challenges to in silico cis-regulatory element discovery. Results We have developed an algorithm called Gene Enrichment Motif Searching (GEMS that uses a hypergeometric-based scoring function and a position-weight matrix optimization routine to identify with high-confidence regulatory elements in the nucleotide-biased and repeat sequence-rich P. falciparum genome. When applied to promoter regions of genes contained within 21 co-expression gene clusters generated from P. falciparum life cycle microarray data using the semi-supervised clustering algorithm Ontology-based Pattern Identification, GEMS identified 34 putative cis-regulatory elements associated with a variety of parasite processes including sexual development, cell invasion, antigenic variation and protein biosynthesis. Among these candidates were novel motifs, as well as many of the elements for which biological experimental evidence already exists in the Plasmodium literature. To provide evidence for the biological relevance of a cell invasion-related element predicted by GEMS, reporter gene and electrophoretic mobility shift assays

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

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

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

    2016-01-01

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

  18. Screening for Hepatozoon parasites in gerbils and potential predators in South Africa.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harris, D James; Pereira, Ana; Halajian, Ali; Luus-Powell, Wilmien J; Kunutu, Katlego D

    2017-02-08

    Samples of gerbils and their potential predators were screened for the presence of Hepatozoon parasites (Apicomplexa: Adeleorina) using both microscopic examination and sequencing of partial 18S rRNA sequences. Positive samples were compared to published sequences in a phylogenetic framework. The results indicate that genets can be infected with Hepatozoon felis. A Cape fox was infected with Hepatozoon canis, whereas the sequence from an infected rodent fell within a group of parasites primarily recovered from other rodents and snakes.

  19. Screening for Hepatozoon parasites in gerbils and potential predators in South Africa

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    D. James Harris

    2017-02-01

    Full Text Available Samples of gerbils and their potential predators were screened for the presence of Hepatozoon parasites (Apicomplexa: Adeleorina using both microscopic examination and sequencing of partial 18S rRNA sequences. Positive samples were compared to published sequences in a phylogenetic framework. The results indicate that genets can be infected with Hepatozoon felis. A Cape fox was infected with Hepatozoon canis, whereas the sequence from an infected rodent fell within a group of parasites primarily recovered from other rodents and snakes.

  20. Transgenic Expression of the Anti-parasitic Factor TEP1 in the Malaria Mosquito Anopheles gambiae.

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    Gloria Volohonsky

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Mosquitoes genetically engineered to be resistant to Plasmodium parasites represent a promising novel approach in the fight against malaria. The insect immune system itself is a source of anti-parasitic genes potentially exploitable for transgenic designs. The Anopheles gambiae thioester containing protein 1 (TEP1 is a potent anti-parasitic protein. TEP1 is secreted and circulates in the mosquito hemolymph, where its activated cleaved form binds and eliminates malaria parasites. Here we investigated whether TEP1 can be used to create malaria resistant mosquitoes. Using a GFP reporter transgene, we determined that the fat body is the main site of TEP1 expression. We generated transgenic mosquitoes that express TEP1r, a potent refractory allele of TEP1, in the fat body and examined the activity of the transgenic protein in wild-type or TEP1 mutant genetic backgrounds. Transgenic TEP1r rescued loss-of-function mutations, but did not increase parasite resistance in the presence of a wild-type susceptible allele. Consistent with previous reports, TEP1 protein expressed from the transgene in the fat body was taken up by hemocytes upon a challenge with injected bacteria. Furthermore, although maturation of transgenic TEP1 into the cleaved form was impaired in one of the TEP1 mutant lines, it was still sufficient to reduce parasite numbers and induce parasite melanization. We also report here the first use of Transcription Activator Like Effectors (TALEs in Anopheles gambiae to stimulate expression of endogenous TEP1. We found that artificial elevation of TEP1 expression remains moderate in vivo and that enhancement of endogenous TEP1 expression did not result in increased resistance to Plasmodium. Taken together, our results reveal the difficulty of artificially influencing TEP1-mediated Plasmodium resistance, and contribute to further our understanding of the molecular mechanisms underlying mosquito resistance to Plasmodium parasites.

  1. Extended spectrum β-lactamases, carbapenemases and mobile genetic elements responsible for antibiotics resistance in Gram-negative bacteria.

    Science.gov (United States)

    El Salabi, Allaaeddin; Walsh, Timothey R; Chouchani, Chedly

    2013-05-01

    Infectious diseases due to Gram-negative bacteria are a leading cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide. Antimicrobial agents represent one major therapeutic tools implicated to treat these infections. The misuse of antimicrobial agents has resulted in the emergence of resistant strains of Gram-negatives in particular Enterobacteriaceae and non-fermenters; they have an effect not only on a human but on the public health when bacteria use the resistance mechanisms to spread in the hospital environment and to the community outside the hospitals by means of mobile genetic elements. Gram-negative bacteria have become increasingly resistant to antimicrobial agents. They have developed several mechanisms by which they can withstand to antimicrobials, these mechanisms include the production of Extended-spectrum β-lactamases (ESBLs) and carbapenemases, furthermore, Gram-negative bacteria are now capable of spreading such resistance between members of the family Enterobacteriaceae and non-fermenters using mobile genetic elements as vehicles for such resistance mechanisms rendering antibiotics useless. Therefore, addressing the issue of mechanisms of antimicrobial resistance is considered one of most urgent priorities. This review will help to illustrate different resistance mechanisms; ESBLs, carbapenemases encoded by genes carried by mobile genetic elements, which are used by Gram-negative bacteria to escape antimicrobial effect.

  2. Parasites as biological tags in marine fisheries research: European Atlantic waters.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mackenzie, K; Hemmingsen, W

    2015-01-01

    Studies of the use of parasites as biological tags for stock identification and to follow migrations of marine fish, mammals and invertebrates in European Atlantic waters are critically reviewed and evaluated. The region covered includes the North, Baltic, Barents and White Seas plus Icelandic waters, but excludes the Mediterranean and Black Seas. Each fish species or ecological group of species is treated separately. More parasite tag studies have been carried out on Atlantic herring Clupea harengus than on any other species, while cod Gadus morhua have also been the subject of many studies. Other species that have been the subjects of more than one study are: blue whiting Micromesistius poutassou, whiting Merlangius merlangus, haddock Melanogrammus aeglefinus, Norway pout Trisopterus esmarkii, horse mackerel Trachurus trachurus and mackerel Scomber scombrus. Other species are dealt with under the general headings redfishes, flatfish, tunas, anadromous fish, elasmobranchs, marine mammals and invertebrates. A final section highlights how parasites can be, and have been, misused as biological tags, and how this can be avoided. It also reviews recent developments in methodology and parasite genetics, considers the potential effects of climate change on the distributions of both hosts and parasites, and suggests host-parasite systems that should reward further research.

  3. Genetic Diversity and Population Structure of Theileria annulata in Oman.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Al-Hamidhi, Salama; H Tageldin, Mohammed; Weir, William; Al-Fahdi, Amira; Johnson, Eugene H; Bobade, Patrick; Alqamashoui, Badar; Beja-Pereira, Albano; Thompson, Joanne; Kinnaird, Jane; Shiels, Brian; Tait, Andy; Babiker, Hamza

    2015-01-01

    Theileriosis, caused by a number of species within the genus Theileria, is a common disease of livestock in Oman. It is a major constraint to the development of the livestock industry due to a high rate of morbidity and mortality in both cattle and sheep. Since little is currently known about the genetic diversity of the parasites causing theileriosis in Oman, the present study was designed to address this issue with specific regard to T. annulata in cattle. Blood samples were collected from cattle from four geographically distinct regions in Oman for genetic analysis of the Theileria annulata population. Ten genetic markers (micro- and mini-satellites) representing all four chromosomes of T. annulata were applied to these samples using a combination of PCR amplification and fragment analysis. The resultant genetic data was analysed to provide a first insight into the structure of the T. annulata population in Oman. We applied ten micro- and mini-satellite markers to a total of 310 samples obtained from different regions (174 [56%] from Dhofar, 68 [22%] from Dhira, 44 [14.5%] from Batinah and 24 [8%] from Sharqia). A high degree of allelic diversity was observed among the four parasite populations. Expected heterozygosity for each site ranged from 0.816 to 0.854. A high multiplicity of infection was observed in individual hosts, with an average of 3.3 to 3.4 alleles per locus, in samples derived from Batinah, Dhofar and Sharqia regions. In samples from Dhira region, an average of 2.9 alleles per locus was observed. Mild but statistically significant linkage disequilibrium between pairs of markers was observed in populations from three of the four regions. In contrast, when the analysis was performed at farm level, no significant linkage disequilibrium was observed. Finally, no significant genetic differentiation was seen between the four populations, with most pair-wise FST values being less than 0.03. Slightly higher FST values (GST' = 0.075, θ = 0.07) were

  4. Genetic Diversity and Population Structure of Theileria annulata in Oman.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Salama Al-Hamidhi

    Full Text Available Theileriosis, caused by a number of species within the genus Theileria, is a common disease of livestock in Oman. It is a major constraint to the development of the livestock industry due to a high rate of morbidity and mortality in both cattle and sheep. Since little is currently known about the genetic diversity of the parasites causing theileriosis in Oman, the present study was designed to address this issue with specific regard to T. annulata in cattle.Blood samples were collected from cattle from four geographically distinct regions in Oman for genetic analysis of the Theileria annulata population. Ten genetic markers (micro- and mini-satellites representing all four chromosomes of T. annulata were applied to these samples using a combination of PCR amplification and fragment analysis. The resultant genetic data was analysed to provide a first insight into the structure of the T. annulata population in Oman.We applied ten micro- and mini-satellite markers to a total of 310 samples obtained from different regions (174 [56%] from Dhofar, 68 [22%] from Dhira, 44 [14.5%] from Batinah and 24 [8%] from Sharqia. A high degree of allelic diversity was observed among the four parasite populations. Expected heterozygosity for each site ranged from 0.816 to 0.854. A high multiplicity of infection was observed in individual hosts, with an average of 3.3 to 3.4 alleles per locus, in samples derived from Batinah, Dhofar and Sharqia regions. In samples from Dhira region, an average of 2.9 alleles per locus was observed. Mild but statistically significant linkage disequilibrium between pairs of markers was observed in populations from three of the four regions. In contrast, when the analysis was performed at farm level, no significant linkage disequilibrium was observed. Finally, no significant genetic differentiation was seen between the four populations, with most pair-wise FST values being less than 0.03. Slightly higher FST values (GST' = 0.075,

  5. 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.

  6. Genetic surveillance detects both clonal and epidemic transmission of malaria following enhanced intervention in Senegal.

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    Rachel Daniels

    Full Text Available Using parasite genotyping tools, we screened patients with mild uncomplicated malaria seeking treatment at a clinic in Thiès, Senegal, from 2006 to 2011. We identified a growing frequency of infections caused by genetically identical parasite strains, coincident with increased deployment of malaria control interventions and decreased malaria deaths. Parasite genotypes in some cases persisted clonally across dry seasons. The increase in frequency of genetically identical parasite strains corresponded with decrease in the probability of multiple infections. Further, these observations support evidence of both clonal and epidemic population structures. These data provide the first evidence of a temporal correlation between the appearance of identical parasite types and increased malaria control efforts in Africa, which here included distribution of insecticide treated nets (ITNs, use of rapid diagnostic tests (RDTs for malaria detection, and deployment of artemisinin combination therapy (ACT. Our results imply that genetic surveillance can be used to evaluate the effectiveness of disease control strategies and assist a rational global malaria eradication campaign.

  7. Parasitic Cape honeybee workers, Apis mellifera capensis, evade policing

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martin, Stephen J.; Beekman, Madeleine; Wossler, Theresa C.; Ratnieks, Francis L. W.

    2002-01-01

    Relocation of the Cape honeybee, Apis mellifera capensis, by bee-keepers from southern to northern South Africa in 1990 has caused widespread death of managed African honeybee, A. m. scutellata, colonies. Apis mellifera capensis worker bees are able to lay diploid, female eggs without mating by means of automictic thelytoky (meiosis followed by fusion of two meiotic products to restore egg diploidy), whereas workers of other honeybee subspecies are able to lay only haploid, male eggs. The A. m. capensis workers, which are parasitizing and killing A. m. scutellata colonies in northern South Africa, are the asexual offspring of a single, original worker in which the small amount of genetic variation observed is due to crossing over during meiosis (P. Kryger, personal communication). Here we elucidate two principal mechanisms underlying this parasitism. Parasitic A. m. capensis workers activate their ovaries in host colonies that have a queen present (queenright colonies), and they lay eggs that evade being killed by other workers (worker policing)-the normal fate of worker-laid eggs in colonies with a queen. This unique parasitism by workers is an instance in which a society is unable to control the selfish actions of its members.

  8. Identification of loci controlling restriction of parasite growth in experimental Taenia crassiceps cysticercosis.

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    Ruben Ramirez-Aquino

    2011-12-01

    Full Text Available Human neurocysticercosis (NC caused by Taenia solium is a parasitic disease of the central nervous system that is endemic in many developing countries. In this study, a genetic approach using the murine intraperitoneal cysticercosis caused by the related cestode Taenia crassiceps was employed to identify host factors that regulate the establishment and proliferation of the parasite. A/J mice are permissive to T. crassiceps infection while C57BL/6J mice (B6 are comparatively restrictive, with a 10-fold difference in numbers of peritoneal cysticerci recovered 30 days after infection. The genetic basis of this inter-strain difference was explored using 34 AcB/BcA recombinant congenic strains derived from A/J and B6 progenitors, that were phenotyped for T. crassiceps replication. In agreement with their genetic background, most AcB strains (A/J-derived were found to be permissive to infection while most BcA strains (B6-derived were restrictive with the exception of a few discordant strains, together suggesting a possible simple genetic control. Initial haplotype association mapping using >1200 informative SNPs pointed to linkages on chromosomes 2 (proximal and 6 as controlling parasite replication in the AcB/BcA panel. Additional linkage analysis by genome scan in informative [AcB55xDBA/2]F1 and F2 mice (derived from the discordant AcB55 strain, confirmed the effect of chromosome 2 on parasite replication, and further delineated a major locus (LOD = 4.76, p<0.01; peak marker D2Mit295, 29.7 Mb that we designate Tccr1 (T. crassiceps cysticercosis restrictive locus 1. Resistance alleles at Tccr1 are derived from AcB55 and are inherited in a dominant fashion. Scrutiny of the minimal genetic interval reveals overlap of Tccr1 with other host resistance loci mapped to this region, most notably the defective Hc/C5 allele which segregates both in the AcB/BcA set and in the AcB55xDBA/2 cross. These results strongly suggest that the complement component 5 (C5

  9. Identification of Loci Controlling Restriction of Parasite Growth in Experimental Taenia crassiceps Cysticercosis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fortin, Anny; Sciutto-Conde, Edda; Fragoso-González, Gladis; Gros, Philippe; Aguilar-Delfin, Irma

    2011-01-01

    Human neurocysticercosis (NC) caused by Taenia solium is a parasitic disease of the central nervous system that is endemic in many developing countries. In this study, a genetic approach using the murine intraperitoneal cysticercosis caused by the related cestode Taenia crassiceps was employed to identify host factors that regulate the establishment and proliferation of the parasite. A/J mice are permissive to T. crassiceps infection while C57BL/6J mice (B6) are comparatively restrictive, with a 10-fold difference in numbers of peritoneal cysticerci recovered 30 days after infection. The genetic basis of this inter-strain difference was explored using 34 AcB/BcA recombinant congenic strains derived from A/J and B6 progenitors, that were phenotyped for T. crassiceps replication. In agreement with their genetic background, most AcB strains (A/J-derived) were found to be permissive to infection while most BcA strains (B6-derived) were restrictive with the exception of a few discordant strains, together suggesting a possible simple genetic control. Initial haplotype association mapping using >1200 informative SNPs pointed to linkages on chromosomes 2 (proximal) and 6 as controlling parasite replication in the AcB/BcA panel. Additional linkage analysis by genome scan in informative [AcB55xDBA/2]F1 and F2 mice (derived from the discordant AcB55 strain), confirmed the effect of chromosome 2 on parasite replication, and further delineated a major locus (LOD = 4.76, p<0.01; peak marker D2Mit295, 29.7 Mb) that we designate Tccr1 (T. crassiceps cysticercosis restrictive locus 1). Resistance alleles at Tccr1 are derived from AcB55 and are inherited in a dominant fashion. Scrutiny of the minimal genetic interval reveals overlap of Tccr1 with other host resistance loci mapped to this region, most notably the defective Hc/C5 allele which segregates both in the AcB/BcA set and in the AcB55xDBA/2 cross. These results strongly suggest that the complement component 5 (C5) plays a

  10. Genetic and Immunological Comparison of the Cladoceran Parasite Pasteuria ramosa with the Nematode Parasite Pasteuria penetrans▿

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schmidt, Liesbeth M.; Mouton, Laurence; Nong, Guang; Ebert, Dieter; Preston, James F.

    2008-01-01

    Pasteuria penetrans, an obligate endospore-forming parasite of Meloidogyne spp. (root knot nematodes), has been identified as a promising agent for biocontrol of these destructive agricultural crop pests. Pasteuria ramosa, an obligate parasite of water fleas (Daphnia spp.), has been shown to modulate cladoceran populations in natural ecosystems. Selected sporulation genes and an epitope associated with the spore envelope of these related species were compared. The sigE and spoIIAA/spoIIAB genes differentiate the two species to a greater extent than 16S rRNA and may serve as probes to differentiate the species. Single-nucleotide variations were observed in several conserved genes of five distinct populations of P. ramosa, and while most of these variations are silent single-nucleotide polymorphisms, a few result in conservative amino acid substitutions. A monoclonal antibody directed against an adhesin epitope present on P. penetrans P20 endospores, previously determined to be specific for Pasteuria spp. associated with several phytopathogenic nematodes, also detects an epitope associated with P. ramosa endospores. Immunoblotting provided patterns that differentiate P. ramosa from other Pasteuria spp. This monoclonal antibody thus provides a probe with which to detect and discriminate endospores of different Pasteuria spp. The presence of a shared adhesin epitope in two species with such ecologically distant hosts suggests that there is an ancient and ecologically significant recognition process in these endospore-forming bacilli that contributes to the virulence of both species in their respective hosts. PMID:17933927

  11. Genetic and immunological comparison of the cladoceran parasite Pasteuria ramosa with the nematode parasite Pasteuria penetrans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schmidt, Liesbeth M; Mouton, Laurence; Nong, Guang; Ebert, Dieter; Preston, James F

    2008-01-01

    Pasteuria penetrans, an obligate endospore-forming parasite of Meloidogyne spp. (root knot nematodes), has been identified as a promising agent for biocontrol of these destructive agricultural crop pests. Pasteuria ramosa, an obligate parasite of water fleas (Daphnia spp.), has been shown to modulate cladoceran populations in natural ecosystems. Selected sporulation genes and an epitope associated with the spore envelope of these related species were compared. The sigE and spoIIAA/spoIIAB genes differentiate the two species to a greater extent than 16S rRNA and may serve as probes to differentiate the species. Single-nucleotide variations were observed in several conserved genes of five distinct populations of P. ramosa, and while most of these variations are silent single-nucleotide polymorphisms, a few result in conservative amino acid substitutions. A monoclonal antibody directed against an adhesin epitope present on P. penetrans P20 endospores, previously determined to be specific for Pasteuria spp. associated with several phytopathogenic nematodes, also detects an epitope associated with P. ramosa endospores. Immunoblotting provided patterns that differentiate P. ramosa from other Pasteuria spp. This monoclonal antibody thus provides a probe with which to detect and discriminate endospores of different Pasteuria spp. The presence of a shared adhesin epitope in two species with such ecologically distant hosts suggests that there is an ancient and ecologically significant recognition process in these endospore-forming bacilli that contributes to the virulence of both species in their respective hosts.

  12. Arabidopsis and the Genetic Potential for the Phytoremediation of Toxic Elemental and Organic Pollutants

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cobbett, Christopher S.; Meagher, Richard B.

    2002-01-01

    In a process called phytoremediation, plants can be used to extract, detoxify, and/or sequester toxic pollutants from soil, water, and air. Phytoremediation may become an essential tool in cleaning the environment and reducing human and animal exposure to potential carcinogens and other toxins. Arabidopsis has provided useful information about the genetic, physiological, and biochemical mechanisms behind phytoremediation, and it is an excellent model genetic organism to test foreign gene expression. This review focuses on Arabidopsis studies concerning: 1) the remediation of elemental pollutants; 2) the remediation of organic pollutants; and 3) the phytoremediation genome. Elemental pollutants include heavy metals and metalloids (e.g., mercury, lead, cadmium, arsenic) that are immutable. The general goal of phytoremediation is to extract, detoxify, and hyperaccumulate elemental pollutants in above-ground plant tissues for later harvest. A few dozen Arabidopsis genes and proteins that play direct roles in the remediation of elemental pollutants are discussed. Organic pollutants include toxic chemicals such as benzene, benzo(a)pyrene, polychlorinated biphenyls, trichloroethylene, trinitrotoluene, and dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane. Phytoremediation of organic pollutants is focused on their complete mineralization to harmless products, however, less is known about the potential of plants to act on complex organic chemicals. A preliminary survey of the Arabidopsis genome suggests that as many as 700 genes encode proteins that have the capacity to act directly on environmental pollutants or could be modified to do so. The potential of the phytoremediation proteome to be used to reduce human exposure to toxic pollutants appears to be enormous and untapped. PMID:22303204

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

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    Jered M Wendte

    2010-12-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-12-23

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

  15. Does the parasite-mediated selection drive the MHC class IIB diversity in wild populations of European chub (Squalius cephalus)?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Seifertová, Mária; Jarkovský, Jiří; Šimková, Andrea

    2016-04-01

    The genes of major histocompatibility complex (MHC) provide an excellent opportunity to study host-parasite relationships because they are expected to evolve in response to parasites and variation in parasite communities. In this study, we investigated the potential role of parasite-mediated selection acting on MHC class IIB (DAB) genes in European chub (Squalius cephalus) natural populations. We found significant differences between populations in metazoan parasites, neutral and adaptive genetic diversities. The analyses based on pairwise data revealed that populations with dissimilar MHC allelic profiles were geographically distant populations with significantly different diversity in microsatellites and a dissimilar composition of parasite communities. The results from the generalized estimating equations method (GEE) on the level of individuals revealed that metazoan parasite load in European chub was influenced by the diversity of DAB alleles as well as by the diversity of neutral genetic markers and host traits reflecting condition and immunocompetence. The multivariate co-inertia analysis showed specific associations between DAB alleles and parasite species. DAB1-like alleles were more involved in associations with ectoparasites, while DAB3-like alleles were positively associated with endoparasites which could suggest potential differences between DAB genes caused by different selection pressure. Our study revealed that parasite-mediated selection is not the only variable affecting MHC diversity in European chub; however, we strongly support the role of neutral processes as the main driver of DAB diversity across populations. In addition, our study contributes to the understanding of the evolution of MHC genes in wild living fish.

  16. Urbanization breaks up host-parasite interactions: a case study on parasite community ecology of rufous-bellied thrushes (Turdus rufiventris) along a rural-urban gradient.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Calegaro-Marques, Cláudia; Amato, Suzana B

    2014-01-01

    Urbanization drastically alters natural ecosystems and the structure of their plant and animal communities. Whereas some species cope successfully with these environmental changes, others may go extinct. In the case of parasite communities, the expansion of urban areas has a critical effect by changing the availability of suitable substrates for the eggs or free-larval stages of those species with direct life cycles or for the range of hosts of those species with complex cycles. In this study we investigated the influence of the degree of urbanization and environmental heterogeneity on helminth richness, abundance and community structure of rufous-bellied thrushes (Turdus rufiventris) along a rural-urban gradient in the metropolitan region of Porto Alegre, State of Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil. This common native bird species of southern Brazil hosts 15 endoparasite species at the study region. A total of 144 thrushes were collected with mist nets at 11 sites. The degree of urbanization and environmental heterogeneity were estimated by quantifying five landscape elements: buildings, woodlands, fields, bare lands, and water. Landscape analyses were performed at two spatial scales (10 and 100 ha) taking into account home range size and the potential dispersal distance of thrushes and their prey (intermediate hosts). Mean parasite richness showed an inverse relationship with the degree of urbanization, but a positive relationship with environmental heterogeneity. Changes in the structure of component communities along the rural-urban gradient resulted from responses to the availability of particular landscape elements that are compatible with the parasites' life cycles. We found that the replacement of natural environments with buildings breaks up host-parasite interactions, whereas a higher environmental (substrate) diversity allows the survival of a wider range of intermediate hosts and vectors and their associated parasites.

  17. Mobile genetic elements, a key to microbial adaptation in extreme environments

    Science.gov (United States)

    van Houdt, Rob; Mijnendonckx, Kristel; Provoost, Ann; Monsieurs, Pieter; Mergeay, Max; Leys, Natalie

    To ensure well-being of the crew during manned spaceflight, continuous monitoring of different microbial contaminants in air, in water and on surfaces in the spacecraft is vital. Next to microorganisms originating mainly from human activity, strains from the closely related gen-era Cupriavidus and Ralstonia have been identified and isolated during numerous monitoring campaigns from different space-related environments. These strains have been found in the air of the Mars Exploration Rover assembly room, on the surface of the Mars Odyssey Orbiter and in different water sources from the International Space Station, Shuttle and Mir space station. In previous studies, we investigated the response of the model bacterium Cupriavidus metallidurans CH34 when cultured in the international space station (ISS) and space gravity and radiation simulation facilities, to understand it's ways to adapt to space flight conditions. It was also demonstrated that genetic rearrangements due to the movement of IS (insertion sequence) elements, enabled CH34 to adapt to toxic zinc concentrations, in space flight and on ground. In this study, we screened the full genome sequence of C. metallidurans CH34 for the presence of mobile genetic elements (MGEs), with the purpose to identified their putative role in adaptation to the new environments. Eleven genomic islands (GI) were identified in chro-mosome 1, three on the native plasmid pMOL28 and two on the native plasmid pMOL30. On the plasmids pMOL28 and pMOL30, all genes involved in the response to metals were located within GIs. Three of the GIs on chromosome 1 contained genes involved in the response to metals. Three GIs (CMGI-2, -3 and -4) on chromosome 1 belonged to the Tn4371 family, with CMGI-2 containing at least 25 genes involved in the degradation of toluene corresponding to CH34's ability to grow at expense of toluene, benzene or xylene as sole carbon source. CMGI-3 sheltered accessory genes involved in CO2 fixation and

  18. Horizontal gene transfer and mobile genetic elements in marine systems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sobecky, Patricia A; Hazen, Tracy H

    2009-01-01

    The pool of mobile genetic elements (MGE) in microbial communities consists of viruses, plasmids, and associated elements (insertion sequences, transposons, and integrons) that are either self-transmissible or use mobile plasmids and viruses as vehicles for their dissemination. This mobilome facilitates the horizontal transfer of genes that promote the evolution and adaptation of microbial communities. Efforts to characterize MGEs from microbial populations resident in a variety of ecological habitats have revealed a surprisingly novel and seemingly untapped biodiversity. To better understand the impact of horizontal gene transfer (HGT), as well as the agents that promote HGT in marine ecosystems and to determine whether or not environmental parameters can effect the composition and structure of the mobilome in marine microbial communities, information on the distribution, diversity, and ecological traits of the marine mobilome is presented. In this chapter we discuss recent insights gained from different methodological approaches used to characterize the biodiversity and ecology of MGE in marine environments and their contributions to HGT. In addition, we present case studies that highlight specific HGT examples in coastal, open-ocean, and deep-sea marine ecosystems.

  19. The Genetic Structure of Wild Orobanche cumana Wallr. (Orobanchaceae Populations in Eastern Bulgaria Reflects Introgressions from Weedy Populations

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rocío Pineda-Martos

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Orobanche cumana is a holoparasitic plant naturally distributed from central Asia to south-eastern Europe, where it parasitizes wild Asteraceae species. It is also an important parasitic weed of sunflower crops. The objective of this research was to investigate genetic diversity, population structure, and virulence on sunflower of O. cumana populations parasitizing wild plants in eastern Bulgaria. Fresh tissue of eight O. cumana populations and mature seeds of four of them were collected in situ on wild hosts. Genetic diversity and population structure were studied with SSR markers and compared to weedy populations. Two main gene pools were identified in Bulgarian populations, with most of the populations having intermediate characteristics. Cross-inoculation experiments revealed that O. cumana populations collected on wild species possessed similar ability to parasitize sunflower to those collected on sunflower. The results were explained on the basis of an effective genetic exchange between populations parasitizing sunflower crops and those parasitizing wild species. The occurrence of bidirectional gene flow may have an impact on wild populations, as new physiological races continuously emerge in weedy populations. Also, genetic variability of wild populations may favour the ability of weedy populations to overcome sunflower resistance mechanisms.

  20. The Genetic Structure of Wild Orobanche cumana Wallr. (Orobanchaceae) Populations in Eastern Bulgaria Reflects Introgressions from Weedy Populations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pineda-Martos, Rocío; Pujadas-Salvà, Antonio J.; Fernández-Martínez, José M.; Stoyanov, Kiril; Pérez-Vich, Begoña

    2014-01-01

    Orobanche cumana is a holoparasitic plant naturally distributed from central Asia to south-eastern Europe, where it parasitizes wild Asteraceae species. It is also an important parasitic weed of sunflower crops. The objective of this research was to investigate genetic diversity, population structure, and virulence on sunflower of O. cumana populations parasitizing wild plants in eastern Bulgaria. Fresh tissue of eight O. cumana populations and mature seeds of four of them were collected in situ on wild hosts. Genetic diversity and population structure were studied with SSR markers and compared to weedy populations. Two main gene pools were identified in Bulgarian populations, with most of the populations having intermediate characteristics. Cross-inoculation experiments revealed that O. cumana populations collected on wild species possessed similar ability to parasitize sunflower to those collected on sunflower. The results were explained on the basis of an effective genetic exchange between populations parasitizing sunflower crops and those parasitizing wild species. The occurrence of bidirectional gene flow may have an impact on wild populations, as new physiological races continuously emerge in weedy populations. Also, genetic variability of wild populations may favour the ability of weedy populations to overcome sunflower resistance mechanisms. PMID:25143963

  1. Micro-epidemiological structuring of Plasmodium falciparum parasite populations in regions with varying transmission intensities in Africa. [version 2; referees: 4 approved

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Irene Omedo

    2017-09-01

    Full Text Available Background: The first models of malaria transmission assumed a completely mixed and homogeneous population of parasites.  Recent models include spatial heterogeneity and variably mixed populations. However, there are few empiric estimates of parasite mixing with which to parametize such models. Methods: Here we genotype 276 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs in 5199 P. falciparum isolates from two Kenyan sites (Kilifi county and Rachuonyo South district and one Gambian site (Kombo coastal districts to determine the spatio-temporal extent of parasite mixing, and use Principal Component Analysis (PCA and linear regression to examine the relationship between genetic relatedness and distance in space and time for parasite pairs. Results: Using 107, 177 and 82 SNPs that were successfully genotyped in 133, 1602, and 1034 parasite isolates from The Gambia, Kilifi and Rachuonyo South district, respectively, we show that there are no discrete geographically restricted parasite sub-populations, but instead we see a diffuse spatio-temporal structure to parasite genotypes.  Genetic relatedness of sample pairs is predicted by relatedness in space and time. Conclusions: Our findings suggest that targeted malaria control will benefit the surrounding community, but unfortunately also that emerging drug resistance will spread rapidly through the population.

