ResearchPad - flatworms https://www.researchpad.co Default RSS Feed en-us © 2020 Newgen KnowledgeWorks <![CDATA[Genetic diversity of <i>Echinococcus multilocularis</i> and <i>Echinococcus granulosus sensu lato</i> in Kyrgyzstan: The A2 haplotype of <i>E</i>. <i>multilocularis</i> is the predominant variant infecting humans]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_13871 Analysis of the genetic variability in Echinococcus species from different endemic countries have contributed to the knowledge in the taxonomy and phylogeography of these parasites. The most important species of this genus, Echinococcus granulosus sensu lato and Echinococcus multilocularis, co-exist in Kyrgyzstan causing serious public health issues. E. granulosus s.l. causes cystic echinococcosis and E. multilocularis is the causative agent of alveolar echinococcosis. The most relevant finding of our study is the identification of the cob/nad2/cox1 A2 haplotype of E. multilocularis as the most commonly found in humans and dogs. However, it remains unknown if this variant of E. multilocularis, based on genetic differences in mitochondrial genes, presents differences in virulence which could have contributed to the emergence of alveolar echinococcosis in Kyrgyzstan. The results also show a number of non-previously described genetic variants of E. multilocularis and E. granulosus s.s.

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<![CDATA[Amino acids serve as an important energy source for adult flukes of <i>Clonorchis sinensis</i>]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_13829 Clonorchiasis, closely related to cholangiocarcinoma and hepatocellular carcinoma, has led to a negative socioeconomic impact in global areas especially some Asian endemic regions. Owing to the emergence of drug resistance and hypersensitivity reactions after the massive and repeated use of praziquantel as well as the lack of effective vaccines, searching for new strategies that prevent and treat clonorchiasis has become an urgent matter. Clonorchis sinensis, the causative agent of clonorchiasis, long-term inhabits the microaerobic and limited-glucose environment of the bile ducts. Adequate nutrients are essential for adult flukes to resist the adverse condition and survive in the crowed habitat. Studies on energy metabolism of adult flukes are beneficial for further exploring host-parasite interactions and developing novel anti-parasitic drugs. Our results suggest that gluconeogenesis probably plays a vital role in energy metabolism of Clonorchis sinensis and exogenous amino acids might be an essential energy source for adult flukes to successfully survive in the host. Our foundational study opens a new avenue for explaining energy metabolism of Clonorchis sinensis and provides a valuable strategy that the gluconeogenesis pathway will be a potential and novel target for the prevention and treatment of clonorchiasis.

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<![CDATA[Comparing the performance of urine and copro-antigen detection in evaluating Opisthorchis viverrini infection in communities with different transmission levels in Northeast Thailand]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c6730b3d5eed0c484f37f31

To combat and eventually eliminate the transmission of the liver fluke Opisthorchis viverrini, an accurate and practical diagnostic test is required. A recently established urine antigen detection test using monoclonal antibody-based enzyme-linked-immunosorbent assay (mAb-ELISA) has shown promise due to its high diagnostic accuracy and the use of urine in place of fecal samples. To further test the utility of this urine assay, we performed a cross sectional study of 1,043 people in 3 opisthorchiasis endemic communities in northeast Thailand by applying urine antigen detection together with copro-antigen detection methods. The quantitative formalin-ethyl acetate concentration technique (FECT) was concurrently performed as a reference method. The prevalence of O. viverrini determined by urine antigen detection correlated well with that by copro-antigen detection and both methods showed 10–15% higher prevalence than FECT. Within the fecal negative cases by FECT, 29% and 43% were positive by urine and copro-antigen detection, respectively. The prevalence and intensity profiles determined by antigen detection and FECT showed similar patterns of increasing trends of infection with age. The concentration of antigen measured in urine showed a positive relationship with the concentration of copro-antigen, both of which were positively correlated with fecal egg counts. The data observed in this study indicate that urine antigen detection had high diagnostic accuracy and was in concordance with copro-antigen detection. Due to the ease and noninvasiveness of sample collection, the urine assay has high potential for clinical diagnosis as well as population screening in the program for the control and elimination of opisthorchiasis.

