ResearchPad - schistosoma https://www.researchpad.co Default RSS Feed en-us © 2020 Newgen KnowledgeWorks <![CDATA[Democratizing water monitoring: Implementation of a community-based qPCR monitoring program for recreational water hazards]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_14486 Recreational water monitoring can be challenging due to the highly variable nature of pathogens and indicator concentrations, the myriad of potential biological hazards to measure for, and numerous access points, both official and unofficial, that are used for recreation. The aim of this study was to develop, deploy, and assess the effectiveness of a quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) community-based monitoring (CBM) program for the assessment of bacterial and parasitic hazards in recreational water. This study developed methodologies for performing qPCR ‘in the field,’ then engaged with water management and monitoring groups and tested the method in a real-world implementation study to evaluate the accuracy of CBM using qPCR both quantitatively and qualitatively. This study found high reproducibility between qPCR results performed by non-expert field users and expert laboratory results, suggesting that qPCR as a methodology could be amenable to a CBM program.

]]>
<![CDATA[Crystal structures of Triosephosphate Isomerases from Taenia solium and Schistosoma mansoni provide insights for vaccine rationale and drug design against helminth parasites]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/N340e3046-cb91-4c84-8d1b-fb2a65cf4cdb

Triosephosphate isomerases (TPIs) from Taenia solium (TsTPI) and Schistosoma mansoni (SmTPI) are potential vaccine and drug targets against cysticercosis and schistosomiasis, respectively. This is due to the dependence of parasitic helminths on glycolysis and because those proteins elicit an immune response, presumably due to their surface localization. Here we report the crystal structures of TsTPI and SmTPI in complex with 2-phosphoglyceric acid (2-PGA). Both TPIs fold into a dimeric (β-α)8 barrel in which the dimer interface consists of α-helices 2, 3, and 4, and swapping of loop 3. TPIs from parasitic helminths harbor a region of three amino acids knows as the SXD/E insert (S155 to E157 and S157 to D159 in TsTPI and SmTPI, respectively). This insert is located between α5 and β6 and is proposed to be the main TPI epitope. This region is part of a solvent-exposed 310–helix that folds into a hook-like structure. The crystal structures of TsTPI and SmTPI predicted conformational epitopes that could be used for vaccine design. Surprisingly, the epitopes corresponding to the SXD/E inserts are not the ones with the greatest immunological potential. SmTPI, but not TsTPI, habors a sole solvent exposed cysteine (SmTPI-S230) and alterations in this residue decrease catalysis. The latter suggests that thiol-conjugating agents could be used to target SmTPI. In sum, the crystal structures of SmTPI and TsTPI are a blueprint for targeted schistosomiasis and cysticercosis drug and vaccine development.

]]>
<![CDATA[A novel cell-free method to culture Schistosoma mansoni from cercariae to juvenile worm stages for in vitro drug testing]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c58d63ed5eed0c484031973

Background

The arsenal in anthelminthic treatment against schistosomiasis is limited and relies almost exclusively on a single drug, praziquantel (PZQ). Thus, resistance to PZQ could constitute a major threat. Even though PZQ is potent in killing adult worms, its activity against earlier stages is limited. Current in vitro drug screening strategies depend on newly transformed schistosomula (NTS) for initial hit identification, thereby limiting sensitivity to new compounds predominantly active in later developmental stages. Therefore, the aim of this study was to establish a highly standardized, straightforward and reliable culture method to generate and maintain advanced larval stages in vitro. We present here how this method can be a valuable tool to test drug efficacy at each intermediate larval stage, reducing the reliance on animal use (3Rs).

Methodology/Principal findings

Cercariae were mechanically transformed into skin-stage (SkS) schistosomula and successfully cultured for up to four weeks with no loss in viability in a commercially available medium. Under these serum- and cell-free conditions, development halted at the lung-stage (LuS). However, the addition of human serum (HSe) propelled further development into liver stage (LiS) worms within eight weeks. Skin and lung stages, as well as LiS, were submitted to 96-well drug screening assays using known anti-schistosomal compounds such as PZQ, oxamniquine (OXM), mefloquine (MFQ) and artemether (ART). Our findings showed stage-dependent differences in larval susceptibility to these compounds.

Conclusion

With this robust and highly standardized in vitro assay, important developmental stages of S. mansoni up to LiS worms can be generated and maintained over prolonged periods of time. The phenotype of LiS worms, when exposed to reference drugs, was comparable to most previously published works for ex vivo harvested adult worms. Therefore, this in vitro assay can help reduce reliance on animal experiments in search for new anti-schistosomal drugs.