  2. Deciphering RNA Regulatory Elements Involved in the Developmental and Environmental Gene Regulation of Trypanosoma brucei.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gazestani, Vahid H; Salavati, Reza

    2015-01-01

    Trypanosoma brucei is a vector-borne parasite with intricate life cycle that can cause serious diseases in humans and animals. This pathogen relies on fine regulation of gene expression to respond and adapt to variable environments, with implications in transmission and infectivity. However, the involved regulatory elements and their mechanisms of actions are largely unknown. Here, benefiting from a new graph-based approach for finding functional regulatory elements in RNA (GRAFFER), we have predicted 88 new RNA regulatory elements that are potentially involved in the gene regulatory network of T. brucei. We show that many of these newly predicted elements are responsive to both transcriptomic and proteomic changes during the life cycle of the parasite. Moreover, we found that 11 of predicted elements strikingly resemble previously identified regulatory elements for the parasite. Additionally, comparison with previously predicted motifs on T. brucei suggested the superior performance of our approach based on the current limited knowledge of regulatory elements in T. brucei.

  3. Mortality selection during the 2003 European heat wave in three-spined sticklebacks: effects of parasites and MHC genotype

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Milinski Manfred

    2008-04-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Ecological interaction strength may increase under environmental stress including temperature. How such stress enhances and interacts with parasite selection is almost unknown. We studied the importance of resistance genes of the major histocompatibility complex (MHC class II in 14 families of three-spined sticklebacks Gasterosteus aculeatus exposed to their natural macroparasites in field enclosures in the extreme summer of 2003. Results After a mass die-off during the 2003-European heat wave killing 78% of 277 experimental fish, we found strong differences in survival among and within families. In families with higher average parasite load fewer individuals survived. Multivariate analysis revealed that the composition of the infecting parasite fauna was family specific. Within families, individuals with an intermediate number of MHC class IIB sequence variants survived best and had the lowest parasite load among survivors, suggesting a direct functional link between MHC diversity and fitness. The within family MHC effects were, however, small compared to between family effects, suggesting that other genetic components or non-genetic effects were also important. Conclusion The correlation between parasite load and mortality that we found at both individual and family level might have appeared only in the extraordinary heatwave of 2003. Due to global warming the frequency of extreme climatic events is predicted to increase, which might intensify costs of parasitism and enhance selection on immune genes.

  4. Hyperthermophilic Composting Accelerates the Removal of Antibiotic Resistance Genes and Mobile Genetic Elements in Sewage Sludge

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Liao, Hanpeng; Lu, Xiaomei; Rensing, Christopher; Friman, Ville Petri; Geisen, Stefan; Chen, Zhi; Yu, Zhen; Wei, Zhong; Zhou, Shungui; Zhu, Yongguan

    2018-01-01

    Composting is an efficient way to convert organic waste into fertilizers. However, waste materials often contain large amounts of antibiotic resistance genes (ARGs) and mobile genetic elements (MGEs) that can reduce the efficacy of antibiotic treatments when transmitted to humans. Because

  5. Identification of pre-erythrocytic malaria antigens that target hepatocytes for killing in vivo and contribute to protection elicited by whole-parasite vaccination.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lin Chen

    Full Text Available Pre-erythrocytic malaria vaccines, including those based on whole-parasite approaches, have shown protective efficacy in animal and human studies. However few pre-erythocytic antigens other than the immunodominant circumsporozoite protein (CSP have been studied in depth with the goal of developing potent subunit malaria vaccines that are suited for use in endemic areas. Here we describe a novel technique to identify pre-erythrocytic malaria antigens that contribute to protection elicited by whole-parasite vaccination in the mouse model. Our approach combines immunization with genetically attenuated parasites and challenge with DNA plasmids encoding for potential protective pre-erythrocytic malaria antigens as luciferase fusions by hydrodynamic tail vein injection. After optimizing the technique, we first showed that immunization with Pyfabb/f-, a P. yoelii genetically attenuated parasite, induces killing of CSP-presenting hepatocytes. Depletion of CD8+ but not CD4+ T cells diminished the killing of CSP-expressing hepatocytes, indicating that killing is CD8+ T cell-dependent. Finally we showed that the use of heterologous prime/boost immunization strategies that use genetically attenuated parasites and DNA vaccines enabled the characterization of a novel pre-erythrocytic antigen, Tmp21, as a contributor to Pyfabb/f- induced protection. This technique will be valuable for identification of potentially protective liver stage antigens and has the potential to contribute to the understanding of immunity elicited by whole parasite vaccination, as well as the development of effective subunit malaria vaccines.

  6. Global and local genetic diversity at two microsatellite loci in Plasmodium vivax parasites from Asia, Africa and South America

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Schousboe, Mette L; Ranjitkar, Samir; Rajakaruna, Rupika S

    2014-01-01

    diversity are vital to the evaluation of drug and vaccine efficacy, tracking of P. vivax outbreaks, and assessing geographical differentiation between parasite populations. METHODS: The genetic diversity of eight P. vivax populations (n = 543) was investigated by using two microsatellites (MS), m1501 and m......3502, chosen because of their seven and eight base-pair (bp) repeat lengths, respectively. These were compared with published data of the same loci from six other P. vivax populations. RESULTS: In total, 1,440 P. vivax samples from 14 countries on three continents were compared. There was highest...... heterozygosity within Asian populations, where expected heterozygosity (He) was 0.92-0.98, and alleles with a high repeat number were more common. Pairwise FST revealed significant differentiation between most P. vivax populations, with the highest divergence found between Asian and South American populations...

  7. Molecular characterization of muscle-parasitizing didymozoid from a chub mackerel, Scomber japonicus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abe, Niichiro; Okamoto, Mitsuru

    2015-09-01

    Didymozoids found in the muscles of marine fish are almost always damaged because they are usually found after being sliced. Therefore, identifying muscle-parasitizing didymozoids is difficult because of the difficulty in collecting non-damaged worms and observing their organs as key points for morphological identification. Moreover, muscle-parasitizing didymozoids are not easily found because they parasitize at the trunk muscles. Therefore, muscle-parasitizing didymozoid classification has not progressed because there are few opportunities to detect them. Our recent report was the first to describe the usefulness of sequencing analysis for discrimination among muscle-parasitizing didymozoids. Recently, we found a didymozoid in the trunk muscle of a chub mackerel Scomber japonicus. The present study genetically compares the present isolate with other muscle-parasitizing didymozoids. The present isolate differs markedly from the previously unidentified didymozoid from an Atlantic mackerel S. scombrus by phylogenetic analysis of 18S rDNA. It also differs from other muscle-parasitizing didymozoids from other host species based on phylogenetic analyses of 18S, 28S rDNAs, and coxI loci. These results suggest that sequencing analysis is useful for the discrimination of muscle-parasitizing didymozoids. Combining the present data with earlier data for sequencing analysis, muscle-parasitizing didymozoids from seven marine fish species were classified as seven species. We proposed appellations for six distinct muscle-parasitizing didymozoids for future analysis: sweetlips fish type from Diagramma pictum and Plectorhinchus cinctus, red sea bream type from Pagrus major, flying fish type from Cypselurus heterurus, Atlantic mackerel type from Scomber scombrus, chub mackerel type from S. japonicus, and purple rockcod type from Epinephelus cyanopodus.

  8. Immunodeficiency models in characterization of immune responses to parasites - an overview

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Jacobson, R.H.

    1982-01-01

    The use of selected immunosuppressant agents and genetically immunodeficient animals in studies designed to characterize the immune response to parasitic infections is reviewed. Immunosuppression induced by commonly used chemicals (corticosteroids and alkylating agents) and ionizing radiation is examined briefly. A greater emphasis is placed on congenitally immunodeficient animals and on immunosuppression induced by purified antisera directed against a variety of cellular specificities. Chemical immunosuppressants and the levels of irradiation used in adoptive cell transfer studies are usually indiscriminant in their toxic effects on a variety of tissues other than those targeted. These affected tissues may be crucial in establishment of the delicate physiological balance required for maintenance of equilibrium between host and parasite. Thus the effects of cytotoxic drugs or irradiation on parasite burdens may reflect alteration of not only immunity, but other essential factors leading to misinterpretation of results. (Auth.)

  9. Influence of parasitism on the use of small terrestrial rodents in environmental pollution monitoring

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Jankovska, Ivana, E-mail: jankovska@af.czu.c [Department of Zoology and Fisheries, Faculty of Agrobiology, Food and Natural Resources, Czech University of Life Sciences, Kamycka 129, 165 21 Prague 6 - Suchdol (Czech Republic); Miholova, Daniela [Department of Chemistry, Faculty of Agrobiology, Food and Natural Resources, Czech University of Life Sciences, Kamycka 129, 165 21 Prague 6 - Suchdol (Czech Republic); Langrova, Iva [Department of Zoology and Fisheries, Faculty of Agrobiology, Food and Natural Resources, Czech University of Life Sciences, Kamycka 129, 165 21 Prague 6 - Suchdol (Czech Republic); Bejcek, Vladimir [Department of Ecology, Faculty of Environmental Sciences, Czech University of Life Sciences, Kamycka 129, 165 21 Prague 6 - Suchdol (Czech Republic); Vadlejch, Jaroslav [Department of Zoology and Fisheries, Faculty of Agrobiology, Food and Natural Resources, Czech University of Life Sciences, Kamycka 129, 165 21 Prague 6 - Suchdol (Czech Republic); Kolihova, Dana; Sulc, Miloslav [Department of Chemistry, Faculty of Agrobiology, Food and Natural Resources, Czech University of Life Sciences, Kamycka 129, 165 21 Prague 6 - Suchdol (Czech Republic)

    2009-08-15

    Bioaccumulation of cadmium, chromium, copper, manganese, nickel, lead and zinc in small terrestrial rodents - voles and their cestode parasite Paranoplocephala dentata was studied. Contents of Pb, Mn, Ni and Zn in the parasite were found to be higher than in the kidney and liver of the parasitized animals. Lead level in the cestode was 37 fold higher than in the liver of the infected rodents. Bioaccumulation factors of zinc, nickel and manganese in the cestode are mostly in the range from 2 to 4.5. Considering the different contents of manganese and zinc in livers of non-parasitized and parasitized rodents, kidney tissue was found to be more reliable than liver as an indicator of environmental pollution by manganese and zinc; the kidneys of parasitized animals showed no significant change in the concentrations of those elements that are accumulated in the cestode. - Liver tissue from voles infected by Paranoplocephala dentata was less suitable as a biomonitor for metal contamination than kidney tissue.

  10. Applying ecological models to communities of genetic elements: the case of neutral theory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Linquist, Stefan; Cottenie, Karl; Elliott, Tyler A; Saylor, Brent; Kremer, Stefan C; Gregory, T Ryan

    2015-07-01

    A promising recent development in molecular biology involves viewing the genome as a mini-ecosystem, where genetic elements are compared to organisms and the surrounding cellular and genomic structures are regarded as the local environment. Here, we critically evaluate the prospects of ecological neutral theory (ENT), a popular model in ecology, as it applies at the genomic level. This assessment requires an overview of the controversy surrounding neutral models in community ecology. In particular, we discuss the limitations of using ENT both as an explanation of community dynamics and as a null hypothesis. We then analyse a case study in which ENT has been applied to genomic data. Our central finding is that genetic elements do not conform to the requirements of ENT once its assumptions and limitations are made explicit. We further compare this genome-level application of ENT to two other, more familiar approaches in genomics that rely on neutral mechanisms: Kimura's molecular neutral theory and Lynch's mutational-hazard model. Interestingly, this comparison reveals that there are two distinct concepts of neutrality associated with these models, which we dub 'fitness neutrality' and 'competitive neutrality'. This distinction helps to clarify the various roles for neutral models in genomics, for example in explaining the evolution of genome size. © 2015 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  11. Genetic resources as the backbone of plant protection

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Frankel, O.H.

    1977-01-01

    The defence against parasites has come to be regarded as probably the biggest problem in the production of the plants on which our own survival depends. The problem has always been there, but in our pure-bred cultivars extending over large areas it has assumed disaster proportions. The wild ancestors of many crop species evolved in balance with parasite species, their regions of genetic diversity coinciding. Domestication led to geographical dispersal and genetic differentiation of host and, presumably, of parasite species. Genetic heterogeneity may have been the saving grace of the primitive cultivars by which fairly stable populations lived for some 5000 to 10,000 years. We are now aware of the advantages and of the dangers of genetic homogeneity, and ''genetic vulnerability'' is now more than a catch phrase. We are responding to it in a variety of ways, each involving some use of new or increased genetic variation. They extend from the search for new oligogenic resistance sources, to multiple resistance, and to the various forms of ''horizontal'' or polygenic resistance. We turn to the genetic resources accumulated in the much neglected wild and primitive gene pools which helped our ancestors to survive epidemics. And we turn further towards the full circle by deliberately adopting heterogeneity in multilines of various descriptions and in varietal blends. The rate at which resistance sources are ''used up'' in the different systems now in use is discussed, in the light of the urgent need for economizing and preserving both the now used and the as yet unexplored resistance sources, on which the future stability of crop production will depend. (author)

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-06-05

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

  13. Anthelmintic metabolism in parasitic helminths: proteomic insights.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brophy, Peter M; MacKintosh, Neil; Morphew, Russell M

    2012-08-01

    Anthelmintics are the cornerstone of parasitic helminth control. Surprisingly, understanding of the biochemical pathways used by parasitic helminths to detoxify anthelmintics is fragmented, despite the increasing global threat of anthelmintic resistance within the ruminant and equine industries. Reductionist biochemistry has likely over-estimated the enzymatic role of glutathione transferases in anthelmintic metabolism and neglected the potential role of the cytochrome P-450 superfamily (CYPs). Proteomic technologies offers the opportunity to support genomics, reverse genetics and pharmacokinetics, and provide an integrated insight into both the cellular mechanisms underpinning response to anthelmintics and also the identification of biomarker panels for monitoring the development of anthelmintic resistance. To date, there have been limited attempts to include proteomics in anthelmintic metabolism studies. Optimisations of membrane, post-translational modification and interaction proteomic technologies in helminths are needed to especially study Phase I CYPs and Phase III ABC transporter pumps for anthelmintics and their metabolites.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-03-25

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

  15. Clonorchis sinensis and Clonorchiasis: The Relevance of Exploring Genetic Variation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Daxi; Young, Neil D; Korhonen, Pasi K; Gasser, Robin B

    2018-01-01

    Parasitic trematodes (flukes) cause substantial mortality and morbidity in humans. The Chinese liver fluke, Clonorchis sinensis, is one of the most destructive parasitic worms in humans in China, Vietnam, Korea and the Russian Far East. Although C. sinensis infection can be controlled relatively well using anthelmintics, the worm is carcinogenic, inducing cholangiocarcinoma and causing major suffering in ~15 million people in Asia. This chapter provides an account of C. sinensis and clonorchiasis research-covering aspects of biology, epidemiology, pathogenesis and immunity, diagnosis, treatment and control, genetics and genomics. It also describes progress in the area of molecular biology (genetics, genomics, transcriptomics and proteomics) and highlights challenges associated with comparative genomics and population genetics. It then reviews recent advances in the sequencing and characterisation of the mitochondrial and nuclear genomes for a Korean isolate of C. sinensis and summarises salient comparative genomic work and the implications thereof. The chapter concludes by considering how advances in genomic and informatics will enable research on the genetics of C. sinensis and related parasites, as well as the discovery of new fluke-specific intervention targets. © 2018 Elsevier Ltd All rights reserved.

  16. Comparative Metabolism of Free-living Bodo saltans and Parasitic Trypanosomatids

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Opperdoes, F. R.; Butenko, A.; Flegontov, P.; Yurchenko, V.; Lukeš, Julius

    2016-01-01

    Roč. 63, č. 5 (2016), s. 657-678 ISSN 1066-5234 R&D Projects: GA ČR(CZ) GA14-23986S Grant - others:EU COST Action CM1307 Institutional support: RVO:60077344 Keywords : adaptation * Leishmania * Leptomonas * lateral gene transfer * parasitism * Phytomonas * Trypanosoma Subject RIV: EB - Genetics ; Molecular Biology Impact factor: 2.692, year: 2016

  17. Genetic parameters for fecal egg counts and their relationship with body weights in Katahdin lambs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reliance on anthelminthic drugs to control internal parasites in sheep is no longer sustainable because of the development of resistance to these drugs in parasite populations. Genetic selection may offer an alternative long-term solution, as differences in parasite resistance exist both within and ...

  18. Building the perfect parasite: cell division in apicomplexa.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Boris Striepen

    2007-06-01

    Full Text Available Apicomplexans are pathogens responsible for malaria, toxoplasmosis, and crytposporidiosis in humans, and a wide range of livestock diseases. These unicellular eukaryotes are stealthy invaders, sheltering from the immune response in the cells of their hosts, while at the same time tapping into these cells as source of nutrients. The complexity and beauty of the structures formed during their intracellular development have made apicomplexans the darling of electron microscopists. Dramatic technological progress over the last decade has transformed apicomplexans into respectable genetic model organisms. Extensive genomic resources are now available for many apicomplexan species. At the same time, parasite transfection has enabled researchers to test the function of specific genes through reverse and forward genetic approaches with increasing sophistication. Transfection also introduced the use of fluorescent reporters, opening the field to dynamic real time microscopic observation. Parasite cell biologists have used these tools to take a fresh look at a classic problem: how do apicomplexans build the perfect invasion machine, the zoite, and how is this process fine-tuned to fit the specific niche of each pathogen in this ancient and very diverse group? This work has unearthed a treasure trove of novel structures and mechanisms that are the focus of this review.

  19. SPECIES AND STRAIN-SPECIFIC TYPING OF CRYPTOSPORIDIUM PARASITES IN CLINICAL AND ENVIRONMENTAL SAMPLES

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cryptosporidiosis has recently attracted attention as an emerging water borne and food borne disease as well as an opportunistic infection in HIV infected indivduals. The lack of genetic information, however, has resulted in confusion in the taxonomy of Cryptosporidium parasites ...

  20. The evolution of alternative parasitic life histories in large blue butterflies

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Als, Thomas Damm; Vila, Roger; Kandul, Nikolai P

    2004-01-01

    species have similar life histories. Cuckoo species are likely to have evolved from predatory ancestors. As early as five million years ago, two Maculinea clades diverged, leading to the different parasitic strategies seen in the genus today. Contrary to current belief, the two recognized cuckoo species...... show little genetic divergence and are probably a single ecologically differentiated species. On the other hand, some of the predatory morphospecies exhibit considerable genetic divergence and may contain cryptic species. These findings have important implications for conservation and reintroduction...

  1. Flow cytometry-assisted rapid isolation of recombinant Plasmodium berghei parasites exemplified by functional analysis of aquaglyceroporin

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kenthirapalan, Sanketha; Waters, Andrew P.; Matuschewski, Kai; Kooij, Taco W.A.

    2012-01-01

    The most critical bottleneck in the generation of recombinant Plasmodium berghei parasites is the mandatory in vivo cloning step following successful genetic manipulation. This study describes a new technique for rapid selection of recombinant P. berghei parasites. The method is based on flow cytometry to isolate isogenic parasite lines and represents a major advance for the field, in that it will speed the generation of recombinant parasites as well as cut down on animal use significantly. High expression of GFP during blood infection, a prerequisite for robust separation of transgenic lines by flow cytometry, was achieved. Isogenic recombinant parasite populations were isolated even in the presence of a 100-fold excess of wild-type (WT) parasites. Aquaglyceroporin (AQP) loss-of-function mutants and parasites expressing a tagged AQP were generated to validate this approach. aqp− parasites grow normally within the WT phenotypic range during blood infection of NMRI mice. Similarly, colonization of the insect vector and establishment of an infection after mosquito transmission were unaffected, indicating that AQP is dispensable for life cycle progression in vivo under physiological conditions, refuting its use as a suitable drug target. Tagged AQP localized to perinuclear structures and not the parasite plasma membrane. We suggest that flow-cytometric isolation of isogenic parasites overcomes the major roadblock towards a genome-scale repository of mutant and transgenic malaria parasite lines. PMID:23137753

  2. Asexual populations of the human malaria parasite, Plasmodium falciparum, use a two-step genomic strategy to acquire accurate, beneficial DNA amplifications.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jennifer L Guler

    Full Text Available Malaria drug resistance contributes to up to a million annual deaths. Judicious deployment of new antimalarials and vaccines could benefit from an understanding of early molecular events that promote the evolution of parasites. Continuous in vitro challenge of Plasmodium falciparum parasites with a novel dihydroorotate dehydrogenase (DHODH inhibitor reproducibly selected for resistant parasites. Genome-wide analysis of independently-derived resistant clones revealed a two-step strategy to evolutionary success. Some haploid blood-stage parasites first survive antimalarial pressure through fortuitous DNA duplications that always included the DHODH gene. Independently-selected parasites had different sized amplification units but they were always flanked by distant A/T tracks. Higher level amplification and resistance was attained using a second, more efficient and more accurate, mechanism for head-to-tail expansion of the founder unit. This second homology-based process could faithfully tune DNA copy numbers in either direction, always retaining the unique DNA amplification sequence from the original A/T-mediated duplication for that parasite line. Pseudo-polyploidy at relevant genomic loci sets the stage for gaining additional mutations at the locus of interest. Overall, we reveal a population-based genomic strategy for mutagenesis that operates in human stages of P. falciparum to efficiently yield resistance-causing genetic changes at the correct locus in a successful parasite. Importantly, these founding events arise with precision; no other new amplifications are seen in the resistant haploid blood stage parasite. This minimizes the need for meiotic genetic cleansing that can only occur in sexual stage development of the parasite in mosquitoes.

  3. Cell-Free Expression and In Situ Immobilization of Parasite Proteins from Clonorchis sinensis for Rapid Identification of Antigenic Candidates.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christy Catherine

    Full Text Available Progress towards genetic sequencing of human parasites has provided the groundwork for a post-genomic approach to develop novel antigens for the diagnosis and treatment of parasite infections. To fully utilize the genomic data, however, high-throughput methodologies are required for functional analysis of the proteins encoded in the genomic sequences. In this study, we investigated cell-free expression and in situ immobilization of parasite proteins as a novel platform for the discovery of antigenic proteins. PCR-amplified parasite DNA was immobilized on microbeads that were also functionalized to capture synthesized proteins. When the microbeads were incubated in a reaction mixture for cell-free synthesis, proteins expressed from the microbead-immobilized DNA were instantly immobilized on the same microbeads, providing a physical linkage between the genetic information and encoded proteins. This approach of in situ expression and isolation enables streamlined recovery and analysis of cell-free synthesized proteins and also allows facile identification of the genes coding antigenic proteins through direct PCR of the microbead-bound DNA.

  4. Parasites

    Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Podcasts

    2010-05-06

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

  5. Ecological host fitting of Trypanosoma cruzi TcI in Bolivia: mosaic population structure, hybridization and a role for humans in Andean parasite dispersal.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Messenger, Louisa A; Garcia, Lineth; Vanhove, Mathieu; Huaranca, Carlos; Bustamante, Marinely; Torrico, Marycruz; Torrico, Faustino; Miles, Michael A; Llewellyn, Martin S

    2015-05-01

    An improved understanding of how a parasite species exploits its genetic repertoire to colonize novel hosts and environmental niches is crucial to establish the epidemiological risk associated with emergent pathogenic genotypes. Trypanosoma cruzi, a genetically heterogeneous, multi-host zoonosis, provides an ideal system to examine the sylvatic diversification of parasitic protozoa. In Bolivia, T. cruzi I, the oldest and most widespread genetic lineage, is pervasive across a range of ecological clines. High-resolution nuclear (26 loci) and mitochondrial (10 loci) genotyping of 199 contemporaneous sylvatic TcI clones was undertaken to provide insights into the biogeographical basis of T. cruzi evolution. Three distinct sylvatic parasite transmission cycles were identified: one highland population among terrestrial rodent and triatomine species, composed of genetically homogenous strains (Ar = 2.95; PA/L = 0.61; DAS = 0.151), and two highly diverse, parasite assemblages circulating among predominantly arboreal mammals and vectors in the lowlands (Ar = 3.40 and 3.93; PA/L = 1.12 and 0.60; DAS = 0.425 and 0.311, respectively). Very limited gene flow between neighbouring terrestrial highland and arboreal lowland areas (distance ~220 km; FST = 0.42 and 0.35) but strong connectivity between ecologically similar but geographically disparate terrestrial highland ecotopes (distance >465 km; FST = 0.016-0.084) strongly supports ecological host fitting as the predominant mechanism of parasite diversification. Dissimilar heterozygosity estimates (excess in highlands, deficit in lowlands) and mitochondrial introgression among lowland strains may indicate fundamental differences in mating strategies between populations. Finally, accelerated parasite dissemination between densely populated, highland areas, compared to uninhabited lowland foci, likely reflects passive, long-range anthroponotic dispersal. The impact of humans on the risk of epizootic Chagas disease transmission in

  6. Eimeria species occurrence varies between geographic regions and poultry production systems and may influence parasite genetic diversity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chengat Prakashbabu, B; Thenmozhi, V; Limon, G; Kundu, K; Kumar, S; Garg, R; Clark, E L; Srinivasa Rao, A S R; Raj, D G; Raman, M; Banerjee, P S; Tomley, F M; Guitian, J; Blake, D P

    2017-01-15

    system-specific distribution may contribute to the different levels of genetic diversity observed previously in India and may influence parasite population structure across much of Asia and Africa. The findings of the study can be used to prioritise target farms to launch and optimise appropriate anticoccidial strategies for long-term control. Copyright © 2016 The Author(s). Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  7. Genetic diversity of the cestode Echinococcus multilocularis in red foxes at a continental scale in Europe.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jenny Knapp

    2009-06-01

    Full Text Available Alveolar echinococcosis (AE is a severe helminth disease affecting humans, which is caused by the fox tapeworm Echinococcus multilocularis. AE represents a serious public health issue in larger regions of China, Siberia, and other regions in Asia. In Europe, a significant increase in prevalence since the 1990s is not only affecting the historically documented endemic area north of the Alps but more recently also neighbouring regions previously not known to be endemic. The genetic diversity of the parasite population and respective distribution in Europe have now been investigated in view of generating a fine-tuned map of parasite variants occurring in Europe. This approach may serve as a model to study the parasite at a worldwide level.The genetic diversity of E. multilocularis was assessed based upon the tandemly repeated microsatellite marker EmsB in association with matching fox host geographical positions. Our study demonstrated a higher genetic diversity in the endemic areas north of the Alps when compared to other areas.The study of the spatial distribution of E. multilocularis in Europe, based on 32 genetic clusters, suggests that Europe can be considered as a unique global focus of E. multilocularis, which can be schematically drawn as a central core located in Switzerland and Jura Swabe flanked by neighbouring regions where the parasite exhibits a lower genetic diversity. The transmission of the parasite into peripheral regions is governed by a "mainland-island" system. Moreover, the presence of similar genetic profiles in both zones indicated a founder event.

  8. Discrimination of the Social Parasite Ectatomma parasiticum by Its Host Sibling Species (E. tuberculatum

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    Renée Fénéron

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Among social parasites, workerless inquilines entirely depend on their host for survival and reproduction. They are usually close phylogenetic relatives of their host, which raises important questions about their evolutionary history and mechanisms of speciation at play. Here we present new findings on Ectatomma parasiticum, the only inquiline ant described in the Ectatomminae subfamily. Field data confirmed its rarity and local distribution in a facultative polygynous population of E. tuberculatum in Mexico. Genetic analyses demonstrated that the parasite is a sibling species of its host, from which it may have diverged recently. Polygyny is suggested to have favored the evolution of social parasite by sympatric speciation. Nevertheless, host workers from this population were able to discriminate parasites from their conspecifics. They treated the parasitic queens either as individuals of interest or as intruders, depending on their colonial origin, probably because of the peculiar chemical profile of the parasites and/or their reproductive status. We suggest that E. parasiticum could have conserved from its host sibling species the queen-specific substances that produce attracting and settling effect on workers, which, in return, would increase the probability to be detected. This hypothesis could explain the imperfect social integration of the parasite into host colonies.

  9. Parasite prevalence in Worthen’s Sparrow (Spizella wortheni: Mexican endemic and endangered species

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ricardo Canales-del-Castillo

    2017-10-01

    Full Text Available The Worthen’s sparrow is an endemic bird of the Mexican Plateau that due to its limited distribution and population size is considered to be endangered, both nationally and globally. In general, species at risk have been, at least historically, under population size and genetic diversity reductions, which are factors that can act together to increase infections risk and susceptibility. Therefore, with the purpose to determine such propensity in this species, we analyzed the intestinal parasitic infection through fecal samples from 11 individuals, and hemoparasites, hematocrit and differential leukocyte quantification from one sample. Results indicated that 91% of the samples had one parasite taxon, with genus Cryptosporidium showing the highest prevalence (64%, followed by Eimeria (55%, and Ascaridia (9%. However, mean values of oocysts/eggs per gram indicated a low parasitic infection. We found no blood parasites, and the white blood cell counts were among reference values for other sparrow species.