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<![CDATA[In-plate recapturing of a dual-tagged recombinant Fasciola antigen (FhLAP) by a monoclonal antibody (US9) prevents non-specific binding in ELISA]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c5df361d5eed0c4845811da

Recombinant proteins expressed in E. coli are frequently purified by immobilized metal affinity chromatography (IMAC). By means of this technique, tagged proteins containing a polyhistidine sequence can be obtained up to 95% pure in a single step, but some host proteins also bind with great affinity to metal ions and contaminate the sample. A way to overcome this problem is to include a second tag that is recognized by a preexistent monoclonal antibody (mAb) in the gene encoding the target protein, allowing further purification. With this strategy, the recombinant protein can be directly used as target in capture ELISA using plates sensitized with the corresponding mAb. As a proof of concept, in this study we engineered a Trichinella-derived tag (MTFSVPIS, recognized by mAb US9) into a His-tagged recombinant Fasciola antigen (rFhLAP) to make a new chimeric recombinant protein (rUS9-FhLAP), and tested its specificity in capture and indirect ELISAs with sera from sheep and cattle. FhLAP was selected since it was previously reported to be immunogenic in ruminants and is expressed in soluble form in E. coli, which anticipates a higher contamination by host proteins than proteins expressed in inclusion bodies. Our results showed that a large number of sera from non-infected ruminants (mainly cattle) reacted in indirect ELISA with rUS9-FhLAP after single-step purification by IMAC, but that this reactivity disappeared testing the same antigen in capture ELISA with mAb US9. These results demonstrate that the 6XHis and US9 tags can be combined when double purification of recombinant proteins is required.

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<![CDATA[New insights of the local immune response against both fertile and infertile hydatid cysts]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c5b5259d5eed0c4842bc6ca

Background

Cystic echinococcosis is caused by the metacestode of the zoonotic flatworm Echinococcus granulosus. Within the viscera of the intermediate host, the metacestode grows as a unilocular cyst known as hydatid cyst. This cyst is comprised of two layers of parasite origin: germinal and laminated layers, and one of host origin: the adventitial layer, that encapsulates the parasite. This adventitial layer is composed of collagen fibers, epithelioid cells, eosinophils and lymphocytes. To establish itself inside the host, the germinal layer produces the laminated layer, and to continue its life cycle, generates protoscoleces. Some cysts are unable to produce protoscoleces, and are defined as infertile cysts. The molecular mechanisms involved in cyst fertility are not clear, however, the host immune response could play a crucial role.

Methodology/Principal findings

We collected hydatid cysts from both liver and lungs of slaughtered cattle, and histological sections of fertile, infertile and small hydatid cysts were stained with haematoxylin-eosin. A common feature observed in infertile cysts was the disorganization of the laminated layer by the infiltration of host immune cells. These infiltrating cells eventually destroy parts of laminated layer. Immunohistochemical analysis of both parasite and host antigens, identify these cells as cattle macrophages and are present inside the cysts associated to germinal layer.

Conclusions/Significance

This is the first report that indicates to cell from immune system present in adventitial layer of infertile bovine hydatid cysts could disrupt the laminated layer, infiltrating and probably causing the infertility of cyst.

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<![CDATA[Extracellular vesicles from Echinococcus granulosus larval stage: Isolation, characterization and uptake by dendritic cells]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c3d00e7d5eed0c4840368ed

The secretion of extracellular vesicles (EVs) in helminth parasites is a constitutive mechanism that promotes survival by improving their colonization and adaptation in the host tissue. In the present study, we analyzed the production of EVs from supernatants of cultures of Echinococcus granulosus protoscoleces and metacestodes and their interaction with dendritic cells, which have the ability to efficiently uptake and process microbial antigens, activating T lymphocytes. To experimentally increase the release of EVs, we used loperamide, a calcium channel blocker that increases the cytosolic calcium level in protoscoleces and EV secretion. An exosome-like enriched EV fraction isolated from the parasite culture medium was characterized by dynamic light scattering, transmission electron microscopy, proteomic analysis and immunoblot. This allowed identifying many proteins including: small EV markers such as TSG101, SDCBP, ALIX, tetraspanins and 14-3-3 proteins; proteins involved in vesicle-related transport; orthologs of mammalian proteins involved in the immune response, such as basigin, Bp29 and maspardin; and parasite antigens such as antigen 5, P29 and endophilin-1, which are of special interest due to their role in the parasite-host relationship. Finally, studies on the EVs-host cell interaction demonstrated that E. granulosus exosome-like vesicles were internalized by murine dendritic cells, inducing their maturation with increase of CD86 and with a slight down-regulation in the expression of MHCII molecules. These data suggest that E. granulosus EVs could interfere with the antigen presentation pathway of murine dendritic cells inducing immunoregulation in the host. Further studies are needed to better understand the role of these vesicles in parasite survival and as diagnostic markers and new vaccines.