]]>
<![CDATA[Population genetic structure and geographical variation in Neotricula aperta (Gastropoda: Pomatiopsidae), the snail intermediate host of Schistosoma mekongi (Digenea: Schistosomatidae)]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c58d632d5eed0c48403188e

Background

Neotricula aperta is the snail-intermediate host of the parasitic blood-fluke Schistosoma mekongi which causes Mekong schistosomiasis in Cambodia and the Lao PDR. Despite numerous phylogenetic studies only one DNA-sequence based population-genetic study of N. aperta had been published, and the origin, structure and persistence of N. aperta were poorly understood. Consequently, a phylogenetic and population genetic study was performed, with addition of new data to pre-existing DNA-sequences for N. aperta from remote and inaccessible habitats, including one new taxon from Laos and 505 bp of additional DNA-sequence for all sampled taxa,.

Principal findings

Spatial Principal Component Analysis revealed the presence of significant spatial-genetic clustering. Genetic-distance-based clustering indicated four populations with near perfect match to a priori defined ecogeographical regions. Spring-dwelling taxa were found to form an ecological isolate relative to other N. aperta. The poor dispersal capabilities suggested by spatial-genetic analyses were confirmed by Bayesian inference of migration rates. Population divergence time estimation implied a mid-Miocene colonisation of the present range, with immediate and rapid radiation in each ecogeographical region. Estimated effective population sizes were large (120–310 thousand).

Conclusions

The strong spatial-genetic structure confirmed the poor dispersal capabilities of N. aperta—suggesting human-mediated reintroduction of disease to controlled areas as the primary reason for control failure. The isolation of the spring-dwelling taxa and ecogeographical structure suggests adaptation of sub-populations to different habitats; the epidemiological significance of this needs investigation. The large effective population sizes indicate that the high population densities observed in surveyed habitats are also present in inaccessible areas; affording great potential for recrudescence driven by animal-reservoir transmission in remote streams. Mid-Miocene colonisation implies heterochronous evolution of these snails and associated schistosomes and suggests against coevolution of snail and parasite. Heterochronicity favours ecological factors as shapers of host-parasite specificity and greater potential for escape from schistosomiasis control through host-switching.

]]>
<![CDATA[A Biomphalaria glabrata peptide that stimulates significant behaviour modifications in aquatic free-living Schistosoma mansoni miracidia]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c50c464d5eed0c4845e86d4

The human disease schistosomiasis (or bilharzia) is caused by the helminth blood fluke parasite Schistosoma mansoni, which requires an intermediate host, the freshwater gastropod snail Biomphalaria glabrata (the most common intermediate host). The free-swimming parasite miracidia utilise an excellent chemosensory sense to detect and locate an appropriate host. This study investigated the biomolecules released by the snail that stimulate changes in the behaviour of the aquatic S. mansoni miracidia. To achieve this, we have performed an integrated analysis of the snail-conditioned water, through chromatography and bioassay-guided behaviour observations, followed by mass spectrometry. A single fraction containing multiple putative peptides could stimulate extreme swimming behaviour modifications (e.g. velocity, angular variation) similar to those observed in response to crude snail mucus. One peptide (P12;—R-DITSGLDPEVADD-KR—) could replicate the stimulation of miracidia behaviour changes. P12 is derived from a larger precursor protein with a signal peptide and multiple dibasic cleavage sites, which is synthesised in various tissues of the snail, including the central nervous system and foot. P12 consists of an alpha helix secondary structure as indicated by circular dichroism spectroscopy. This information will be helpful for the development of approaches to manipulate this parasites life cycle, and opens up new avenues for exploring other parasitic diseases which have an aquatic phase using methods detailed in this investigation.

]]>
<![CDATA[A secreted schistosome cathepsin B1 cysteine protease and acute schistosome infection induce a transient T helper 17 response]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c4a305fd5eed0c4844bfeae

The natural history of schistosome infection in the mammalian host is determined by CD4+ T helper responses mounted against different parasite life cycle stages. A T helper 2 (TH2) response to schistosome eggs is required for host survival and establishment of chronic infection. However, a TH2 cell-derived cytokine also contributes to an immune milieu that is conducive to schistosome growth and development. Thus, the same responses that allow for host survival have been co-opted by schistosomes to facilitate parasite development and transmission, underscoring the significance of CD4+ T cell responses to both worms and eggs in the natural history of schistosome infection. Here we show that a cathepsin B1 cysteine protease secreted by schistosome worms not only induces TH2 responses, but also TH1 and TH17 responses, by a mechanism that is dependent on the proteolytic activity of the enzyme. Further investigation revealed that, in addition to the expected TH1 and TH2 responses, acute schistosome infection also induces a transient TH17 response that is rapidly down-regulated at the onset of oviposition. TH17 responses are implicated in the development of severe egg-induced pathology. The regulation of worm-induced TH17 responses during acute infection could therefore influence the expression of high and low pathology states as infection progresses.