  10. Variation on a theme; an overview of the Tn916 / Tn1545 family of mobile genetic elements in the oral and nasopharyngeal streptococci.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Francesco eSantoro

    2014-10-01

    Full Text Available The oral and nasopharyngeal streptococci are a major part of the normal microbiota in humans. Most human associated streptococci are considered commensals however a small number of them are pathogenic, causing a wide range of diseases including oral infections such as dental caries and periodontitis and diseases at other body sites including sinusitis and endocarditis, and in the case of Streptococcus pneumoniae, meningitis. Both phenotypic and sequence based studies have shown that the human associated streptococci from the mouth and nasopharynx harbour a large number of antibiotic resistance genes and these are often located on mobile genetic elements known as conjugative transposons or integrative and conjugative elements of the Tn916 / Tn1545 family. These mobile genetic elements are responsible for the spread of the resistance genes between streptococci and also between streptococci and other bacteria. In this review we describe the resistances conferred by, and the genetic variations between the many different Tn916-like elements found in recent studies of oral and nasopharyngeal streptococci and show that Tn916-like elements are important mediators of antibiotic resistance genes within this genus. We will also discuss the role of the oral environment and how this is conducive to the transfer of these elements and discuss the contribution of both transformation and conjugation on the transfer and evolution of these elements in different streptococci.

  11. 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

  12. Impact of the post-weaning parasitism history on an experimental Haemonchus contortus infection in Creole goat kids.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ceï, W; Mahieu, M; Philibert, L; Arquet, R; Alexandre, G; Mandonnet, N; Bambou, J C

    2015-01-15

    Gastrointestinal nematode (GIN) infections have an important negative impact on small ruminant production. The selection of genotypes resistant to these parasitic infections is a promising alternative control strategy. Thus, resistance against GIN is an important component of small ruminant breeding schemes, based on phenotypic measurements of resistance in immune mature infected animals. In this study we evaluated both the impact of the post-weaning parasitism history on the response to an experimental Haemonchus contortus infection of resistant and susceptible Creole kids chosen on the basis of their estimated breeding value, and the interaction with the kid's genetic status. During the post-weaning period (from 3 months until 7 months of age) Creole kids were reared at pasture according to four different levels of a mixed rotational stocking system with Creole cattle: 100% (control), 75% (GG75), 50% (GG50), and 25% (GG25) of the total stocking rate of the pasture. The level of infection of the kids decreased significantly at 50% and 25% of the total stocking rate. After the post-weaning period at pasture, at 11 months of age kids were experimentally infected with H. contortus. The faecal egg counts (FEC) were significantly lower in the groups showing the highest FEC at pasture. This result suggests that a degree of protection against an experimental H. contortus infection occurred during the post-weaning period and was dependant on the level of parasitism. Interestingly, no interaction was observed between this level of protection and the genetic status. In conclusion, the level of post-weaning natural parasitism history at pasture would not influence the genetic status evaluation. More generally our results suggest that it would be better to expose kids to a high level of gastrointestinal parasitism during the post-weaning period in order to increase the basal level of resistance thereafter. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  13. Cloning of the unculturable parasite Pasteuria ramosa and its Daphnia host reveals extreme genotype-genotype interactions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Luijckx, Pepijn; Ben-Ami, Frida; Mouton, Laurence; Du Pasquier, Louis; Ebert, Dieter

    2011-02-01

    The degree of specificity in host-parasite interactions has important implications for ecology and evolution. Unfortunately, specificity can be difficult to determine when parasites cannot be cultured. In such cases, studies often use isolates of unknown genetic composition, which may lead to an underestimation of specificity. We obtained the first clones of the unculturable bacterium Pasteuria ramosa, a parasite of Daphnia magna. Clonal genotypes of the parasite exhibited much more specific interactions with host genotypes than previous studies using isolates. Clones of P. ramosa infected fewer D. magna genotypes than isolates and host clones were either fully susceptible or fully resistant to the parasite. Our finding enhances our understanding of the evolution of virulence and coevolutionary dynamics in this system. We recommend caution when using P. ramosa isolates as the presence of multiple genotypes may influence the outcome and interpretation of some experiments. © 2010 Blackwell Publishing Ltd/CNRS.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morin-Adeline, Victoria; Šlapeta, Jan

    2016-03-01

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

  15. Parasites and cancers: parasite antigens as possible targets for cancer immunotherapy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Darani, Hossein Yousofi; Yousefi, Morteza

    2012-12-01

    An adverse relationship between some parasite infections and cancer in the human population has been reported by different research groups. Anticancer activity of some parasites such as Trypanosoma cruzi, Toxoplasma gondii, Toxocara canis, Acantamoeba castellani and Plasmodium yoelii has been shown in experimental animals. Moreover, it has been shown that cancer-associated mucin-type O-glycan compositions are made by parasites, therefore cancers and parasites have common antigens. In this report anticancer activities of some parasites have been reviewed and the possible mechanisms of these actions have also been discussed.

  16. Dual RNA-seq reveals no plastic transcriptional response of the coccidian parasite Eimeria falciformis to host immune defenses.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-09-05

    Parasites can either respond to differences in immune defenses that exist between individual hosts plastically or, alternatively, follow a genetically canalized ("hard wired") program of infection. Assuming that large-scale functional plasticity would be discernible in the parasite transcriptome we have performed a dual RNA-seq study of the lifecycle of Eimeria falciformis using infected mice with different immune status as models for coccidian infections. We compared parasite and host transcriptomes (dual transcriptome) between naïve and challenge infected mice, as well as between immune competent and immune deficient ones. Mice with different immune competence show transcriptional differences as well as differences in parasite reproduction (oocyst shedding). Broad gene categories represented by differently abundant host genes indicate enrichments for immune reaction and tissue repair functions. More specifically, TGF-beta, EGF, TNF and IL-1 and IL-6 are examples of functional annotations represented differently depending on host immune status. Much in contrast, parasite transcriptomes were neither different between Coccidia isolated from immune competent and immune deficient mice, nor between those harvested from naïve and challenge infected mice. Instead, parasite transcriptomes have distinct profiles early and late in infection, characterized largely by biosynthesis or motility associated functional gene groups, respectively. Extracellular sporozoite and oocyst stages showed distinct transcriptional profiles and sporozoite transcriptomes were found enriched for species specific genes and likely pathogenicity factors. We propose that the niche and host-specific parasite E. falciformis uses a genetically canalized program of infection. This program is likely fixed in an evolutionary process rather than employing phenotypic plasticity to interact with its host. This in turn might limit the potential of the parasite to adapt to new host species or niches, forcing

  17. Emergence of new genotype and diversity of Theileria orientalis parasites from bovines in India.

    Science.gov (United States)

    George, Neena; Bhandari, Vasundhra; Reddy, D Peddi; Sharma, Paresh

    2015-12-01

    Bovine theileriosis is a serious threat to livestock worldwide. Uncertainty around species prevalence, antigenic diversity and genotypes of strains make it difficult to assess the impact of this parasite and to provide necessary treatment. We aimed to characterize genotypic diversity, phylogeny and prevalence of Theileria orientalis parasites from the states of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh, India by collecting bovine blood samples from the major districts of the two states. Bioinformatic analysis identified antigenic diversity among the prevalent parasite strains using major piroplasm surface protein (MPSP) gene. Our study revealed a prevalence rate of 4.8% (n=41/862) of T. orientalis parasites in bovine animals and a new genotype of T. orientalis parasite which was not previously reported in India. The emergence of these new genotypes could be an explanation for the frequent outbreaks of bovine theileriosis. Further, whole genome sequencing of T. orientalis strains will help to elucidate the genetic factors relevant for transmissibility and virulence as well as vaccine and new drug development. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  18. Deep sequencing-based transcriptome analysis of Plutella xylostella larvae parasitized by Diadegma semiclausum

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-01-01

    Background Parasitoid insects manipulate their hosts' physiology by injecting various factors into their host upon parasitization. Transcriptomic approaches provide a powerful approach to study insect host-parasitoid interactions at the molecular level. In order to investigate the effects of parasitization by an ichneumonid wasp (Diadegma semiclausum) on the host (Plutella xylostella), the larval transcriptome profile was analyzed using a short-read deep sequencing method (Illumina). Symbiotic polydnaviruses (PDVs) associated with ichneumonid parasitoids, known as ichnoviruses, play significant roles in host immune suppression and developmental regulation. In the current study, D. semiclausum ichnovirus (DsIV) genes expressed in P. xylostella were identified and their sequences compared with other reported PDVs. Five of these genes encode proteins of unknown identity, that have not previously been reported. Results De novo assembly of cDNA sequence data generated 172,660 contigs between 100 and 10000 bp in length; with 35% of > 200 bp in length. Parasitization had significant impacts on expression levels of 928 identified insect host transcripts. Gene ontology data illustrated that the majority of the differentially expressed genes are involved in binding, catalytic activity, and metabolic and cellular processes. In addition, the results show that transcription levels of antimicrobial peptides, such as gloverin, cecropin E and lysozyme, were up-regulated after parasitism. Expression of ichnovirus genes were detected in parasitized larvae with 19 unique sequences identified from five PDV gene families including vankyrin, viral innexin, repeat elements, a cysteine-rich motif, and polar residue rich protein. Vankyrin 1 and repeat element 1 genes showed the highest transcription levels among the DsIV genes. Conclusion This study provides detailed information on differential expression of P. xylostella larval genes following parasitization, DsIV genes expressed in the

  19. Differences in crenate broomrape parasitism dynamics on three legume crops using a thermal time model

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alejandro Pérez-De-Luque

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available Root parasitic weeds are a major limiting production factor in a number of crops, and control is difficult. Genetic resistance and chemical control lead the fight, but without unequivocal success. Models that help to describe and even predict the evolution of parasitism underground are a valuable tool for herbicide applications, and even could help in breeding programs. Legumes are heavily affected by Orobanche crenata (crenate broomrape in the Mediterranean basin. This work presents a descriptive model based on thermal time and correlating growing day-degrees (GDD with the different developmental stages of the parasite. The model was developed in three different legume crops (faba bean, grass pea and lentil attacked by crenate broomrape. The developmental stages of the parasite strongly correlated with the GDD and differences were found depending on the host crop.

  20. Identification of putative cis-regulatory elements in Cryptosporidium parvum by de novo pattern finding

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kissinger Jessica C

    2007-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Cryptosporidium parvum is a unicellular eukaryote in the phylum Apicomplexa. It is an obligate intracellular parasite that causes diarrhea and is a significant AIDS-related pathogen. Cryptosporidium parvum is not amenable to long-term laboratory cultivation or classical molecular genetic analysis. The parasite exhibits a complex life cycle, a broad host range, and fundamental mechanisms of gene regulation remain unknown. We have used data from the recently sequenced genome of this organism to uncover clues about gene regulation in C. parvum. We have applied two pattern finding algorithms MEME and AlignACE to identify conserved, over-represented motifs in the 5' upstream regions of genes in C. parvum. To support our findings, we have established comparative real-time -PCR expression profiles for the groups of genes examined computationally. Results We find that groups of genes that share a function or belong to a common pathway share upstream motifs. Different motifs are conserved upstream of different groups of genes. Comparative real-time PCR studies show co-expression of genes within each group (in sub-sets during the life cycle of the parasite, suggesting co-regulation of these genes may be driven by the use of conserved upstream motifs. Conclusion This is one of the first attempts to characterize cis-regulatory elements in the absence of any previously characterized elements and with very limited expression data (seven genes only. Using de novo pattern finding algorithms, we have identified specific DNA motifs that are conserved upstream of genes belonging to the same metabolic pathway or gene family. We have demonstrated the co-expression of these genes (often in subsets using comparative real-time-PCR experiments thus establishing evidence for these conserved motifs as putative cis-regulatory elements. Given the lack of prior information concerning expression patterns and organization of promoters in C. parvum we

  1. Prevalence and genetic diversity of haematozoa in South American waterfowl and evidence for intercontinental redistribution of parasites by migratory birds

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, Matthew M.; Ramey, Andy M.

    2015-01-01

    To understand the role of migratory birds in the movement and transmission of haematozoa within and between continental regions, we examined 804 blood samples collected from eleven endemic species of South American waterfowl in Peru and Argentina for infection by Haemoproteus, Plasmodium, and/or Leucocytozono blood parasites. Infections were detected in 25 individuals of six species for an overall apparent prevalence rate of 3.1%. Analysis of haematozoa mitochondrial DNA revealed twelve distinct parasite haplotypes infecting South American waterfowl, four of which were identical to lineages previously observed infecting ducks and swans sampled in North America. Analysis of parasite mitochondrial DNA sequences revealed close phylogenetic relationships between lineages originating from waterfowl samples regardless of continental affiliation. In contrast, more distant phylogenetic relationships were observed between parasite lineages from waterfowl and passerines sampled in South America for Haemoproteus and Leucocytozoon, suggesting some level of host specificity for parasites of these genera. The detection of identical parasite lineages in endemic, South American waterfowl and North American ducks and swans, paired with the close phylogenetic relationships of haematozoa infecting waterfowl on both continents, provides evidence for parasite redistribution between these regions by migratory birds.

  2. Prevalence of intestinal parasites in companion dogs with diarrhea in Beijing, China, and genetic characteristics of Giardia and Cryptosporidium species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yu, Zhongjia; Ruan, Yang; Zhou, Mengjie; Chen, Siyuan; Zhang, Yinxin; Wang, Liya; Zhu, Guan; Yu, Yonglan

    2018-01-01

    Companion animals including dogs are one of the important components in One Health. Parasites may cause not only diseases in pet animals but also many zoonotic diseases infecting humans. In this study, we performed a survey of intestinal parasites in fecal specimens (n = 485) collected from outpatient pet dogs with diarrhea in Beijing, China, for the entire year of 2015 by microscopic examination (all parasites) and SSU rRNA-based nested PCR detection (Giardia and Cryptosporidium). We observed a total of 124 (25.6%) parasite-positive specimens that contained one or more parasites, including Giardia duodenalis (12.8%), Cryptosporidium spp. (4.9%), Cystoisospora spp. (4.3%), trichomonads (4.3%), Toxocara canis (3.5%), Trichuris vulpis (0.6%), and Dipylidium caninum (0.2%). Among the 55 dog breeds, infection rates were significantly higher in border collies and bulldogs, but lower in poodles (p PCR, 20 PCR amplicons could be sequenced and identified as Cryptosporidium canis (n = 20). Collectively, this study indicates that parasites are a significant group of pathogens in companion dogs in Beijing, and companion dogs may potentially transmit certain zoonotic parasites to humans, particularly those with weak or weakened immunity.

  3. Genomic Characterization for Parasitic Weeds of the Genus Striga by Sample Sequence Analysis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Matt C. Estep

    2012-03-01

    Full Text Available Generation of ∼2200 Sanger sequence reads or ∼10,000 454 reads for seven Lour. DNA samples (five species allowed identification of the highly repetitive DNA content in these genomes. The 14 most abundant repeats in these species were identified and partially assembled. Annotation indicated that they represent nine long terminal repeat (LTR retrotransposon families, three tandem satellite repeats, one long interspersed element (LINE retroelement, and one DNA transposon. All of these repeats are most closely related to repetitive elements in other closely related plants and are not products of horizontal transfer from their host species. These repeats were differentially abundant in each species, with the LTR retrotransposons and satellite repeats most responsible for variation in genome size. Each species had some repetitive elements that were more abundant and some less abundant than the other species examined, indicating that no single element or any unilateral growth or decrease trend in genome behavior was responsible for variation in genome size and composition. Genome sizes were determined by flow sorting, and the values of 615 Mb [ (L. Kuntze], 1330 Mb [ (Willd. Vatke], 1425 Mb [ (Delile Benth.] and 2460 Mb ( Benth. suggest a ploidy series, a prediction supported by repetitive DNA sequence analysis. Phylogenetic analysis using six chloroplast loci indicated the ancestral relationships of the five most agriculturally important species, with the unexpected result that the one parasite of dicotyledonous plants ( was found to be more closely related to some of the grass parasites than many of the grass parasites are to each other.

  4. Modelling parasite transmission in a grazing system: the importance of host behaviour and immunity.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Naomi J Fox

    Full Text Available Parasitic helminths present one of the most pervasive challenges to grazing herbivores. Many macro-parasite transmission models focus on host physiological defence strategies, omitting more complex interactions between hosts and their environments. This work represents the first model that integrates both the behavioural and physiological elements of gastro-intestinal nematode transmission dynamics in a managed grazing system. A spatially explicit, individual-based, stochastic model is developed, that incorporates both the hosts' immunological responses to parasitism, and key grazing behaviours including faecal avoidance. The results demonstrate that grazing behaviour affects both the timing and intensity of parasite outbreaks, through generating spatial heterogeneity in parasite risk and nutritional resources, and changing the timing of exposure to the parasites' free-living stages. The influence of grazing behaviour varies with the host-parasite combination, dependent on the development times of different parasite species and variations in host immune response. Our outputs include the counterintuitive finding that under certain conditions perceived parasite avoidance behaviours (faecal avoidance can increase parasite risk, for certain host-parasite combinations. Through incorporating the two-way interaction between infection dynamics and grazing behaviour, the potential benefits of parasite-induced anorexia are also demonstrated. Hosts with phenotypic plasticity in grazing behaviour, that make grazing decisions dependent on current parasite burden, can reduce infection with minimal loss of intake over the grazing season. This paper explores how both host behaviours and immunity influence macro-parasite transmission in a spatially and temporally heterogeneous environment. The magnitude and timing of parasite outbreaks is influenced by host immunity and behaviour, and the interactions between them; the incorporation of both regulatory processes

  5. Evolutionary rescue of a parasite population by mutation rate evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Greenspoon, Philip B; Mideo, Nicole

    2017-10-01

    The risk of antibiotic resistance evolution in parasites is a major problem for public health. Identifying factors which promote antibiotic resistance evolution is thus a priority in evolutionary medicine. The rate at which new mutations enter the parasite population is one important predictor; however, mutation rate is not necessarily a fixed quantity, as is often assumed, but can itself evolve. Here we explore the possible impacts of mutation rate evolution on the fate of a disease circulating in a host population, which is being treated with drugs, the use of which varies over time. Using an evolutionary rescue framework, we find that mutation rate evolution provides a dramatic increase in the probability that a parasite population survives treatment in only a limited region, while providing little or no advantage in other regions. Both epidemiological features, such as the virulence of infection, and population genetic parameters, such as recombination rate, play important roles in determining the probability of evolutionary rescue and whether mutation rate evolution enhances the probability of evolutionary rescue or not. While efforts to curtail mutation rate evolution in parasites may be worthwhile under some circumstances, our results suggest that this need not always be the case. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  6. Blastocystis, an unrecognized parasite: an overview of pathogenesis and diagnosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wawrzyniak, Ivan; Poirier, Philippe; Viscogliosi, Eric; Dionigia, Meloni; Texier, Catherine; Delbac, Frédéric; Alaoui, Hicham El

    2013-10-01

    Blastocystis sp. is among the few enteric parasites with a prevalence that often exceeds 5% in the general population of industrialized countries and can reach 30-60% in developing countries. This parasite is frequently found in people who are immunocompromised (patients with human immunodeficiency virus/acquired immunodeficiency syndrome or cancer) and a higher risk of Blastocystis sp. infection has been found in people with close animal contact. Such prevalence in the human population and the zoonotic potential naturally raise questions about the impact of these parasites on public health and has increased interest in this area. Recent in vitro and in vivo studies have shed new light on the pathogenic power of this parasite, suggesting that Blastocystis sp. infection is associated with a variety of gastrointestinal disorders, may play a significant role in irritable bowel syndrome, and may be linked with cutaneous lesions (urticaria). Despite recent significant advances in the knowledge of the extensive genetic diversity of this species, the identification of extracellular proteases as virulence factors and the publication of one isolate genome, many aspects of the biology of Blastocystis sp. remain poorly investigated. In this review, we investigate several biological aspects of Blastocystis sp. (diversity and epidemiology, diagnosis tools and pathophysiology). These data pave the way for the following challenges concerning Blastocystis sp. research: deciphering key biological mechanisms and pathways of this parasite and clarification of its clinical impact in humans.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-07-01

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

  8. Paradigms for parasite conservation.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-08-01

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

  9. Viruses-to-mobile genetic elements skew in the deep Atlantis II brine pool sediments

    KAUST Repository

    Adel, Mustafa

    2016-09-06

    The central rift of the Red Sea has 25 brine pools with different physical and geochemical characteristics. Atlantis II (ATIID), Discovery Deeps (DD) and Chain Deep (CD) are characterized by high salinity, temperature and metal content. Several studies reported microbial communities in these brine pools, but few studies addressed the brine pool sediments. Therefore, sediment cores were collected from ATIID, DD, CD brine pools and an adjacent brine-influenced site. Sixteen different lithologic sediment sections were subjected to shotgun DNA pyrosequencing to generate 1.47 billion base pairs (1.47 × 109 bp). We generated sediment-specific reads and attempted to annotate all reads. We report the phylogenetic and biochemical uniqueness of the deepest ATIID sulfur-rich brine pool sediments. In contrary to all other sediment sections, bacteria dominate the deepest ATIID sulfur-rich brine pool sediments. This decrease in virus-to-bacteria ratio in selected sections and depth coincided with an overrepresentation of mobile genetic elements. Skewing in the composition of viruses-to-mobile genetic elements may uniquely contribute to the distinct microbial consortium in sediments in proximity to hydrothermally active vents of the Red Sea and possibly in their surroundings, through differential horizontal gene transfer.

  10. Parasite epidemiology in a changing world: can molecular phylogeography help us tell the wood from the trees?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morgan, E R; Clare, E L; Jefferies, R; Stevens, J R

    2012-12-01

    SUMMARY Molecular phylogeography has revolutionised our ability to infer past biogeographic events from cross-sectional data on current parasite populations. In ecological parasitology, this approach has been used to address fundamental questions concerning host-parasite co-evolution and geographic patterns of spread, and has raised many technical issues and problems of interpretation. For applied parasitologists, the added complexity inherent in adding population genetic structure to perceived parasite distributions can sometimes seem to cloud rather than clarify approaches to control. In this paper, we use case studies firstly to illustrate the potential extent of cryptic diversity in parasite and parasitoid populations, secondly to consider how anthropogenic influences including movement of domestic animals affect the geographic distribution and host associations of parasite genotypes, and thirdly to explore the applied relevance of these processes to parasites of socio-economic importance. The contribution of phylogeographic approaches to deeper understanding of parasite biology in these cases is assessed. Thus, molecular data on the emerging parasites Angiostrongylus vasorum in dogs and wild canids, and the myiasis-causing flies Lucilia spp. in sheep and Cochliomyia hominovorax in humans, lead to clear implications for control efforts to limit global spread. Broader applications of molecular phylogeography to understanding parasite distributions in an era of rapid global change are also discussed.

  11. Genetic architecture of artemisinin-resistant Plasmodium falciparum

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miotto, Olivo; Amato, Roberto; Ashley, Elizabeth A; MacInnis, Bronwyn; Almagro-Garcia, Jacob; Amaratunga, Chanaki; Lim, Pharath; Mead, Daniel; Oyola, Samuel O; Dhorda, Mehul; Imwong, Mallika; Woodrow, Charles; Manske, Magnus; Stalker, Jim; Drury, Eleanor; Campino, Susana; Amenga-Etego, Lucas; Thanh, Thuy-Nhien Nguyen; Tran, Hien Tinh; Ringwald, Pascal; Bethell, Delia; Nosten, Francois; Phyo, Aung Pyae; Pukrittayakamee, Sasithon; Chotivanich, Kesinee; Chuor, Char Meng; Nguon, Chea; Suon, Seila; Sreng, Sokunthea; Newton, Paul N; Mayxay, Mayfong; Khanthavong, Maniphone; Hongvanthong, Bouasy; Htut, Ye; Han, Kay Thwe; Kyaw, Myat Phone; Faiz, Md Abul; Fanello, Caterina I; Onyamboko, Marie; Mokuolu, Olugbenga A; Jacob, Christopher G; Takala-Harrison, Shannon; Plowe, Christopher V; Day, Nicholas P; Dondorp, Arjen M; Spencer, Chris C A; McVean, Gilean; Fairhurst, Rick M; White, Nicholas J; Kwiatkowski, Dominic P

    2015-01-01

    We report a large multicenter genome-wide association study of Plasmodium falciparum resistance to artemisinin, the frontline antimalarial drug. Across 15 locations in Southeast Asia, we identified at least 20 mutations in kelch13 (PF3D7_1343700) affecting the encoded propeller and BTB/POZ domains, which were associated with a slow parasite clearance rate after treatment with artemisinin derivatives. Nonsynonymous polymorphisms in fd (ferredoxin), arps10 (apicoplast ribosomal protein S10), mdr2 (multidrug resistance protein 2) and crt (chloroquine resistance transporter) also showed strong associations with artemisinin resistance. Analysis of the fine structure of the parasite population showed that the fd, arps10, mdr2 and crt polymorphisms are markers of a genetic background on which kelch13 mutations are particularly likely to arise and that they correlate with the contemporary geographical boundaries and population frequencies of artemisinin resistance. These findings indicate that the risk of new resistance-causing mutations emerging is determined by specific predisposing genetic factors in the underlying parasite population. PMID:25599401

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. Recent advances in molecular biology of parasitic viruses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Banik, Gouri Rani; Stark, Damien; Rashid, Harunor; Ellis, John T

    2014-01-01

    The numerous protozoa that can inhabit the human gastro-intestinal tract are known, yet little is understood of the viruses which infect these protozoa. The discovery, morphologic details, purification methods of virus-like particles, genome and proteome of the parasitic viruses, Entamoeba histolytica, Giardia lamblia, Trichomonas vaginalis, and the Eimeria sp. are described in this review. The protozoan viruses share many common features: most of them are RNA or double-stranded RNA viruses, ranging between 5 and 8 kilobases, and are spherical or icosahedral in shape with an average diameter of 30-40 nm. These viruses may influence the function and pathogenicity of the protozoa which they infect, and may be important to investigate from a clinical perspective. The viruses may be used as specific genetic transfection vectors for the parasites and may represent a research tool. This review provides an overview on recent advances in the field of protozoan viruses.

  15. Seasonal and biogeographical patterns of gastrointestinal parasites in large carnivores: wolves in a coastal archipelago.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bryan, Heather M; Darimont, Chris T; Hill, Janet E; Paquet, Paul C; Thompson, R C Andrew; Wagner, Brent; Smits, Judit E G

    2012-05-01

    Parasites are increasingly recognized for their profound influences on individual, population and ecosystem health. We provide the first report of gastrointestinal parasites in gray wolves from the central and north coasts of British Columbia, Canada. Across 60 000 km(2), wolf feces were collected from 34 packs in 2005-2008. At a smaller spatial scale (3300 km(2)), 8 packs were sampled in spring and autumn. Parasite eggs, larvae, and cysts were identified using standard flotation techniques and morphology. A subset of samples was analysed by PCR and sequencing to identify tapeworm eggs (n=9) and Giardia cysts (n=14). We detected ≥14 parasite taxa in 1558 fecal samples. Sarcocystis sporocysts occurred most frequently in feces (43·7%), followed by taeniid eggs (23·9%), Diphyllobothrium eggs (9·1%), Giardia cysts (6·8%), Toxocara canis eggs (2·1%), and Cryptosporidium oocysts (1·7%). Other parasites occurred in ≤1% of feces. Genetic analyses revealed Echinococcus canadensis strains G8 and G10, Taenia ovis krabbei, Diphyllobothrium nehonkaiense, and Giardia duodenalis assemblages A and B. Parasite prevalence differed between seasons and island/mainland sites. Patterns in parasite prevalence reflect seasonal and spatial resource use by wolves and wolf-salmon associations. These data provide a unique, extensive and solid baseline for monitoring parasite community structure in relation to environmental change.

  16. Food plant derived disease tolerance and resistance in a natural butterfly-plant-parasite interactions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sternberg, Eleanore D; Lefèvre, Thierry; Li, James; de Castillejo, Carlos Lopez Fernandez; Li, Hui; Hunter, Mark D; de Roode, Jacobus C

    2012-11-01

    Organisms can protect themselves against parasite-induced fitness costs through resistance or tolerance. Resistance includes mechanisms that prevent infection or limit parasite growth while tolerance alleviates the fitness costs from parasitism without limiting infection. Although tolerance and resistance affect host-parasite coevolution in fundamentally different ways, tolerance has often been ignored in animal-parasite systems. Where it has been studied, tolerance has been assumed to be a genetic mechanism, unaffected by the host environment. Here we studied the effects of host ecology on tolerance and resistance to infection by rearing monarch butterflies on 12 different species of milkweed food plants and infecting them with a naturally occurring protozoan parasite. Our results show that monarch butterflies experience different levels of tolerance to parasitism depending on the species of milkweed that they feed on, with some species providing over twofold greater tolerance than other milkweed species. Resistance was also affected by milkweed species, but there was no relationship between milkweed-conferred resistance and tolerance. Chemical analysis suggests that infected monarchs obtain highest fitness when reared on milkweeds with an intermediate concentration, diversity, and polarity of toxic secondary plant chemicals known as cardenolides. Our results demonstrate that environmental factors-such as interacting species in ecological food webs-are important drivers of disease tolerance. © 2012 The Author(s). Evolution© 2012 The Society for the Study of Evolution.

  17. Selection from parasites favours immunogenetic diversity but not divergence among locally adapted host populations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tobler, M; Plath, M; Riesch, R; Schlupp, I; Grasse, A; Munimanda, G K; Setzer, C; Penn, D J; Moodley, Y

    2014-05-01

    The unprecedented polymorphism in the major histocompatibility complex (MHC) genes is thought to be maintained by balancing selection from parasites. However, do parasites also drive divergence at MHC loci between host populations, or do the effects of balancing selection maintain similarities among populations? We examined MHC variation in populations of the livebearing fish Poecilia mexicana and characterized their parasite communities. Poecilia mexicana populations in the Cueva del Azufre system are locally adapted to darkness and the presence of toxic hydrogen sulphide, representing highly divergent ecotypes or incipient species. Parasite communities differed significantly across populations, and populations with higher parasite loads had higher levels of diversity at class II MHC genes. However, despite different parasite communities, marked divergence in adaptive traits and in neutral genetic markers, we found MHC alleles to be remarkably similar among host populations. Our findings indicate that balancing selection from parasites maintains immunogenetic diversity of hosts, but this process does not promote MHC divergence in this system. On the contrary, we suggest that balancing selection on immunogenetic loci may outweigh divergent selection causing divergence, thereby hindering host divergence and speciation. Our findings support the hypothesis that balancing selection maintains MHC similarities among lineages during and after speciation (trans-species evolution). © 2014 The Authors. Journal of Evolutionary Biology © 2014 European Society For Evolutionary Biology.

