WorldWideScience

Sample records for social parasites microdon

  1. Host recognition by the specialist hoverfly Microdon mutabilis, a social parasite of the ant Formica lemani.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schönrogge, Karsten; Napper, Emma K V; Birkett, Michael A; Woodcock, Christine M; Pickett, John A; Wadhams, Lester J; Thomas, Jeremy A

    2008-02-01

    The larva of the hoverfly Microdon mutabilis is a specialist social parasite of the ant Formica lemani that is adapted to local groups of F. lemani colonies but mal-adapted to colonies of the same species situated only a few hundred meters away. At a study site in Ireland, F. lemani shares its habitat with four other ant species. All nest under stones, making the oviposition choice by M. mutabilis females crucial to offspring survival. In this study, we tested the hypothesis that, as an extreme specialist, M. mutabilis should respond to cues derived from its host rather than from its microenvironment, a phenomenon that has hitherto only been addressed in the context of herbivorous insects and their parasitoids. In behavioral assays, M. mutabilis females reacted to volatiles from F. lemani colonies by extending their ovipositors, presumably probing for an oviposition substrate. This behavior was not observed toward negative controls or volatiles from colonies of Myrmica scabrinodis, the host ant of the closely related Microdon myrmicae. Coupled gas chromatography-electroantennography (GC-EAG) that used antennal preparations of M. mutabilis located a single physiologically active compound within an extract of heads of F. lemani workers. Coupled GC-mass spectrometry (GC-MS) tentatively identified the compound as a methylated methylsalicylate. GC co-injection of the extract with authentic samples showed that of the four possible isomers (methyl 3-, 4-, 5-, and 6-methylsalicylate), only methyl 6-methylsalicylate co-eluted with the EAG-active peak. Furthermore, the response to methyl 6-methylsalicylate was four times higher than to those of the other isomers. Coupled GC-EAG and GC-MS also revealed physiological responses to two constituents, 3-octanone and 3-octanol, of the M. scabrinodis alarm pheromone. However, the behavioral trials did not reveal any behavior that could be attributed to these compounds. Results are discussed in the context of four phases of host

  2. Distribution, host specificity, and the potential for cryptic speciation in hoverfly Microdon myrmicae (Diptera: Syrphidae), a social parasite of Myrmica ants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bonelli, Simona; Witek, Magdalena; Canterino, Sara

    2011-01-01

    , however, the possibility that this reflects the presence of two separate Microdon species, each connected to one species of Myrmica. 3. Forty populations of Microdon myrmicae and 37 populations of Microdon mutabilis are currently known in Europe. All the populations in central and southern Europe...... Myrmica species were identified to the host Microdon myrmicae: Myrmica gallienii (eight populations), Myrmica rubra (four), Myrmica vandeli (one), and Myrmica sabuleti (one). Microdon myrmicae occurs in waterlogged grassland habitats, mainly of the ‘Molinietum’ type, resulting in a patchy distribution...

  3. 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

  4. The role of social cognition in parasite and pathogen avoidance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kavaliers, Martin; Choleris, Elena

    2018-07-19

    The acquisition and use of social information are integral to social behaviour and parasite/pathogen avoidance. This involves social cognition which encompasses mechanisms for acquiring, processing, retaining and acting on social information. Social cognition entails the acquisition of social information about others (i.e. social recognition) and from others (i.e. social learning). Social cognition involves assessing other individuals and their infection status and the pathogen and parasite threat they pose and deciding about when and how to interact with them. Social cognition provides a framework for examining pathogen and parasite avoidance behaviours and their associated neurobiological mechanisms. Here, we briefly consider the relationships between social cognition and olfactory-mediated pathogen and parasite avoidance behaviours. We briefly discuss aspects of (i) social recognition of actual and potentially infected individuals and the impact of parasite/pathogen threat on mate and social partner choice; (ii) the roles of 'out-groups' (strangers, unfamiliar individuals) and 'in-groups' (familiar individuals) in the expression of parasite/pathogen avoidance behaviours; (iii) individual and social learning, i.e. the utilization of the pathogen recognition and avoidance responses of others; and (iv) the neurobiological mechanisms, in particular the roles of the nonapeptide, oxytocin and steroid hormones (oestrogens) associated with social cognition and parasite/pathogen avoidance.This article is part of the Theo Murphy meeting issue 'Evolution of pathogen and parasite avoidance behaviours'. © 2018 The Author(s).

  5. Exploitation Strategies in Social Parasites of Fungus Growing Ants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Clement, Janni Dolby

    One of the most remarkable and complex parasitic interactions is social parasitism, where a parasite exploits a complete society, rather than an individual organism. By integrating into a society the parasite gains protection against predators and diseases, and can redirect resources from the host...... to increase its own fitness. The host will use a sophisticated recognition system in order to accept nestmates and expel intruders from their societies. However this defence barrier can be overcome by parasites. Among the most specialized social parasites are the inquilines that exploit social insect colonies...... to this are Acromyrmex insinuator and Acromyrmex ameliae, parasites of fungus-growing ants. By still producing a worker caste both species offers a rare opportunity to study adaptive features in parasite worker behaviour. Furthermore can closely related inquiline-host combinations give us an insight in the trade...

  6. Host social behavior and parasitic infection: A multifactorial approach

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ezenwa, V.O.

    2004-01-01

    I examined associations between several components of host social organization, including group size and gregariousness, group stability, territoriality and social class, and gastrointestinal parasite load in African bovids. At an intraspecific level, group size was positively correlated with parasite prevalence, but only when the parasite was relatively host specific and only among host species living in stable groups. Social class was also an important predictor of infection rates. Among gazelles, territorial males had higher parasite intensities than did either bachelor males or females and juveniles, suggesting that highly territorial individuals may be either more exposed or more susceptible to parasites. Associations among territoriality, grouping, and parasitism were also found across taxa. Territorial host genera were more likely to be infected with strongyle nematodes than were nonterritorial hosts, and gregarious hosts were more infected than were solitary hosts. Analyses also revealed that gregariousness and territoriality had an interactive effect on individual parasite richness, whereby hosts with both traits harbored significantly more parasite groups than did hosts with only one or neither trait. Overall, study results indicate that multiple features of host social behavior influence infection risk and suggest that synergism between traits also has important effects on host parasite load.

  7. Social Hackers: Integration in the Host Chemical Recognition System by a Paper Wasp Social Parasite

    Science.gov (United States)

    Turillazzi, S.; Sledge, M. F.; Dani, F. R.; Cervo, R.; Massolo, A.; Fondelli, L.

    Obligate social parasites in the social insects have lost the worker caste and the ability to establish nests. As a result, parasites must usurp a host nest, overcome the host recognition system, and depend on the host workers to rear their offspring. We analysed cuticular hydrocarbon profiles of live parasite females of the paper wasp social parasite Polistes sulcifer before and after usurpation of host nests, using the non-destructive technique of solid-phase micro-extraction. Our results reveal that hydrocarbon profiles of parasites change after usurpation of host nests to match the cuticular profile of the host species. Chemical evidence further shows that the parasite queen changes the odour of the nest by the addition of a parasite-specific hydrocarbon. We discuss the possible role of this in the recognition and acceptance of the parasite and its offspring in the host colony.

  8. Host exploitation strategies of the social parasite Maculinea alcon

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Fürst, Matthias Alois

    as model systems. These enable the study of adaptations and counter-adaptations that might evolve in the arms-race between a parasite pursuing maximum gain and a host trying to avoid exploitation. One such system is the socially parasitic butterfly Maculinea alcon and its host the ant Myrmica rubra....... Throughout the first instars M. alcon lives on a specific food plant, however, in the last instar before pupation it develops into an obligate social parasite, posing a considerably cost to its host ant colony. I here focus on the different exploitation strategies of M. alcon throughout its lifecycle...... a fitness cost to infected host ant colonies, the host ants are expected to have developed defense mechanisms in response to the presence of the social parasite. I was able to demonstrate that the efficiency of ant colonies to defend themselves against intruders depends on a multitude of often correlated...

  9. Born in an alien nest: how do social parasite male offspring escape from host aggression?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Patrick Lhomme

    Full Text Available Social parasites exploit the colony resources of social insects. Some of them exploit the host colony as a food resource or as a shelter whereas other species also exploit the brood care behavior of their social host. Some of these species have even lost the worker caste and rely completely on the host's worker force to rear their offspring. To avoid host defenses and bypass their recognition code, these social parasites have developed several sophisticated chemical infiltration strategies. These infiltration strategies have been highly studied in several hymenopterans. Once a social parasite has successfully entered a host nest and integrated its social system, its emerging offspring still face the same challenge of avoiding host recognition. However, the strategy used by the offspring to survive within the host nest without being killed is still poorly documented. In cuckoo bumblebees, the parasite males completely lack the morphological and chemical adaptations to social parasitism that the females possess. Moreover, young parasite males exhibit an early production of species-specific cephalic secretions, used as sexual pheromones. Host workers might thus be able to recognize them. Here we used a bumblebee host-social parasite system to test the hypothesis that social parasite male offspring exhibit a chemical defense strategy to escape from host aggression during their intranidal life. Using behavioral assays, we showed that extracts from the heads of young cuckoo bumblebee males contain a repellent odor that prevents parasite males from being attacked by host workers. We also show that social parasitism reduces host worker aggressiveness and helps parasite offspring acceptance.

  10. Social learning of a brood parasite by its host

    Science.gov (United States)

    Feeney, William E.; Langmore, Naomi E.

    2013-01-01

    Arms races between brood parasites and their hosts provide model systems for studying the evolutionary repercussions of species interactions. However, how naive hosts identify brood parasites as enemies remains poorly understood, despite its ecological and evolutionary significance. Here, we investigate whether young, cuckoo-naive superb fairy-wrens, Malurus cyaneus, can learn to recognize cuckoos as a threat through social transmission of information. Naive individuals were initially unresponsive to a cuckoo specimen, but after observing conspecifics mob a cuckoo, they made more whining and mobbing alarm calls, and spent more time physically mobbing the cuckoo. This is the first direct evidence that naive hosts can learn to identify brood parasites as enemies via social learning. PMID:23760171

  11. Differential Sharing of Chemical Cues by Social Parasites Versus Social Mutualists in a Three-Species Symbiosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Emery, Virginia J; Tsutsui, Neil D

    2016-04-01

    Chemical recognition systems are crucial for maintaining the unity of social insect colonies. It has been proposed that colonies form a common chemical signature, called the gestalt odor, which is used to distinguish colony members and non-members. This chemical integration is achieved actively through social interactions such as trophallaxis and allogrooming, or passively such as through exposure to common nest material. When colonies are infiltrated by social parasites, the intruders often use some form of chemical mimicry. However, it is not always clear how this chemical mimicry is accomplished. Here, we used a three-species nesting symbiosis to test the differences in chemical integration of mutualistic (parabiotic) and parasitic ant species. We found that the parasite (Solenopsis picea) obtains chemical cues from both of the two parabiotic host ant species. However, the two parabiotic species (Crematogaster levior and Camponotus femoratus) maintain species-specific cues, and do not acquire compounds from the other species. Our findings suggest that there is a fundamental difference in how social mutualists and social parasites use chemicals to integrate themselves into colonies.

  12. What can social parasites tell us about cooperation and conflict in insect societies?

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nash, David Richard

    strategies to exploit social insect colonies. Both types of social parasitism can provide useful insights into cooperation and conflict within insect societies. Closely related social parasites are essentially the outcome of the breakdown of cooperation and the realisation of conflict, and the unique...... to examine how cooperation can be exploited independent of these traits. In this presentation I will examine both types of social parasitism in detail, and provide some examples of the insights they can bring to the study of cooperation and conflict....

  13. Collective defence portfolios of ant hosts shift with social parasite pressure.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jongepier, Evelien; Kleeberg, Isabelle; Job, Sylwester; Foitzik, Susanne

    2014-09-22

    Host defences become increasingly costly as parasites breach successive lines of defence. Because selection favours hosts that successfully resist parasitism at the lowest possible cost, escalating coevolutionary arms races are likely to drive host defence portfolios towards ever more expensive strategies. We investigated the interplay between host defence portfolios and social parasite pressure by comparing 17 populations of two Temnothorax ant species. When successful, collective aggression not only prevents parasitation but also spares host colonies the cost of searching for and moving to a new nest site. However, once parasites breach the host's nest defence, host colonies should resort to flight as the more beneficial resistance strategy. We show that under low parasite pressure, host colonies more likely responded to an intruding Protomognathus americanus slavemaker with collective aggression, which prevented the slavemaker from escaping and potentially recruiting nest-mates. However, as parasite pressure increased, ant colonies of both host species became more likely to flee rather than to fight. We conclude that host defence portfolios shift consistently with social parasite pressure, which is in accordance with the degeneration of frontline defences and the evolution of subsequent anti-parasite strategies often invoked in hosts of brood parasites. © 2014 The Author(s) Published by the Royal Society. All rights reserved.

  14. Host social rank and parasites: plains zebra (Equus quagga) and intestinal helminths in Uganda.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fugazzola, M C; Stancampiano, L

    2012-08-13

    The main aim of this study was to evaluate the relationship between the social hierarchy of plain zebra, Equus quagga, and the level of parasitism. For the study 141 fecal samples from the same number of animals were collected within the two major populations of E. quagga of Uganda (Lake Mburo Conservation Area and Kidepo Valley National Park). Quantitative (eggs per gram of feces) and qualitative parasite assessment were performed with standard methods. The relationship between parasite burden and individual host features was analyzed using Generalized Linear Models. Strongyles, cestodes, Strongyloides sp. and oxiurids where present in the examined samples. Social rank and age class significantly affect all parasites' abundance with dominant individuals being less parasitized than subordinate individuals, regardless of the parasite groups excluding oxiurids. Sex could not been shown to be related with any of the found parasites. Age was positively related with strongyles and oxiurids abundance and negatively related with cestodes and Strongyloides sp. The main result of the present study was the evidence that social status influences parasite level with dominant zebras shedding less parasite eggs than subordinate ones. Social rank appears, therefore, as an important factor giving rise to parasite aggregation in plain zebras. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  15. Socially-parasitic Myrmica species (Hymenoptera, Formicidae) of Himalaya, with the description of a new species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bharti, Himender; Radchenko, Alexander; Sasi, Sishal

    2016-01-01

    A new socially-parasitic species, Myrmica latra sp. n. is described based on a queen and male from Indian Himalaya. Its queen differs from other species by the distinctly narrower petiole and postpetiole, blunt and non-divergent propodeal spines, and a darker body colour. The taxonomic position of the three known Himalayan socially-parasitic Myrmica species is discussed, and Myrmica ereptrix Bolton 1988 is transferred to the smythiesii species-group. It is supposed that Myrmica nefaria Bharti 2012 is a temporary social parasite, but Myrmica ereptrix and Myrmica latra sp. n. are permanent social parasites, and a key for their identification is provided.

  16. Host social organization and mating system shape parasite transmission opportunities in three European bat species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    van Schaik, J; Kerth, G

    2017-02-01

    For non-mobile parasites living on social hosts, infection dynamics are strongly influenced by host life history and social system. We explore the impact of host social systems on parasite population dynamics by comparing the infection intensity and transmission opportunities of three mite species of the genus Spinturnix across their three European bat hosts (Myotis daubentonii, Myotis myotis, Myotis nattereri) during the bats' autumn mating season. Mites mainly reproduce in host maternity colonies in summer, but as these colonies are closed, opportunities for inter-colony transmission are limited to host interactions during the autumn mating season. The three investigated hosts differ considerably in their social system, most notably in maternity colony size, mating system, and degree of male summer aggregation. We observed marked differences in parasite infection during the autumn mating period between the species, closely mirroring the predictions made based on the social systems of the hosts. Increased host aggregation sizes in summer yielded higher overall parasite prevalence and intensity, both in male and female hosts. Moreover, parasite levels in male hosts differentially increased throughout the autumn mating season in concordance with the degree of contact with female hosts afforded by the different mating systems of the hosts. Critically, the observed host-specific differences have important consequences for parasite population structure and will thus affect the coevolutionary dynamics between the interacting species. Therefore, in order to accurately characterize host-parasite dynamics in hosts with complex social systems, a holistic approach that investigates parasite infection and transmission across all periods is warranted.

  17. 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...

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  1. The transcriptomic changes associated with the development of social parasitism in the honeybee Apis mellifera capensis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aumer, Denise; Mumoki, Fiona N.; Pirk, Christian W. W.; Moritz, Robin F. A.

    2018-04-01

    Social insects are characterized by the division of labor. Queens usually dominate reproduction, whereas workers fulfill non-reproductive age-dependent tasks to maintain the colony. Although workers are typically sterile, they can activate their ovaries to produce their own offspring. In the extreme, worker reproduction can turn into social parasitism as in Apis mellifera capensis. These intraspecific parasites occupy a host colony, kill the resident queen, and take over the reproductive monopoly. Because they exhibit a queenlike behavior and are also treated like queens by the fellow workers, they are so-called pseudoqueens. Here, we compare the development of parasitic pseudoqueens and social workers at different time points using fat body transcriptome data. Two complementary analysis methods—a principal component analysis and a time course analysis—led to the identification of a core set of genes involved in the transition from a social worker into a highly fecund parasitic pseudoqueen. Comparing our results on pseudoqueens with gene expression data of honeybee queens revealed many similarities. In addition, there was a set of specific transcriptomic changes in the parasitic pseudoqueens that differed from both, queens and social workers, which may be typical for the development of the social parasitism in A. m. capensis.

  2. From Parasite Encounter to Infection: Multiple-Scale Drivers of Parasite Richness in a Wild Social Primate Population

    Science.gov (United States)

    Benavides J. A.; Huchard, E.; Pettorelli, N.; King, A. J.; Brown, M. E.; Archer, C. E.; Appleton, C. C.; Raymond, M.; Cowlishaw, G.

    2011-01-01

    Host parasite diversity plays a fundamental role in ecological and evolutionary processes, yet the factors that drive it are still poorly understood. A variety of processes, operating across a range of spatial scales, are likely to influence both the probability of parasite encounter and subsequent infection. Here, we explored eight possible determinants of parasite richness, comprising rainfall and temperature at the population level, ranging behavior and home range productivity at the group level, and age, sex, body condition, and social rank at the individual level. We used a unique dataset describing gastrointestinal parasites in a terrestrial subtropical vertebrate (chacma baboons, Papio ursinus), comprising 662 faecal samples from 86 individuals representing all age-sex classes across two groups over two dry seasons in a desert population. Three mixed models were used to identify the most important factor at each of the three spatial scales (population, group, individual); these were then standardised and combined in a single, global, mixed model. Individual age had the strongest influence on parasite richness, in a convex relationship. Parasite richness was also higher in females and animals in poor condition, albeit at a lower order of magnitude than age. Finally, with a further halving of effect size, parasite richness was positively correlated to day range and temperature. These findings indicate that a range of factors influence host parasite richness through both encounter and infection probabilities, but that individual-level processes may be more important than those at the group or population level.

  3. Monkeys in the middle: parasite transmission through the social network of a wild primate.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andrew J J MacIntosh

    Full Text Available In wildlife populations, group-living is thought to increase the probability of parasite transmission because contact rates increase at high host densities. Physical contact, such as social grooming, is an important component of group structure, but it can also increase the risk of exposure to infection for individuals because it provides a mechanism for transmission of potentially pathogenic organisms. Living in groups can also create variation in susceptibility to infection among individuals because circulating levels of immunosuppressive hormones like glucocorticoids often depend on an individual's position within the group's social structure. Yet, little is known about the relative roles of socially mediated exposure versus susceptibility in parasite transmission among free-living animal groups. To address this issue, we investigate the relationship between host dominance hierarchy and nematode parasite transmission among females in a wild group of Japanese macaques (Macaca fuscata yakui. We use social network analysis to describe each individual female's position within the grooming network in relation to dominance rank and relative levels of infection. Our results suggest that the number of directly-transmitted parasite species infecting each female, and the relative amount of transmission stages that one of these species sheds in faeces, both increase with dominance rank. Female centrality within the network, which shows positive associations with dominance hierarchy, is also positively associated with infection by certain parasite species, suggesting that the measured rank-bias in transmission may reflect variation in exposure rather than susceptibility. This is supported by the lack of a clear relationship between rank and faecal cortisol, as an indicator of stress, in a subset of these females. Thus, socially mediated exposure appears to be important for direct transmission of nematode parasites, lending support to the idea that a

  4. Monkeys in the Middle: Parasite Transmission through the Social Network of a Wild Primate

    Science.gov (United States)

    MacIntosh, Andrew J. J.; Jacobs, Armand; Garcia, Cécile; Shimizu, Keiko; Mouri, Keiko; Huffman, Michael A.; Hernandez, Alexander D.

    2012-01-01

    In wildlife populations, group-living is thought to increase the probability of parasite transmission because contact rates increase at high host densities. Physical contact, such as social grooming, is an important component of group structure, but it can also increase the risk of exposure to infection for individuals because it provides a mechanism for transmission of potentially pathogenic organisms. Living in groups can also create variation in susceptibility to infection among individuals because circulating levels of immunosuppressive hormones like glucocorticoids often depend on an individual’s position within the group’s social structure. Yet, little is known about the relative roles of socially mediated exposure versus susceptibility in parasite transmission among free-living animal groups. To address this issue, we investigate the relationship between host dominance hierarchy and nematode parasite transmission among females in a wild group of Japanese macaques (Macaca fuscata yakui). We use social network analysis to describe each individual female’s position within the grooming network in relation to dominance rank and relative levels of infection. Our results suggest that the number of directly-transmitted parasite species infecting each female, and the relative amount of transmission stages that one of these species sheds in faeces, both increase with dominance rank. Female centrality within the network, which shows positive associations with dominance hierarchy, is also positively associated with infection by certain parasite species, suggesting that the measured rank-bias in transmission may reflect variation in exposure rather than susceptibility. This is supported by the lack of a clear relationship between rank and faecal cortisol, as an indicator of stress, in a subset of these females. Thus, socially mediated exposure appears to be important for direct transmission of nematode parasites, lending support to the idea that a classical fitness

  5. Bacterial symbiont sharing in Megalomyrmex social parasites and their fungus-growing ant hosts

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Liberti, Joanito; Sapountzis, Panagiotis; Hansen, Lars H.

    2015-01-01

    nests such as consumption of the same fungus garden food, eating of host brood by social parasites, trophallaxis and grooming interactions between the ants, or parallel acquisition from the same nest environment. Our results imply that cohabiting ant social parasites and hosts may obtain functional...... benefits from bacterial symbiont transfer even when they are not closely related....

  6. Parasite transmission in social interacting hosts: Monogenean epidemics in guppies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnson, Mirelle B.; Lafferty, Kevin D.; van Oosterhout, Cock; Cable, Joanne

    2011-01-01

    Background Infection incidence increases with the average number of contacts between susceptible and infected individuals. Contact rates are normally assumed to increase linearly with host density. However, social species seek out each other at low density and saturate their contact rates at high densities. Although predicting epidemic behaviour requires knowing how contact rates scale with host density, few empirical studies have investigated the effect of host density. Also, most theory assumes each host has an equal probability of transmitting parasites, even though individual parasite load and infection duration can vary. To our knowledge, the relative importance of characteristics of the primary infected host vs. the susceptible population has never been tested experimentally. Methodology/Principal Findings Here, we examine epidemics using a common ectoparasite, Gyrodactylus turnbulli infecting its guppy host (Poecilia reticulata). Hosts were maintained at different densities (3, 6, 12 and 24 fish in 40 L aquaria), and we monitored gyrodactylids both at a population and individual host level. Although parasite population size increased with host density, the probability of an epidemic did not. Epidemics were more likely when the primary infected fish had a high mean intensity and duration of infection. Epidemics only occurred if the primary infected host experienced more than 23 worm days. Female guppies contracted infections sooner than males, probably because females have a higher propensity for shoaling. Conclusions/Significance These findings suggest that in social hosts like guppies, the frequency of social contact largely governs disease epidemics independent of host density.

  7. Plant defences against ants provide a pathway to social parasitism in butterflies

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Patricelli, Dario; Barbero, Francesca; Occhipinti, Andrea

    2015-01-01

    , which in turn may benefit infested Origanum plants by relieving their roots of further damage. Our results suggest a new pathway, whereby social parasites can detect successive resources by employing plant volatiles to simultaneously select their initial plant food and a suitable sequential host....... the exploitation of sequential hosts by the phytophagous-predaceous butterfly Maculinea arion, whose larvae initially feed on Origanum vulgare flowerheads before switching to parasitize Myrmica ant colonies for their main period of growth. Gravid female butterflies were attracted to Origanum plants that emitted...

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Thiago S. Montagna

    2012-06-01

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

  9. The adaptive significance of inquiline parasite workers

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Sumner, Seirian; Nash, David R; Boomsma, Jacobus J

    2003-01-01

    Social parasites exploit the socially managed resources of their host's society. Inquiline social parasites are dependent on their host throughout their life cycle, and so many of the traits inherited from their free-living ancestor are removed by natural selection. One trait that is commonly lost...... is the worker caste, the functions of which are adequately fulfilled by host workers. The few inquiline parasites that have retained a worker caste are thought to be at a transitional stage in the evolution of social parasitism, and their worker castes are considered vestigial and non-adaptive. However...... a vital role in ensuring the parasite's fitness. We show that the presence of these parasite workers has a positive effect on the production of parasite sexuals and a negative effect on the production of host sexuals. This suggests that inquiline workers play a vital role in suppressing host queen...

  10. Social immunity and the superorganism: Behavioral defenses protecting honey bee colonies from pathogens and parasites

    Science.gov (United States)

    Honey bees (Apis mellifera) have a number of traits that effectively reduce the spread of pathogens and parasites throughout the colony. These mechanisms of social immunity are often analogous to the individual immune system. As such social immune defences function to protect the colony or superorga...

  11. Within the fortress: A specialized parasite is not discriminated against in a social insect society.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Emilia Solá Gracia

    Full Text Available Social insect colonies function cohesively due, in part, to altruistic behaviors performed towards related individuals. These colonies can be affected by parasites in two distinct ways, either at the level of the individual or the entire colony. As such, colonies of social insects can experience conflict with infected individuals reducing the cohesiveness that typifies them. Parasites of social insects therefore offer us a framework to study conflicts within social insect colonies in addition to the traditionally viewed conflicts afforded by groups of low genetic relatedness due to multiple mating for example. In our study, we use the behavior manipulating fungal pathogen, Ophiocordyceps kimflemingiae (= unilateralis and its host, Camponotus castaneus, to ask if colony members are able to detect infected individuals. Such detection would be optimal for the colony since infected workers die near foraging trails where the fungus develops its external structures and releases spores that infect other colony members. To determine if C. castaneus workers can detect these future threats, we used continuous-time point observations coupled with longer continuous observations to discern any discrimination towards infected individuals. After observing 1,240 hours of video footage we found that infected individuals are not removed from the colony and continuously received food during the course of fungal infection. We also calculated the distances between workers and the nest entrance in a total of 35,691 data points to find infected workers spent more time near the entrance of the nest. Taken together, these results suggest healthy individuals do not detect the parasite inside their nestmates. The colony's inability to detect infected individuals allows O. kimflemingiae to develop within the colony, while receiving food and protection from natural enemies, which could damage or kill its ant host before the parasite has completed its development.

  12. First evidence for slave rebellion: enslaved ant workers systematically kill the brood of their social parasite protomognathus americanus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Achenbach, Alexandra; Foitzik, Susanne

    2009-04-01

    During the process of coevolution, social parasites have evolved sophisticated strategies to exploit the brood care behavior of their social hosts. Slave-making ant queens invade host colonies and kill or eject all adult host ants. Host workers, which eclose from the remaining brood, are tricked into caring for the parasite brood. Due to their high prevalence and frequent raids, following which stolen host broods are similarly enslaved, slave-making ants exert substantial selection upon their hosts, leading to the evolution of antiparasite adaptations. However, all host defenses shown to date are active before host workers are parasitized, whereas selection was thought to be unable to act on traits of already enslaved hosts. Yet, here we demonstrate the rebellion of enslaved Temnothorax workers, which kill two-thirds of the female pupae of the slave-making ant Protomognathus americanus. Thereby, slaves decrease the long-term parasite impact on surrounding related host colonies. This novel antiparasite strategy of enslaved workers constitutes a new level in the coevolutionary battle after host colony defense has failed. Our discovery is analogous to recent findings in hosts of avian brood parasites where perfect mimicry of parasite eggs leads to the evolution of chick recognition as a second line of defense.

  13. Multiple Convergent Origins of Workerlessness and Inbreeding in the Socially Parasitic Ant Genus Myrmoxenus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heinze, Jürgen; Buschinger, Alfred; Poettinger, Theo; Suefuji, Masaki

    2015-01-01

    The socially parasitic ant genus Myrmoxenus varies strongly in fundamental life history traits, such as queen-worker ratio, the timing of sexual production, and mating behavior. Myrmoxenus queens generally take over nests of Temnothorax ants, kill the resident queen by throttling, and force the workers to take care of the social parasite's brood. Young queens of M. ravouxi and other species produce large numbers of workers, which during "slave-raids" pillage host pupae from neighboring Temnothorax colonies to increase the workforce in their own nests. Other species, such as M. corsicus, have lost caste polyphenism and rear only male and female sexual offspring. Using sequences of the genes CO I/CO II and wingless we reconstruct the phylogeny of Myrmoxenus and document that the worker caste was lost convergently at least three times. Furthermore, mating in the nest and inbreeding obviously also evolved in parallel from ancestors whose sexuals presumably mated during nuptial flights. Myrmoxenus might thus provide a suitable model to investigate caste differentiation and the plasticity of mating behavior in Hymenoptera.

  14. Multiple Convergent Origins of Workerlessness and Inbreeding in the Socially Parasitic Ant Genus Myrmoxenus.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jürgen Heinze

    Full Text Available The socially parasitic ant genus Myrmoxenus varies strongly in fundamental life history traits, such as queen-worker ratio, the timing of sexual production, and mating behavior. Myrmoxenus queens generally take over nests of Temnothorax ants, kill the resident queen by throttling, and force the workers to take care of the social parasite's brood. Young queens of M. ravouxi and other species produce large numbers of workers, which during "slave-raids" pillage host pupae from neighboring Temnothorax colonies to increase the workforce in their own nests. Other species, such as M. corsicus, have lost caste polyphenism and rear only male and female sexual offspring. Using sequences of the genes CO I/CO II and wingless we reconstruct the phylogeny of Myrmoxenus and document that the worker caste was lost convergently at least three times. Furthermore, mating in the nest and inbreeding obviously also evolved in parallel from ancestors whose sexuals presumably mated during nuptial flights. Myrmoxenus might thus provide a suitable model to investigate caste differentiation and the plasticity of mating behavior in Hymenoptera.

  15. Ant parasite queens revert to mating singly

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Sumner, Seirian; Hughes, William Owen Hamar; Pedersen, Jes Søe

    2004-01-01

    quantified and they tend to be similar in related species. Here we compare the mating strategies of the leaf-cutting ant Acromyrmex echinatior and its recently derived social parasite Acromyrmex insinuator, which is also its closest relative 2 (see Fig. 1 ). We find that although the host queens mate with up......A parasitic ant has abandoned the multiple mating habit of the queens of its related host. Multiple mating (polyandry) is widespread among animal groups, particularly insects 1 . But the factors that maintain it and underlie its evolution are hard to verify because benefits and costs are not easily...... to a dozen different males, the social parasite mates only singly. This rapid and surprising reversion to single mating in a socially parasitic ant indicates that the costs of polyandry are probably specific to a free-living lifestyle....

  16. Geospatial distribution of intestinal parasitic infections in Rio de Janeiro (Brazil) and its association with social determinants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Faria, Clarissa Perez; Zanini, Graziela Maria; Dias, Gisele Silva; da Silva, Sidnei; de Freitas, Marcelo Bessa; Almendra, Ricardo; Santana, Paula; Sousa, Maria do Céu

    2017-03-01

    . MDI showed that intestinal parasites were strongly associated with the socioeconomic status of the population, thus making it possible to identify social vulnerable areas.

  17. Geospatial distribution of intestinal parasitic infections in Rio de Janeiro (Brazil) and its association with social determinants

    Science.gov (United States)

    Faria, Clarissa Perez; Zanini, Graziela Maria; Dias, Gisele Silva; da Silva, Sidnei; de Freitas, Marcelo Bessa; Almendra, Ricardo; Santana, Paula; Sousa, Maria do Céu

    2017-01-01

    parasitic infections are still a serious public health problem. MDI showed that intestinal parasites were strongly associated with the socioeconomic status of the population, thus making it possible to identify social vulnerable areas. PMID:28273080

  18. Repeated evolution of soldier sub-castes suggests parasitism drives social complexity in stingless bees.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grüter, Christoph; Segers, Francisca H I D; Menezes, Cristiano; Vollet-Neto, Ayrton; Falcón, Tiago; von Zuben, Lucas; Bitondi, Márcia M G; Nascimento, Fabio S; Almeida, Eduardo A B

    2017-02-23

    The differentiation of workers into morphological castes represents an important evolutionary innovation that is thought to improve division of labor in insect societies. Given the potential benefits of task-related worker differentiation, it is puzzling that physical worker castes, such as soldiers, are extremely rare in social bees and absent in wasps. Following the recent discovery of soldiers in a stingless bee, we studied the occurrence of worker differentiation in 28 stingless bee species from Brazil and found that several species have specialized soldiers for colony defence. Our results reveal that worker differentiation evolved repeatedly during the last ~ 25 million years and coincided with the emergence of parasitic robber bees, a major threat to many stingless bee species. Furthermore, our data suggest that these robbers are a driving force behind the evolution of worker differentiation as targets of robber bees are four times more likely to have nest guards of increased size than non-targets. These findings reveal unexpected diversity in the social organization of stingless bees.Although common in ants and termites, worker differentiation into physical castes is rare in social bees and unknown in wasps. Here, Grüter and colleagues find a guard caste in ten species of stingless bees and show that the evolution of the guard caste is associated with parasitization by robber bees.

  19. 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.

  20. 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...

  1. A DNA and morphology based phylogenetic framework of the ant genus Lasius with hypotheses for the evolution of social parasitism and fungiculture.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maruyama, Munetoshi; Steiner, Florian M; Stauffer, Christian; Akino, Toshiharu; Crozier, Ross H; Schlick-Steiner, Birgit C

    2008-08-19

    Ants of the genus Lasius are ecologically important and an important system for evolutionary research. Progress in evolutionary research has been hindered by the lack of a well-founded phylogeny of the subgenera, with three previous attempts disagreeing. Here we employed two mitochondrial genes (cytochrome c oxidase subunit I, 16S ribosomal RNA), comprising 1,265 bp, together with 64 morphological characters, to recover the phylogeny of Lasius by Bayesian and Maximum Parsimony inference after exploration of potential causes of phylogenetic distortion. We use the resulting framework to infer evolutionary pathways for social parasitism and fungiculture. We recovered two well supported major lineages. One includes Acanthomyops, Austrolasius, Chthonolasius, and Lasius pallitarsis, which we confirm to represent a seventh subgenus, the other clade contains Dendrolasius, and Lasius sensu stricto. The subgenus Cautolasius, displaying neither social parasitism nor fungiculture, probably belongs to the second clade, but its phylogenetic position is not resolved at the cutoff values of node support we apply. Possible causes for previous problems with reconstructing the Lasius phylogeny include use of other reconstruction techniques, possibly more prone to instabilities in some instances, and the inclusion of phylogenetically distorting characters. By establishing an updated phylogenetic framework, our study provides the basis for a later formal taxonomic revision of subgenera and for studying the evolution of various ecologically and sociobiologically relevant traits of Lasius, although there is need for future studies to include nuclear genes and additional samples from the Nearctic. Both social parasitism and fungiculture evolved twice in Lasius, once in each major lineage, which opens up new opportunities for comparative analyses. The repeated evolution of social parasitism has been established for other groups of ants, though not for temporary social parasitism as found

  2. Nutritional and Functional Bioactivity Value of Selected Azorean Macroalgae: Ulva compressa, Ulva rigida, Gelidium microdon, and Pterocladiella capillacea.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Paiva, Lisete; Lima, Elisabete; Neto, Ana Isabel; Marcone, Massimo; Baptista, José

    2017-07-01

    This study presents information on the biochemical composition (dry weight basis), nutritional aspects, and angiotensin I-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitory properties of selected macroalgae (Ulva compressa, Ulva rigida, Gelidium microdon, and Pterocladiella capillacea) from Azores. Moisture content was very high (83.2% to 90.0% of fresh weight). Total dietary fiber (33.7% to 41.0%) that presented a good balance of both soluble and insoluble fibers (15.5% to 19.2% and 18.2% to 21.8%, respectively) was the most abundant component in these macroalgae. Protein and ash (ranged from 15.7% to 23.4% and 10.7% to 20.7%, respectively) were the 2nd most abundant components in red and green macroalgae, respectively. Moderate soluble carbohydrate contents (14.5% to 19.8%) were found in all species. Lipid contents were low (1.0% to 4.3%), particularly in Ulva species (1.0% to 1.7%), but contained higher unsaturated fatty acids (FAs) (7.5% to 32.9% and 29.6% to 69.2% of total FA for monounsaturated fatty acid and polyunsaturated fatty acid groups, respectively) than saturated fatty acid (23.3% to 46.8% of total FA) contents. All the macroalgal proteins had high digestibility in vitro (82.2% to 89.4%, relatively to sodium caseinate), contained high quantity of essential amino acids (45.3% to 58.1% of total amino acids), but in different proportions, and were rich in aspartic and glutamic acids that together account for 17.2% to 36.2% of the total amino acids. These results suggested that regular consumption of the selected macroalgae may improve human health and revealed that they can be used for producing food supplements for human and animal nutrition and/or pharmaceuticals with potential effect on the regional economy. Furthermore, the ACE-inhibitory IC 50 values of 0.095 to 0.695 mg/mL for the <1 kDa protein hydrolysate fraction revealed a potential impact on hypertension disorder. © 2017 Institute of Food Technologists®.

  3. Personality, Parasites, Political Attitudes, and Cooperation: A Model of How Infection Prevalence Influences Openness and Social Group Formation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brown, Gordon D A; Fincher, Corey L; Walasek, Lukasz

    2016-01-01

    What is the origin of individual differences in ideology and personality? According to the parasite stress hypothesis, the structure of a society and the values of individuals within it are both influenced by the prevalence of infectious disease within the society's geographical region. High levels of infection threat are associated with more ethnocentric and collectivist social structures and greater adherence to social norms, as well as with socially conservative political ideology and less open but more conscientious personalities. Here we use an agent-based model to explore a specific opportunities-parasites trade-off (OPTO) hypothesis, according to which utility-maximizing agents place themselves at an optimal point on a trade-off between (a) the gains that may be achieved through accessing the resources of geographically or socially distant out-group members through openness to out-group interaction, and (b) the losses arising due to consequently increased risks of exotic infection to which immunity has not been developed. We examine the evolution of cooperation and the formation of social groups within social networks, and we show that the groups that spontaneously form exhibit greater local rather than global cooperative networks when levels of infection are high. It is suggested that the OPTO model offers a first step toward understanding the specific mechanisms through which environmental conditions may influence cognition, ideology, personality, and social organization. Copyright © 2015 The Authors. Topics in Cognitive Science published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. on behalf of Cognitive Science Society.

  4. Mobbing and sitting tight at the nest as methods of avoiding brood parasitism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rands, Sean A

    2012-04-06

    The arms race between brood parasites and their hosts has led to many different host behaviours for avoiding parasitism. Some of these behaviours are social, and require the presence of conspecifics to work effectively: in response to alarm calls, some species engage in mobbing behaviour where neighbours join nest tenants in attacking and repelling an invading brood parasite. There are risks involved for the neighbours, but it has been demonstrated that social mobbing allows individuals to learn about the presence of brood parasites in the environment, suggesting that social learning is occurring. Here, I consider whether using social signals to alert naive individuals to the presence of brood parasites is a suitable strategy, compared with sitting tight on the nest in response to the signal (which should reduce the chances of being parasitized). I also compare the efficiency of these strategies with the case where individuals fail to change behaviour in response a brood parasite. Using an individual-based simulation model, I demonstrate that both mobbing and sitting tight are effective strategies in response to a signal, and that mobbing is more effective when the chances of being parasitized increase. These results are discussed and compared with known host-brood parasite relationships.

  5. A DNA and morphology based phylogenetic framework of the ant genus Lasius with hypotheses for the evolution of social parasitism and fungiculture

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stauffer Christian

    2008-08-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Ants of the genus Lasius are ecologically important and an important system for evolutionary research. Progress in evolutionary research has been hindered by the lack of a well-founded phylogeny of the subgenera, with three previous attempts disagreeing. Here we employed two mitochondrial genes (cytochrome c oxidase subunit I, 16S ribosomal RNA, comprising 1,265 bp, together with 64 morphological characters, to recover the phylogeny of Lasius by Bayesian and Maximum Parsimony inference after exploration of potential causes of phylogenetic distortion. We use the resulting framework to infer evolutionary pathways for social parasitism and fungiculture. Results We recovered two well supported major lineages. One includes Acanthomyops, Austrolasius, Chthonolasius, and Lasius pallitarsis, which we confirm to represent a seventh subgenus, the other clade contains Dendrolasius, and Lasius sensu stricto. The subgenus Cautolasius, displaying neither social parasitism nor fungiculture, probably belongs to the second clade, but its phylogenetic position is not resolved at the cutoff values of node support we apply. Possible causes for previous problems with reconstructing the Lasius phylogeny include use of other reconstruction techniques, possibly more prone to instabilities in some instances, and the inclusion of phylogenetically distorting characters. Conclusion By establishing an updated phylogenetic framework, our study provides the basis for a later formal taxonomic revision of subgenera and for studying the evolution of various ecologically and sociobiologically relevant traits of Lasius, although there is need for future studies to include nuclear genes and additional samples from the Nearctic. Both social parasitism and fungiculture evolved twice in Lasius, once in each major lineage, which opens up new opportunities for comparative analyses. The repeated evolution of social parasitism has been established for other groups of

  6. 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.

  7. [Establishment of response system to emergency parasitic disease affairs in China].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chun-Li, C; Le-Ping, S; Qing-Biao, H; Bian-Li, X U; Bo, Z; Jian-Bing, L; Dan-Dan, L; Shi-Zhu, L I; Oning, X; Xiao-Nong, Z

    2017-08-14

    China's prevention and control of parasitic diseases has made remarkable achievements. However, the prevalence and transmission of parasitic diseases is impacted by the complicated natural and social factors of environment, natural disasters, population movements, and so on. Therefore, there are still the risks of the outbreak of emergency parasitic diseases affairs, which may affect the control effectiveness of parasitic diseases and endanger the social stability seriously. In this article, we aim at the analysis of typical cases of emergency parasitic disease affairs and their impacts on public health security in China in recently years, and we also elaborate the disposal characteristics of emergency parasitic disease affairs, and propose the establishment of response system to emergency parasitic disease affairs in China, including the organizational structure and response flow path, and in addition, point out that, in the future, we should strengthen the system construction and measures of the response system to emergency parasitic disease affairs, so as to control the risk and harm of parasitic disease spread as much as possible and to realize the early intervention and proper disposal of emergency parasitic disease affairs.

  8. 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.

  9. Coevolution in host-parasite systems: behavioural strategies of slave-making ants and their hosts.

    OpenAIRE

    Foitzik, S.; DeHeer, C. J.; Hunjan, D. N.; Herbers, J. M.