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<![CDATA[The ectodomains of the lymphocyte scavenger receptors CD5 and CD6 interact with tegumental antigens from Echinococcus granulosus sensu lato and protect mice against secondary cystic echinococcosis]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c0ae451d5eed0c4845895e9

Background

Scavenger Receptors (SRs) from the host’s innate immune system are known to bind multiple ligands to promote the removal of non-self or altered-self targets. CD5 and CD6 are two highly homologous class I SRs mainly expressed on all T cells and the B1a cell subset, and involved in the fine tuning of activation and differentiation signals delivered by the antigen-specific receptors (TCR and BCR, respectively), to which they physically associate. Additionally, CD5 and CD6 have been shown to interact with and sense the presence of conserved pathogen-associated structures from bacteria, fungi and/or viruses.

Methodology/Principal findings

We report herein the interaction of CD5 and CD6 lymphocyte surface receptors with Echinococcus granulosus sensu lato (s.l.). Binding studies show that both soluble and membrane-bound forms of CD5 and CD6 bind to intact viable protoscoleces from E. granulosus s.l. through recognition of metaperiodate-resistant tegumental components. Proteomic analyses allowed identification of thioredoxin peroxidase for CD5, and peptidyl-prolyl cis-trans isomerase (cyclophilin) and endophilin B1 (antigen P-29) for CD6, as their potential interactors. Further in vitro assays demonstrate that membrane-bound or soluble CD5 and CD6 forms differentially modulate the pro- and anti-inflammatory cytokine release induced following peritoneal cells exposure to E. granulosus s.l. tegumental components. Importantly, prophylactic infusion of soluble CD5 or CD6 significantly ameliorated the infection outcome in the mouse model of secondary cystic echinococcosis.

Conclusions/Significance

Taken together, the results expand the pathogen binding properties of CD5 and CD6 and provide novel evidence for their therapeutic potential in human cystic echinococcosis.

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<![CDATA[Cystic Echinococcosis Epidemiology in Spain Based on Hospitalization Records, 1997-2012]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989dafaab0ee8fa60bc45e9

Background

Cystic echinococcosis (CE) is a parasitic disease caused by the tapeworm Echinococcus granulosus. Although present throughout Europe, deficiencies in the official reporting of CE result in under-reporting and misreporting of this disease, which in turn is reflected in the wrong opinion that CE is not an important health problem. By using an alternative data source, this study aimed at describing the clinical and temporal-spatial characteristics of CE hospitalizations in Spain between 1997 and 2012.

Methodology/Principal Findings

We performed a retrospective descriptive study using the Hospitalization Minimum Data Set (CMBD in Spanish). All CMBD’s hospital discharges with echinococcosis diagnosis placed in first diagnostic position were reviewed. Hospitalization rates were computed and clinical characteristics were described. Spatial and temporal distribution of hospital discharges was also assessed. Between 1997 and 2012, 14,010 hospitalizations with diagnosis of CE were recorded, 55% were men and 67% were aged over 45 years. Pediatric hospitalizations occurred during the whole study period. The 95.2% were discharged at home, and only 1.7% were exitus. The average cost was 8,439.11 €. The hospitalization rate per 100,000 per year showed a decreasing trend during the study period. All the autonomous communities registered discharges, even those considered as non-endemic. Maximum rates were reached by Extremadura, Castilla-Leon and Aragon. Comparison of the CMBD data and the official Compulsory Notifiable Diseases (CND) reports from 2005 to 2012 showed that official data were lower than registered hospitalization discharges.

Conclusions

Hospitalizations distribution was uneven by year and autonomous region. Although CE hospitalization rates have decreased considerably due to the success of control programs, it remains a public health problem due to its severity and economic impact. Therefore, it would be desirable to improve its oversight and surveillance, since officially reported data are underestimating the real burden of CE in Spain.