  18. The role of egg-nest contrast in the rejection of brood parasitic eggs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aidala, Zachary; Croston, Rebecca; Schwartz, Jessica; Tong, Lainga; Hauber, Mark E

    2015-04-15

    Hosts of avian brood parasites can avoid the reproductive costs of raising genetically unrelated offspring by rejecting parasitic eggs. The perceptual cues and controls mediating parasitic egg discrimination and ejection are well studied: hosts are thought to use differences in egg color, brightness, maculation, size and shape to discriminate between their own and foreign eggs. Most theories of brood parasitism implicitly assume that the primary criteria to which hosts attend when discriminating eggs are differences between the eggs themselves. However, this assumption is confounded by the degree to which chromatic and achromatic characteristics of the nest lining co-vary with egg coloration, so that egg-nest contrast per se might be the recognition cue driving parasitic egg detection. Here, we systematically tested whether and how egg-nest contrast itself contributes to foreign egg discrimination. In an artificial parasitism experiment, we independently manipulated egg color and nest lining color of the egg-ejector American robin (Turdus migratorius), a host of the obligate brood parasitic brown-headed cowbird (Molothrus ater). We hypothesized that the degree of contrast between foreign eggs and the nest background would affect host egg rejection behavior. We predicted that experimentally decreasing egg-nest chromatic and achromatic contrast (i.e. rendering parasitic eggs more cryptic against the nest lining) would decrease rejection rates, while increasing egg-nest contrast would increase rejection rates. In contrast to our predictions, egg-nest contrast was not a significant predictor of egg ejection patterns. Instead, egg color significantly predicted responses to parasitism. We conclude that egg-egg differences are the primary drivers of egg rejection in this system. Future studies should test for the effects of egg-nest contrast per se in predicting parasitic egg recognition in other host-parasite systems, including those hosts building enclosed nests and

  19. Displaced phylogeographic signals from Gyrodactylus arcuatus, a parasite of the three-spined stickleback Gasterosteus aculeatus, suggest freshwater glacial refugia in Europe.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lumme, Jaakko; Mäkinen, Hannu; Ermolenko, Alexey V; Gregg, Jacob L; Ziętara, Marek S

    2016-08-01

    We examined the global mitochondrial phylogeography of Gyrodactylus arcuatus, a flatworm ectoparasite of three-spined stickleback Gasterosteus aculeatus. In accordance with the suggested high divergence rate of 13%/million years, the genetic variation of the parasite was high: haplotype diversity h=0.985 and nucleotide diversity π=0.0161. The differentiation among the parasite populations was substantial (Φst=0.759), with two main allopatric clades (here termed Euro and North) accounting for 54% of the total genetic variation. The diversity center of the Euro clade was in the Baltic Sea, while the North clade was spread across the Barents and White Seas. A single haplotype within the North clade was found in the western and eastern Pacific Ocean. Divergence of main clades was estimated to be circa 200 thousand years ago. Each main clade was further divided into six distinct subclades, estimated to have diverged in isolation since 135 thousand years ago. This second division corresponds approximately to the Eemian interglacial predating the last glacial maximum. A demographic expansion of the subclades is associated with colonisation of northern Europe since the last glacial maximum, circa 15-40 thousand years ago. The parasite phylogeny is most likely explained by sequential isolated bottlenecks and expansions in numerous allopatric refugia. The postglacial intermingling and high variation in the marine parasite populations, separately in the Baltic and Barents Seas, suggest low competition of divergent parasite matrilines, coupled with a large population size and high rate of dispersal of hosts. The genetic contribution of the assumed refugial fish populations maintaining the parasite during the last glacial maximum was not detected among the marine sticklebacks, which perhaps were infected after range expansion. Copyright © 2016 Australian Society for Parasitology. All rights reserved.

  20. Displaced phylogeographic signals from Gyrodactylus arcuatus, a parasite of the three-spined stickleback Gasterosteus aculeatus, suggest freshwater glacial refugia in Europe

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lumme, Jaakko; Mäkinen, Hannu; Ermolenko, Alexey V.; Gregg, Jacob L.; Ziętara, Marek S.

    2016-01-01

    We examined the global mitochondrial phylogeography of Gyrodactylus arcuatus, a flatworm ectoparasite of three-spined stickleback Gasterosteus aculeatus. In accordance with the suggested high divergence rate of 13%/million years, the genetic variation of the parasite was high: haplotype diversity h = 0.985 and nucleotide diversity π = 0.0161. The differentiation among the parasite populations was substantial (Φst = 0.759), with two main allopatric clades (here termed Euro and North) accounting for 54% of the total genetic variation. The diversity center of the Euro clade was in the Baltic Sea, while the North clade was spread across the Barents and White Seas. A single haplotype within the North clade was found in the western and eastern Pacific Ocean. Divergence of main clades was estimated to be circa 200 thousand years ago. Each main clade was further divided into six distinct subclades, estimated to have diverged in isolation since 135 thousand years ago. This second division corresponds approximately to the Eemian interglacial predating the last glacial maximum. A demographic expansion of the subclades is associated with colonisation of northern Europe since the last glacial maximum, circa 15–40 thousand years ago. The parasite phylogeny is most likely explained by sequential isolated bottlenecks and expansions in numerous allopatric refugia. The postglacial intermingling and high variation in the marine parasite populations, separately in the Baltic and Barents Seas, suggest low competition of divergent parasite matrilines, coupled with a large population size and high rate of dispersal of hosts. The genetic contribution of the assumed refugial fish populations maintaining the parasite during the last glacial maximum was not detected among the marine sticklebacks, which perhaps were infected after range expansion.

  1. Plant defenses against parasitic plants show similarities to those induced by herbivores and pathogens

    Science.gov (United States)

    Runyon, Justin B; Mescher, Mark C

    2010-01-01

    Herbivores and pathogens come quickly to mind when one thinks of the biotic challenges faced by plants. Important but less appreciated enemies are parasitic plants, which can have important consequences for the fitness and survival of their hosts. Our knowledge of plant perception, signaling and response to herbivores and pathogens has expanded rapidly in recent years, but information is generally lacking for parasitic species. In a recent paper we reported that some of the same defense responses induced by herbivores and pathogens—notably increases in jasmonic acid (JA), salicylic acid (SA), and a hypersensitive-like response (HLR)—also occur in tomato plants upon attack by the parasitic plant Cuscuta pentagona (field dodder). Parasitism induced a distinct pattern of JA and SA accumulation, and growth trials using genetically-altered tomato hosts suggested that both JA and SA govern effective defenses against the parasite, though the extent of the response varied with host plant age. Here we discuss similarities between the induced responses we observed in response to Cuscuta parasitism to those previously described for herbivores and pathogens and present new data showing that trichomes should be added to the list of plant defenses that act against multiple enemies and across kingdoms. PMID:20495380

  2. AFLP polymorphisms allow high resolution genetic analysis of American Tegumentary Leishmaniasis agents circulating in Panama and other members of the Leishmania genus.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Carlos M Restrepo

    Full Text Available American Tegumentary Leishmaniasis is caused by parasites of the genus Leishmania, and causes significant health problems throughout the Americas. In Panama, Leishmania parasites are endemic, causing thousands of new cases every year, mostly of the cutaneous form. In the last years, the burden of the disease has increased, coincident with increasing disturbances in its natural sylvatic environments. The study of genetic variation in parasites is important for a better understanding of the biology, population genetics, and ultimately the evolution and epidemiology of these organisms. Very few attempts have been made to characterize genetic polymorphisms of parasites isolated from Panamanian patients of cutaneous leishmaniasis. Here we present data on the genetic variability of local isolates of Leishmania, as well as specimens from several other species, by means of Amplified Fragment Length Polymorphisms (AFLP, a technique seldom used to study genetic makeup of parasites. We demonstrate that this technique allows detection of very high levels of genetic variability in local isolates of Leishmania panamensis in a highly reproducible manner. The analysis of AFLP fingerprints generated by unique selective primer combinations in L. panamensis suggests a predominant clonal mode of reproduction. Using fluorescently labeled primers, many taxon-specific fragments were identified which may show potential as species diagnostic fragments. The AFLP permitted a high resolution genetic analysis of the Leishmania genus, clearly separating certain groups among L. panamensis specimens and highly related species such as L. panamensis and L. guyanensis. The phylogenetic networks reconstructed from our AFLP data are congruent with established taxonomy for the genus Leishmania, even when using single selective primer combinations. Results of this study demonstrate that AFLP polymorphisms can be informative for genetic characterization in Leishmania parasites, at

  3. Genetic characterization, species differentiation and detection of Fasciola spp. by molecular approaches.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ai, Lin; Chen, Mu-Xin; Alasaad, Samer; Elsheikha, Hany M; Li, Juan; Li, Hai-Long; Lin, Rui-Qing; Zou, Feng-Cai; Zhu, Xing-Quan; Chen, Jia-Xu

    2011-06-10

    Liver flukes belonging to the genus Fasciola are among the causes of foodborne diseases of parasitic etiology. These parasites cause significant public health problems and substantial economic losses to the livestock industry. Therefore, it is important to definitively characterize the Fasciola species. Current phenotypic techniques fail to reflect the full extent of the diversity of Fasciola spp. In this respect, the use of molecular techniques to identify and differentiate Fasciola spp. offer considerable advantages. The advent of a variety of molecular genetic techniques also provides a powerful method to elucidate many aspects of Fasciola biology, epidemiology, and genetics. However, the discriminatory power of these molecular methods varies, as does the speed and ease of performance and cost. There is a need for the development of new methods to identify the mechanisms underpinning the origin and maintenance of genetic variation within and among Fasciola populations. The increasing application of the current and new methods will yield a much improved understanding of Fasciola epidemiology and evolution as well as more effective means of parasite control. Herein, we provide an overview of the molecular techniques that are being used for the genetic characterization, detection and genotyping of Fasciola spp..

  4. Comparative reproductive biology of the social parasite Acromyrmex ameliae de Souza, Soares & Della Lucia and of its host Acromyrmex subterraneus subterraneus Forel (Hymenoptera: Formicidae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Soares, Ilka M F; Della Lucia, Terezinha M C; Pereira, Alice S; Serrão, José E; Ribeiro, Myriam M R; De Souza, Danival J

    2010-01-01

    Social parasites exhibit several characteristics that allow them to exploit their host species efficiently. The smaller size of parasite species is a trait commonly found in ants. In this work, we investigated several aspects of the reproductive biology of Acromyrmex ameliae De Souza, Soares & Della Lucia, a recently discovered parasite of Acromyrmex subterraneus subterraneus Forel. Sexuals of A. ameliae are substantially smaller than those from host species. Parasite queens laid significantly less worker eggs than host queens and inhibit sexual production of the host. The sex ratio of parasite species is highly female biased. Interestingly, we have observed parasite coupling on the laboratory, inside the nests and in the ground, opening the possibility to use controlled mating to study genetic approaches of parasitism in the ants.

  5. Parasites as prey

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2012-01-01

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

  6. Parasites: Water

    Science.gov (United States)

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

  7. Molecular detection and genetic diversity of Babesia gibsoni in dogs in Bangladesh.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Terao, Masashi; Akter, Shirin; Yasin, Md Golam; Nakao, Ryo; Kato, Hirotomo; Alam, Mohammad Zahangir; Katakura, Ken

    2015-04-01

    Babesia gibsoni is a tick-borne hemoprotozoan parasite of dogs that often causes fever and hemolytic illness. Detection of B. gibsoni has been predominantly reported in Asian countries, including Japan, Korea, Taiwan, Malaysia, Bangladesh and India. The present study shows the first molecular characterization of B. gibsoni detected from dogs in Bangladesh. Blood samples were collected on FTA® Elute cards from 50 stray dogs in Mymensingh District in Bangladesh. DNA eluted from the cards was subjected to nested PCR for the 18S rRNA gene of Babesia species. Approximately 800bp PCR products were detected in 15 of 50 dogs (30%). Based on restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP) and direct sequencing of the PCR products, all parasite isolates were identified as B. gibsoni. Furthermore, the BgTRAP (B. gibsoni thrombospondin-related adhesive protein) gene fragments were detected in 13 of 15 18S rRNA gene PCR positive blood samples. Phylogenetic analysis of the BgTRAP gene revealed that B. gibsoni parasites in Bangladesh formed a cluster, which was genetically different from other Asian B. gibsoni isolates. In addition, tandem repeat analysis of the BgTRAP gene clearly showed considerable genetic variation among Bangladeshi isolates. These results suggested that B. gibsoni parasites in a different genetic clade are endemic in dogs in Bangladesh. Further studies are required to elucidate the origin, distribution, vector and pathogenesis of B. gibsoni parasites circulating in dogs in Bangladesh. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  8. Genetic characterization of the partial mitochondrial cytochrome oxidase c subunit I (cox 1) gene of the zoonotic parasitic nematode, Ancylostoma ceylanicum from humans, dogs and cats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ngui, Romano; Mahdy, Mohammed A K; Chua, Kek Heng; Traub, Rebecca; Lim, Yvonne A L

    2013-10-01

    Ancylostoma ceylanicum is the only zoonotic hookworm species that is able to produce patent infections in humans with the majority of cases reported in South East Asia. Over the past few years, there have been an increasing number of studies investigating the prevalence of this parasitic zoonosis using molecular diagnostic tools and a single genetic locus as marker for species identification. As there can be limitations in using a single genetic locus for epidemiological studies and genetic discrimination, the complementary use of a more variable locus will provide additional evidence to support the zoonotic exchange of hookworm species between humans and animals. In the present study, the cytochrome c oxidase subunit 1 (cox 1) sequence of A. ceylanicum from positive human and animal fecal samples were determined and compared with published reference sequences. Phylogenetic analysis demonstrated that isolates of A. ceylanicum were divided into two clusters, one consisting 3 human isolates and the other comprising 19 isolates of human and animal origin from different geographical locations within Malaysia. The two groups of A. ceylanicum could be distinguished from one another through five fixed nucleotide differences at locations 891, 966, 1008, 1077 and 1083. The detection of genetically distinct groups and considerable level of genetic variation within the cox 1 sequence of A. ceylanicum might suggest potential haplotype-linked differences in zoonotic, epidemiological and pathobiological characteristics, a hypothesis that still needs further investigation. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  9. Single cell elemental analysis using nuclear microscopy

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ren, M.Q.; Thong, P.S.P.; Kara, U.; Watt, F.

    1999-01-01

    The use of Particle Induced X-ray Emission (PIXE), Rutherford Backscattering Spectrometry (RBS) and Scanning Transmission Ion Microscopy (STIM) to provide quantitative elemental analysis of single cells is an area which has high potential, particularly when the trace elements such as Ca, Fe, Zn and Cu can be monitored. We describe the methodology of sample preparation for two cell types, the procedures of cell imaging using STIM, and the quantitative elemental analysis of single cells using RBS and PIXE. Recent work on single cells at the Nuclear Microscopy Research Centre,National University of Singapore has centred around two research areas: (a) Apoptosis (programmed cell death), which has been recently implicated in a wide range of pathological conditions such as cancer, Parkinson's disease etc, and (b) Malaria (infection of red blood cells by the malaria parasite). Firstly we present results on the elemental analysis of human Chang liver cells (ATTCC CCL 13) where vanadium ions were used to trigger apoptosis, and demonstrate that nuclear microscopy has the capability of monitoring vanadium loading within individual cells. Secondly we present the results of elemental changes taking place in individual mouse red blood cells which have been infected with the malaria parasite and treated with the anti-malaria drug Qinghaosu (QHS)

  10. Evolution of Fe/S cluster biogenesis in the anaerobic parasite Blastocystis

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Tsaousis, A.D.; de Choudens, S. O.; Gentekaki, E.; Long, Shaojun; Gaston, D.; Stechmann, A.; Vinella, D.; Py, B.; Fontecave, M.; Barras, F.; Lukeš, Julius; Roger, A. J.

    2012-01-01

    Roč. 109, č. 26 (2012), s. 10426-10431 ISSN 0027-8424 R&D Projects: GA ČR GA204/09/1667; GA ČR(CZ) GAP305/11/2179 Institutional support: RVO:60077344 Keywords : iron/sulfur cluster biosynthesis * lateral gene transfer * parasite evolution * sulfur-mobilization machinery * oxygen stress adaptation Subject RIV: EB - Genetics ; Molecular Biology Impact factor: 9.737, year: 2012

  11. Echinococcus multilocularis and Its Intermediate Host: A Model of Parasite-Host Interplay

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dominique Angèle Vuitton

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available Host-parasite interactions in the E. multilocularis-intermediate host model depend on a subtle balance between cellular immunity, which is responsible for host's resistance towards the metacestode, the larval stage of the parasite, and tolerance induction and maintenance. The pathological features of alveolar echinococcosis. the disease caused by E. multilocularis, are related both to parasitic growth and to host's immune response, leading to fibrosis and necrosis, The disease spectrum is clearly dependent on the genetic background of the host as well as on acquired disturbances of Th1-related immunity. The laminated layer of the metacestode, and especially its carbohydrate components, plays a major role in tolerance induction. Th2-type and anti-inflammatory cytokines, IL-10 and TGF-β, as well as nitric oxide, are involved in the maintenance of tolerance and partial inhibition of cytotoxic mechanisms. Results of studies in the experimental mouse model and in patients suggest that immune modulation with cytokines, such as interferon-α, or with specific antigens could be used in the future to treat patients with alveolar echinococcosis and/or to prevent this very severe parasitic disease.

  12. An analysis of genetic diversity and inbreeding in Wuchereria bancrofti: implications for the spread and detection of drug resistance.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Thomas S Churcher

    2008-04-01

    Full Text Available Estimates of genetic diversity in helminth infections of humans often have to rely on genotyping (immature parasite transmission stages instead of adult worms. Here we analyse the results of one such study investigating a single polymorphic locus (a change at position 200 of the beta-tubulin gene in microfilariae of the lymphatic filarial parasite Wuchereria bancrofti. The presence of this genetic change has been implicated in benzimidazole resistance in parasitic nematodes of farmed ruminants. Microfilariae were obtained from patients of three West African villages, two of which were sampled prior to the introduction of mass drug administration. An individual-based stochastic model was developed showing that a wide range of allele frequencies in the adult worm populations could have generated the observed microfilarial genetic diversity. This suggests that appropriate theoretical null models are required in order to interpret studies that genotype transmission stages. Wright's hierarchical F-statistic was used to investigate the population structure in W. bancrofti microfilariae and showed significant deficiency of heterozygotes compared to the Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium; this may be partially caused by a high degree of parasite genetic differentiation between hosts. Studies seeking to quantify accurately the genetic diversity of helminth populations by analysing transmission stages should increase their sample size to account for the variability in allele frequency between different parasite life-stages. Helminth genetic differentiation between hosts and non-random mating will also increase the number of hosts (and the number of samples per host that need to be genotyped, and could enhance the rate of spread of anthelmintic resistance.

  13. Host-driven divergence in the parasitic plant Orobanche minor Sm. (Orobanchaceae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thorogood, C J; Rumsey, F J; Harris, S A; Hiscock, S J

    2008-10-01

    Many parasitic angiosperms have a broad host range and are therefore considered to be host generalists. Orobanche minor is a nonphotosynthetic root parasite that attacks a range of hosts from taxonomically disparate families. In the present study, we show that O. minor sensu lato may comprise distinct, genetically divergent races isolated by the different ecologies of their hosts. Using a three-pronged approach, we tested the hypothesis that intraspecific taxa O. minor var. minor and O. minor ssp. maritima parasitizing either clover (Trifolium pratense) or sea carrot (Daucus carota ssp.gummifer), respectively, are in allopatric isolation. Morphometric analysis revealed evidence of divergence but this was insufficient to define discrete, host-specific taxa. Intersimple sequence repeat (ISSR) marker-based data provided stronger evidence of divergence, suggesting that populations were isolated from gene flow. Phylogenetic analysis, using sequence-characterized amplified region (SCAR) markers derived from ISSR loci, provided strong evidence for divergence by clearly differentiating sea carrot-specific clades and mixed-host clades. Low levels of intrapopulation SCAR marker sequence variation and floral morphology suggest that populations on different hosts are probably selfing and inbreeding. Morphologically cryptic Orobanche taxa may therefore be isolated from gene flow by host ecology. Together, these data suggest that host specificity may be an important driver of allopatric speciation in parasitic plants.

  14. Trans-specific gene silencing of acetyl-CoA carboxylase in a root-parasitic plant.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bandaranayake, Pradeepa C G; Yoder, John I

    2013-05-01

    Parasitic species of the family Orobanchaceae are devastating agricultural pests in many parts of the world. The control of weedy Orobanchaceae spp. is challenging, particularly due to the highly coordinated life cycles of the parasite and host plants. Although host genetic resistance often provides the foundation of plant pathogen management, few genes that confer resistance to root parasites have been identified and incorporated into crop species. Members of the family Orobanchaceae acquire water, nutrients, macromolecules, and oligonucleotides from host plants through haustoria that connect parasite and host plant roots. We are evaluating a resistance strategy based on using interfering RNA (RNAi) that is made in the host but inhibitory in the parasite as a parasite-derived oligonucleotide toxin. Sequences from the cytosolic acetyl-CoA carboxylase (ACCase) gene from Triphysaria versicolor were cloned in hairpin conformation and introduced into Medicago truncatula roots by Agrobacterium rhizogenes transformation. Transgenic roots were recovered for four of five ACCase constructions and infected with T. versicolor against parasitic weeds. In all cases, Triphysaria root viability was reduced up to 80% when parasitizing a host root bearing the hairpin ACCase. Triphysaria root growth was recovered by exogenous application of malonate. Reverse-transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) showed that ACCase transcript levels were dramatically decreased in Triphysaria spp. parasitizing transgenic Medicago roots. Northern blot analysis identified a 21-nucleotide, ACCase-specific RNA in transgenic M. truncatula and in T. versicolor attached to them. One hairpin ACCase construction was lethal to Medicago spp. unless grown in media supplemented with malonate. Quantitative RT-PCR showed that the Medicago ACCase was inhibited by the Triphysaria ACCase RNAi. This work shows that ACCase is an effective target for inactivation in parasitic plants by trans-specific gene

  15. Parasites as valuable stock markers for fisheries in Australasia, East Asia and the Pacific Islands.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lester, R J G; Moore, B R

    2015-01-01

    Over 30 studies in Australasia, East Asia and the Pacific Islands region have collected and analysed parasite data to determine the ranges of individual fish, many leading to conclusions about stock delineation. Parasites used as biological tags have included both those known to have long residence times in the fish and those thought to be relatively transient. In many cases the parasitological conclusions have been supported by other methods especially analysis of the chemical constituents of otoliths, and to a lesser extent, genetic data. In analysing parasite data, authors have applied multiple different statistical methodologies, including summary statistics, and univariate and multivariate approaches. Recently, a growing number of researchers have found non-parametric methods, such as analysis of similarities and cluster analysis, to be valuable. Future studies into the residence times, life cycles and geographical distributions of parasites together with more robust analytical methods will yield much important information to clarify stock structures in the area.

  16. Parasites in marine food webs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lafferty, Kevin D.

    2013-01-01

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

  17. Discordant genetic diversity and geographic patterns between Crassicutis cichlasomae (Digenea: Apocreadiidae) and its cichlid host, "Cichlasoma" urophthalmus (Osteichthyes: Cichlidae), in Middle-America.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Razo-Mendivil, Ulises; Vázquez-Domínguez, Ella; de León, Gerardo Pérez-Ponce

    2013-12-01

    Genetic analyses of hosts and their parasites are key to understand the evolutionary patterns and processes that have shaped host-parasite associations. We evaluated the genetic structure of the digenean Crassicutis cichlasomae and its most common host, the Mayan cichlid "Cichlasoma" urophthalmus, encompassing most of their geographical range in Middle-America (river basins in southeastern Mexico, Belize, and Guatemala together with the Yucatan Peninsula). Genetic diversity and structure analyses were done based on 167 cytochrome c oxidase subunit 1 sequences (330 bp) for C. cichlasomae from 21 populations and 161 cytochrome b sequences (599 bp) for "C." urophthalmus from 26 populations. Analyses performed included phylogenetic tree estimation under Bayesian inference and maximum likelihood analysis, genetic diversity, distance and structure estimates, haplotype networks, and demographic evaluations. Crassicutis cichlasomae showed high genetic diversity values and genetic structuring, corresponding with 4 groups clearly differentiated and highly divergent. Conversely, "C." urophthalmus showed low levels of genetic diversity and genetic differentiation, defined as 2 groups with low divergence and with no correspondence with geographical distribution. Our results show that species of cichlids parasitized by C. cichlasomae other than "C." urophthalmus, along with multiple colonization events and subsequent isolation in different basins, are likely factors that shaped the genetic structure of the parasite. Meanwhile, historical long-distance dispersal and drought periods during the Holocene, with significant population size reductions and fragmentations, are factors that could have shaped the genetic structure of the Mayan cichlid.

  18. Molecular testing for clinical diagnosis and epidemiological investigations of intestinal parasitic infections.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Verweij, Jaco J; Stensvold, C Rune

    2014-04-01

    Over the past few decades, nucleic acid-based methods have been developed for the diagnosis of intestinal parasitic infections. Advantages of nucleic acid-based methods are numerous; typically, these include increased sensitivity and specificity and simpler standardization of diagnostic procedures. DNA samples can also be stored and used for genetic characterization and molecular typing, providing a valuable tool for surveys and surveillance studies. A variety of technologies have been applied, and some specific and general pitfalls and limitations have been identified. This review provides an overview of the multitude of methods that have been reported for the detection of intestinal parasites and offers some guidance in applying these methods in the clinical laboratory and in epidemiological studies.

  19. Parasitic diseases

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Rozenshtraukh, L.S.

    1983-01-01

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

  20. Molecular evidence for extra-pair paternity and intraspecific brood parasitism in the Black-headed Gull

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Ležalová-Piálková, Radka

    2011-01-01

    Roč. 152, č. 2 (2011), s. 291-295 ISSN 0021-8375 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z60930519 Keywords : Black-headed Gull * genetic mating system * extra-pair paternity * intraspecific brood parasitism Subject RIV: EG - Zoology Impact factor: 1.636, year: 2011

  1. PIXE-based quantification of health-proactive trace elements in genetically transformed roots of a multi-medicinal plant, Sida acuta Burm.f

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Somanatha Jena; Lopamudra Sahu; Chand, P.K.; Ray, D.K.; Mishra, S.K.

    2015-01-01

    Inorganic element composition of genetically transformed hairy root cultures (HRCs) of a medicinal plant, Sida acuta was determined using PIXE technique. HRCs had a higher accumulation of pro-health trace elements compared to natural roots. It was estimated that < 160 g d.wt. of a selected rhizoclone could suffice to provide nearly all tested essential elements catering to per diem requirement of the human body. The ideal multi-elemental profile ushers a new possibility of integrating hairy root extracts in modern therapeutics ('rhizotherapy') as complementary medicine or a dietary nutraceutical supplement. (author)

  2. Profiling mRNAs of two Cuscuta species reveals possible candidate transcripts shared by parasitic plants.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Linjian Jiang

    Full Text Available Dodders are among the most important parasitic plants that cause serious yield losses in crop plants. In this report, we sought to unveil the genetic basis of dodder parasitism by profiling the trancriptomes of Cuscuta pentagona and C. suaveolens, two of the most common dodder species using a next-generation RNA sequencing platform. De novo assembly of the sequence reads resulted in more than 46,000 isotigs and contigs (collectively referred to as expressed sequence tags or ESTs for each species, with more than half of them predicted to encode proteins that share significant sequence similarities with known proteins of non-parasitic plants. Comparing our datasets with transcriptomes of 12 other fully sequenced plant species confirmed a close evolutionary relationship between dodder and tomato. Using a rigorous set of filtering parameters, we were able to identify seven pairs of ESTs that appear to be shared exclusively by parasitic plants, thus providing targets for tailored management approaches. In addition, we also discovered ESTs with sequences similarities to known plant viruses, including cryptic viruses, in the dodder sequence assemblies. Together this study represents the first comprehensive transcriptome profiling of parasitic plants in the Cuscuta genus, and is expected to contribute to our understanding of the molecular mechanisms of parasitic plant-host plant interactions.

  3. Profiling mRNAs of two Cuscuta species reveals possible candidate transcripts shared by parasitic plants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jiang, Linjian; Wijeratne, Asela J; Wijeratne, Saranga; Fraga, Martina; Meulia, Tea; Doohan, Doug; Li, Zhaohu; Qu, Feng

    2013-01-01

    Dodders are among the most important parasitic plants that cause serious yield losses in crop plants. In this report, we sought to unveil the genetic basis of dodder parasitism by profiling the trancriptomes of Cuscuta pentagona and C. suaveolens, two of the most common dodder species using a next-generation RNA sequencing platform. De novo assembly of the sequence reads resulted in more than 46,000 isotigs and contigs (collectively referred to as expressed sequence tags or ESTs) for each species, with more than half of them predicted to encode proteins that share significant sequence similarities with known proteins of non-parasitic plants. Comparing our datasets with transcriptomes of 12 other fully sequenced plant species confirmed a close evolutionary relationship between dodder and tomato. Using a rigorous set of filtering parameters, we were able to identify seven pairs of ESTs that appear to be shared exclusively by parasitic plants, thus providing targets for tailored management approaches. In addition, we also discovered ESTs with sequences similarities to known plant viruses, including cryptic viruses, in the dodder sequence assemblies. Together this study represents the first comprehensive transcriptome profiling of parasitic plants in the Cuscuta genus, and is expected to contribute to our understanding of the molecular mechanisms of parasitic plant-host plant interactions.

  4. Evaluation of functional degeneration of the amazon-ant Polyergus rufescens Latr. under an influence of socially parasitic way of life.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dobrzańska, J

    1978-01-01

    In certain, infrequently occurring, favorable circumstances the ants P. rufescens can display patterns of behavior which seem to be disappearing as a result of their parasitic way of life: the ability to food themselves, independently though ineffectively, elements of the offspring-protection behavior, transporting of nestmates, escape reaction. Similar events reinforce the infrequently used, latent reflexes, preventing their complete extinction. It is supposed that the characteristic in conventional parasitism disappearance of certain elements of behavior is inhibited by a social way of life. It may also be true of other, non-insect communities.