    2001-01-01

    Recently, avian brood parasites and their hosts have emerged as model systems for the study of host-parasite coevolution. However, empirical studies of the highly analogous social parasites, which use the workers of another eusocial species to raise their own young, have never explicitly examined the dynamics of these systems from a coevolutionary perspective. Here, we demonstrate interpopulational variation in behavioural interactions between a socially parasitic slave-maker ant and its host...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2008-06-01

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

  11. Plant defences against ants provide a pathway to social parasitism in butterflies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Patricelli, Dario; Barbero, Francesca; Occhipinti, Andrea; Bertea, Cinzia M.; Bonelli, Simona; Casacci, Luca P.; Zebelo, Simon A.; Crocoll, Christoph; Gershenzon, Jonathan; Maffei, Massimo E.; Thomas, Jeremy A.; Balletto, Emilio

    2015-01-01

    Understanding the chemical cues and gene expressions that mediate herbivore–host-plant and parasite–host interactions can elucidate the ecological costs and benefits accruing to different partners in tight-knit community modules, and may reveal unexpected complexities. We investigated the exploitation of sequential hosts by the phytophagous–predaceous butterfly Maculinea arion, whose larvae initially feed on Origanum vulgare flowerheads before switching to parasitize Myrmica ant colonies for their main period of growth. Gravid female butterflies were attracted to Origanum plants that emitted high levels of the monoterpenoid volatile carvacrol, a condition that occurred when ants disturbed their roots: we also found that Origanum expressed four genes involved in monoterpene formation when ants were present, accompanied by a significant induction of jasmonates. When exposed to carvacrol, Myrmica workers upregulated five genes whose products bind and detoxify this biocide, and their colonies were more tolerant of it than other common ant genera, consistent with an observed ability to occupy the competitor-free spaces surrounding Origanum. A cost is potential colony destruction by Ma. arion, which in turn may benefit infested Origanum plants by relieving their roots of further damage. Our results suggest a new pathway, whereby social parasites can detect successive resources by employing plant volatiles to simultaneously select their initial plant food and a suitable sequential host. PMID:26156773

  12. Entedoninae wasps (Hymenoptera, Chalcidoidea, Eulophidae) associated with ants (Hymenoptera, Formicidae) in tropical America, with new species and notes on their biology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hansson, Christer; Lachaud, Jean-Paul; Pérez-Lachaud, Gabriela

    2011-01-01

    Abstract Three new species of Eulophidae associated, or presumed to be associated with ants are described: two species of Horismenus Walker and one species of Microdonophagus Schauff. Information on the biology is also included. The two Horismenus species are from Chiapas, Mexico. Horismenus myrmecophagus sp. n. is known only from females and is a gregarious endoparasitoid in larvae of the weaver ant Camponotus sp. ca. textor. The parasitoids pupate inside the host larva, and an average of 6.7 individuals develops per host. This is the second time a species of genus Horismenus is found parasitizing the brood of a formicine ant of genus Camponotus. Horismenus microdonophagus sp. n. is described from both males and females, and is a gregarious endoparasitoid attacking the larvae of Microdon sp. (Diptera: Syrphidae), a predator on ant brood found in nests of Camponotus sp. ca. textor. The new species of Microdonophagus, Microdonophagus tertius, is from Costa Rica, and known only from the female. Nothing is known about its biology but since another species in same genus, Microdonophagus woodleyi Schauff, is associated with ants through its host, Microdon larva (with same biology as Horismenus microdonophagus), it is possible that also Microdonophagus tertius has this association. A new distributional record for Microdonophagus woodleyi is also reported, extending its distribution from Panama and Colombia to Brazil. PMID:22140342

  13. Generic revision and species classification of the Microdontinae (Diptera, Syrphidae

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Menno Reemer

    2013-04-01

    Full Text Available With 552 species group names available (excluding misspellings, the Microdontinae constitute the smallest of the three subfamilies of Syrphidae. Paradoxically, this subfamily is taxonomically the least organized of the three: 388 species names were previously classified in a single genus, Microdon Meigen, 1803. The present paper introduces a new generic classification of the Microdontinae, relying partly on the results of phylogenetic analyses of morphological and molecular data as published in other papers, and partly on examination of primary type specimens of 347 taxa, plus additional material, and original descriptions. A total number of 67 genus group names (excluding misspellings are evaluated, redescribed, diagnosed and discussed, with several implications for their taxonomic status. Of these, 43 names are considered as valid genera, 7 as subgenera, 17 as synonyms. Two generic names (Ceratoconcha Simroth, 1907, Nothomicrodon Wheeler, 1924 are left unplaced, because they are known from immature stages only and cannot be reliably associated with taxa known from adults. The following 10 new genera are described by Reemer: Domodon, Heliodon, Laetodon, Menidon, Mermerizon, Metadon, Peradon, Piruwa, Sulcodon and Thompsodon. A key to all genera, subgenera and species groups is given. A total number of 26 new species are described in the following genera: Archimicrodon Hull, 1945, Ceratrichomyia Séguy, 1951, Domodon, Furcantenna Cheng, 2008, Heliodon, Indascia Keiser, 1958, Kryptopyga Hull, 1944, Masarygus Brèthes. 1908, Mermerizon, Metadon, Microdon, Paramixogaster Brunetti, 1923, Piruwa, Pseudomicrodon Hull, 1937, Rhopalosyrphus Giglio-Tos, 1891, and Thompsodon. New lectotypes are designated for Ceratrichomyia behara Séguy, 1951 and Microdon iheringi Bezzi, 1910. A total number of 267 new combinations of species and genera are proposed. New synonyms are proposed for 19 species group names. Three replacement names are introduced for primary

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. First report of interspecific facultative social parasitism in the paper wasp genus Mischocyttarus Saussure (Hymenoptera, Vespidae Primeiro registro de parasitismo social facultativo interespecífico em vespas do gênero Mischocyttarus Saussure (Hymenoptera, Vespidae

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Thiago S. Montagna

    2012-06-01

    Full Text Available First report of interspecific facultative social parasitism in the paper wasp genus Mischocyttarus Saussure (Hymenoptera, Vespidae. Parasitism of colonies of the social wasp Mischocyttarus cerberus Ducke, 1918 by females of Mischocyttarus consimilis Zikán, 1949 was observed in a rural area of Dourados, state of Mato Grosso do Sul, Brazil. In all monitored cases, the invasion occurred in the pre-emergence colony stage, generally by a single female of M. consimilis. The period of establishment of the foreign female in the host colony was marked by antagonistic behaviors between the host female and the invasive. In general, the architecture of the parasitized nest was modified from the typical architecture of the host species nest.Primeiro registro de parasitismo social facultativo interespecífico em vespas do gênero Mischocyttarus Saussure (Hymenoptera, Vespidae. Parasitismo de colônias da vespa social Mischocyttarus cerberus Ducke, 1918 por fêmeas de Mischocyttarus consimilis Zikán, 1949 foram registrados em uma área rural no município de Dourados estado de Mato Grosso do Sul no Brasil. Em todos os casos monitorados a invasão ocorreu na fase colonial de pré-emergência, e em geral foi executado por uma única fêmea de M. consimilis. O período de estabelecimento da fêmea estrangeira na colônia hospedeira foi marcado por comportamentos antagônicos entre as fêmeas interespecíficas. Em geral, a arquitetura do ninho parasitado foi modificada em relação à arquitetura típica do ninho da espécie hospedeira.

  17. The Origin of Workerless Parasites in Leptothorax (S. Str. (Hymenoptera: Formicidae

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jürgen Heinze

    1995-01-01

    Full Text Available The evolutionary origin of workerless parasitic ants parasitizing colonies of Leptothorax (s.str. is investigated using data on morphology, chromosome number, and allozyme phenotype of both social parasites and their hosts. Of the three previously proposed pathways, the evolution of workerless parasites from guest ants or slave-makers is unlikely, at least according to a phenogram obtained by UPGMA clustering of Nei's similarities based on seven enzymes, lntraspecific evolution of the workerless parasites Doronomyrmex goesswaldi, D. kutteri, and D. pacis from their common host, Leptothorax acervorum cannot be excluded with the present data. The workerless parasite L. paraxenus, however, clearly differs from its host, L. cf. canadensis, in morphology and biochemistry, and most probably did not evolve from the latter species. It is proposed to synonymize Doronomyrmex under Leptothorax (s.str..

  18. Myrmica Ants and Their Butterfly Parasites with Special Focus on the Acoustic Communication

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    F. Barbero

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available About 10,000 arthropod species live as ants' social parasites and have evolved a number of mechanisms allowing them to penetrate and survive inside the ant nests. Myrmica colonies, in particular, are exploited by numerous social parasites, and the presence of their overwintering brood, as well as of their polygyny, contributes to make them more vulnerable to infestation. Butterflies of the genus Maculinea are among the most investigated Myrmica inquilines. These lycaenids are known for their very complex biological cycles. Maculinea species are obligated parasites that depend on a particular food plant and on a specific Myrmica species for their survival. Maculinea larvae are adopted by Myrmica ants, which are induced to take them into their nests by chemical mimicry. Then the parasite spends the following 11–23 months inside the ants' nest. Mimicking the acoustic emission of the queen ants, Maculinea parasites not only manage to become integrated, but attain highest rank within the colony. Here we review the biology of Maculinea/Myrmica system with a special focus on some recent breakthrough concerning their acoustical patterns.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Randy Thornhill

    2010-04-01

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

  20. 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

  1. Social and environmental health determinants and their relationship with parasitic diseases in asymptomatic children from a shantytown in Buenos Aires, Argentina

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garbossa, Graciela; Pía Buyayisqui, María; Geffner, Laura; López Arias, Ludmila; de la Fournière, Sofía; Haedo, Ana S; Marconi, Adela E; Frid, Juan C; Nesse, Alcira B; Bordoni, Noemí

    2013-01-01

    Health inequities are a common problem for all countries and are the result of not only adverse social conditions but also poor public policies. Today chronic diseases represent the most relevant threats and are a current challenge. Parasitic infections, a leading cause of child morbidity affecting low-income populations, can be transmitted because of an unhealthy environment. Notwithstanding, scarce data have been published on the epidemiological profile of intestinal parasitoses in asymptomatic children living in shantytowns. Vulnerable populations settled in slums are growing in Argentina, particularly in Buenos Aires city. Consequently, this work intended to screen healthy carriers of enteric parasites and determine the epidemiologic profile in asymptomatic children residing in one of those communities, to explore risk factors associated with the transmission of parasites, and to initiate a basic health education campaign to promote healthy behavior in the community. Fecal samples (n = 138) were analyzed by conventional parasitological methods and a survey gathered data on symptoms, family composition, and environmental and hygiene-related variables. High prevalence of feco-orally-transmitted parasitoses (83.3%) and polyparasitism were remarkable findings. The main environmental health determinants were those related to excreta disposal and water provision. Health promotion actions were performed through the diffusion of a set of posters with iconic images and brief messages for health education. Results suggest the need for an environmental sanitation policy to complement health promotion actions. It is essential to spread the results of investigations that address inequities and social determinants of health in order to integrate data with local political processes and alert on acceptable actions for developing appropriate interventions. PMID:23683369

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Petr Houdek

    2018-05-01

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

  3. The alternative Pharaoh approach: stingless bees mummify beetle parasites alive

    Science.gov (United States)

    Greco, Mark K.; Hoffmann, Dorothee; Dollin, Anne; Duncan, Michael; Spooner-Hart, Robert; Neumann, Peter

    2010-03-01

    Workers from social insect colonies use different defence strategies to combat invaders. Nevertheless, some parasitic species are able to bypass colony defences. In particular, some beetle nest invaders cannot be killed or removed by workers of social bees, thus creating the need for alternative social defence strategies to ensure colony survival. Here we show, using diagnostic radioentomology, that stingless bee workers ( Trigona carbonaria) immediately mummify invading adult small hive beetles ( Aethina tumida) alive by coating them with a mixture of resin, wax and mud, thereby preventing severe damage to the colony. In sharp contrast to the responses of honeybee and bumblebee colonies, the rapid live mummification strategy of T. carbonaria effectively prevents beetle advancements and removes their ability to reproduce. The convergent evolution of mummification in stingless bees and encapsulation in honeybees is another striking example of co-evolution between insect societies and their parasites.

  4. Zoonotic intestinal parasites of carnivores: A systematic review in Iran

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shahabeddin Sarvi

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available Aim: Parasitic infections, especially of the zoonotic-parasitic type, are the most important health, economic, and social problems in developing countries, including Iran. The aim of this study was to review systematically the available data on gastrointestinal parasites of carnivores in Iran and their ability to infect humans. Materials and Methods: Studies reporting intestinal parasites of carnivores were systematically collected from nine electronic English and Persian databases and Proceedings of Iranian parasitology and veterinary congresses published between 1997 and 2015. A total of 26 studies issued from 1997 to 2015 met the eligibility criteria. Results: The pooled proportion of intestinal parasites of carnivores was estimated as 80.4% (95% confidence interval=70.2-88.8%. The overall prevalence of gastrointestinal parasites in dogs, cats, foxes, and jackals were 57.89%, 90.62%, 89.17%, and 97.32%, respectively. Dipylidium caninum (20.45%, Toxocara spp. (18.81%, Taenia hydatigena (15.28%, Mesocestoides lineatus (11.83%, Echinococcus granulosus (10%, and Toxascaris leonina (8.69% were the most frequently observed parasites. Conclusion: High prevalence rates of zoonotic intestinal parasites of carnivores particularly Echinococcus spp. and Toxocara spp. increase the risk of acquiring zoonotic infections such as cystic hydatid, alveolar cysts, and visceral or ocular larva migrants in Iranian people. Therefore, it is essential for public health centers to develop more effective control strategies to decrease infections rates in carnivores' populations.

  5. Zoonotic intestinal parasites of carnivores: A systematic review in Iran

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sarvi, Shahabeddin; Daryani, Ahmad; Sharif, Mehdi; Rahimi, Mohammad Taghi; Kohansal, Mohammad Hasan; Mirshafiee, Siavash; Siyadatpanah, Abolghasem; Hosseini, Seyed-Abdollah; Gholami, Shirzad

    2018-01-01

    Aim: Parasitic infections, especially of the zoonotic-parasitic type, are the most important health, economic, and social problems in developing countries, including Iran. The aim of this study was to review systematically the available data on gastrointestinal parasites of carnivores in Iran and their ability to infect humans. Materials and Methods: Studies reporting intestinal parasites of carnivores were systematically collected from nine electronic English and Persian databases and Proceedings of Iranian parasitology and veterinary congresses published between 1997 and 2015. A total of 26 studies issued from 1997 to 2015 met the eligibility criteria. Results: The pooled proportion of intestinal parasites of carnivores was estimated as 80.4% (95% confidence interval=70.2-88.8%). The overall prevalence of gastrointestinal parasites in dogs, cats, foxes, and jackals were 57.89%, 90.62%, 89.17%, and 97.32%, respectively. Dipylidium caninum (20.45%), Toxocara spp. (18.81%), Taenia hydatigena (15.28%), Mesocestoides lineatus (11.83%), Echinococcus granulosus (10%), and Toxascaris leonina (8.69%) were the most frequently observed parasites. Conclusion: High prevalence rates of zoonotic intestinal parasites of carnivores particularly Echinococcus spp. and Toxocara spp. increase the risk of acquiring zoonotic infections such as cystic hydatid, alveolar cysts, and visceral or ocular larva migrants in Iranian people. Therefore, it is essential for public health centers to develop more effective control strategies to decrease infections rates in carnivores’ populations. PMID:29479158

  6. Study of the Metatranscriptome of Eight Social and Solitary Wild Bee Species Reveals Novel Viruses and Bee Parasites.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schoonvaere, Karel; Smagghe, Guy; Francis, Frédéric; de Graaf, Dirk C

    2018-01-01

    Bees are associated with a remarkable diversity of microorganisms, including unicellular parasites, bacteria, fungi, and viruses. The application of next-generation sequencing approaches enables the identification of this rich species composition as well as the discovery of previously unknown associations. Using high-throughput polyadenylated ribonucleic acid (RNA) sequencing, we investigated the metatranscriptome of eight wild bee species ( Andrena cineraria, Andrena fulva, Andrena haemorrhoa, Bombus terrestris, Bombus cryptarum, Bombus pascuorum, Osmia bicornis , and Osmia cornuta ) sampled from four different localities in Belgium. Across the RNA sequencing libraries, 88-99% of the taxonomically informative reads were of the host transcriptome. Four viruses with homology to insect pathogens were found including two RNA viruses (belonging to the families Iflaviridae and Tymoviridae that harbor already viruses of honey bees), a double stranded DNA virus (family Nudiviridae ) and a single stranded DNA virus (family Parvoviridae ). In addition, we found genomic sequences of 11 unclassified arthropod viruses (related to negeviruses, sobemoviruses, totiviruses, rhabdoviruses, and mononegaviruses), seven plant pathogenic viruses, and one fungal virus. Interestingly, nege-like viruses appear to be widespread, host-specific, and capable of attaining high copy numbers inside bees. Next to viruses, three novel parasite associations were discovered in wild bees, including Crithidia pragensis and a tubulinosematid and a neogregarine parasite. Yeasts of the genus Metschnikowia were identified in solitary bees. This study gives a glimpse of the microorganisms and viruses associated with social and solitary wild bees and demonstrates that their diversity exceeds by far the subset of species first discovered in honey bees.

  7. Study of the Metatranscriptome of Eight Social and Solitary Wild Bee Species Reveals Novel Viruses and Bee Parasites

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Karel Schoonvaere

    2018-02-01

    Full Text Available Bees are associated with a remarkable diversity of microorganisms, including unicellular parasites, bacteria, fungi, and viruses. The application of next-generation sequencing approaches enables the identification of this rich species composition as well as the discovery of previously unknown associations. Using high-throughput polyadenylated ribonucleic acid (RNA sequencing, we investigated the metatranscriptome of eight wild bee species (Andrena cineraria, Andrena fulva, Andrena haemorrhoa, Bombus terrestris, Bombus cryptarum, Bombus pascuorum, Osmia bicornis, and Osmia cornuta sampled from four different localities in Belgium. Across the RNA sequencing libraries, 88–99% of the taxonomically informative reads were of the host transcriptome. Four viruses with homology to insect pathogens were found including two RNA viruses (belonging to the families Iflaviridae and Tymoviridae that harbor already viruses of honey bees, a double stranded DNA virus (family Nudiviridae and a single stranded DNA virus (family Parvoviridae. In addition, we found genomic sequences of 11 unclassified arthropod viruses (related to negeviruses, sobemoviruses, totiviruses, rhabdoviruses, and mononegaviruses, seven plant pathogenic viruses, and one fungal virus. Interestingly, nege-like viruses appear to be widespread, host-specific, and capable of attaining high copy numbers inside bees. Next to viruses, three novel parasite associations were discovered in wild bees, including Crithidia pragensis and a tubulinosematid and a neogregarine parasite. Yeasts of the genus Metschnikowia were identified in solitary bees. This study gives a glimpse of the microorganisms and viruses associated with social and solitary wild bees and demonstrates that their diversity exceeds by far the subset of species first discovered in honey bees.

  8. Host behaviour–parasite feedback: an essential link between animal behaviour and disease ecology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Archie, Elizabeth A.; Craft, Meggan E.; Hawley, Dana M.; Martin, Lynn B.; Moore, Janice; White, Lauren

    2016-01-01

    Animal behaviour and the ecology and evolution of parasites are inextricably linked. For this reason, animal behaviourists and disease ecologists have been interested in the intersection of their respective fields for decades. Despite this interest, most research at the behaviour–disease interface focuses either on how host behaviour affects parasites or how parasites affect behaviour, with little overlap between the two. Yet, the majority of interactions between hosts and parasites are probably reciprocal, such that host behaviour feeds back on parasites and vice versa. Explicitly considering these feedbacks is essential for understanding the complex connections between animal behaviour and parasite ecology and evolution. To illustrate this point, we discuss how host behaviour–parasite feedbacks might operate and explore the consequences of feedback for studies of animal behaviour and parasites. For example, ignoring the feedback of host social structure on parasite dynamics can limit the accuracy of predictions about parasite spread. Likewise, considering feedback in studies of parasites and animal personalities may provide unique insight about the maintenance of variation in personality types. Finally, applying the feedback concept to links between host behaviour and beneficial, rather than pathogenic, microbes may shed new light on transitions between mutualism and parasitism. More generally, accounting for host behaviour–parasite feedbacks can help identify critical gaps in our understanding of how key host behaviours and parasite traits evolve and are maintained. PMID:27053751

  9. Host behaviour-parasite feedback: an essential link between animal behaviour and disease ecology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ezenwa, Vanessa O; Archie, Elizabeth A; Craft, Meggan E; Hawley, Dana M; Martin, Lynn B; Moore, Janice; White, Lauren

    2016-04-13

    Animal behaviour and the ecology and evolution of parasites are inextricably linked. For this reason, animal behaviourists and disease ecologists have been interested in the intersection of their respective fields for decades. Despite this interest, most research at the behaviour-disease interface focuses either on how host behaviour affects parasites or how parasites affect behaviour, with little overlap between the two. Yet, the majority of interactions between hosts and parasites are probably reciprocal, such that host behaviour feeds back on parasites and vice versa. Explicitly considering these feedbacks is essential for understanding the complex connections between animal behaviour and parasite ecology and evolution. To illustrate this point, we discuss how host behaviour-parasite feedbacks might operate and explore the consequences of feedback for studies of animal behaviour and parasites. For example, ignoring the feedback of host social structure on parasite dynamics can limit the accuracy of predictions about parasite spread. Likewise, considering feedback in studies of parasites and animal personalities may provide unique insight about the maintenance of variation in personality types. Finally, applying the feedback concept to links between host behaviour and beneficial, rather than pathogenic, microbes may shed new light on transitions between mutualism and parasitism. More generally, accounting for host behaviour-parasite feedbacks can help identify critical gaps in our understanding of how key host behaviours and parasite traits evolve and are maintained. © 2016 The Author(s).

  10. Correlation between male social status, testosterone levels, and parasitism in a dimorphic polygynous mammal.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sandra S Negro

    2010-09-01

    Full Text Available Life history trade-offs have often been assumed to be the consequence of restrictions in the availability of critical resources such as energy and nutrients, which necessitate the differential allocation of resources to costly traits. Here, we examined endocrine (testosterone and health (parasite burdens parameters in territorial and non-territorial New Zealand fur seal males. We documented intra-sexual differences in sexual behaviours, testosterone levels, and parasitism that suggest a trade-off exists between reproductive success and physical health, particularly susceptibility to helminths and acanthocephalans, in males displaying different mating tactics (i.e., territorial and non-territorial tactics. Levels of testosterone were higher in territorial males and correlated positively with reproductive effort (i.e., intra- and inter-sexual interactions. However, these territorial males also exhibited high levels of parasitic infection, which may impair survival in the long-term. Our study, while limited in sample size, provides preliminary evidence for a link between male mating tactics, testosterone levels and parasite loads, and potential effects on reproductive success and life history that should be explored further.

  11. Sexual imprinting misguides species recognition in a facultative interspecific brood parasite.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sorenson, Michael D; Hauber, Mark E; Derrickson, Scott R

    2010-10-22

    Sexual reproduction relies on the recognition of conspecifics for breeding. Most experiments in birds have implicated a critical role for early social learning in directing subsequent courtship behaviours and mating decisions. This classical view of avian sexual imprinting is challenged, however, by studies of megapodes and obligate brood parasites, species in which reliable recognition is achieved despite the lack of early experience with conspecifics. By rearing males with either conspecific or heterospecific brood mates, we experimentally tested the effect of early social experience on the association preferences and courtship behaviours of two sympatrically breeding ducks. We predicted that redheads (Aythya americana), which are facultative interspecific brood parasites, would show a diminished effect of early social environment on subsequent courtship preferences when compared with their host and congener, the canvasback (Aythya valisineria). Contrary to expectations, cross-fostered males of both species courted heterospecific females and preferred them in spatial association tests, whereas control males courted and associated with conspecific females. These results imply that ontogenetic constraints on species recognition may be a general impediment to the initial evolution of interspecific brood parasitism in birds. Under more natural conditions, a variety of mechanisms may mitigate or counteract the effects of early imprinting for redheads reared in canvasback broods.

  12. Social motility in african trypanosomes.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michael Oberholzer

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available African trypanosomes are devastating human and animal pathogens that cause significant human mortality and limit economic development in sub-Saharan Africa. Studies of trypanosome biology generally consider these protozoan parasites as individual cells in suspension cultures or in animal models of infection. Here we report that the procyclic form of the African trypanosome Trypanosoma brucei engages in social behavior when cultivated on semisolid agarose surfaces. This behavior is characterized by trypanosomes assembling into multicellular communities that engage in polarized migrations across the agarose surface and cooperate to divert their movements in response to external signals. These cooperative movements are flagellum-mediated, since they do not occur in trypanin knockdown parasites that lack normal flagellum motility. We term this behavior social motility based on features shared with social motility and other types of surface-induced social behavior in bacteria. Social motility represents a novel and unexpected aspect of trypanosome biology and offers new paradigms for considering host-parasite interactions.

  13. Rapid parallel evolution overcomes global honey bee parasite.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oddie, Melissa; Büchler, Ralph; Dahle, Bjørn; Kovacic, Marin; Le Conte, Yves; Locke, Barbara; de Miranda, Joachim R; Mondet, Fanny; Neumann, Peter

    2018-05-16

    In eusocial insect colonies nestmates cooperate to combat parasites, a trait called social immunity. However, social immunity failed for Western honey bees (Apis mellifera) when the ectoparasitic mite Varroa destructor switched hosts from Eastern honey bees (Apis cerana). This mite has since become the most severe threat to A. mellifera world-wide. Despite this, some isolated A. mellifera populations are known to survive infestations by means of natural selection, largely by supressing mite reproduction, but the underlying mechanisms of this are poorly understood. Here, we show that a cost-effective social immunity mechanism has evolved rapidly and independently in four naturally V. destructor-surviving A. mellifera populations. Worker bees of all four 'surviving' populations uncapped/recapped worker brood cells more frequently and targeted mite-infested cells more effectively than workers in local susceptible colonies. Direct experiments confirmed the ability of uncapping/recapping to reduce mite reproductive success without sacrificing nestmates. Our results provide striking evidence that honey bees can overcome exotic parasites with simple qualitative and quantitative adaptive shifts in behaviour. Due to rapid, parallel evolution in four host populations this appears to be a key mechanism explaining survival of mite infested colonies.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-01-01

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

  15. Contemporary models and prospects of control of parasitic diseases

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Petričević Saša M.

    2007-01-01

    Full Text Available Economic, social and expert-scientific factors determine activities in connection with the development of the control of parasitic infections in the upcoming period of the 21st century. The primary research activities are directed at studies of the physiological functions of parasites and the ecological relations between the parasite and the host, and all that is undertaken with the objective of securing adequate pharmacotherapy/pharmacoprophylaxis and immunoprophilaxis. As there is a huge expansion in the synthesis of chemical compounds, there is a great number of potential substances for use in the form of a medicine. Along these lines, activities concerning the development of new antiparasitics and/or modification of existing ones are primarily based on securing a quality target spot for its action. Another possibility in the area of research is connected to the problem of resistance of parasites and intensive studies of the biochemical-physiological characteristics of parasites, as well as the development of an active epidemiological-episootiological network for monitoring resistance. In parallel with the development of medicines, the results of investigations of physiological functions of parasites and their mutual relations with their host, are intensely used for the development of immunological control, and the development of vaccines (for example, the development of vaccines for the control of coccidiosis, babesiosis, echinococcosis. The second important approach is related to studies of parasitic zoonoses, the effect of global warming on the epidemiological-episootiological characteristics of parasitic diseases and the selection of resistant animal breeds/hybrids. Animal welfare is also of importance, the perfecting of reliable, rapid and less-costly methods for diagnosing parasitic diseases and the development of in vitro methods for the examination of resistance to antiparasitics.

  16. Specific recognition of reproductive parasite workers by nest-entrance guards in the bumble bee Bombus terrestris.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blacher, Pierre; Boreggio, Laurie; Leroy, Chloé; Devienne, Paul; Châline, Nicolas; Chameron, Stéphane

    2013-12-10

    The impact of social parasites on their hosts' fitness is a strong selective pressure that can lead to the evolution of adapted defence strategies. Guarding the nest to prevent the intrusion of parasites is a widespread response of host species. If absolute rejection of strangers provides the best protection against parasites, more fine-tuned strategies can prove more adaptive. Guarding is indeed costly and not all strangers constitute a real threat. That is particularly true for worker reproductive parasitism in social insects since only a fraction of non-nestmate visitors, the fertile ones, can readily engage in parasitic reproduction. Guards should thus be more restrictive towards fertile than sterile non-nestmate workers. We here tested this hypothesis by examining the reaction of nest-entrance guards towards nestmate and non-nestmate workers with varying fertility levels in the bumble bee Bombus terrestris. Because social recognition in social insects mainly relies on cuticular lipids (CLs), chemical analysis was also conducted to examine whether workers' CLs could convey the relevant information upon which guards could base their decision. We thus aimed to determine whether an adapted defensive strategy to worker reproductive parasitism has evolved in B. terrestris colonies. Chemical analysis revealed that the cuticular chemical profiles of workers encode information about both their colony membership and their current fertility, therefore providing potential recognition cues for a suitable adjustment of the guards' defensive decisions. We found that guards were similarly tolerant towards sterile non-nestmate workers than towards nestmate workers. However, as predicted, guards responded more aggressively towards fertile non-nestmates. Our results show that B. terrestris guards discriminate non-nestmates that differ in their reproductive potential and respond more strongly to the individuals that are a greatest threat for the colony. Cuticular hydrocarbons are

  17. One Health: parasites and beyond.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blake, Damer P; Betson, Martha

    2017-01-01

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

  18. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Darani, Hossein Yousofi; Yousefi, Morteza

    2012-12-01

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

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. Temporal and demographic blood parasite dynamics in two free-ranging neotropical primates

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gideon A. Erkenswick

    2017-08-01

    Full Text Available Parasite-host relationships are influenced by several factors intrinsic to hosts, such as social standing, group membership, sex, and age. However, in wild populations, temporal variation in parasite distributions and concomitant infections can alter these patterns. We used microscropy and molecular methods to screen for naturally occurring haemoparasitic infections in two Neotropical primate host populations, the saddleback (Leontocebus weddelli and emperor (Saguinus imperator tamarin, in the lowland tropical rainforests of southeastern Peru. Repeat sampling was conducted from known individuals over a three-year period to test for parasite-host and parasite-parasite associations. Three parasites were detected in L. weddelli including Trypanosoma minasense, Mansonella mariae, and Dipetalonema spp., while S. imperator only hosted the latter two. Temporal variation in prevalence was observed in T. minasense and Dipetalonema spp., confirming the necessity of a multi-year study to evaluate parasite-host relationships in this system. Although callitrichids display a distinct reproductive dominance hierarchy, characterized by single breeding females that typically mate polyandrously and can suppress the reproduction of subdominant females, logistic models did not identify sex or breeding status as determining factors in the presence of these parasites. However, age class had a positive effect on infection with M. mariae and T. minasense, and adults demonstrated higher parasite species richness than juveniles or sub-adults across both species. Body weight had a positive effect on the presence of Dipetalonema spp. The inclusion of co-infection variables in statistical models of parasite presence/absence data improved model fit for two of three parasites. This study verifies the importance and need for broad spectrum and long-term screening of parasite assemblages of natural host populations.

  3. Cessation of a salmon decline with control of parasites

    KAUST Repository

    Peacock, Stephanie J.

    2013-04-01

    The resilience of coastal social-ecological systems may depend on adaptive responses to aquaculture disease outbreaks that can threaten wild and farm fish. A nine-year study of parasitic sea lice (Lepeophtheirus salmonis) and pink salmon (Oncorhynchus gorbuscha) from Pacific Canada indicates that adaptive changes in parasite management on salmon farms have yielded positive conservation outcomes. After four years of sea lice epizootics and wild salmon population decline, parasiticide application on salmon farms was adapted to the timing of wild salmon migrations. Winter treatment of farm fish with parasiticides, prior to the out-migration of wild juvenile salmon, has reduced epizootics of wild salmon without significantly increasing the annual number of treatments. Levels of parasites on wild juvenile salmon significantly influence the growth rate of affected salmon populations, suggesting that these changes in management have had positive outcomes for wild salmon populations. These adaptive changes have not occurred through formal adaptive management, but rather, through multi-stakeholder processes arising from a contentious scientific and public debate. Despite the apparent success of parasite control on salmon farms in the study region, there remain concerns about the long-term sustainability of this approach because of the unknown ecological effects of parasticides and the potential for parasite resistance to chemical treatments. © 2013 by the Ecological Society of America.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Justyna Gatkowska

    2016-09-01

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

  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. Increased resin collection after parasite challenge: a case of self-medication in honey bees?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michael D Simone-Finstrom

    Full Text Available The constant pressure posed by parasites has caused species throughout the animal kingdom to evolve suites of mechanisms to resist infection. Individual barriers and physiological defenses are considered the main barriers against parasites in invertebrate species. However, behavioral traits and other non-immunological defenses can also effectively reduce parasite transmission and infection intensity. In social insects, behaviors that reduce colony-level parasite loads are termed "social immunity." One example of a behavioral defense is resin collection. Honey bees forage for plant-produced resins and incorporate them into their nest architecture. This use of resins can reduce chronic elevation of an individual bee's immune response. Since high activation of individual immunity can impose colony-level fitness costs, collection of resins may benefit both the individual and colony fitness. However the use of resins as a more direct defense against pathogens is unclear. Here we present evidence that honey bee colonies may self-medicate with plant resins in response to a fungal infection. Self-medication is generally defined as an individual responding to infection by ingesting or harvesting non-nutritive compounds or plant materials. Our results show that colonies increase resin foraging rates after a challenge with a fungal parasite (Ascophaera apis: chalkbrood or CB. Additionally, colonies experimentally enriched with resin had decreased infection intensities of this fungal parasite. If considered self-medication, this is a particularly unique example because it operates at the colony level. Most instances of self-medication involve pharmacophagy, whereby individuals change their diet in response to direct infection with a parasite. In this case with honey bees, resins are not ingested but used within the hive by adult bees exposed to fungal spores. Thus the colony, as the unit of selection, may be responding to infection through self

  7. 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 ...

  8. Intestinal parasite infections in immigrant children in the city of Rome, related risk factors and possible impact on nutritional status

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Manganelli Laura

    2012-11-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Parasitic diseases can represent a social and economic problem among disadvantaged people - even in developed countries. Due to the limited data available concerning Europe, the aims of the present study were to evaluate the presence of parasites in immigrant children and the risk factors favouring the spread of parasites. Subsequently, the possible correlation between nutritional status and parasitic infections was also investigated. Findings A convenience sample of two hundred and forty seven immigrant children (aged 0–15 attending the Poliambulatorio della Medicina Solidale in Rome was examined. Data were collected using structured questionnaires, and parasitological and anthropometric tests were applied. Chi-squared test and binary logistic multiple-regression models were used for statistical analysis. Thirty-seven children (15% tested positive to parasites of the following species: Blastocystis hominis, Entamoeba coli, Giardia duodenalis, Enterobius vermicularis, Ascaris lumbricoides and Strongyloides stercoralis. A monospecific infection was detected in 30 (81% out of 37 parasitized children, while the others (19% presented a polyparasitism. The major risk factors were housing, i.e. living in shacks, and cohabitation with other families (p Conclusions This study shows that parasite infection in children is still quite common, even in a developed country and that children’s growth and parasitism may be related. Extensive improvements in the living, social and economic conditions of immigrants are urgently needed in order to overcome these problems.

  9. Parasites in motion: flagellum-driven cell motility in African trypanosomes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hill, Kent L.

    2011-01-01

    SUMMARY Motility of the sleeping sickness parasite, Trypanosoma brucei, impacts disease transmission and pathogenesis. Trypanosome motility is driven by a flagellum that harbors a canonical 9 + 2 axoneme, together with trypanosome-specific elaborations. Trypanosome flagellum biology and motility have been the object of intense research over the last two years. These studies have led to the discovery of a novel form of motility, termed social motility, and provided revision of long-standing models for cell propulsion. Recent work has also uncovered novel structural features and motor proteins associated with the flagellar apparatus and has identified candidate signaling molecules that are predicted to regulate flagellar motility. Together with earlier inventories of flagellar proteins from proteomic and genomic studies, the stage is now set to move forward with functional studies to elucidate molecular mechanisms and investigate parasite motility in the context of host-parasite interactions. PMID:20591724

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. The Pied Piper: A Parasitic Beetle's Melodies Modulate Ant Behaviours.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andrea Di Giulio

    Full Text Available Ants use various communication channels to regulate their social organisation. The main channel that drives almost all the ants' activities and behaviours is the chemical one, but it is long acknowledged that the acoustic channel also plays an important role. However, very little is known regarding exploitation of the acoustical channel by myrmecophile parasites to infiltrate the ant society. Among social parasites, the ant nest beetles (Paussus are obligate myrmecophiles able to move throughout the colony at will and prey on the ants, surprisingly never eliciting aggression from the colonies. It has been recently postulated that stridulatory organs in Paussus might be evolved as an acoustic mechanism to interact with ants. Here, we survey the role of acoustic signals employed in the Paussus beetle-Pheidole ant system. Ants parasitised by Paussus beetles produce caste-specific stridulations. We found that Paussus can "speak" three different "languages", each similar to sounds produced by different ant castes (workers, soldiers, queen. Playback experiments were used to test how host ants respond to the sounds emitted by Paussus. Our data suggest that, by mimicking the stridulations of the queen, Paussus is able to dupe the workers of its host and to be treated as royalty. This is the first report of acoustic mimicry in a beetle parasite of ants.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. 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 .

  18. [Challenge and strategy of prevention and control of important parasitic diseases under the Belt and Road Initiative].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chun-Li, Cao; Jia-Gang, Guo

    2018-04-17

    China was once a country with the heaviest burden of parasitic diseases. Under the leadership of the Communist Party and national authority, after more than 60 years' efforts of prevention and control, the remarkable results have been achieved in China. However, affected by the social and economic development and environmental changes, the prevention and control of parasitic diseases, especially imported parasitic diseases, are facing new challenges, and the parasitic diseases, such as malaria, schistosomiasis, leishmaniasis, filariasis and trypanosomiasis, appear increasingly. With the development of the Belt and Road Initiative, the transmission risks of these diseases are more increased. The purpose of this paper is to describe the experience and results of parasitic disease prevention and control in China, understand the present parasitic disease epidemic situation of the Belt and Road Initiative related countries, analyze the transmission risks of important parasitic diseases, and present some relevant suggestions, so as to provide the evidence for the health administrative department formulating the prevention and control strategies of such parasitic diseases timely and effectively.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Carolina Piña-Vázquez

    2012-01-01

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

  20. Inevitability of Genetic Parasites

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  1. The role of host traits, season and group size on parasite burdens in a cooperative mammal.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hermien Viljoen

    Full Text Available The distribution of parasites among hosts is often characterised by a high degree of heterogeneity with a small number of hosts harbouring the majority of parasites. Such patterns of aggregation have been linked to variation in host exposure and susceptibility as well as parasite traits and environmental factors. Host exposure and susceptibility may differ with sexes, reproductive effort and group size. Furthermore, environmental factors may affect both the host and parasite directly and contribute to temporal heterogeneities in parasite loads. We investigated the contributions of host and parasite traits as well as season on parasite loads in highveld mole-rats (Cryptomys hottentotus pretoriae. This cooperative breeder exhibits a reproductive division of labour and animals live in colonies of varying sizes that procreate seasonally. Mole-rats were parasitised by lice, mites, cestodes and nematodes with mites (Androlaelaps sp. and cestodes (Mathevotaenia sp. being the dominant ecto- and endoparasites, respectively. Sex and reproductive status contributed little to the observed parasite prevalence and abundances possibly as a result of the shared burrow system. Clear seasonal patterns of parasite prevalence and abundance emerged with peaks in summer for mites and in winter for cestodes. Group size correlated negatively with mite abundance while it had no effect on cestode burdens and group membership affected infestation with both parasites. We propose that the mode of transmission as well as social factors constrain parasite propagation generating parasite patterns deviating from those commonly predicted.

  2. Behavioural plasticity of social trematodes depends upon social context

    OpenAIRE

    Kamiya, T.; Poulin, R.

    2013-01-01

    Members of some social insects adjust their behaviours depending upon social context. Such plasticity allows colonies to sustain efficiency of the whole without the cost of additional production of individuals or delayed responses to perturbations. Using the recently discovered social clonal stage of trematode parasites, we investigated whether members of the reproductive caste adjust their defensive behaviour according to the local availability of non-reproductive defensive specialists, and ...

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. 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)

  7. 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...

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  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. 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.

  16. [The classical parasite: from appreciative partners of the gods to serving as jesters].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hassl, Andreas

    2005-01-01

    A [pialpharhoalphasigmaiotatauomicronzeta] = parasitos = parasite of the classical Greek antiquity was a tolerated, but not invited co-eater during a guest meal. Usually a parasite was an illegitimate, incapable to inherit or anyway pauperised, free, young man who had to pay for his meal with exhilaration of the guests, adulation, maintenance art, and humiliation. However, during the more than two millennia lasting development of the classical antique society, even this little prestigious profession was preceded by a stupendous development, reflecting an unprecedented devaluation of this socially enforced activity. At the outset of the development there stood the archaic, neolithic social order of Greece, within which a parasitos was the selected partner of the divinity and at the same time a civil servant of a municipality and an outstanding citizen of a community. In the classical antiquity the term parasitos had a socio-political contents above all; the term incorporated itself into the ancient sacral, social, and constitutional spheres. The transformation to a medical word meaning took originally place in the course of an erroneous reception during the 17th century.

  17. (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.

  18. 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 ...

  19. 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.

  20. Living With Parasites in Palo Verde National Park

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eben Kirksey

    2012-11-01

    Full Text Available Bruno Latour has tried to bring a parliamentary democracy to the domain of nature. Wading through the swamps of Palo Verde, a national park in the Guanacaste Province of Costa Rica, and wandering onto neighbouring agricultural lands, I failed to find a central place where people were speaking for nature. Departing from a failed attempt to speak for another species (the fringe-toed foam frog, this paper considers how diverging values and obligations shape relationships in multi-species worlds. As spokespersons articulated competing visions of nature on the borderlands of Palo Verde, multiple social and ecological worlds went to war. The haunting specter of capital joined the fray—animating the movements of cattle, grasses with animal rhizomes, rice seeds, and flighty ducks across national borders and through fragmented landscapes. Amidst this warfare, the fringe-toed foam frog was just one tenacious parasite, a noisy agent eating at the table of another, which began to flourish in worlds designed with the well-being of others in mind. Cattails, charismatic birds, and a multitude of insects began interrupting human dreams and schemes. Final solutions to the problem of living with parasites failed in Palo Verde. Humans and parasites, who became para-selves of one another, maintained an abiding presence in the landscape.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hahn, D.C.

    1999-01-01

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

  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. Control of human parasitic diseases: Context and overview.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Molyneux, David H

    2006-01-01

    leishmaniases can be solved in the not too distant future. However, it will be difficult to implement and sustain such interventions in fragile health services often in settings where resources are limited but also in unstable, conflict-affected or post-conflict countries. Emphasis is placed on the importance of co-endemicity and polyparasitism and the opportunity to control parasites susceptible to cost-effective and proven chemotherapeutic interventions for a package of diseases which can be implemented at low cost and which would benefit the poorest and most marginalized groups. The ecology of parasitic diseases is discussed in the context of changing ecology, environment, sociopolitical developments and climate change. These drivers of global change will affect the epidemiology of parasites over the coming decades, while in many of the most endemic and impoverished countries parasitic infections will be accorded lower priority as resourced stressed health systems cope with the burden of the higher-profile killing diseases viz., HIV/AIDS, TB and malaria. There is a need for more holistic thinking about the interactions between parasites and other infections. It is clear that as the prevalence and awareness of HIV has increased, there is a growing recognition of a host of complex interactions that determine disease outcome in individual patients. The competition for resources in the health as well as other social sectors will be a continuing challenge; effective parasite control will be dependent on how such resources are accessed and deployed to effectively address well-defined problems some of which are readily amenable to successful interventions with proven methods. In the health sector, the problems of the HIV/AIDS and TB pandemics and the problem of the emerging burden of chronic non-communicable diseases will be significant competitors for these limited resources as parasitic infections aside from malaria tend to be chronic disabling problems of the poorest who have

  6. Effects of parasitism on host reproductive investment in a rodent-flea system: host litter size matters.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Warburton, Elizabeth M; Khokhlova, Irina S; Dlugosz, Elizabeth M; Der Mescht, Luther Van; Krasnov, Boris R

    2017-02-01

    Parents may alter offspring phenotype depending on the type of environment they encounter. Parasitism is a common stressor; therefore, maternal reproductive investment could change in response to parasitic infection. However, few experiments have investigated the relationship between parasitism and maternal investment, whereas earlier field studies provided contradictory evidence. We investigated number, sex ratio, and growth of offspring in two rodent species, solitary altricial Meriones crassus and social precocial Acomys cahirinus, exposed to parasitism by fleas Xenopsylla ramesis and Parapulex chephrenis. No effect of treatment on litter size or sex ratio of a litter was found in either rodent species. Flea parasitism was found to affect pre-weaning body mass gain in M. crassus, but not in A. cahirinus pups. Furthermore, it appeared that female M. crassus invested resources into their offspring differently in dependence of litter size. In small litters (1-3 offspring), pups from infested females gained more body mass before weaning than pups from uninfested mothers. However, this trend was reversed in females with large litters indicating that parasitized females have a finite amount of resources with which to provision their young. Thus, M. crassus mothers parasitized by fleas seemed to receive some sort of external cues (e.g., stress caused by infestation) that prompted them to alter offspring provisioning, depending on species-specific possibilities and constraints. Therefore, parasites could be a mediator of environmentally induced maternal effects and offspring provisioning may have adaptive value against parasitism.

  7. The ecology of fish parasites with particular reference to helminth parasites and their salmonid fish hosts in Welsh rivers: a review of some of the central questions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thomas, J D

    2002-01-01

    Ecological studies carried out in Welsh rivers on the feeding behaviour of salmonid fish, their helminth parasites and intermediate hosts in the early 1950s and in 1998 have been used as a basis to review the literature dealing with the following questions. First, how are the helminth populations dispersed in space-time? Second, to what extent are the distributional patterns and the life history strategies of the parasites influenced by physicochemical factors? Third, to what extent are populations of helmith parasites in salmonid fish influenced by host characteristics including the genome, sex, age, size, social position and Feeding behaviour? Fourth, are the populations of parasites regulated in a density-dependent manner? Fifth, do the parasites influence the survival and wellbeing of their salmonid hosts and the evolution of sex? Sixth, to what extent is the parasite community influenced by environmental changes including those of an anthropogenic nature and can the parasites be used as bioindicators of pollution? As with most parasites the helminth species found were highly overdispersed thus making it necessary to undertake a log10 (1 + x) conversion for statistical analyses. Statistical analyses confirm that the genome, age and sex of salmonid fish hosts, the station and seasonal change in radiation levels were significant factors in predicting the number of parasites. The evidence given supports the hypothesis that the feeding behaviour and habitat selection by the host fish, their position in the social hierarchy and the overdispersed nature of the transmission sites are the key factors in causing differences in the parasitic fauna related to host species, age, size and sex. Differences in the helminth parasite community related to station can be explained on the basis of differences in water types, sediments and chemistry. Although the evidence presented is in accord with the consensus view that temperature is correlated with seasonal changes in the

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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....

  14. 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...