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<![CDATA[Body Condition Peaks at Intermediate Parasite Loads in the Common Bully Gobiomorphus cotidianus]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989d9d1ab0ee8fa60b644dd

Most ecologists and conservationists perceive parasitic infections as deleterious for the hosts. Their effects, however, depend on many factors including host body condition, parasite load and the life cycle of the parasite. More research into how multiple parasite taxa affect host body condition is required and will help us to better understand host-parasite coevolution. We used body condition indices, based on mass-length relationships, to test the effects that abundances and biomasses of six parasite taxa (five trematodes, Apatemon sp., Tylodelphys sp., Stegodexamene anguillae, Telogaster opisthorchis, Coitocaecum parvum, and the nematode Eustrongylides sp.) with different modes of transmission have on the body condition of their intermediate or final fish host, the common bully Gobiomorphus cotidianus in New Zealand. We used two alternative body condition methods, the Scaled Mass Index (SMI) and Fulton’s condition factor. General linear and hierarchical partitioning models consistently showed that fish body condition varied strongly across three lakes and seasons, and that most parasites did not have an effect on the two body condition indices. However, fish body condition showed a highly significant humpbacked relationship with the total abundance of all six parasite taxa, mostly driven by Apatemon sp. and S. anguillae, indicating that the effects of these parasites can range from positive to negative as abundance increases. Such a response was also evident in models including total parasite biomass. Our methodological comparison supports the SMI as the most robust mass-length method to examine the effects of parasitic infections on fish body condition, and suggests that linear, negative relationships between host condition and parasite load should not be assumed.

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<![CDATA[Characterisation of Antigen B Protein Species Present in the Hydatid Cyst Fluid of Echinococcus canadensis G7 Genotype]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db53ab0ee8fa60bdce70

The larva of cestodes belonging to the Echinococcus granulosus sensu lato (s.l.) complex causes cystic echinococcosis (CE). It is a globally distributed zoonosis with significant economic and public health impact. The most immunogenic and specific Echinococcus-genus antigen for human CE diagnosis is antigen B (AgB), an abundant lipoprotein of the hydatid cyst fluid (HF). The AgB protein moiety (apolipoprotein) is encoded by five genes (AgB1-AgB5), which generate mature 8 kDa proteins (AgB8/1-AgB8/5). These genes seem to be differentially expressed among Echinococcus species. Since AgB immunogenicity lies on its protein moiety, differences in AgB expression within E. granulosus s.l. complex might have diagnostic and epidemiological relevance for discriminating the contribution of distinct species to human CE. Interestingly, AgB2 was proposed as a pseudogene in E. canadensis, which is the second most common cause of human CE, but proteomic studies for verifying it have not been performed yet. Herein, we analysed the protein and lipid composition of AgB obtained from fertile HF of swine origin (E. canadensis G7 genotype). AgB apolipoproteins were identified and quantified using mass spectrometry tools. Results showed that AgB8/1 was the major protein component, representing 71% of total AgB apolipoproteins, followed by AgB8/4 (15.5%), AgB8/3 (13.2%) and AgB8/5 (0.3%). AgB8/2 was not detected. As a methodological control, a parallel analysis detected all AgB apolipoproteins in bovine fertile HF (G1/3/5 genotypes). Overall, E. canadensis AgB comprised mostly AgB8/1 together with a heterogeneous mixture of lipids, and AgB8/2 was not detected despite using high sensitivity proteomic techniques. This endorses genomic data supporting that AgB2 behaves as a pseudogene in G7 genotype. Since recombinant AgB8/2 has been found to be diagnostically valuable for human CE, our findings indicate that its use as antigen in immunoassays could contribute to false negative results in areas where E. canadensis circulates. Furthermore, the presence of anti-AgB8/2 antibodies in serum may represent a useful parameter to rule out E. canadensis infection when human CE is diagnosed.