  5. How have fisheries affected parasite communities?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wood, Chelsea L; Lafferty, Kevin D

    2015-01-01

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

  6. Viruses of parasites as actors in the parasite-host relationship: A "ménage à trois".

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gómez-Arreaza, Amaranta; Haenni, Anne-Lise; Dunia, Irene; Avilán, Luisana

    2017-02-01

    The complex parasite-host relationship involves multiple mechanisms. Moreover, parasites infected by viruses modify this relationship adding more complexity to the system that now comprises three partners. Viruses infecting parasites were described several decades ago. However, until recently little was known about the viruses involved and their impact on the resulting disease caused to the hosts. To clarify this situation, we have concentrated on parasitic diseases caused to humans and on how virus-infected parasites could alter the symptoms inflicted on the human host. It is clear that the effect caused to the human host depends on the virus and on the parasite it has infected. Consequently, the review is divided as follows: Viruses with a possible effect on the virulence of the parasite. This section reviews pertinent articles showing that infection of parasites by viruses might increase the detrimental effect of the tandem virus-parasite on the human host (hypervirulence) or decrease virulence of the parasite (hypovirulence). Parasites as vectors affecting the transmission of viruses. In some cases, the virus-infected parasite might facilitate the transfer of the virus to the human host. Parasites harboring viruses with unidentified effects on their host. In spite of recently renewed interest in parasites in connection with their viruses, there still remains a number of cases in which the effect of the virus of a given parasite on the human host remains ambiguous. The triangular relationship between the virus, the parasite and the host, and the modulation of the pathogenicity and virulence of the parasites by viruses should be taken into account in the rationale of fighting against parasites. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  7. Study of the resistance of Oryza sativa to Pyricularia oryzae by applying mutagenic techniques to the parasite

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Notteghem, J.L.

    1977-01-01

    The strategy for using resistant varieties is often based on hypotheses about the development of the genetic potential of the parasite when it encounters the resistance in question. An attempt has been made to find a method of studying experimentally how such resistance evolves through analysis of the pathogenic ability of artificial mutants of the parasite which are specific to the varieties of rice studied. With physical and chemical mutagens it has been possible to obtain a multivirulent strain and also variants similar to those found in nature. The results demonstrate the effectiveness of the method for investigating the variability of the parasite and the behaviour of resistant varieties in the face of this variability. (author)

  8. Antibiotic and antiseptic resistance genes are linked on a novel mobile genetic element: Tn6087

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ciric, Lena; Mullany, Peter; Roberts, Adam P.

    2011-01-01

    Objectives Tn916-like elements are one of the most common types of integrative and conjugative element (ICE). In this study we aimed to determine whether novel accessory genes, i.e. genes whose products are not involved in mobility or regulation, were present on a Tn916-like element (Tn6087) isolated from Streptococcus oralis from the human oral cavity. Methods A minocycline-resistant isolate was analysed using restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP) analysis on amplicons derived from Tn916 and DNA sequencing to determine whether there were genetic differences in Tn6087 compared with Tn916. Mutational analysis was used to determine whether the novel accessory gene found was responsible for an observed extra phenotype. Results A novel Tn916-like element, Tn6087, is described that encodes both antibiotic and antiseptic resistance. The antiseptic resistance protein is encoded by a novel small multidrug resistance gene, designated qrg, that was shown to encode resistance to cetyltrimethylammonium bromide (CTAB), also known as cetrimide bromide. Conclusions This is the first Tn916-like element described that confers both antibiotic and antiseptic resistance, suggesting that selection of either antibiotic or antiseptic resistance will also select for the other and further highlights the need for prudent use of both types of compound. PMID:21816764

  9. Host and parasite morphology influence congruence between host and parasite phylogenies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sweet, Andrew D; Bush, Sarah E; Gustafsson, Daniel R; Allen, Julie M; DiBlasi, Emily; Skeen, Heather R; Weckstein, Jason D; Johnson, Kevin P

    2018-03-23

    Comparisons of host and parasite phylogenies often show varying degrees of phylogenetic congruence. However, few studies have rigorously explored the factors driving this variation. Multiple factors such as host or parasite morphology may govern the degree of phylogenetic congruence. An ideal analysis for understanding the factors correlated with congruence would focus on a diverse host-parasite system for increased variation and statistical power. In this study, we focused on the Brueelia-complex, a diverse and widespread group of feather lice that primarily parasitise songbirds. We generated a molecular phylogeny of the lice and compared this tree with a phylogeny of their avian hosts. We also tested for the contribution of each host-parasite association to the overall congruence. The two trees overall were significantly congruent, but the contribution of individual associations to this congruence varied. To understand this variation, we developed a novel approach to test whether host, parasite or biogeographic factors were statistically associated with patterns of congruence. Both host plumage dimorphism and parasite ecomorphology were associated with patterns of congruence, whereas host body size, other plumage traits and biogeography were not. Our results lay the framework for future studies to further elucidate how these factors influence the process of host-parasite coevolution. Copyright © 2018 Australian Society for Parasitology. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  11. Museum samples reveal rapid evolution by wild honey bees exposed to a novel parasite.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mikheyev, Alexander S; Tin, Mandy M Y; Arora, Jatin; Seeley, Thomas D

    2015-08-06

    Understanding genetic changes caused by novel pathogens and parasites can reveal mechanisms of adaptation and genetic robustness. Using whole-genome sequencing of museum and modern specimens, we describe the genomic changes in a wild population of honey bees in North America following the introduction of the ectoparasitic mite, Varroa destructor. Even though colony density in the study population is the same today as in the past, a major loss of haplotypic diversity occurred, indicative of a drastic mitochondrial bottleneck, caused by massive colony mortality. In contrast, nuclear genetic diversity did not change, though hundreds of genes show signs of selection. The genetic diversity within each bee colony, particularly as a consequence of polyandry by queens, may enable preservation of genetic diversity even during population bottlenecks. These findings suggest that genetically diverse honey bee populations can recover from introduced diseases by evolving rapid tolerance, while maintaining much of the standing genetic variation.

  12. Genetic characterization of an epidemic of Plasmodium falciparum malaria among Yanomami Amerindians.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Laserson, K F; Petralanda, I; Almera, R; Barker, R H; Spielman, A; Maguire, J H; Wirth, D F

    1999-12-01

    Malaria parasites are genetically diverse at all levels of endemicity. In contrast, the merozoite surface protein (MSP) alleles in samples from 2 isolated populations of Yanomami Amerindians during an epidemic of Plasmodium falciparum were identical. The nonvariable restriction fragment length polymorphism patterns further suggested that the sequential outbreak comprised only a single P. falciparum genotype. By examination of serial samples from single human infections, the MSP characteristics were found to remain constant throughout the course of infection. An apparent clonal population structure of parasites seemed to cause outbreaks in small isolated villages. The use of standard molecular epidemiologic methods to measure genetic diversity in malaria revealed the occurrence of a genetically monomorphic population of P. falciparum within a human community.

  13. Within- and among-family variation in parasite load and parasite-induced mortality in the land snail Arianta arbustorum, a host of parasitic mites.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schüpbach, Hans Ulrich; Baur, Bruno

    2010-08-01

    Variation in host susceptibility and parasite-induced mortality are preconditions for parasite-related selection on host populations. In terrestrial gastropods, variation in resistance against ectoparasite infection is poorly understood. We examined the within- and among-family variation in parasite load in full-siblings of the land snail Arianta arbustorum experimentally infected with Riccardoella limacum , a mite living in the mantle cavity of helicid land snails. We also quantified the influence of family origin and host size on parasite load and calculated its heritability (h(2)). Furthermore, we examined the influence of parasite load, snail size, and family origin on host winter mortality, an important life-history trait of A. arbustorum . Parasite load was heritable (h(2) = 0.63). In infected snails, parasite load was affected by family origin and increased with increasing shell size. Host mortality during hibernation increased with increasing parasite load and differed among families, but was not affected by snail size. Our results show high among-family variation both in resistance against ectoparasite infection and in host winter mortality. Furthermore, we show that parasite load is linked to snail size, which suggests that the proliferation of R. limacum is limited by resources provided by A. arbustorum .

  14. 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.

  15. Prevalence and differential host-specificity of two avian blood parasite genera in the Australo-Papuan region

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beadell, J.S.; Gering, E.; Austin, J.; Dumbacher, J.P.; Peirce, M.A.; Pratt, T.K.; Atkinson, C.T.; Fleischer, R.C.

    2004-01-01

    The degree to which widespread avian blood parasites in the genera Plasmodium and Haemoproteus pose a threat to novel hosts depends in part on the degree to which they are constrained to a particular host or host family. We examined the host distribution and host-specificity of these parasites in birds from two relatively understudied and isolated locations: Australia and Papua New Guinea. Using polymerase chain reaction (PCR), we detected infection in 69 of 105 species, representing 44% of individuals surveyed (n = 428). Across host families, prevalence of Haemoproteus ranged from 13% (Acanthizidae) to 56% (Petroicidae) while prevalence of Plasmodium ranged from 3% (Petroicidae) to 47% (Ptilonorhynchidae). We recovered 78 unique mitochondrial lineages from 155 sequences. Related lineages of Haemoproteus were more likely to derive from the same host family than predicted by chance at shallow (average LogDet genetic distance = 0, n = 12, P = 0.001) and greater depths (average distance = 0.014, n = 11, P parasite phylogeny. Within two major Haemoproteus subclades identified in a maximum likelihood phylogeny, host-specificity was evident up to parasite genetic distances of 0.029 and 0.007 based on logistic regression. We found no significant host relationship among lineages of Plasmodium by any method of analysis. These results support previous evidence of strong host-family specificity in Haemoproteus and suggest that lineages of Plasmodium are more likely to form evolutionarily-stable associations with novel hosts.

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

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    Carolina Piña-Vázquez

    2012-01-01

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

  17. Genetic characterization, species differentiation and detection of Fasciola spp. by molecular approaches

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    Li Hai-Long

    2011-06-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Liver flukes belonging to the genus Fasciola are among the causes of foodborne diseases of parasitic etiology. These parasites cause significant public health problems and substantial economic losses to the livestock industry. Therefore, it is important to definitively characterize the Fasciola species. Current phenotypic techniques fail to reflect the full extent of the diversity of Fasciola spp. In this respect, the use of molecular techniques to identify and differentiate Fasciola spp. offer considerable advantages. The advent of a variety of molecular genetic techniques also provides a powerful method to elucidate many aspects of Fasciola biology, epidemiology, and genetics. However, the discriminatory power of these molecular methods varies, as does the speed and ease of performance and cost. There is a need for the development of new methods to identify the mechanisms underpinning the origin and maintenance of genetic variation within and among Fasciola populations. The increasing application of the current and new methods will yield a much improved understanding of Fasciola epidemiology and evolution as well as more effective means of parasite control. Herein, we provide an overview of the molecular techniques that are being used for the genetic characterization, detection and genotyping of Fasciola spp..

  18. Genetic dissimilarity between mates, but not male heterozygosity, influences divorce in schistosomes.

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    Sophie Beltran

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Correlational studies strongly suggest that both genetic similarity and heterozygosity can influence female mate choice. However, the influence of each variable has usually been tested independently, although similarity and heterozygosity might be correlated. We experimentally determined the relative influence of genetic similarity and heterozygosity in divorce and re-mating in the monogamous endoparasite Schistosoma mansoni. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We performed sequential infections of vertebrate hosts with controlled larval populations of parasites, where sex and individual genetic diversity and similarity were predetermined before infection. Divorce rate increased significantly when females were given the opportunity to increase genetic dissimilarity through re-mating with a new partner, independently of the intensity of male-male competition. We found however no evidence for females attempting to maximize the level of heterozygosity of their reproductive partner through divorce. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Female preference for genetically dissimilar males should result in more heterozygous offspring. Because genetic heterozygosity might partly determine the ability of parasites to counter host resistance, adaptive divorce could be an important factor in the evolutionary arms race between schistosomes and their hosts.

  19. Genetic Indicators of Drug Resistance in the Highly Repetitive Genome of Trichomonas vaginalis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bradic, Martina; Warring, Sally D; Tooley, Grace E; Scheid, Paul; Secor, William E; Land, Kirkwood M; Huang, Po-Jung; Chen, Ting-Wen; Lee, Chi-Ching; Tang, Petrus; Sullivan, Steven A; Carlton, Jane M

    2017-06-01

    Trichomonas vaginalis, the most common nonviral sexually transmitted parasite, causes ∼283 million trichomoniasis infections annually and is associated with pregnancy complications and increased risk of HIV-1 acquisition. The antimicrobial drug metronidazole is used for treatment, but in a fraction of clinical cases, the parasites can become resistant to this drug. We undertook sequencing of multiple clinical isolates and lab derived lines to identify genetic markers and mechanisms of metronidazole resistance. Reduced representation genome sequencing of ∼100 T. vaginalis clinical isolates identified 3,923 SNP markers and presence of a bipartite population structure. Linkage disequilibrium was found to decay rapidly, suggesting genome-wide recombination and the feasibility of genetic association studies in the parasite. We identified 72 SNPs associated with metronidazole resistance, and a comparison of SNPs within several lab-derived resistant lines revealed an overlap with the clinically resistant isolates. We identified SNPs in genes for which no function has yet been assigned, as well as in functionally-characterized genes relevant to drug resistance (e.g., pyruvate:ferredoxin oxidoreductase). Transcription profiles of resistant strains showed common changes in genes involved in drug activation (e.g., flavin reductase), accumulation (e.g., multidrug resistance pump), and detoxification (e.g., nitroreductase). Finally, we identified convergent genetic changes in lab-derived resistant lines of Tritrichomonas foetus, a distantly related species that causes venereal disease in cattle. Shared genetic changes within and between T. vaginalis and Tr. foetus parasites suggest conservation of the pathways through which adaptation has occurred. These findings extend our knowledge of drug resistance in the parasite, providing a panel of markers that can be used as a diagnostic tool. © The Author 2017. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for

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

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    Kevin M Brown

    2014-06-01

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

  1. Epigenetics regulates transcription and pathogenesis in the parasite Trichomonas vaginalis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pachano, Tomas; Nievas, Yesica R; Lizarraga, Ayelen; Johnson, Patricia J; Strobl-Mazzulla, Pablo H; de Miguel, Natalia

    2017-06-01

    Trichomonas vaginalis is a common sexually transmitted parasite that colonizes the human urogenital tract. Infections range from asymptomatic to highly inflammatory, depending on the host and the parasite strain. Different T. vaginalis strains vary greatly in their adherence and cytolytic capacities. These phenotypic differences might be attributed to differentially expressed genes as a consequence of extra-genetic variation, such as epigenetic modifications. In this study, we explored the role of histone acetylation in regulating gene transcription and pathogenesis in T. vaginalis. Here, we show that histone 3 lysine acetylation (H3KAc) is enriched in nucleosomes positioned around the transcription start site of active genes (BAP1 and BAP2) in a highly adherent parasite strain; compared with the low acetylation abundance in contrast to that observed in a less-adherent strain that expresses these genes at low levels. Additionally, exposition of less-adherent strain with a specific histone deacetylases inhibitor, trichostatin A, upregulated the transcription of BAP1 and BAP2 genes in concomitance with an increase in H3KAc abundance and chromatin accessibility around their transcription start sites. Moreover, we demonstrated that the binding of initiator binding protein, the transcription factor responsible for the initiation of transcription of ~75% of known T. vaginalis genes, depends on the histone acetylation state around the metazoan-like initiator to which initiator binding protein binds. Finally, we found that trichostatin A treatment increased parasite aggregation and adherence to host cells. Our data demonstrated for the first time that H3KAc is a permissive histone modification that functions to mediate both transcription and pathogenesis of the parasite T. vaginalis. © 2017 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  2. A de-novo-assembly-based Data Analysis Pipeline for Plant Obligate Parasite Metatranscriptomic Studies

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    Li Guo

    2016-07-01

    Full Text Available Current and emerging plant diseases caused by obligate parasitic microbes such as rusts, downy mildews, and powdery mildews threaten worldwide crop production and food safety. These obligate parasites are typically unculturable in the laboratory, posing technical challenges to characterize them at the genetic and genomic level. Here we have developed a data analysis pipeline integrating several bioinformatic software programs. This pipeline facilitates rapid gene discovery and expression analysis of a plant host and its obligate parasite simultaneously by next generation sequencing of mixed host and pathogen RNA (i.e. metatranscriptomics. We applied this pipeline to metatranscriptomic sequencing data of sweet basil (Ocimum basilicum and its obligate downy mildew parasite Peronospora belbahrii, both lacking a sequenced genome. Even with a single data point, we were able to identify both candidate host defense genes and pathogen virulence genes that are highly expressed during infection. This demonstrates the power of this pipeline for identifying genes important in host-pathogen interactions without prior genomic information for either the plant host or the obligate biotrophic pathogen. The simplicity of this pipeline makes it accessible to researchers with limited computational skills and applicable to metatranscriptomic data analysis in a wide range of plant-obligate-parasite systems.

  3. Phylogeography and connectivity of molluscan parasites: Perkinsus spp. in Panama and beyond.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pagenkopp Lohan, Katrina M; Hill-Spanik, Kristina M; Torchin, Mark E; Fleischer, Robert C; Carnegie, Ryan B; Reece, Kimberly S; Ruiz, Gregory M

    2018-02-01

    Panama is a major hub for commercial shipping between two oceans, making it an ideal location to examine parasite biogeography, potential invasions, and the spread of infectious agents. Our goals were to (i) characterise the diversity and genetic connectivity of Perkinsus spp. haplotypes across the Panamanian Isthmus and (ii) combine these data with sequences from around the world to evaluate the current phylogeography and genetic connectivity of these widespread molluscan parasites. We collected 752 bivalves from 12 locations along the coast of Panama including locations around the Bocas del Toro archipelago and the Caribbean and Pacific entrances to the Panama Canal, from December 2012 to February 2013. We used molecular genetic methods to screen for Perkinsus spp. and obtained internal transcribed spacer region (ITS) ribosomal DNA (rDNA) sequences for all positive samples. Our sequence data were used to evaluate regional haplotype diversity and distribution across both coasts of Panama, and were then combined with publicly available sequences to create global haplotype networks. We found 26 ITS haplotypes from four Perkinsus spp. (1-12 haplotypes per species) in Panama. Perkinsus beihaiensis haplotypes had the highest genetic diversity, were the most regionally widespread, and were associated with the greatest number of hosts. On a global scale, network analyses demonstrated that some haplotypes found in Panama were cosmopolitan (Perkinsus chesapeaki, Perkinsus marinus), while others were more geographically restricted (Perkinsus olseni, P. beihaiensis), indicating different levels of genetic connectivity and dispersal. We found some Perkinsus haplotypes were shared across the Isthmus of Panama and several regions around the world, including across ocean basins. We also found that haplotype diversity is currently underestimated and directly related to the number of sequences. Nevertheless, our results demonstrate long-range dispersal and global connectivity for

  4. Northeast India Helminth Parasite Information Database (NEIHPID: Knowledge Base for Helminth Parasites.

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    Devendra Kumar Biswal

    Full Text Available Most metazoan parasites that invade vertebrate hosts belong to three phyla: Platyhelminthes, Nematoda and Acanthocephala. Many of the parasitic members of these phyla are collectively known as helminths and are causative agents of many debilitating, deforming and lethal diseases of humans and animals. The North-East India Helminth Parasite Information Database (NEIHPID project aimed to document and characterise the spectrum of helminth parasites in the north-eastern region of India, providing host, geographical distribution, diagnostic characters and image data. The morphology-based taxonomic data are supplemented with information on DNA sequences of nuclear, ribosomal and mitochondrial gene marker regions that aid in parasite identification. In addition, the database contains raw next generation sequencing (NGS data for 3 foodborne trematode parasites, with more to follow. The database will also provide study material for students interested in parasite biology. Users can search the database at various taxonomic levels (phylum, class, order, superfamily, family, genus, and species, or by host, habitat and geographical location. Specimen collection locations are noted as co-ordinates in a MySQL database and can be viewed on Google maps, using Google Maps JavaScript API v3. The NEIHPID database has been made freely available at http://nepiac.nehu.ac.in/index.php.

  5. Northeast India Helminth Parasite Information Database (NEIHPID): Knowledge Base for Helminth Parasites.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Biswal, Devendra Kumar; Debnath, Manish; Kharumnuid, Graciously; Thongnibah, Welfrank; Tandon, Veena

    2016-01-01

    Most metazoan parasites that invade vertebrate hosts belong to three phyla: Platyhelminthes, Nematoda and Acanthocephala. Many of the parasitic members of these phyla are collectively known as helminths and are causative agents of many debilitating, deforming and lethal diseases of humans and animals. The North-East India Helminth Parasite Information Database (NEIHPID) project aimed to document and characterise the spectrum of helminth parasites in the north-eastern region of India, providing host, geographical distribution, diagnostic characters and image data. The morphology-based taxonomic data are supplemented with information on DNA sequences of nuclear, ribosomal and mitochondrial gene marker regions that aid in parasite identification. In addition, the database contains raw next generation sequencing (NGS) data for 3 foodborne trematode parasites, with more to follow. The database will also provide study material for students interested in parasite biology. Users can search the database at various taxonomic levels (phylum, class, order, superfamily, family, genus, and species), or by host, habitat and geographical location. Specimen collection locations are noted as co-ordinates in a MySQL database and can be viewed on Google maps, using Google Maps JavaScript API v3. The NEIHPID database has been made freely available at http://nepiac.nehu.ac.in/index.php.

  6. Northeast India Helminth Parasite Information Database (NEIHPID): Knowledge Base for Helminth Parasites

    Science.gov (United States)

    Debnath, Manish; Kharumnuid, Graciously; Thongnibah, Welfrank; Tandon, Veena

    2016-01-01

    Most metazoan parasites that invade vertebrate hosts belong to three phyla: Platyhelminthes, Nematoda and Acanthocephala. Many of the parasitic members of these phyla are collectively known as helminths and are causative agents of many debilitating, deforming and lethal diseases of humans and animals. The North-East India Helminth Parasite Information Database (NEIHPID) project aimed to document and characterise the spectrum of helminth parasites in the north-eastern region of India, providing host, geographical distribution, diagnostic characters and image data. The morphology-based taxonomic data are supplemented with information on DNA sequences of nuclear, ribosomal and mitochondrial gene marker regions that aid in parasite identification. In addition, the database contains raw next generation sequencing (NGS) data for 3 foodborne trematode parasites, with more to follow. The database will also provide study material for students interested in parasite biology. Users can search the database at various taxonomic levels (phylum, class, order, superfamily, family, genus, and species), or by host, habitat and geographical location. Specimen collection locations are noted as co-ordinates in a MySQL database and can be viewed on Google maps, using Google Maps JavaScript API v3. The NEIHPID database has been made freely available at http://nepiac.nehu.ac.in/index.php PMID:27285615

  7. The genome of the yellow potato cyst nematode, Globodera rostochiensis, reveals insights into the basis of parasitism and virulence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eves-van den Akker, Sebastian; Laetsch, Dominik R; Thorpe, Peter; Lilley, Catherine J; Danchin, Etienne G J; Da Rocha, Martine; Rancurel, Corinne; Holroyd, Nancy E; Cotton, James A; Szitenberg, Amir; Grenier, Eric; Montarry, Josselin; Mimee, Benjamin; Duceppe, Marc-Olivier; Boyes, Ian; Marvin, Jessica M C; Jones, Laura M; Yusup, Hazijah B; Lafond-Lapalme, Joël; Esquibet, Magali; Sabeh, Michael; Rott, Michael; Overmars, Hein; Finkers-Tomczak, Anna; Smant, Geert; Koutsovoulos, Georgios; Blok, Vivian; Mantelin, Sophie; Cock, Peter J A; Phillips, Wendy; Henrissat, Bernard; Urwin, Peter E; Blaxter, Mark; Jones, John T

    2016-06-10

    The yellow potato cyst nematode, Globodera rostochiensis, is a devastating plant pathogen of global economic importance. This biotrophic parasite secretes effectors from pharyngeal glands, some of which were acquired by horizontal gene transfer, to manipulate host processes and promote parasitism. G. rostochiensis is classified into pathotypes with different plant resistance-breaking phenotypes. We generate a high quality genome assembly for G. rostochiensis pathotype Ro1, identify putative effectors and horizontal gene transfer events, map gene expression through the life cycle focusing on key parasitic transitions and sequence the genomes of eight populations including four additional pathotypes to identify variation. Horizontal gene transfer contributes 3.5 % of the predicted genes, of which approximately 8.5 % are deployed as effectors. Over one-third of all effector genes are clustered in 21 putative 'effector islands' in the genome. We identify a dorsal gland promoter element motif (termed DOG Box) present upstream in representatives from 26 out of 28 dorsal gland effector families, and predict a putative effector superset associated with this motif. We validate gland cell expression in two novel genes by in situ hybridisation and catalogue dorsal gland promoter element-containing effectors from available cyst nematode genomes. Comparison of effector diversity between pathotypes highlights correlation with plant resistance-breaking. These G. rostochiensis genome resources will facilitate major advances in understanding nematode plant-parasitism. Dorsal gland promoter element-containing effectors are at the front line of the evolutionary arms race between plant and parasite and the ability to predict gland cell expression a priori promises rapid advances in understanding their roles and mechanisms of action.

  8. Differentially expressed genes linked to natural variation in long-term memory formation in Cotesia parasitic wasps

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Vugt, van J.J.F.A.; Hoedjes, K.M.; Geest, van de H.C.; Schijlen, E.G.W.M.; Vet, L.E.M.; Smid, H.M.

    2015-01-01

    Even though learning and memory are universal traits in the Animal Kingdom, closely related species reveal substantial variation in learning rate and memory dynamics. To determine the genetic background of this natural variation, we studied two congeneric parasitic wasp species, Cotesia glomerata

  9. Differentially expressed genes linked to natural variation in long-term memory formation in Cotesia parasitic wasps

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Van Vugt, Joke J. F. A.; Hoedjes, Katja M.; Van de Geest, Henri C.; Schijlen, Elio W. G. M.; Vet, Louise E. M.; Smid, Hans M.

    2015-01-01

    BACKGROUND: Even though learning and memory are universal traits in the Animal Kingdom, closely related species reveal substantial variation in learning rate and memory dynamics. To determine the genetic background of this natural variation, we studied two congeneric parasitic wasp species, Cotesia

  10. 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.

  11. Draft genome sequence of the intestinal parasite Blastocystis subtype 4-isolate WR1

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    Ivan Wawrzyniak

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available The intestinal protistan parasite Blastocystis is characterized by an extensive genetic variability with 17 subtypes (ST1–ST17 described to date. Only the whole genome of a human ST7 isolate was previously sequenced. Here we report the draft genome sequence of Blastocystis ST4-WR1 isolated from a laboratory rodent at Singapore.

  12. Preferential inclusion of extrachromosomal genetic elements in yeast meiotic spores.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brewer, B J; Fangman, W L

    1980-09-01

    During meiosis and sporulation in the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae, extrachromosomal traits are efficiently transmitted to haploid spores. Although the pattern of inheritance of chromosomal traits reflects the mechanism of regular chromosomal segregation in meiosis, it is not known what processes are reflected by the efficient inheritance of extrachromosomal traits. Because extrachromosomal genetic elements in yeast are present in multiple copies, perpetuation of an extrachromosomal trait could occur by the passive envelopment of a subset of copies or by an active sequestering of all or a subset of copies within the four spores. We show that only subsets of the four extrachromosomal nucleic acids commonly found in yeast are transmitted through meiosis--55% of mitochondrial DNA copies, 82% of the 2-micron DNA plasmids, and about 70% of the L and M double-stranded RNAs. However, electron micrographs of serial sections through yeast asci indicate that the four spore enclose only 30% of the total ascus material. Thus these extrachromosomal elements are preferentially included within the spores, indicating that their inheritance is not a random process. Transmission of mitochondrial DNA can be accounted for by the observed enclosure of 52% of the mitochondrial volume within the spores. The high transmission frequencies of the double-stranded RNAs (which exist as virus-like particles in the cytoplasm) and 2-micron DNA must indicate that either these nucleic acids are actively recruited from the cytoplasm by some mechanism or they are associated in some way with the nucleus during meiosis.

  13. Museum samples reveal rapid evolution by wild honey bees exposed to a novel parasite

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mikheyev, Alexander S.; Tin, Mandy M. Y.; Arora, Jatin; Seeley, Thomas D.

    2015-01-01

    Understanding genetic changes caused by novel pathogens and parasites can reveal mechanisms of adaptation and genetic robustness. Using whole-genome sequencing of museum and modern specimens, we describe the genomic changes in a wild population of honey bees in North America following the introduction of the ectoparasitic mite, Varroa destructor. Even though colony density in the study population is the same today as in the past, a major loss of haplotypic diversity occurred, indicative of a drastic mitochondrial bottleneck, caused by massive colony mortality. In contrast, nuclear genetic diversity did not change, though hundreds of genes show signs of selection. The genetic diversity within each bee colony, particularly as a consequence of polyandry by queens, may enable preservation of genetic diversity even during population bottlenecks. These findings suggest that genetically diverse honey bee populations can recover from introduced diseases by evolving rapid tolerance, while maintaining much of the standing genetic variation. PMID:26246313

  14. Genetic Factors and Host Traits Predict Spore Morphology for a Butterfly Pathogen

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    Jacobus C. de Roode

    2013-08-01

    Full Text Available Monarch butterflies (Danaus plexippus throughout the world are commonly infected by the specialist pathogen Ophryocystis elektroscirrha (OE. This protozoan is transmitted when larvae ingest infectious stages (spores scattered onto host plant leaves by infected adults. Parasites replicate internally during larval and pupal stages, and adult monarchs emerge covered with millions of dormant spores on the outsides of their bodies. Across multiple monarch populations, OE varies in prevalence and virulence. Here, we examined geographic and genetic variation in OE spore morphology using clonal parasite lineages derived from each of four host populations (eastern and western North America, South Florida and Hawaii. Spores were harvested from experimentally inoculated, captive-reared adult monarchs. Using light microscopy and digital image analysis, we measured the size, shape and color of 30 replicate spores per host. Analyses examined predictors of spore morphology, including parasite source population and clone, parasite load, and the following host traits: family line, sex, wing area, and wing color (orange and black pigmentation. Results showed significant differences in spore size and shape among parasite clones, suggesting genetic determinants of morphological variation. Spore size also increased with monarch wing size, and monarchs with larger and darker orange wings tended to have darker colored spores, consistent with the idea that parasite development depends on variation in host quality and resources. We found no evidence for effects of source population on variation in spore morphology. Collectively, these results provide support for heritable variation in spore morphology and a role for host traits in affecting parasite development.