  15. Acquired resistance of malarial parasites against artemisinin-based drugs: social and economic impacts

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Johanna M Porter-Kelley

    2010-08-01

    Full Text Available Johanna M Porter-Kelley1, Joann Cofie2, Sophonie Jean2, Mark E Brooks1, Mia Lassiter1, DC Ghislaine Mayer21Life Sciences Department, ­Winston-Salem State University, Winston Salem, NC, USA; 2Department of Biology, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, VA, USAAbstract: Malaria, a disease of poverty and high morbidity and mortality in the tropical world, has led to a worldwide search for control measures. To that end, good antimalarial chemotherapies have been difficult to find in the global market and those that seem to be most effective are rapidly becoming ineffective due to the emergence and spread of drug resistance. Artemisinin, a very effective yet expensive antimalarial, has quickly become the recommended drug of choice when all other possibilities fail. However, for all its promise as the next great antimalarial, the outlook is bleak. Resistance is developing to artemisinin while another effective antimalarial is not in sight. Malaria endemic areas which are mostly in developing countries must deal with the multifaceted process of changing and implementing new national malaria treatment guidelines. This requires complex interactions between several sectors of the affected society which in some cases take place within the context of political instability. Moreover, the cost associated with preventing and containing the spread of antimalarial resistance is detrimental to economic progress. This review addresses the impact of artemisinin resistance on the socioeconomic structure of malaria endemic countries.Keywords: artemisinin-based drugs, social, economic, malarial parasite resistance

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. 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...

  2. 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...

  3. 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...

  4. An ethical and prudential argument for prioritizing the reduction of parasite-stress in the allocation of health care resources.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Powell, Russell; Clarke, Steve; Savulescu, Julian

    2012-04-01

    The link between parasite-stress and complex psychological dispositions implies that the social, political, and economic benefits likely to flow from public health interventions that reduce rates of non-zoonotic infectious disease are far greater than have traditionally been thought. We sketch a prudential and ethical argument for increasing public health resources globally and redistributing these to focus on the alleviation of parasite-stress in human populations.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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 ...

  12. First record of the vulnerable social parasite ant Plagiolepis grassei in Italy (Hymenoptera: Formicidae

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Enrico Schifani

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available The first Italian records of the rare parasitic ant species Plagiolepis grassei Le Masne, 1956 are here reported. This species is considered as “Vulnerable” by the IUCN’s Red List, and was previously recorded from France and Spain only.

  13. Social immunity and the evolution of group living in insects.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meunier, Joël

    2015-05-26

    The evolution of group living requires that individuals limit the inherent risks of parasite infection. To this end, group living insects have developed a unique capability of mounting collective anti-parasite defences, such as allogrooming and corpse removal from the nest. Over the last 20 years, this phenomenon (called social immunity) was mostly studied in eusocial insects, with results emphasizing its importance in derived social systems. However, the role of social immunity in the early evolution of group living remains unclear. Here, I investigate this topic by first presenting the definitions of social immunity and discussing their applications across social systems. I then provide an up-to-date appraisal of the collective and individual mechanisms of social immunity described in eusocial insects and show that they have counterparts in non-eusocial species and even solitary species. Finally, I review evidence demonstrating that the increased risks of parasite infection in group living species may both decrease and increase the level of personal immunity, and discuss how the expression of social immunity could drive these opposite effects. By highlighting similarities and differences of social immunity across social systems, this review emphasizes the potential importance of this phenomenon in the early evolution of the multiple forms of group living in insects. © 2015 The Author(s) Published by the Royal Society. All rights reserved.

  14. Testing the adjustable threshold model for intruder recognition on Myrmica ants in the context of a social parasite

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Fürst, Matthias Alois; Durey, Maëlle; Nash, David Richard

    2012-01-01

    gains access to the ants' nests by mimicking their cuticular hydrocarbon recognition cues, which allows the parasites to blend in with their host ants. Myrmica rubra may be particularly susceptible to exploitation in this fashion as it has large, polydomous colonies with many queens and a very viscous...... and therefore the less-related workers within a colony, the less aggressively they will behave; and that colonies facing parasitism will be more aggressive than colonies experiencing less parasite pressure. Our results confirm all these predictions, supporting flexible aggression behaviour in Myrmica ants...

  15. Smart Parasitic Nematodes Use Multifaceted Strategies to Parasitize Plants

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Muhammad A. Ali

    2017-10-01

    Full Text Available Nematodes are omnipresent in nature including many species which are parasitic to plants and cause enormous economic losses in various crops. During the process of parasitism, sedentary phytonematodes use their stylet to secrete effector proteins into the plant cells to induce the development of specialized feeding structures. These effectors are used by the nematodes to develop compatible interactions with plants, partly by mimicking the expression of host genes. Intensive research is going on to investigate the molecular function of these effector proteins in the plants. In this review, we have summarized which physiological and molecular changes occur when endoparasitic nematodes invade the plant roots and how they develop a successful interaction with plants using the effector proteins. We have also mentioned the host genes which are induced by the nematodes for a compatible interaction. Additionally, we discuss how nematodes modulate the reactive oxygen species (ROS and RNA silencing pathways in addition to post-translational modifications in their own favor for successful parasitism in plants.

  16. Nuclear hormone receptors in parasitic helminths

    OpenAIRE

    Wu, Wenjie; LoVerde, Philip T

    2010-01-01

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

  17. Prevalence of Parasitic Contamination

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ismail, Yazan

    2016-01-01

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

  18. Physiological stress mediates the honesty of social signals.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gary R Bortolotti

    Full Text Available Extravagant ornaments used as social signals evolved to advertise their bearers' quality. The Immunocompetence Handicap Hypothesis proposes that testosterone-dependent ornaments reliably signal health and parasite resistance; however, empirical studies have shown mixed support. Alternatively, immune function and parasite resistance may be indirectly or directly related to glucocorticoid stress hormones. We propose that an understanding of the interplay between the individual and its environment, particularly how they cope with stressors, is crucial for understanding the honesty of social signals.We analyzed corticosterone deposited in growing feathers as an integrated measure of hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal activity in a wild territorial bird, the red grouse Lagopus lagopus scoticus. We manipulated two key, interrelated components, parasites and testosterone, which influence both ornamentation and fitness. Birds were initially purged of parasites, and later challenged with parasites or not, while at the same time being given testosterone or control implants, using a factorial experimental design. At the treatment level, testosterone enhanced ornamentation, while parasites reduced it, but only in males not implanted with testosterone. Among individuals, the degree to which both parasites and testosterone had an effect was strongly dependent on the amount of corticosterone in the feather grown during the experiment. The more stressors birds had experienced (i.e., higher corticosterone, the more parasites developed, and the less testosterone enhanced ornamentation.With this unique focus on the individual, and a novel, integrative, measure of response to stressors, we show that ornamentation is ultimately a product of the cumulative physiological response to environmental challenges. These findings lead toward a more realistic concept of honesty in signaling as well as a broader discussion of the concept of stress.

  19. Prevalence of intestinal parasites among food handlers at cafeteria of Jimma University Specialized Hospital, Southwest Ethiopia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hundaol Girma

    2017-08-01

    Full Text Available Objective: To assess the prevalence of intestinal parasites and associated risk factors among food-handlers working at cafeteria of Jimma University Specialized Hospital, Jimma, Ethiopia. Methods: Socio-demographic and associated risk factors data were collected using a pretested structured questionnaire. Stool and finger-nail specimens were screened for intestinal parasites using direct wet mount and formol-ether concentration sedimentation techniques. Data were edited, cleaned, entered and analyzed using statistical package for social science (SPSS version 20. P ≤ 0.05 was taken as statistically significant. Results: A total of 94 food-handlers working at cafeteria of Jimma University Specialized Hospital were participated in the study. From the total 148 samples (94 stool and 54 fingernails content examined, 31 (33% were positive for one or more parasites. Over all eight types of intestinal parasites were identified. The most prevalent parasite identified was Ascaris lumbricoides (16% followed by Entamoeba histolytica/dispar (4.3%. There was significant association between parasitic infection and food handlers who did not practice hand washing after defecation and before serving food. Conclusions: Relatively high prevalence of intestinal parasites is detected indicating poor hygiene practice of the food-handlers at the study site. The study also identified finger-nail status, hand washing after defecation and before serving food as determinants of intestinal parasitic infection. It is crucial for provision of regular training on strict adherence to good personal hygiene and hygienic food-handling practices as well as regular inspection and medical checkup of food-handlers.

  20. 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...

  1. Adaptations in the energy metabolism of parasites

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2009-01-01

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

  2. Nuclear techniques in the study of parasitic infections

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1982-01-01

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

  3. Nutrition and metabolism of parasitized and non-parasitized ruminants. Some approaches for studying the mode of action of parasites

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Leng, R.A.

    1981-01-01

    The effects of helminth infections on ruminant digestive function and metabolism are discussed against the background of current information on the mechanisms controlling feed intake and utilization in normal animals. Although parasites reduce productivity by impairing appetite and utilization of nutrients, few studies have been conducted on the function of the digestive tract and the metabolism of parasitized animals. Those areas which warrant further investigation are described, and the techniques which could be usefully applied are outlined. It is concluded that more emphasis should be given to the diet available to parasitized animals, and that by using diets of different digestibility and protein content, valuable information could be obtained as to the relative importance of reduced appetite and reduced efficiency of feed utilization. Central to all studies is a proper delineation of the fate of proteins in the small intestine of parasitized animals, and characterization of the types of bacteria in the gut and their effects on endogenous protein losses. The application of 15 N is mentioned. The potential usefulness of 14 C (eg. to measure the flow of digesta, to the lower digestive tract; clearance of 14 C-propionate from blood; etc.) is described

  4. Host Diet Affects the Morphology of Monarch Butterfly Parasites.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hoang, Kevin; Tao, Leiling; Hunter, Mark D; de Roode, Jacobus C

    2017-06-01

    Understanding host-parasite interactions is essential for ecological research, wildlife conservation, and health management. While most studies focus on numerical traits of parasite groups, such as changes in parasite load, less focus is placed on the traits of individual parasites such as parasite size and shape (parasite morphology). Parasite morphology has significant effects on parasite fitness such as initial colonization of hosts, avoidance of host immune defenses, and the availability of resources for parasite replication. As such, understanding factors that affect parasite morphology is important in predicting the consequences of host-parasite interactions. Here, we studied how host diet affected the spore morphology of a protozoan parasite ( Ophryocystis elektroscirrha ), a specialist parasite of the monarch butterfly ( Danaus plexippus ). We found that different host plant species (milkweeds; Asclepias spp.) significantly affected parasite spore size. Previous studies have found that cardenolides, secondary chemicals in host plants of monarchs, can reduce parasite loads and increase the lifespan of infected butterflies. Adding to this benefit of high cardenolide milkweeds, we found that infected monarchs reared on milkweeds of higher cardenolide concentrations yielded smaller parasites, a potentially hidden characteristic of cardenolides that may have important implications for monarch-parasite interactions.

  5. Parasites from the Past

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

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

  6. INTESTINAL AND BLOOD PARASITES OF MAN IN TIMOR

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    W. Patrick Carney

    2012-09-01

    Full Text Available Survey tinja dan darah dipulau Timor guna menentukan distribusi dan prevalensi penyakit parasit diantara penduduk telah dilakukan pada bulan Juli dan Agustus tahun 1972 sebagai kelanjutan dari deretan survey yang dilakukan oleh Direktorat Jenderal Pencegahan Pemberantasan Penyakit menular Departemen Kesehatan, Bagian Parasitologi dan Pathologi Umum Fakultas Kedokteran Universitas Indonesia dan US Namru-2 di Indonesia. Sejumlah 445 sediaan tinja untuk pemeriksaan parasit usus, 581 sediaan darah untuk pemeriksaan parasit malaria dan 663 sediaan darah untuk pemeriksaan parasit filaria telah diambil dari penduduk cara merata di 7 desa pada 3 kabupaten di Timor, Nusa Tenggara Timur. Enam puluh delapan per cent diantara penduduk melihatkan satu atau lebih parasit usus didalam tinjanya dimana cacing tambang merupakan parasit usus yang terbanyak. Ascaris lumbricoides ketemukan jauh lebih kurang daripada di Jawa, Sumatra dan Sulawesi, juga diketemukan perbedaan itara "intestinal parasite rate" di Timor Indonesia dan Timor Portugis. Dua belas percent penduduk yang diperiksa melihatkan parasit malaria didalam darahnya sedangkan parasit filaria ditemukan sebanyak 8 percent. Plasmodium falciparum merupakan parasit malaria yang terbanyak ditemukan, ia jenis parasit fdaria yang ditemukan adalah "Timor microfilaria" dan Wuchereria bancrofti dimana yang pertama merupakan parasit yang terbanyak diantara penduduk yang diperiksa.

  7. One Health: parasites and beyond…

    OpenAIRE

    Blake, DP; Betson, ME

    2016-01-01

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

  8. Pervasiveness of parasites in pollinators.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sophie E F Evison

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

  9. 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

  10. Egg size matching by an intraspecific brood parasite

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lemons, Patrick R.; Sedinger, James S.

    2011-01-01

    Avian brood parasitism provides an ideal system with which to understand animal recognition and its affect on fitness. This phenomenon of laying eggs in the nests of other individuals has classically been framed from the perspective of interspecific brood parasitism and host recognition of parasitic eggs. Few examples exist of strategies adopted by intraspecific brood parasites to maximize success of parasitic eggs. Intraspecific brood parasitism within precocial birds can be a risky strategy in that hatch synchrony is essential to reproductive success. Given that egg size is positively correlated with incubation time, parasitic birds would benefit by recognizing and selecting hosts with a similar egg size. Intraspecific brood parasitism is an alternative reproductive strategy in black brant (Branta bernicla nigricans), a colonial nesting goose with precocial young. Based on a randomization test, parasitic eggs in this study differed less in size from eggs in their host's nests than did random eggs placed in random nests. Parasitic eggs were remarkably similar in size to hosts’ eggs, differing by nests differed by nearly 8%. The precision with which parasitic brant match the egg size of hosts in our study supports our hypothesis that brant match egg size of hosts, thereby maximizing hatching success of their parasitic eggs.

  11. Subversion of complement by hematophagous parasites.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schroeder, Hélène; Skelly, Patrick J; Zipfel, Peter F; Losson, Bertrand; Vanderplasschen, Alain

    2009-01-01

    The complement system is a crucial part of innate and adaptive immunity which exerts a significant evolutionary pressure on pathogens. It has selected for those pathogens, mainly microorganisms but also parasites, that have evolved countermeasures. The characterization of how pathogens evade complement attack is a rapidly developing field of current research. In recent years, multiple complement evasion strategies have been characterized. In this review, we focus on complement escape mechanisms expressed by hematophagous parasites, a heterogeneous group of metazoan parasites that share the property of ingesting the whole blood of their host. Complement inhibition is crucial for parasite survival within the host tissue or to facilitate blood feeding. Finally, complement inhibition by hematophagous parasites may also contribute to their success as pathogen vectors.

  12. Mechanisms of host seeking by parasitic nematodes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gang, Spencer S; Hallem, Elissa A

    2016-07-01

    The phylum Nematoda comprises a diverse group of roundworms that includes parasites of vertebrates, invertebrates, and plants. Human-parasitic nematodes infect more than one billion people worldwide and cause some of the most common neglected tropical diseases, particularly in low-resource countries [1]. Parasitic nematodes of livestock and crops result in billions of dollars in losses each year [1]. Many nematode infections are treatable with low-cost anthelmintic drugs, but repeated infections are common in endemic areas and drug resistance is a growing concern with increasing therapeutic and agricultural administration [1]. Many parasitic nematodes have an environmental infective larval stage that engages in host seeking, a process whereby the infective larvae use sensory cues to search for hosts. Host seeking is a complex behavior that involves multiple sensory modalities, including olfaction, gustation, thermosensation, and humidity sensation. As the initial step of the parasite-host interaction, host seeking could be a powerful target for preventative intervention. However, host-seeking behavior remains poorly understood. Here we review what is currently known about the host-seeking behaviors of different parasitic nematodes, including insect-parasitic nematodes, mammalian-parasitic nematodes, and plant-parasitic nematodes. We also discuss the neural bases of these behaviors. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  13. De novo assembly and characterization of the transcriptome of the parasitic weed dodder identifies genes associated with plant parasitism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ranjan, Aashish; Ichihashi, Yasunori; Farhi, Moran; Zumstein, Kristina; Townsley, Brad; David-Schwartz, Rakefet; Sinha, Neelima R

    2014-11-01

    Parasitic flowering plants are one of the most destructive agricultural pests and have major impact on crop yields throughout the world. Being dependent on finding a host plant for growth, parasitic plants penetrate their host using specialized organs called haustoria. Haustoria establish vascular connections with the host, which enable the parasite to steal nutrients and water. The underlying molecular and developmental basis of parasitism by plants is largely unknown. In order to investigate the process of parasitism, RNAs from different stages (i.e. seed, seedling, vegetative strand, prehaustoria, haustoria, and flower) were used to de novo assemble and annotate the transcriptome of the obligate plant stem parasite dodder (Cuscuta pentagona). The assembled transcriptome was used to dissect transcriptional dynamics during dodder development and parasitism and identified key gene categories involved in the process of plant parasitism. Host plant infection is accompanied by increased expression of parasite genes underlying transport and transporter categories, response to stress and stimuli, as well as genes encoding enzymes involved in cell wall modifications. By contrast, expression of photosynthetic genes is decreased in the dodder infective stages compared with normal stem. In addition, genes relating to biosynthesis, transport, and response of phytohormones, such as auxin, gibberellins, and strigolactone, were differentially expressed in the dodder infective stages compared with stems and seedlings. This analysis sheds light on the transcriptional changes that accompany plant parasitism and will aid in identifying potential gene targets for use in controlling the infestation of crops by parasitic weeds. © 2014 American Society of Plant Biologists. All Rights Reserved.

  14. A hierarchical bayesian analysis of parasite prevalence and sociocultural outcomes: The role of structural racism and sanitation infrastructure.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ross, Cody T; Winterhalder, Bruce

    2016-01-01

    We conduct a revaluation of the Thornhill and Fincher research project on parasites using finely-resolved geographic data on parasite prevalence, individual-level sociocultural data, and multilevel Bayesian modeling. In contrast to the evolutionary psychological mechanisms linking parasites to human behavior and cultural characteristics proposed by Thornhill and Fincher, we offer an alternative hypothesis that structural racism and differential access to sanitation systems drive both variation in parasite prevalence and differential behaviors and cultural characteristics. We adopt a Bayesian framework to estimate parasite prevalence rates in 51 districts in eight Latin American countries using the disease status of 170,220 individuals tested for infection with the intestinal roundworm Ascaris lumbricoides (Hürlimann et al., []: PLoS Negl Trop Dis 5:e1404). We then use district-level estimates of parasite prevalence and individual-level social data from 5,558 individuals in the same 51 districts (Latinobarómetro, 2008) to assess claims of causal associations between parasite prevalence and sociocultural characteristics. We find, contrary to Thornhill and Fincher, that parasite prevalence is positively associated with preferences for democracy, negatively associated with preferences for collectivism, and not associated with violent crime rates or gender inequality. A positive association between parasite prevalence and religiosity, as in Fincher and Thornhill (: Behav Brain Sci 35:61-79), and a negative association between parasite prevalence and achieved education, as predicted by Eppig et al. (: Proc R S B: Biol Sci 277:3801-3808), become negative and unreliable when reasonable controls are included in the model. We find support for all predictions derived from our hypothesis linking structural racism to both parasite prevalence and cultural outcomes. We conclude that best practices in biocultural modeling require examining more than one hypothesis, retaining

  15. Rare species of fungi parasiting on algae I. Parasites of Spirogyra and Mougeotia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Joanna Z. Kadłubowska

    2014-08-01

    Full Text Available Investigations carried out on the genus Spirogyra Link and Mougeotia Agardh revealed the following species of fungi parasiting in the Spirogyra and Mougeotia cells: Olpidium endogenum, Blyttiomyces helicus, B. spinulosus, Micromyces zygogonii and Rhizophydium ampullaceum. First information on B. helicus as parasitic on algae is presented.

  16. Glyoxalase diversity in parasitic protists.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Deponte, Marcel

    2014-04-01

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

  17. Brood parasitism and quasi-parasitism in the European barn swallow Hirundo rustica rustica

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Petrželková, Adéla; Michálková, R.; Albrechtová, Jana; Cepák, J.; Honza, Marcel; Kreisinger, J.; Munclinger, P.; Soudková, M.; Tomášek, Oldřich; Albrecht, Tomáš

    2015-01-01

    Roč. 69, č. 9 (2015), s. 1405-1414 ISSN 0340-5443 R&D Projects: GA ČR(CZ) GAP506/12/2472 Institutional support: RVO:68081766 Keywords : Altricial birds * Colonial breeding * Conspecific brood parasitism * Egg dumping * Host fitness * Parasite fitness Subject RIV: EG - Zoology Impact factor: 2.382, year: 2015

  18. 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.

  19. Microaspiration of esophageal gland cells and cDNA library construction for identifying parasitism genes of plant-parasitic nematodes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hussey, Richard S; Huang, Guozhong; Allen, Rex

    2011-01-01

    Identifying parasitism genes encoding proteins secreted from a plant-parasitic nematode's esophageal gland cells and injected through its stylet into plant tissue is the key to understanding the molecular basis of nematode parasitism of plants. Parasitism genes have been cloned by directly microaspirating the cytoplasm from the esophageal gland cells of different parasitic stages of cyst or root-knot nematodes to provide mRNA to create a gland cell-specific cDNA library by long-distance reverse-transcriptase polymerase chain reaction. cDNA clones are sequenced and deduced protein sequences with a signal peptide for secretion are identified for high-throughput in situ hybridization to confirm gland-specific expression.

  20. Parasites of mammals species abundance near zone Chernobyl

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Pen'kevich, V.A.

    2014-01-01

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

  1. Parasites in Forensic Science: a historic perspective

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cardoso, Rita; Alves, Helena; Richter, Joachim; Botelho, Monica C

    Parasites show a great potential to Forensic Science. Forensic Science is the application of any science and methodology to the legal system. The forensic scientist collects and analyses the physical evidence and produce a report of the results to the court. A parasite is an organism that lives at the expense of another and they exist in any ecosystem. Parasites are the cause of many important diseases. The forensic scientists can use the parasites to identify a crime scene, to determine the murder weapon or simply identify an individual. The applications for parasites in the Forensic Science can be many and more studies should be made in Forensic Parasitology. The most important parasites in Forensic Science are helminths specifically schistosomes. Through history there are many cases where schistosomes were described in autopsies and it was related to the cause of death. Here we review the applications of parasites in Forensic Science and its importance to the forensic scientist.

  2. 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.

  3. Gastrointestinal parasites of mountain gorillas (Gorilla gorilla beringei) in the Parc National des Volcans, Rwanda.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sleeman, J M; Meader, L L; Mudakikwa, A B; Foster, J W; Patton, S

    2000-09-01

    Ninety-eight fecal samples were collected from 74 free-living mountain gorillas (Gorilla gorilla beringei) from the Parc National des Volcans, Rwanda, between July 1995 and January 1997 and examined for parasites by Sheather's sugar and zinc sulfate flotation methods, trichrome staining, and larval cultures. All samples contained at least one parasite. Seventeen endoparasites were identified, including eight protozoa, seven nematodes, one cestode, and one trematode. Two species of arthropod mite were also recovered from the fecal samples. Parasites observed on fecal examinations included strongyle/trichostrongyle-type eggs (72/74) (representing Oesphagostomum sp., Trichostrongylus sp., Hyostrongylus spp., and possibly Murshidia sp.), Strongyloides sp. (1/74), Trichuris trichiura (2/74), Probstmayria sp. (7/74), Anoplocephala sp. (63/74), Entamoeba hartmanni cysts and trophozoites (19/70), Endolimax nana cysts (31/70), Iodamoeba buetschlii cysts (11/70), Endolimax nana or Iodamoeba buetschlii trophozoites (63/70). Entamoeba coli cysts and trophozoites (14/70), Entamoeba histolytica trophozoite (1/70), Chilomastix sp. cysts and trophozoites (31/70), and Giardia sp. cysts (2/70). In addition, one ascarid and one trematode egg were seen. There were no significant differences in the prevalence of parasites between males and females and between age groups: however, infants and juveniles appeared to have a lower prevalence of Anoplocephala gorillae, and the silverbacked males appeared to have a higher prevalence of Probstmayria sp. Parasite prevalence was consistent among the five social groups studied except Susa group had a significantly lower prevalence of Anoplocephala gorillae. Trichuris trichiura, Strongyloides sp., Chilomastix sp., and Endolimax nana were identified for the first time in this population, and it is possible that these parasites were of human origin. Although there were no obvious clinical effects due to the presence of these parasites, six parasites

  4. Rare species of fungi parasiting on algae. II. Parasites of Desmidiaceae

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Joanna Z. Kadłubowska

    2014-08-01

    Full Text Available Investigations carried out on the Desmidiaceae revealed the following species of fungi parasitizing on desmids: Myzocytium megastomum, Lagenidium closterii, Ancylistes closterii and Rhizophydium globosum. Legenidium closterii is new in Poland. It is the first information of this species as a parasite on the algae from the genus Tetmemorus. Figures of sporangia of Rhizophydium globosum on Euastrum ansatum, Cosmarium botrytis, C. pseudamoenum and a resting spore on Staurastrum punctulatum are the first graphic documentation of this species.

  5. Host-Parasite Interactions from the Inside: Plant Reproductive Ontogeny Drives Specialization in Parasitic Insects.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Thomas Boivin

    Full Text Available Host plant interactions are likely key drivers of evolutionary processes involved in the diversification of phytophagous insects. Granivory has received substantial attention for its crucial role in shaping the interaction between plants and their seed parasites, but fine-scale mechanisms explaining the role of host plant reproductive biology on specialization of seed parasites remain poorly described. In a comparative approach using plant histological techniques, we tested the hypotheses that different seed parasite species synchronize their life cycles to specific stages in seed development, and that the stage they target depends on major differences in seed development programs. In a pinaceous system, seed storage products are initiated before ovule fertilization and the wasps target the ovule's nucellus during megagametogenesis, a stage at which larvae may benefit from the by-products derived from both secreting cells and dying nucellar cells. In a cupressaceous system, oviposition activity peaks later, during embryogenesis, and the wasps target the ovule's megagametophyte where larvae may benefit from cell disintegration during embryogenesis. Our cytohistological approach shows for the first time how, despite divergent oviposition targets, different parasite species share a common strategy that consists of first competing for nutrients with developing plant structures, and then consuming these developed structures to complete their development. Our results support the prediction that seed developmental program is an axis for specialization in seed parasites, and that it could be an important parameter in models of their ecological and taxonomic divergence. This study provides the basis for further investigating the possibility of the link between plant ontogeny and pre-dispersal seed parasitism.

  6. Nest prospecting brown-headed cowbirds 'parasitize' social information when the value of personal information is lacking.

    Science.gov (United States)

    White, David J; Davies, Hayden B; Agyapong, Samuel; Seegmiller, Nora

    2017-08-30

    Brood parasites face considerable cognitive challenges in locating and selecting host nests for their young. Here, we test whether female brown-headed cowbirds, Molothrus ater , could use information acquired from observing the nest prospecting patterns of conspecifics to influence their own patterns of nest selection. In laboratory-based experiments, we created a disparity in the amount of personal information females had about the quality of nests. Females with less personal information about the quality of two nests spent more time investigating the nest that more knowledgeable females investigated. Furthermore, there was a strong negative relationship between individual's ability to track nest quality using personal information and their tendency to copy others. These two contrasting strategies for selecting nests are equally effective, but lead to different patterns of parasitism. © 2017 The Author(s).

  7. Effective and specific in planta RNAi in cyst nematodes: expression interference of four parasitism genes reduces parasitic success.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sindhu, Anoop S; Maier, Tom R; Mitchum, Melissa G; Hussey, Richard S; Davis, Eric L; Baum, Thomas J

    2009-01-01

    Cyst nematodes are highly evolved sedentary plant endoparasites that use parasitism proteins injected through the stylet into host tissues to successfully parasitize plants. These secretory proteins likely are essential for parasitism as they are involved in a variety of parasitic events leading to the establishment of specialized feeding cells required by the nematode to obtain nourishment. With the advent of RNA interference (RNAi) technology and the demonstration of host-induced gene silencing in parasites, a new strategy to control pests and pathogens has become available, particularly in root-knot nematodes. Plant host-induced silencing of cyst nematode genes so far has had only limited success but similarly should disrupt the parasitic cycle and render the host plant resistant. Additional in planta RNAi data for cyst nematodes are being provided by targeting four parasitism genes through host-induced RNAi gene silencing in transgenic Arabidopsis thaliana, which is a host for the sugar beet cyst nematode Heterodera schachtii. Here it is reported that mRNA abundances of targeted nematode genes were specifically reduced in nematodes feeding on plants expressing corresponding RNAi constructs. Furthermore, this host-induced RNAi of all four nematode parasitism genes led to a reduction in the number of mature nematode females. Although no complete resistance was observed, the reduction of developing females ranged from 23% to 64% in different RNAi lines. These observations demonstrate the relevance of the targeted parasitism genes during the nematode life cycle and, potentially more importantly, suggest that a viable level of resistance in crop plants may be accomplished in the future using this technology against cyst nematodes.

  8. Parasites and steroid hormones: corticosteroid and sex steroid synthesis, their role in the parasite physiology and development.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marta C. Romano

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available In many cases parasites display highly complex life cycles that include establishment of the larva or adults within host organs, but even in those that have only one host reciprocal intricate interactions occur. A bulk of evidence indicates that steroid hormones influence the development and course of parasitic infections, the host gender susceptibility to the infection and the associate differences in immunological response are good examples of the host-parasite interplay. However, the capacity of these organisms to synthesize their own steroidogenic hormones still has more questions than answers. It is now well known that many parasites synthesize ecdysteroids, but limited information is available on sex steroid and corticosteroid synthesis. This review intends to summarize some of the existing information in the field. In many but not all parasitosis the host hormonal environment determines the susceptibility, the course and severity of parasite infections. In most cases the infection disturbs the host environment, and activate immune responses that finally affect the endocrine system. Furthermore, sex steroids and corticosteroids may also directly modify the parasite reproduction and molting. Available information indicates that parasites synthesize some steroid hormones like ecdysteroids and sex steroids and the presence and activity of related enzymes have been demonstrated. More recently, the synthesis of corticosteroid like compounds has been shown in Taenia solium and tapeworms and in Taenia crassiceps WFU cysticerci. Deeper knowledge of the endocrine properties of parasites will contribute to understand their reproduction and reciprocal interactions with the host, and also may contribute to design tools to combat the infection in some clinical situations.

  9. Update on pathology of ocular parasitic disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Das, Dipankar; Ramachandra, Varsha; Islam, Saidul; Bhattacharjee, Harsha; Biswas, Jyotirmay; Koul, Akanksha; Deka, Panna; Deka, Apurba

    2016-11-01

    Parasites are a group of eukaryotic organisms that may be free-living or form a symbiotic or parasitic relationship with the hosts. Consisting of over 800,000 recognized species, parasites may be unicellular (Protozoa) or multicellular (helminths and arthropods). The association of parasites with human population started long before the emergence of civilization. Parasitic zoonotic diseases are prevalent worldwide including India. Appropriate epidemiological data are lacking on existing zoonotic parasitic diseases, and newer diseases are emerging in our scenario. Systemic diseases such as cysticercosis, paragonimiasis, hydatidosis, and toxoplasmosis are fairly common. Acquired Toxoplasma infections are rising in immune-deficient individuals. Amongst the ocular parasitic diseases, various protozoas such as Cystoidea, trematodes, tissue flagellates, sporozoas etc. affect humans in general and eyes in particular, in different parts of the world. These zoonoses seem to be a real health related problem globally. Recent intensification of research throughout the world has led to specialization in biological fields, creating a conducive situation for researchers interested in this subject. The basics of parasitology lie in morphology, pathology, and with recent updates in molecular parasitology, the scope has extended further. The current review is to address the recent update in ophthalmic parasites with special reference to pathology and give a glimpse of further research in this field.

  10. Considering RNAi experimental design in parasitic helminths.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dalzell, Johnathan J; Warnock, Neil D; McVeigh, Paul; Marks, Nikki J; Mousley, Angela; Atkinson, Louise; Maule, Aaron G

    2012-04-01

    Almost a decade has passed since the first report of RNA interference (RNAi) in a parasitic helminth. Whilst much progress has been made with RNAi informing gene function studies in disparate nematode and flatworm parasites, substantial and seemingly prohibitive difficulties have been encountered in some species, hindering progress. An appraisal of current practices, trends and ideals of RNAi experimental design in parasitic helminths is both timely and necessary for a number of reasons: firstly, the increasing availability of parasitic helminth genome/transcriptome resources means there is a growing need for gene function tools such as RNAi; secondly, fundamental differences and unique challenges exist for parasite species which do not apply to model organisms; thirdly, the inherent variation in experimental design, and reported difficulties with reproducibility undermine confidence. Ideally, RNAi studies of gene function should adopt standardised experimental design to aid reproducibility, interpretation and comparative analyses. Although the huge variations in parasite biology and experimental endpoints make RNAi experimental design standardization difficult or impractical, we must strive to validate RNAi experimentation in helminth parasites. To aid this process we identify multiple approaches to RNAi experimental validation and highlight those which we deem to be critical for gene function studies in helminth parasites.

  11. Parasitic nematode interactions with mammals and plants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jasmer, Douglas P; Goverse, Aska; Smant, Geert

    2003-01-01

    Parasitic nematodes that infect humans, animals, and plants cause serious diseases that are deleterious to human health and agricultural productivity. Chemical and biological control methods have reduced the impact of these parasites. However, surviving environmental stages lead to persistent reinfection of host species. In addition, development of resistance to nematicides and anthelmintics by these parasites and reduced availability of some nematicides, for environmental protection, pose significant obstacles for current and future prospects of effective parasite control. Due to marked differences in host species, research on animal and plant parasitic nematodes often proceeds independently. Despite the differences between animals and plants, basic cellular properties are shared among these host organisms. Some common properties may be important for mechanisms [homologous or convergent (homoplastic)] by which nematodes successfully infect these diverse hosts or by which animal and plant hosts resist infections by these pathogens. Here we compare host/parasite interactions between plant parasitic nematodes (PPN) and animal parasitic nematodes, with an emphasis on mammalian hosts (MPN). Similarities and differences are considered in the context of progress on molecular dissection of these interactions. A comprehensive coverage is not possible in the space allotted. Instead, an illustrative approach is used to establish examples that, it is hoped, exemplify the value of the comparative approach.

  12. Update on pathology of ocular parasitic disease

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dipankar Das

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Parasites are a group of eukaryotic organisms that may be free-living or form a symbiotic or parasitic relationship with the hosts. Consisting of over 800,000 recognized species, parasites may be unicellular (Protozoa or multicellular (helminths and arthropods. The association of parasites with human population started long before the emergence of civilization. Parasitic zoonotic diseases are prevalent worldwide including India. Appropriate epidemiological data are lacking on existing zoonotic parasitic diseases, and newer diseases are emerging in our scenario. Systemic diseases such as cysticercosis, paragonimiasis, hydatidosis, and toxoplasmosis are fairly common. Acquired Toxoplasma infections are rising in immune-deficient individuals. Amongst the ocular parasitic diseases, various protozoas such as Cystoidea, trematodes, tissue flagellates, sporozoas etc. affect humans in general and eyes in particular, in different parts of the world. These zoonoses seem to be a real health related problem globally. Recent intensification of research throughout the world has led to specialization in biological fields, creating a conducive situation for researchers interested in this subject. The basics of parasitology lie in morphology, pathology, and with recent updates in molecular parasitology, the scope has extended further. The current review is to address the recent update in ophthalmic parasites with special reference to pathology and give a glimpse of further research in this field.

  13. Parasite stress promotes homicide and child maltreatment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thornhill, Randy; Fincher, Corey L.

    2011-01-01

    Researchers using the parasite-stress theory of human values have discovered many cross-cultural behavioural patterns that inform a range of scholarly disciplines. Here, we apply the theory to major categories of interpersonal violence, and the empirical findings are supportive. We hypothesize that the collectivism evoked by high parasite stress is a cause of adult-on-adult interpersonal violence. Across the US states, parasite stress and collectivism each positively predicts rates of men's and women's slaying of a romantic partner, as well as the rate of male-honour homicide and of the motivationally similar felony-related homicide. Of these four types of homicide, wealth inequality has an independent effect only on rates of male-honour and felony-related homicide. Parasite stress and collectivism also positively predict cross-national homicide rates. Child maltreatment by caretakers is caused, in part, by divestment in offspring of low phenotypic quality, and high parasite stress produces more such offspring than low parasite stress. Rates of each of two categories of the child maltreatment—lethal and non-lethal—across the US states are predicted positively by parasite stress, with wealth inequality and collectivism having limited effects. Parasite stress may be the strongest predictor of interpersonal violence to date. PMID:22042922

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  15. Gastrointestinal parasite infection of the Gray mouse lemur ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Faecal material from 169 individuals of Microcebus murinus living in five littoral forest fragments was analyzed for gastrointestinal parasites. The fragments differed in size and forest quality. Gastrointestinal parasite infection of M. murinus was characterised using parasite species richness, the prevalence of parasites, and ...

  16. Mechanisms of CNS invasion and damage by parasites.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kristensson, Krister; Masocha, Willias; Bentivoglio, Marina

    2013-01-01

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

  17. 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.

  18. New mechanisms of disease and parasite-host interactions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Souza, Tiago Alves Jorge; de Carli, Gabriel Jose; Pereira, Tiago Campos

    2016-09-01

    An unconventional interaction between a patient and parasites was recently reported, in which parasitic cells invaded host's tissues, establishing several tumors. This finding raises various intriguing hypotheses on unpredicted forms of interplay between a patient and infecting parasites. Here we present four unusual hypothetical host-parasite scenarios with intriguing medical consequences. Relatively simple experimental designs are described in order to evaluate such hypotheses. The first one refers to the possibility of metabolic disorders in parasites intoxicating the host. The second one is on possibility of patients with inborn errors of metabolism (IEM) being more resistant to parasites (due to accumulation of toxic compounds in the bloodstream). The third one refers to a mirrored scenario: development of tumors in parasites due to ingestion of host's circulating cancer cells. The last one describes a complex relationship between parasites accumulating a metabolite and supplying it to a patient with an IEM. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  19. Comparison between Two Decades of Prevalence of Intestinal Parasitic Diseases and Risk Factors in a Brazilian Urban Centre

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maria Aparecida Alves de Oliveira Serra

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Objectives. This study’s objective was to compare the prevalence of intestinal parasites and associated risk factors in children in urban communities, in the Brazilian Northeast, between two decades. Methods. This quantitative transversal study consisted of a comparative analysis of two different samples: the first viewing the years 1992–1996 and the other through a coproepidemiological data survey undertaken in 2010-2011. Results. It was evidenced that there was a reduction of intestinal parasites and that there were improvements in the socioenvironmental conditions between the two decades evaluated. It was observed that, in the period 1992–1996, playing out in the streets was associated with a higher risk for acquiring intestinal parasites. Over the 2010-2011 period, the characteristics of more than five residents per household, houses with dirt floors, children who live in homes without piped water, and children who play out in the streets were associated with a higher risk of intestinal parasitic infection. Conclusion. The study showed a reduction of intestinal parasitic diseases to 23.8% in 2010-2011 from 81.3% in 1992–1996 and improvement of the social-sanitary conditions of the population between the decades analyzed.

  20. Parasites in food webs: the ultimate missing links

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lafferty, Kevin D.; Allesina, Stefano; Arim, Matias; Briggs, Cherie J.; De Leo, Giulio A.; Dobson, Andrew P.; Dunne, Jennifer A.; Johnson, Pieter T.J.; Kuris, Armand M.; Marcogliese, David J.; Martinez, Neo D.; Memmott, Jane; Marquet, Pablo A.; McLaughlin, John P.; Mordecai, Eerin A.; Pascual, Mercedes; Poulin, Robert; Thieltges, David W.

    2008-01-01

    Parasitism is the most common consumer strategy among organisms, yet only recently has there been a call for the inclusion of infectious disease agents in food webs. The value of this effort hinges on whether parasites affect food-web properties. Increasing evidence suggests that parasites have the potential to uniquely alter food-web topology in terms of chain length, connectance and robustness. In addition, parasites might affect food-web stability, interaction strength and energy flow. Food-web structure also affects infectious disease dynamics because parasites depend on the ecological networks in which they live. Empirically, incorporating parasites into food webs is straightforward. We may start with existing food webs and add parasites as nodes, or we may try to build food webs around systems for which we already have a good understanding of infectious processes. In the future, perhaps researchers will add parasites while they construct food webs. Less clear is how food-web theory can accommodate parasites. This is a deep and central problem in theoretical biology and applied mathematics. For instance, is representing parasites with complex life cycles as a single node equivalent to representing other species with ontogenetic niche shifts as a single node? Can parasitism fit into fundamental frameworks such as the niche model? Can we integrate infectious disease models into the emerging field of dynamic food-web modelling? Future progress will benefit from interdisciplinary collaborations between ecologists and infectious disease biologists.

  1. Hepatozoon parasites (Apicomplexa: Adeleorina) in bats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pinto, C Miguel; Helgen, Kristofer M; Fleischer, Robert C; Perkins, Susan L

    2013-08-01

    We provide the first evidence of Hepatozoon parasites infecting bats. We sequenced a short fragment of the 18S rRNA gene (~600 base pairs) of Hepatozoon parasites from 3 Hipposideros cervinus bats from Borneo. Phylogenies inferred by model-based methods place these Hepatozoon within a clade formed by parasites of reptiles, rodents, and marsupials. We discuss the scenario that bats might be common hosts of Hepatozoon.

  2. 78 FR 48134 - Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; 12-Month Finding and Proposed Endangered Listing...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-08-07

    .... pristis; formerly P. pristis, P. microdon, and P. perotteti); green sawfish (P. zijsron); and the non... Submissions: Submit all electronic public comments via the Federal eRulemaking Portal. Go to www.regulations... business information, or otherwise sensitive information submitted voluntarily by the sender will be...

  3. Parasitism, personality and cognition in fish.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barber, I; Mora, A B; Payne, E M; Weinersmith, K L; Sih, A

    2017-08-01

    It is well established that parasites can have profound effects on the behaviour of host organisms, and that individual differences in behaviour can influence susceptibility to parasite infections. Recently, two major themes of research have developed. First, there has been a growing interest in the proximate, mechanistic processes underpinning parasite-associated behaviour change, and the interactive roles of the neuro-, immune, and other physiological systems in determining relationships between behaviour and infection susceptibility. Secondly, as the study of behaviour has shifted away from one-off measurements of single behaviours and towards a behavioural syndromes/personality framework, research is starting to focus on the consequences of parasite infection for temporal and contextual consistency of behaviour, and on the implications of different personality types for infection susceptibility. In addition, there is increasing interest in the potential for relationships between cognition and personality to also have implications for host-parasite interactions. As models well-suited to both the laboratory study of behaviour and experimental parasitology, teleost fish have been used as hosts in many of these studies. In this review we provide a broad overview of the range of mechanisms that potentially generate links between fish behaviour, personality, and parasitism, and illustrate these using examples drawn from the recent literature. In addition, we examine the potential interactions between cognition, personality and parasitism, and identify questions that may be usefully investigated with fish models. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  4. 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

  5. Parasites in the Wadden Sea food web

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thieltges, David W.; Engelsma, Marc Y.; Wendling, Carolin C.; Wegner, K. Mathias

    2013-09-01

    While the free-living fauna of the Wadden Sea has received much interest, little is known on the distribution and effects of parasites in the Wadden Sea food web. However, recent studies on this special type of trophic interaction indicate a high diversity of parasites in the Wadden Sea and suggest a multitude of effects on the hosts. This also includes effects on specific predator-prey relationships and the general structure of the food web. Focussing on molluscs, a major group in the Wadden Sea in terms of biomass and abundance and an important link between primary producers and predators, we review existing studies and exemplify the ecological role of parasites in the Wadden Sea food web. First, we give a brief inventory of parasites occurring in the Wadden Sea, ranging from microparasites (e.g. protozoa, bacteria) to macroparasites (e.g. helminths, parasitic copepods) and discuss the effects of spatial scale on heterogeneities in infection levels. We then demonstrate how parasites can affect host population dynamics by acting as a strong mortality factor, causing mollusc mass mortalities. In addition, we will exemplify how parasites can mediate the interaction strength of predator-prey relationships and affect the topological structure of the Wadden Sea food web as a whole. Finally, we highlight some ongoing changes regarding parasitism in the Wadden Sea in the course of global change (e.g. species introduction, climate change) and identify important future research questions to entangle the role of parasites in the Wadden Sea food web.

