Parasites & Vectors
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Published By Springer (Biomed Central Ltd.)

1756-3305, 1756-3305

2022 ◽  
Vol 15 (1) ◽  
Author(s):  
Leire Ortega ◽  
Jessica Quesada ◽  
Antonio Ruiz ◽  
María Magnolia Conde-Felipe ◽  
Otilia Ferrer ◽  
...  

Abstract Background Due to increased anthelmintic resistance, alternative methods to drugs are necessary to control gastrointestinal nematodes (GINs). Some of the most promising alternatives are based on the immune response of the host, such as the selection of genetically resistant breeds or the use of vaccines against these parasites. Given the limited information available on the immune response against GINs in goats, this study investigated the local immune response of goat kids of an indigenous Canary Islands breed (Majorera breed) experimentally infected with Teladorsagia circumcincta, one of the most pathogenic and prevalent GIN species. Methods For this purpose, the relationship between different parasitological (number of mature and immature worms, worm length, and number of intrauterine eggs) and immunological parameters at the local level (related to both the humoral and cellular immune response) was analyzed at early (1 week post-infection [wpi]) and late (8 wpi) stages of infection. Results Primary infection of goat kids with T. circumcincta infective larvae (L3) generated a complex immune response that could be defined as Th2 type, characterized by increased infiltration in abomasal tissues of several effector cells as well as a progressive presence of specific antibodies against parasitic antigens in the gastric mucus. Cellular responses were evidenced from 1 wpi onward, showing an increase in antigen-presenting cells and various lymphocyte subsets in the gastric mucosa. Conclusions The complexity of the host response was evidenced by statistically significant changes in the number of all these subpopulations (MHCII+, CD4+, CD8+, γδ+, CD45R+, IgA+, and IgG+), as well as in the evolution of the relative cytokine gene expression. From a functional point of view, negative associations were observed between the number of most of the immune cells (CD4, IgA, IgG, and CD45R cells) and parameters that could be related to the fecundity of worms, a phenomenon that was especially evident when the number of IgG and CD45R cells or the specific IgA levels of the gastric mucus were compared with parasitological parameters such as the female worm length or fecal egg counts at 8 wpi. Graphical Abstract


2022 ◽  
Vol 15 (1) ◽  
Author(s):  
Artur Trzebny ◽  
Justyna Liberska ◽  
Anna Slodkowicz-Kowalska ◽  
Miroslawa Dabert

Abstract Background Microsporidia is a large group of eukaryotic obligate intracellular spore-forming parasites, of which 17 species can cause microsporidiosis in humans. Most human-infecting microsporidians belong to the genera Enterocytozoon and Encephalitozoon. To date, only five microsporidian species, including Encephalitozoon-like, have been found in hard ticks (Ixodidae) using microscopic methods, but no sequence data are available for them. Furthermore, no widespread screening for microsporidian-infected ticks based on DNA analysis has been carried out to date. Thus, in this study, we applied a recently developed DNA metabarcoding method for efficient microsporidian DNA identification to assess the role of ticks as potential vectors of microsporidian species causing diseases in humans. Methods In total, 1070 (493 juvenile and 577 adult) unfed host-seeking Ixodes ricinus ticks collected at urban parks in the city of Poznan, Poland, and 94 engorged tick females fed on dogs and cats were screened for microsporidian DNA. Microsporidians were detected by PCR amplification and sequencing of the hypervariable V5 region of 18S rRNA gene (18S profiling) using the microsporidian-specific primer set. Tick species were identified morphologically and confirmed by amplification and sequencing of the shortened fragment of cytochrome c oxidase subunit I gene (mini-COI). Results All collected ticks were unambiguously assigned to I. ricinus. Potentially zoonotic Encephalitozoon intestinalis was identified in three fed ticks (3.2%) collected from three different dogs. In eight unfed host-seeking ticks (0.8%), including three males (1.1%), two females (0.7%) and three nymphs (0.7%), the new microsporidian sequence representing a species belonging to the genus Endoreticulatus was identified. Conclusions The lack of zoonotic microsporidians in host-seeking ticks suggests that I. ricinus is not involved in transmission of human-infecting microsporidians. Moreover, a very low occurrence of the other microsporidian species in both fed and host-seeking ticks implies that mechanisms exist to defend ticks against infection with these parasites. Graphical abstract