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<![CDATA[Proteomic Analysis of Excretory-Secretory Products of Mesocestoides corti Metacestodes Reveals Potential Suppressors of Dendritic Cell Functions]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da24ab0ee8fa60b80016

Accumulating evidences have assigned a central role to parasite-derived proteins in immunomodulation. Here, we report on the proteomic identification and characterization of immunomodulatory excretory-secretory (ES) products from the metacestode larva (tetrathyridium) of the tapeworm Mesocestoides corti (syn. M. vogae). We demonstrate that ES products but not larval homogenates inhibit the stimuli-driven release of the pro-inflammatory, Th1-inducing cytokine IL-12p70 by murine bone marrow-derived dendritic cells (BMDCs). Within the ES fraction, we biochemically narrowed down the immunosuppressive activity to glycoproteins since active components were lipid-free, but sensitive to heat- and carbohydrate-treatment. Finally, using bioassay-guided chromatographic analyses assisted by comparative proteomics of active and inactive fractions of the ES products, we defined a comprehensive list of candidate proteins released by M. corti tetrathyridia as potential suppressors of DC functions. Our study provides a comprehensive library of somatic and ES products and highlight some candidate parasite factors that might drive the subversion of DC functions to facilitate the persistence of M. corti tetrathyridia in their hosts.

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<![CDATA[Prevalence of Liver Fluke (Fasciola hepatica) in Wild Red Deer (Cervus elaphus): Coproantigen ELISA Is a Practicable Alternative to Faecal Egg Counting for Surveillance in Remote Populations]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da02ab0ee8fa60b746b6

Red deer (Cervus elaphus) are hosts of liver fluke (Fasciola hepatica); yet, prevalence is rarely quantified in wild populations. Testing fresh samples from remote regions by faecal examination (FE) can be logistically challenging; hence, we appraise frozen storage and the use of a coproantigen ELISA (cELISA) for F. hepatica surveillance. We also present cELISA surveillance data for red deer from the Highlands of Scotland. Diagnoses in faecal samples (207 frozen, 146 fresh) were compared using a cELISA and by FE. For each storage method (frozen or fresh), agreement between the two diagnostics was estimated at individual and population levels, where population prevalence was stratified into cohorts (e.g., by sampling location). To approximate sensitivity and specificity, 65 post-slaughter whole liver examinations were used as a reference. At the individual level, FE and cELISA diagnoses agreed moderately (κfrozen = 0.46; κfresh = 0.51), a likely reflection of their underlying principles. At the population level, FE and cELISA cohort prevalence correlated strongly (Pearson’s R = 0.89, p < 0.0001), reflecting good agreement on relative differences between cohort prevalence. In frozen samples, prevalence by cELISA exceeded FE overall (42.8% vs. 25.8%) and in 9/12 cohorts, alluding to differences in sensitivity; though, in fresh samples, no significant difference was found. In 959 deer tested by cELISA across the Scottish Highlands, infection prevalence ranged from 9.6% to 53% by sampling location. We highlight two key advantages of cELISA over FE: i) the ability to store samples long term (frozen) without apparent loss in diagnostic power; and ii) reduced labour and the ability to process large batches. Further evaluation of cELISA sensitivity in red deer, where a range of fluke burdens can be obtained, is desirable. In the interim, the cELISA is a practicable diagnostic for F. hepatica surveillance in red deer, and its application here has revealed considerable geographic, temporal, sex and age related differences in F. hepatica prevalence in wild Scottish Highland red deer.

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<![CDATA[Identification of Chalcones as Fasciola hepatica Cathepsin L Inhibitors Using a Comprehensive Experimental and Computational Approach]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989d9ffab0ee8fa60b737b3

Background

Increased reports of human infections have led fasciolosis, a widespread disease of cattle and sheep caused by the liver flukes Fasciola hepatica and Fasciola gigantica, to be considered an emerging zoonotic disease. Chemotherapy is the main control measure available, and triclabendazole is the preferred drug since is effective against both juvenile and mature parasites. However, resistance to triclabendazole has been reported in several countries urging the search of new chemical entities and target molecules to control fluke infections.

Methodology/Principle Findings

We searched a library of forty flavonoid derivatives for inhibitors of key stage specific Fasciola hepatica cysteine proteases (FhCL3 and FhCL1). Chalcones substituted with phenyl and naphtyl groups emerged as good cathepsin L inhibitors, interacting more frequently with two putative binding sites within the active site cleft of the enzymes. One of the compounds, C34, tightly bounds to juvenile specific FhCL3 with an IC50 of 5.6 μM. We demonstrated that C34 is a slow-reversible inhibitor that interacts with the Cys-His catalytic dyad and key S2 and S3 pocket residues, determinants of the substrate specificity of this family of cysteine proteases. Interestingly, C34 induces a reduction in NEJ ability to migrate through the gut wall and a loss of motility phenotype that leads to NEJ death within a week in vitro, while it is not cytotoxic to bovine cells.