  6. Parasite transmission in a natural multihost–multiparasite community

    Science.gov (United States)

    2017-01-01

    Understanding the transmission and dynamics of infectious diseases in natural communities requires understanding the extent to which the ecology, evolution and epidemiology of those diseases are shaped by alternative hosts. We performed laboratory experiments to test how parasite spillover affected traits associated with transmission in two co-occurring parasites: the bacterium Pasteuria ramosa and the fungus Metschnikowia bicuspidata. Both parasites were capable of transmission from the reservoir host (Daphnia dentifera) to the spillover host (Ceriodaphnia dubia), but this occurred at a much higher rate for the fungus than the bacterium. We quantified transmission potential by combining information on parasite transmission and growth rate, and used this to compare parasite fitness in the two host species. For both parasites, transmission potential was lower in the spillover host. For the bacterium, virulence was higher in the spillover host. Transmission back to the original host was high for both parasites, with spillover influencing transmission rate of the fungus but not the bacterium. Thus, while inferior, the spillover host is not a dead-end for either parasite. Overall, our results demonstrate that the presence of multiple hosts in a community can have important consequences for disease transmission, and host and parasite fitness. This article is part of the themed issue ‘Opening the black box: re-examining the ecology and evolution of parasite transmission’. PMID:28289264

  7. Parasite transmission in a natural multihost-multiparasite community.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Auld, Stuart K J R; Searle, Catherine L; Duffy, Meghan A

    2017-05-05

    Understanding the transmission and dynamics of infectious diseases in natural communities requires understanding the extent to which the ecology, evolution and epidemiology of those diseases are shaped by alternative hosts. We performed laboratory experiments to test how parasite spillover affected traits associated with transmission in two co-occurring parasites: the bacterium Pasteuria ramosa and the fungus Metschnikowia bicuspidata Both parasites were capable of transmission from the reservoir host ( Daphnia dentifera ) to the spillover host ( Ceriodaphnia dubia ), but this occurred at a much higher rate for the fungus than the bacterium. We quantified transmission potential by combining information on parasite transmission and growth rate, and used this to compare parasite fitness in the two host species. For both parasites, transmission potential was lower in the spillover host. For the bacterium, virulence was higher in the spillover host. Transmission back to the original host was high for both parasites, with spillover influencing transmission rate of the fungus but not the bacterium. Thus, while inferior, the spillover host is not a dead-end for either parasite. Overall, our results demonstrate that the presence of multiple hosts in a community can have important consequences for disease transmission, and host and parasite fitness.This article is part of the themed issue 'Opening the black box: re-examining the ecology and evolution of parasite transmission'. © 2017 The Author(s).

  8. Gastrointestinal function in the parasitized host

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Castro, G.A.

    1981-01-01

    Emphasis in this review is on (1) digestive-absorptive, secretory and smooth muscle functions altered by gastrointestinal (GI) parasites, (2) mechanisms by which parasites induce changes, and (3) the influence of parasite-induced alterations on the health of the host. Examples involving laboratory and domestic animals indicate that inflammation is an important factor in pathological alterations in epithelial and smooth muscle tissues throughout the alimentary canal. Observations on GI secretory activity reveal an influence of parasites on the host GI endocrine system. It is argued that assessments of the significance of parasite-induced changes on the host must be balanced with the adaptive potential and 'reserve capacity' of the GI system. In this regard host immunity should be considered a specific adaptation. Some tracer studies are mentioned marginally, such as the use of 14 C polyethylene glycol to estimate the direction of not fluid movement in the small intestine, and the use of 51 Cr to demonstrate the significantly faster intestinal transit in Trichinella spiralis infected animals

  9. 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

  10. Helminth parasites alter protection against Plasmodium infection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Salazar-Castañon, Víctor H; Legorreta-Herrera, Martha; Rodriguez-Sosa, Miriam

    2014-01-01

    More than one-third of the world's population is infected with one or more helminthic parasites. Helminth infections are prevalent throughout tropical and subtropical regions where malaria pathogens are transmitted. Malaria is the most widespread and deadliest parasitic disease. The severity of the disease is strongly related to parasite density and the host's immune responses. Furthermore, coinfections between both parasites occur frequently. However, little is known regarding how concomitant infection with helminths and Plasmodium affects the host's immune response. Helminthic infections are frequently massive, chronic, and strong inductors of a Th2-type response. This implies that infection by such parasites could alter the host's susceptibility to subsequent infections by Plasmodium. There are a number of reports on the interactions between helminths and Plasmodium; in some, the burden of Plasmodium parasites increased, but others reported a reduction in the parasite. This review focuses on explaining many of these discrepancies regarding helminth-Plasmodium coinfections in terms of the effects that helminths have on the immune system. In particular, it focuses on helminth-induced immunosuppression and the effects of cytokines controlling polarization toward the Th1 or Th2 arms of the immune response.

  11. Mechanisms of cellular invasion by intracellular parasites.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-04-01

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

  12. Breeding success of a brood parasite is associated with social mating status of its host

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Trnka, A.; Požgayová, Milica; Procházka, Petr; Prokop, P.; Honza, Marcel

    2012-01-01

    Roč. 66, č. 8 (2012), s. 1187-1194 ISSN 0340-5443 R&D Projects: GA AV ČR IAA600930903; GA ČR(CZ) GAP506/12/2404 Institutional support: RVO:68081766 Keywords : brood parasitism * cuckoo * great reed warbler * polygyny * reproductive success Subject RIV: EG - Zoology Impact factor: 2.752, year: 2012

  13. Predicting what helminth parasites a fish species should have using Parasite Co-occurrence Modeler (PaCo)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Strona, Giovanni; Lafferty, Kevin D.

    2013-01-01

    Fish pathologists are often interested in which parasites would likely be present in a particular host. Parasite Co-occurrence Modeler (PaCo) is a tool for identifying a list of parasites known from fish species that are similar ecologically, phylogenetically, and geographically to the host of interest. PaCo uses data from FishBase (maximum length, growth rate, life span, age at maturity, trophic level, phylogeny, and biogeography) to estimate compatibility between a target host and parasite species–genera from the major helminth groups (Acanthocephala, Cestoda, Monogenea, Nematoda, and Trematoda). Users can include any combination of host attributes in a model. These unique features make PaCo an innovative tool for addressing both theoretical and applied questions in parasitology. In addition to predicting the occurrence of parasites, PaCo can be used to investigate how host characteristics shape parasite communities. To test the performance of the PaCo algorithm, we created 12,400 parasite lists by applying any possible combination of model parameters (248) to 50 fish hosts. We then measured the relative importance of each parameter by assessing their frequency in the best models for each host. Host phylogeny and host geography were identified as the most important factors, with both present in 88% of the best models. Habitat (64%) was identified in more than half of the best models. Among ecological parameters, trophic level (41%) was the most relevant while life span (34%), growth rate (32%), maximum length (28%), and age at maturity (20%) were less commonly linked to best models. PaCo is free to use at www.purl.oclc.org/fishpest.

  14. 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).

  15. The Impact of Cooperative Social Organization on Reducing the Prevalence of Malaria and Intestinal Parasite Infections in Awramba, a Rural Community in South Gondar, Ethiopia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gebeyehu Yihenew

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Introduction. Parasitic diseases are the major causes of human health problem in Ethiopia. The high prevalence of parasitic infections is closely correlated with poverty, poor environmental hygiene, and impoverished health services. Objective. The study was conducted to assess the impact of health-conscious Awramba cooperative community and its neighboring communities on the prevalence of parasitic infections in South Gondar, Ethiopia. Methods. Single stool specimens were collected from 392 individuals from Awramba and the neighboring communities. Specimens were examined microscopically for the presence of parasites using microscopy. Questionnaire was administered to determine the knowledge attitude and practice (KAP of study participants. Results. Of the total 392 study participants examined, 58(14.8% were positive for malaria and 173 (44.1% for intestinal parasites. The prevalence of malaria in Awramba community (5.1% was less than that in neighboring communities (24.5%. The prevalence of parasitic infections in Awramba (18.8% was less than that of the neighboring communities (69.4%. Conclusion. This study showed that good household and environmental hygiene, good toilet construction and usage, and proper utilization of ITN in Awramba cooperative community have significantly contributed to the reduction of the burden of parasitic infections. Thus, the positive achievement in reducing parasitic infections in Awramba cooperative community could be used as a model for affordable health intervention in the neighboring communities, in particular, and the whole country in general.

  16. The Ecology of Parasite-Host Interactions at Montezuma Well National Monument, Arizona - Appreciating the Importance of Parasites

    Science.gov (United States)

    O'Brien, Chris; van Riper, Charles

    2009-01-01

    Although parasites play important ecological roles through the direct interactions they have with their hosts, historically that fact has been underappreciated. Today, scientists have a growing appreciation of the scope of such impacts. Parasites have been reported to dominate food webs, alter predator-prey relationships, act as ecosystem engineers, and alter community structure. In spite of this growing awareness in the scientific community, parasites are still often neglected in the consideration of the management and conservation of resources and ecosystems. Given that at least half of the organisms on earth are probably parasitic, it should be evident that the ecological functions of parasites warrant greater attention. In this report, we explore different aspects of parasite-host relationships found at a desert spring pond within Montezuma Well National Monument, Arizona. In three separate but related chapters, we explore interactions between a novel amphipod host and two parasites. First, we identify how host behavior responds to this association and how this association affects interactions with both invertebrate non-host predators and a vertebrate host predator. Second, we look at the human dimension, investigating how human recreation can indirectly affect patterns of disease by altering patterns of vertebrate host space use. Finally - because parasites and diseases are of increasing importance in the management of wildlife species, especially those that are imperiled or of management concern - the third chapter argues that research would benefit from increased attention to the statistical analysis of wildlife disease studies. This report also explores issues of statistical parasitology, providing information that may better inform those designing research projects and analyzing data from studies of wildlife disease. In investigating the nature of parasite-host interactions, the role that relationships play in ecological communities, and how human

  17. From Fossil Parasitoids to Vectors: Insects as Parasites and Hosts.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nagler, Christina; Haug, Joachim T

    2015-01-01

    Within Metazoa, it has been proposed that as many as two-thirds of all species are parasitic. This propensity towards parasitism is also reflected within insects, where several lineages independently evolved a parasitic lifestyle. Parasitic behaviour ranges from parasitic habits in the strict sense, but also includes parasitoid, phoretic or kleptoparasitic behaviour. Numerous insects are also the host for other parasitic insects or metazoans. Insects can also serve as vectors for numerous metazoan, protistan, bacterial and viral diseases. The fossil record can report this behaviour with direct (parasite associated with its host) or indirect evidence (insect with parasitic larva, isolated parasitic insect, pathological changes of host). The high abundance of parasitism in the fossil record of insects can reveal important aspects of parasitic lifestyles in various evolutionary lineages. For a comprehensive view on fossil parasitic insects, we discuss here different aspects, including phylogenetic systematics, functional morphology and a direct comparison of fossil and extant species. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  18. Pathoecology of Chiribaya parasitism

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Martinson Elizabeth

    2003-01-01

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

  19. Variable virulence among isolates of Ascosphaera apis: testing the parasite-pathogen hypothesis for the evolution of polyandry in social insects

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, G. M.; McGee, P. A.; Oldroyd, B. P.

    2013-03-01

    The queens of many eusocial insect species are polyandrous. The evolution of polyandry from ancestral monoandry is intriguing because polyandry undermines the kin-selected benefits of high intracolonial relatedness that are understood to have been central to the evolution of eusociality. An accumulating body of evidence suggests that polyandry evolved from monoandry in part because genetically diverse colonies better resist infection by pathogens. However, a core assumption of the "parasite-pathogen hypothesis", that there is variation in virulence among strains of pathogens, remains largely untested in vivo. Here, we demonstrate variation in virulence among isolates of Ascosphaera apis, the causative organism of chalkbrood disease in its honey bee ( Apis mellifera) host. More importantly, we show a pathogen-host genotypic interaction for resistance and pathogenicity. Our findings therefore support the parasite-parasite hypothesis as a factor in the evolution of polyandry among eusocial insects.

  20. Parasites and parasite management practices of organic and conventional dairy herds in Minnesota.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sorge, U S; Moon, R D; Stromberg, B E; Schroth, S L; Michels, L; Wolff, L J; Kelton, D F; Heins, B J

    2015-05-01

    The objective of this study was to describe the prevalence and practices used to manage internal helminth parasites and external arthropod parasites on organic and conventional dairy herds in Minnesota. All organic (ORG) dairy herds in Minnesota (n=114) and a convenience sample of conventional herds were invited to participate in the study. Thirty-five ORG herds and 28 conventional herds were visited once in summer and fall of 2012. Conventional dairy herds were split into small conventional (SC,conventional herds (MC, ≥200 cows) so that SC herds were comparable in size to the ORG herds. Dairy managers were surveyed to assess their farm management practices and perceptions about parasites, hygiene scores were recorded for adult stock, and fecal samples were collected from a nominal 20 breeding-age heifers to characterize abundance of internal parasites. Nonparametric tests were used to compare fecal egg counts per gram (FEC) among farms grouped by management systems and practices. Organic farms had more designated pasture and were more likely to use rotational grazing compared with conventional farms, but the stocking densities of animals on pasture were similar among farm types. The overall FEC were very low, and only a few individual ORG heifers had FEC >500 eggs/gram. Samples from heifers on ORG farms had significantly more strongyle-type eggs than those on SC and MC farms (ORG: 6.6±2.1; SC: 0.5±0.3; MC: 0.8±0.7), but egg counts of other types of gastrointestinal parasites did not differ significantly among the 3 herd groups. Fly control measures were applied mainly to milking cows and preweaned calves and were used on 88.6% of ORG herds, 60.0% of SC herds, and 91.7% of MC herds. Approximately half of the producers reported having seen skin conditions suggestive of lice or tail mange in their cattle during the previous winter (ORG: 48.6%, SC: 57.1%, MC: 53.9%). Although most conventional producers reported treating these skin conditions, most organic

  1. Quantitative Analysis of a Parasitic Antiviral Strategy

    OpenAIRE

    Kim, Hwijin; Yin, John

    2004-01-01

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

  2. Feeding ecology of some fish species occurring in artisanal fishery of Socotra Island (Yemen).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hassan Ali', Mohammed Kaed; Belluscio, Andrea; Ventura, Daniele; Ardizzone, Giandomenico

    2016-04-30

    The demersal species Lethrinus borbonicus, Lethrinus mahsena, Lethrinus microdon, Lethrinus nebulosus, Lutjanus bohar, Lutjanus gibbus, Lutjanus kasmira, Epinephelus fasciatus, Epinephelus stoliczkae, Carangoides gymnostethus and Euthynnus affinis are important coastal fishes species of the northern coast of Socotra (Yemen), exploited by local fishery. The biology and feeding ecology of these species are poorly known in the area. A total of 1239 specimens were sampled from the main fishing landing site of the island (Hadibo). Total length and weight were measured, stomach contents were analyzed, diet overlap, Fulton's Condition index, and trophic levels were estimated. C. gymnostethus, L. microdon and L. kasmira occupied the highest position (T=4.50), L. nebulosus occupied the lower one (TL=3.41). The role of the increasing abundance of small pelagic fish in the diet of many species after the upwelling event is evident, but also different feeding strategies are reported, according to fish ecology. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  3. Host age modulates within-host parasite competition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Izhar, Rony; Routtu, Jarkko; Ben-Ami, Frida

    2015-05-01

    In many host populations, one of the most striking differences among hosts is their age. While parasite prevalence differences in relation to host age are well known, little is known on how host age impacts ecological and evolutionary dynamics of diseases. Using two clones of the water flea Daphnia magna and two clones of its bacterial parasite Pasteuria ramosa, we examined how host age at exposure influences within-host parasite competition and virulence. We found that multiply-exposed hosts were more susceptible to infection and suffered higher mortality than singly-exposed hosts. Hosts oldest at exposure were least often infected and vice versa. Furthermore, we found that in young multiply-exposed hosts competition was weak, allowing coexistence and transmission of both parasite clones, whereas in older multiply-exposed hosts competitive exclusion was observed. Thus, age-dependent parasite exposure and host demography (age structure) could together play an important role in mediating parasite evolution. At the individual level, our results demonstrate a previously unnoticed interaction of the host's immune system with host age, suggesting that the specificity of immune function changes as hosts mature. Therefore, evolutionary models of parasite virulence might benefit from incorporating age-dependent epidemiological parameters. © 2015 The Author(s) Published by the Royal Society. All rights reserved.

  4. Internal parasites of reptiles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Raś-Noryńska, Małgorzata; Sokół, Rajmund

    2015-01-01

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

  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. Facial markings in the social cuckoo wasp Polistes sulcifer: No support for the visual deception and the assessment hypotheses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cini, Alessandro; Ortolani, Irene; Zechini, Luigi; Cervo, Rita

    2015-02-01

    Insect social parasites have to conquer a host colony by overcoming its defensive barriers. In addition to increased fighting abilities, many social parasites evolved sophisticated sensory deception mechanisms to elude host colonies defenses by exploiting host communication channels. Recently, it has been shown that the conspicuous facial markings of a paper wasp social parasite, Polistes sulcifer, decrease the aggressiveness of host foundresses. Two main hypotheses stand as explanations of this phenomenon: visual sensory deception (i.e. the black patterning reduces host aggression by exploiting the host visual communication system) and visual quality assessment (i.e. facial markings reduce aggressiveness as they signal the increased fighting ability of parasites). Through behavioral assays and morphological measurements we tested three predictions resulting from these hypotheses and found no support either for the visual sensory deception or for the quality assessment to explain the reduction in host aggressiveness towards the parasite. Our results suggest that other discrimination processes may explain the observed phenomenon. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  7. A life cycle database for parasitic acanthocephalans, cestodes, and nematodes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Benesh, Daniel P.; Lafferty, Kevin D.; Kuris, Armand

    2017-01-01

    Parasitologists have worked out many complex life cycles over the last ~150 years, yet there have been few efforts to synthesize this information to facilitate comparisons among taxa. Most existing host-parasite databases focus on particular host taxa, do not distinguish final from intermediate hosts, and lack parasite life-history information. We summarized the known life cycles of trophically transmitted parasitic acanthocephalans, cestodes, and nematodes. For 973 parasite species, we gathered information from the literature on the hosts infected at each stage of the parasite life cycle (8510 host-parasite species associations), what parasite stage is in each host, and whether parasites need to infect certain hosts to complete the life cycle. We also collected life-history data for these parasites at each life cycle stage, including 2313 development time measurements and 7660 body size measurements. The result is the most comprehensive data summary available for these parasite taxa. In addition to identifying gaps in our knowledge of parasite life cycles, these data can be used to test hypotheses about life cycle evolution, host specificity, parasite life-history strategies, and the roles of parasites in food webs.

  8. Overview on the effects of parasites on fish health

    Science.gov (United States)

    Iwanowicz, D.D.; Cipriano, R.C.; Bruckner, A.W.; Shchelkunov, I.S.

    2011-01-01

    It is believed by many that parasites are only as important as the fish they infect. Parasites are ubiquitous, primarily surviving in a dynamic equilibrium with their host(s) and they are often overlooked in fish health assessments. Changes in the environment, both anthropogenic and environmental, can alter the parasite/host equilibrium and cause disease or mortality in fish. Therefore it is imperative that we have knowledge of both parasites and parasitic communities within a given population. When fish kills occur, it can often be associated with changes in parasite density and community composition. Often the damage associated with these fish is relative to the rate of infestation with the parasite; a fish that is lightly infected will show few signs of the parasite, while a heavily infected fish may become physiologically impaired and even die. Parasites can cause mechanical damage (fusion of gill lamellae, tissue replacement), physiological damage (cell proliferation, immunomodulation, detrimental behavioral responses, altered growth) and reproductive damage. As parasitism is the most common lifestyle on the planet, understanding its role in the environment may help researchers understand changes in a given fish population or stream ecosystem.

  9. Immunodiagnosis of parasitic infections using nuclear techniques

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1985-07-01

    This report documents the recommendations of the ''Advisory Group on Immunodiagnosis of Parasitic Infections Using Nuclear Techniques'' with a focus on malaria, schistosomiasis and filariasis. Radionuclide tracers are considered an important component of present and future immunological methods for the assessment of the host's humoral and cellular immunity to the parasite and the detection of parasite antigen(s) in human body fluids. The Advisory Group has concluded that there is a continuing need for the development and application of immunodiagnostic methods in parasitic diseases. This report concerns methods which are currently or potentially applicable to immunodiagnostic investigations in parasitic diseases. Reference is made, where appropriate, to recent developments in research which may lead to improvement and standardization of methods now available and the development of new methodology. Separate abstracts on various papers presented were prepared

  10. Coccidian intestinal parasites in the Priapulidae (Priapulida).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saldarriaga, J F; Storch, V

    1997-01-01

    Four relatively uncommon members of the family Priapulidae (Priapulida) from very different parts of the world were examined to determine the presence of a parasitic coccidian in their midgut. The parasite was found in three of those priapulid species, Priapulopsis bicaudatus, P. australis, and Halicryptus higginsi, but not in the fourth one, Priapulus tuberculatospinosus. Using electron-microscopy techniques, we compared parasites of the different species with one another and with a parasite of Priapulus caudatus investigated by McLean in 1984. All of these parasites apparently belong to the same species and are likely to be Alveocystis intestinalis, a coccidian first described by Beltenev from P. caudatus and H. spinulosus. The present work greatly expands the geographical range of Alveocystis intestinalis and documents an uncommon case of low host specificity in eimeriid coccidians.

  11. The neurotropic parasite Toxoplasma gondii increases dopamine metabolism.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Emese Prandovszky

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

  12. Imaging of parasitic diseases

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Haddad, Maurice C.

    2008-01-01

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

  13. Imaging of parasitic diseases

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2008-07-01

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

  14. Dynamic analysis of a parasite population model

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2002-03-01

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

  15. Mapping the social network: tracking lice in a wild primate (Microcebus rufus population to infer social contacts and vector potential

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zohdy Sarah

    2012-03-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Studies of host-parasite interactions have the potential to provide insights into the ecology of both organisms involved. We monitored the movement of sucking lice (Lemurpediculus verruculosus, parasites that require direct host-host contact to be transferred, in their host population of wild mouse lemurs (Microcebus rufus. These lemurs live in the rainforests of Madagascar, are small (40 g, arboreal, nocturnal, solitary foraging primates for which data on population-wide interactions are difficult to obtain. We developed a simple, cost effective method exploiting the intimate relationship between louse and lemur, whereby individual lice were marked, without removal from their host, with an individualized code, and tracked throughout the lemur population. We then tested the hypotheses that 1 the frequency of louse transfers, and thus interactions, would decrease with increasing distance between paired individual lemurs; 2 due to host polygynandry, social interactions and hence louse transfers would increase during the onset of the breeding season; and 3 individual mouse lemurs would vary in their contributions to the spread of lice. Results We show that louse transfers involved 43.75% of the studied lemur population, exclusively males. Louse transfers peaked during the breeding season, perhaps due to increased social interactions between lemurs. Although trap-based individual lemur ranging patterns are restricted, louse transfer rate does not correlate with the distance between lemur trapping locales, indicating wider host ranging behavior and a greater risk of rapid population-wide pathogen transmission than predicted by standard trapping data alone. Furthermore, relatively few lemur individuals contributed disproportionately to the rapid spread of lice throughout the population. Conclusions Using a simple method, we were able to visualize exchanges of lice in a population of cryptic wild primates. This method not only

  16. Longitudinal study of parasite-induced mortality of a long-lived host: the importance of exposure to non-parasitic stressors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chin, Hilary M-H; Luong, Lien T; Shostak, Allen W

    2017-12-01

    Hosts face mortality from parasitic and environmental stressors, but interactions of parasitism with other stressors are not well understood, particularly for long-lived hosts. We monitored survival of flour beetles (Tribolium confusum) in a longitudinal design incorporating cestode (Hymenolepis diminuta) infection, starvation and exposure to the pesticide diatomaceous earth (DE). We found that cestode cysticercoids exhibit increasing morphological damage and decreasing ability to excyst over time, but were never eliminated from the host. In the presence of even mild environmental stressors, host lifespan was reduced sufficiently that extensive degradation of cysticercoids was never realized. Median host lifespan was 200 days in the absence of stressors, and 3-197 days with parasitism, starvation and/or DE. Early survival of parasitized hosts was higher relative to controls in the presence of intermediate concentrations of DE, but reduced under all other conditions tested. Parasitism increased host mortality in the presence of other stressors at times when parasitism alone did not cause mortality, consistent with an interpretation of synergy. Environmental stressors modified the parasite numbers needed to reveal intensity-dependent host mortality, but only rarely masked intensity dependence. The longitudinal approach produced observations that would have been overlooked or misinterpreted if survival had only been monitored at a single time point.

  17. Spatial structure and nest demography reveal the influence of competition, parasitism and habitat quality on slavemaking ants and their hosts.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scharf, Inon; Fischer-Blass, Birgit; Foitzik, Susanne

    2011-03-28

    Natural communities are structured by intra-guild competition, predation or parasitism and the abiotic environment. We studied the relative importance of these factors in two host-social parasite ecosystems in three ant communities in Europe (Bavaria) and North America (New York, West Virginia). We tested how these factors affect colony demography, life-history and the spatial pattern of colonies, using a large sample size of more than 1000 colonies. The strength of competition was measured by the distance to the nearest competitor. Distance to the closest social parasite colony was used as a measure of parasitism risk. Nest sites (i.e., sticks or acorns) are limited in these forest ecosystems and we therefore included nest site quality as an abiotic factor in the analysis. In contrast to previous studies based on local densities, we focus here on the positioning and spatial patterns and we use models to compare our predictions to random expectations. Colony demography was universally affected by the size of the nest site with larger and more productive colonies residing in larger nest sites of higher quality. Distance to the nearest competitor negatively influenced host demography and brood production in the Bavarian community, pointing to an important role of competition, while social parasitism was less influential in this community. The New York community was characterized by the highest habitat variability, and productive colonies were clustered in sites of higher quality. Colonies were clumped on finer spatial scales, when we considered only the nearest neighbors, but more regularly distributed on coarser scales. The analysis of spatial positioning within plots often produced different results compared to those based on colony densities. For example, while host and slavemaker densities are often positively correlated, slavemakers do not nest closer to potential host colonies than expected by random. The three communities are differently affected by biotic and

  18. Spatial structure and nest demography reveal the influence of competition, parasitism and habitat quality on slavemaking ants and their hosts

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fischer-Blass Birgit

    2011-03-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Natural communities are structured by intra-guild competition, predation or parasitism and the abiotic environment. We studied the relative importance of these factors in two host-social parasite ecosystems in three ant communities in Europe (Bavaria and North America (New York, West Virginia. We tested how these factors affect colony demography, life-history and the spatial pattern of colonies, using a large sample size of more than 1000 colonies. The strength of competition was measured by the distance to the nearest competitor. Distance to the closest social parasite colony was used as a measure of parasitism risk. Nest sites (i.e., sticks or acorns are limited in these forest ecosystems and we therefore included nest site quality as an abiotic factor in the analysis. In contrast to previous studies based on local densities, we focus here on the positioning and spatial patterns and we use models to compare our predictions to random expectations. Results Colony demography was universally affected by the size of the nest site with larger and more productive colonies residing in larger nest sites of higher quality. Distance to the nearest competitor negatively influenced host demography and brood production in the Bavarian community, pointing to an important role of competition, while social parasitism was less influential in this community. The New York community was characterized by the highest habitat variability, and productive colonies were clustered in sites of higher quality. Colonies were clumped on finer spatial scales, when we considered only the nearest neighbors, but more regularly distributed on coarser scales. The analysis of spatial positioning within plots often produced different results compared to those based on colony densities. For example, while host and slavemaker densities are often positively correlated, slavemakers do not nest closer to potential host colonies than expected by random. Conclusions The

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sonia Boughattas

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Adas Gokhan

    2009-05-01

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

  1. Pitting of malaria parasites and spherocyte formation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gichuki Charity W

    2006-07-01

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

  2. Effects of shortened host life span on the evolution of parasite life history and virulence in a microbial host-parasite system

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Koella Jacob C

    2009-03-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Ecological factors play an important role in the evolution of parasite exploitation strategies. A common prediction is that, as shorter host life span reduces future opportunities of transmission, parasites compensate with an evolutionary shift towards earlier transmission. They may grow more rapidly within the host, have a shorter latency time and, consequently, be more virulent. Thus, increased extrinsic (i.e., not caused by the parasite host mortality leads to the evolution of more virulent parasites. To test these predictions, we performed a serial transfer experiment, using the protozoan Paramecium caudatum and its bacterial parasite Holospora undulata. We simulated variation in host life span by killing hosts after 11 (early killing or 14 (late killing days post inoculation; after killing, parasite transmission stages were collected and used for a new infection cycle. Results After 13 cycles (≈ 300 generations, parasites from the early-killing treatment were less infectious, but had shorter latency time and higher virulence than those from the late-killing treatment. Overall, shorter latency time was associated with higher parasite loads and thus presumably with more rapid within-host replication. Conclusion The analysis of the means of the two treatments is thus consistent with theory, and suggests that evolution is constrained by trade-offs between virulence, transmission and within-host growth. In contrast, we found little evidence for such trade-offs across parasite selection lines within treatments; thus, to some extent, these traits may evolve independently. This study illustrates how environmental variation (experienced by the host can lead to the evolution of distinct parasite strategies.

  3. Parasitic helminth infections in native sheep (Mehraban in Hamedan, Iran

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jamal Gharekhani

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available Sheep play an important role in national economy and social economy in rural areas in Iran. The main goal of this study was to investigate the fauna and frequency of parasitic helminth infections prevalent in native sheep in Hamedan, western Iran. From April 2010 to March 2011, the gastrointestinal and respiratory tracts of 100-sheep were examined using conventional parasitological methods. The overall infection rate was found as 69%. No infection was found in esophagus and rumens. Parabronema skerjabini (22% and Ostertagia circumcincta (1% were recorded as the maximum and minimum cases for the presence of nematode, respectively. On the other hand, the most dominant of trematode and cestode were Fasciola hepatica (13% and Monezia expansa (13%, respectively. The highest infection rate was reported in summer (84%. The prevalence of helminth infection was varied among gender, seasons and age groups. In conclusion, this is the first report of parasitic helminth infections in sheep in Hamedan province in western Iran. Our results provide baseline information for the future studies.

  4. The evolution of cuckoo parasitism: a comparative analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Krüger, O; Davies, N B

    2002-02-22

    Cuckoos (family Cuculidae) show the highest diversity of breeding strategies within one bird family (parental care, facultative and obligate brood parasites). We used independent contrasts from two phylogenies to examine how this variation was related to 13 ecological and life-history variables. The ancestral state was probably tropical, resident, forest cuckoos with parental care. The evolution of brood parasitism was correlated with a shift to more open habitats, a change in diet, increases in species breeding-range size and migration, and a decrease in egg size. Once parasitism had evolved, more elaborate parasitic strategies (more harmful to host fitness) were correlated with decreased egg size, a change in diet, increased breeding-range size and migration, a shortened breeding season and a decrease in local abundance. Establishing the most probable evolutionary pathways, using the method of Pagel, shows that changes in ecological variables (such as migration, range size and diet type) preceded the evolution of brood parasitism, which is likely to be a later adaptation to reduce the cost of reproduction. By contrast, brood parasitism evolved before changes in egg size occurred, indicating that egg size is an adaptive trait in host--parasite coevolution. Our results suggest that the evolution of cuckoo brood parasitism reflects selection from both ecological pressures and host defences.

  5. Richness patterns in the parasite communities of exotic poeciliid fishes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dove, A D

    2000-06-01

    Three species of poeciliids (Gambusia holbrooki, Xiphophorus helleri and X. maculatus) and 15 species of ecologically similar native freshwater fishes (mainly eleotrids, ambassids, melanotaeniids and retropinnids) were examined for parasite richness to investigate parasite flux, qualitative differences, quantitative differences and the structuring factors in parasite communities in the 2 fish types in Queensland, Australia. Theory suggests that poeciliids would harbour depauperate parasite communities. Results supported this hypothesis; poeciliids harboured more species-poor parasite infracommunities and regional faunas than natives (P analysis of presence/absence data for poeciliids and the 6 most-sampled native fishes revealed that parasite communities of the 2 fish groups are qualitatively distinct; the proportion of parasite species with complex life-cycles was lower in poeciliids than in native species, and Myxosporea, Microspora, Coccidia and parasitic Crustacea were all absent from poeciliids. Limited exchange of parasite species has occurred between natives and poeciliids. Logistic ordinal regression analysis revealed that fish origin (exotic or native), environmental disturbance and host sex were all significant determinants of parasite community richness (P competitive advantage over native fishes because of their lack of parasites.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

  7. 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

  8. New Laboulbeniales parasitic on endogean ground beetles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rossi, Walter; Santamaria, Sergi

    2008-01-01

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

  9. Can Parasites Really Reveal Environmental Impact?

    Science.gov (United States)

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

  10. Repetitive elements in parasitic protozoa

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Clayton Christine

    2010-05-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2008-10-01

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

  12. 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.

  13. Identifying energy constraints to parasite resistance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Allen, D E; Little, T J

    2011-01-01

    Life-history theory suggests that energetically expensive traits may trade off against each other, resulting in costs associated with the development or maintenance of a particular phenotype. The deployment of resistance mechanisms during parasite exposure is one such trait, and thus their potential benefit in fighting off parasites may be offset by costs to other fitness-related traits. In this study, we used trade-off theory as a basis to test whether stimulating an increased development rate in juvenile Daphnia would reveal energetic constraints to its ability to resist infection upon subsequent exposure to the castrating parasite, Pasteuria ramosa. We show that the presumably energetically expensive process of increased development rate does result in more infected hosts, suggesting that parasite resistance requires the allocation of resources from a limited source, and thus has the potential to be costly.

  14. Parasitic myoma after supracervical laparoscopic histerectomy

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maurício Paulo Angelo Mieli

    2013-06-01

    Full Text Available Parasitic myoma is a condition defined as a myoma of extrauterine nourishing. It may occur spontaneously or as a consequence of surgical iatrogeny, after myomectomy or videolaparoscopic supracervical hysterectomy, due to remaining residues of uterine tissue fragments in the pelvic cavity after morcellation. The authors describe two cases in which the patients were submitted to videolaparoscopic supracervical hysterectomy and uterine body removal through morcellation. The sites of development of the parasitic myomas were next to the cervix stump in Case 1, and next to the right round ligament in Case 2. These parasitic myomas were removed by videolaparoscopy. After myomectomies or videolaparoscopic supracervical hysterectomies followed by uterine fragments removal from the pelvic cavity through morcellation, meticulous searching for residues or fragments of uterine tissue is mandatory to prevent the occurrence of parasitic myomas.

  15. Parasites and poverty: the case of schistosomiasis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    King, Charles H

    2010-02-01

    Simultaneous and sequential transmission of multiple parasites, and their resultant overlapping chronic infections, are facts of life in many underdeveloped rural areas. These represent significant but often poorly measured health and economic burdens for affected populations. For example, the chronic inflammatory process associated with long-term schistosomiasis contributes to anaemia and undernutrition, which, in turn, can lead to growth stunting, poor school performance, poor work productivity, and continued poverty. To date, most national and international programs aimed at parasite control have not considered the varied economic and ecological factors underlying multi-parasite transmission, but some are beginning to provide a coordinated approach to control. In addition, interest is emerging in new studies for the re-evaluation and recalibration of the health burden of helminthic parasite infection. Their results should highlight the strong potential of integrated parasite control in efforts for poverty reduction. Copyright 2009 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  16. Will Climate Change Affect Parasite- Host Relationship? | Okolo ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Research examining the causal relationships between climate, climate change and parasite ecology is the focus of increased attention. Understanding how parasites are likely to be affected by climate change requires an examination of the interactions between climate and parasite ecology and transmission.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Qu, Zi-Gang; Fu, Bao-Quan

    2013-10-01

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

  18. Are all red algal parasites cut from the same cloth?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eric D. Salomaki

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available Parasitism is a common life strategy throughout the eukaryotic tree of life. Many devastating human pathogens, including the causative agents of malaria and toxoplasmosis, have evolved from a photosynthetic ancestor. However, how an organism transitions from a photosynthetic to a parasitic life history strategy remains mostly unknown. This is largely because few systems present the opportunity to make meaningful comparisons between a parasite and a close free-living relative. Parasites have independently evolved dozens of times throughout the Florideophyceae (Rhodophyta, and often infect close relatives. The accepted evolutionary paradigm proposes that red algal parasites arise by first infecting a close relative and over time diversify and infect more distantly related species. This provides a natural evolutionary gradient of relationships between hosts and parasites that share a photosynthetic common ancestor. Elegant microscopic work in the late 20th century provided detailed insight into the infection cycle of red algal parasites and the cellular interactions between parasites and their hosts. Those studies led to the use of molecular work to further investigate the origins of the parasite organelles and reveal the evolutionary relationships between hosts and their parasites. Here we synthesize the research detailing the infection methods and cellular interactions between red algal parasites and their hosts. We offer an alternative hypothesis to the current dogma of red algal parasite evolution and propose that red algae can adopt a parasitic life strategy through multiple evolutionary pathways, including direct infection of distant relatives. Furthermore, we highlight potential directions for future research to further evaluate parasite evolution in red algae.

  19. Host age modulates parasite infectivity, virulence and reproduction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Izhar, Rony; Ben-Ami, Frida

    2015-07-01

    Host age is one of the most striking differences among hosts within most populations, but there is very little data on how age-dependent effects impact ecological and evolutionary dynamics of both the host and the parasite. Here, we examined the influence of host age (juveniles, young and old adults) at parasite exposure on host susceptibility, fecundity and survival as well as parasite transmission, using two clones of the water flea Daphnia magna and two clones of its bacterial parasite Pasteuria ramosa. Younger D. magna were more susceptible to infection than older ones, regardless of host or parasite clone. Also, younger-infected D. magna became castrated faster than older hosts, but host and parasite clone effects contributed to this trait as well. Furthermore, the early-infected D. magna produced considerably more parasite transmission stages than late-infected ones, while host age at exposure did not affect virulence as it is defined in models (host mortality). When virulence is defined more broadly as the negative effects of infection on host fitness, by integrating the parasitic effects on host fecundity and mortality, then host age at exposure seems to slide along a negative relationship between host and parasite fitness. Thus, the virulence-transmission trade-off differs strongly among age classes, which in turn affects predictions of optimal virulence. Age-dependent effects on host susceptibility, virulence and parasite transmission could pose an important challenge for experimental and theoretical studies of infectious disease dynamics and disease ecology. Our results present a call for a more explicit stage-structured theory for disease, which will incorporate age-dependent epidemiological parameters. © 2015 The Authors. Journal of Animal Ecology © 2015 British Ecological Society.

  20. Exploring the host parasitism of the migratory plant-parasitic nematode Ditylenchus destuctor by expressed sequence tags analysis.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Huan Peng

    Full Text Available The potato rot nematode, Ditylenchus destructor, is a very destructive nematode pest on many agriculturally important crops worldwide, but the molecular characterization of its parasitism of plant has been limited. The effectors involved in nematode parasitism of plant for several sedentary endo-parasitic nematodes such as Heterodera glycines, Globodera rostochiensis and Meloidogyne incognita have been identified and extensively studied over the past two decades. Ditylenchus destructor, as a migratory plant parasitic nematode, has different feeding behavior, life cycle and host response. Comparing the transcriptome and parasitome among different types of plant-parasitic nematodes is the way to understand more fully the parasitic mechanism of plant nematodes. We undertook the approach of sequencing expressed sequence tags (ESTs derived from a mixed stage cDNA library of D. destructor. This is the first study of D. destructor ESTs. A total of 9800 ESTs were grouped into 5008 clusters including 3606 singletons and 1402 multi-member contigs, representing a catalog of D. destructor genes. Implementing a bioinformatics' workflow, we found 1391 clusters have no match in the available gene database; 31 clusters only have similarities to genes identified from D. africanus, the most closely related species to D. destructor; 1991 clusters were annotated using Gene Ontology (GO; 1550 clusters were assigned enzyme commission (EC numbers; and 1211 clusters were mapped to 181 KEGG biochemical pathways. 22 ESTs had similarities to reported nematode effectors. Interestedly, most of the effectors identified in this study are involved in host cell wall degradation or modification, such as 1,4-beta-glucanse, 1,3-beta-glucanse, pectate lyase, chitinases and expansin, or host defense suppression such as calreticulin, annexin and venom allergen-like protein. This result implies that the migratory plant-parasitic nematode D. destructor secrets similar effectors to

  1. Parasitic Contamination of Raw Vegetables in Shahroud, Semnan

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Saeid Nazemi

    2012-08-01

    Full Text Available Background: Given the importance of healthy vegetables, the present study was conducted to determine parasitic infection of vegetable consumed in Shahroud.Materials and Methods: This cross-sectional study has been conducted on 92 samples of various vegetables collected from 16 vegetable growing farms and 1 vegetable process workshop. Results: Sixty two percent of tested vegetables lacked parasites and the highest amount of parasites observed (34.78% was related to Giardia lamblia. A significant relationship was observed between parasite and having toilets in the farms as well as the extent of farms.Conclusion: safety of fertilizers consumed by farms and healthy fruits can have an effective role in reducing the parasitic infections.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-09-01

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

  3. Homage to Linnaeus: How many parasites? How many hosts?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dobson, Andy; Lafferty, Kevin D.; Kuris, Armand M.; Hechinger, Ryan F.; Jetz, Walter

    2008-01-01

    Estimates of the total number of species that inhabit the Earth have increased significantly since Linnaeus's initial catalog of 20,000 species. The best recent estimates suggest that there are ≈6 million species. More emphasis has been placed on counts of free-living species than on parasitic species. We rectify this by quantifying the numbers and proportion of parasitic species. We estimate that there are between 75,000 and 300,000 helminth species parasitizing the vertebrates. We have no credible way of estimating how many parasitic protozoa, fungi, bacteria, and viruses exist. We estimate that between 3% and 5% of parasitic helminths are threatened with extinction in the next 50 to 100 years. Because patterns of parasite diversity do not clearly map onto patterns of host diversity, we can make very little prediction about geographical patterns of threat to parasites. If the threats reflect those experienced by avian hosts, then we expect climate change to be a major threat to the relatively small proportion of parasite diversity that lives in the polar and temperate regions, whereas habitat destruction will be the major threat to tropical parasite diversity. Recent studies of food webs suggest that ≈75% of the links in food webs involve a parasitic species; these links are vital for regulation of host abundance and potentially for reducing the impact of toxic pollutants. This implies that parasite extinctions may have unforeseen costs that impact the health and abundance of a large number of free-living species.

  4. Does moving up a food chain increase aggregation in parasites?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lester, R J G; McVinish, R

    2016-05-01

    General laws in ecological parasitology are scarce. Here, we evaluate data on numbers of fish parasites published by over 200 authors to determine whether acquiring parasites via prey is associated with an increase in parasite aggregation. Parasite species were grouped taxonomically to produce 20 or more data points per group as far as possible. Most parasites that remained at one trophic level were less aggregated than those that had passed up a food chain. We use a stochastic model to show that high parasite aggregation in predators can be solely the result of the accumulation of parasites in their prey. The model is further developed to show that a change in the predators feeding behaviour with age may further increase parasite aggregation. © 2016 The Author(s).

  5. Blood parasites in reptiles imported to Germany.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Halla, Ursula; Ursula, Halla; Korbel, Rüdiger; Rüdiger, Korbel; Mutschmann, Frank; Frank, Mutschmann; Rinder, Monika; Monika, Rinder

    2014-12-01

    Though international trade is increasing, the significance of imported reptiles as carriers of pathogens with relevance to animal and human health is largely unknown. Reptiles imported to Germany were therefore investigated for blood parasites using light microscopy, and the detected parasites were morphologically characterized. Four hundred ten reptiles belonging to 17 species originating from 11 Asian, South American and African countries were included. Parasites were detected in 117 (29%) of individual reptiles and in 12 species. Haemococcidea (Haemogregarina, Hepatozoon, Schellackia) were found in 84% of snakes (Python regius, Corallus caninus), 20% of lizards (Acanthocercus atricollis, Agama agama, Kinyongia fischeri, Gekko gecko) and 50% of turtles (Pelusios castaneus). Infections with Hematozoea (Plasmodium, Sauroplasma) were detected in 14% of lizards (Acanthocercus atricollis, Agama agama, Agama mwanzae, K. fischeri, Furcifer pardalis, Xenagama batillifera, Acanthosaura capra, Physignathus cocincinus), while those with Kinetoplastea (Trypanosoma) were found in 9% of snakes (Python regius, Corallus caninus) and 25 % of lizards (K. fischeri, Acanthosaura capra, G. gecko). Nematoda including filarial larvae parasitized in 10% of lizards (Agama agama, Agama mwanzae, K. fischeri, Fu. pardalis, Physignathus cocincinus). Light microscopy mostly allowed diagnosis of the parasites' genus, while species identification was not possible because of limited morphological characteristics available for parasitic developmental stages. The investigation revealed a high percentage of imported reptiles being carriers of parasites while possible vectors and pathogenicity are largely unknown so far. The spreading of haemoparasites thus represents an incalculable risk for pet reptiles, native herpetofauna and even human beings.

  6. Where are the parasites in food webs?

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-01-01

    This review explores some of the reasons why food webs seem to contain relatively few parasite species when compared to the full diversity of free living species in the system. At present, there are few coherent food web theories to guide scientific studies on parasites, and this review posits that the methods, directions and questions in the field of food web ecology are not always congruent with parasitological inquiry. For example, topological analysis (the primary tool in food web studies) focuses on only one of six important steps in trematode life cycles, each of which requires a stable community dynamic to evolve. In addition, these transmission strategies may also utilize pathways within the food web that are not considered in traditional food web investigations. It is asserted that more effort must be focused on parasite-centric models, and a central theme is that many different approaches will be required. One promising approach is the old energetic perspective, which considers energy as the critical resource for all organisms, and the currency of all food web interactions. From the parasitological point of view, energy can be used to characterize the roles of parasites at all levels in the food web, from individuals to populations to community. The literature on parasite energetics in food webs is very sparse, but the evidence suggests that parasite species richness is low in food webs because parasites are limited by the quantity of energy available to their unique lifestyles. PMID:23092160

  7. Where are the parasites in food webs?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sukhdeo Michael VK

    2012-10-01

    Full Text Available Abstract This review explores some of the reasons why food webs seem to contain relatively few parasite species when compared to the full diversity of free living species in the system. At present, there are few coherent food web theories to guide scientific studies on parasites, and this review posits that the methods, directions and questions in the field of food web ecology are not always congruent with parasitological inquiry. For example, topological analysis (the primary tool in food web studies focuses on only one of six important steps in trematode life cycles, each of which requires a stable community dynamic to evolve. In addition, these transmission strategies may also utilize pathways within the food web that are not considered in traditional food web investigations. It is asserted that more effort must be focused on parasite-centric models, and a central theme is that many different approaches will be required. One promising approach is the old energetic perspective, which considers energy as the critical resource for all organisms, and the currency of all food web interactions. From the parasitological point of view, energy can be used to characterize the roles of parasites at all levels in the food web, from individuals to populations to community. The literature on parasite energetics in food webs is very sparse, but the evidence suggests that parasite species richness is low in food webs because parasites are limited by the quantity of energy available to their unique lifestyles.