2022 ◽  
Vol 15 (1) ◽  
Author(s):  
Andy Bauleni ◽  
Fentanesh N. Tiruneh ◽  
Tisungane E. Mwenyenkulu ◽  
Owen Nkoka ◽  
Gowokani C. Chirwa ◽  
...  

Abstract Background Despite the limited knowledge regarding the effects of deworming medication (DM) on nutritional indicators in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), deworming programmes continue to be implemented in resource-limited countries. Therefore, the current study aimed to examine the effects of DM on anaemia among children aged 6–59 months in SSA. Methods The analysis was performed using data obtained from 17 demographic and health surveys (DHSs) conducted in SSA. Children were considered to be anaemic if their haemoglobin (Hb) concentration was less than 11.0 g/dl, adjusting for altitude. To account for both multiple measures at the cluster level and the clustering of children within the same country, generalized linear mixed models were used to analyse the anaemia outcomes in 50,075 children aged 6–59 months. Results Overall, anaemia was reported in 61.8% of the children, and their median Hb concentration was 10.5 g/dl (interquartile range 9.4–11.5). The prevalence of anaemia ranged from 34.5% in Rwanda to 81.1% in Mali. Multivariate analyses showed that children who did not receive DM had increased odds of being anaemic (adjusted odds ratio [aOR]: 1.11; 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.07–1.16). Conclusions The current study revealed that DM can decrease the risk of anaemia among preschool-age children (pre-SAC) in SSA. Thus, tailored public health programmes aimed at reducing childhood anaemia need to consider deworming. However, longitudinal studies are needed to validate the association that has been reported in this cross-sectional study. Graphical Abstract


2022 ◽  
Vol 15 (1) ◽  
Author(s):  
Andrea Lombardo ◽  
Giuseppina Brocherel ◽  
Carla Donnini ◽  
Gianluca Fichi ◽  
Alessia Mariacher ◽  
...  

AbstractBaylisascaris procyonis is a nematode parasite of the raccoon (Procyon lotor), and it can be responsible for a severe form of larva migrans in humans. This parasite has been reported from many countries all over the world, after translocation of its natural host outside its native geographic range, North America. In the period between January and August 2021, 21 raccoons were cage-trapped and euthanized in Tuscany (Central Italy), in the context of a plan aimed at eradicating a reproductive population of this non-native species. All the animals were submitted for necroscopic examination. Adult ascariids were found in the small intestine of seven raccoons (prevalence 33.3%). Parasites have been identified as B. procyonis based on both morphometric and molecular approaches. The aim of the present article is to report the first finding of this zoonotic parasite from Italy, highlighting the sanitary risks linked to the introduction of alien vertebrate species in new areas. Graphical Abstract


2022 ◽  
Vol 15 (1) ◽  
Author(s):  
Junjie Hu ◽  
Jun Sun ◽  
Yanmei Guo ◽  
Hongxia Zeng ◽  
Yunzhi Zhang ◽  
...  

