Fragmented data are so far available on genotype diversity of G. duodenalis in wildlife in different countries in Europe, in particular, in Italy. In the present study, G. duodenalis sequences obtained from different Italian wild animals [12 porcupines (Hystrix cristata), 4 wild boars (Sus scrofa), 1 wolf (Canis lupus italicus), 6 Alpine chamois (Rupicapra rupicapra rupicapra)] were compared with those available from wild host species in Europe to add new data on the geographic distribution of Giardia assemblages/sub-assemblages and their transmission patterns among natural hosts. Thirty-eight sequences were obtained by MLG analysis (SSU-rRNA, bg, gdh, and tpi genes) and subsequently compared by phylogenetic and network analyses with those from wild species monitored in the last decades in Europe. The results revealed the presence of potentially zoonotic (A-AI, A-AII from wild boar; B from porcupine) and host-adapted (D from wolf; E, A-AIII from chamois) assemblages and sub-assemblages and represent the first report for Italian wild boar. The analysis did not find any evidence of spatial or host segregation for specific genetic variants, mostly shared between different hosts from different European countries. However, conflicting evidence was found in genotypic assignment, advocating for data improvement and new genomic approaches.
Even though the epidemiology of tick-borne agents (TBA) in dogs has been extensively investigated around the world, the occurrence, vectors involved, and molecular identity of these agents in cats remains elusive in many regions. Among TBA, Ehrlichia, Anaplasma, Babesia, Cytauxzoon, and Hepatozoon are responsible for diseases with non-specific clinical signs in cats, making essential the use of molecular techniques for accurate diagnosis and proper treatment. The present work aimed to investigate the occurrence and molecular identity of tick-borne agents (Ehrlichia, Anaplasma, Babesia/Theileria, Cytauxzoon, and Hepatozoon) in cats from southeastern (states of São Paulo (SP) and Minas Gerais (MG)) and northern (state of Rondônia (RO)) Brazil. For this purpose, 390 blood samples were collected from domiciled cats in MG (n = 155), SP (n = 151), and RO(n = 84) states, submitted to DNA extraction and PCR assays for Ehrlichia spp. (dsb gene), Anaplasma spp. (rrs gene), piroplasmids (18S rRNA gene), and Hepatozoon spp. (18S rRNA gene), sequencing, and phylogenetic inferences. The overall positivity for Anaplasma spp., Ehrlichia spp., Babesia/Theileria spp., Cytauxzoon spp., and Hepatozoon spp. were 7.4% (12.3% (MG) and 6.6% (SP)), 2% (4.5% (MG) and 0.6% (SP)), 0.7% (0.6% (MG), 0.6% (SP) and 1.2% (RO)), 27.2% (41.9% (MG), 24.5% (SP) and 4.8% (RO), and 0%, respectively. The phylogenetic analysis grouped the obtained sequences with ‘Candidatus Anaplasma amazonensis’, A. platys, B. vogeli, and Cytauxzoon sp. previously detected in wild felids from Brazil. qPCR specific for E. canis based on the dsb gene confirmed the molecular identity of the detected ehrlichial agent. The present study expanded the list and geographical distribution of hemoparasites in cats. ‘Candidatus Anaplasma amazonensis’, recently detected in sloths from northern Brazil, was described for the first time in cats. This is the first report of piroplasmids infecting cats in northern Brazil. Coinfection by Cytauxzoon and other TBA (Ehrlichia, Anaplasma, and B. vogeli) reported in the present study raises the need for veterinary practitioners’ awareness of cats parasitized by multiple TBA.
Yellow fever (YF) is a pansystemic disease caused by the yellow fever virus (YFV), the prototype species of the family Flaviviridae and genus Flavivirus, and has a highly complex host-pathogen relationship, in which endothelial dysfunction reflects viral disease tropism. In this study, the in situ endothelial response was evaluated. Liver tissue samples were collected from 21 YFV-positive patients who died due to the disease and five flavivirus-negative controls who died of other causes and whose hepatic parenchyma architecture was preserved. Immunohistochemical analysis of tissues in the hepatic parenchyma of YF cases showed significantly higher expression of E-selectin, P-selectin, intercellular adhesion molecule-1, vascular cell adhesion molecule-1, and very late antigen-4 in YFV-positive cases than in flavivirus-negative controls. These results indicate that endothelium activation aggravates the inflammatory response by inducing the expression of adhesion molecules that contribute to the rolling, recruitment, migration, and construction of the inflammatory process in the hepatic parenchyma in fatal YF cases.