  15. Mosquito transmission of the rodent malaria parasite Plasmodium chabaudi

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    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.

  16. Molecular epidemiology of bovine Babesia spp. and Theileria orientalis parasites in beef cattle from northern and northeastern Thailand.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jirapattharasate, Charoonluk; Adjou Moumouni, Paul Franck; Cao, Shinuo; Iguchi, Aiko; Liu, Mingming; Wang, Guanbo; Zhou, Mo; Vudriko, Patrick; Changbunjong, Tanasak; Sungpradit, Sivapong; Ratanakorn, Parntep; Moonarmart, Walasinee; Sedwisai, Poonyapat; Weluwanarak, Thekhawet; Wongsawang, Witsanu; Suzuki, Hiroshi; Xuan, Xuenan

    2016-02-01

    Beef cattle production represents the largest cattle population in Thailand. Their productivity is constrained by tick-borne diseases such as babesiosis and theileriosis. In this study, we determined the prevalence of Babesia bigemina, Babesia bovis and Theileria orientalis using polymerase chain reaction (PCR). The genetic markers that were used for detection of the above parasites were sequenced to determine identities and similarity for Babesia spp. and genetic diversity of T. orientalis. Furthermore the risk factors for the occurrence of the above protozoan parasites in beef cattle from northern and northeastern parts of Thailand were assessed. A total of 329 blood samples were collected from beef cattle in 6 provinces. The study revealed that T. orientalis was the most prevalent (30.1%) parasite in beef cattle followed by B. bigemina (13.1%) and B. bovis (5.5%). Overall, 78.7% of the cattle screened were infected with at least one of the above parasites. Co-infection with Babesia spp. and T. orientalis was 30.1%. B. bigemina and T. orientalis were the most prevalent (15.1%) co-infection although triple infection with the three parasites was observed in 3.0% of the samples. Sequencing analysis revealed that B. bigemina RAP1 gene and B. bovis SBP2 gene were conserved among the parasites from different cattle samples. Phylogenetic analysis showed that the T. orientalis MPSP gene from parasites isolated from cattle in north and northeast Thailand was classified into types 5 and 7 as reported previously. Lack of tick control program was the universal risk factor of the occurrence of Babesia spp. and T. orientalis infection in beef cattle in northern and northeastern Thailand. We therefore recommend training of farmers on appropriate tick control strategies and further research on potential vectors for T. orientalis and elucidate the effect of co-infection with Babesia spp. on the pathogenicity of T. orientalis infection on beef in northern and northeastern Thailand

  17. Parasitism and super parasitism of Trichogramma pretiosum Riley (Hymenoptera: Trichogrammatidae) on Sitotroga cerealella (Oliver) (Lepidoptera: Gelechiidae) eggs

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Moreira, Marciene D.; Torres, Jorge B.

    2009-01-01

    The parasitoid Trichogramma has been used worldwide as biological control agent due to its wide geographic distribution, high specialization and efficacy against many lepidopteran pests. Biological and behavioral traits of Trichogramma pretiosum Riley parasitizing Sitotroga cerealella (Oliver) eggs were studied aiming to a better understanding of the Results from parasitism and super parasitism. The variables investigated were: host acceptance and contact time by T. pretiosum on parasitized host, percentage of parasitoid emergence, number of deformed individuals produced, egg-adult period, sex ratio, offspring female body size and longevity, and number of S. cerealella eggs parasitized/female. Parasitism rejection was observed on parasitized host eggs after 24, 72 and 120h of parasitism. The rejection was higher for eggs parasitized after 72h and 120h of parasitism as compared to the eggs after 24h of parasitism. T. pretiosum contact time on eggs after 24h of parasitism was greater than on 72 and 120h. The offspring produced from hosts from which a single parasitoid emerged were larger, exhibited no deformities and greater capacity of parasitism, different from those produced from eggs where two parasitoids emerged. Offspring longevity, however, was similar for females emerged from hosts from which one or two adults emerged. In Conclusion, T. pretiosum was able to recognize previously parasitized eggs and the super parasitism reduced the parasitoid.reproductive success. (author)

  18. A novel Sulfolobus non-conjugative extrachromosomal genetic element capable of integration into the host genome and spreading in the presence of a fusellovirus

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Wang, Ying; Duan, Zhenhong; Zhu, Haojun

    2007-01-01

    An integrative non-conjugative extrachromosomal genetic element, denoted as pSSVi, has been isolated from a Sulfolobus solfataricus P2 strain and was characterized. This genetic element is a double-stranded DNA of 5740 bp in size and contains eight open reading frames (ORFs). It resembles members....... Interestingly, pSSVi encodes an SSV-type integrase which probably catalyzes the integration of its genome into a specific site (a tRNA(Arg) gene) in the S. solfataricus P2 genome. Like pSSVx, pSSVi can be packaged into a spindle-like viral particle and spread with the help of SSV1 or SSV2. In addition, both SSV......1 and SSV2 appeared to replicate more efficiently in the presence of pSSVi. Given the versatile genetic abilities, pSSVi appears to be well suited for a role in horizontal gene transfer....

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-02-01

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

  20. Fish parasites

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

  1. Biomonitoring Heavy Metal Pollution Using an Aquatic Apex Predator, the American Alligator, and Its Parasites

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tellez, Marisa; Merchant, Mark

    2015-01-01

    Monitoring the bioaccumulation of chemical elements within various organismal tissues has become a useful tool to survey current or chronic levels of heavy metal exposure within an environment. In this study, we compared the bioaccumulations of As, Cd, Cu, Fe, Pb, Se, and Zn between the American alligator, Alligator mississippiensis, and its parasites in order to establish their use as bioindicators of heavy metal pollution. Concomitant with these results, we were interested to determine if parasites were more sensitive bioindicators of heavy metals relative to alligators. We found parasites collectively accumulated higher levels of As, Cu, Se, and Zn in comparison to their alligator hosts, whereas Fe, Cd, and Pb concentrations were higher in alligators. Interestingly, Fe levels were significantly greater in intestinal trematodes than their alligator hosts when analyzed independently from other parasitic taxa. Further analyses showed alligator intestinal trematodes concentrated As, Cu, Fe, Se, and Zn at significantly higher levels than intestinal nematodes and parasites from other organs. However, pentastomids also employed the role as a good biomagnifier of As. Interestingly, parasitic abundance decreased as levels of As increased. Stomach and intestinal nematodes were the poorest bioaccumulators of metals, yet stomach nematodes showed their ability to concentrate Pb at orders of magnitude higher in comparison to other parasites. Conclusively, we suggest that parasites, particularly intestinal trematodes, are superior biomagnifiers of As, Cu, Se, and Zn, whereas alligators are likely good biological indicators of Fe, Cd, and Pb levels within the environment. PMID:26555363

  2. 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.

  3. Geographic structure of Plasmodium vivax: microsatellite analysis of parasite populations from Sri Lanka, Myanmar, and Ethiopia

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Gunawardena, Sharmini; Karunaweera, Nadira D; Ferreira, Marcelo U

    2010-01-01

    , Myanmar, and Ethiopia using 12 trinucleotide and tetranucleotide microsatellite markers. All three parasite populations were highly polymorphic with 3-44 alleles per locus. Approximately 65% were multiple-clone infections. Mean genetic diversity (H(E)) was 0.7517 in Ethiopia, 0.8450 in Myanmar, and 0...

  4. Paleoparasitology: the origin of human parasites

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Adauto Araujo

    2013-09-01

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

  5. Protein moonlighting in parasitic protists.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ginger, Michael L

    2014-12-01

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

  6. Estimation of genetic and genotypic parameters for growth and ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Bekezela

    2013-12-19

    Turner et al., 1990), video ... essential for genetic evaluations, and have been reported in literature ... Soybean oil cake meal (%) ... On arrival, the pigs were treated for internal and external parasites and quarantined under.

  7. Hybrid of Natural Element Method (NEM with Genetic Algorithm (GA to find critical slip surface

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shahriar Shahrokhabadi

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available One of the most important issues in geotechnical engineering is the slope stability analysis for determination of the factor of safety and the probable slip surface. Finite Element Method (FEM is well suited for numerical study of advanced geotechnical problems. However, mesh requirements of FEM creates some difficulties for solution processing in certain problems. Recently, motivated by these limitations, several new Meshfree methods such as Natural Element Method (NEM have been used to analyze engineering problems. This paper presents advantages of using NEM in 2D slope stability analysis and Genetic Algorithm (GA optimization to determine the probable slip surface and the related factor of safety. The stress field is produced under plane strain condition using natural element formulation to simulate material behavior analysis utilized in conjunction with a conventional limit equilibrium method. In order to justify the preciseness and convergence of the proposed method, two kinds of examples, homogenous and non-homogenous, are conducted and results are compared with FEM and conventional limit equilibrium methods. The results show the robustness of the NEM in slope stability analysis.

  8. Praziquantel treatment decreases Schistosoma mansoni genetic diversity in experimental infections.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Regina Coeli

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Schistosomiasis has a considerable impact on public health in many tropical and subtropical areas. In the new world, schistosomiasis is caused by the digenetic trematode Schistosoma mansoni. Chemotherapy is the main measure for controlling schistosomiasis, and the current drug of choice for treatment is praziquantel (PZQ. Although PZQ is efficient and safe, its repetitive large-scale use in endemic areas may lead to the selection of resistant strains. Isolates less susceptible to PZQ have been found in the field and selected for in the laboratory. The impact of selecting strains with a decreased susceptibility phenotype on disease dynamics and parasite population genetics is not fully understood. This study addresses the impact of PZQ pressure on the genetics of a laboratory population by analyzing frequency variations of polymorphic genetic markers. METHODOLOGY: Infected mice were treated with increasing PZQ doses until the highest dose of 3 × 300 mg/Kg was reached. The effect of PZQ treatment on the parasite population was assessed using five polymorphic microsatellite markers. Parasitological and genetic data were compared with those of the untreated control. After six parasite generations submitted to treatment, it was possible to obtain a S. mansoni population with decreased susceptibility to PZQ. In our experiments we also observed that female worms were more susceptible to PZQ than male worms. CONCLUSIONS: The selective pressure exerted by PZQ led to decreased genetic variability in S. mansoni and increased endogamy. The understanding of how S. mansoni populations respond to successive drug pressure has important implications on the appearance and maintenance of a PZQ resistance phenotype in endemic regions.

  9. Exo-erythrocytic development of avian malaria and related haemosporidian parasites.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Valkiūnas, Gediminas; Iezhova, Tatjana A

    2017-03-03

    Avian malaria parasites (Plasmodium spp.) and related haemosporidians (Haemosporida) are responsible for diseases which can be severe and even lethal in avian hosts. These parasites cause not only blood pathology, but also damage various organs due to extensive exo-erythrocytic development all over the body, which is not the case during Plasmodium infections in mammals. However, exo-erythrocytic development (tissue merogony or schizogony) remains the most poorly investigated part of life cycle in all groups of wildlife haemosporidian parasites. In spite of remarkable progress in studies of genetic diversity, ecology and evolutionary biology of avian haemosporidians during the past 20 years, there is not much progress in understanding patterns of exo-erythrocytic development in these parasites. The purpose of this review is to overview the main information on exo-erythrocytic development of avian Plasmodium species and related haemosporidian parasites as a baseline for assisting academic and veterinary medicine researchers in morphological identification of these parasites using tissue stages, and to define future research priorities in this field of avian malariology. The data were considered from peer-reviewed articles and histological material that was accessed in zoological collections in museums of Australia, Europe and the USA. Articles describing tissue stages of avian haemosporidians were included from 1908 to the present. Histological preparations of various organs infected with the exo-erythrocytic stages of different haemosporidian parasites were examined. In all, 229 published articles were included in this review. Exo-erythrocytic stages of avian Plasmodium, Fallisia, Haemoproteus, Leucocytozoon, and Akiba species were analysed, compared and illustrated. Morphological characters of tissue stages that can be used for diagnostic purposes were specified. Recent molecular studies combined with histological research show that avian haemosporidians are more

  10. Role of parasites in cancer.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  11. Parasite Removal, but Not Herbivory, Deters Future Parasite Attachment on Tomato

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tjiurutue, Muvari Connie; Palmer-Young, Evan C.; Adler, Lynn S.

    2016-01-01

    Plants face many antagonistic interactions that occur sequentially. Often, plants employ defense strategies in response to the initial damage that are highly specific and can affect interactions with subsequent antagonists. In addition to herbivores and pathogens, plants face attacks by parasitic plants, but we know little about how prior herbivory compared to prior parasite attachment affects subsequent host interactions. If host plants can respond adaptively to these different damage types, we predict that prior parasitism would have a greater deterrent effect on subsequent parasites than would prior herbivory. To test the effects of prior parasitism and prior herbivory on subsequent parasitic dodder (Cuscuta spp.) preference, we conducted two separate greenhouse studies with tomato hosts (Solanum lycopersicum). In the first experiment, we tested the effects of previous dodder attachment on subsequent dodder preference on tomato hosts using three treatments: control plants that had no previous dodder attachment; dodder-removed plants that had an initial dodder seedling attached, removed and left in the same pot to simulate parasite death; and dodder-continuous plants with an initial dodder seedling that remained attached. In the second experiment, we tested the effects of previous caterpillar damage (Spodoptera exigua) and mechanical damage on future dodder attachment on tomato hosts. Dodder attached most slowly to tomato hosts that had dodder plants previously attached and then removed, compared to control plants or plants with continuous dodder attachment. In contrast, herbivory did not affect subsequent dodder attachment rate. These results indicate that dodder preference depended on the identity and the outcome of the initial attack, suggesting that early-season interactions have the potential for profound impacts on subsequent community dynamics. PMID:27529694

  12. Parasite Removal, but Not Herbivory, Deters Future Parasite Attachment on Tomato.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Muvari Connie Tjiurutue

    Full Text Available Plants face many antagonistic interactions that occur sequentially. Often, plants employ defense strategies in response to the initial damage that are highly specific and can affect interactions with subsequent antagonists. In addition to herbivores and pathogens, plants face attacks by parasitic plants, but we know little about how prior herbivory compared to prior parasite attachment affects subsequent host interactions. If host plants can respond adaptively to these different damage types, we predict that prior parasitism would have a greater deterrent effect on subsequent parasites than would prior herbivory. To test the effects of prior parasitism and prior herbivory on subsequent parasitic dodder (Cuscuta spp. preference, we conducted two separate greenhouse studies with tomato hosts (Solanum lycopersicum. In the first experiment, we tested the effects of previous dodder attachment on subsequent dodder preference on tomato hosts using three treatments: control plants that had no previous dodder attachment; dodder-removed plants that had an initial dodder seedling attached, removed and left in the same pot to simulate parasite death; and dodder-continuous plants with an initial dodder seedling that remained attached. In the second experiment, we tested the effects of previous caterpillar damage (Spodoptera exigua and mechanical damage on future dodder attachment on tomato hosts. Dodder attached most slowly to tomato hosts that had dodder plants previously attached and then removed, compared to control plants or plants with continuous dodder attachment. In contrast, herbivory did not affect subsequent dodder attachment rate. These results indicate that dodder preference depended on the identity and the outcome of the initial attack, suggesting that early-season interactions have the potential for profound impacts on subsequent community dynamics.

  13. Comparative genome-wide analysis and evolutionary history of haemoglobin-processing and haem detoxification enzymes in malarial parasites.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ponsuwanna, Patrath; Kochakarn, Theerarat; Bunditvorapoom, Duangkamon; Kümpornsin, Krittikorn; Otto, Thomas D; Ridenour, Chase; Chotivanich, Kesinee; Wilairat, Prapon; White, Nicholas J; Miotto, Olivo; Chookajorn, Thanat

    2016-01-29

    Malaria parasites have evolved a series of intricate mechanisms to survive and propagate within host red blood cells. Intra-erythrocytic parasitism requires these organisms to digest haemoglobin and detoxify iron-bound haem. These tasks are executed by haemoglobin-specific proteases and haem biocrystallization factors that are components of a large multi-subunit complex. Since haemoglobin processing machineries are functionally and genetically linked to the modes of action and resistance mechanisms of several anti-malarial drugs, an understanding of their evolutionary history is important for drug development and drug resistance prevention. Maximum likelihood trees of genetic repertoires encoding haemoglobin processing machineries within Plasmodium species, and with the representatives of Apicomplexan species with various host tropisms, were created. Genetic variants were mapped onto existing three-dimensional structures. Genome-wide single nucleotide polymorphism data were used to analyse the selective pressure and the effect of these mutations at the structural level. Recent expansions in the falcipain and plasmepsin repertoires are unique to human malaria parasites especially in the Plasmodium falciparum and P. reichenowi lineage. Expansion of haemoglobin-specific plasmepsins occurred after the separation event of Plasmodium species, but the other members of the plasmepsin family were evolutionarily conserved with one copy for each sub-group in every Apicomplexan species. Haemoglobin-specific falcipains are separated from invasion-related falcipain, and their expansions within one specific locus arose independently in both P. falciparum and P. vivax lineages. Gene conversion between P. falciparum falcipain 2A and 2B was observed in artemisinin-resistant strains. Comparison between the numbers of non-synonymous and synonymous mutations suggests a strong selective pressure at falcipain and plasmepsin genes. The locations of amino acid changes from non

  14. Parasitism and the biodiversity-functioning relationship

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-01-01

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

  15. Detection and linkage to mobile genetic elements of tetracycline resistance gene tet(M) in Escherichia coli isolates from pigs

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jurado-Rabadan, Sonia; de la Fuente, Ricardo; Ruiz-Santa-Quiteria, Jose A.

    2014-01-01

    Background: In Escherichia coli the genes involved in the acquisition of tetracycline resistance are mainly tet(A) and tet(B). In addition, tet(M) is the most common tetracycline resistance determinant in enterococci and it is associated with conjugative transposons and plasmids. Although tet......(M) has been identified in E. coli, to our knowledge, there are no previous reports studying the linkage of the tet(M) gene in E. coli to different mobile genetic elements. The aim of this study was to determine the occurrence of tet(A), tet(B), and tet(M) genes in doxycycline-resistant E. coli isolates...... from pigs, as well as the detection of mobile genetic elements linked to tet(M) in E. coli and its possible transfer from enterococci. Results: tet(A) was the most frequently detected gene (87.9%) in doxycycline-resistant isolates. tet(M) was found in 13.1% E. coli isolates. The tet(M) gene...

  16. How Many Parasites Species a Frog Might Have? Determinants of Parasite Diversity in South American Anurans.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Karla Magalhães Campião

    Full Text Available There is an increasing interest in unveiling the dynamics of parasite infection. Understanding the interaction patterns, and determinants of host-parasite association contributes to filling knowledge gaps in both community and disease ecology. Despite being targeted as a relevant group for conservation efforts, determinants of the association of amphibians and their parasites in broad scales are poorly understood. Here we describe parasite biodiversity in South American amphibians, testing the influence of host body size and geographic range in helminth parasites species richness (PSR. We also test whether parasite diversity is related to hosts' phylogenetic diversity. Results showed that nematodes are the most common anuran parasites. Host-parasite network has a nested pattern, with specialist helminth taxa generally associated with hosts that harbour the richest parasite faunas. Host size is positively correlated with helminth fauna richness, but we found no support for the association of host geographic range and PSR. These results remained consistent after correcting for uneven study effort and hosts' phylogenic correlation. However, we found no association between host and parasite diversity, indicating that more diversified anuran clades not necessarily support higher parasite diversity. Overall, considering both the structure and the determinants of PRS in anurans, we conclude that specialist parasites are more likely to be associated with large anurans, which are the ones harbouring higher PSR, and that the lack of association of PSR with hosts' clade diversification suggests it is strongly influenced by ecological and contemporary constrains.

  17. Spatial dynamics of synthetic microbial mutualists and their parasites.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Daniel R Amor

    2017-08-01

    Full Text Available A major force contributing to the emergence of novelty in nature is the presence of cooperative interactions, where two or more components of a system act in synergy, sometimes leading to higher-order, emergent phenomena. Within molecular evolution, the so called hypercycle defines the simplest model of an autocatalytic cycle, providing major theoretical insights on the evolution of cooperation in the early biosphere. These closed cooperative loops have also inspired our understanding of how catalytic loops appear in ecological systems. In both cases, hypercycle and ecological cooperative loops, the role played by space seems to be crucial for their stability and resilience against parasites. However, it is difficult to test these ideas in natural ecosystems, where time and spatial scales introduce considerable limitations. Here, we use engineered bacteria as a model system to a variety of environmental scenarios identifying trends that transcend the specific model system, such an enhanced genetic diversity in environments requiring mutualistic interactions. Interestingly, we show that improved environments can slow down mutualistic range expansions as a result of genetic drift effects preceding local resource depletion. Moreover, we show that a parasitic strain is excluded from the population during range expansions (which acknowledges a classical prediction. Nevertheless, environmental deterioration can reshape population interactions, this same strain becoming part of a three-species mutualistic web in scenarios in which the two-strain mutualism becomes non functional. The evolutionary and ecological implications for the design of synthetic ecosystems are outlined.

  18. Genetic variation in the Cytb gene of human cerebral Taenia solium cysticerci recovered from clinically and radiologically heterogeneous patients with neurocysticercosis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hector Palafox-Fonseca

    2013-11-01

    Full Text Available Neurocysticercosis (NC is a clinically and radiologically heterogeneous parasitic disease caused by the establishment of larval Taenia solium in the human central nervous system. Host and/or parasite variations may be related to this observed heterogeneity. Genetic differences between pig and human-derived T. solium cysticerci have been reported previously. In this study, 28 cysticerci were surgically removed from 12 human NC patients, the mitochondrial gene that encodes cytochrome b was amplified from the cysticerci and genetic variations that may be related to NC heterogeneity were characterised. Nine different haplotypes (Ht, which were clustered in four haplogroups (Hg, were identified. Hg 3 and 4 exhibited a tendency to associate with age and gender, respectively. However, no significant associations were found between NC heterogeneity and the different T. solium cysticerci Ht or Hg. Parasite variants obtained from patients with similar NC clinical or radiological features were genetically closer than those found in groups of patients with a different NC profile when using the Mantel test. Overall, this study establishes the presence of genetic differences in the Cytb gene of T. solium isolated from human cysticerci and suggests that parasite variation could contribute to NC heterogeneity.

  19. Genetically modified organisms and visceral leishmaniasis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chhajer, Rudra; Ali, Nahid

    2014-01-01

    Vaccination is the most effective method of preventing infectious diseases. Since the eradication of small pox in 1976, many other potentially life compromising if not threatening diseases have been dealt with subsequently. This event was a major leap not only in the scientific world already burdened with many diseases but also in the mindset of the common man who became more receptive to novel treatment options. Among the many protozoan diseases, the leishmaniases have emerged as one of the largest parasite killers of the world, second only to malaria. There are three types of leishmaniasis namely cutaneous (CL), mucocutaneous (ML), and visceral (VL), caused by a group of more than 20 species of Leishmania parasites. Visceral leishmaniasis, also known as kala-azar is the most severe form and almost fatal if untreated. Since the first attempts at leishmanization, we have killed parasite vaccines, subunit protein, or DNA vaccines, and now we have live recombinant carrier vaccines and live attenuated parasite vaccines under various stages of development. Although some research has shown promising results, many more potential genes need to be evaluated as live attenuated vaccine candidates. This mini-review attempts to summarize the success and failures of genetically modified organisms used in vaccination against some of major parasitic diseases for their application in leishmaniasis.

  20. Likelihood-based inference for discretely observed birth-death-shift processes, with applications to evolution of mobile genetic elements.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xu, Jason; Guttorp, Peter; Kato-Maeda, Midori; Minin, Vladimir N

    2015-12-01

    Continuous-time birth-death-shift (BDS) processes are frequently used in stochastic modeling, with many applications in ecology and epidemiology. In particular, such processes can model evolutionary dynamics of transposable elements-important genetic markers in molecular epidemiology. Estimation of the effects of individual covariates on the birth, death, and shift rates of the process can be accomplished by analyzing patient data, but inferring these rates in a discretely and unevenly observed setting presents computational challenges. We propose a multi-type branching process approximation to BDS processes and develop a corresponding expectation maximization algorithm, where we use spectral techniques to reduce calculation of expected sufficient statistics to low-dimensional integration. These techniques yield an efficient and robust optimization routine for inferring the rates of the BDS process, and apply broadly to multi-type branching processes whose rates can depend on many covariates. After rigorously testing our methodology in simulation studies, we apply our method to study intrapatient time evolution of IS6110 transposable element, a genetic marker frequently used during estimation of epidemiological clusters of Mycobacterium tuberculosis infections. © 2015, The International Biometric Society.

  1. (macro- Evolutionary ecology of parasite diversity: From determinants of parasite species richness to host diversification

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Serge Morand

    2015-04-01

    Full Text Available The present review summarized the factors or determinants that may explain parasite diversity among host species and the consequences of this parasite diversity on the evolution of host-life history traits. As host–parasite interactions are asymmetrical exploited–exploiter relationships, ecological and epidemiological theories produce hypotheses to find the potential determinants of parasite species richness, while life-history theory helps for testing potential consequences on parasite diversity on the evolution of hosts. This review referred only to studies that have specifically controlled or took into account phylogenetic information illustrated with parasites of mammals. Several points needing more investigation were identified with a special emphasis to develop the metabolic theory of epidemiology.

  2. Pets and Parasites

    Science.gov (United States)

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jürgen Krücken

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

  5. Microsatellite DNA analysis revealed a drastic genetic change of Plasmodium vivax population in the Republic of Korea during 2002 and 2003.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Moritoshi Iwagami

    Full Text Available Vivax malaria was successfully eliminated in the Republic of Korea (South Korea in the late 1970s, but it was found to have re-emerged from 1993. In order to control malaria and evaluate the effectiveness of malaria controls, it is important to develop a spatiotemporal understanding of the genetic structure of the parasite population. Here, we estimated the population structure and temporal dynamics of the transmission of Plasmodium vivax in South Korea by analyzing microsatellite DNA markers of the parasite.We analyzed 14 microsatellite DNA loci of the P. vivax genome from 163 South Korean isolates collected from 1994 to 2008. Allelic data were used to analyze linkage disequilibrium (LD, genetic differentiation and population structure, in order to make a detailed estimate of temporal change in the parasite population. The LD analysis showed a gradual decrease in LD levels, while the levels of genetic differentiation between successive years and analysis of the population structure based on the Bayesian approach suggested that a drastic genetic change occurred in the South Korean population during 2002 and 2003.Although relapse and asymptomatic parasite carriage might influence the population structure to some extent, our results suggested the continual introduction of P. vivax into South Korea through other parasite population sources. One possible source, particularly during 2002 and 2003, is North Korea. Molecular epidemiology using microsatellite DNA of the P. vivax population is effective for assessing the population structure and temporal dynamics of parasite transmission; information that can assist in the elimination of vivax malaria in endemic areas.

  6. Neglected Parasitic Infections: Toxocariasis

    Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Podcasts

    2012-01-05

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

  7. Estimation of parasitic losses in a proposed mesoscale resonant engine: Experiment and model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Preetham, B. S.; Anderson, M.; Richards, C.

    2014-02-01

    A resonant engine in which the piston-cylinder assembly is replaced by a flexible cavity is realized at the mesoscale using flexible metal bellows to demonstrate the feasibility of the concept. A four stroke motoring technique is developed and measurements are performed to determine parasitic losses. A non-linear lumped parameter model is developed to evaluate the engine performance. Experimentally, the heat transfer and friction effects are separated by varying the engine speed and operating frequency. The engine energy flow diagram showing the energy distribution among various parasitic elements reveals that the friction loss in the bellows is smaller than the sliding friction loss in a typical piston-cylinder assembly.

  8. Host-parasite coevolution can promote the evolution of seed banking as a bet-hedging strategy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Verin, Mélissa; Tellier, Aurélien

    2018-04-20

    Seed (egg) banking is a common bet-hedging strategy maximizing the fitness of organisms facing environmental unpredictability by the delayed emergence of offspring. Yet, this condition often requires fast and drastic stochastic shifts between good and bad years. We hypothesize that the host seed banking strategy can evolve in response to coevolution with parasites because the coevolutionary cycles promote a gradually changing environment over longer times than seed persistence. We study the evolution of host germination fraction as a quantitative trait using both pairwise competition and multiple mutant competition methods, while the germination locus can be genetically linked or unlinked with the host locus under coevolution. In a gene-for-gene model of coevolution, hosts evolve a seed bank strategy under unstable coevolutionary cycles promoted by moderate to high costs of resistance or strong disease severity. Moreover, when assuming genetic linkage between coevolving and germination loci, the resistant genotype always evolves seed banking in contrast to susceptible hosts. Under a matching-allele interaction, both hosts' genotypes exhibit the same seed banking strategy irrespective of the genetic linkage between loci. We suggest host-parasite coevolution as an additional hypothesis for the evolution of seed banking as a temporal bet-hedging strategy. © 2018 The Author(s). Evolution © 2018 The Society for the Study of Evolution.

  9. 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.

  10. First evidence of intraclonal genetic exchange in trypanosomatids using two Leishmania infantum fluorescent transgenic clones.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Estefanía Calvo-Álvarez

    2014-09-01

    Full Text Available The mode of reproduction in Leishmania spp has been argued to be essentially clonal. However, recent data (genetic analysis of populations and co-infections in sand flies have proposed the existence of a non-obligate sexual cycle in the extracellular stage of the parasite within the sand fly vector. In this article we propose the existence of intraclonal genetic exchange in the natural vector of Leishmania infantum.We have developed transgenic L. infantum lines expressing drug resistance markers linked to green and red fluorescent reporters. We hypothesized whether those cells with identical genotype can recognize each other and mate. Both types of markers were successfully exchanged within the sand fly midgut of the natural vector Phlebotomus perniciosus when individuals from these species were fed with a mixture of parental clones. Using the yellow phenotype and drug resistance markers, we provide evidence for genetic exchange in L. infantum. The hybrid progeny appeared to be triploid based on DNA content analysis. The hybrid clone analyzed was stable throughout the complete parasite life cycle. The progress of infections by the hybrid clone in BALB/c mice caused a reduction in parasite loads in both spleen and liver, and provided weight values similar to those obtained with uninfected mice. Spleen arginase activity was also significantly reduced relative to parental strains.A L. infantum hybrid lineage was obtained from intraclonal genetic exchange within the midgut of the natural vector, suggesting the ability of this parasite to recognize the same genotype and mate. The yellow hybrid progeny is stable throughout the whole parasite life cycle but with a slower virulence, which correlates well with the lower arginase activity detected both in vitro and in vivo infections.