Abstract Background Data on the genus Sarcocystis in insectivores are limited. The Asian gray shrew Crocidura attenuata is one of the most common species of the insectivore family Soricidae in South Asia and Southeast Asia. To our knowledge, species of Sarcocystis have never been recorded previously in this host. Methods Tissues were obtained from 42 Asian gray shrews caught in 2017 and 2018 in China. Sarcocysts were observed using light microscopy (LM) and transmission electron microscopy (TEM). To describe the parasite life cycle, muscle tissues of the host infected with sarcocysts were force-fed to two beauty rat snakes Elaphe taeniura. Individual sarcocysts from different Asian gray shrews, and oocysts/sporocysts isolated from the small intestines and feces of the experimental snakes, were selected for DNA extraction, and seven genetic markers, namely, two nuclear loci [18S ribosomal DNA (18S rDNA) and internal transcribed spacer region 1 (ITS1)], three mitochondrial genes [cytochrome oxidase subunit 1 (cox1), cox3 and cytochrome b], and two apicoplast genes (RNA polymerase beta subunit and caseinolytic protease C), were amplified, sequenced and analyzed. Results Sarcocysts were found in 17 of the 42 (40.5%) Asian gray shrews. Under LM, the microscopic sarcocysts showed saw- or tooth-like protrusions measuring 3.3–4.5 μm. Ultrastructurally, the sarcocyst wall contained numerous lancet- or leaf-like villous protrusions, similar to those described for type 9h of the common cyst wall classification. The experimental beauty rat snakes shed oocysts/sporocysts measuring 11.9–16.7 × 9.2–10.6 μm with a prepatent period of 10–11 days. Comparison of the newly obtained sequences with those previously deposited in GenBank revealed that those of 18S rDNA and cox1 were most similar to those of Sarcocystis scandentiborneensis recorded in the tree shrews Tupaia minor and Tupaiatana (i.e., 97.6–98.3% and 100% identity, respectively). Phylogenetic analysis based on 18S rDNA or ITS1 sequences placed this parasite close to Sarcocystis spp. that utilize small animals as intermediate hosts and snakes as the known or presumed definitive host. On the basis of morphological and molecular characteristics and host specificity, the parasite was proposed as a new species, named Sarcocystis attenuati. Conclusions Sarcocysts were recorded in Asian gray shrews, to our knowledge for the first time. Based on morphological and molecular characterization, a new species of parasite is proposed: Sarcocystisattenuati. According to the LM and TEM results, S. attenuati sarcocysts are distinct from those of Sarcocystis spp. in other insectivores and those of S. scandentiborneensis in tree shrews. The 18S rDNA or cox1 sequences of Sarcocystis attenuati shared high similarity with those of Sarcocystisscandentiborneensis, Sarcocystis zuoi, Sarcocystis cf. zuoi in the Malayan field rat, and Sarcocystis sp. in the greater white-toothed shrew. Therefore, we suggest that more research on the relationships of these closely related taxa should be undertaken in the future. Graphical abstract


2022 ◽  
Vol 15 (1) ◽  
Author(s):  
Sundus Shafat Ahmad ◽  
Manju Rahi ◽  
Poonam Saroha ◽  
Amit Sharma

AbstractMalaria constitutes one of the largest public health burdens faced by humanity. Malaria control has to be an efficient balance between diagnosis, treatment and vector control strategies. The World Health Organization currently recommends indoor residual spraying and impregnated bed nets as two malaria vector control methods that have shown robust and persistent results against endophilic and anthropophilic mosquito species. The Indian government launched the National Framework for Malaria Elimination in 2016 with the aim to achieve the elimination of malaria in a phased and strategic manner and to sustain a nation-wide malaria-free status by 2030. India is currently in a crucial phase of malaria elimination and novel vector control strategies maybe helpful in dealing with various challenges, such as vector behavioural adaptations and increasing insecticide resistance among the Anopheles populations of India. Ivermectin can be one such new tool as it is the first endectocide to be approved in both animals and humans. Trials of ivermectin have been conducted in endemic areas of Africa with promising results. In this review, we assess available data on ivermectin as an endectocide and propose that this endectocide should be explored as a vector control tool for malaria in India. Graphical Abstract


2022 ◽  
Vol 15 (1) ◽  
Author(s):  
Sha-Sha Wang ◽  
Chun-Xue Zhou ◽  
Hany M. Elsheikha ◽  
Jun-Jun He ◽  
Feng-Cai Zou ◽  
...  