  8. Breastfeeding and risk of parasitic infection-a review

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Prameela Kannan Kutty

    2014-11-01

    Full Text Available Breastfeeding, as exclusive nutrition in the first six months of life, is a necessary nutritional requisite in infants. Except for very few maternal diseases that contraindicate breastfeeding, some of which still controversial, breastfeeding mothers must continue exclusive and sustained lactation to provide maximum overall benefits through breastfeeding. Parasitic infections is a global disease and children remain a significant proportion of the affected population. The complex and mandatory life cycles of some parasites, particularly the helminths may partly explain their geographical distribution. The world-wide prevalence of parasitic infections as well as the largely asymptomatic nature of most infections, make many of these infections to likely remain under-recognized. Breast milk, the prime infant nutrition must be recognized to be more than a rare vehicle of parasite transmission, but also a general and focused immune defensive tool against some important parasites. The possibility and influence of small quantities of parasite antigens in breast milk have not been adequately explored. It is believed that useful immunological responses both direct and indirect in breast milk that occur due to the presence of parasite antigens, must be further studied in the light of both immediate and long term benefits. Within this context, and prompted by a spectrum of existing uncertainties, researched and hypothetical roles of parasites and associated immunological responses in the lactating mammary gland are proposed and reviewed.

  9. Gastrointestinal parasites of feral cats from Christmas Island.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Adams, P J; Elliot, A D; Algar, D; Brazell, R I

    2008-01-01

    To investigate the gastrointestinal parasites present in feral cats on Christmas Island, with particular interest in the protozoan parasite Toxoplasma gondii. Faecal and serum samples were collected from 28 and 25 cats respectively that were trapped as part of an ongoing eradication program being run on Christmas Island by the Department of Environment and Conservation. Faecal samples were screened microscopically for helminth and protozoan parasites. Serum samples were screened for antibodies to T gondii using a commercial indirect immunofluorescence assay (IFA) and a latex agglutination test (LAT). The most common helminth parasites detected were Toxocara cati (present in 15 of 28 faecal samples), Strongyloides sp (13/28), Aelurostrongylus abstrusus, (7/28), an unidentified capillarid (6/28) and Ancylostoma sp (4/28). Based on serology, T gondii was the most common parasite detected (protozoan or otherwise) with antibodies detected in 24 serum samples by IFA and 23 serum samples by LAT. Cats on Christmas Island harbour many of the helminth and protozoan parasites reported from feral cats elsewhere in Australia. The high seroprevalence of T gondii in these cats indicates a high level of exposure to the parasite in this environment.

  10. A description of parasites from Iranian snakes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nasiri, Vahid; Mobedi, Iraj; Dalimi, Abdolhossein; Mirakabadi, Abbas Zare; Ghaffarifar, Fatemeh; Teymurzadeh, Shohreh; Karimi, Gholamreza; Abdoli, Amir; Paykari, Habibollah

    2014-12-01

    Little is known of the parasitic fauna of terrestrial snakes in Iran. This study aimed to evaluate the parasitic infection rates of snakes in Iran. A total of 87 snakes belonging to eight different species, that were collected between May 2012 and September 2012 and died after the hold in captivity, under which they were kept for taking poisons, were examined for the presence of gastrointestinal and blood parasites. According to our study 12 different genera of endoparasites in 64 (73.56%) of 87 examined snakes were determined. Forty one snakes (47.12%) had gastrointestinal parasites. In prepared blood smears, it was found that in 23 (26.43%) of 87 examined snakes there are at least one hemoparasite. To our knowledge, these are the first data on the internal parasitic fauna of Iranian terrestrial snakes and our findings show a higher prevalence of these organisms among them. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  11. De Novo Assembly and Characterization of the Transcriptome of the Parasitic Weed Dodder Identifies Genes Associated with Plant Parasitism1[C][W][OPEN

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ranjan, Aashish; Ichihashi, Yasunori; Farhi, Moran; Zumstein, Kristina; Townsley, Brad; David-Schwartz, Rakefet; Sinha, Neelima R.

    2014-01-01

    Parasitic flowering plants are one of the most destructive agricultural pests and have major impact on crop yields throughout the world. Being dependent on finding a host plant for growth, parasitic plants penetrate their host using specialized organs called haustoria. Haustoria establish vascular connections with the host, which enable the parasite to steal nutrients and water. The underlying molecular and developmental basis of parasitism by plants is largely unknown. In order to investigate the process of parasitism, RNAs from different stages (i.e. seed, seedling, vegetative strand, prehaustoria, haustoria, and flower) were used to de novo assemble and annotate the transcriptome of the obligate plant stem parasite dodder (Cuscuta pentagona). The assembled transcriptome was used to dissect transcriptional dynamics during dodder development and parasitism and identified key gene categories involved in the process of plant parasitism. Host plant infection is accompanied by increased expression of parasite genes underlying transport and transporter categories, response to stress and stimuli, as well as genes encoding enzymes involved in cell wall modifications. By contrast, expression of photosynthetic genes is decreased in the dodder infective stages compared with normal stem. In addition, genes relating to biosynthesis, transport, and response of phytohormones, such as auxin, gibberellins, and strigolactone, were differentially expressed in the dodder infective stages compared with stems and seedlings. This analysis sheds light on the transcriptional changes that accompany plant parasitism and will aid in identifying potential gene targets for use in controlling the infestation of crops by parasitic weeds. PMID:24399359

  12. Host partitioning by parasites in an intertidal crustacean community.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Koehler, Anson V; Poulin, Robert

    2010-10-01

    Patterns of host use by parasites throughout a guild community of intermediate hosts can depend on several biological and ecological factors, including physiology, morphology, immunology, and behavior. We looked at parasite transmission in the intertidal crustacean community of Lower Portobello Bay, Dunedin, New Zealand, with the intent of: (1) mapping the flow of parasites throughout the major crustacean species, (2) identifying hosts that play the most important transmission role for each parasite, and (3) assessing the impact of parasitism on host populations. The most prevalent parasites found in 14 species of crustaceans (635 specimens) examined were the trematodes Maritrema novaezealandensis and Microphallus sp., the acanthocephalans Profilicollis spp., the nematode Ascarophis sp., and an acuariid nematode. Decapods were compatible hosts for M. novaezealandensis, while other crustaceans demonstrated lower host suitability as shown by high levels of melanized and immature parasite stages. Carapace thickness, gill morphology, and breathing style may contribute to the differential infection success of M. novaezealandensis and Microphallus sp. in the decapod species. Parasite-induced host mortality appears likely with M. novaezealandensis in the crabs Austrohelice crassa, Halicarcinus varius, Hemigrapsus sexdentatus, and Macrophthalmus hirtipes, and also with Microphallus sp. in A. crassa. Overall, the different parasite species make different use of available crustacean intermediate hosts and possibly contribute to intertidal community structure.

  13. The unusual lipid binding proteins of parasitic helminths and their potential roles in parasitism and as therapeutic targets.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Franchini, Gisela R; Pórfido, Jorge L; Ibáñez Shimabukuro, Marina; Rey Burusco, María F; Bélgamo, Julián A; Smith, Brian O; Kennedy, Malcolm W; Córsico, Betina

    2015-02-01

    In this review paper we aim at presenting the current knowledge on structural aspects of soluble lipid binding proteins (LBPs) found in parasitic helminths and to discuss their potential role as novel drug targets. Helminth parasites produce and secrete a great variety of LBPs that may participate in the acquisition of nutrients from their host, such as fatty acids and cholesterol. It is also postulated that LBPs might interfere in the regulation of the host׳s immune response by sequestering lipidic intermediates or delivering bioactive lipids. A detailed comprehension of the structure of these proteins, as well as their interactions with ligands and membranes, is important to understand host-parasite relationships that they may mediate. This information could also contribute to determining the role that these proteins may play in the biology of parasitic helminths and how they modulate the immune systems of their hosts, and also towards the development of new therapeutics and prevention of the diseases caused by these highly pathogenic parasites. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  14. Cleptobiosis in Social Insects

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michael D. Breed

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available In this review of cleptobiosis, we not only focus on social insects, but also consider broader issues and concepts relating to the theft of food among animals. Cleptobiosis occurs when members of a species steal food, or sometimes nesting materials or other items of value, either from members of the same or a different species. This simple definition is not universally used, and there is some terminological confusion among cleptobiosis, cleptoparasitism, brood parasitism, and inquilinism. We first discuss the definitions of these terms and the confusion that arises from varying usage of the words. We consider that cleptobiosis usually is derived evolutionarily from established foraging behaviors. Cleptobionts can succeed by deception or by force, and we review the literature on cleptobiosis by deception or force in social insects. We focus on the best known examples of cleptobiosis, the ectatommine ant Ectatomma ruidum, the harvester ant Messor capitatus, and the stingless bee Lestrimellita limão. Cleptobiosis is facilitated either by deception or physical force, and we discuss both mechanisms. Part of this discussion is an analysis of the ecological implications (competition by interference and the evolutionary effects of cleptobiosis. We conclude with a comment on how cleptobiosis can increase the risk of disease or parasite spread among colonies of social insects.

  15. Breeding success and brood parasitism affect return rate and dispersal distances in the great reed warbler

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Koleček, Jaroslav; Jelínek, Václav; Požgayová, Milica; Trnka, A.; Baslerová, P.; Honza, Marcel; Procházka, Petr

    2015-01-01

    Roč. 69, č. 11 (2015), s. 1845-1853 ISSN 0340-5443 R&D Projects: GA ČR(CZ) GAP506/12/2404; GA ČR GA13-06451S Institutional support: RVO:68081766 Keywords : Adult survival * Breeding care * Fidelity * Host-parasite interaction * Polygyny * Social status Subject RIV: EG - Zoology Impact factor: 2.382, year: 2015

  16. Risk Factors and Relationship Between Intestinal Parasites and the Growth Retardation and Psychomotor Development Delays of Children in Şanlıurfa, Turkey.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yentur Doni, Nebiye; Yildiz Zeyrek, Fadile; Simsek, Zeynep; Gurses, Gulcan; Sahin, İbrahim

    2015-12-01

    The objective of this study was to determine the risk factors for and relationship among parasitic infections, growth retardation, and psychomotor developmental delays in children aged 6 years and below. This case-control study was performed in Şanlıurfa in southeastern Turkey between October and December 2007. Data were collected using a structured questionnaire, anthropometry, Ankara Development Screening Inventory, and laboratory analysis of stool specimens. The most common parasite was Giardia intestinalis (42.53%) followed by Enterobius vermicularis (27.58%), Ascaris lumbricoides (18.39%), Hymenolepis nana (5.75%), Trichuris trichiura (3.45%), Escherichia coli (1.15%), and Blastocystis spp. (1.15%). Fifty-eight percent of all children were infected with intestinal parasites; 55.2% had only one parasite, whereas 44.8% had multiple parasites. The children infected with G. intestinalis and other intestinal parasites had significantly higher levels of growth retardation and psychomotor development delay than non-infected children. Children with parasitic infections had growth delay up to 2.9 times, general development delay up to 1.9 times, language-cognitive development delay up to 2.2 times, and fine motor development delay up to 2.9 times higher than children without any parasitic infections. However, no significant relationship among intestinal parasites, gross motor development, social-self skills, and development delay was identified. The education level of parents, poor economic situation, number of households, not washing hands, playing with soil, family history of parasitic infection were the significant risk factors for intestinal parasites. Our study indicates that the presence of either malnutrition or intestinal parasites may put a child in a high-risk group for developmental delays and growth retardation. Therefore, public health interventions can embrace nationwide deworming in children.

  17. Prevalence of gastrointestinal parasites of rams brought into ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    In an effort to gain a better understanding into the role played by food animals in the epidemiology of gastrointestinal parasites, we assessed the prevalence of gastrointestinal parasites in different breeds of rams brought into Abeokuta during a festive season by ... The only protozoan parasite identified was Eimeria spp.

  18. Laboratory Diagnosis of Parasites from the Gastrointestinal Tract.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garcia, Lynne S; Arrowood, Michael; Kokoskin, Evelyne; Paltridge, Graeme P; Pillai, Dylan R; Procop, Gary W; Ryan, Norbert; Shimizu, Robyn Y; Visvesvara, Govinda

    2018-01-01

    This Practical Guidance for Clinical Microbiology document on the laboratory diagnosis of parasites from the gastrointestinal tract provides practical information for the recovery and identification of relevant human parasites. The document is based on a comprehensive literature review and expert consensus on relevant diagnostic methods. However, it does not include didactic information on human parasite life cycles, organism morphology, clinical disease, pathogenesis, treatment, or epidemiology and prevention. As greater emphasis is placed on neglected tropical diseases, it becomes highly probable that patients with gastrointestinal parasitic infections will become more widely recognized in areas where parasites are endemic and not endemic. Generally, these methods are nonautomated and require extensive bench experience for accurate performance and interpretation. Copyright © 2017 American Society for Microbiology.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  20. Selection on non-social traits limits the invasion of social cheats

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morgan, Andrew D; Quigley, Benjamin J Z; Brown, Sam P; Buckling, Angus

    2012-01-01

    While the conditions that favour the maintenance of cooperation have been extensively investigated, the significance of non-social selection pressures on social behaviours has received little attention. In the absence of non-social selection pressures, patches of cooperators are vulnerable to invasion by cheats. However, we show both theoretically, and experimentally with the bacterium Pseudomonas fluorescens, that cheats may be unable to invade patches of cooperators under strong non-social selection (both a novel abiotic environment and to a lesser extent, the presence of a virulent parasite). This is because beneficial mutations are most likely to arise in the numerically dominant cooperator population. Given the ubiquity of novel selection pressures on microbes, these results may help to explain why cooperation is the norm in natural populations of microbes. PMID:22639835

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ryan C Smith

    2014-08-01

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

  2. 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.

  3. Timing of host feeding drives rhythms in parasite replication

    KAUST Repository

    Prior, Kimberley F.

    2018-02-26

    Circadian rhythms enable organisms to synchronise the processes underpinning survival and reproduction to anticipate daily changes in the external environment. Recent work shows that daily (circadian) rhythms also enable parasites to maximise fitness in the context of ecological interactions with their hosts. Because parasite rhythms matter for their fitness, understanding how they are regulated could lead to innovative ways to reduce the severity and spread of diseases. Here, we examine how host circadian rhythms influence rhythms in the asexual replication of malaria parasites. Asexual replication is responsible for the severity of malaria and fuels transmission of the disease, yet, how parasite rhythms are driven remains a mystery. We perturbed feeding rhythms of hosts by 12 hours (i.e. diurnal feeding in nocturnal mice) to desynchronise the host’s peripheral oscillators from the central, light-entrained oscillator in the brain and their rhythmic outputs. We demonstrate that the rhythms of rodent malaria parasites in day-fed hosts become inverted relative to the rhythms of parasites in night-fed hosts. Our results reveal that the host’s peripheral rhythms (associated with the timing of feeding and metabolism), but not rhythms driven by the central, light-entrained circadian oscillator in the brain, determine the timing (phase) of parasite rhythms. Further investigation reveals that parasite rhythms correlate closely with blood glucose rhythms. In addition, we show that parasite rhythms resynchronise to the altered host feeding rhythms when food availability is shifted, which is not mediated through rhythms in the host immune system. Our observations suggest that parasites actively control their developmental rhythms. Finally, counter to expectation, the severity of disease symptoms expressed by hosts was not affected by desynchronisation of their central and peripheral rhythms. Our study at the intersection of disease ecology and chronobiology opens up a new

  4. Timing of host feeding drives rhythms in parasite replication

    KAUST Repository

    Prior, Kimberley F

    2017-12-07

    Circadian rhythms enable organisms to synchronise the processes underpinning survival and reproduction to anticipate daily changes in the external environment. Recent work shows that daily (circadian) rhythms also enable parasites to maximise fitness in the context of ecological interactions with their hosts. Because parasite rhythms matter for their fitness, understanding how they are regulated could lead to innovative ways to reduce the severity and spread of diseases. Here, we examine how host circadian rhythms influence rhythms in the asexual replication of malaria parasites. Asexual replication is responsible for the severity of malaria and fuels transmission of the disease, yet, how parasite rhythms are driven remains a mystery. We perturbed feeding rhythms of hosts by 12 hours (i.e. diurnal feeding in nocturnal mice) to desynchronise the host\\'s peripheral oscillators from the central, light-entrained oscillator in the brain and their rhythmic outputs. We demonstrate that the rhythms of rodent malaria parasites in day-fed hosts become inverted relative to the rhythms of parasites in night-fed hosts. Our results reveal that the host\\'s peripheral rhythms (associated with the timing of feeding and metabolism), but not rhythms driven by the central, light-entrained circadian oscillator in the brain, determine the timing (phase) of parasite rhythms. Further investigation reveals that parasite rhythms correlate closely with blood glucose rhythms. In addition, we show that parasite rhythms resynchronise to the altered host feeding rhythms when food availability is shifted, which is not mediated through rhythms in the host immune system. Our observations suggest that parasites actively control their developmental rhythms. Finally, counter to expectation, the severity of disease symptoms expressed by hosts was not affected by desynchronisation of their central and peripheral rhythms. Our study at the intersection of disease ecology and chronobiology opens up a new

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. Mammalian gastrointestinal parasites in rainforest remnants

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Here, we studied the gastrointestinal parasites of nonhuman mammalian hosts living in 10 rainforest patches of the Anamalai Tiger Reserve, India. We examined 349 faecal samples of 17 mammalian species and successfully identified 24 gastroin-testinal parasite taxa including 1 protozoan, 2 trematode, 3 cestode and 18 ...

  8. Host responses to interspecific brood parasitism: a by-product of adaptations to conspecific parasitism?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Samas, Peter; Hauber, Mark E; Cassey, Phillip; Grim, Tomas

    2014-01-01

    Why have birds evolved the ability to reject eggs? Typically, foreign egg discrimination is interpreted as evidence that interspecific brood parasitism (IP) has selected for the host's ability to recognize and eliminate foreign eggs. Fewer studies explore the alternative hypothesis that rejection of interspecific eggs is a by-product of host defenses, evolved against conspecific parasitism (CP). We performed a large scale study with replication across taxa (two congeneric Turdus thrushes), space (populations), time (breeding seasons), and treatments (three types of experimental eggs), using a consistent design of egg rejection experiments (n = 1057 nests; including controls), in areas with potential IP either present (Europe; native populations) or absent (New Zealand; introduced populations). These comparisons benefited from the known length of allopatry (one and a half centuries), with no gene flow between native and introduced populations, which is rarely available in host-parasite systems. Hosts rejected CP at unusually high rates for passerines (up to 60%). CP rejection rates were higher in populations with higher conspecific breeding densities and no risks of IP, supporting the CP hypothesis. IP rejection rates did not covary geographically with IP risk, contradicting the IP hypothesis. High egg rejection rates were maintained in the relatively long-term isolation from IP despite non-trivial rejection costs and errors. These egg rejection patterns, combined with recent findings that these thrushes are currently unsuitable hosts of the obligate parasitic common cuckoo (Cuculus canorus), are in agreement with the hypothesis that the rejection of IP is a by-product of fine-tuned egg discrimination evolved due to CP. Our study highlights the importance of considering both IP and CP simultaneously as potential drivers in the evolution of egg discrimination, and illustrates how populations introduced to novel ecological contexts can provide critical insights

  9. Parasites of fish larvae: do they follow metabolic energetic laws?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Muñoz, Gabriela; Landaeta, Mauricio F; Palacios-Fuentes, Pamela; George-Nascimento, Mario

    2015-11-01

    Eumetazoan parasites in fish larvae normally exhibit large body sizes relative to their hosts. This observation raises a question about the potential effects that parasites might have on small fish. We indirectly evaluated this question using energetic metabolic laws based on body volume and the parasite densities. We compared the biovolume as well as the numeric and volumetric densities of parasites over the host body volume of larval and juvenile-adult fish and the average of these parasitological descriptors for castrator parasites and the parasites found in the fish studied here. We collected 5266 fish larvae using nearshore zooplankton sampling and 1556 juveniles and adult fish from intertidal rocky pools in central Chile. We considered only the parasitized hosts: 482 fish larvae and 629 juvenile-adult fish. We obtained 31 fish species; 14 species were in both plankton and intertidal zones. Fish larvae exhibited a significantly smaller biovolume but larger numeric and volumetric densities of parasites than juvenile-adult fish. Therefore, fish larvae showed a large proportion of parasite biovolume per unit of body host (cm(3)). However, the general scaling of parasitological descriptors and host body volume were similar between larvae and juvenile-adult fish. The ratio between the biovolume of parasites and the host body volume in fish larvae was similar to the proportion observed in castrator parasites. Furthermore, the ratios were different from those of juvenile-adult fish, which suggests that the presence of parasites implies a high energetic cost for fish larvae that would diminish the fitness of these small hosts.

  10. Gastro-Intestinal Parasites of Warthogs (Phacochoerus Africanus ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Gastro-Intestinal Parasites of Warthogs (Phacochoerus Africanus) from the Nazinga Game Ranch of Burkina Faso. ... the prevalence of gastrointestinal parasites in warthogs from the Nazinga Game Ranch of ... AJOL African Journals Online.

  11. Timing of host feeding drives rhythms in parasite replication

    KAUST Repository

    Prior, Kimberley F.; van der Veen, Daan R.; O’ Donnell, Aidan J.; Cumnock, Katherine; Schneider, David; Pain, Arnab; Subudhi, Amit; Ramaprasad, Abhinay; Rund, Samuel S. C.; Savill, Nicholas J.; Reece, Sarah E.

    2018-01-01

    by the central, light-entrained circadian oscillator in the brain, determine the timing (phase) of parasite rhythms. Further investigation reveals that parasite rhythms correlate closely with blood glucose rhythms. In addition, we show that parasite rhythms

  12. Bacterial and parasitic diseases of parrots.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Doneley, Robert J T

    2009-09-01

    As wild-caught birds become increasingly rare in aviculture, there is a corresponding decline in the incidence of bacterial and parasitic problems and an increase in the recognition of the importance of maintaining health through better nutrition and husbandry. Nevertheless, the relatively close confines of captivity mean an increased pathogen load in the environment in which companion and aviary parrots live. This increased pathogen load leads to greater exposure of these birds to bacteria and parasites, and consequently a greater risk of infection and disease. This article discusses bacterial and parasitic infections in companion and aviary parrots. It includes the origins, pathogens, diagnosis, treatment, and some of the associated risk factors.

  13. Parasitic Infections In A Developing Country: The Vermiform ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The vermiform appendix may become a yielding target and an innocent victim of intestinal parasitism. This is likely to occur more readily in those parts of the developing world in which the parasitic load in the community is high. This high parasitic load more commonly afflicts people of low socio-economic class. This report is ...

  14. Global Mammal Parasite Database version 2.0.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stephens, Patrick R; Pappalardo, Paula; Huang, Shan; Byers, James E; Farrell, Maxwell J; Gehman, Alyssa; Ghai, Ria R; Haas, Sarah E; Han, Barbara; Park, Andrew W; Schmidt, John P; Altizer, Sonia; Ezenwa, Vanessa O; Nunn, Charles L

    2017-05-01

    Illuminating the ecological and evolutionary dynamics of parasites is one of the most pressing issues facing modern science, and is critical for basic science, the global economy, and human health. Extremely important to this effort are data on the disease-causing organisms of wild animal hosts (including viruses, bacteria, protozoa, helminths, arthropods, and fungi). Here we present an updated version of the Global Mammal Parasite Database, a database of the parasites of wild ungulates (artiodactyls and perissodactyls), carnivores, and primates, and make it available for download as complete flat files. The updated database has more than 24,000 entries in the main data file alone, representing data from over 2700 literature sources. We include data on sampling method and sample sizes when reported, as well as both "reported" and "corrected" (i.e., standardized) binomials for each host and parasite species. Also included are current higher taxonomies and data on transmission modes used by the majority of species of parasites in the database. In the associated metadata we describe the methods used to identify sources and extract data from the primary literature, how entries were checked for errors, methods used to georeference entries, and how host and parasite taxonomies were standardized across the database. We also provide definitions of the data fields in each of the four files that users can download. © 2017 by the Ecological Society of America.

  15. The effect of parasites on wildlife

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Borgsteede, F.H.M.

    1996-01-01

    Populations of animals which live in the wild are regulated by many biotic and abiotic factors. Parasites are one of the biotic factors. Parasites may influence their hosts in different ways. They may cause the death of the host due to a direct lethal effect or an indirect effect. Direct lethal

  16. Taming Parasites by Tailoring Them

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bingjian Ren

    2017-07-01

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

  17. Parasites Promote and When Might They Constrain Ecological Speciation?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anssi Karvonen

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Research on speciation and adaptive radiation has flourished during the past decades, yet factors underlying initiation of reproductive isolation often remain unknown. Parasites represent important selective agents and have received renewed attention in speciation research. We review the literature on parasite-mediated divergent selection in context of ecological speciation and present empirical evidence for three nonexclusive mechanisms by which parasites might facilitate speciation: reduced viability or fecundity of immigrants and hybrids, assortative mating as a pleiotropic by-product of host adaptation, and ecologically-based sexual selection. We emphasise the lack of research on speciation continuums, which is why no study has yet made a convincing case for parasite driven divergent evolution to initiate the emergence of reproductive isolation. We also point interest towards selection imposed by single versus multiple parasite species, conceptually linking this to strength and multifariousness of selection. Moreover, we discuss how parasites, by manipulating behaviour or impairing sensory abilities of hosts, may change the form of selection that underlies speciation. We conclude that future studies should consider host populations at variable stages of the speciation process, and explore recurrent patterns of parasitism and resistance that could pinpoint the role of parasites in imposing the divergent selection that initiates ecological speciation.

  18. 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.

  19. Host Specificity in the Parasitic Plant Cytinus hypocistis

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Thorogood, C.J.; Hiscock, S.J.

    2007-01-01

    Host specificity in the parasitic plant Cytinus hypocistis was quantified at four sites in the Algarve region of Portugal from 2002 to 2007. The parasite was found to be locally host specific, and only two hosts were consistently infected: Halimium halimifolium and Cistus monspeliensis. C. hypocistis did not infect hosts in proportion to their abundance; at three sites, 100% of parasites occurred on H. halimifolium which represented just 42.4%, 3% and 19.7% of potential hosts available, respectively. At the remaining site, where H. halimifolium was absent, 100% of parasites occurred on C. monspeliensis which represented 81.1% of potential hosts available. Other species of potential host were consistently uninfected irrespective of their abundance. Ecological niche divergence of host plants H. halimifolium and C. monspeliensis may isolate host-specific races of C. hypocistis, thereby potentially driving allopatric divergence in this parasitic plant.

  20. Predictors of Host Specificity among Behavior-Manipulating Parasites

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Fredensborg, B. L.

    2014-01-01

    specifically, hosts’ behavioral modification that involves interaction with the central nervous system presumably restricts parasites to more closely related hosts than does manipulation of the host’s behavior via debilitation of the host’s physiology. The results of the analysis suggest that phylogenetic......-specialist that has a restricted ecological niche that it masters. Parasites that manipulate hosts’ behavior are often thought to represent resource-specialists based on a few spectacular examples of manipulation of the host’s behavior. However, the determinants of which, and how many, hosts a manipulating parasite...... of parasites and hosts. Using individual and multivariate analyses, I examined the effect of the host’s and parasite’s taxonomy, location of the parasite in the host, type of behavioral change, and the effect of debilitation on host-specificity, measured as the mean taxonomic relatedness of hosts...

  1. Tracer techniques for the study of host-parasite relations

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Mendgen, K.

    1975-01-01

    Autoradiographic techniques have been used to study the interaction of many facultative and obligate parasites, including viruses. After feeding the host plant with labelled substrates, labelled material accumulates in the infected cells and seems to penetrate into structures of the parasite. After labelling the parasite, its influence on the host may be studied. We use this technique to study the interaction of host (bean) and parasite (bean rust) during the infection process. After infection with uredospores labelled with tritiated orotic acid, the radioactivity is retained almost completely within the young haustorium at 22 h after inoculation. This may indicate a very small influence of the parasite on its compatible host. In incompatible host-parasite combinations, the infection process proceeds in a different way. The use of autoradiographic techniques to compare combinations of varying compatibilities will be discussed. (author)

  2. Parasites of skipjack, Katsuwonus pelamis, from Madeira, Eastern Atlantic.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hermida, Margarida; Cavaleiro, Bárbara; Gouveia, Lídia; Saraiva, Aurélia

    2018-04-01

    Skipjack tuna, Katsuwonus pelamis, is a tropical species of economic importance for fisheries around the world. It occurs seasonally in subtropical waters around Madeira archipelago, in the warmer months. In this study, a parasitological analysis was carried out on a sample of 30 skipjack caught near Madeira Island. A total of 24 parasite taxa were found in this sample. The skipjack parasite community detected was characterized by a wide diversity of parasites, with a predominance of adult didymozoid trematodes, and high prevalences of Tentacularia coryphaenae cestode larvae and Anisakis sp. larvae. Microhabitat distribution of gill parasites was assessed for the most prevalent species, and correlations between parasite abundance and various host features such as size, condition, and fat content were investigated. Parasite taxa which might be useful as biological tags in future studies of skipjack migrations in the Eastern Atlantic were selected.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Oswaldo Margarito Torres-Chablé

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

  4. burden of intestinal parasites amongst hiv/aids patients attending

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    boaz

    ABSTRACT. Background: Intestinal parasitic infections cause severe diarrhea especially in debilitated subjects with clinical ... Regional Hospital, Entamoeba histolytica and other intestinal parasites represented a common burden. .... Attempt was made to go through all the fields of ..... Control of Intestinal parasite Infections.

  5. Parasitic Apologies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Galatolo, Renata; Ursi, Biagio; Bongelli, Ramona

    2016-01-01

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

  6. Defending the hive: social mechanisms complement individual immunity in honey bees

    Science.gov (United States)

    Honey bees live in large colonies (~50,000 individuals), but sociality has both costs and benefits. In some ways, social life enables individuals within colonies to better fend off pathogens and parasites than if they were solitary. However, an environment with many genetically related individuals i...

  7. Sex steroids, immune system, and parasitic infections: facts and hypotheses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nava-Castro, Karen; Hernández-Bello, Romel; Muñiz-Hernández, Saé; Camacho-Arroyo, Ignacio; Morales-Montor, Jorge

    2012-07-01

    It has been widely reported that the incidence and the severity of natural parasitic infections are different between males and females of several species, including humans. This sexual dimorphism involves a distinct exposure of males and females to various parasite infective stages, differential effects of sex steroids on immune cells, and direct effects of these steroids on parasites, among others. Typically, for a large number of parasitic diseases, the prevalence and intensity is higher in males than females; however, in several parasitic infections, males are more resistant than females. In the present work, we review the effects of sex hormones on immunity to protozoa and helminth parasites, which are the causal agents of several diseases in humans, and discuss the most recent research related to the role of sex steroids in the complex host-parasite relationship. © 2012 New York Academy of Sciences.

  8. Parasitic fauna in hybrid tambacu from fish farms

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ronilson Macedo Silva

    2013-08-01

    Full Text Available The objective of this work was to evaluate the parasitic fauna of hybrid tambacu (Colossoma macropomum x Piaractus mesopotamicus from fish farms and the host-parasite relationship. A hundred and fourteen fish were collected from four fish farms in Macapá, in the state of Amapá, Brazil, 80.7% of which were infected by: Ichthyophthirius multifiliis (Ciliophora; Piscinoodinium pillulare (Dinoflagellida; Anacanthorus spatulatus, Notozothecium janauachensis, and Mymarothecium viatorum (Monogenoidea; Neoechinorhynchus buttnerae (Acanthocephala; Cucullanus colossomi (Nematoda; Perulernaea gamitanae (Lernaeidae; and Proteocephalidae larvae (Cestoda. A total of 8,136,252 parasites were collected from the examined fish. This is the first record of N. buttnerae, C. colossomi, N. janauachensis, M. viatorum, and Proteocephalidae for hybrid tambacu in Brazil. Ichthyophthirius multifiliis was the most prevalent parasite, whereas endohelminths were the less. A positive correlation was observed between number of I. multifiliis and total length and weight of fish, as well as between number of P. gamitanae and total length. The infection by I. multifiliis had association with the parasitism by Monogenoidea. Low water quality contributes to high parasitism of hybrid tambacu by ectoparasites, which, however, does not influence the relative condition factor of fish.

  9. Parasitic Diseases: Glossary

    Science.gov (United States)

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

  10. Characterizing Ancylostoma caninum transcriptome and exploring nematode parasitic adaptation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hawdon John

    2010-05-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Hookworm infection is one of the most important neglected diseases in developing countries, with approximately 1 billion people infected worldwide. To better understand hookworm biology and nematode parasitism, the present study generated a near complete transcriptome of the canine hookworm Ancylostoma caninum to a very high coverage using high throughput technology, and compared it to those of the free-living nematode Caenorhabditis elegans and the parasite Brugia malayi. Results The generated transcripts from four developmental stages, infective L3, serum stimulated L3, adult male and adult female, covered 93% of the A. caninum transcriptome. The broad diversity among nematode transcriptomes was confirmed, and an impact of parasitic adaptation on transcriptome diversity was inferred. Intra-population analysis showed that A. caninum has higher coding sequence diversity than humans. Examining the developmental expression profiles of A. caninum revealed major transitions in gene expression from larval stages to adult. Adult males expressed the highest number of selectively expressed genes, but adult female expressed the highest number of selective parasitism-related genes. Genes related to parasitism adaptation and A. caninum specific genes exhibited more expression selectivity while those conserved in nematodes tend to be consistently expressed. Parasitism related genes were expressed more selectively in adult male and female worms. The comprehensive analysis of digital expression profiles along with transcriptome comparisons enabled identification of a set of parasitism genes encoding secretory proteins in animal parasitic nematode. Conclusions This study validated the usage of deep sequencing for gene expression profiling. Parasitic adaptation of the canine hookworm is related to its diversity and developmental dynamics. This comprehensive comparative genomic and expression study substantially improves our understanding of

  11. RNA mobility in parasitic plant – host interactions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Gunjune

    2017-01-01

    ABSTRACT The parasitic plant Cuscuta exchanges mRNAs with its hosts. Systemic mobility of mRNAs within plants is well documented, and has gained increasing attention as studies using grafted plant systems have revealed new aspects of mobile mRNA regulation and function. But parasitic plants take this phenomenon to a new level by forming seamless connections to a wide range of host species, and raising questions about how mRNAs might function after transfer to a different species. Cuscuta and other parasitic plant species also take siRNAs from their hosts, indicating that multiple types of RNA are capable of trans-specific movement. Parasitic plants are intriguing systems for studying RNA mobility, in part because such exchange opens new possibilities for control of parasitic weeds, but also because they provide a fresh perspective into understanding roles of RNAs in inter-organismal communication. PMID:28277936

  12. Serine protease inhibitors of parasitic helminths.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Molehin, Adebayo J; Gobert, Geoffrey N; McManus, Donald P

    2012-05-01

    Serine protease inhibitors (serpins) are a superfamily of structurally conserved proteins that inhibit serine proteases and play key physiological roles in numerous biological systems such as blood coagulation, complement activation and inflammation. A number of serpins have now been identified in parasitic helminths with putative involvement in immune regulation and in parasite survival through interference with the host immune response. This review describes the serpins and smapins (small serine protease inhibitors) that have been identified in Ascaris spp., Brugia malayi, Ancylostoma caninum Onchocerca volvulus, Haemonchus contortus, Trichinella spiralis, Trichostrongylus vitrinus, Anisakis simplex, Trichuris suis, Schistosoma spp., Clonorchis sinensis, Paragonimus westermani and Echinococcus spp. and discusses their possible biological functions, including roles in host-parasite interplay and their evolutionary relationships.

  13. Interactions between parasites and insects vectors

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hilary Hurd

    1994-01-01

    Full Text Available This review stresses the importance of studies that will provide a basic understanding of the pathology of parasite-infected vector insects. This knowledge should be a vital component of the very focussed initiatives currently being funded in the areas of vector control. Vector fecundity reduction is discussed as an example of such pathology. Underlying mechanisms are being investigated in a model system, Hymenolepis diminuta-infected Tenebrio molitor and in Onchocerca-infected blackflies and Plasmodium-infected Anopheles stephensi. In all cases, host vitellogenesis is disrupted by the parasite and, in the tapeworm/beetle model, interaction between the parasite and the endocrine control of the insect's reproductive physiology has been demonstrated.

  14. Biliary parasites: diagnostic and therapeutic strategies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Khandelwal, Niraj; Shaw, Joanna; Jain, Mamta K

    2008-04-01

    Parasitic infections of the biliary tract are a common cause of biliary obstruction in endemic areas. This article focuses on primary biliary parasites: Ascaris lumbricoides, Clonorchis sinensis, Opisthorchis viverrini, Opisthorchis felineus, Dicrocoelium dendriticum, Fasciola hepatica, and Fasciola gigantica. Tropical and subtropical countries have the highest incidence and prevalence of these infections. Diagnosis is made primarily through direct microscopic examination of eggs in the stool, duodenal, or bile contents. Radiologic imaging may show intrahepatic ductal dilatation, whereas endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography can be used diagnostically and therapeutically. However, oral treatment is inexpensive and effective for most of these parasites and can prevent untoward consequences. Primary and alternative treatments are available and are reviewed in this article.

  15. Fecal Occult Blood Test and Gastrointestinal Parasitic Infection

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Majed H. Wakid

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available Stool specimens of 1238 workers in western region of Saudi Arabia were examined for infection with intestinal parasites and for fecal occult blood (FOB to investigate the possibility that enteroparasites correlate to occult intestinal bleeding. Direct smears and formal ether techniques were used for detection of diagnostic stages of intestinal parasites. A commercially available guaiac test was used to detect fecal occult blood. 47.01% of the workers were infected with intestinal parasites including eight helminthes species and eight protozoan species. The results provided no significant evidence (P-value=0.143 that intestinal parasitic infection is in association with positive guaiac FOB test.

  16. Differential escape from parasites by two competing introduced crabs

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-01-01

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

  17. Gray fox (Urocyon cinereoargenteus parasite diversity in central Mexico

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Norma Hernández-Camacho

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available Mexico has a long history of parasitological studies in communities of vertebrates. However, the mega diversity of the country makes fauna inventories an ongoing priority. Presently, there is little published on the parasite fauna of gray foxes (Urocyon cinereoargenteus Schereber, 1775 and this study provides new records of parasites for gray foxes in central Mexico. It is a continuation of a series of previous parasitological studies conducted with this carnivore in Mexico from 2003 to the present. A total of 24 foxes in the Parque Nacional El Cimatario (PANEC were trapped, anaesthetized, and parasites recovered. The species found were Dirofilaria immitis, Ctenocephalides canis, C. felis, Euhoplopsillus glacialis affinis (first report for gray foxes in Mexico Pulex simulants, and Ixodes sp. Three additional gray fox carcasses were necropsied and the parasites collected were adult nematodes Physaloptera praeputialis and Toxocara canis. The intensive study of the gray fox population selected for the 2013–2015 recent period allowed for a two-fold increase in the number of parasite species recorded for this carnivore since 2003 (nine to 18 parasite species, mainly recording parasitic arthropods, Dirofilaria immitis filariae and adult nematodes. The parasite species recorded are generalists that can survive in anthropic environments; which is characteristic of the present ecological scenario in central Mexico. The close proximity of the PANEC to the city of Santiago de Queretaro suggests possible parasite transmission between the foxes and domestic and feral dogs. Furthermore, packs of feral dogs in the PANEC might have altered habitat use by foxes, with possible impacts on transmission.

  18. Parasitism by Cuscuta pentagona attenuates host plant defenses against insect herbivores.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Runyon, Justin B; Mescher, Mark C; De Moraes, Consuelo M

    2008-03-01

    Considerable research has examined plant responses to concurrent attack by herbivores and pathogens, but the effects of attack by parasitic plants, another important class of plant-feeding organisms, on plant defenses against other enemies has not been explored. We investigated how attack by the parasitic plant Cuscuta pentagona impacted tomato (Solanum lycopersicum) defenses against the chewing insect beet armyworm (Spodoptera exigua; BAW). In response to insect feeding, C. pentagona-infested (parasitized) tomato plants produced only one-third of the antiherbivore phytohormone jasmonic acid (JA) produced by unparasitized plants. Similarly, parasitized tomato, in contrast to unparasitized plants, failed to emit herbivore-induced volatiles after 3 d of BAW feeding. Although parasitism impaired antiherbivore defenses, BAW growth was slower on parasitized tomato leaves. Vines of C. pentagona did not translocate JA from BAW-infested plants: amounts of JA in parasite vines grown on caterpillar-fed and control plants were similar. Parasitized plants generally contained more salicylic acid (SA), which can inhibit JA in some systems. Parasitized mutant (NahG) tomato plants deficient in SA produced more JA in response to insect feeding than parasitized wild-type plants, further suggesting cross talk between the SA and JA defense signaling pathways. However, JA induction by BAW was still reduced in parasitized compared to unparasitized NahG, implying that other factors must be involved. We found that parasitized plants were capable of producing induced volatiles when experimentally treated with JA, indicating that resource depletion by the parasite does not fully explain the observed attenuation of volatile response to herbivore feeding. Collectively, these findings show that parasitic plants can have important consequences for host plant defense against herbivores.

  19. Fighting fish parasites with photodynamically active chlorophyllin.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Häder, D-P; Schmidl, J; Hilbig, R; Oberle, M; Wedekind, H; Richter, P

    2016-06-01

    Water-soluble chlorophyll (chlorophyllin) was used in a phototoxic reaction against a number of fish ectoparasites such as Ichtyobodo, Dactylogyrus, Trichodina, and Argulus. Chlorophyllin is applied to the water at concentrations of several micrograms per milliliter for a predefined incubation time, and afterwards, the parasites are exposed to simulated solar radiation. Application in the dark caused only little damage to the parasites; likewise, light exposure without the addition of the photosensitizer was ineffective. In Ichthyobodo, 2 μg/mL proved sufficient with subsequent simulated solar radiation to almost quantitatively kill the parasites, while in Dactylogyrus, a concentration of about 6 μg/mL was necessary. The LD50 value for this parasite was 1.02 μg/mL. Trichodina could be almost completely eliminated at 2 μg/mL. Only in the parasitic crustacean Argulus, no killing could be achieved by a photodynamic reaction using chlorophyllin. Chlorophyllin is non-toxic, biodegradable, and can be produced at low cost. Therefore, we propose that chlorophyllin (or other photodynamic substances) are a possible effective countermeasure against several ectoparasites in ponds and aquaculture since chemical remedies are either forbidden and/or ineffective.

  20. Begging and cowbirds : brood parasites make hosts scream louder

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Boncoraglio, Giuseppe; Saino, Nicola; Garamszegi, Laszlo Z.

    2009-01-01

    Avian brood parasites have evolved striking begging ability that often allows them to prevail over the host progeny in competition for parental resources. Host young are therefore selected by brood parasites to evolve behavioral strategies that reduce the cost of parasitism. We tested the prediction

  1. Inca expansion and parasitism in the lluta valley: preliminary data.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Santoro, Calogero; Vinton, Sheila Dorsey; Reinhard, Karl J

    2003-01-01

    Assessing the impact of cultural change on parasitism has been a central goal in archaeoparasitology. The influence of civilization and the development of empires on parasitism has not been evaluated. Presented here is a preliminary analysis of the change in human parasitism associated with the Inca conquest of the Lluta Valley in Northern Chile. Changes in parasite prevalence are described. It can be seen that the change in life imposed on the inhabitants of the Lluta Valley by the Incas caused an increase in parasitism.

  2. Parasitic Nematode Interactions with Mammals and Plants

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2003-01-01

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

  3. Sequence mining and transcript profiling to explore cyst nematode parasitism

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Recknor Justin

    2009-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Cyst nematodes are devastating plant parasites that become sedentary within plant roots and induce the transformation of normal plant cells into elaborate feeding cells with the help of secreted effectors, the parasitism proteins. These proteins are the translation products of parasitism genes and are secreted molecular tools that allow cyst nematodes to infect plants. Results We present here the expression patterns of all previously described parasitism genes of the soybean cyst nematode, Heterodera glycines, in all major life stages except the adult male. These insights were gained by analyzing our gene expression dataset from experiments using the Affymetrix Soybean Genome Array GeneChip, which contains probeset sequences for 6,860 genes derived from preparasitic and parasitic H. glycines life stages. Targeting the identification of additional H. glycines parasitism-associated genes, we isolated 633 genes encoding secretory proteins using algorithms to predict secretory signal peptides. Furthermore, because some of the known H. glycines parasitism proteins have strongest similarity to proteins of plants and microbes, we searched for predicted protein sequences that showed their highest similarities to plant or microbial proteins and identified 156 H. glycines genes, some of which also contained a signal peptide. Analyses of the expression profiles of these genes allowed the formulation of hypotheses about potential roles in parasitism. This is the first study combining sequence analyses of a substantial EST dataset with microarray expression data of all major life stages (except adult males for the identification and characterization of putative parasitism-associated proteins in any parasitic nematode. Conclusion We have established an expression atlas for all known H. glycines parasitism genes. Furthermore, in an effort to identify additional H. glycines genes with putative functions in parasitism, we have reduced the

  4. Prevalence of intestinal parasitic infections among HIV patients in ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    2010-10-29

    Oct 29, 2010 ... Cryptosporidium species and I. belli were the opportunistic parasites observed in this study. Routine screening for intestinal parasites in. HIV-positive patients is advocated. Keywords: intestinal parasites; HIV; CD4 count; Demographics; Benin City. Received: 2 August 2010; Revised: 25 September 2010; ...