Conclusions/Significance

Up to date there are no reports of in vitro screening for non-peptidic inhibitors of Fasciola hepatica cathepsins, while in general these are considered as the best strategy for in vivo inhibition. We have identified chalcones as novel inhibitors of the two main Cathepsins secreted by juvenile and adult liver flukes. Interestingly, one compound (C34) is highly active towards the juvenile enzyme reducing larval ability to penetrate the gut wall and decreasing NEJ´s viability in vitro. These findings open new avenues for the development of novel agents to control fluke infection and possibly other helminthic diseases.

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<![CDATA[Profound Activity of the Anti-cancer Drug Bortezomib against Echinococcus multilocularis Metacestodes Identifies the Proteasome as a Novel Drug Target for Cestodes]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da8bab0ee8fa60b9e121

A library of 426 FDA-approved drugs was screened for in vitro activity against E. multilocularis metacestodes employing the phosphoglucose isomerase (PGI) assay. Initial screening at 20 µM revealed that 7 drugs induced considerable metacestode damage, and further dose-response studies revealed that bortezomib (BTZ), a proteasome inhibitor developed for the chemotherapy of myeloma, displayed high anti-metacestodal activity with an EC50 of 0.6 µM. BTZ treatment of E. multilocularis metacestodes led to an accumulation of ubiquinated proteins and unequivocally parasite death. In-gel zymography assays using E. multilocularis extracts demonstrated BTZ-mediated inhibition of protease activity in a band of approximately 23 kDa, the same size at which the proteasome subunit beta 5 of E. multilocularis could be detected by Western blot. Balb/c mice experimentally infected with E. multilocularis metacestodes were used to assess BTZ treatment, starting at 6 weeks post-infection by intraperitoneal injection of BTZ. This treatment led to reduced parasite weight, but to a degree that was not statistically significant, and it induced adverse effects such as diarrhea and neurological symptoms. In conclusion, the proteasome was identified as a drug target in E. multilocularis metacestodes that can be efficiently inhibited by BTZ in vitro. However, translation of these findings into in vivo efficacy requires further adjustments of treatment regimens using BTZ, or possibly other proteasome inhibitors.

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<![CDATA[Planarian Phototactic Assay Reveals Differential Behavioral Responses Based on Wavelength]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989daefab0ee8fa60bc0a7d

Planarians are free-living aquatic flatworms that possess a well-documented photophobic response to light. With a true central nervous system and simple cerebral eyes (ocelli), planarians are an emerging model for regenerative eye research. However, comparatively little is known about the physiology of their photoreception or how their behavior is affected by various wavelengths. Most phototactic studies have examined planarian behavior using white light. Here, we describe a novel planarian behavioral assay to test responses to small ranges of visible wavelengths (red, blue, green), as well as ultraviolet (UV) and infrared (IR) which have not previously been examined. Our data show that planarians display behavioral responses across a range of wavelengths. These responses occur in a hierarchy, with the shortest wavelengths (UV) causing the most intense photophobic responses while longer wavelengths produce no effect (red) or an apparent attraction (IR). In addition, our data reveals that planarian photophobia is comprised of both a general photophobic response (that drives planarians to escape the light source regardless of wavelength) and wavelength-specific responses that encompass specific behavioral reactions to individual wavelengths. Our results serve to improve the understanding of planarian phototaxis and suggest that behavioral studies performed with white light mask a complex behavioral interaction with the environment.

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<![CDATA[Csseverin inhibits apoptosis through mitochondria-mediated pathways triggered by Ca2 + dyshomeostasis in hepatocarcinoma PLC cells]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5ab1a689463d7e61e5d2dec1

Background

Numerous experimental and epidemiological studies have demonstrated a link between Clonorchis sinensis (C. sinensis) infestation and cholangiocarcinoma (CCA) as well as hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). The underlying molecular mechanism involved in the malignancy of CCA and HCC has not yet been addressed. Csseverin, a component of the excretory/secretory products of C. sinensis (CsESPs), was confirmed to cause obvious apoptotic inhibition in the human HCC cell line PLC. However, the antiapoptotic mechanism is unclear. In the present study, we investigated the cellular features of the antiapoptotic mechanism upon transfection of the Csseverin gene.