Abstract Background Long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) are important regulators of various biological and pathological processes, in particular the inflammatory response by modulating the transcriptional control of inflammatory genes. However, the role of lncRNAs in regulating the immune and inflammatory responses during infection with the protozoan parasite Toxoplasma gondii remains largely unknown. Methods We performed a longitudinal RNA sequencing analysis of human foreskin fibroblast (HFF) cells infected by T. gondii to identify differentially expressed long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) and messenger RNAs (mRNAs), and dysregulated pathways over the course of T. gondii lytic cycle. The transcriptome data were validated by qRT-PCR. Results RNA sequencing revealed significant transcriptional changes in the infected HFFs. A total of 697, 1234, 1499, 873, 1466, 561, 676 and 716 differentially expressed lncRNAs (DElncRNAs), and 636, 1266, 1843, 2303, 3022, 1757, 3088 and 2531 differentially expressed mRNAs (DEmRNAs) were identified at 1.5, 3, 6, 9, 12, 24, 36 and 48 h post-infection, respectively. Gene Ontology (GO) and Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes (KEGG) enrichment analysis of DElncRNAs and DEmRNAs revealed that T. gondii infection altered the expression of genes involved in the regulation of host immune response (e.g., cytokine–cytokine receptor interaction), receptor signaling (e.g., NOD-like receptor signaling pathway), disease (e.g., Alzheimer's disease), and metabolism (e.g., fatty acid degradation). Conclusions These results provide novel information for further research on the role of lncRNAs in immune regulation of T. gondii infection. Graphical Abstract


2022 ◽  
Vol 15 (1) ◽  
Author(s):  
Filipe Vieira Santos de Abreu ◽  
Cecilia Siliansky de Andreazzi ◽  
Maycon Sebastião Alberto Santos Neves ◽  
Patrícia Soares Meneguete ◽  
Mário Sérgio Ribeiro ◽  
...  

Abstract Background Yellow fever virus (YFV) is an arbovirus that, despite the existence of a safe and effective vaccine, continues to cause outbreaks of varying dimensions in the Americas and Africa. Between 2017 and 2019, Brazil registered un unprecedented sylvatic YFV outbreak whose severity was the result of its spread into zones of the Atlantic Forest with no signals of viral circulation for nearly 80 years. Methods To investigate the influence of climatic, environmental, and ecological factors governing the dispersion and force of infection of YFV in a naïve area such as the landscape mosaic of Rio de Janeiro (RJ), we combined the analyses of a large set of data including entomological sampling performed before and during the 2017–2019 outbreak, with the geolocation of human and nonhuman primates (NHP) and mosquito infections. Results A greater abundance of Haemagogus mosquitoes combined with lower richness and diversity of mosquito fauna increased the probability of finding a YFV-infected mosquito. Furthermore, the analysis of functional traits showed that certain functional groups, composed mainly of Aedini mosquitoes which includes Aedes and Haemagogus mosquitoes, are also more representative in areas where infected mosquitoes were found. Human and NHP infections were more common in two types of landscapes: large and continuous forest, capable of harboring many YFV hosts, and patches of small forest fragments, where environmental imbalance can lead to a greater density of the primary vectors and high human exposure. In both, we show that most human infections (~ 62%) occurred within an 11-km radius of the finding of an infected NHP, which is in line with the flight range of the primary vectors. Conclusions Together, our data suggest that entomological data and landscape composition analyses may help to predict areas permissive to yellow fever outbreaks, allowing protective measures to be taken to avoid human cases. Graphical Abstract


2022 ◽  
Vol 15 (1) ◽  
Author(s):  
Aida Vafae Eslahi ◽  
Sima Hashemipour ◽  
Meysam Olfatifar ◽  
Elham Houshmand ◽  
Elham Hajialilo ◽  
...  