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2008-01-01

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2008-09-15

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

  7. Peroxisomes in parasitic protists.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

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

  8. Disease dynamics in a specialized parasite of ant societies.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sandra B Andersen

    Full Text Available Coevolution between ant colonies and their rare specialized parasites are intriguing, because lethal infections of workers may correspond to tolerable chronic diseases of colonies, but the parasite adaptations that allow stable coexistence with ants are virtually unknown. We explore the trade-offs experienced by Ophiocordyceps parasites manipulating ants into dying in nearby graveyards. We used field data from Brazil and Thailand to parameterize and fit a model for the growth rate of graveyards. We show that parasite pressure is much lower than the abundance of ant cadavers suggests and that hyperparasites often castrate Ophiocordyceps. However, once fruiting bodies become sexually mature they appear robust. Such parasite life-history traits are consistent with iteroparity--a reproductive strategy rarely considered in fungi. We discuss how tropical habitats with high biodiversity of hyperparasites and high spore mortality has likely been crucial for the evolution and maintenance of iteroparity in parasites with low dispersal potential.

  9. Medicinal Plants: A Source of Anti-Parasitic Secondary Metabolites

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michael Wink

    2012-10-01

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

  10. Root parasitic plant Orobanche aegyptiaca and shoot parasitic plant Cuscuta australis obtained Brassicaceae-specific strictosidine synthase-like genes by horizontal gene transfer.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Dale; Qi, Jinfeng; Yue, Jipei; Huang, Jinling; Sun, Ting; Li, Suoping; Wen, Jian-Fan; Hettenhausen, Christian; Wu, Jinsong; Wang, Lei; Zhuang, Huifu; Wu, Jianqiang; Sun, Guiling

    2014-01-13

    Besides gene duplication and de novo gene generation, horizontal gene transfer (HGT) is another important way of acquiring new genes. HGT may endow the recipients with novel phenotypic traits that are important for species evolution and adaption to new ecological niches. Parasitic systems expectedly allow the occurrence of HGT at relatively high frequencies due to their long-term physical contact. In plants, a number of HGT events have been reported between the organelles of parasites and the hosts, but HGT between host and parasite nuclear genomes has rarely been found. A thorough transcriptome screening revealed that a strictosidine synthase-like (SSL) gene in the root parasitic plant Orobanche aegyptiaca and the shoot parasitic plant Cuscuta australis showed much higher sequence similarities with those in Brassicaceae than with those in their close relatives, suggesting independent gene horizontal transfer events from Brassicaceae to these parasites. These findings were strongly supported by phylogenetic analysis and their identical unique amino acid residues and deletions. Intriguingly, the nucleus-located SSL genes in Brassicaceae belonged to a new member of SSL gene family, which were originated from gene duplication. The presence of introns indicated that the transfer occurred directly by DNA integration in both parasites. Furthermore, positive selection was detected in the foreign SSL gene in O. aegyptiaca but not in C. australis. The expression of the foreign SSL genes in these two parasitic plants was detected in multiple development stages and tissues, and the foreign SSL gene was induced after wounding treatment in C. australis stems. These data imply that the foreign genes may still retain certain functions in the recipient species. Our study strongly supports that parasitic plants can gain novel nuclear genes from distantly related host species by HGT and the foreign genes may execute certain functions in the new hosts.

  11. Inca expansion and parasitism in the Lluta Valley: preliminary data

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Santoro Calogero

    2003-01-01

    Full Text Available Assessing the impact of cultural change on parasitism has been a central goal in archaeoparasitology. The influence of civilization and the development of empires on parasitism has not been evaluated. Presented here is a preliminary analysis of the change in human parasitism associated with the Inca conquest of the Lluta Valley in Northern Chile. Changes in parasite prevalence are described. It can be seen that the change in life imposed on the inhabitants of the Lluta Valley by the Incas caused an increase in parasitism.

  12. African origin of the malaria parasite Plasmodium vivax.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  13. African origin of the malaria parasite Plasmodium vivax

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  14. Parasites affect food web structure primarily through increased diversity and complexity.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jennifer A Dunne

    Full Text Available Comparative research on food web structure has revealed generalities in trophic organization, produced simple models, and allowed assessment of robustness to species loss. These studies have mostly focused on free-living species. Recent research has suggested that inclusion of parasites alters structure. We assess whether such changes in network structure result from unique roles and traits of parasites or from changes to diversity and complexity. We analyzed seven highly resolved food webs that include metazoan parasite data. Our analyses show that adding parasites usually increases link density and connectance (simple measures of complexity, particularly when including concomitant links (links from predators to parasites of their prey. However, we clarify prior claims that parasites "dominate" food web links. Although parasites can be involved in a majority of links, in most cases classic predation links outnumber classic parasitism links. Regarding network structure, observed changes in degree distributions, 14 commonly studied metrics, and link probabilities are consistent with scale-dependent changes in structure associated with changes in diversity and complexity. Parasite and free-living species thus have similar effects on these aspects of structure. However, two changes point to unique roles of parasites. First, adding parasites and concomitant links strongly alters the frequency of most motifs of interactions among three taxa, reflecting parasites' roles as resources for predators of their hosts, driven by trophic intimacy with their hosts. Second, compared to free-living consumers, many parasites' feeding niches appear broader and less contiguous, which may reflect complex life cycles and small body sizes. This study provides new insights about generic versus unique impacts of parasites on food web structure, extends the generality of food web theory, gives a more rigorous framework for assessing the impact of any species on trophic

  15. Skill learning and the evolution of social learning mechanisms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    van der Post, Daniel J; Franz, Mathias; Laland, Kevin N

    2016-08-24

    Social learning is potentially advantageous, but evolutionary theory predicts that (i) its benefits may be self-limiting because social learning can lead to information parasitism, and (ii) these limitations can be mitigated via forms of selective copying. However, these findings arise from a functional approach in which learning mechanisms are not specified, and which assumes that social learning avoids the costs of asocial learning but does not produce information about the environment. Whether these findings generalize to all kinds of social learning remains to be established. Using a detailed multi-scale evolutionary model, we investigate the payoffs and information production processes of specific social learning mechanisms (including local enhancement, stimulus enhancement and observational learning) and their evolutionary consequences in the context of skill learning in foraging groups. We find that local enhancement does not benefit foraging success, but could evolve as a side-effect of grouping. In contrast, stimulus enhancement and observational learning can be beneficial across a wide range of environmental conditions because they generate opportunities for new learning outcomes. In contrast to much existing theory, we find that the functional outcomes of social learning are mechanism specific. Social learning nearly always produces information about the environment, and does not always avoid the costs of asocial learning or support information parasitism. Our study supports work emphasizing the value of incorporating mechanistic detail in functional analyses.

  16. Anuran parasites from three biotopes in Rivers State, Nigeria ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    ... for Nigeria and a multi-host parasite. We suspect Hyperolius concolor to be a paratenic rather than a definitive host for the immature Camallanus sp. recovered from the frog. Other parasites using anurans as paratenic hosts were also encountered. Keywords: Anurans, parasites, ecological biotopes, Rivers State, Nigeria ...

  17. Prevalence of intestinal parasitic infestation in HIV seropositive and ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    opportunistic parasites such as Cryptosporidium,. Cyclospora and Isospora species. It is also important to note that this report will be the first documentation on HIV/AIDS and intestinal parasites from this center. And it aims to determine the frequency and pattern of intestinal parasitic infestation, including protozoan species ...

  18. Transport proteins of parasitic protists and their role in nutrient salvage.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dean, Paul; Major, Peter; Nakjang, Sirintra; Hirt, Robert P; Embley, T Martin

    2014-01-01

    The loss of key biosynthetic pathways is a common feature of important parasitic protists, making them heavily dependent on scavenging nutrients from their hosts. This is often mediated by specialized transporter proteins that ensure the nutritional requirements of the parasite are met. Over the past decade, the completion of several parasite genome projects has facilitated the identification of parasite transporter proteins. This has been complemented by functional characterization of individual transporters along with investigations into their importance for parasite survival. In this review, we summarize the current knowledge on transporters from parasitic protists and highlight commonalities and differences in the transporter repertoires of different parasitic species, with particular focus on characterized transporters that act at the host-pathogen interface.

  19. 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.

  20. Prevalence of intestinal parasitic infections among patients ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Gastrointestinal helminths and protozoan parasites may cause mild, acute and chronic human infections. There is inadequate reliable information on the epidemiology of these parasites among patients attending tertiary hospitals in Tanzania. This retrospective study was conducted using hospital data obtained from the ...

  1. The path to host extinction can lead to loss of generalist parasites.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Farrell, Maxwell J; Stephens, Patrick R; Berrang-Ford, Lea; Gittleman, John L; Davies, T Jonathan

    2015-07-01

    Host extinction can alter disease transmission dynamics, influence parasite extinction and ultimately change the nature of host-parasite systems. While theory predicts that single-host parasites are among the parasite species most susceptible to extinction following declines in their hosts, documented parasite extinctions are rare. Using a comparative approach, we investigate how the richness of single-host and multi-host parasites is influenced by extinction risk among ungulate and carnivore hosts. Host-parasite associations for free-living carnivores (order Carnivora) and terrestrial ungulates (orders Perissodactyla + Cetartiodactyla minus cetaceans) were merged with host trait data and IUCN Red List status to explore the distribution of single-host and multi-host parasites among threatened and non-threatened hosts. We find that threatened ungulates harbour a higher proportion of single-host parasites compared to non-threatened ungulates, which is explained by decreases in the richness of multi-host parasites. However, among carnivores threat status is not a significant predictor of the proportion of single-host parasites, or the richness of single-host or multi-host parasites. The loss of multi-host parasites from threatened ungulates may be explained by decreased cross-species contact as hosts decline and habitats become fragmented. Among carnivores, threat status may not be important in predicting patterns of parasite specificity because host decline results in equal losses of both single-host parasites and multi-host parasites through reduction in average population density and frequency of cross-species contact. Our results contrast with current models of parasite coextinction and highlight the need for updated theories that are applicable across host groups and account for both inter- and intraspecific contact. © 2015 The Authors. Journal of Animal Ecology © 2015 British Ecological Society.

  2. Exploitation of manipulators: 'hitch-hiking' as a parasite transmission strategy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thomas; Renaud; Poulin

    1998-07-01

    For many parasites with complex life cycles, manipulation of host behaviour is an adaptation to increase the probability of successful transmission. Since manipulation is likely to be costly, other parasites may exploit hosts already manipulated so as to ensure their transmission without investing in manipulation. Such a cheating strategy, called 'hitch-hiking', could be adaptive in a range of situations. We first propose and discuss criteria that should be met by any parasite to be considered a hitch-hiker. Then, to understand the evolution of the hitch-hiking strategy, we use simple mathematical models to analyse the influence of several variables on the potential benefits for a nonmanipulative parasite of actively seeking a ride to the definitive host with a manipulative parasite. The models suggest that the prevalence or abundance of manipulative parasites will be a key determinant of whether hitch-hiking can be an advantageous option for other parasites. Copyright 1998 The Association for the Study of Animal Behaviour.

  3. Susceptibility Testing of Medically Important Parasites.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Genetu Bayih, Abebe; Debnath, Anjan; Mitre, Edward; Huston, Christopher D; Laleu, Benoît; Leroy, Didier; Blasco, Benjamin; Campo, Brice; Wells, Timothy N C; Willis, Paul A; Sjö, Peter; Van Voorhis, Wesley C; Pillai, Dylan R

    2017-07-01

    In the last 2 decades, renewed attention to neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) has spurred the development of antiparasitic agents, especially in light of emerging drug resistance. The need for new drugs has required in vitro screening methods using parasite culture. Furthermore, clinical laboratories sought to correlate in vitro susceptibility methods with treatment outcomes, most notably with malaria. Parasites with their various life cycles present greater complexity than bacteria, for which standardized susceptibility methods exist. This review catalogs the state-of-the-art methodologies used to evaluate the effects of drugs on key human parasites from the point of view of drug discovery as well as the need for laboratory methods that correlate with clinical outcomes. Copyright © 2017 American Society for Microbiology.

  4. Metazoan parasites of fishes from the Celestun coastal lagoon, Yucatan, Mexico.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sosa-Medina, Trinidad; Vidal-Martínez, Víctor M; Aguirre-Macedo, M Leopoldina

    2015-08-31

    The aims of this study were to produce a checklist of the metazoan parasites of fishes from the Celestun coastal lagoon and to determine the degree of faunal similarity among the fishes based on the metazoan parasites they share. A checklist was prepared including all available records (1996-2014) of parasites of marine, brackish water and freshwater fishes of the area. All of these data were included in a presence/absence database and used to determine similarity via Jaccard's index. The results indicate the presence of 62 metazoan parasite species infecting 22 fish species. The number of metazoan parasite species found in the fishes from the Celestún lagoon is apparently the highest reported worldwide for a tropical coastal lagoon. The parasites included 12 species of adult digeneans, 27 digeneans in the metacercarial stage, 6 monogeneans, 3 metacestodes, 9 nematodes, 2 acanthocephalans, 2 crustaceans and 1 annelid. Forty parasite species were autogenic and 23 were allogenic and 1 unknown. The overall similarity among all of the species of fish with respect to the metazoan parasites they share was low (0.08 ± 0.12), with few similarity values above 0.4 being obtained. This low similarity was due primarily to the presence of suites of parasites exclusive to specific species of fish. The autogenic component of the parasite fauna (40 species) dominated the allogenic component (21 species). The most likely explanation for the large number of fish parasites found at Celestún is the good environmental condition of the lagoon, which allows the completion of parasite life cycles and free circulation of euryhaline fishes from the marine environment bringing marine parasites into the lagoon.

  5. Unusual thiol-based redox metabolism of parasitic flukes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tripathi, Timir; Suttiprapa, Sutas; Sripa, Banchob

    2017-08-01

    Parasitic flukes are exposed to free radicals and, to a greater extent, reactive oxygen species (ROS) during their life cycle. Despite being relentlessly exposed to ROS released by activated immune cells, these parasites can survive for many years in the host. Cellular thiol-based redox metabolism plays a crucial role in parasite survival within their hosts. Evidence shows that oxidative stress and redox homeostasis maintenance are important clinical and pathobiochemical as well as effective therapeutic principles in various diseases. The characterization of redox and antioxidant enzymes is likely to yield good target candidates for novel drugs and vaccines. The absence of active catalase in fluke parasites offers great potential for the development of chemotherapeutic agents that act by perturbing the redox equilibrium of the cell. One of the redox-sensitive enzymes, thioredoxin glutathione reductase (TGR), has been accepted as a drug target against blood fluke infections, and related clinical trials are in progress. TGR is the sole enzyme responsible for Trx and GSH reduction in parasitic flukes. The availability of helminth genomes has accelerated the research on redox metabolism of flukes; however, significant achievements have yet to be attained. The present review summarizes current knowledge on the redox and antioxidant system of the parasitic flukes. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  6. Parasites and associated packed cell volume changes of captive ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The results revealed that out of the 126 captive wild birds examined during the period, 98 (77.8%) were infected with at least one parasite species. Arthropod parasites were encountered in 63 (34.1%) birds and the parasites recovered were Echidnophaga gallinacea (27.0%), Argas persicus (18.2%) and Ctnemidocoptes ...

  7. Parasitic leiomyoma after laparoscopic myomectomy

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Srithean Lertvikool

    2015-08-01

    Full Text Available A 31-year-old nulligravid underwent laparoscopic myomectomy and the masses were removed by an electric morcellator. Five years later, this patient suffered from acute pelvic pain and received an operation. During laparoscopic surgery, an 8-cm right-sided multiloculated ovarian cyst with chocolate-like content was seen. After adhesiolysis, two parasitic myomas (each ∼2 cm in diameter were found attached to the right ovarian cyst and the other two parasitic myomas (each ∼1 cm in diameter were found at the right infundibulopelvic ligament and omentum respectively. These tumors were successfully removed by laparoscopic procedure. Histopathological examination confirmed that all masses were leiomyomas and the right ovarian cyst was confirmed to be endometriosis. The formation of parasitic myomas was assumed that myomatous fragments during morcellation at the time of myomectomy may have been left behind unintentionally. Thus, morcellator should be used carefully. With that being said, all of the myomatous fragment should be removed after morcellation.

  8. Signaling in Parasitic Nematodes: Physicochemical Communication Between Host and Parasite and Endogenous Molecular Transduction Pathways Governing Worm Development and Survival.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lok, James B

    2016-12-01

    Signaling or communication between host and parasite may occur over relatively long ranges to enable host finding and acquisition by infective parasitic nematode larvae. Innate behaviors in infective larvae transmitted from the soil that enhance the likelihood of host contact, such as negative geotaxis and hypermotility, are likely mediated by mechanoreception and neuromuscular signaling. Host cues such as vibration of the substratum, elevated temperature, exhaled CO 2 , and other volatile odorants are perceived by mechanosensory and chemosensory neurons of the amphidial complex. Beyond this, the molecular systems that transduce these external cues within the worm are unknown at this time. Overall, the signal transduction mechanisms that regulate switching between dauer and continuous reproductive development in Caenorhabditis elegans , and doubtless other free-living nematodes, have provided a useful framework for testing hypotheses about how the morphogenesis and development of infective parasitic nematode larvae and the lifespan of adult parasites are regulated. In C. elegans , four major signal transduction pathways, G protein-coupled receptor signaling, insulin/insulin-like growth factor signaling, TGFβ-like signaling and steroid-nuclear hormone receptor signaling govern the switch between dauer and continuous development and regulate adult lifespan. Parasitic nematodes appear to have conserved the functions of G-protein-coupled signaling, insulin-like signaling and steroid-nuclear hormone receptor signaling to regulate larval development before and during the infective process. By contrast, TGFβ-like signaling appears to have been adapted for some other function, perhaps modulation of the host immune response. Of the three signal transduction pathways that appear to regulate development in parasitic nematodes, steroid-nuclear hormone signaling is the most straightforward to manipulate with administered small molecules and may form the basis of new

  9. Disease dynamics in a specialized parasite of ant societies

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Andersen, Sandra Breum; Ferrari, Matthew; Evans, Harry C.

    2012-01-01

    Coevolution between ant colonies and their rare specialized parasites are intriguing, because lethal infections of workers may correspond to tolerable chronic diseases of colonies, but the parasite adaptations that allow stable coexistence with ants are virtually unknown. We explore the trade......-offs experienced by Ophiocordyceps parasites manipulating ants into dying in nearby graveyards. We used field data from Brazil and Thailand to parameterize and fit a model for the growth rate of graveyards. We show that parasite pressure is much lower than the abundance of ant cadavers suggests...

  10. Signalling in malaria parasites. The MALSIG consortium.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2009-01-01

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

  11. 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.

  12. Feed intake and utilization by the parasitized ruminant

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Coop, R.L.

    1981-01-01

    Chronic abomasal parasitism was induced in sheep reared worm-free from birth by daily dosing with Ostertagia circumcincta larvae, and intestinal parasitism by either Trichostrongylus colubriformis or Trichostrongylus vitrinus larvae. The experimental design allowed effects on food intake to be separated from changes in efficiency of food utilization. The effects of the parasites were assessed from conventional balance trials and comparative slaughter techniques. Infection with gastrointestinal parasites severely limited animal performance in the absence of obvious clinical signs. Liveweight gain was reduced by 30-50%, partly as a result of reductions of 10-20% in voluntary food intake and partly from a decrease in the efficiency of utilization of food. Apparent digestibility of nitrogen was lowered by 25% in the early stages of Ostertagia infections but subsequently showed a recovery. Lower nitrogen retention was reflected in the decreased deposition of protein in the bodies of both O. and T. infected sheep. Fat deposition in the body was reduced by abomasal and intestinal parasitism as a result of reductions in food intake and a 30-50% reduction in the gross efficiency of utilization of metabolizable energy for growth. The rate of deposition of minerals in the skeleton was decreased by gastrointestinal parasitism and there is evidence that absorption of minerals from the intestine is impaired in T. colubriformis infections. The possible mechanisms responsible for the reductions in efficiency of utilization of nutrients by the parasitized ruminant are discussed. Only passing reference is made to the use of 32 P for calculating endogenous loss of P in sheep receiving 3000 T. colubriformis larvae per day

  13. 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.

  14. Blood parasites of penguins: a critical review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vanstreels, Ralph Eric Thijl; Braga, Érika Martins; Catão-Dias, José Luiz

    2016-07-01

    Blood parasites are considered some of the most significant pathogens for the conservation of penguins, due to the considerable morbidity and mortality they have been shown to produce in captive and wild populations of these birds. Parasites known to occur in the blood of penguins include haemosporidian protozoans (Plasmodium, Leucocytozoon, Haemoproteus), piroplamid protozoans (Babesia), kinetoplastid protozoans (Trypanosoma), spirochete bacteria (Borrelia) and nematode microfilariae. This review provides a critical and comprehensive assessment of the current knowledge on these parasites, providing an overview of their biology, host and geographic distribution, epidemiology, pathology and implications for public health and conservation.

  15. Highly rearranged mitochondrial genome in Nycteria parasites (Haemosporidia) from bats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Karadjian, Gregory; Hassanin, Alexandre; Saintpierre, Benjamin; Gembu Tungaluna, Guy-Crispin; Ariey, Frederic; Ayala, Francisco J; Landau, Irene; Duval, Linda

    2016-08-30

    Haemosporidia parasites have mostly and abundantly been described using mitochondrial genes, and in particular cytochrome b (cytb). Failure to amplify the mitochondrial cytb gene of Nycteria parasites isolated from Nycteridae bats has been recently reported. Bats are hosts to a diverse and profuse array of Haemosporidia parasites that remain largely unstudied. There is a need to obtain more molecular data from chiropteran parasites. Such data would help to better understand the evolutionary history of Haemosporidia, which notably include the Plasmodium parasites, malaria's agents. We use next-generation sequencing to obtain the complete mitochondrial genome of Nycteria parasites from African Nycteris grandis (Nycteridae) and Rhinolophus alcyone (Rhinolophidae) and Asian Megaderma spasma (Megadermatidae). We report four complete mitochondrial genomes, including two rearranged mitochondrial genomes within Haemosporidia. Our results open outlooks into potentially undiscovered Haemosporidian diversity.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baumgartner, Martin

    2011-08-01

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

  17. The fish parasite Ichthyophthirius multifiliis

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jørgensen, Louise von Gersdorff

    2017-01-01

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

  18. Host-parasite interactions in sympatric and allopatric populations of European bitterling.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Francová, Kateřina; Ondračková, Markéta

    2011-09-01

    Susceptibility to parasite infection was examined in a field experiment for four populations of 0+ juvenile European bitterling (Rhodeus amarus): one sympatric to local parasite fauna, one allopatric, and two hybrid populations. Significantly higher parasite abundance was recorded in the allopatric bitterling population, suggesting a maladaptation of parasites to their sympatric host. Type of parasite life cycle played an important role in host-parasite interactions. While the abundance of allogenic species between populations was comparable, a significant difference was found in abundance of autogenic parasite species between fish populations, with the allopatric population more infected. These results correspond with a prediction of higher dispersion probability and higher gene flow among geographically distant populations of allogenic species as compared to autogenic species. Increased susceptibility to parasites that do not occur within the natural host's geographical distribution was found in the allopatric host, but only for autogenic species. A difference in infection susceptibility was detected among populations of early-hatched bitterling exposed to infection during a period of high parasite abundance and richness in the environment. Differences in parasite abundance and species diversity among populations diminished, however, with increasing time of exposure. No difference was found within late-hatched populations, probably due to a lower probability of infection in late-hatched cohorts.

  19. The risk of pathogenic intestinal parasite infections in Kisii Municipality, Kenya

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kabiru Ephantus W

    2008-07-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Intestinal parasitic infections are among the most common infections worldwide. Various epidemiological studies indicate that the prevalence of intestinal parasites is high especially in developing countries, although in many of these, the environmental risk factors have not been clearly elucidated. The objective of this study was to determine the risk of pathogenic intestinal parasites infections in Kisii Municipality. Methods Random sampling was used in the selection of the study samples. Stool parasitological profiles of food handlers were done by direct smear and formalin-ethyl acetate sedimentation method. Both vegetable and meat samples were examined for the presence of intestinal parasites. The storage and meat handling practices of the various butcheries were observed. Results Types of samples examined for occurrence of intestinal parasites includes, a total of 84 vegetable, 440 meat and 168 stool samples. Fifty five (65.5% vegetable, 334 (75.9% meat and 69 (41.1% of the stool samples were found positive for intestinal parasites indicating a high overall risk (66.18% for intestinal parasite infections. Of the parasites detected, the most common parasites infesting the foodstuffs and infecting the food handlers were Ascaris lumbricoides and Entamoeba histolytica. Parasites were significantly less likely to be present on meat that was refrigerated during display than meat that was displayed at ambient temperature. Conclusion There is a high risk of infection with intestinal parasites in the sampled Municipal markets. About half of the food handlers surveyed (41.1 % at the Municipal Hospital had one or more parasitic infections. Furthermore, meat (65.5% and vegetables (75.9% sold at the Municipal market were found to be contaminated with parasites hence the inhabitants requires a need for education on food safety, good distribution practices and improvement on sanitary conditions.

  20. Phenolic acid changes during Orobanche parasitism on faba bean ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The present work is intended to provide further information on broomrape parasitism based on phenolic acid changes in either the host plant(s) or in each of the host and the parasite in the host-parasite system. Detection of phenolic acids was carried out using high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) in the host ...

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2004-01-01

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

  2. Chagas Parasite Detection in Blood Images Using AdaBoost

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Víctor Uc-Cetina

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available The Chagas disease is a potentially life-threatening illness caused by the protozoan parasite, Trypanosoma cruzi. Visual detection of such parasite through microscopic inspection is a tedious and time-consuming task. In this paper, we provide an AdaBoost learning solution to the task of Chagas parasite detection in blood images. We give details of the algorithm and our experimental setup. With this method, we get 100% and 93.25% of sensitivity and specificity, respectively. A ROC comparison with the method most commonly used for the detection of malaria parasites based on support vector machines (SVM is also provided. Our experimental work shows mainly two things: (1 Chagas parasites can be detected automatically using machine learning methods with high accuracy and (2 AdaBoost + SVM provides better overall detection performance than AdaBoost or SVMs alone. Such results are the best ones known so far for the problem of automatic detection of Chagas parasites through the use of machine learning, computer vision, and image processing methods.

  3. Sheep internal parasites on Rab and Pag

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Relja Beck

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available The purpose of our research was to determine which groups and species of internal parasites endanger the health of sheep on the islands of Rab and Pag. The research was carried out in 10 flocks on both islands taking the fresh dung out of 30% of the total number of sheep in each flock. It was ascertained that the gastrointestinal parasites and protozoa of Eimeria genus are present in most flocks on both islands. The presence of the fluke Dicrocoelium dendriticum was ascertained in considerably larger number of flocks on the island of Rab than on the island of Pag. On the other hand, the presence of parasites of Moniezia and Nematodirus genus was ascertained in larger number of flocks on the island of Pag. In two flocks on Rab parasites of Protostrongylus genus were ascertained while on the island of Pag they were not found in any flock.

  4. Regulation of Gene Expression in Protozoa Parasites

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Consuelo Gomez

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available Infections with protozoa parasites are associated with high burdens of morbidity and mortality across the developing world. Despite extensive efforts to control the transmission of these parasites, the spread of populations resistant to drugs and the lack of effective vaccines against them contribute to their persistence as major public health problems. Parasites should perform a strict control on the expression of genes involved in their pathogenicity, differentiation, immune evasion, or drug resistance, and the comprehension of the mechanisms implicated in that control could help to develop novel therapeutic strategies. However, until now these mechanisms are poorly understood in protozoa. Recent investigations into gene expression in protozoa parasites suggest that they possess many of the canonical machineries employed by higher eukaryotes for the control of gene expression at transcriptional, posttranscriptional, and epigenetic levels, but they also contain exclusive mechanisms. Here, we review the current understanding about the regulation of gene expression in Plasmodium sp., Trypanosomatids, Entamoeba histolytica and Trichomonas vaginalis.

  5. Regulation of gene expression in protozoa parasites.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gomez, Consuelo; Esther Ramirez, M; Calixto-Galvez, Mercedes; Medel, Olivia; Rodríguez, Mario A

    2010-01-01

    Infections with protozoa parasites are associated with high burdens of morbidity and mortality across the developing world. Despite extensive efforts to control the transmission of these parasites, the spread of populations resistant to drugs and the lack of effective vaccines against them contribute to their persistence as major public health problems. Parasites should perform a strict control on the expression of genes involved in their pathogenicity, differentiation, immune evasion, or drug resistance, and the comprehension of the mechanisms implicated in that control could help to develop novel therapeutic strategies. However, until now these mechanisms are poorly understood in protozoa. Recent investigations into gene expression in protozoa parasites suggest that they possess many of the canonical machineries employed by higher eukaryotes for the control of gene expression at transcriptional, posttranscriptional, and epigenetic levels, but they also contain exclusive mechanisms. Here, we review the current understanding about the regulation of gene expression in Plasmodium sp., Trypanosomatids, Entamoeba histolytica and Trichomonas vaginalis.

  6. Parasite-Associated Cancers (Blood Flukes/Liver Flukes).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Feng, Meng; Cheng, Xunjia

    2017-01-01

    Parasitic infection remains as a persistent public health problem and can be carcinogenic. Three helminth parasites, namely, Clonorchis sinensis (liver fluke) and Opisthorchis viverrini as well as Schistosoma haematobium (blood fluke), are classified as Group 1 carcinogens by the World Health Organization's International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC Infection with liver flukes (Opisthorchis viverrini, Opisthorchis felineus and Clonorchis sinensis), World Health Organization, International Agency for Research on Cancer, 2011). Infection by these parasites is frequently asymptomatic and is thus rarely diagnosed at early exposure. Persistent infection can cause severe cancer complications. Until now, the cellular and molecular mechanisms linking fluke infections to cancer formation have yet to be defined, although many studies have focused on these mechanisms in recent years, and numerous findings were made in various aspects of parasite-associated cancers. Herein, we only introduce the fluke-induced cholangiocarcinoma (CCA) and bladder carcinoma and mainly focus on key findings in the last 5 years.

  7. Intestinal parasites and tuberculosis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anuar Alonso Cedeño-Burbano

    2017-10-01

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

  8. Everyday and Exotic Foodborne Parasites

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marilyn B Lee

    2000-01-01

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

  9. Survey of Dogs’ Parasites in Khorasan Razavi Province, Iran

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    GhR Razmi

    2009-12-01

    Full Text Available "nBackground: Dog is known to act as definitive host for some parasites that cause important diseases in man and animals. The aim of the present study was to determine the prevalence of Neospora caninum and other intestinal parasites in dogs in Khorasan Razavi Province, Iran. "nMethods: A cross-sectional study was done concerning frequency of N. canium and other in­testinal parasites in dogs in Mashhad area. Totally, 174 fecal samples from 89 farm dogs and 85 household dogs were collected from 2006 to 2007. Fecal samples were examined for de­tecting intestinal parasites by Mini Parasep®SF faecal parasite concentrator in Department of Parasitology, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Ferdowsi University of Mashhad, Iran "nResults: The overall prevalence of other intestinal parasites in farm dogs and household dogs were 29.21% and 14.11%, respectively. Seven parasites were found in farm dogs as follows: Toxocara canis 17.9%, Taenia sp. 10.1% , Strongyloides stercoralis 5.6%, Hammondia Neo­spora-like oocysts (HNLO 4.4% , Isospora sp. 7.8 %, Sarcocystis sp. 7.8 % and   Giardia sp. 1.1%  and four parasite in housed dogs:  Toxocara. 4.4%, Taenia sp. 3.3 % , Isospora sp. 2.3 % and  Sarcocystis sp. 4.7 %.  The fecal samples with HNLO were examined by N. caninum -specific PCR, and two of samples were positive for N. caninum. "nConclusion: The farm and household dogs are the source of some important zoonotic and non-zoonotic diseases in Iran .

  10. Targeting channels and transporters in protozoan parasite infections

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meier, Anna; Erler, Holger; Beitz, Eric

    2018-03-01

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

  11. Helminth Parasites and the Modulation of Joint Inflammation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chelsea E. Matisz

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available There is an urgent need to develop better therapeutics for autoimmune and autoinflammatory diseases, of which musculoskeletal disorders such as rheumatoid arthritis are particularly prevalent and debilitating. Helminth parasites are accomplished masters at modifying their hosts' immune activity, and so attention has focused on rodent-helminth model systems to uncover the workings of the mammalian immune response to metazoan parasites, with the hope of revealing molecules and/or mechanisms that can be translated into better treatments for human autoimmune and idiopathic disorders. Substantial proof-of-principal data supporting the concept that infection with helminth parasites can reduce the severity of concomitant disease has been amassed from models of mucosal inflammation. Indeed, infection with helminth parasites has been tried as a therapy in inflammatory bowel disease, and there are case reports relating to other conditions (e.g., autism; however, the impact of infection with parasitic helminths on musculoskeletal diseases has not been extensively studied. Here, we present the view that such a strategy should be applied to the amelioration of joint inflammation and review the literature that supports this contention.

  12. Parasitic crossing at an asymmetric B factory, APIARY

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Chin, Y.H.

    1991-05-01

    Effects of parasitic crossings (''near miss'' collisions of two counter-rotating beams at unwanted positions near the IP) are studied in terms of computer simulations for an asymmetric B Factory, APIARY- 6.3d. Beams are separated horizontally at the first parasitic crossing points by about 7.6 times the horizontal rms size of the low energy beam (the larger in size of the two beams), σ 0x,+ . Simulations, including both the beam collision at the IP and parasitic crossings, have been performed for different separation distances, d. It is found that the ratio d/σ 0x,+ is a good scaling parameter of beam blowup behavior. The results show that beam blowup due to the parasitic crossings is diminished for d ≥ 7σ 0x,+ , in agreement with the bunch separation experiment at CESR. Thus, the nominal separation 7.6 σ 0x,+ turns out to be acceptable, but with only a small margin. Some methods to mitigate the effects of the parasitic crossings are discussed. 3 refs. , 5 figs., 2 tabs

  13. Predicting cryptic links in host-parasite networks.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tad Dallas

    2017-05-01

    Full Text Available Networks are a way to represent interactions among one (e.g., social networks or more (e.g., plant-pollinator networks classes of nodes. The ability to predict likely, but unobserved, interactions has generated a great deal of interest, and is sometimes referred to as the link prediction problem. However, most studies of link prediction have focused on social networks, and have assumed a completely censused network. In biological networks, it is unlikely that all interactions are censused, and ignoring incomplete detection of interactions may lead to biased or incorrect conclusions. Previous attempts to predict network interactions have relied on known properties of network structure, making the approach sensitive to observation errors. This is an obvious shortcoming, as networks are dynamic, and sometimes not well sampled, leading to incomplete detection of links. Here, we develop an algorithm to predict missing links based on conditional probability estimation and associated, node-level features. We validate this algorithm on simulated data, and then apply it to a desert small mammal host-parasite network. Our approach achieves high accuracy on simulated and observed data, providing a simple method to accurately predict missing links in networks without relying on prior knowledge about network structure.

  14. ON THE SATURATION OF THE MAGNETOROTATIONAL INSTABILITY VIA PARASITIC MODES

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Pessah, Martin E.; Goodman, Jeremy

    2009-01-01

    We investigate the stability of incompressible, exact, non-ideal magnetorotational (MRI) modes against parasitic instabilities. Both Kelvin-Helmholtz and tearing-mode parasitic instabilities may occur in the dissipative regimes accessible to current numerical simulations. We suppose that a primary MRI mode saturates at an amplitude such that its fastest parasite has a growth rate comparable to its own. The predicted alpha parameter then depends critically on whether the fastest primary and parasitic modes fit within the computational domain and whether non-axisymmetric parasitic modes are allowed. Hence, even simulations that resolve viscous and resistive scales may not saturate properly unless the numerical domain is large enough to allow the free evolution of both MRI and parasitic modes. To minimally satisfy these requirements in simulations with vertical background fields, the vertical extent of the domain should accommodate the fastest growing MRI mode while the radial and azimuthal extents must be twice as large. The fastest parasites have horizontal wavelengths roughly twice as long as the vertical wavelength of the primary.

  15. Parasites, ecosystems and sustainability: an ecological and complex systems perspective.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Horwitz, Pierre; Wilcox, Bruce A

    2005-06-01

    Host-parasite relationships can be conceptualised either narrowly, where the parasite is metabolically dependent on the host, or more broadly, as suggested by an ecological-evolutionary and complex systems perspective. In this view Host-parasite relationships are part of a larger set of ecological and co-evolutionary interdependencies and a complex adaptive system. These interdependencies affect not just the hosts, vectors, parasites, the immediate agents, but also those indirectly or consequentially affected by the relationship. Host-parasite relationships also can be viewed as systems embedded within larger systems represented by ecological communities and ecosystems. So defined, it can be argued that Host-parasite relationships may often benefit their hosts and contribute significantly to the structuring of ecological communities. The broader, complex adaptive system view also contributes to understanding the phenomenon of disease emergence, the ecological and evolutionary mechanisms involved, and the role of parasitology in research and management of ecosystems in light of the apparently growing problem of emerging infectious diseases in wildlife and humans. An expanded set of principles for integrated parasite management is suggested by this perspective.

  16. Anthropogenic impacts on Costa Rican bat parasitism are sex specific.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Frank, Hannah K; Mendenhall, Chase D; Judson, Seth D; Daily, Gretchen C; Hadly, Elizabeth A

    2016-07-01

    While anthropogenic impacts on parasitism of wildlife are receiving growing attention, whether these impacts vary in a sex-specific manner remains little explored. Differences between the sexes in the effect of parasites, linked to anthropogenic activity, could lead to uneven sex ratios and higher population endangerment. We sampled 1108 individual bats in 18 different sites across an agricultural mosaic landscape in southern Costa Rica to investigate the relationships between anthropogenic impacts (deforestation and reductions in host species richness) and bat fly ectoparasitism of 35 species of Neotropical bats. Although female and male bat assemblages were similar across the deforestation gradient, bat fly assemblages tracked their hosts closely only on female bats. We found that in female hosts, parasite abundance per bat decreased with increasing bat species richness, while in male hosts, parasite abundance increased. We hypothesize the differences in the parasite-disturbance relationship are due to differences in roosting behavior between the sexes. We report a sex-specific parasite-disturbance relationship and argue that sex differences in anthropogenic impacts on wildlife parasitism could impact long-term population health and survival.

  17. The bigger, the better? Volume measurements of parasites and hosts

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nagler, Christina; Hörnig, Marie K.; Haug, Joachim T.

    2017-01-01

    ), 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......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....... 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...

  18. First report of Orobanche ludoviciana parasitizing sunflowers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Broomrape is the common name given to a group of flowering plants belonging to the genus Orobanche that parasitize the roots of higher dicotyledonous plants. More than 100 species of Orobanche have been identified, all of which are obligate parasites that lack chlorophyll and depend upon their host ...

  19. Rodent malaria parasites : genome organization & comparative genomics

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kooij, Taco W.A.

    2006-01-01

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

  20. Prevalence of gastrointestinal parasites in young camels in Bahrain

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. I. Abubakr

    2000-03-01

    Full Text Available The prevalence of gastrointestinal parasites in young camels in Bahrain is reported for the first time. Six genera of parasites were found. The nematodes observed were Haemonchus contortus (36.47%, Nematodirus spathiger (30.59% and Trichuris sp. (10.6%; the only cestode recorded was Moniezia expansa (2.4%. The incidence of Eimeria dromedarii was 20%. Single, double, triple and quadruple parasitic infestation occurred in 41.2, 33.5, 19.4 and 5.9% of the infected animals, respectively. Balantidium coli, a protozoan parasite, was occasionally seen in young camels suffering from diarrhea at the time of sampling.

  1. Parasitic helminths: a pharmacopeia of anti-inflammatory molecules.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnston, M J G; MacDonald, J A; McKay, D M

    2009-02-01

    Infection with parasitic helminths takes a heavy toll on the health and well-being of humans and their domestic livestock, concomitantly resulting in major economic losses. Analyses have consistently revealed bioactive molecules in extracts of helminths or in their excretory/secretory products that modulate the immune response of the host. It is our view that parasitic helminths are an untapped source of immunomodulatory substances that, in pure form, could become new drugs (or models for drug design) to treat disease. Here, we illustrate the range of immunomodulatory molecules in selected parasitic trematodes, cestodes and nematodes, their impact on the immune cells in the host and how the host may recognize these molecules. There are many examples of the partial characterization of helminth-derived immunomodulatory molecules, but these have not yet translated into new drugs, reflecting the difficulty of isolating and fully characterizing proteins, glycoproteins and lipid-based molecules from small amounts of parasite material. However, this should not deter the investigator, since analytical techniques are now being used to accrue considerable structural information on parasite-derived molecules, even when only minute quantities of tissue are available. With the introduction of methodologies to purify and structurally-characterize molecules from small amounts of tissue and the application of high throughput immunological assays, one would predict that an assessment of parasitic helminths will yield a variety of novel drug candidates in the coming years.

  2. Genetic variation for maternal effects on parasite susceptibility.

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  3. Isolation of intracellular parasites (Plasmodium falciparum) from culture using free-flow electrophoresis: separation of the free parasites according to stages.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heidrich, H G; Mrema, J E; Vander Jagt, D L; Reyes, P; Rieckmann, K H

    1982-06-01

    Parasitized human erythrocytes were concentrated from continuous cultures of Plasmodium falciparum from 5-7% up to 80-95% using Plasmagel. After aggregation of the cells with phythemagglutinin, the aggregated erythrocytes were fragmented by passing them, with minimal force, through successive nylon filters of decreasing pore size (100 microns-3 microns). The mixture of liberated, free parasites, intact erythrocytes and erythrocyte membrane vesicles was separated using free-flow electrophoresis. Most of the fractions containing free parasites did not show contamination with erythrocyte constituents as determined by light and electron microscopy, polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis, and enzymatic analysis. In addition, the various stages of free parasites of Plasmodium falciparum exhibited different electrical surface charges. Rings and trophozoites were highly negatively charged whereas schizonts and, in particular, merozoites showed low negative charges. Thus, the various stages could be isolated separate from each other.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xiaolei Liu

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

  5. Do parasitic trematode cercariae demonstrate a preference for susceptible host species?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Brittany F Sears

    Full Text Available Many parasites are motile and exhibit behavioural preferences for certain host species. Because hosts can vary in their susceptibility to infections, parasites might benefit from preferentially detecting and infecting the most susceptible host, but this mechanistic hypothesis for host-choice has rarely been tested. We evaluated whether cercariae (larval trematode parasites prefer the most susceptible host species by simultaneously presenting cercariae with four species of tadpole hosts. Cercariae consistently preferred hosts in the following order: Anaxyrus ( = Bufo terrestris (southern toad, Hyla squirella (squirrel tree frog, Lithobates ( = Rana sphenocephala (southern leopard frog, and Osteopilus septentrionalis (Cuban tree frog. These host species varied in susceptibility to cercariae in an order similar to their attractiveness with a correlation that approached significance. Host attractiveness to parasites also varied consistently and significantly among individuals within a host species. If heritable, this individual-level host variation would represent the raw material upon which selection could act, which could promote a Red Queen "arms race" between host cues and parasite detection of those cues. If, in general, motile parasites prefer to infect the most susceptible host species, this phenomenon could explain aggregated distributions of parasites among hosts and contribute to parasite transmission rates and the evolution of virulence. Parasite preferences for hosts belie the common assumption of disease models that parasites seek and infect hosts at random.

  6. Anti-parasitic effects of plant secondary metabolites on swine nematodes

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Williams, A.R.; Pena-Espinoza, Miguel Angel; Fryganas, Christos

    Organic production presents challenges to animal health and productivity. In organic pig production, animals must have access to outdoor pastures which increases exposure to gastrointestinal parasites. Moreover, the routine use of synthetic anti-parasitic drugs is not allowed. Thus, novel parasite...

  7. PARASITIC CONTAMINATION OF WELLS DRINKING WATER IN MAZANDARAN PROVINCE

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Z. Yousefi ، H. Ziaei hezarjaribi ، A. A. Enayati ، R. A. Mohammadpoor

    2009-10-01

    Full Text Available There is a direct relation between the prevalence of some parasitic diseases and the presence of those etiologic agents in water. The purpose of this research was to determine the contamination rate of wells drinking water to parasites in Mazandaran province in the north of Iran. 989 water samples were randomly taken based on the population of towns and number of health centers from 12 cities of Mazandaran province and transferred to the laboratory in sterile containers. Water samples were then filtered and analyzed according to the World Health Organization guidelines. Direct method and Gram staining procedure were used to identify the parasites. If cryptosporidium was seen, floatation (sheather’s sugar and modified Ziehl-Neelsen staining method were performed. Parasites count was undertaken using McMaster counting slide (0.3 mL. 197 out of 989 water samples were contaminated with different parasites. From 197 contaminated samples, 20 different types of parasites were separated of which 53 (26.9% were pathogenic, 100 (50.8% non pathogenic, and 44 non-infective stages of parasites. Distance between wells and sources of contamination, type of water distribution systems, city and chlorination status had significantly statistical relationship with contamination prevalence (p<0.001. According to the results and considering the direct correlation between safe water and human health, proper implementation of providing hygienic drinking water should be enforced.