Methods

In the present study, we evaluated the effects of Csseverin gene overexpression on the apoptosis of PLC cells using an Annexin PE/7-AAD assay. Western blotting was applied to quantify the activation of caspase-3 and caspase-9, the mitochondrial translocation of Bax and the release of Cyt c upon Csseverin overexpression in PLC cells. Laser scanning confocal microscopy was used to analyze the changes of intracellular calcium. Fluorescence assay and immunofluorescence assays were performed to observe the changes of the mitochondrial permeability transition pore (MPTP).

Results

The overexpression of Csseverin in PLC cells showed apoptosis resistance after the induction of apoptosis. Additionally, the activation of caspase-3 and caspase-9 was specifically weakened in Csseverin overexpression PLC cells. The overexpression of Csseverin reduced the increase in intracellular free Ca2+, thereby inhibiting MPTP opening in PLC cells. Moreover, Bax mitochondrial translocation and the subsequent release of Cyt c were downregulated in apoptotic Csseverin overexpression PLC cells.

Conclusions

The present findings suggest that Csseverin, a component of CsESPs, confers protection from human HCC cell apoptosis via the inactivation of membranous Ca2+ channels. Csseverin might be involved in the process of HCC through C. sinensis infestation in affected patients.

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<![CDATA[Comparison of the Diagnostic Accuracy of Three Rapid Tests for the Serodiagnosis of Hepatic Cystic Echinococcosis in Humans]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da82ab0ee8fa60b9b2d3

Background

The diagnosis of cystic echinococcosis (CE) is based primarily on imaging, in particular with ultrasound for abdominal CE, complemented by serology when imaging results are unclear. In rural endemic areas, where expertise in ultrasound may be scant and conventional serology techniques are unavailable due to lack of laboratory equipment, Rapid Diagnostic Tests (RDTs) are appealing.

Methodology/Principal Findings

We evaluated the diagnostic accuracy of 3 commercial RDTs for the diagnosis of hepatic CE. Sera from 59 patients with single hepatic CE cysts in well-defined ultrasound stages (gold standard) and 25 patients with non-parasitic cysts were analyzed by RDTs VIRapid HYDATIDOSIS (Vircell, Spain), Echinococcus DIGFA (Unibiotest, China), ADAMU-CE (ICST, Japan), and by RIDASCREEN Echinococcus IgG ELISA (R-Biopharm, Germany). Sensitivity, specificity and ROC curves were compared with McNemar and t-test. For VIRapid and DIGFA, correlation between semiquantitative results and ELISA OD values were evaluated by Spearman’s coefficient. Reproducibility was assessed on 16 randomly selected sera with Cohen’s Kappa coefficient. Sensitivity and Specificity of VIRapid (74%, 96%) and ADAMU-CE (57%, 100%) did not differ from ELISA (69%, 96%) while DIGFA (72%, 72%) did (p = 0.045). ADAMU-CE was significantly less sensitive in the diagnosis of active cysts (p = 0.019) while DIGFA was significantly less specific (p = 0.014) compared to ELISA. All tests were poorly sensitive in diagnosing inactive cysts (33.3% ELISA and ADAMU-CE, 42.8% DIGFA, 47.6% VIRapid). The reproducibility of all RDTs was good-very good. Band intensity of VIRapid and DIGFA correlated with ELISA OD values (r = 0.76 and r = 0.79 respectively, p<0.001).

Conclusions/Significance

RDTs may be useful in resource-poor settings to complement ultrasound diagnosis of CE in uncertain cases. VIRapid test appears to perform best among the examined kits, but all tests are poorly sensitive in the presence of inactive cysts, which may pose problems with accurate diagnosis.