Abstract Background Strongyloides stercoralis, a soil-transmitted helminth, occurs in humans, non-human primates, dogs, cats and wild canids. The zoonotic potential between these hosts is not well understood with data available on prevalence primarily focused on humans. To increase knowledge on prevalence, this review and meta-analysis was performed to estimate the global status of S. stercoralis infections in dogs. Methods Following the PRISMA guidelines, online literature published prior to November 2020 was obtained from multiple databases (Science Direct, Web of Science, PubMed, Scopus and Google Scholar). Prevalence was calculated on a global and country level, by country income and climate, and in stray/animal shelter dogs versus owned dogs. Statistical analyses were conducted using R-software (version 3.6.1). Results From 9428 articles, 61 met the inclusion criteria. The estimated pooled global prevalence of S. stercoralis in dogs was 6% (95% CI 3–9%). Infection was found to be the most prevalent in low-income countries with pooled prevalence of 22% (95% CI 10–36%). The highest pooled prevalence of S. stercoralis in dogs was related to regions with average temperature of 10–20 °C (6%; 95% CI 3–11%), an annual rainfall of 1001–1500 mm (9%; 95% CI 4–15%) and humidity of 40–75% (8%; 95% CI 4–13%). Prevalence was higher in stray and shelter dogs (11%; 95% CI 1–26%) than in owned dogs (3%; 95% CI 1–7%). Conclusions As with S. stercoralis in humans, higher prevalence in dogs is found in subtropical and tropical regions and lower-income countries, locations which also can have high dog populations. While this study presents the first estimated global prevalence of S. stercoralis in dogs, it is potentially an underestimation with 15 of 61 studies relying on diagnostic methods of lower sensitivity and a paucity of data from most locations. Standardized protocols (e.g. quantity of feces and number of samples for a Baermann) in future studies could improve reliability of results. More prevalence studies and raising veterinary awareness of S. stercoralis are needed for a One Health approach to protect humans and dogs from the impact of the infection. Graphical Abstract


2022 ◽  
Vol 15 (1) ◽  
Author(s):  
Moufida Derghal ◽  
Abir Tebai ◽  
Ghofrane Balti ◽  
Hajer Souguir-Omrani ◽  
Jomaa Chemkhi ◽  
...  

Abstract Background Leishmaniasis is endemic in Tunisia and presents with different clinical forms, caused by the species Leishmania infantum, Leishmania major, and Leishmania tropica. The life cycle of Leishmania is complex and involves several phlebotomine sand fly vectors and mammalian reservoir hosts. The aim of this work is the development and evaluation of a high-resolution melting PCR (PCR-HRM) tool to detect and identify Leishmania parasites in wild and domestic hosts, constituting confirmed (dogs and Meriones rodents) or potential (hedgehogs) reservoirs in Tunisia. Methods Using in vitro-cultured Leishmania isolates, PCR-HRM reactions were developed targeting the 7SL RNA and HSP70 genes. Animals were captured or sampled in El Kef Governorate, North West Tunisia. DNA was extracted from the liver, spleen, kidney, and heart from hedgehogs (Atelerix algirus) (n = 3) and rodents (Meriones shawi) (n = 7) and from whole blood of dogs (n = 12) that did not present any symptoms of canine leishmaniasis. In total, 52 DNA samples were processed by PCR-HRM using both pairs of primers. Results The results showed melting curves enabling discrimination of the three Leishmania species present in Tunisia, and were further confirmed by Sanger sequencing. Application of PCR-HRM assays on reservoir host samples showed that overall among the examined samples, 45 were positive, while seven were negative, with no Leishmania infection. Meriones shawi were found infected with L. major, while dogs were infected with L. infantum. However, co-infections with L. major/L. infantum species were detected in four Meriones specimens and in all tested hedgehogs. In addition, multiple infections with the three Leishmania species were found in one hedgehog specimen. Sequence analyses of PCR-HRM products corroborated the Leishmania species found in analyzed samples. Conclusions The results of PCR-HRM assays applied to field specimens further support the possibility of hedgehogs as reservoir hosts of Leishmania. In addition, we showed their usefulness in the diagnosis of canine leishmaniasis, specifically in asymptomatic dogs, which will ensure a better evaluation of infection extent, thus improving elaboration of control programs. This PCR-HRM method is a robust and reliable tool for molecular detection and identification of Leishmania and can be easily implemented in epidemiological surveys in endemic regions. Graphical Abstract


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