  8. An Unusual Prohibitin Regulates Malaria Parasite Mitochondrial Membrane Potential

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Joachim Michael Matz

    2018-04-01

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

  9. Functions of myosin motors tailored for parasitism

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Mueller, Christina; Graindorge, Arnault; Soldati-Favre, Dominique

    2017-01-01

    Myosin motors are one of the largest protein families in eukaryotes that exhibit divergent cellular functions. Their roles in protozoans, a diverse group of anciently diverged, single celled organisms with many prominent members known to be parasitic and to cause diseases in human and livestock......, are largely unknown. In the recent years many different approaches, among them whole genome sequencing, phylogenetic analyses and functional studies have increased our understanding on the distribution, protein architecture and function of unconventional myosin motors in protozoan parasites. In Apicomplexa......, myosins turn out to be highly specialized and to exhibit unique functions tailored to accommodate the lifestyle of these parasites....

  10. Helminth parasites of conventionally mantained laboratory mice

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Roberto Magalhães Pinto

    1994-03-01

    Full Text Available The spectrum of intestinal parasites present in the SwissWebster, C57B1/6 and DBA/2 mice strains from different animal houses was identified and prevalences compared. Three parasites were observed during the course ofthis study, namely the cestode. Vampirolepis nana (Siebold, 1852 Spasskii, 1954(=Hymenolepis nana and the nematodes Aspiculuris tetraptera (Nitzsch, 1821 Schulz, 1924 and Syphacia obvelata (Rudolphi, 1802 Seurat, 1916. The scope of thisinvestigation has been widened to also include morphometric data on the parasites, to further simplify their identification, since the presence of helminths in laboratory animals is regarded as a restricting factor for the proper attainment of experimental protocols.

  11. A depauperate immune repertoire precedes evolution of sociality in bees.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barribeau, Seth M; Sadd, Ben M; du Plessis, Louis; Brown, Mark J F; Buechel, Severine D; Cappelle, Kaat; Carolan, James C; Christiaens, Olivier; Colgan, Thomas J; Erler, Silvio; Evans, Jay; Helbing, Sophie; Karaus, Elke; Lattorff, H Michael G; Marxer, Monika; Meeus, Ivan; Näpflin, Kathrin; Niu, Jinzhi; Schmid-Hempel, Regula; Smagghe, Guy; Waterhouse, Robert M; Yu, Na; Zdobnov, Evgeny M; Schmid-Hempel, Paul

    2015-04-24

    Sociality has many rewards, but can also be dangerous, as high population density and low genetic diversity, common in social insects, is ideal for parasite transmission. Despite this risk, honeybees and other sequenced social insects have far fewer canonical immune genes relative to solitary insects. Social protection from infection, including behavioral responses, may explain this depauperate immune repertoire. Here, based on full genome sequences, we describe the immune repertoire of two ecologically and commercially important bumblebee species that diverged approximately 18 million years ago, the North American Bombus impatiens and European Bombus terrestris. We find that the immune systems of these bumblebees, two species of honeybee, and a solitary leafcutting bee, are strikingly similar. Transcriptional assays confirm the expression of many of these genes in an immunological context and more strongly in young queens than males, affirming Bateman's principle of greater investment in female immunity. We find evidence of positive selection in genes encoding antiviral responses, components of the Toll and JAK/STAT pathways, and serine protease inhibitors in both social and solitary bees. Finally, we detect many genes across pathways that differ in selection between bumblebees and honeybees, or between the social and solitary clades. The similarity in immune complement across a gradient of sociality suggests that a reduced immune repertoire predates the evolution of sociality in bees. The differences in selection on immune genes likely reflect divergent pressures exerted by parasites across social contexts.

  12. Parasites in the Wadden Sea food web

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Thieltges, D.W.; Engelsma, M.Y.; Wendling, C.C.; Wegner, K.M.

    2013-01-01

    While the free-living fauna of the Wadden Sea has received much interest, little is known on the distribution and effects of parasites in the Wadden Sea food web. However, recent studies on this special type of trophic interaction indicate a high diversity of parasites in the Wadden Sea and suggest

  13. Protease Inhibitors of Parasitic Flukes: Emerging Roles in Parasite Survival and Immune Defence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ranasinghe, Shiwanthi L; McManus, Donald P

    2017-05-01

    Protease inhibitors play crucial roles in parasite development and survival, counteracting the potentially damaging immune responses of their vertebrate hosts. However, limited information is currently available on protease inhibitors from schistosomes and food-borne trematodes. Future characterization of these molecules is important not only to expand knowledge on parasitic fluke biology but also to determine whether they represent novel vaccine and/or drug targets. Moreover, protease inhibitors from flukes may represent lead compounds for the development of a new range of therapeutic agents against inflammatory disorders and cancer. This review discusses already identified protease inhibitors of fluke origin, emphasizing their biological function and their possible future development as new intervention targets. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  14. Parasitism by Cuscuta pentagona Attenuates Host Plant Defenses against Insect Herbivores1

    Science.gov (United States)

    Runyon, Justin B.; Mescher, Mark C.; De Moraes, Consuelo M.

    2008-01-01

    Considerable research has examined plant responses to concurrent attack by herbivores and pathogens, but the effects of attack by parasitic plants, another important class of plant-feeding organisms, on plant defenses against other enemies has not been explored. We investigated how attack by the parasitic plant Cuscuta pentagona impacted tomato (Solanum lycopersicum) defenses against the chewing insect beet armyworm (Spodoptera exigua; BAW). In response to insect feeding, C. pentagona-infested (parasitized) tomato plants produced only one-third of the antiherbivore phytohormone jasmonic acid (JA) produced by unparasitized plants. Similarly, parasitized tomato, in contrast to unparasitized plants, failed to emit herbivore-induced volatiles after 3 d of BAW feeding. Although parasitism impaired antiherbivore defenses, BAW growth was slower on parasitized tomato leaves. Vines of C. pentagona did not translocate JA from BAW-infested plants: amounts of JA in parasite vines grown on caterpillar-fed and control plants were similar. Parasitized plants generally contained more salicylic acid (SA), which can inhibit JA in some systems. Parasitized mutant (NahG) tomato plants deficient in SA produced more JA in response to insect feeding than parasitized wild-type plants, further suggesting cross talk between the SA and JA defense signaling pathways. However, JA induction by BAW was still reduced in parasitized compared to unparasitized NahG, implying that other factors must be involved. We found that parasitized plants were capable of producing induced volatiles when experimentally treated with JA, indicating that resource depletion by the parasite does not fully explain the observed attenuation of volatile response to herbivore feeding. Collectively, these findings show that parasitic plants can have important consequences for host plant defense against herbivores. PMID:18165323

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

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

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

    2010-01-01

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

  16. Social insect symbionts: evolution in homeostatic fortresses

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hughes, David P; Pierce, Naomi E; Boomsma, Jacobus J

    2008-01-01

    The massive environmentally buffered nests of some social insects can contain millions of individuals and a wide variety of parasites, commensals and mutualists. We suggest that the ways in which these homeostatic fortress environments affect the evolution of social insect symbionts are relevant...... in these nests. We hypothesize that biodiversity gradients in these hotspots might be less affected by abiotic latitudinal clines than gradients in neighboring 'control' habitats. We suggest several research lines to test these ideas....

  17. The comparative ecology and biogeography of parasites

    Science.gov (United States)

    Poulin, Robert; Krasnov, Boris R.; Mouillot, David; Thieltges, David W.

    2011-01-01

    Comparative ecology uses interspecific relationships among traits, while accounting for the phylogenetic non-independence of species, to uncover general evolutionary processes. Applied to biogeographic questions, it can be a powerful tool to explain the spatial distribution of organisms. Here, we review how comparative methods can elucidate biogeographic patterns and processes, using analyses of distributional data on parasites (fleas and helminths) as case studies. Methods exist to detect phylogenetic signals, i.e. the degree of phylogenetic dependence of a given character, and either to control for these signals in statistical analyses of interspecific data, or to measure their contribution to variance. Parasite–host interactions present a special case, as a given trait may be a parasite trait, a host trait or a property of the coevolved association rather than of one participant only. For some analyses, it is therefore necessary to correct simultaneously for both parasite phylogeny and host phylogeny, or to evaluate which has the greatest influence on trait expression. Using comparative approaches, we show that two fundamental properties of parasites, their niche breadth, i.e. host specificity, and the nature of their life cycle, can explain interspecific and latitudinal variation in the sizes of their geographical ranges, or rates of distance decay in the similarity of parasite communities. These findings illustrate the ways in which phylogenetically based comparative methods can contribute to biogeographic research. PMID:21768153

  18. Lazy males and hardworking females? Sexual conflict over parental care in a brood parasite host and its consequences for chick growth

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Požgayová, Milica; Beňo, Radovan; Procházka, Petr; Jelínek, Václav; Abraham, Marek Mihai; Honza, Marcel

    2015-01-01

    Roč. 69, č. 6 (2015), s. 1053-1061 ISSN 0340-5443 R&D Projects: GA ČR(CZ) GAP506/12/2404 Institutional support: RVO:68081766 Keywords : Acrocephalus arundinaceus * Brood parasitism * Cuculus canorus * Feeding * Parental investment * Social polygyny Subject RIV: EG - Zoology Impact factor: 2.382, year: 2015

  19. Parasite infection alters nitrogen cycling at the ecosystem scale.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mischler, John; Johnson, Pieter T J; McKenzie, Valerie J; Townsend, Alan R

    2016-05-01

    Despite growing evidence that parasites often alter nutrient flows through their hosts and can comprise a substantial amount of biomass in many systems, whether endemic parasites influence ecosystem nutrient cycling, and which nutrient pathways may be important, remains conjectural. A framework to evaluate how endemic parasites alter nutrient cycling across varied ecosystems requires an understanding of the following: (i) parasite effects on host nutrient excretion; (ii) ecosystem nutrient limitation; (iii) effects of parasite abundance, host density, host functional role and host excretion rate on nutrient flows; and (iv) how this infection-induced nutrient flux compares to other pools and fluxes. Pathogens that significantly increase the availability of a limiting nutrient within an ecosystem should produce a measurable ecosystem-scale response. Here, we combined field-derived estimates of trematode parasite infections in aquatic snails with measurements of snail excretion and tissue stoichiometry to show that parasites are capable of altering nutrient excretion in their intermediate host snails (dominant grazers). We integrated laboratory measurements of host nitrogen excretion with field-based estimates of infection in an ecosystem model and compared these fluxes to other pools and fluxes of nitrogen as measured in the field. Eighteen nitrogen-limited ponds were examined to determine whether infection had a measurable effect on ecosystem-scale nitrogen cycling. Because of their low nitrogen content and high demand for host carbon, parasites accelerated the rate at which infected hosts excreted nitrogen to the water column in a dose-response manner, thereby shifting nutrient stoichiometry and availability at the ecosystem scale. Infection-enhanced fluxes of dissolved inorganic nitrogen were similar to other commonly important environmental sources of bioavailable nitrogen to the system. Additional field measurements within nitrogen-limited ponds indicated that

  20. Effect of Habitat Type on Parasitism of Ectatomma ruidum by Eucharitid Wasps

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Aymer Andrés Vásquez-Ordóñez

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Eucharitidae are parasitoids that use immature stages of ants for their development. Kapala Cameron is the genus most frequently collected in the Neotropics, but little is known about the biology and behavior of any of the species of this genus. We aimed to evaluate the effect of habitat type on eucharitid parasitism and to contribute to the knowledge of the host-parasite relationship between Kapala sp. and the poneromorph ant Ectatomma ruidum (Roger in Colombia. Twenty E. ruidum colonies were extracted from two different habitat types (woodland and grassland, and larvae and cocoons (pupae were examined in search for parasitoids in different stages of development. Globally, 60% of the colonies were parasitized, with 1.3% of larvae and 4% of pupae parasitized. Planidia (first-instar larvae, pupae, and adults of the parasitoid were observed. All of the pupae and adult parasitoids belonged to Kapala iridicolor Cameron. All the colonies collected in the woodlands were parasitized and contained more parasitized larvae (2% and parasitized cocoons (8% than those collected in grasslands (4/12 parasitized colonies, 0.5% parasitized larvae, 0.8% parasitized cocoons. The relationship observed between habitat type and parasitism prevalence is a novel aspect of the study of eucharitid impact on ant host populations.

  1. Quantifying Transmission Investment in Malaria Parasites.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Megan A Greischar

    2016-02-01

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

  2. Lipids of Parasitic and Saprophytic Leptospires

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnson, R. C.; Livermore, B. P.; Walby, Judith K.; Jenkin, H. M.

    1970-01-01

    The lipid composition of five parasitic and six saprophytic leptospires was compared. Lipids comprise 18 to 26% of the dry weight of the cells after chloroform-methanol extraction. No residual (bound) lipid was found after acid or alkaline hydrolysis of the extracted residue. The total lipid was composed of 60 to 70% phospholipid, and the remaining lipid was free fatty acids. The phospholipid fraction contained phosphatidylethanolamine as the major component, and phosphatidylglycerol and diphosphatidylglycerol were minor components with traces of lysophatidylethanolamine sometimes found. The major fatty acids of leptospires were hexadecanoic, hexadecenoic, and octadecenoic acids. Both the unusual cis-11-hexadecenoic acid and the more common cis-9-hexadecenoic acid were synthesized by the leptospires. Neither the parasitic nor the saprophytic leptospires can chain elongate fatty acids. However, they were capable of β-oxidation of fatty acids. Both groups of leptospires desaturate fatty acids by an aerobic pathway. When the parasite canicola was cultivated on octadecanoic acid, 87% of the hexadecenoic acid was the 11 isomer, whereas the saprophyte semeranga consisted of 10% of this isomer. In addition, the saprophytic leptospires contained more tetradecanoic acid than the parasites. No differences were observed in the lipid composition of virulent and avirulent strains of canicola. PMID:16557833

  3. Blood parasites in North American waterfowl

    Science.gov (United States)

    Herman, C.M.

    1968-01-01

    One thing seems to stand out in the overall knowledge we have of the blood parasites of waterfowl, as previously noted by Herman and Wehr, (1954): the greatest potential of losses is in the younger age groups, usually those birds 5-10 weeks old. In Leucocytozoon infections, death occurs as early as the first or second week of the bird's life. As a conclusion to this presentation, I wish to emphasize that there are many gaps in our knowledge of these parasites and that the answers are to be obtained by further studies in the young birds. Data obtained from studies of birds shot by hunters or from specimens taken during fall or winter banding operations can be expected to be far less rewarding and significanf than studies of goslings and ducklings. We need much more knowledge of these parasites and their vectors and other relationships before we can develop management procedures to combat or contain them. It will require many more studies in depth to achieve this goal, but the facts are there waiting to be uncovered. These parasites will have to be regulated along with breeding habitat, hunter take, and other factors that all add up to maintenance and management of waterfowl.

  4. [Dipylidium caninum, a rare parasite in man].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brandstetter, W; Auer, H

    1994-01-01

    Dipylidium caninum, the dog tapeworm, is a common cosmopolitan parasite of dogs and cats. Infestations of man are observed only sporadically. We report the case of a 22 months-old child living in Upper Austria with dipylidiasis. The parasite is briefly outlined with respect to biology, epidemiology, clinical features, diagnosis, therapy and prevention.

  5. Epidemiological, evolutionary, and coevolutionary implications of context-dependent parasitism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vale, Pedro F; Wilson, Alastair J; Best, Alex; Boots, Mike; Little, Tom J

    2011-04-01

    Abstract Victims of infection are expected to suffer increasingly as parasite population growth increases. Yet, under some conditions, faster-growing parasites do not appear to cause more damage, and infections can be quite tolerable. We studied these conditions by assessing how the relationship between parasite population growth and host health is sensitive to environmental variation. In experimental infections of the crustacean Daphnia magna and its bacterial parasite Pasteuria ramosa, we show how easily an interaction can shift from a severe interaction, that is, when host fitness declines substantially with each unit of parasite growth, to a tolerable relationship by changing only simple environmental variables: temperature and food availability. We explored the evolutionary and epidemiological implications of such a shift by modeling pathogen evolution and disease spread under different levels of infection severity and found that environmental shifts that promote tolerance ultimately result in populations harboring more parasitized individuals. We also find that the opportunity for selection, as indicated by the variance around traits, varied considerably with the environmental treatment. Thus, our results suggest two mechanisms that could underlie coevolutionary hotspots and coldspots: spatial variation in tolerance and spatial variation in the opportunity for selection.

  6. Environmentally transmitted parasites: Host-jumping in a heterogeneous environment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Caraco, Thomas; Cizauskas, Carrie A; Wang, Ing-Nang

    2016-05-21

    Groups of chronically infected reservoir-hosts contaminate resource patches by shedding a parasite׳s free-living stage. Novel-host groups visit the same patches, where they are exposed to infection. We treat arrival at patches, levels of parasite deposition, and infection of the novel host as stochastic processes, and derive the expected time elapsing until a host-jump (initial infection of a novel host) occurs. At stationarity, mean parasite densities are independent of reservoir-host group size. But within-patch parasite-density variances increase with reservoir group size. The probability of infecting a novel host declines with parasite-density variance; consequently larger reservoir groups extend the mean waiting time for host-jumping. Larger novel-host groups increase the probability of a host-jump during any single patch visit, but also reduce the total number of visits per unit time. Interaction of these effects implies that the waiting time for the first infection increases with the novel-host group size. If the reservoir-host uses resource patches in any non-uniform manner, reduced spatial overlap between host species increases the waiting time for host-jumping. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  7. Combining personal with social information facilitates host defences and explains why cuckoos should be secretive

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thorogood, Rose; Davies, Nicholas B.

    2016-01-01

    Individuals often vary defences in response to local predation or parasitism risk. But how should they assess threat levels when it pays their enemies to hide? For common cuckoo hosts, assessing parasitism risk is challenging: cuckoo eggs are mimetic and adult cuckoos are secretive and resemble hawks. Here, we show that egg rejection by reed warblers depends on combining personal and social information of local risk. We presented model cuckoos or controls at a pair’s own nest (personal information of an intruder) and/or on a neighbouring territory, to which they were attracted by broadcasts of alarm calls (social information). Rejection of an experimental egg was stimulated only when hosts were alerted by both social and personal information of cuckoos. However, pairs that rejected eggs were not more likely to mob a cuckoo. Therefore, while hosts can assess risk from the sight of a cuckoo, a cuckoo cannot gauge if her egg will be accepted from host mobbing. Our results reveal how hosts respond rapidly to local variation in parasitism, and why it pays cuckoos to be secretive, both to avoid alerting their targets and to limit the spread of social information in the local host neighbourhood. PMID:26794435

  8. 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.

  9. Manipulating small ruminant parasite epidemiology through the combination of nutritional strategies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Houdijk, Jos G M; Kyriazakis, Ilias; Kidane, Alemayehu; Athanasiadou, Spiridoula

    2012-05-04

    It is increasingly being recognized that non-chemical parasite control strategies may need to be combined to control more effectively gastrointestinal parasitism, result in resilient production systems and reduce reliance on anthelmintics. Here, we consider if and how metabolizable protein (MP) supplementation and anti-parasitic plant secondary metabolites (PSM) may modulate parasite epidemiology through intervention in pasture contamination, development of infection on pasture and larval challenge as target processes. We then propose that combining two or more non-chemical parasite control strategies may have additive effects on host resistance, especially if the individual strategies target different drivers of parasite epidemiology, different processes in the parasite life cycle or different phases of acquired immunity to parasites. This epidemiological framework is used to review recent findings on combining maternal MP supplementation and grazing the PSM-rich bioactive forage chicory as an example of combining nutritional treatments to manipulate parasite epidemiology in a temperate production system. In the absence of available data for combined nutritional strategies in tropical production systems, we make predictions on the consequences of combining such strategies in these systems. We conclude that currently published studies on combining nutritional strategies under temperate conditions show potential to improve additively host resilience and reduce reliance on anthelmintics; however, effects on epidemiology have to date not shown the additive results hypothesized. The framework developed may assist further in evaluating combined (nutritional) strategies to manipulate parasite epidemiology. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  10. Blood protein turnover in parasitized ruminants. The influence of host nutrition

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Dargie, J.D.

    1981-01-01

    Ruminants infected with helminth or protozoal parasites generally become anaemic and hypoalbuminaemic, as well as losing their appetite. Since feed intake plays an important part in determining blood protein levels, it is necessary, when attempting to determine the mechanisms by which parasites cause anaemia and hypoalbuminaemia, to differentiate between the effects of feed intake per se and the specific effects of the parasite on blood protein turnover. This can be done by a variety of radioisotope techniques using infected and pair-fed control animals. Additionally, animals on a poor plane of nutrition suffer more from parasitism than those which are well fed. To understand the reason for this, it is necessary to determine whether diet influences susceptibility to parasite establishment or survival, and/or susceptibility to the metabolic consequences of parasitism. Described here is the current state of knowledge on the interaction between host nutrition and susceptibility to parasitic infection and parasitic disease processes, with particular reference to anaemia and hypoalbuminaemia. It is concluded that there is little evidence that nutrition has a significant bearing on resistance or susceptibility to infection, but that it does not have a profound influence on the ability of animals to withstand the pathogenic effects of parasites. The reasons for this are discussed in detail, but the principal benefit of a good plane of nutrition is that it enables the synthetic machinery of the host to keep pace with the concurrent parasite-induced hypercatabolism of blood proteins. (author)

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Conn, David Bruce

    2008-12-01

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

  12. Blood parasites in passerine birds from the Brazilian Atlantic Forest Hemoparasitos em passeriformes da Mata Atlântica Brasileira

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fabiane Sebaio

    2012-03-01

    Full Text Available Parasites may lead bird species to extinction, affect host temporal and spatial population dynamics, alter community structure and alter individuals’ social status. We evaluated blood parasite prevalence and intensity according to bird families and species, among 925 birds that were caught in 2000 and 2001, in the Atlantic Forest in the State of Minas Gerais, Brazil. We applied Giemsa staining to thin blood smears, to detect blood parasites. The birds (n = 15.8% in 11 families, were infected by at least one parasite genus, especially Muscicapidae (28.3% and Conopophagidae (25%. Among the 146 infected birds, Plasmodium was detected in all bird families and had the highest prevalence (54.8%. Trypanosoma, Haemoproteus and microfilaria had lower prevalence rates (23.3, 23.3 and 2.1%, respectively. Birds caught during the rainy season were more infected than birds caught during the dry season. The overall low prevalence of blood parasites in birds is similar to the patterns found elsewhere in the Neotropical region.Parasitos podem levar espécies de aves à extinção, afetar as dinâmicas temporais e espaciais dos hospedeiros, alterar a estrutura de comunidades e o status social de indivíduos. Avaliou-se a prevalência e a intensidade de parasitos em famílias e espécies de 925 aves capturadas, entre 2000 e 2001, na Mata Atlântica de Minas Gerais. Foram coradas com Giemsa extensões de sangue para detectar parasitos hematozoários. As aves (n= 15,8% 11 famílias estavam infectadas por pelo menos um gênero de parasito, especialmente Muscicapidae (28,3% e Conopophagidae (25%. Entre as 146 aves infectadas, Plasmodium foi detectado em todas as famílias e possuiu a maior prevalência (54,8%. Trypanosoma,Haemoproteus e microfilaria possuíram baixas prevalências (23,3, 23,3 e 2,1%, respectivamente. Aves capturadasdurante a estação chuvosa estavam mais infectadas do que aves capturadas durante a estação seca. A baixa prevalência geral de

  13. 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

  14. Parasites modify sub-cellular partitioning of metals in the gut of fish

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Oyoo-Okoth, Elijah, E-mail: elijaoyoo2009@gmail.com [Division of Environmental Health, School of Environmental Studies, Moi University, P.O. Box 3900, Eldoret (Kenya); Department of Aquatic Ecology and Ecotoxicology, Institute for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Dynamics, University of Amsterdam, P.O. Box 9424/1090 GE (Netherlands); Admiraal, Wim [Department of Aquatic Ecology and Ecotoxicology, Institute for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Dynamics, University of Amsterdam, P.O. Box 9424/1090 GE (Netherlands); Osano, Odipo [Division of Environmental Health, School of Environmental Studies, Moi University, P.O. Box 3900, Eldoret (Kenya); Kraak, Michiel H.S. [Department of Aquatic Ecology and Ecotoxicology, Institute for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Dynamics, University of Amsterdam, P.O. Box 9424/1090 GE (Netherlands); Gichuki, John; Ogwai, Caleb [Kenya Marine and Fisheries Research Institute, P.O. Box 1881, Kisumu (Kenya)

    2012-01-15

    Infestation of fish by parasites may influence metal accumulation patterns in the host. However, the subcellular mechanisms of these processes have rarely been studied. Therefore, this study determined how a cyprinid fish (Rastrineobola argentea) partitioned four metals (Cd, Cr, Zn and Cu) in the subcellular fractions of the gut in presence of an endoparasite (Ligula intestinalis). The fish were sampled along four sites in Lake Victoria, Kenya differing in metal contamination. Accumulation of Cd, Cr and Zn was higher in the whole body and in the gut of parasitized fish compared to non-parasitized fish, while Cu was depleted in parasitized fish. Generally, for both non-parasitized and parasitized fish, Cd, Cr and Zn partitioned in the cytosolic fractions and Cu in the particulate fraction. Metal concentrations in organelles within the particulate fractions of the non-parasitized fish were statistically similar except for Cd in the lysosome, while in the parasitized fish, Cd, Cr and Zn were accumulated more by the lysosome and microsomes. In the cytosolic fractions, the non-parasitized fish accumulated Cd, Cr and Zn in the heat stable proteins (HSP), while in the parasitized fish the metals were accumulated in the heat denatured proteins (HDP). On the contrary, Cu accumulated in the HSP in parasitized fish. The present study revealed specific binding of metals to potentially sensitive sub-cellular fractions in fish in the presence of parasites, suggesting interference with metal detoxification, and potentially affecting the health status of fish hosts in Lake Victoria.

  15. Intestinal parasites among Yanomâmi indians

    OpenAIRE

    Confalonieri, U. E.; Araújo, A. J.; Ferreira, L. F.

    1989-01-01

    The findings of intestinal helminths and protozoans parasites from the Yanomâmi indians of the Roraima State in Brazil are reported. The fecal samples were collected before these communities started a permanent contact with non-indians. Comments are made on the possible ecological and evolutionary factors responsible for the patterns of parasitism observed.

  16. Can myxosporean parasites compromise fish and amphibian reproduction?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sitjà-Bobadilla, Ariadna

    2009-08-22

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-02-01

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

  18. Lysine Deacetylase Inhibitors in Parasites: Past, Present, and Future Perspectives.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hailu, Gebremedhin S; Robaa, Dina; Forgione, Mariantonietta; Sippl, Wolfgang; Rotili, Dante; Mai, Antonello

    2017-06-22

    Current therapies for human parasite infections rely on a few drugs, most of which have severe side effects, and their helpfulness is being seriously compromised by the drug resistance problem. Globally, this is pushing discovery research of antiparasitic drugs toward new agents endowed with new mechanisms of action. By using a "drug repurposing" strategy, histone deacetylase inhibitors (HDACi), which are presently clinically approved for cancer use, are now under investigation for various parasite infections. Because parasitic Zn 2+ - and NAD + -dependent HDACs play crucial roles in the modulation of parasite gene expression and many of them are pro-survival for several parasites under various conditions, they are now emerging as novel potential antiparasitic targets. This Perspective summarizes the state of knowledge of HDACi (both class I/II HDACi and sirtuin inhibitors) targeted to the main human parasitic diseases (schistosomiasis, malaria, trypanosomiasis, leishmaniasis, and toxoplasmosis) and provides visions into the main issues that challenge their development as antiparasitic agents.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  20. Gastrointestinal parasites and Trypanosoma evansi in buffaloes

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sani, R.A.; Chandrawathani, P.; Rosli, M.

    1990-01-01

    Gastrointestinal parasitism is common in buffalo calves. The effect of helminths on growth was studied by administration of an anthelmintic to buffalo calves following natural infections with gastrointestinal parasites. In studies conducted on calves belonging to an institute and a smallholder farmer, the treated calves showed improved weight gains. Serial parasitic examinations showed these animals had moderate to high faecal counts with Strongyloides, Toxocara vitulorum and Haemonchus eggs and Eimeria oocytes. In another study, there was no live weight advantage in treated over untreated calves. Few animals in this study had evidence of parasites and even those which were infested had low faecal egg counts. Hence, in general, helminths at certain levels of infection do affect the live weight gains of young buffalo calves. The prevalence of Trypanosoma evansi, as assessed parasitologically using the haematocrit centrifugation technique and mice inoculation, was 2.7 and 1%, respectively, in cattle and buffaloes. The serological prevalence using the enzyme linked immunosorbent assay was 35 and 2% for cattle and buffaloes, respectively. (author). 6 refs, 5 figs, 2 tabs

  1. PARASITES OF MAN IN SERANG, WEST JAVA

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    W. P. Carney

    2012-09-01

    Full Text Available Survey penyakit menular didesa Cikurai dan Barengkok, Jawa Barat pada bulan Juni 1974 ini adalah merupakan salah satu dari serangkaian survey yang dilakukan oleh Direktorat Jenderal P3.M. Dep. Kes. dan US Namru-2 guna menentukan distribusi dan prevalensi penyakit terutama malaria, filariasis dan penyakit parasit perut. Khususnya didaerah Cikurai dimana dilaporkan adanya Schistosoma in­cognitum secara hyperenzootik maka perlulah dilihat apakah parasit ini ditemukan pula diantara pend-duk setempat. Dari hasil survey didesa Cikurai dan Barengkok, Jawa Barat ini dilihat bahwa Plasmodium falciparum ditemukan pada 8 atau 3 persen dari sediaan darah 261 penduduk yang diperiksa dan tidak terlihat adanya microfilariae. Parasit perut yang menonjol terlihat pada sediaan tinja dari 335 penduduk yang diperiksa adalah Ascaris lumbricoides, Trichuris trichiura dan cacing tambang masing-masing sebesar 89 persen, 87 persen dan 65 persen ; parasit lainnya adalah Entamoeba histolytica, Entamoeba hart manni, Entamoeba coli, Endolinuu nana, lodamoeba butschlii, Giardia lamblia, Chilomastvc mesnili, Enterobius vermicularis, dan Echinostoma sp. Tidak terlihat adanya Schistosoma incognitum pada sediaan tinja dari 335 penduduk yang diperiksa dikedua desa ini.

  2. Leishmania development in sand flies: parasite-vector interactions overview.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dostálová, Anna; Volf, Petr

    2012-12-03

    Leishmaniases are vector-borne parasitic diseases with 0.9 - 1.4 million new human cases each year worldwide. In the vectorial part of the life-cycle, Leishmania development is confined to the digestive tract. During the first few days after blood feeding, natural barriers to Leishmania development include secreted proteolytic enzymes, the peritrophic matrix surrounding the ingested blood meal and sand fly immune reactions. As the blood digestion proceeds, parasites need to bind to the midgut epithelium to avoid being excreted with the blood remnant. This binding is strictly stage-dependent as it is a property of nectomonad and leptomonad forms only. While the attachment in specific vectors (P. papatasi, P. duboscqi and P. sergenti) involves lipophosphoglycan (LPG), this Leishmania molecule is not required for parasite attachment in other sand fly species experimentally permissive for various Leishmania. During late-stage infections, large numbers of parasites accumulate in the anterior midgut and produce filamentous proteophosphoglycan creating a gel-like plug physically obstructing the gut. The parasites attached to the stomodeal valve cause damage to the chitin lining and epithelial cells of the valve, interfering with its function and facilitating reflux of parasites from the midgut. Transformation to metacyclic stages highly infective for the vertebrate host is the other prerequisite for effective transmission. Here, we review the current state of knowledge of molecular interactions occurring in all these distinct phases of parasite colonization of the sand fly gut, highlighting recent discoveries in the field.

  3. Diagnostics of parasitic diseases. Myths of the present

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    S. S. Kozlov

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available Diagnostics of parasitic diseases in many medical laboratories is carried out with a bad quality. Principal causes are the low level of qualification of laboratorians and a small amount of laboratory methods which are used. The majority of practising doctors has bad knowledge about diseases. All this serves as base for occurrence in the market of medical services of various pseudoscientific methods of diagnostics of parasitic diseases, such as Voll-method and its analogues, including a method of bioresonant diagnostics, scanning of the crushed drop of blood, including a dark field method, diagnostics on pulse, detection of toxins of parasites in salivaric crystal amilase and others. These methods cannot be scientific to be the methods of demonstrative medicine often lead to development of parasitic phobias of patients.

  4. PARASITIC INFECTIONS IN HEMATOPOIETIC STEM CELL TRANSPLANTATION

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Isidro Jarque

    2016-07-01

    Full Text Available Parasitic infections are rarely documented in hematopoietic stem cell transplant recipients. However, they may be responsible for fatal complications that are only diagnosed at autopsy. Increased awareness of the possibility of parasitic diseases both in autologous and allogeneic stem cell transplant patients is relevant not only for implementing preventive measures but also for performing an early diagnosis and starting appropriate therapy for these unrecognized but fatal infectious complications in hematopoietic transplant recipients. In this review, we will focus on parasitic diseases occurring in this population especially those with major clinical relevance including toxoplasmosis, American trypanosomiasis, leishmaniasis, malaria, and strongyloidiasis, among others, highlighting the diagnosis and management in hematopoietic transplant recipients.

  5. seasonal variation of intestinal parasitic infections among hiv ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Abrham

    CONCLUSION: Cryptosporidium species and Strongyloides stercoralis were the only parasitic agents that were associated with rainy season. Keywords: Season, Intestinal Parasites, HIV. INTRODUCTION. Despite the worldwide efforts at controlling the menace of acquired immunodeficiency syndrome. (AIDS), the number ...

  6. Intestinal Parasites in Children Attending Day Care Centers in Jos ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Two hundred and twenty-one children (57.8%) of the 384 children studied had intestinal parasites. Ascaris lumbricoides, Ancylostoma duodenale and Trichuris trichura were the commonest parasites found. The relationship between intestinal parasite infestation and diarrhea in past 2 months (X =19.5, df = 1, p< 0.001 ...

  7. 25 CFR 700.723 - Control of livestock disease and parasites.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-04-01

    ... 25 Indians 2 2010-04-01 2010-04-01 false Control of livestock disease and parasites. 700.723... RELOCATION PROCEDURES New Lands Grazing § 700.723 Control of livestock disease and parasites. Whenever livestock within the New Lands become infected with contagious or infectious disease or parasites or have...

  8. Is a healthy ecosystem one that is rich in parasites?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hudson, Peter J.; Dobson, Andrew P.; Lafferty, Kevin D.

    2006-01-01

    Historically, the role of parasites in ecosystem functioning has been considered trivial because a cursory examination reveals that their relative biomass is low compared with that of other trophic groups. However there is increasing evidence that parasite-mediated effects could be significant: they shape host population dynamics, alter interspecific competition, influence energy flow and appear to be important drivers of biodiversity. Indeed they influence a range of ecosystem functions and have a major effect on the structure of some food webs. Here, we consider the bottom-up and top-down processes of how parasitism influences ecosystem functioning and show that there is evidence that parasites are important for biodiversity and production; thus, we consider a healthy system to be one that is rich in parasite species.

  9. Parasitic Rachipagus Conjoined Twins: Surgical Management and ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    parasite upper limb. The parasite was successfully excised. Subsequent follow up of the child has revealed a boy who despite the weakness of his left lower limb is able ... of the limbs. The defect in dura in the lumbar region was also repaired. The limbs excised are shown in figures 5 and 6, with the post operative picture in.

  10. Host nutrition alters the variance in parasite transmission potential.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vale, Pedro F; Choisy, Marc; Little, Tom J

    2013-04-23

    The environmental conditions experienced by hosts are known to affect their mean parasite transmission potential. How different conditions may affect the variance of transmission potential has received less attention, but is an important question for disease management, especially if specific ecological contexts are more likely to foster a few extremely infectious hosts. Using the obligate-killing bacterium Pasteuria ramosa and its crustacean host Daphnia magna, we analysed how host nutrition affected the variance of individual parasite loads, and, therefore, transmission potential. Under low food, individual parasite loads showed similar mean and variance, following a Poisson distribution. By contrast, among well-nourished hosts, parasite loads were right-skewed and overdispersed, following a negative binomial distribution. Abundant food may, therefore, yield individuals causing potentially more transmission than the population average. Measuring both the mean and variance of individual parasite loads in controlled experimental infections may offer a useful way of revealing risk factors for potential highly infectious hosts.

  11. Fish population studies using parasites from the Southeastern Pacific Ocean: considering host population changes and species body size as sources of variability of parasite communities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    George-Nascimento, Mario; Oliva, Marcelo

    2015-01-01

    Research using parasites in fish population studies in the South Eastern Pacific (SEP) is summarized. There are 27 such studies (snapshots mainly) in single host species sampled at different geographic localities and at somewhat similar times. They have been devoted mainly to economically important species, though others on coastal and intertidal fish or on less- or non-commercial species provide insights on scales of temporal and spatial variation of parasite infracommunities. Later, we assess whether the probability of harbouring parasites depends on the host species body size. Our results indicate that a stronger tool for fish population studies may be developed under regular (long term) scrutiny of parasite communities, especially of small fish host species, due to their larger variability in richness, abundance and total biomass, than in large fish species. Finally, it might also be necessary to consider the effects of fishing on parasite communities as well as the natural oscillations (coupled or not) of host and parasite populations.

  12. Mitosis in the Human Malaria Parasite Plasmodium falciparum ▿

    OpenAIRE

    Gerald, Noel; Mahajan, Babita; Kumar, Sanjai

    2011-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sarah E. Perkins

    2017-12-01

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

  14. 25 CFR 168.15 - Control of livestock diseases and parasites.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-04-01

    ... 25 Indians 1 2010-04-01 2010-04-01 false Control of livestock diseases and parasites. 168.15... REGULATIONS FOR THE HOPI PARTITIONED LANDS AREA § 168.15 Control of livestock diseases and parasites. Whenever... parasites or have been exposed thereto, such livestock must be treated and the movement thereof restricted...

  15. Prevalence of parasites in soil samples in Tehran public places ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Results of our findings provide evidence that soil may play an important role in transmission of zoonotic parasite diseases to human. In addition, control of high population of animals such as stray dogs and cats is necessary to reduce the distribution of parasites. Key words: Prevalence, parasites, flotation method, Tehran.

  16. PREVALENCE OF INTESTINAL PARASITES AMONG FOOD HANDLERS IN WESTERN IRAN

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Farnaz Kheirandish

    2014-04-01

    Full Text Available Parasitic infection is one of the problems that affect human health, especially in developing countries. In this study, all of the fast food shops, restaurants, and roast meat outlets of Khorramabad (Western Iran and all the staff employed by them, some 210 people, were selected through a census and their stools were examined for the presence of parasites. The parasitological tests of direct wet-mount, Lugol's iodine staining, formaldehyde-ether sedimentation and Trichrome staining techniques were performed on the samples. The data was analyzed with a chi-square test and logistic regression was selected as the analytical model. The results showed 19 (9% stool specimens were positive for different intestinal parasites. These intestinal parasites included Giardia lamblia2.9%, Entamoeba coli 4.3%, Blastocystis sp. 1.4%, and Hymenolepis nana 0.5%. There was a significant difference between the presence of a valid health card, awareness of transmission of intestinal parasites, participation in training courses in environmental health with intestinal parasites (p 0.05. To control parasitic infection in food handlers, several strategies are recommended such as stool examinations every three months, public education, application of health regulations, controlling the validity of health cards and training on parasitic infection transmission. In this regard, the findings of the present study can be used as a basis to develop preventive programs targeting food handlers because the spread of disease via them is a common problem worldwide.

  17. Prevalence of intestinal parasites among food handlers in Western Iran.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kheirandish, Farnaz; Tarahi, Mohammad Javad; Ezatpour, Behrouz

    2014-01-01

    Parasitic infection is one of the problems that affect human health, especially in developing countries. In this study, all of the fast food shops, restaurants, and roast meat outlets of Khorramabad (Western Iran) and all the staff employed by them, some 210 people, were selected through a census and their stools were examined for the presence of parasites. The parasitological tests of direct wet-mount, Lugol's iodine staining, formaldehyde-ether sedimentation and Trichrome staining techniques were performed on the samples. The data was analyzed with a chi-square test and logistic regression was selected as the analytical model. The results showed 19 (9%) stool specimens were positive for different intestinal parasites. These intestinal parasites included Giardia lamblia 2.9%, Entamoeba coli 4.3%, Blastocystis sp. 1.4%, and Hymenolepis nana 0.5%. There was a significant difference between the presence of a valid health card, awareness of transmission of intestinal parasites, participation in training courses in environmental health with intestinal parasites (p 0.05). To control parasitic infection in food handlers, several strategies are recommended such as stool examinations every three months, public education, application of health regulations, controlling the validity of health cards and training on parasitic infection transmission. In this regard, the findings of the present study can be used as a basis to develop preventive programs targeting food handlers because the spread of disease via them is a common problem worldwide.

  18. Invasion of parasitic isopods in marine fishes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ganapathy Rameshkumar

    2013-02-01

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

  19. Energetic cost of bot fly parasitism in free-ranging eastern chipmunks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Careau, Vincent; Thomas, Donald W; Humphries, Murray M

    2010-02-01

    The energy and nutrient demands of parasites on their hosts are frequently invoked as an explanation for negative impacts of parasitism on host survival and reproductive success. Although cuterebrid bot flies are among the physically largest and most-studied insect parasites of mammals, the only study conducted on metabolic consequences of bot fly parasitism revealed a surprisingly small effect of bot flies on host metabolism. Here we test the prediction that bot fly parasitism increases the resting metabolic rate (RMR) of free-ranging eastern chipmunks (Tamias striatus), particularly in juveniles who have not previously encountered parasites and have to allocate energy to growth. We found no effect of bot fly parasitism on adults. In juveniles, however, we found that RMR strongly increased with the number of bot fly larvae hosted. For a subset of 12 juveniles during a year where parasite prevalence was particularly high, we also compared the RMR before versus during the peak of bot fly prevalence, allowing each individual to act as its own control. Each bot fly larva resulted in a approximately 7.6% increase in the RMR of its host while reducing juvenile growth rates. Finally, bot fly parasitism at the juvenile stage was positively correlated with adult stage RMR, suggesting persistent effects of bot flies on RMR. This study is the first to show an important effect of bot fly parasitism on the metabolism and growth of a wild mammal. Our work highlights the importance of studying cost of parasitism over multiple years in natural settings, as negative effects on hosts are more likely to emerge in periods of high energetic demand (e.g. growing juveniles) and/or in harsh environmental conditions (e.g. low food availability).

  20. Parasite-altered feeding behavior in insects: integrating functional and mechanistic research frontiers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bernardo, Melissa A; Singer, Michael S

    2017-08-15

    Research on parasite-altered feeding behavior in insects is contributing to an emerging literature that considers possible adaptive consequences of altered feeding behavior for the host or the parasite. Several recent ecoimmunological studies show that insects can adaptively alter their foraging behavior in response to parasitism. Another body of recent work shows that infection by parasites can change the behavior of insect hosts to benefit the parasite; manipulations of host feeding behavior may be part of this phenomenon. Here, we address both the functional and the underlying physiological frontiers of parasite-altered feeding behavior in order to spur research that better integrates the two. Functional categories of parasite-altered behavior that are adaptive for the host include prophylaxis, therapy and compensation, while host manipulation is adaptive for the parasite. To better understand and distinguish prophylaxis, therapy and compensation, further study of physiological feedbacks affecting host sensory systems is especially needed. For host manipulation in particular, research on mechanisms by which parasites control host feedbacks will be important to integrate with functional approaches. We see this integration as critical to advancing the field of parasite-altered feeding behavior, which may be common in insects and consequential for human and environmental health. © 2017. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.

  1. 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...

  2. Interactions between microbial agents and gypsy moth parasites

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ronald M. Weseloh

    1985-01-01

    The parasite Cotesia melanoscelus attacks small gypsy moth larvae more successfully than large ones, and Bacillus thuringiensis retards the growth of caterpillars it does not kill. Together, both factors lead to higher parasitism by C. melanoscelus in areas sprayed with B. thuringiensis than...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mitchell, Piers D

    2015-01-01

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

  4. Prevalence of Gastro-Intestinal Parasites of Pigs in Jos, Plateau ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    There is a growing concern for pig parasites as a bottleneck for low productivity and reduction in the market value of pork meat. The economic losses resulting from gastrointestinal parasites of pigs are quite enormous. This study was designed to investigate the prevalence of gastrointestinal parasites of pigs in Jos Plateau ...

  5. Limiting opportunities for cheating stabilizes virulence in insect parasitic nematodes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shapiro-Ilan, David; Raymond, Ben

    2016-03-01

    Cooperative secretion of virulence factors by pathogens can lead to social conflict when cheating mutants exploit collective secretion, but do not contribute to it. If cheats outcompete cooperators within hosts, this can cause loss of virulence. Insect parasitic nematodes are important biocontrol tools that secrete a range of significant virulence factors. Critically, effective nematodes are hard to maintain without live passage, which can lead to virulence attenuation. Using experimental evolution, we tested whether social cheating might explain unstable virulence in the nematode Heterorhabditis floridensis by manipulating relatedness via multiplicity of infection (MOI), and the scale of competition. Passage at high MOI, which should reduce relatedness, led to loss of fitness: virulence and reproductive rate declined together and all eight independent lines suffered premature extinction. As theory predicts, relatedness treatments had more impact under stronger global competition. In contrast, low MOI passage led to more stable virulence and increased reproduction. Moreover, low MOI lineages showed a trade-off between virulence and reproduction, particularly for lines under stronger between-host competition. Overall, this study indicates that evolution of virulence theory is valuable for the culture of biocontrol agents: effective nematodes can be improved and maintained if passage methods mitigate possible social conflicts.