The present study evaluated the avian macrophage responses against Clostridium perfringens that varied in their ability to cause necrotic enteritis in chickens. Strains CP5 (avirulent-netB+), CP1 (virulent-netB+), and CP26 (highly virulent-netB+tpeL+) were used to evaluate their effect on macrophages (MQ-NCSU cells) and primary splenic and cecal tonsil mononuclear cells. The bacilli (whole cells) or their secretory products from all three strains induced a significant increase in the macrophage transcription of Toll-like receptor (TLR)21, TLR2, interleukin (IL)-1β, inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS), and CD80 genes as well as their nitric oxide (NO) production and major histocompatibility complex (MHC)-II surface expression compared to an unstimulated control. The CP1 and CP26-induced expression of interferon (IFN)γ, IL-6, CD40 genes, MHC-II upregulation, and NO production was significantly higher than that of CP5 and control groups. Furthermore, splenocytes and cecal tonsillocytes stimulated with bacilli or secretory products from all the strains showed a significant increase in the frequency of macrophages, their surface expression of MHC-II and NO production, while CP26-induced responses were significantly higher for the rest of the groups. In summary, macrophage interaction with C. perfringens can lead to cellular activation and, the ability of this pathogen to induce macrophage responses may depend on its level of virulence.
Characterization of the bovine leukocyte antigen (BoLA) DRB3 gene has shown that specific alleles associate with susceptibility or resilience to the progression of bovine leukemia virus (BLV), measured by proviral load (PVL). Through surveillance of multi-farm BLV eradication field trials, we observed differential phenotypes within seropositive cows that persist from months to years. We sought to develop a multiplex next-generation sequencing workflow (NGS-SBT) capable of genotyping 384 samples per run to assess the relationship between BLV phenotype and two BoLA genes. We utilized longitudinal results from milk ELISA screening and subsequent blood collections on seropositive cows for PVL determination using a novel BLV proviral load multiplex qPCR assay to phenotype the cows. Repeated diagnostic observations defined two distinct phenotypes in our study population, ELISA-positive cows that do not harbor detectable levels of provirus and those who do have persistent proviral loads. In total, 565 cows from nine Midwest dairy farms were selected for NGS-SBT, with 558 cows: 168 BLV susceptible (ELISA-positive/PVL-positive) and 390 BLV resilient (ELISA-positive/PVL-negative) successfully genotyped. Three BoLA-DRB3 alleles, including one novel allele, were shown to associate with disease resilience, *009:02, *044:01, and *048:02 were found at rates of 97.5%, 86.5%, and 90.3%, respectively, within the phenotypically resilient population. Alternatively, DRB3*015:01 and *027:03, both known to associate with disease progression, were found at rates of 81.1% and 92.3%, respectively, within the susceptible population. This study helps solidify the immunogenetic relationship between BoLA-DRB3 alleles and BLV infection status of these two phenotypic groupings of US dairy cattle.
Positive-strand RNA viruses such as hepatitis C virus (HCV) hijack key factors of lipid metabolism of infected cells and extensively modify intracellular membranes to support the viral lifecycle. While lipid metabolism plays key roles in viral particle assembly and maturation, viral RNA synthesis is closely linked to the remodeling of intracellular membranes. The formation of viral replication factories requires a number of interactions between virus proteins and host factors including lipids. The structure–function relationship of those proteins is influenced by their lipid environments and lipids that selectively modulate protein function. Here, we review our current understanding on the roles of phospholipids in HCV replication and of lipid–protein interactions in the structure–function relationship of the NS5A protein. NS5A is a key factor in membrane remodeling in HCV-infected cells and is known to recruit phosphatidylinositol 4-kinase III alpha to generate phosphatidylinositol 4-phosphate at the sites of replication. The dynamic interplay between lipids and viral proteins within intracellular membranes is likely key towards understanding basic mechanisms in the pathobiology of virus diseases, the mode of action of specific antiviral agents and related drug resistance mechanisms.