  11. Genetic variation of Taenia pisiformis collected from Sichuan, China, based on the mitochondrial cytochrome B gene.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Deying; Ren, Yongjun; Fu, Yan; Xie, Yue; Nie, Huaming; Nong, Xiang; Gu, Xiaobin; Wang, Shuxian; Peng, Xuerong; Yang, Guangyou

    2013-08-01

    Taenia pisiformis is one of the most important parasites of canines and rabbits. T. pisiformis cysticercus (the larval stage) causes severe damage to rabbit breeding, which results in huge economic losses. In this study, the genetic variation of T. pisiformis was determined in Sichuan Province, China. Fragments of the mitochondrial cytochrome b (cytb) (922 bp) gene were amplified in 53 isolates from 8 regions of T. pisiformis. Overall, 12 haplotypes were found in these 53 cytb sequences. Molecular genetic variations showed 98.4% genetic variation derived from intra-region. FST and Nm values suggested that 53 isolates were not genetically differentiated and had low levels of genetic diversity. Neutrality indices of the cytb sequences showed the evolution of T. pisiformis followed a neutral mode. Phylogenetic analysis revealed no correlation between phylogeny and geographic distribution. These findings indicate that 53 isolates of T. pisiformis keep a low genetic variation, which provide useful knowledge for monitoring changes in parasite populations for future control strategies.

  12. Neglected Parasitic Infections: Toxocariasis

    Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Podcasts

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

  13. Genome Evolution of Plant-Parasitic Nematodes.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-08-04

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

  14. Chemical genetics and strigolactone perception [version 1; referees: 2 approved

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shelley Lumba

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available Strigolactones (SLs are a collection of related small molecules that act as hormones in plant growth and development. Intriguingly, SLs also act as ecological communicators between plants and mycorrhizal fungi and between host plants and a collection of parasitic plant species. In the case of mycorrhizal fungi, SLs exude into the soil from host roots to attract fungal hyphae for a beneficial interaction. In the case of parasitic plants, however, root-exuded SLs cause dormant parasitic plant seeds to germinate, thereby allowing the resulting seedling to infect the host and withdraw nutrients. Because a laboratory-friendly model does not exist for parasitic plants, researchers are currently using information gleaned from model plants like Arabidopsis in combination with the chemical probes developed through chemical genetics to understand SL perception of parasitic plants. This work first shows that understanding SL signaling is useful in developing chemical probes that perturb SL perception. Second, it indicates that the chemical space available to probe SL signaling in both model and parasitic plants is sizeable. Because these parasitic pests represent a major concern for food insecurity in the developing world, there is great need for chemical approaches to uncover novel lead compounds that perturb parasitic plant infections.

  15. Genetic structure and evolution of the Leishmania genus in Africa and Eurasia: what does MLSA tell us.

    Science.gov (United States)

    El Baidouri, Fouad; Diancourt, Laure; Berry, Vincent; Chevenet, François; Pratlong, Francine; Marty, Pierre; Ravel, Christophe

    2013-01-01

    Leishmaniasis is a complex parasitic disease from a taxonomic, clinical and epidemiological point of view. The role of genetic exchanges has been questioned for over twenty years and their recent experimental demonstration along with the identification of interspecific hybrids in natura has revived this debate. After arguing that genetic exchanges were exceptional and did not contribute to Leishmania evolution, it is currently proposed that interspecific exchanges could be a major driving force for rapid adaptation to new reservoirs and vectors, expansion into new parasitic cycles and adaptation to new life conditions. To assess the existence of gene flows between species during evolution we used MLSA-based (MultiLocus Sequence Analysis) approach to analyze 222 Leishmania strains from Africa and Eurasia to accurately represent the genetic diversity of this genus. We observed a remarkable congruence of the phylogenetic signal and identified seven genetic clusters that include mainly independent lineages which are accumulating divergences without any sign of recent interspecific recombination. From a taxonomic point of view, the strong genetic structuration of the different species does not question the current classification, except for species that cause visceral forms of leishmaniasis (L. donovani, L. infantum and L. archibaldi). Although these taxa cause specific clinical forms of the disease and are maintained through different parasitic cycles, they are not clearly distinct and form a continuum, in line with the concept of species complex already suggested for this group thirty years ago. These results should have practical consequences concerning the molecular identification of parasites and the subsequent therapeutic management of the disease.

  16. Genetic Structure and Evolution of the Leishmania Genus in Africa and Eurasia: What Does MLSA Tell Us

    Science.gov (United States)

    El Baidouri, Fouad; Diancourt, Laure; Berry, Vincent; Chevenet, François; Pratlong, Francine; Marty, Pierre; Ravel, Christophe

    2013-01-01

    Leishmaniasis is a complex parasitic disease from a taxonomic, clinical and epidemiological point of view. The role of genetic exchanges has been questioned for over twenty years and their recent experimental demonstration along with the identification of interspecific hybrids in natura has revived this debate. After arguing that genetic exchanges were exceptional and did not contribute to Leishmania evolution, it is currently proposed that interspecific exchanges could be a major driving force for rapid adaptation to new reservoirs and vectors, expansion into new parasitic cycles and adaptation to new life conditions. To assess the existence of gene flows between species during evolution we used MLSA-based (MultiLocus Sequence Analysis) approach to analyze 222 Leishmania strains from Africa and Eurasia to accurately represent the genetic diversity of this genus. We observed a remarkable congruence of the phylogenetic signal and identified seven genetic clusters that include mainly independent lineages which are accumulating divergences without any sign of recent interspecific recombination. From a taxonomic point of view, the strong genetic structuration of the different species does not question the current classification, except for species that cause visceral forms of leishmaniasis (L. donovani, L. infantum and L. archibaldi). Although these taxa cause specific clinical forms of the disease and are maintained through different parasitic cycles, they are not clearly distinct and form a continuum, in line with the concept of species complex already suggested for this group thirty years ago. These results should have practical consequences concerning the molecular identification of parasites and the subsequent therapeutic management of the disease. PMID:23785530

  17. Evasion and Immuno-Endocrine Regulation in Parasite Infection: Two Sides of the Same Coin in Chagas Disease?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morrot, Alexandre; Villar, Silvina R; González, Florencia B; Pérez, Ana R

    2016-01-01

    Chagas disease is a serious illness caused by the protozoan parasite Trypanosoma cruzi. Nearly 30% of chronically infected people develop cardiac, digestive, or mixed alterations, suggesting a broad range of host-parasite interactions that finally impact upon chronic disease outcome. The ability of T. cruzi to persist and cause pathology seems to depend on diverse factors like T. cruzi strains, the infective load and the route of infection, presence of virulence factors, the parasite capacity to avoid protective immune response, the strength and type of host defense mechanisms and the genetic background of the host. The host-parasite interaction is subject to a constant neuro-endocrine regulation that is thought to influence the adaptive immune system, and as the infection proceeds it can lead to a broad range of outcomes, ranging from pathogen elimination to its continued persistence in the host. In this context, T. cruzi evasion strategies and host defense mechanisms can be envisioned as two sides of the same coin, influencing parasite persistence and different outcomes observed in Chagas disease. Understanding how T. cruzi evade host's innate and adaptive immune response will provide important clues to better dissect mechanisms underlying the pathophysiology of Chagas disease.

  18. Radiation of the red algal parasite Congracilaria babae onto a secondary host species, Hydropuntia sp. (Gracilariaceae, Rhodophyta).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ng, Poh-Kheng; Lim, Phaik-Eem; Phang, Siew-Moi

    2014-01-01

    Congracilaria babae was first reported as a red alga parasitic on the thallus of Gracilaria salicornia based on Japanese materials. It was circumscribed to have deep spermatangial cavities, coloration similar to its host and the absence of rhizoids. We observed a parasitic red alga with morphological and anatomical features suggestive of C. babae on a Hydropuntia species collected from Sabah, East Malaysia. We addressed the taxonomic affinities of the parasite growing on Hydropuntia sp. based on the DNA sequence of molecular markers from the nuclear, mitochondrial and plastid genomes (nuclear ITS region, mitochondrial cox1 gene and plastid rbcL gene). Phylogenetic analyses based on all genetic markers also implied the monophyly of the parasite from Hydropuntia sp. and C. babae, suggesting their conspecificity. The parasite from Hydropuntia sp. has a DNA signature characteristic to C. babae in having plastid rbcL gene sequence identical to G. salicornia. C. babae is likely to have evolved directly from G. salicornia and subsequently radiated onto a secondary host Hydropuntia sp. We also recommend the transfer of C. babae to the genus Gracilaria and propose a new combination, G. babae, based on the anatomical observations and molecular data.

  19. Radiation of the red algal parasite Congracilaria babae onto a secondary host species, Hydropuntia sp. (Gracilariaceae, Rhodophyta.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Poh-Kheng Ng

    Full Text Available Congracilaria babae was first reported as a red alga parasitic on the thallus of Gracilaria salicornia based on Japanese materials. It was circumscribed to have deep spermatangial cavities, coloration similar to its host and the absence of rhizoids. We observed a parasitic red alga with morphological and anatomical features suggestive of C. babae on a Hydropuntia species collected from Sabah, East Malaysia. We addressed the taxonomic affinities of the parasite growing on Hydropuntia sp. based on the DNA sequence of molecular markers from the nuclear, mitochondrial and plastid genomes (nuclear ITS region, mitochondrial cox1 gene and plastid rbcL gene. Phylogenetic analyses based on all genetic markers also implied the monophyly of the parasite from Hydropuntia sp. and C. babae, suggesting their conspecificity. The parasite from Hydropuntia sp. has a DNA signature characteristic to C. babae in having plastid rbcL gene sequence identical to G. salicornia. C. babae is likely to have evolved directly from G. salicornia and subsequently radiated onto a secondary host Hydropuntia sp. We also recommend the transfer of C. babae to the genus Gracilaria and propose a new combination, G. babae, based on the anatomical observations and molecular data.

  20. Specific gene expression responses to parasite genotypes reveal redundancy of innate immunity in vertebrates.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David Haase

    Full Text Available Vertebrate innate immunity is the first line of defense against an invading pathogen and has long been assumed to be largely unspecific with respect to parasite/pathogen species. However, recent phenotypic evidence suggests that immunogenetic variation, i.e. allelic variability in genes associated with the immune system, results in host-parasite genotype-by-genotype interactions and thus specific innate immune responses. Immunogenetic variation is common in all vertebrate taxa and this reflects an effective immunological function in complex environments. However, the underlying variability in host gene expression patterns as response of innate immunity to within-species genetic diversity of macroparasites in vertebrates is unknown. We hypothesized that intra-specific variation among parasite genotypes must be reflected in host gene expression patterns. Here we used high-throughput RNA-sequencing to examine the effect of parasite genotypes on gene expression patterns of a vertebrate host, the three-spined stickleback (Gasterosteus aculeatus. By infecting naïve fish with distinct trematode genotypes of the species Diplostomum pseudospathaceum we show that gene activity of innate immunity in three-spined sticklebacks depended on the identity of an infecting macroparasite genotype. In addition to a suite of genes indicative for a general response against the trematode we also find parasite-strain specific gene expression, in particular in the complement system genes, despite similar infection rates of single clone treatments. The observed discrepancy between infection rates and gene expression indicates the presence of alternative pathways which execute similar functions. This suggests that the innate immune system can induce redundant responses specific to parasite genotypes.

  1. Genetic incompatibility drives mate choice in a parasitic wasp

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Thiel, A.; Weeda, A.C.; Boer, de J.G.; Hoffmeister, T.S.

    2013-01-01

    Introduction: Allelic incompatibility between individuals of the same species should select for mate choice based on the genetic make-up of both partners at loci that influence offspring fitness. As a consequence, mate choice may be an important driver of allelic diversity. A complementary sex

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Singh Upinder

    2007-07-01

    transcription in cultured parasites. In contrast, the effect of TSA on E. histolytica gene expression is more substantial and includes genes involved in the encystation pathway. These observations will allow further dissection of the effects of histone acetylation and the genetic pathways regulating stage conversion in this pathogenic parasite.

  3. Genetic diversity of Trichomonas vaginalis clinical isolates from Henan province in central China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mao, Meng; Liu, Hui Li

    2015-07-01

    Trichomonas vaginalis is a flagellated protozoan parasite that infects the human urogenital tract, causing the most common non-viral, sexually transmitted disease worldwide. In this study, genetic variants of T. vaginalis were identified in Henan Province, China. Fragments of the small subunit of nuclear ribosomal RNA (18S rRNA) were amplified from 32 T. vaginalis isolates obtained from seven regions of Henan Province. Overall, 18 haplotypes were determined from the 18S rRNA sequences. Each sampled population and the total population displayed high haplotype diversity (Hd), accompanied by very low nucleotide diversity (Pi). In these molecular genetic variants, 91.58% genetic variation was derived from intra-regions. Phylogenetic analysis revealed no correlation between phylogeny and geographic distribution. Demographic analysis supported population expansion of T. vaginalis isolates from central China. Our findings showing moderate-to-high genetic variations in the 32 isolates of T. vaginalis provide useful knowledge for monitoring changes in parasite populations for the development of future control strategies.

  4. Parasitic diseases of lungs

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    1987-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

    Toxoplasma gondii is a widespread protozoan parasite infecting nearly all warm-blooded organisms. Asexual reproduction of the parasite within its host cells is achieved by consecutive lytic cycles, which necessitates biogenesis of significant energy and biomass. Here we show that glucose and glutamine are the two major physiologically important nutrients used for the synthesis of macromolecules (ATP, nucleic acid, proteins, and lipids) in T. gondii, and either of them is sufficient to ensure the parasite survival. The parasite can counteract genetic ablation of its glucose transporter by increasing the flux of glutamine-derived carbon through the tricarboxylic acid cycle and by concurrently activating gluconeogenesis, which guarantee a continued biogenesis of ATP and biomass for host-cell invasion and parasite replication, respectively. In accord, a pharmacological inhibition of glutaminolysis or oxidative phosphorylation arrests the lytic cycle of the glycolysis-deficient mutant, which is primarily a consequence of impaired invasion due to depletion of ATP. Unexpectedly, however, intracellular parasites continue to proliferate, albeit slower, notwithstanding a simultaneous deprivation of glucose and glutamine. A growth defect in the glycolysis-impaired mutant is caused by a compromised synthesis of lipids, which cannot be counterbalanced by glutamine but can be restored by acetate. Consistently, supplementation of parasite cultures with exogenous acetate can amend the lytic cycle of the glucose transport mutant. Such plasticity in the parasite's carbon flux enables a growth-and-survival trade-off in assorted nutrient milieus, which may underlie the promiscuous survival of T. gondii tachyzoites in diverse host cells. Our results also indicate a convergence of parasite metabolism with cancer cells. PMID:26518878

  7. Make It, Take It, or Leave It: Heme Metabolism of Parasites

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Kořený, Luděk; Oborník, Miroslav; Lukeš, Julius

    2013-01-01

    Roč. 9, č. 1 (2013), e1003088 E-ISSN 1553-7374 R&D Projects: GA ČR(CZ) GAP305/11/2179 Grant - others:GA MŠk(CZ) ED2.1.00/03.0110 Program:ED Institutional support: RVO:60077344 ; RVO:61388971 Keywords : Apicomplexan parasites * biosynthesis pathway * evolution * protein Subject RIV: EB - Genetics ; Molecular Biology Impact factor: 8.057, year: 2013 http://www.plospathogens.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.ppat.1003088

  8. An inverse model for locating skin tumours in 3D using the genetic algorithm with the Dual Reciprocity Boundary Element Method

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fabrício Ribeiro Bueno

    Full Text Available Here, the Dual Reciprocity Boundary Element Method is used to solve the 3D Pennes Bioheat Equation, which together with a Genetic Algorithm, produces an inverse model capable of obtaining the location and the size of a tumour, having as data input the temperature distribution measured on the skin surface. Given that the objective function, which is solved inversely, involves the DRBEM (Dual Reciprocity Boundary Element Method the Genetic Algorithm in its usual form becomes slower, in such a way that it was necessary to develop functions based the solution history in order that the process becomes quicker and more accurate. Results for 8 examples are presented including cases with convection and radiation boundary conditions. Cases involving noise in the readings of the equipment are also considered. This technique is intended to assist health workers in the diagnosis of tumours.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    L. Gettová

    2016-11-01

    might be enhanced in time as higher infection levels in B. barbus from the Rhône River were revealed. Hybrid susceptibility to metazoan parasites varied among the populations and is probably driven by host-parasite interactions and environmental forces. Conclusions Scientific attention should be paid to the threatened status of the endemic B. meridionalis, which is endangered by hybridization with the invasive B. barbus, i.e. by genetic introgression and parasite transmission.

  10. Genetic diversity in Trichomonas vaginalis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meade, John C; Carlton, Jane M

    2013-09-01

    Recent advances in genetic characterisation of Trichomonas vaginalis isolates show that the extensive clinical variability in trichomoniasis and its disease sequelae are matched by significant genetic diversity in the organism itself, suggesting a connection between the genetic identity of isolates and their clinical manifestations. Indeed, a high degree of genetic heterogeneity in T vaginalis isolates has been observed using multiple genotyping techniques. A unique two-type population structure that is both local and global in distribution has been identified, and there is evidence of recombination within each group, although sexual recombination between the groups appears to be constrained. There is conflicting evidence in these studies for correlations between T vaginalis genetic identity and clinical presentation, metronidazole susceptibility, and the presence of T vaginalis virus, underscoring the need for adoption of a common standard for genotyping the parasite. Moving forward, microsatellite genotyping and multilocus sequence typing are the most robust techniques for future investigations of T vaginalis genotype-phenotype associations.

  11. Intricate interactions between the bloom-forming cyanobacterium Microcystis aeruginosa and foreign genetic elements, revealed by diversified clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeat (CRISPR) signatures.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kuno, Sotaro; Yoshida, Takashi; Kaneko, Takakazu; Sako, Yoshihiko

    2012-08-01

    Clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR) confer sequence-dependent, adaptive resistance in prokaryotes against viruses and plasmids via incorporation of short sequences, called spacers, derived from foreign genetic elements. CRISPR loci are thus considered to provide records of past infections. To describe the host-parasite (i.e., cyanophages and plasmids) interactions involving the bloom-forming freshwater cyanobacterium Microcystis aeruginosa, we investigated CRISPR in four M. aeruginosa strains and in two previously sequenced genomes. The number of spacers in each locus was larger than the average among prokaryotes. All spacers were strain specific, except for a string of 11 spacers shared in two closely related strains, suggesting diversification of the loci. Using CRISPR repeat-based PCR, 24 CRISPR genotypes were identified in a natural cyanobacterial community. Among 995 unique spacers obtained, only 10 sequences showed similarity to M. aeruginosa phage Ma-LMM01. Of these, six spacers showed only silent or conservative nucleotide mutations compared to Ma-LMM01 sequences, suggesting a strategy by the cyanophage to avert CRISPR immunity dependent on nucleotide identity. These results imply that host-phage interactions can be divided into M. aeruginosa-cyanophage combinations rather than pandemics of population-wide infectious cyanophages. Spacer similarity also showed frequent exposure of M. aeruginosa to small cryptic plasmids that were observed only in a few strains. Thus, the diversification of CRISPR implies that M. aeruginosa has been challenged by diverse communities (almost entirely uncharacterized) of cyanophages and plasmids.

  12. Reciprocal cross infection of sticklebacks with the diphyllobothriidean cestode Schistocephalus solidus reveals consistent population differences in parasite growth and host resistance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kalbe, Martin; Eizaguirre, Christophe; Scharsack, Jörn P; Jakobsen, Per J

    2016-03-08

    In host-parasite evolutionary arms races, parasites are generally expected to adapt more rapidly, due to their large population sizes and short generation times. There exist systems, though, where parasites cannot outpace their hosts because of similar generation times in both antagonists. In those cases concomitant adaptation is expected. We tested this hypothesis in the three-spined stickleback-Schistocephalus solidus tapeworm system, where generation times are comparable in both organisms. We chose two populations of sticklebacks which differ prominently in the prevalence of S. solidus and consequently in its level of selective pressure. We performed a full factorial common garden experiment. Particularly, Norwegian (NO) and German (DE) sticklebacks, as well as hybrids between both stickleback populations and in both parental combinations, were exposed each to a single S. solidus originating from the same two host populations. We found the infection phenotype to depend on the host population, the parasite population, but not their interaction. NO-parasites showed higher infectivity than DE-parasites, with NO-sticklebacks also being more resistant to DE-parasites than to the sympatric NO-parasite. Reciprocally, DE-hosts were more susceptible to the allopatric NO-parasite while DE-parasites grew less than NO-parasites in all stickleback groups. Despite this asymmetry, the ratio of worm to host weight, an indicator of parasite virulence, was identical in both sympatric combinations, suggesting an optimal virulence as a common outcome of parallel coevolved systems. In hybrid sticklebacks, intermediate infection rates and growth of S. solidus from either origin suggests a simple genetic basis of resistance. However, comparison of infection phenotypes in NO-maternal and DE-maternal hybrid sticklebacks indicates local adaptation to the sympatric counterpart in both the host and the parasite. Host-parasite systems with similar generation time show evidence for

  13. Parasites, Plants, and People.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnson, Marion; Moore, Tony

    2016-06-01

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

  14. Type VI secretion systems of human gut Bacteroidales segregate into three genetic architectures, two of which are contained on mobile genetic elements.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coyne, Michael J; Roelofs, Kevin G; Comstock, Laurie E

    2016-01-15

    Type VI secretion systems (T6SSs) are contact-dependent antagonistic systems employed by Gram negative bacteria to intoxicate other bacteria or eukaryotic cells. T6SSs were recently discovered in a few Bacteroidetes strains, thereby extending the presence of these systems beyond Proteobacteria. The present study was designed to analyze in a global nature the diversity, abundance, and properties of T6SSs in the Bacteroidales, the most predominant Gram negative bacterial order of the human gut. By performing extensive bioinformatics analyses and creating hidden Markov models for Bacteroidales Tss proteins, we identified 130 T6SS loci in 205 human gut Bacteroidales genomes. Of the 13 core T6SS proteins of Proteobacteria, human gut Bacteroidales T6SS loci encode orthologs of nine, and an additional five other core proteins not present in Proteobacterial T6SSs. The Bacteroidales T6SS loci segregate into three distinct genetic architectures with extensive DNA identity between loci of a given genetic architecture. We found that divergent DNA regions of a genetic architecture encode numerous types of effector and immunity proteins and likely include new classes of these proteins. TheT6SS loci of genetic architecture 1 are contained on highly similar integrative conjugative elements (ICEs), as are the T6SS loci of genetic architecture 2, whereas the T6SS loci of genetic architecture 3 are not and are confined to Bacteroides fragilis. Using collections of co-resident Bacteroidales strains from human subjects, we provide evidence for the transfer of genetic architecture 1 T6SS loci among co-resident Bacteroidales species in the human gut. However, we also found that established ecosystems can harbor strains with distinct T6SS of all genetic architectures. This is the first study to comprehensively analyze of the presence and diversity of T6SS loci within an order of bacteria and to analyze T6SSs of bacteria from a natural community. These studies demonstrate that more than

  15. Effector gene birth in plant parasitic nematodes: Neofunctionalization of a housekeeping glutathione synthetase gene

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lilley, Catherine J.; Maqbool, Abbas; Wu, Duqing; Yusup, Hazijah B.; Jones, Laura M.; Birch, Paul R. J.; Urwin, Peter E.

    2018-01-01

    Plant pathogens and parasites are a major threat to global food security. Plant parasitism has arisen four times independently within the phylum Nematoda, resulting in at least one parasite of every major food crop in the world. Some species within the most economically important order (Tylenchida) secrete proteins termed effectors into their host during infection to re-programme host development and immunity. The precise detail of how nematodes evolve new effectors is not clear. Here we reconstruct the evolutionary history of a novel effector gene family. We show that during the evolution of plant parasitism in the Tylenchida, the housekeeping glutathione synthetase (GS) gene was extensively replicated. New GS paralogues acquired multiple dorsal gland promoter elements, altered spatial expression to the secretory dorsal gland, altered temporal expression to primarily parasitic stages, and gained a signal peptide for secretion. The gene products are delivered into the host plant cell during infection, giving rise to “GS-like effectors”. Remarkably, by solving the structure of GS-like effectors we show that during this process they have also diversified in biochemical activity, and likely represent the founding members of a novel class of GS-like enzyme. Our results demonstrate the re-purposing of an endogenous housekeeping gene to form a family of effectors with modified functions. We anticipate that our discovery will be a blueprint to understand the evolution of other plant-parasitic nematode effectors, and the foundation to uncover a novel enzymatic function. PMID:29641602

  16. Parasite prevalence corresponds to host life history in a diverse assemblage of afrotropical birds and haemosporidian parasites.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Holly L Lutz

    Full Text Available Avian host life history traits have been hypothesized to predict rates of infection by haemosporidian parasites. Using molecular techniques, we tested this hypothesis for parasites from three haemosporidian genera (Plasmodium, Haemoproteus, and Leucocytozoon collected from a diverse sampling of birds in northern Malawi. We found that host life history traits were significantly associated with parasitism rates by all three parasite genera. Nest type and nest location predicted infection probability for all three parasite genera, whereas flocking behavior is an important predictor of Plasmodium and Haemoproteus infection and habitat is an important predictor of Leucocytozoon infection. Parasite prevalence was 79.1% across all individuals sampled, higher than that reported for comparable studies from any other region of the world. Parasite diversity was also exceptionally high, with 248 parasite cytochrome b lineages identified from 152 host species. A large proportion of Plasmodium, Haemoproteus, and Leucocytozoon parasite DNA sequences identified in this study represent new, previously undocumented lineages (n = 201; 81% of total identified based on BLAST queries against the avian malaria database, MalAvi.

  17. Linking parasite populations in hosts to parasite populations in space through Taylor's law and the negative binomial distribution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cohen, Joel E; Poulin, Robert; Lagrue, Clément

    2017-01-03

    The spatial distribution of individuals of any species is a basic concern of ecology. The spatial distribution of parasites matters to control and conservation of parasites that affect human and nonhuman populations. This paper develops a quantitative theory to predict the spatial distribution of parasites based on the distribution of parasites in hosts and the spatial distribution of hosts. Four models are tested against observations of metazoan hosts and their parasites in littoral zones of four lakes in Otago, New Zealand. These models differ in two dichotomous assumptions, constituting a 2 × 2 theoretical design. One assumption specifies whether the variance function of the number of parasites per host individual is described by Taylor's law (TL) or the negative binomial distribution (NBD). The other assumption specifies whether the numbers of parasite individuals within each host in a square meter of habitat are independent or perfectly correlated among host individuals. We find empirically that the variance-mean relationship of the numbers of parasites per square meter is very well described by TL but is not well described by NBD. Two models that posit perfect correlation of the parasite loads of hosts in a square meter of habitat approximate observations much better than two models that posit independence of parasite loads of hosts in a square meter, regardless of whether the variance-mean relationship of parasites per host individual obeys TL or NBD. We infer that high local interhost correlations in parasite load strongly influence the spatial distribution of parasites. Local hotspots could influence control and conservation of parasites.

  18. Nuclear genetic diversity in human lice (Pediculus humanus reveals continental differences and high inbreeding among worldwide populations.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marina S Ascunce

    Full Text Available Understanding the evolution of parasites is important to both basic and applied evolutionary biology. Knowledge of the genetic structure of parasite populations is critical for our ability to predict how an infection can spread through a host population and for the design of effective control methods. However, very little is known about the genetic structure of most human parasites, including the human louse (Pediculus humanus. This species is composed of two ecotypes: the head louse (Pediculus humanus capitis De Geer, and the clothing (body louse (Pediculus humanus humanus Linnaeus. Hundreds of millions of head louse infestations affect children every year, and this number is on the rise, in part because of increased resistance to insecticides. Clothing lice affect mostly homeless and refugee-camp populations and although they are less prevalent than head lice, the medical consequences are more severe because they vector deadly bacterial pathogens. In this study we present the first assessment of the genetic structure of human louse populations by analyzing the nuclear genetic variation at 15 newly developed microsatellite loci in 93 human lice from 11 sites in four world regions. Both ecotypes showed heterozygote deficits relative to Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium and high inbreeding values, an expected pattern given their parasitic life history. Bayesian clustering analyses assigned lice to four distinct genetic clusters that were geographically structured. The low levels of gene flow among louse populations suggested that the evolution of insecticide resistance in lice would most likely be affected by local selection pressures, underscoring the importance of tailoring control strategies to population-specific genetic makeup and evolutionary history. Our panel of microsatellite markers provides powerful data to investigate not only ecological and evolutionary processes in lice, but also those in their human hosts because of the long

  19. Mobile genetic elements in Methanobacterium thermoformicicum

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Noelling, J.

    1993-01-01

    The identification of the Archaea as a third primary lineage of life and their adaptation to extreme environmental conditions have generated considerable interest in the molecular biology of these organisms. Most progress in the investigation of archaeal mobile genetic

  20. PARASITES OF FISH

    Science.gov (United States)

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

  1. Temporal stability in the genetic structure of Sarcoptes scabiei under the host-taxon law: empirical evidences from wildlife-derived Sarcoptes mite in Asturias, Spain

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rossi Luca

    2011-07-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Implicitly, parasite molecular studies assume temporal genetic stability. In this study we tested, for the first time to our knowledge, the extent of changes in genetic diversity and structure of Sarcoptes mite populations from Pyrenean chamois (Rupicapra pyrenaica in Asturias (Spain, using one multiplex of 9 microsatellite markers and Sarcoptes samples from sympatric Pyrenean chamois, red deer (Cervus elaphus, roe deer (Capreolus capreolus and red fox (Vulpes vulpes. Results The analysis of an 11-years interval period found little change in the genetic diversity (allelic diversity, and observed and expected heterozygosity. The temporal stability in the genetic diversity was confirmed by population structure analysis, which was not significantly variable over time. Population structure analysis revealed temporal stability in the genetic diversity of Sarcoptes mite under the host-taxon law (herbivore derived- and carnivore derived-Sarcoptes mite among the sympatric wild animals from Asturias. Conclusions The confirmation of parasite temporal genetic stability is of vital interest to allow generalizations to be made, which have further implications regarding the genetic structure, epidemiology and monitoring protocols of the ubiquitous Sarcoptes mite. This could eventually be applied to other parasite species.