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<![CDATA[Mathematical algorithm for the automatic recognition of intestinal parasites]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db53ab0ee8fa60bdcc35

Parasitic infections are generally diagnosed by professionals trained to recognize the morphological characteristics of the eggs in microscopic images of fecal smears. However, this laboratory diagnosis requires medical specialists which are lacking in many of the areas where these infections are most prevalent. In response to this public health issue, we developed a software based on pattern recognition analysis from microscopi digital images of fecal smears, capable of automatically recognizing and diagnosing common human intestinal parasites. To this end, we selected 229, 124, 217, and 229 objects from microscopic images of fecal smears positive for Taenia sp., Trichuris trichiura, Diphyllobothrium latum, and Fasciola hepatica, respectively. Representative photographs were selected by a parasitologist. We then implemented our algorithm in the open source program SCILAB. The algorithm processes the image by first converting to gray-scale, then applies a fourteen step filtering process, and produces a skeletonized and tri-colored image. The features extracted fall into two general categories: geometric characteristics and brightness descriptions. Individual characteristics were quantified and evaluated with a logistic regression to model their ability to correctly identify each parasite separately. Subsequently, all algorithms were evaluated for false positive cross reactivity with the other parasites studied, excepting Taenia sp. which shares very few morphological characteristics with the others. The principal result showed that our algorithm reached sensitivities between 99.10%-100% and specificities between 98.13%- 98.38% to detect each parasite separately. We did not find any cross-positivity in the algorithms for the three parasites evaluated. In conclusion, the results demonstrated the capacity of our computer algorithm to automatically recognize and diagnose Taenia sp., Trichuris trichiura, Diphyllobothrium latum, and Fasciola hepatica with a high sensitivity and specificity.

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<![CDATA[Specific Gene Expression Responses to Parasite Genotypes Reveal Redundancy of Innate Immunity in Vertebrates]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da5aab0ee8fa60b8fbf1

Vertebrate innate immunity is the first line of defense against an invading pathogen and has long been assumed to be largely unspecific with respect to parasite/pathogen species. However, recent phenotypic evidence suggests that immunogenetic variation, i.e. allelic variability in genes associated with the immune system, results in host-parasite genotype-by-genotype interactions and thus specific innate immune responses. Immunogenetic variation is common in all vertebrate taxa and this reflects an effective immunological function in complex environments. However, the underlying variability in host gene expression patterns as response of innate immunity to within-species genetic diversity of macroparasites in vertebrates is unknown. We hypothesized that intra-specific variation among parasite genotypes must be reflected in host gene expression patterns. Here we used high-throughput RNA-sequencing to examine the effect of parasite genotypes on gene expression patterns of a vertebrate host, the three-spined stickleback (Gasterosteus aculeatus). By infecting naïve fish with distinct trematode genotypes of the species Diplostomum pseudospathaceum we show that gene activity of innate immunity in three-spined sticklebacks depended on the identity of an infecting macroparasite genotype. In addition to a suite of genes indicative for a general response against the trematode we also find parasite-strain specific gene expression, in particular in the complement system genes, despite similar infection rates of single clone treatments. The observed discrepancy between infection rates and gene expression indicates the presence of alternative pathways which execute similar functions. This suggests that the innate immune system can induce redundant responses specific to parasite genotypes.

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<![CDATA[Biliary Microbiota, Gallstone Disease and Infection with Opisthorchis felineus]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da8fab0ee8fa60b9f44c

Background

There is increasing interest in the microbiome of the hepatobiliary system. This study investigated the influence of infection with the fish-borne liver fluke, Opisthorchis felineus on the biliary microbiome of residents of the Tomsk region of western Siberia.

Methodology/Principal Findings

Samples of bile were provided by 56 study participants, half of who were infected with O. felineus, and all of who were diagnosed with gallstone disease. The microbiota of the bile was investigated using high throughput, Illumina-based sequencing targeting the prokaryotic 16S rRNA gene. About 2,797, discrete phylotypes of prokaryotes were detected. At the level of phylum, bile from participants with opisthorchiasis showed greater numbers of Synergistetes, Spirochaetes, Planctomycetes, TM7 and Verrucomicrobia. Numbers of > 20 phylotypes differed in bile of the O. felineus-infected compared to non-infected participants, including presence of species of the genera Mycoplana, Cellulosimicrobium, Microlunatus and Phycicoccus, and the Archaeans genus, Halogeometricum, and increased numbers of Selenomonas, Bacteroides, Rothia, Leptotrichia, Lactobacillus, Treponema and Klebsiella.

Conclusions/Significance

Overall, infection with the liver fluke O. felineus modified the biliary microbiome, increasing abundance of bacterial and archaeal phylotypes.

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