  6. Management and control of parasites on dairy farms in northwestern region of São Paulo state

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cecília José Veríssimo

    Full Text Available Abstract Dairy cattle farming is of great economic and social importance in all Brazilian’s regions. Parasites can reduce milk productivity, especially the tick Rhipicephalus (Boophilus microplus. This study consisted of a questionnaire answered by 40 milk producers in the northwestern region of the State of São Paulo. The aim was to ascertain how these producers controlled ticks and other parasites. Very many of them knew nothing about the biological cycle of the cattle tick or about strategic control or acaricide efficacy tests. The majority (87.5% controlled ticks at a high frequency, without technical criteria and care to apply the acaricide. Spraying was the most used mode of acaricide application (95% and endectocides were used by 45%. Cattle tick fever was the harm most associated with ticks (87.5% followed closely by screwworm (77.5%. However, 65% were satisfied with their tick control. About the control of others parasites, all dewormed at least twice a year their animals; 65% were controlling horn fly; 40% had problems with screwworm. The interviewers had in general good level of education and the farms generally exhibited a high degree of technology for milk production on pasture because half of them received technical assistance frequently.

  7. Chronic diarrhoea in HIV patients: Prevalence of coccidian parasites

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gupta S

    2008-01-01

    Full Text Available The purpose of this study was to determine the prevalence of intestinal parasites in HIV patients with or without diarrhoea and to see an association between diarrhoea and the coccidian parasites in our setting. Stool samples from 113 HIV patients, 34 chronic diarrhoea and 79 without any history of diarrhoea were collected and examined for enteric parasites by microscopy. One hundred and thirteen control samples from HIV negative patients complaining of prolonged diarrhoea were also collected and analysed. Prevalence of coccidian parasites in HIV and non-HIV patients; with and without diarrhoea was compared using chi-square tests. Enteric parasites were detected in 55.8% HIV patients with diarrhoea compared to 16.4% in patients without diarrhoea ( P < 0.001. Isospora belli was found in 41.1% (14/34 of chronic diarrhoea and 6.3% (5/79 in non-diarrhoeal cases ( P < 0.001. Cryptosporidium was detected in 20.6% (7/34 of chronic diarrhoea and 2.5% (2/79 in non-diarrhoeal cases ( P < 0.01. Cyclospora cayetanensis associated diarrhoea was detected in only one case of chronic diarrhoea (2.9%. CD4+ T-cell count was lower (180 cells/μl0 in diarrhoeal HIV patients as compared to non-diarrhoeal patients. Coccidian parasites were seen at a mean CD4+ T-cell count of 186.3 cells/μL. This study concluded that Isospora belli was the predominant parasite followed by Cryptosporidium spp. and both were strongly associated with diarrhoea among HIV patients.

  8. 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.

  9. Cell fractionation of parasitic protozoa: a review

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Souza Wanderley de

    2003-01-01

    Full Text Available Cell fractionation, a methodological strategy for obtaining purified organelle preparations, has been applied successfully to parasitic protozoa by a number of investigators. Here we present and discuss the work of several groups that have obtained highly purified subcellular fractions from trypanosomatids, Apicomplexa and trichomonads, and whose work have added substantially to our knowledge of the cell biology of these parasites.

  10. Blood parasites from California ducks and geese

    Science.gov (United States)

    Herman, C.M.

    1951-01-01

    Blood smears were procured from 1,011 geese and ducks of 19 species from various locations in California. Parasites were found in 28 individuals. The parasites observed included Haemoproteus hermani, Leucocytozoon simondi, microfilaria, Plasmodium relictum (=P. biziurae), and Plasmodium sp. with elongate gametocytes. This is the first report of a natural infection with a Plasmodium in North American wild ducks.

  11. Are adequate methods available to detect protist parasites on fresh produce?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Human parasitic protists such as Cryptosporidium, Giardia and microsporidia contaminate a variety of fresh produce worldwide. Existing detection methods lack sensitivity and specificity for most foodborne parasites. Furthermore, detection has been problematic because these parasites adhere tenacious...

  12. Parasitism shaping host life-history evolution

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Fredensborg, Brian Lund; Poulin, R

    2006-01-01

    1. Variation in life-history strategies among conspecific populations indicates the action of local selective pressures; recently, parasitism has been suggested as one of these local forces. 2. Effects of trematode infections on reproductive effort, juvenile growth, size at maturity and susceptib......1. Variation in life-history strategies among conspecific populations indicates the action of local selective pressures; recently, parasitism has been suggested as one of these local forces. 2. Effects of trematode infections on reproductive effort, juvenile growth, size at maturity...

  13. Prevalence of blood parasites in seabirds - a review

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Quillfeldt Petra

    2011-10-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Introduction While blood parasites are common in many birds in the wild, some groups seem to be much less affected. Seabirds, in particular, have often been reported free from blood parasites, even in the presence of potential vectors. Results From a literature review of hemosporidian prevalence in seabirds, we collated a dataset of 60 species, in which at least 15 individuals had been examined. These data were included in phylogenetically controlled statistical analyses of hemosporidian prevalence in relation to ecological and life-history parameters. Haemoproteus parasites were common in frigatebirds and gulls, while Hepatozoon occurred in albatrosses and storm petrels, and Plasmodium mainly in penguins. The prevalence of Haemoproteus showed a geographical signal, being lower in species with distribution towards polar environments. Interspecific differences in Plasmodium prevalence were explained by variables that relate to the exposure to parasites, suggesting that prevalence is higher in burrow nesters with long fledgling periods. Measures of Plasmodium, but not Haemoproteus prevalences were influenced by the method, with PCR-based data resulting in higher prevalence estimates. Conclusions Our analyses suggest that, as in other avian taxa, phylogenetic, ecological and life-history parameters determine the prevalence of hemosporidian parasites in seabirds. We discuss how these relationships should be further explored in future studies.

  14. Enteroparasitosis prevalence and parasitism influence in clinical outcomes of tuberculosis patients with or without HIV co-infection in a reference hospital in Rio de Janeiro (2000-2006

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Luanda M.S. Neto

    Full Text Available Tuberculosis and intestinal parasites affect primarily low social and economic level populations, living clustered in precarious habitational settings. One of the interesting aspects of this interaction is the parasitism influence in cellular response to tuberculosis. In the present study, we evaluated the prevalence of enteroparasitosis in tuberculosis patients, HIV-infected and non HIV infected, and we observed the influence of helminth presence in the response to tuberculin skin test (TST and tuberculosis clinical outcomes. From 607 clinical records reviewed, 327 individuals met the study inclusion criteria and did not present any exclusion criteria. The prevalence of enteroparasites observed was 19.6%. There was no significant association among TST result and the variables related to the presence of: helminthes, protozoa, and stool test for parasites result (p>0.5. Considering the survival of this cohort, we may observe that there is no significant difference (p>0.05 between the survival curves of parasited and non parasited individuals. Solely the variable "eosinophils" presents a statistically significant association (p<0.001 with helminthes, all other associations are considered not significant. Our findings neither show an association between helminthic infection and a favorable tuberculosis outcome, nor between parasitism and TST response, unlike other in vitro studies. Apparently, experimental data do not correspond to the clinical findings.

  15. Parasitism as the main factor shaping peptide vocabularies in current organisms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zemková, Michaela; Zahradník, Daniel; Mokrejš, Martin; Flegr, Jaroslav

    2017-06-01

    Self/non-self-discrimination by vertebrate immune systems is based on the recognition of the presence of peptides in proteins of a parasite that are not contained in the proteins of a host. Therefore, a reduction of the number of 'words' in its own peptide vocabulary could be an efficient evolutionary strategy of parasites for escaping recognition. Here, we compared peptide vocabularies of 30 endoparasitic and 17 free-living unicellular organisms and also eight multicellular parasitic and 16 multicellular free-living organisms. We found that both unicellular and multicellular parasites used a significantly lower number of different pentapeptides than free-living controls. Impoverished pentapeptide vocabularies in parasites were observed across all five clades that contain both the parasitic and free-living species. The effect of parasitism on a number of peptides used in an organism's proteins is larger than effects of all other studied factors, including the size of a proteome, the number of encoded proteins, etc. This decrease of pentapeptide diversity was partly compensated for by an increased number of hexapeptides. Our results support the hypothesis of parasitism-associated reduction of peptide vocabulary and suggest that T-cell receptors mostly recognize the five amino acids-long part of peptides that are presented in the groove of major histocompatibility complex molecules.

  16. The ecology of parasites of freshwater fishes: the search for patterns.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kennedy, C R

    2009-10-01

    Developments in the study of the ecology of helminth parasites of freshwater fishes over the last half century are reviewed. Most research has of necessity been field based and has involved the search for patterns in population and community dynamics that are repeatable in space and time. Mathematical models predict that under certain conditions host and parasite populations can attain equilibrial levels through operation of regulatory factors. Such factors have been identified in several host-parasite systems and some parasite populations have been shown to persist over long time-periods. However, there is no convincing evidence that fish parasite populations are stable and regulated since in all cases alternative explanations are equally acceptable and it appears that they are non-equilibrial systems. It has proved particularly difficult to detect replicable patterns in parasite communities. Inter-specific competition, evidenced by functional and numerical responses, has been detected in several communities but its occurrence is erratic and its significance unclear. Some studies have failed to find any nested patterns in parasite community structure and richness, whereas others have identified such patterns although they are seldom constant over space and time. Departures from randomness appear to be the exception and then only temporary. It appears that parasite communities are non-equilibrial, stochastic assemblages rather than structured and organized.

  17. The Evolution of Clutch Size in Hosts of Avian Brood Parasites.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Medina, Iliana; Langmore, Naomi E; Lanfear, Robert; Kokko, Hanna

    2017-11-01

    Coevolution with avian brood parasites shapes a range of traits in their hosts, including morphology, behavior, and breeding systems. Here we explore whether brood parasitism is also associated with the evolution of host clutch size. Several studies have proposed that hosts of highly virulent parasites could decrease the costs of parasitism by evolving a smaller clutch size, because hosts with smaller clutches will lose fewer progeny when their clutch is parasitized. We describe a model of the evolution of clutch size, which challenges this logic and shows instead that an increase in clutch size (or no change) should evolve in hosts. We test this prediction using a broad-scale comparative analysis to ask whether there are differences in clutch size within hosts and between hosts and nonhosts. Consistent with our model, this analysis revealed that host species do not have smaller clutches and that hosts that incur larger costs from raising a parasite lay larger clutches. We suggest that brood parasitism might be an influential factor in clutch-size evolution and could potentially select for the evolution of larger clutches in host species.

  18. Parasites of marine, freshwater and farmed fishes of Portugal: a review

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jorge da Costa Eiras

    Full Text Available Abstract An extensive literature review is made of the parasites in marine and freshwater fish in mainland Portugal, the Portuguese archipelagos of the Azores and Madeira, as well as in farmed fish. The host(s of each parasite species, its location in the host, site of capture of the host, whenever possible, and all the available bibliographic references are described. The economic importance of some parasites and the zoonotic relevance of some parasitic forms are discussed. A general overview of the data is provided, and some research lines are suggested in order to increase and complement the current body of knowledge about the parasites of fish from Portugal.

  19. Trichomonas vaginalis exosomes deliver cargo to host cells and mediate host∶parasite interactions.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Olivia Twu

    Full Text Available Trichomonas vaginalis is a common sexually transmitted parasite that colonizes the human urogential tract where it remains extracellular and adheres to epithelial cells. Infections range from asymptomatic to highly inflammatory, depending on the host and the parasite strain. Here, we use a combination of methodologies including cell fractionation, immunofluorescence and electron microscopy, RNA, proteomic and cytokine analyses and cell adherence assays to examine pathogenic properties of T. vaginalis. We have found that T.vaginalis produces and secretes microvesicles with physical and biochemical properties similar to mammalian exosomes. The parasite-derived exosomes are characterized by the presence of RNA and core, conserved exosomal proteins as well as parasite-specific proteins. We demonstrate that T. vaginalis exosomes fuse with and deliver their contents to host cells and modulate host cell immune responses. Moreover, exosomes from highly adherent parasite strains increase the adherence of poorly adherent parasites to vaginal and prostate epithelial cells. In contrast, exosomes from poorly adherent strains had no measurable effect on parasite adherence. Exosomes from parasite strains that preferentially bind prostate cells increased binding of parasites to these cells relative to vaginal cells. In addition to establishing that parasite exosomes act to modulate host∶parasite interactions, these studies are the first to reveal a potential role for exosomes in promoting parasite∶parasite communication and host cell colonization.

  20. Parasite Infection, Carcinogenesis and Human Malignancy

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hoang van Tong

    2017-02-01

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

  1. Parasite Infection, Carcinogenesis and Human Malignancy.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-02-01

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

  2. A highly rearranged mitochondrial genome in Nycteria parasites (Haemosporidia) from bats

    OpenAIRE

    Karadjian , Gregory; Hassanin , Alexandre; Saintpierre , Benjamin; Gembu Tungaluna , Guy-Crispin; Ariey , Frederic; Ayala , Francisco J.; Landau , Irene; Duval , Linda

    2016-01-01

    International audience; Haemosporidia parasites have mostly and abundantly been described using mitochondrial genes, and in particular cytochrome b (cytb). Failure to amplify the mitochondrial cytb gene of Nycteria parasites isolated from Nycteridae bats has been recently reported. Bats are hosts to a diverse and profuse array of Haemosporidia parasites that remain largely unstudied. There is a need to obtain more molecular data from chiropteran parasites. Such data would help to better under...

  3. Children and Parasitic Diseases

    Science.gov (United States)

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

  4. An annotated list of fish parasites (Isopoda, Copepoda, Monogenea, Digenea, Cestoda, Nematoda) collected from Snappers and Bream (Lutjanidae, Nemipteridae, Caesionidae) in New Caledonia confirms high parasite biodiversity on coral reef fish

    OpenAIRE

    Justine, Jean-Lou; Beveridge, Ian; Boxshall, Geoffrey A; Bray, Rodney A; Miller, Terrence L; Moravec, František; Trilles, Jean-Paul; Whittington, Ian D

    2012-01-01

    Background Coral reefs are areas of maximum biodiversity, but the parasites of coral reef fishes, and especially their species richness, are not well known. Over an 8-year period, parasites were collected from 24 species of Lutjanidae, Nemipteridae and Caesionidae off New Caledonia, South Pacific. Results Host-parasite and parasite-host lists are provided, with a total of 207 host-parasite combinations and 58 parasite species identified at the species level, with 27 new host records. Results ...

  5. 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.

  6. Parasitic infections of amphibians in the Pendjari Biosphere ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Parasitic infections of amphibians in the Pendjari Biosphere Reserve, Benin. ... Results obtained show the possible influence of land-use pattern on parasite distribution. For example, the ... Furthermore, this infection pattern may be indicative of an immunosuppressive effect of pesticides on the frogs of the Agricultural Zone.

  7. Integrated Parasite Management for Livestock - Alternative control methods

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Souvik Paul1

    Full Text Available Internal parasites are considered by some to be one of the most economically important constraints in raising livestock. The growing concern about the resistance of internal parasites to all classes of dewormers has caused people to look for alternatives. As dewormers lose their effectiveness, the livestock community fears increasing economic losses from worms. There is no one thing that can be given or done to replace chemical dewormers. It will take a combination of extremely good management techniques and possibly some alternative therapies. It is not wise to think that one can just stop deworming animals with chemical dewormers. It is something one will need to change gradually, observing and testing animals and soil, in order to monitor the progress. Alternative parasite control is an area that is receiving a lot of interest and attention. Programs and research will continue in the pursuit of parasite control, using alternative and more management-intensive methods. [Veterinary World 2010; 3(9.000: 431-435

  8. Evolution of plant parasitism in the phylum Nematoda.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Quist, Casper W; Smant, Geert; Helder, Johannes

    2015-01-01

    Within the species-rich and trophically diverse phylum Nematoda, at least four independent major lineages of plant parasites have evolved, and in at least one of these major lineages plant parasitism arose independently multiple times. Ribosomal DNA data, sequence information from nematode-produced, plant cell wall-modifying enzymes, and the morphology and origin of the style(t), a protrusible piercing device used to penetrate the plant cell wall, all suggest that facultative and obligate plant parasites originate from fungivorous ancestors. Data on the nature and diversification of plant cell wall-modifying enzymes point at multiple horizontal gene transfer events from soil bacteria to bacterivorous nematodes resulting in several distinct lineages of fungal or oomycete-feeding nematodes. Ribosomal DNA frameworks with sequence data from more than 2,700 nematode taxa combined with detailed morphological information allow for explicit hypotheses on the origin of agronomically important plant parasites, such as root-knot, cyst, and lesion nematodes.

  9. [Parasites and cancer: is there a causal link?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cheeseman, Kevin; Certad, Gabriela; Weitzman, Jonathan B

    2016-10-01

    Over 20 % of cancers have infectious origins, including well-known examples of microbes such as viruses (HPV, EBV) and bacteria (H. pylori). The contribution of intracellular eukaryotic parasites to cancer etiology is largely unexplored. Epidemiological and clinical reports indicate that eukaryotic protozoan, such as intracellular apicomplexan that cause diseases of medical or economic importance, can be linked to various cancers: Theileria and Cryptosporidium induce host cell transformation while Plasmodium was linked epidemiologically to the "African lymphoma belt" over fifty years ago. These intracellular eukaryotic parasites hijack cellular pathways to manipulate the host cell epigenome, cellular machinery, signaling pathways and epigenetic programs and marks, such as methylation and acetylation, for their own benefit. In doing so, they tinker with the same pathways as those deregulated during cancer onset. Here we discuss how epidemiological evidence linking eukaryotic intracellular parasites to cancer onset are further strengthened by recent mechanistic studies in three apicomplexan parasites. © 2016 médecine/sciences – Inserm.

  10. The role of small heat shock proteins in parasites.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pérez-Morales, Deyanira; Espinoza, Bertha

    2015-09-01

    The natural life cycle of many protozoan and helminth parasites involves exposure to several hostile environmental conditions. Under these circumstances, the parasites arouse a cellular stress response that involves the expression of heat shock proteins (HSPs). Small HSPs (sHSPs) constitute one of the main families of HSPs. The sHSPs are very divergent at the sequence level, but their secondary and tertiary structures are conserved and some of its members are related to α-crystallin from vertebrates. They are involved in a variety of cellular processes. As other HSPs, the sHSPs act as molecular chaperones; however, they have shown other activities apparently not related to chaperone action. In this review, the diverse activities of sHSPs in the major genera of protozoan and helminth parasites are described. These include stress response, development, and immune response, among others. In addition, an analysis comparing the sequences of sHSPs from some parasites using a distance analysis is presented. Because many parasites face hostile conditions through its life cycles the study of HSPs, including sHSPs, is fundamental.

  11. Hospital-based surveillance of enteric parasites in Kolkata

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ghosh Mrinmoy

    2009-06-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Diarrhoea is the second leading cause of illness and death in developing countries and the second commonest cause of death due to infectious diseases among children under five in such countries. Parasites, as well as bacterial and viral pathogens, are important causes of diarrhoea. However, parasitic infections are sometimes overlooked, leading after a period of time to an uncertain aetiology. In this paper we report the prevalence of Giardia lamblia, Entamoeba histolytica and Cryptosporidium sp. in and around Kolkata. Findings A hospital-based laboratory surveillance study was conducted among the patients admitted between November 2007 and October 2008 to the Infectious Diseases (ID Hospital (Population = 1103 with diarrhoeal complaints. Of the 1103 samples collected, 147 were positive for Giardia lamblia, 84 for Cryptosporidium sp. and 51 for Entamoeba histolytica. For all these parasites there was a high rate of mixed infection with common enteric viruses and bacteria such as Rotavirus, Vibrio cholerae and Shigella sp. There were also cases of co-infection with all other diarrheogenic pathogens. The age group ≥ 5 years had the highest prevalence of parasites whereas the age group >5 – 10 years was predominantly infected with Giardia lamblia (p =10 – 20 years could also be considered at risk for G. lamblia (p = 0.009; OR = 2.231; 95% CI = 1.223 – 4.067. Month-wise occurrence data showed an endemic presence of G. lamblia whereas Cryptosporidium sp. and E. histolytica occurred sporadically. The GIS study revealed that parasites were more prevalent in areas such as Tangra, Tiljala and Rajarhat, which are mainly slum areas. Because most of the population surveyed was in the lower income group, consumption of contaminated water and food could be the major underlying cause of parasitic infestations. Conclusion This study provides important information on the occurrence and distribution of three important intestinal

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. Haematological and histopathological analysis in South American fish Piaractus mesopotamicus parasitized by monogenean (Dactylogyridae

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    GT Jerônimo

    Full Text Available Monogeneans are the parasites mostly found on the body surface and gills of fish and can cause large losses in farmed fish. Some studies demonstrate elevated parasitic levels causing hematological alterations. But few of them relate the effects of parasitism on the hematology and histopathology of native freshwater farmed fish. This study evaluated the host-parasite relationship in pacu (Piaractus mesopotamicus parasitized by the monogenean Anacanthorus penilabiatus. Hematological and parasitological assessments were obtained in 60 fish captured in a fish farm located in Dourados, State of Mato Grosso do Sul, Central Brazil. Fish were analyzed in different categories of parasite number: class I (n=13; 0-200 parasites, class II (n=17; 201-1200 parasites; class III (n=7; 1201-2200 parasites; and class IV (n=23; more than 2200 parasites per host. The highest levels of parasitism caused significant decrease (p<0.05 in the hematocrit, red blood cells (RBC, mean hemoglobin concentration (MCHC and basophils number. Thrombocytes, mean corpuscular volume (MCV, mean corpuscular hemoglobin concentration (MCHC, monocytes, eosinophils, neutrophils and LG-PAS did not present significant difference among the parasitic levels. In contrast, increased number of total leukocytes and lymphocytes were found in highly-parasitized fish. A positive linear correlation (p<0.01 was found between the amount of parasites and fish weight. Histopathology revealed severe hyperplasia, sub-epithelial edema, fusion of the secondary lamellae, focal and multifocal necrosis in highly parasitized fish.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Thomsen Lene

    2004-11-01

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

  17. Interspecific nest parasitism by chukar on greater sage-grouse

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fearon, Michelle L.; Coates, Peter S.

    2014-01-01

    Nest parasitism occurs when a female bird lays eggs in the nest of another and the host incubates the eggs and may provide some form of parental care for the offspring (Lyon and Eadie 1991). Precocial birds (e.g., Galliformes and Anseriformes) are typically facultative nest parasites of both their own and other species (Lyon and Eadie 1991). This behavior increases a female’s reproductive success when she parasitizes other nests while simultaneously raising her own offspring. Both interspecific and conspecific nest parasitism have been well documented in several families of the order Galliformes, particularly the Phasianidae (Lyon and Eadie 1991, Geffen and Yom-Tov 2001, Krakauer and Kimball 2009). The Chukar (Alectoris chukar) has been widely introduced as a game bird to western North America from Eurasia and is now well established within the Great Basin from northeastern California east to Utah and north to Idaho and Oregon (Christensen 1996). Over much of this range the Chukar occurs with other phasianids, including the native Greater Sage-Grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus), within sagebrush (Artemisia spp.) steppe (Christensen 1996, Schroeder et al. 1999, Connelly et al. 2000). Chukar typically exploit a broader range of habitats than do sage-grouse, but both species use the same species of sagebrush and other shrubs for nesting cover (Christensen 1996, Schroeder et al. 1999). Chukar are known to parasitize nests of other individuals of their own species (Geffen and Yom-Tov 2001), but we are unaware of reported evidence that Chukar may parasitize nests of sage-grouse. Here we describe a case of a Chukar parasitizing a sage-grouse nest in the sagebrush steppe of western Nevada.

  18. Parasitology: Parasite survives predation on its host

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ponton, Fleur; Lebarbenchon, Camille; Lefèvre, Thierry

    2006-01-01

    As prisoners in their living habitat, parasites should be vulnerable to destruction by the predators of their hosts. But we show here that the parasitic gordian worm Paragordius tricuspidatus is able to escape not only from its insect host after ingestion by a fish or frog but also from...

  19. Estimating sequestered parasite population dynamics in cerebral malaria

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Gravenor, M. B.; van Hensbroek, M. B.; Kwiatkowski, D.

    1998-01-01

    Clinical investigation of malaria is hampered by the lack of a method for estimating the number of parasites that are sequestered in the tissues, for it is these parasites that are thought to be crucial to the pathogenesis of life-threatening complications such as cerebral malaria. We present a

  20. PARASITIC INFECTIONS OF DRY SEASON FARMERS IN SOME ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Standard laboratory procedures were adopted in the collection, processing and parasite identification in the stool samples. The rates of parasites infections in the farmers were 91.6% for helminthes and 86.4% for protozoa. Helminth infection rates but not those of protozoa, varied significantly between farmers and controls.

  1. Parasites of crayfish ( P. clarki ) and lobsters ( Macrobrachium ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Studies on parasites of crayfish and lobsters as indicators of metal pollution in Great Kwa River, Nigeria was evaluated using appropriate instruments for determination of Physicochemical parameters and detection of metals. Formol ether centrifugation method was used for isolation of parasites. A total of 150 crayfish and ...

  2. Innate lymphoid cells and parasites: Ancient foes with shared history.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Neill, D R; Fallon, P G

    2018-02-01

    This special issue of Parasite Immunology charts the rapid advances made in our understanding of the myriad interactions between innate lymphoid cells and parasites and how these interactions have shaped our evolutionary history. Here, we provide an overview of the issue and highlight key findings from studies in mice and man. © 2017 The Authors. Parasite Immunology Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  3. Acetate formation in the energy metabolism of parasitic helminths and protists.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tielens, Aloysius G M; van Grinsven, Koen W A; Henze, Katrin; van Hellemond, Jaap J; Martin, William

    2010-03-15

    Formation and excretion of acetate as a metabolic end product of energy metabolism occurs in many protist and helminth parasites, such as the parasitic helminths Fasciola hepatica, Haemonchus contortus and Ascaris suum, and the protist parasites, Giardia lamblia, Entamoeba histolytica, Trichomonas vaginalis as well as Trypanosoma and Leishmania spp. In all of these parasites acetate is a main end product of their energy metabolism, whereas acetate formation does not occur in their mammalian hosts. Acetate production might therefore harbour novel targets for the development of new anti-parasitic drugs. In parasites, acetate is produced from acetyl-CoA by two different reactions, both involving substrate level phosphorylation, that are catalysed by either a cytosolic acetyl-CoA synthetase (ACS) or an organellar acetate:succinate CoA-transferase (ASCT). The ACS reaction is directly coupled to ATP synthesis, whereas the ASCT reaction yields succinyl-CoA for ATP formation via succinyl-CoA synthetase (SCS). Based on recent work on the ASCTs of F. hepatica, T. vaginalis and Trypanosoma brucei we suggest the existence of three subfamilies of enzymes within the CoA-transferase family I. Enzymes of these three subfamilies catalyse the ASCT reaction in eukaryotes via the same mechanism, but the subfamilies share little sequence homology. The CoA-transferases of the three subfamilies are all present inside ATP-producing organelles of parasites, those of subfamily IA in the mitochondria of trypanosomatids, subfamily IB in the mitochondria of parasitic worms and subfamily IC in hydrogenosome-bearing parasites. Together with the recent characterisation among non-parasitic protists of yet a third route of acetate formation involving acetate kinase (ACK) and phosphotransacetylase (PTA) that was previously unknown among eukaryotes, these recent developments provide a good opportunity to have a closer look at eukaryotic acetate formation. (c) 2010 Australian Society for Parasitology

  4. Interspecific RNA interference of SHOOT MERISTEMLESS-like disrupts Cuscuta pentagona plant parasitism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alakonya, Amos; Kumar, Ravi; Koenig, Daniel; Kimura, Seisuke; Townsley, Brad; Runo, Steven; Garces, Helena M; Kang, Julie; Yanez, Andrea; David-Schwartz, Rakefet; Machuka, Jesse; Sinha, Neelima

    2012-07-01

    Infection of crop species by parasitic plants is a major agricultural hindrance resulting in substantial crop losses worldwide. Parasitic plants establish vascular connections with the host plant via structures termed haustoria, which allow acquisition of water and nutrients, often to the detriment of the infected host. Despite the agricultural impact of parasitic plants, the molecular and developmental processes by which host/parasitic interactions are established are not well understood. Here, we examine the development and subsequent establishment of haustorial connections by the parasite dodder (Cuscuta pentagona) on tobacco (Nicotiana tabacum) plants. Formation of haustoria in dodder is accompanied by upregulation of dodder KNOTTED-like homeobox transcription factors, including SHOOT MERISTEMLESS-like (STM). We demonstrate interspecific silencing of a STM gene in dodder driven by a vascular-specific promoter in transgenic host plants and find that this silencing disrupts dodder growth. The reduced efficacy of dodder infection on STM RNA interference transgenics results from defects in haustorial connection, development, and establishment. Identification of transgene-specific small RNAs in the parasite, coupled with reduced parasite fecundity and increased growth of the infected host, demonstrates the efficacy of interspecific small RNA-mediated silencing of parasite genes. This technology has the potential to be an effective method of biological control of plant parasite infection.

  5. Intestinal parasitic infestations in children living in Warsaw

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Krzysztof Korzeniewski

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available Background. Intestinal parasitic infestations pose one of the biggest health problems of the contemporary world. Objectives. The aim of this article was to present the prevalence of intestinal parasites among children living in a large urban agglomeration. Material and methods . 1823 children (916 girls and 907 boys, aged 3–6, attending 31 different pre-schools in Warsaw, were examined in 2014. Stool specimens were tested in the Department of Epidemiology and Tropical Medicine of the Military Institute of Medicine by light microscopy using three different diagnostic methods (direct smear in Lugol’s solution, decantation with distilled water, Fülleborn’s flotation. The material for testing, fixed in 10% formalin, was collected three times at 2–3-day intervals. Results . Parasitological examination of the stool specimens showed intestinal parasitic infestations in 47 children (2.57% of the study group. Only 7 children were infested with pathogenic parasites (6 cases of giardiasis and 1 enterobiasis and required antiparasitic treatment. 17 children were infested with potentially pathogenic protozoa (Blasocystis sp. and 26 with non-pathogenic protozoa ( Entamoeba coli , Endolimax nanai , but because of lack of gastrointestinal symptoms (asymptomatic carriage they did not require a treatment. Conclusions . Performed examination show low infection rates among children from a large urban agglomeration. In the absence of epidemiological surveillance over the prevalence of the majority of intestinal parasitic diseases in Poland, and because some diagnostic centres generate positive test results using valueless methods, the propagation of parasitological diagnostics in light microscopy in direction of prevalence of intestinal parasitic infestations, especially among patients with gastrointestinal symptoms, is strongly recommended.

  6. Parasites and the skin

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    2009-06-11

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

  7. Virus epidemics can lead to a population-wide spread of intragenomic parasites in a previously parasite-free asexual population.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jalasvuori, Matti; Lehtonen, Jussi

    2014-03-01

    Sexual reproduction is problematic to explain due to its costs, most notably the twofold cost of sex. Yet, sex has been suggested to be favourable in the presence of proliferating intragenomic parasites given that sexual recombination provides a mechanism to confine the accumulation of deleterious mutations. Kraaijeveld et al. compared recently the accumulation of transposons in sexually and asexually reproducing lines of the same species, the parasitoid wasp Leptopilina clavipes. They discovered that within asexually reproducing wasps, the number of gypsy-like retrotransposons was increased fourfold, whereas other retrotransposons were not. Interestingly, gypsy-like retrotransposons are closely related to retroviruses. Endogenous retroviruses are retroviruses that have integrated to the germ line cells and are inherited thereafter vertically. They can also replicate within the genome similarly to retrotransposons as well as form virus particles and infect previously uninfected cells. This highlights the possibility that endogenous retroviruses could play a role in the evolution of sexual reproduction. Here, we show with an individual-based computational model that a virus epidemic within a previously parasite-free asexual population may establish a new intragenomic parasite to the population. Moreover and in contrast to other transposons, the possibility of endogenous viruses to maintain a virus epidemic and simultaneously provide resistance to individuals carrying active endogenous viruses selects for the presence of active intragenomic parasites in the population despite their deleterious effects. Our results suggest that the viral nature of certain intragenomic parasites should be taken into account when sex and its benefits are being considered. © 2014 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  8. Patterns of cowbird parasitism in the Southern Atlantic Coastal Plain and Piedmont.

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    J.C. Kilgo; C.E. Moorman

    2003-09-01

    Until recently, little information was available on patterns of brood parasitism by Brownheaded Cowbirds (Molothrus ater) in the southeastern United States, a region into which cowbirds expanded their range only during the last half of the Twentieth Century and where their abundance is relatively low. We compiled parasitism data from several published and unpublished studies conducted in Georgia and South Carolina from 1993-2000 to examine levels of brood parasitism and determine frequent host species. The combined dataset included 1,372 nests of 24 species reported in the literature to have been parasitized by cowbirds. The parasitism rate on all species combined was 8.2%. Considering only those species that served as hosts in these studies (n = I2), the parasitism rate was 9.3%. Seven species were parasitized at rates 2 10%. Based on the extent of parasitism (among studies and locations), their relative abundance, and the sample size of nests, Prairie Warblers (Dendroicta discolor), Hooded Warblers (Wilsonia citrina), Yellow-breasted Chats (Icteria virens), and Indigo Buntings (Passerina cyanea), all shrub nesters, appear to be the most important cowbird hosts in the region. Parasitism on some species reported as frequent hosts elsewhere was extremely low or not documented. We conclude that the impact of brood parasitism on the seasonal fecundity of hosts in the region probably is minimal, but additional work is warranted on species of concern, such as the Painted Bunting (Passerina ciris).

  9. Prevalence of Intestinal Parasitic Infection among Food Handlers in Northwest Iran

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Davoud Balarak

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Parasitic diseases are among the most important infectious diseases and pose health problems in many countries, most especially in developing countries. Workers at food centers could transmit parasitic infections in the absence of sanitation. This is a descriptive study conducted to determine the prevalence of intestinal parasitic infections in food clerks in the city of Tabriz in 2014. Data was recorded in the offices of the health center for all food handlers who were referred to the laboratory for demographic and stool tests to receive the health card. Parasitic infection was observed in 172 cases (3.73% of 4612 samples. A total of 156 positive samples (90.69% were related to protozoa and 16 (9.3% were related to helminthes. Most of the parasitic infections were related to Giardia and Entamoeba coli and the lowest infection was related to H. nana. Also, there was a significant relationship between level of education and parasitic infection rate (P=0.0044. But there was no significant difference between the type of infection and amount of intestinal parasites. The results show that the prevalence of intestinal parasites, especially pathogenic protozoa, is common in some food handlers. Therefore, more sanitary controls are required and increasing of education will play a crucial role in improving the health of these people.

  10. Parasitic infections in African pangolin ( Manis temminckii ) from Edo ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Amblyomma sp.). Oochoristica sp. (100%) and Amblyomma sp. (75%) were the most prevalent parasites. Both male and female pangolins recorded equal prevalence (100%) of infection, however, mean intensity of parasites was higher in males ...

  11. Radioimmunoassays and related procedures in the diagnosis of parasitic infections

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Dessaint, J.P.; Cesbron, J.Y.; Lutsch, C.; Nogueira-Queiroz, J.A.; Capron, A.

    1986-01-01

    Immunological tests for the diagnosis of parasitic infections have long been used, yet the marked variability in seroreactivity of infected patients is still a challenge to immunoparasitologists. In the case of helminth parasites, especially schistosomes and filariae, immunoassays have benefited by numerous advances in the characterization and purification of antigens and by the use of monoclonal antibodies. The identification of functional antigens allows the detection of putative protective (or blocking) antibody responses by competitive RIAs using monoclonal antibodies in schistosomiasis. While progress has been made in the investigation of immunity in man, immunoassays for antibodies do not accurately correlate with parasite load, especially at lower antibody responses or after chemotherapy. Immunoassays for circulating parasite antigens have received much attention in recent years. Immunoradiometric assays and related procedures using infection sera or monoclonal antibodies are now being investigated in field conditions. Cross-reactions among circulating antigens from different parasites can decrease the specificity of such assays, whereas circulating immune complexes can interfere with the test. The recent use of RIAs to measure parasite antigens in the urine of patients with schistosomiasis or filariasis appears a promising approach. (author)

  12. Epidemiological, evolutionary and co-evolutionary implications of context-dependent parasitism

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vale, Pedro F.; Wilson, Alastair J.; Best, Alex; Boots, Mike; Little, Tom J.

    2013-01-01

    Victims of infection are expected to suffer increasingly as parasite population growth increases. Yet, under some conditions, faster growing parasites do not appear to cause more damage and infections can be quite tolerable. We studied these conditions by assessing how the relationship between parasite population growth and host health is sensitive to environmental variation. In experimental infections of the crustacean Daphnia magna and its bacterial parasite Pasteuria ramosa we show how easily an interaction can shift from a severe interaction, i.e. when host fitness declines substantially with each unit of parasite growth, to a tolerable relationship by changing only simple environmental variables: temperature and food availability. We explored the evolutionary and epidemiological implications of such a shift by modelling pathogen evolution and disease spread under different levels of infection severity, and find that environmental shifts that promote tolerance ultimately result in populations harbouring more parasitized individuals. We also find that the opportunity for selection, as indicated by the variance around traits, varied considerably with the environmental treatment. Thus our results suggest two mechanisms that could underlie co-evolutionary hot- and coldspots: spatial variation in tolerance and spatial variation in the opportunity for selection. PMID:21460572

  13. Use of irradiation to control infectivity of food-borne parasites

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1993-01-01

    Food-borne parasitic diseases are common throughout the world, pose significant health problems and cause economic losses in terms of agricultural commodities and human productivity. The diseases usually occur through consumption of raw or partially cooked foods with are infected by various parasites (e.g. tapeworms, roundworms, flukes, parasitic protozoa, etc.). The problem is significant in developing countries where the population has the habit of consuming raw food of animal origin. Available data, with the exception of data on Trichinella spiralis, a parasitic nematode, were insufficient for the use of irradiation technology to control food-borne parasites. Therefore, a Co-ordinated Research Programme (CRP) on the Use of Irradiation to Control Infectivity of Food-Borne Parasites was implemented by the FAO/IAEA in 1986. The results of the work carried out over five years (1986-1991) by twelve researchers participating in the programme, have established conclusively the potential for application of food irradiation in the control of liver flukes, tapeworms, roundworms, trichinosis, toxoplasmosis, etc. This report includes the conclusions and recommendations of the participants concerning the results obtained and need for further research. Refs, figs and tabs

  14. Traffic pathways of Plasmodium vivax antigens during intraerythrocytic parasite development.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bracho, Carmen; Dunia, Irene; De, La Rosa Mercedes; Benedetti, Ennio-Lucio; Perez, Hilda A

    2002-03-01

    We investigated the secretory traffic of a Plasmodium vivax antigen (Pv-148) synthesised by the parasite during the blood cycle, exported into the host cell cytosol and then transported to the surface membrane of the infected erythrocyte. Studies of the ultrastructure of erythrocytes infected with P. vivax showed that intracellular schizogony is accompanied by the generation of parasite-induced membrane profiles in the erythrocyte cytoplasm. These structures are detectable soon after the parasite invades the erythrocyte and develop an elaborate organisation, leading to a tubovesicular membrane (TVM) network, in erythrocytes infected with mature trophozoites. Interestingly, the clefts formed stacked, flattened cisternae resembling a classical Golgi apparatus. The TVM network stained with the fluorescent Golgi marker Bodipy-ceramide. Specific immunolabelling showed that Pv-148 was transferred from the parasite to the erythrocyte surface membrane via the clefts and the TVM network. These findings suggest that the TVM network is part of the secretory pathways involved in parasite protein transport across the Plasmodium-infected erythrocyte and that Pv- 148 may represent a marker that links the parasite with the host cell cytoplasm and, in turn, with the extracellular milieu.

  15. Pathogens and politics: further evidence that parasite prevalence predicts authoritarianism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Murray, Damian R; Schaller, Mark; Suedfeld, Peter

    2013-01-01

    According to a "parasite stress" hypothesis, authoritarian governments are more likely to emerge in regions characterized by a high prevalence of disease-causing pathogens. Recent cross-national evidence is consistent with this hypothesis, but there are inferential limitations associated with that evidence. We report two studies that address some of these limitations, and provide further tests of the hypothesis. Study 1 revealed that parasite prevalence strongly predicted cross-national differences on measures assessing individuals' authoritarian personalities, and this effect statistically mediated the relationship between parasite prevalence and authoritarian governance. The mediation result is inconsistent with an alternative explanation for previous findings. To address further limitations associated with cross-national comparisons, Study 2 tested the parasite stress hypothesis on a sample of traditional small-scale societies (the Standard Cross-Cultural Sample). Results revealed that parasite prevalence predicted measures of authoritarian governance, and did so even when statistically controlling for other threats to human welfare. (One additional threat-famine-also uniquely predicted authoritarianism.) Together, these results further substantiate the parasite stress hypothesis of authoritarianism, and suggest that societal differences in authoritarian governance result, in part, from cultural differences in individuals' authoritarian personalities.

  16. Prevalence and Risk Factors of Intestinal Parasites in Cats from China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Yurong; Liang, Hongde

    2015-01-01

    The prevalence of intestinal parasites in cats from China was largely unknown prior to this study. The aim of the present study was to investigate the presence of intestinal parasites in cats from central China and also identify risk factors for parasitism. Fecal samples from 360 cats were examined using sugar flotation procedure and fecal smear test by microscope. Cats had mixed two or three kinds of parasites infections. Of the 360 cats feces, intestinal parasites positive feces were 149 (41.39%). 64 (17.78%) were infected with Toxocara cati, 61 (16.94%) with Isospora felis, 41 (11.39%) with Isospora rivolta, 33 (9.17%) with Paragonimus, 23 (6.39%) with hookworms, 11 (3.06%) with Toxoplasma-like oocysts, 10 (2.78%) with Trichuris, 4 (1.11%) with lungworm, 2 (0.56%) with Sarcocystis, and 1 (0.28%) with Trematode. The cats' living outdoor was identified as risk factor by statistical analysis. These results provide relevant basic data for assessing the infection of intestinal parasites in cats from central region of China. In conclusion, there was high prevalence of intestinal parasites in cats from China.

  17. Prevalence and Risk Factors of Intestinal Parasites in Cats from China

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yurong Yang

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available The prevalence of intestinal parasites in cats from China was largely unknown prior to this study. The aim of the present study was to investigate the presence of intestinal parasites in cats from central China and also identify risk factors for parasitism. Fecal samples from 360 cats were examined using sugar flotation procedure and fecal smear test by microscope. Cats had mixed two or three kinds of parasites infections. Of the 360 cats feces, intestinal parasites positive feces were 149 (41.39%. 64 (17.78% were infected with Toxocara cati, 61 (16.94% with Isospora felis, 41 (11.39% with Isospora rivolta, 33 (9.17% with Paragonimus, 23 (6.39% with hookworms, 11 (3.06% with Toxoplasma-like oocysts, 10 (2.78% with Trichuris, 4 (1.11% with lungworm, 2 (0.56% with Sarcocystis, and 1 (0.28% with Trematode. The cats’ living outdoor was identified as risk factor by statistical analysis. These results provide relevant basic data for assessing the infection of intestinal parasites in cats from central region of China. In conclusion, there was high prevalence of intestinal parasites in cats from China.

  18. Resistance of a rodent malaria parasite to a thymidylate synthase inhibitor induces an apoptotic parasite death and imposes a huge cost of fitness.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Muregi, Francis W; Ohta, Isao; Masato, Uchijima; Kino, Hideto; Ishih, Akira

    2011-01-01

    The greatest impediment to effective malaria control is drug resistance in Plasmodium falciparum, and thus understanding how resistance impacts on the parasite's fitness and pathogenicity may aid in malaria control strategy. To generate resistance, P. berghei NK65 was subjected to 5-fluoroorotate (FOA, an inhibitor of thymidylate synthase, TS) pressure in mice. After 15 generations of drug pressure, the 2% DT (the delay time for proliferation of parasites to 2% parasitaemia, relative to untreated wild-type controls) reduced from 8 days to 4, equalling the controls. Drug sensitivity studies confirmed that FOA-resistance was stable. During serial passaging in the absence of drug, resistant parasite maintained low growth rates (parasitaemia, 15.5%±2.9, 7 dpi) relative to the wild-type (45.6%±8.4), translating into resistance cost of fitness of 66.0%. The resistant parasite showed an apoptosis-like death, as confirmed by light and transmission electron microscopy and corroborated by oligonucleosomal DNA fragmentation. The resistant parasite was less fit than the wild-type, which implies that in the absence of drug pressure in the field, the wild-type alleles may expand and allow drugs withdrawn due to resistance to be reintroduced. FOA resistance led to depleted dTTP pools, causing thymineless parasite death via apoptosis. This supports the tenet that unicellular eukaryotes, like metazoans, also undergo apoptosis. This is the first report where resistance to a chemical stimulus and not the stimulus itself is shown to induce apoptosis in a unicellular parasite. This finding is relevant in cancer therapy, since thymineless cell death induced by resistance to TS-inhibitors can further be optimized via inhibition of pyrimidine salvage enzymes, thus providing a synergistic impact. We conclude that since apoptosis is a process that can be pharmacologically modulated, the parasite's apoptotic machinery may be exploited as a novel drug target in malaria and other protozoan

  19. Parasitism and super parasitism of Trichogramma pretiosum Riley (Hymenoptera: Trichogrammatidae) on Sitotroga cerealella (Oliver) (Lepidoptera: Gelechiidae) eggs; Parasitismo e superparasitismo de Trichogramma pretiosum Riley (Hymenopte