  2. Genetically Modified Organisms and Visceral Leishmaniasis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    NAHID eALI

    2014-05-01

    Full Text Available Vaccination is the most effective method of preventing infectious diseases. Since the eradication of small pox in 1976, many other potentially life compromising if not threatening diseases have been dealt with subsequently. This event was a major leap not only in the scientific world already burdened with many diseases but also in the mindset of the common man who became more receptive to novel treatment options. Among the many protozoan diseases, the leishmaniases have emerged as one of the largest parasite killers of the world, second only to malaria. There are three types of leishmaniases namely cutaneous (CL, mucocutaneous (ML and visceral (VL, caused by a group of more than 20 species of Leishmania parasites. Visceral leishmaniasis, also known as kala-azar is the most severe form and almost fatal if untreated. Since the first attempts at leishmanization, we have killed parasite vaccines, subunit protein or DNA vaccines, and now we have live recombinant carrier vaccines and live attenuated parasite vaccines under various stages of development. Although some research has shown promising results, many more potential genes need to be evaluated as live attenuated vaccine candidates. This mini-review attempts to summarize the success and failures of genetically modified organisms used in vaccination against some of major parasitic diseases for their application in leishmaniasis.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Karen C. Loxton

    2016-08-01

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

  4. Parasites and immunotherapy: with or against?

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-06-01

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

  5. Effects of Isometric Brain-Body Size Scaling on the Complexity of Monoaminergic Neurons in a Minute Parasitic Wasp

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Woude, van der Emma; Smid, Hans M.

    2017-01-01

    Trichogramma evanescens parasitic wasps show large phenotypic plasticity in brain and body size, resulting in a 5-fold difference in brain volume among genetically identical sister wasps. Brain volume scales linearly with body volume in these wasps. This isometric brain scaling forms an exception to

  6. Parasitic worms: how many really?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Strona, Giovanni; Fattorini, Simone

    2014-04-01

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

  7. Emerging Functions of Transcription Factors in Malaria Parasite

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    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.

  8. A physical method to incorporate parasitic elements in a circuit simulator based on the partial inductance concept

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Evenblij, B.H.; Ferreira, J.A.

    2001-01-01

    In switching Power Electronics circuits inductive parasitics of wiring and components contribute substantially to the current and voltage waveforms. This article addresses the theoretical basis as well as the implementation and validation of the incorporation of these inductances in a computerised

  9. Genetic diversity of the Chinese liver fluke Clonorchis sinensis from Russia and Vietnam.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chelomina, Galina N; Tatonova, Yulia V; Hung, Nguyen Manh; Ngo, Ha Duy

    2014-10-01

    Clonorchiasis is a parasitic disease of high public health importance in many countries in southeastern Asia and is caused by the Chinese liver fluke Clonorchis sinensis. However, the genetic structure and demographic history of its populations has not been sufficiently studied throughout the geographic range of the species and available data are based mainly on partial gene sequencing. In this study, we explored the genetic diversity of the complete 1560 bp cytochrome c oxidase subunit 1 (cox1) gene sequence for geographically isolated C. sinensis populations in Russia and Vietnam, to our knowledge for the first time. The results demonstrated low nucleotide and high haplotype differentiation within and between the two compared regions and a clear geographical vector for the distribution of genetic diversity patterns among the studied populations. These results suggest a deep local adaptation of the parasite to its environment including intermediate hosts and the existence of gene flow across the species' range. Additionally, we have predicted an amino acid substitution in the functional site of the COX1 protein among the Vietnamese populations, which were reported to be difficult to treat with praziquantel. The haplotype networks consisted of several region-specific phylogenetic lineages, the formation of which could have occurred during the most extensive penultimate glaciations in the Pleistocene Epoch. The patterns of genetic diversity and demographics are consistent with population growth of the liver fluke in the late Pleistocene following the Last Glacial Maximum, indicating the lack of a population bottleneck during the recent past in the species' history. The data obtained have important implications for understanding the phylogeography of C. sinensis, its host-parasite interactions, the ability of this parasite to evolve drug resistance, and the epidemiology of clonorchiasis under global climate change. Copyright © 2014 Australian Society for

  10. Inventarisasi Cacing Parasitik pada Ikan Kembung di Perairan Teluk Banten dan Pelabuhan Ratu (THE HELMINTH PARASITES INVENTORY OF RASTRELLIGER SP. FROM BANTEN BAY AND PELABUHAN RATU BAY

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Forcep Rio Indaryanto

    2015-08-01

    Full Text Available The monitoring of health and disease in a fish is important as parasitism plays a central role in fishbiology. Parasitism is a ubiquitous phenomenon in the marine environment and it is probable that allmarine fishes are infected with parasites. The aims of the research were to inventory the helminth parasitesof Rastrelliger sp. from Banten Bay and Pelabuhan Ratu Bay. As many as 25–30 of fish samples werecollected using gill net and examined for helminth parasites. The helminth parasitic calculated intensityand prevalence. The helminth parasites of Rastrelliger sp. were found Lechitocladium angustiovum (digenea:Hemiuridae, Lecitochirium sp. (digenea: Hemiuridae, Prodistomum orientalis (digenea: Lepocreadiidaeand Anisakis typica (nematodes: Anisakidae, with 90.12% of prevalence. L. angustonum was dominancehelminth parasites found in fish. There was no difference on parasites found in R. kanagurta and R.brachysoma wich were of Restrellinger genus. The location not appear have no significant after on helminthparasitic infection as they have a same genetic stock. Anisakis species in Java sea have a same genetipewith Anisakis typical and was not zoonotic parasite categories.

  11. Parasite specialization in a unique habitat: hummingbirds as reservoirs of generalist blood parasites of Andean birds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moens, Michaël A J; Valkiūnas, Gediminas; Paca, Anahi; Bonaccorso, Elisa; Aguirre, Nikolay; Pérez-Tris, Javier

    2016-09-01

    Understanding how parasites fill their ecological niches requires information on the processes involved in the colonization and exploitation of unique host species. Switching to hosts with atypical attributes may favour generalists broadening their niches or may promote specialization and parasite diversification as the consequence. We analysed which blood parasites have successfully colonized hummingbirds, and how they have evolved to exploit such a unique habitat. We specifically asked (i) whether the assemblage of Haemoproteus parasites of hummingbirds is the result of single or multiple colonization events, (ii) to what extent these parasites are specialized in hummingbirds or shared with other birds and (iii) how hummingbirds contribute to sustain the populations of these parasites, in terms of both prevalence and infection intensity. We sampled 169 hummingbirds of 19 species along an elevation gradient in Southern Ecuador to analyse the host specificity, diversity and infection intensity of Haemoproteus by molecular and microscopy techniques. In addition, 736 birds of 112 species were analysed to explore whether hummingbird parasites are shared with other birds. Hummingbirds hosted a phylogenetically diverse assemblage of generalist Haemoproteus lineages shared with other host orders. Among these parasites, Haemoproteus witti stood out as the most generalized. Interestingly, we found that infection intensities of this parasite were extremely low in passerines (with no detectable gametocytes), but very high in hummingbirds, with many gametocytes seen. Moreover, infection intensities of H. witti were positively correlated with the prevalence across host species. Our results show that hummingbirds have been colonized by generalist Haemoproteus lineages on multiple occasions. However, one of these generalist parasites (H. witti) seems to be highly dependent on hummingbirds, which arise as the most relevant reservoirs in terms of both prevalence and

  12. Insect antimicrobial peptides act synergistically to inhibit a trypanosome parasite.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marxer, Monika; Vollenweider, Vera; Schmid-Hempel, Paul

    2016-05-26

    The innate immune system provides protection from infection by producing essential effector molecules, such as antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) that possess broad-spectrum activity. This is also the case for bumblebees, Bombus terrestris, when infected by the trypanosome, Crithidia bombi Furthermore, the expressed mixture of AMPs varies with host genetic background and infecting parasite strain (genotype). Here, we used the fact that clones of C. bombi can be cultivated and kept as strains in medium to test the effect of various combinations of AMPs on the growth rate of the parasite. In particular, we used pairwise combinations and a range of physiological concentrations of three AMPs, namely Abaecin, Defensin and Hymenoptaecin, synthetized from the respective genomic sequences. We found that these AMPs indeed suppress the growth of eight different strains of C. bombi, and that combinations of AMPs were typically more effective than the use of a single AMP alone. Furthermore, the most effective combinations were rarely those consisting of maximum concentrations. In addition, the AMP combination treatments revealed parasite strain specificity, such that strains varied in their sensitivity towards the same mixtures. Hence, variable expression of AMPs could be an alternative strategy to combat highly variable infections.This article is part of the themed issue 'Evolutionary ecology of arthropod antimicrobial peptides'. © 2016 The Author(s).

  13. Genetic Investigation of Tricarboxylic Acid Metabolism during the Plasmodium falciparum Life Cycle

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    Hangjun Ke

    2015-04-01

    Full Text Available New antimalarial drugs are urgently needed to control drug-resistant forms of the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum. Mitochondrial electron transport is the target of both existing and new antimalarials. Herein, we describe 11 genetic knockout (KO lines that delete six of the eight mitochondrial tricarboxylic acid (TCA cycle enzymes. Although all TCA KOs grew normally in asexual blood stages, these metabolic deficiencies halted life-cycle progression in later stages. Specifically, aconitase KO parasites arrested as late gametocytes, whereas α-ketoglutarate-dehydrogenase-deficient parasites failed to develop oocysts in the mosquitoes. Mass spectrometry analysis of 13C-isotope-labeled TCA mutant parasites showed that P. falciparum has significant flexibility in TCA metabolism. This flexibility manifested itself through changes in pathway fluxes and through altered exchange of substrates between cytosolic and mitochondrial pools. Our findings suggest that mitochondrial metabolic plasticity is essential for parasite development.

  14. Immunity to parasitic infection

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Lamb, Tracey J

    2012-01-01

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

  15. Immunity to parasitic infection

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Lamb, Tracey J

    2012-01-01

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

  16. The key elements for genetic response in Finnish dairy cattle breeding

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jarmo Juga

    1998-01-01

    Full Text Available This paper reviews some key elements of Finnish animal breeding research contributing to the Finnish dairy cattle breeding programme and discusses the possibilities and problems in collecting data for genetic evaluation, prediction of breeding values both within and across countries, estimation of the economic value of important traits, and selection of bulls and cows. Economic values are calculated for fertility, udder health and production traits when one genetic standard deviation unit (gen. sd. is changed in each trait independently and the financial returns from selection response in the Finnish dairy cattle breeding programme are estimated. The following components were used to calculate the economic value of mastitis treatments: 1 cost of mastitis including discarded milk and treatment costs, 2 reduction in milk price due to higher somatic cell count, 3 replacement costs and 4 lower production level of the herd due to involuntary culling of cows because of udder problems. A high somatic cell count lowers the price of milk and eventually leads to involuntary culling. For treatments for fertility disorders the following costs were included: 1 treatment costs 2 higher replacement costs and 3 decreased milk production in the herd. Days open included the following costs: 1 extra insemination, 2 reduced annual milk yield and 3 fewer calves born. Animal breeding was found to be a very cost effective investment, yielding returns of FIM 876.9 per cow from one round of selection when the gene flow was followed for over 25 years in the Finnish dairy cattle breeding programme.

  17. 9 CFR 381.88 - Parasites.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

    Toxoplasma gondii is a widespread protozoan parasite infecting nearly all warm-blooded organisms. Asexual reproduction of the parasite within its host cells is achieved by consecutive lytic cycles, which necessitates biogenesis of significant energy and biomass. Here we show that glucose and glutamine are the two major physiologically important nutrients used for the synthesis of macromolecules (ATP, nucleic acid, proteins, and lipids) in T. gondii, and either of them is sufficient to ensure the parasite survival. The parasite can counteract genetic ablation of its glucose transporter by increasing the flux of glutamine-derived carbon through the tricarboxylic acid cycle and by concurrently activating gluconeogenesis, which guarantee a continued biogenesis of ATP and biomass for host-cell invasion and parasite replication, respectively. In accord, a pharmacological inhibition of glutaminolysis or oxidative phosphorylation arrests the lytic cycle of the glycolysis-deficient mutant, which is primarily a consequence of impaired invasion due to depletion of ATP. Unexpectedly, however, intracellular parasites continue to proliferate, albeit slower, notwithstanding a simultaneous deprivation of glucose and glutamine. A growth defect in the glycolysis-impaired mutant is caused by a compromised synthesis of lipids, which cannot be counterbalanced by glutamine but can be restored by acetate. Consistently, supplementation of parasite cultures with exogenous acetate can amend the lytic cycle of the glucose transport mutant. Such plasticity in the parasite's carbon flux enables a growth-and-survival trade-off in assorted nutrient milieus, which may underlie the promiscuous survival of T. gondii tachyzoites in diverse host cells. Our results also indicate a convergence of parasite metabolism with cancer cells. © 2016 by The American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Inc.

  19. Genetic-based investigation of three prevalent waterborne protozoa ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    SARAH

    2014-05-31

    May 31, 2014 ... 2014. Genetic –based investigations of three prevalent waterborne protozoa parasites in drinking water sources in Daloa, Cote d'Ivoire. 6536 step method, used for the detection of species belonging to Enterococcus genus. These membrane filtration (MF) based techniques do not require any additional.

  20. ED-XRF spectrometry-based trace element composition of genetically engineered rhizoclones vis-a-vis natural roots of a multi-medicinal plant, butterfly pea (Clitoria ternatea L.)

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Swain, S.S.; Chand, P.K.

    2012-01-01

    The energy dispersive X-ray fluorescence set-up incorporating a molybdenum secondary exciter was used for quantitative determination of major and minor elements in genetically transformed root somaclones (rhizoclones) of butterfly pea (Clitoria ternatea L.) which had been established via explant co-cultivation with Agrobacterium rhizogenes. The multi-elemental composition of these transformed rhizoclones was compared with that of the naturally grown in vivo donor plant. Trace elements namely Cr, Mn, Fe, Co, Ni, Cu, Zn, Se, Rb, Sr and Pb in addition to two macro-elements K and Ca were identified and quantified in root tissues of both sources. The elemental content of transformed root cultures was found to be at par with that of the natural roots of in vivo grown plants of the same species. These findings are implicated on the context of utilization of such Agrobacterium-mediated genetically transformed root cultures as a viable alternative to natural roots, the former being a fast-proliferating renewable resource of medicinally useful minerals essential for designing of effective drugs, besides providing an ex situ means for plant conservation. (author)

  1. Parasitic infections of the external eye.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pahuja, Shivani; Puranik, Charuta; Jelliti, Bechir; Khairallah, Moncef; Sangwan, Virender S

    2013-08-01

    To review the published literature on parasitic infections of external eye. Published articles and case reports on parasitic infections of external eye were reviewed and relevant information was collected. Parasitic infections of the eye are rare. However, being more commonly seen in developing nations, they require active measures for screening, diagnosis, and therapy. Parasites of importance causing external ocular disease are protozoan parasites, such as Leishmania; metazoans, such as nematodes (roundworms), cestodes (tapeworms), and trematodes (flatworms); or ectoparasites, such as Phthirus pubis and Demodex.

  2. The bigger, the better? Volume measurements of parasites and hosts: Parasitic barnacles (Cirripedia, Rhizocephala and their decapod hosts.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christina Nagler

    Full Text Available Rhizocephala, a group of parasitic castrators of other crustaceans, shows remarkable morphological adaptations to their lifestyle. The adult female parasite consists of a body that can be differentiated into two distinct regions: a sac-like structure containing the reproductive organs (the externa, and a trophic, root like system situated inside the hosts body (the interna. Parasitism results in the castration of their hosts, achieved by absorbing the entire reproductive energy of the host. Thus, the ratio of the host and parasite sizes is crucial for the understanding of the parasite's energetic cost. Using advanced imaging methods (micro-CT in conjunction with 3D modeling, we measured the volume of parasitic structures (externa, interna, egg mass, egg number, visceral mass and the volume of the entire host. Our results show positive correlations between the volume of (1 entire rhizocephalan (externa + interna and host body, (2 rhizocephalan externa and host body, (3 rhizocephalan visceral mass and rhizocephalan body, (4 egg mass and rhizocephalan externa, (5 rhizocephalan egg mass and their egg number. Comparing the rhizocephalan Sylon hippolytes, a parasite of caridean shrimps, and representatives of Peltogaster, parasites of hermit crabs, we could match their different traits on a reconstructed relationship. With this study we add new and significant information to our global understanding of the evolution of parasitic castrators, of interactions between a parasitic castrator and its host and of different parasitic strategies within parasitic castrators exemplified by rhizocephalans.

  3. Growth strategies of passerine birds are related to brood parasitism by the brown-headed cowbird (Molothrus ater).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Remes, Vladimír

    2006-08-01

    Sibling competition was proposed as an important selective agent in the evolution of growth and development. Brood parasitism by the brown-headed cowbird (Molothrus ater) intensifies sibling competition in the nests of its hosts by increasing host chick mortality and exposing them to a genetically unrelated nestmate. Intranest sibling competition for resources supplied by parents is size dependent. Thus, it should select for high development rates and short nestling periods, which would alleviate negative impacts of brood parasitic chicks on host young. I tested these predictions on 134 North American passerines by comparative analyses. After controlling for covariates and phylogeny, I showed that high parasitism rate was associated with higher nestling growth rate, lower mass at fledging, and shorter nestling periods. These effects were most pronounced in species in which sibling competition is most intense (i.e., weighing over about 30 g). When species were categorized as nonhosts versus old hosts (parasitized for thousands of years) versus new hosts (parasitized the last 100-200 years), there was a clear effect of this parasitism category on growth strategies. Nestling growth rate was the most evolutionarily flexible trait, followed by mass at fledging and nestling period duration. Adjustments during incubation (incubation period length, egg volume) were less pronounced and generally disappeared after controlling for phylogeny. I show that sibling competition caused by brood parasites can have strong effects on the evolution of host growth strategies and that the evolution of developmental traits can take place very rapidly. Human alteration of habitats causing spread of brood parasites to new areas thus cascades into affecting the evolution of life-history traits in host species.

  4. The role of moulting in parasite defence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Duneau, David; Ebert, Dieter

    2012-08-07

    Parasitic infections consist of a succession of steps during which hosts and parasites interact in specific manners. At each step, hosts can use diverse defence mechanisms to counteract the parasite's attempts to invade and exploit them. Of these steps, the penetration of parasites into the host is a key step for a successful infection and the epithelium is the first line of host defence. The shedding of this protective layer (moulting) is a crucial feature in the life cycle of several invertebrate and vertebrate taxa, and is generally considered to make hosts vulnerable to parasites and predators. Here, we used the crustacean Daphnia magna to test whether moulting influences the likelihood of infection by the castrating bacterium Pasteuria ramosa. This parasite is known to attach to the host cuticula before penetrating into its body. We found that the likelihood of successful parasite infection is greatly reduced if the host moults within 12 h after parasite exposure. Thus, moulting is beneficial for the host being exposed to this parasite. We further show that exposure to the parasite does not induce hosts to moult earlier. We discuss the implications of our findings for host and parasite evolution and epidemiology.

  5. RNA trafficking in parasitic plant systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    LeBlanc, Megan; Kim, Gunjune; Westwood, James H.

    2012-01-01

    RNA trafficking in plants contributes to local and long-distance coordination of plant development and response to the environment. However, investigations of mobile RNA identity and function are hindered by the inherent difficulty of tracing a given molecule of RNA from its cell of origin to its destination. Several methods have been used to address this problem, but all are limited to some extent by constraints associated with accurately sampling phloem sap or detecting trafficked RNA. Certain parasitic plant species form symplastic connections to their hosts and thereby provide an additional system for studying RNA trafficking. The haustorial connections of Cuscuta and Phelipanche species are similar to graft junctions in that they are able to transmit mRNAs, viral RNAs, siRNAs, and proteins from the host plants to the parasite. In contrast to other graft systems, these parasites form connections with host species that span a wide phylogenetic range, such that a high degree of nucleotide sequence divergence may exist between host and parasites and allow confident identification of most host RNAs in the parasite system. The ability to identify host RNAs in parasites, and vice versa, will facilitate genomics approaches to understanding RNA trafficking. This review discusses the nature of host–parasite connections and the potential significance of host RNAs for the parasite. Additional research on host–parasite interactions is needed to interpret results of RNA trafficking studies, but parasitic plants may provide a fascinating new perspective on RNA trafficking. PMID:22936942

  6. RNA trafficking in parasitic plant systems

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Megan L LeBlanc

    2012-08-01

    Full Text Available RNA trafficking in plants contributes to local and long-distance coordination of plant development and response to the environment. However, investigations of mobile RNA identity and function are hindered by the inherent difficulty of tracing a given molecule of RNA from its cell of origin to its destination. Several methods have been used to address this problem, but all are limited to some extent by constraints associated with accurately sampling phloem sap or detecting trafficked RNA. Certain parasitic plant species form symplastic connections to their hosts and thereby provide an additional system for studying RNA trafficking. The haustorial connections of Cuscuta and Phelipanche species are similar to graft junctions in that they are able to transmit mRNAs, viral RNAs, siRNAs and proteins from the host plants to the parasite. In contrast to other graft systems, these parasites form connections with host species that span a wide phylogenetic range, such that a high degree of nucleotide sequence divergence may exist between host and parasites and allow confident identification of most host RNAs in the parasite system. The ability to identify host RNAs in parasites, and vice versa, will facilitate genomics approaches to understanding RNA trafficking. This review discusses the nature of host parasite connections and the potential significance of host RNAs for the parasite. Additional research on host-parasite interactions is needed to interpret results of RNA trafficking studies, but parasitic plants may provide a fascinating new perspective on RNA trafficking.

  7. Maternal androgens in avian brood parasites and their hosts: responses to parasitism and competition?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hahn, Caldwell; Wingfield, John C.; Fox, David M.; Walker, Brian G.; Thomley, Jill E

    2017-01-01

    In the coevolutionary dynamic of avian brood parasites and their hosts, maternal (or transgenerational) effects have rarely been investigated. We examined the potential role of elevated yolk testosterone in eggs of the principal brood parasite in North America, the brown-headed cowbird, and three of its frequent host species. Elevated maternal androgens in eggs are a common maternal effect observed in many avian species when breeding conditions are unfavorable. These steroids accelerate embryo development, shorten incubation period, increase nestling growth rate, and enhance begging vigor, all traits that can increase the survival of offspring. We hypothesized that elevated maternal androgens in host eggs are a defense against brood parasitism. Our second hypothesis was that elevated maternal androgens in cowbird eggs are a defense against intra-specific competition. For host species, we found that elevated yolk testosterone was correlated with parasitized nests of small species, those whose nest success is most reduced by cowbird parasitism. For cowbirds, we found that elevated yolk testosterone was correlated with eggs in multiply-parasitized nests, which indicate intra-specific competition for nests due to high cowbird density. We propose experimental work to further examine the use of maternal effects by cowbirds and their hosts.

  8. Women and Parasitic Diseases

    Science.gov (United States)

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

  9. Striga parasitizes transgenic hairy roots of Zea mays and provides a tool for studying plant-plant interactions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Runo Steven

    2012-06-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Striga species are noxious root hemi-parasitic weeds that debilitate cereal production in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA. Control options for Striga are limited and developing Striga resistant crop germplasm is regarded as the best and most sustainable control measure. Efforts to improve germplasm for Striga resistance by a non-Genetic Modification (GM approach, for example by exploiting natural resistance, or by a GM approach are constrained by limited information on the biological processes underpinning host-parasite associations. Additionaly, a GM approach is stymied by lack of availability of candidate resistance genes for introduction into hosts and robust transformation methods to validate gene functions. Indeed, a majority of Striga hosts, the world’s most cultivated cereals, are recalcitrant to genetic transformation. In maize, the existing protocols for transformation and regeneration are tedious, lengthy, and highly genotype-specific with low efficiency of transformation. Results We used Agrobacterium rhizogenes strain K599 carrying a reporter gene construct, Green Fluorescent Protein (GFP, to generate transgenic composite maize plants that were challenged with the parasitic plant Striga hermonthica. Eighty five percent of maize plants produced transgenic hairy roots expressing GFP. Consistent with most hairy roots produced in other species, transformed maize roots exhibited a hairy root phenotype, the hallmark of A. rhizogenes mediated transformation. Transgenic hairy roots resulting from A. rhizogenes transformation were readily infected by S. hermonthica. There were no significant differences in the number and size of S. hermonthica individuals recovered from either transgenic or wild type roots. Conclusions This rapid, high throughput, transformation technique will advance our understanding of gene function in parasitic plant-host interactions.

  10. Functional characterization of an alkaline exonuclease and single strand annealing protein from the SXT genetic element of Vibrio cholerae

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Huang Jian-dong

    2011-04-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background SXT is an integrating conjugative element (ICE originally isolated from Vibrio cholerae, the bacterial pathogen that causes cholera. It houses multiple antibiotic and heavy metal resistance genes on its ca. 100 kb circular double stranded DNA (dsDNA genome, and functions as an effective vehicle for the horizontal transfer of resistance genes within susceptible bacterial populations. Here, we characterize the activities of an alkaline exonuclease (S066, SXT-Exo and single strand annealing protein (S065, SXT-Bet encoded on the SXT genetic element, which share significant sequence homology with Exo and Bet from bacteriophage lambda, respectively. Results SXT-Exo has the ability to degrade both linear dsDNA and single stranded DNA (ssDNA molecules, but has no detectable endonuclease or nicking activities. Adopting a stable trimeric arrangement in solution, the exonuclease activities of SXT-Exo are optimal at pH 8.2 and essentially require Mn2+ or Mg2+ ions. Similar to lambda-Exo, SXT-Exo hydrolyzes dsDNA with 5'- to 3'-polarity in a highly processive manner, and digests DNA substrates with 5'-phosphorylated termini significantly more effectively than those lacking 5'-phosphate groups. Notably, the dsDNA exonuclease activities of both SXT-Exo and lambda-Exo are stimulated by the addition of lambda-Bet, SXT-Bet or a single strand DNA binding protein encoded on the SXT genetic element (S064, SXT-Ssb. When co-expressed in E. coli cells, SXT-Bet and SXT-Exo mediate homologous recombination between a PCR-generated dsDNA fragment and the chromosome, analogous to RecET and lambda-Bet/Exo. Conclusions The activities of the SXT-Exo protein are consistent with it having the ability to resect the ends of linearized dsDNA molecules, forming partially ssDNA substrates for the partnering SXT-Bet single strand annealing protein. As such, SXT-Exo and SXT-Bet may function together to repair or process SXT genetic elements within infected V

  11. cAMP response element binding protein (CREB activates transcription via two distinct genetic elements of the human glucose-6-phosphatase gene

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stefano Luisa

    2005-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The enzyme glucose-6-phosphatase catalyzes the dephosphorylation of glucose-6-phosphatase to glucose, the final step in the gluconeogenic and glycogenolytic pathways. Expression of the glucose-6-phosphatase gene is induced by glucocorticoids and elevated levels of intracellular cAMP. The effect of cAMP in regulating glucose-6-phosphatase gene transcription was corroborated by the identification of two genetic motifs CRE1 and CRE2 in the human and murine glucose-6-phosphatase gene promoter that resemble cAMP response elements (CRE. Results The cAMP response element is a point of convergence for many extracellular and intracellular signals, including cAMP, calcium, and neurotrophins. The major CRE binding protein CREB, a member of the basic region leucine zipper (bZIP family of transcription factors, requires phosphorylation to become a biologically active transcriptional activator. Since unphosphorylated CREB is transcriptionally silent simple overexpression studies cannot be performed to test the biological role of CRE-like sequences of the glucose-6-phosphatase gene. The use of a constitutively active CREB2/CREB fusion protein allowed us to uncouple the investigation of target genes of CREB from the variety of signaling pathways that lead to an activation of CREB. Here, we show that this constitutively active CREB2/CREB fusion protein strikingly enhanced reporter gene transcription mediated by either CRE1 or CRE2 derived from the glucose-6-phosphatase gene. Likewise, reporter gene transcription was enhanced following expression of the catalytic subunit of cAMP-dependent protein kinase (PKA in the nucleus of transfected cells. In contrast, activating transcription factor 2 (ATF2, known to compete with CREB for binding to the canonical CRE sequence 5'-TGACGTCA-3', did not transactivate reporter genes containing CRE1, CRE2, or both CREs derived from the glucose-6-phosphatase gene. Conclusions Using a constitutively active CREB2

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-08-09

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rodrigo Lombraña

    2016-08-01

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

  14. Evidence for genetic differentiation at the microgeographic scale in Phlebotomus papatasi populations from Sudan

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Khalid Noteila M

    2012-11-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Cutaneous Leishmaniasis (CL is endemic in Sudan. It is caused by Leishmania major parasites and transmitted by Phlebotomus papatasi sandflies. Recently, uncommon clinical manifestations of CL have been reported. Moreover, L. donovani parasites that cause Visceral Leishmaniasis (VL have been isolated from CL lesions of some patients who contracted the disease in Khartoum State, Central Sudan with no history of travelling to VL endemic sites on south-eastern Sudan. Because different clinical manifestations and the parasite behaviour could be related to genetic differentiation, or even sub-structuring within sandfly vector populations, a population genetic study was conducted on P. papatasi populations collected from different localities in Khartoum State known for their uncommon CL cases and characterized by contrasting environmental conditions. Methods A set of seven microsatellite loci was used to investigate the population structure of P. papatasi samples collected from different localities in Khartoum State, Central Sudan. Populations from Kassala State, Eastern Sudan and Egypt were also included in the analyses as outgroups. The level of genetic diversity and genetic differentiation among natural populations of P. papatasi was determined using FST statistics and Bayesian assignments. Results Genetic analyses revealed significant genetic differentiation (FST between the Sudanese and the Egyptian populations.