Bornaviruses are a diverse family of viruses infecting various hosts, including birds. Aquatic bird bornavirus 1 (ABBV-1) and aquatic bird bornavirus 2 (ABBV-2) have been found in wild waterfowl but data on their prevalence are scarce. To gain knowledge on the occurrence of ABBVs in Poland, samples originating from dead birds of the Anseriformes order collected in 2016–2021 were tested with a real time RT-PCR method targeting the ABBVs genome. A total of 514 birds were examined, including 401 swans, 96 ducks and 17 geese. The presence of ABBV-1 RNA was detected in 52 swans (10.1% of all tested birds) from 40 different locations. No positive results were obtained for ducks and geese. Sequences of about 2300 bases were generated for 18 viruses and phylogenetic analysis was performed. A relatively low genetic diversity of the examined ABBV-1 strains was observed as all were gathered in a single cluster in the phylogenetic tree and the minimum nucleotide identity was 99.14%. The Polish strains were closely related to ABBV-1 identified previously in Denmark and Germany, but a limited number of sequences from Europe hinders the drawing of conclusions about interconnections between Polish and other European ABBVs. The results of the present study provide new insights into the distribution and genetic characteristics of ABBVs in wild birds in Europe.
Human babesiosis results from a combination of tick tropism for humans, susceptibility of a host to sustain Babesia development, and contact with infected ticks. Climate modifications and increasing diagnostics have led to an expanded number of Babesia species responsible for human babesiosis, although, to date, most cases have been attributed to B. microti and B. divergens. These two species have been extensively studied, and in this review, we mostly focus on the antigens involved in host–parasite interactions. We present features of the major antigens, so-called Bd37 in B. divergens and BmSA1/GPI12 in B. microti, and highlight the roles of these antigens in both host cell invasion and immune response. A comparison of these antigens with the major antigens found in some other Apicomplexa species emphasizes the importance of glycosylphosphatidylinositol-anchored proteins in host–parasite relationships. GPI-anchor cleavage, which is a property of such antigens, leads to soluble and membrane-bound forms of these proteins, with potentially differential recognition by the host immune system. This mechanism is discussed as the structural basis for the protein-embedded immune escape mechanism. In conclusion, the potential consequences of such a mechanism on the management of both human and animal babesiosis is examined.
The protozoan Cryptosporidium parvum is one of the major causative pathogens of diarrhoea in young ruminants; therefore, it causes economic losses and impairs animal welfare. Besides C. parvum, there are many other non-infectious and infectious factors, such as rotavirus, Escherichia coli, and Giardia duodenalis, which may lead to diarrhoeic disease in young livestock. Often, more than one infectious agent is detected in affected animals. Little is known about the interactions bet-ween simultaneously occurring pathogens and their potential effects on the course of disease. In this review, a brief overview about pathogens associated with diarrhoea in young ruminants is presented. Furthermore, information about coinfections involving Cryptosporidium is provided.
Mice are valuable models extensively used to test vaccine candidates against Chlamydia abortus and to clarify immunopathological mechanisms of the bacteria. As this pathogen has the ability to reactivate during pregnancy, it is important to deepen the knowledge and understanding of some of the effects of female hormones on immunity and vaccination. This study is aimed at describing the role of sex hormones in the pathology of OEA during chlamydial clearance using ovariectomised mice and also gaining an understanding of how 17β-oestradiol or progesterone may impact the effectiveness of vaccination. Animals were treated with sex hormones and infected with C. abortus, and the kinetics of infection and immune response were analysed by means of bacterial isolation, histopathology, and immunohistochemistry. In a second phase of the study, protection conferred by an experimental vaccine after hormone treatment was assessed. Oestradiol showed a stimulatory effect on the immune response during infection, with a more efficient recruitment of macrophages and T-cells at the infection site. Furthermore, after vaccination, oestradiol-treated animals showed a stronger protection against infection, indicating that this hormone has a positive effect, stimulating a specific memory response to the pathogen.