]]>
<![CDATA[Whole-genome sequence of the bovine blood fluke Schistosoma bovis supports interspecific hybridization with S. haematobium]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c52186ad5eed0c4847981f8

Mesenteric infection by the parasitic blood fluke Schistosoma bovis is a common veterinary problem in Africa and the Middle East and occasionally in the Mediterranean Region. The species also has the ability to form interspecific hybrids with the human parasite S. haematobium with natural hybridisation observed in West Africa, presenting possible zoonotic transmission. Additionally, this exchange of alleles between species may dramatically influence disease dynamics and parasite evolution. We have generated a 374 Mb assembly of the S. bovis genome using Illumina and PacBio-based technologies. Despite infecting different hosts and organs, the genome sequences of S. bovis and S. haematobium appeared strikingly similar with 97% sequence identity. The two species share 98% of protein-coding genes, with an average sequence identity of 97.3% at the amino acid level. Genome comparison identified large continuous parts of the genome (up to several 100 kb) showing almost 100% sequence identity between S. bovis and S. haematobium. It is unlikely that this is a result of genome conservation and provides further evidence of natural interspecific hybridization between S. bovis and S. haematobium. Our results suggest that foreign DNA obtained by interspecific hybridization was maintained in the population through multiple meiosis cycles and that hybrids were sexually reproductive, producing viable offspring. The S. bovis genome assembly forms a highly valuable resource for studying schistosome evolution and exploring genetic regions that are associated with species-specific phenotypic traits.

]]>
<![CDATA[Follow-up study of high-dose praziquantel therapy for cerebral sparganosis]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c466524d5eed0c484517a5b

Background

Cerebral sparganosis is the most serious complication of human sparganosis. Currently, there is no standard for the treatment of inoperable patients. Conventional-dose praziquantel therapy is the most reported treatment. However, the therapeutic outcomes are not very effective. High-dose praziquantel therapy is a useful therapeutic choice for many parasitic diseases that is well tolerated by patients, but it has not been sufficiently evaluated for cerebral sparganosis. This study aims to observe the prognoses following high-dose praziquantel therapy in inoperable patients and the roles of MRI and peripheral eosinophil absolute counts during follow-up.

Methodology

Baseline and follow-up epidemiological, clinical, radiological and therapeutic data related to 10 inoperable patients with cerebral sparganosis that were treated with repeated courses of high-dose praziquantel therapy, with each course consisting of 25 mg/kg thrice daily for 10 days were assessed, followed by analyses of the prognoses, MRI findings and peripheral eosinophil absolute counts.

Principal findings

Baseline clinical data: the clinical symptoms recorded included seizures, hemiparesis, headache, vomiting and altered mental status. Peripheral blood eosinophilia was found in 3 patients. The baseline radiological findings were as follows. Motile lesions were observed in 10 patients, including aggregated ring-like enhancements, tunnel signs, serpiginous and irregular enhancements. Nine of the 10 patients had varying degrees of white matter degeneration, cortical atrophy and ipsilateral ventricle dilation. The follow-up clinical data were as follows. Clinical symptom relief was found in 8 patients, symptoms were eliminated in 1 patient, and symptoms showed no change from baseline in 1 patient. Peripheral blood eosinophilia was found in 2 patients. The follow-up radiological findings were as follows. Motile lesions that were transformed into stable, chronic lesions were found in 8 patients, and motile lesions that were eliminated completely were found in 2 patients.

Conclusions

High-dose praziquantel therapy for cerebral sparganosis is effective. The radiological outcomes of motile lesions are an important indicator during the treatment process, especially during follow-ups after clinical symptoms have improved. Peripheral eosinophil absolute counts cannot be used as an effective prognostic indicator.

]]>
<![CDATA[General contextual effects on neglected tropical disease risk in rural Kenya]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c269762d5eed0c48470f5f8

The neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) are characterized by their tendency to cluster within groups of people, typically the poorest and most marginalized. Despite this, measures of clustering, such as within-group correlation or between-group heterogeneity, are rarely reported from community-based studies of NTD risk. We describe a general contextual analysis that uses multi-level models to partition and quantify variation in individual NTD risk at multiple grouping levels in rural Kenya. The importance of general contextual effects (GCE) in structuring variation in individual infection with Schistosoma mansoni, the soil-transmitted helminths, Taenia species, and Entamoeba histolytica/dispar was examined at the household-, sublocation- and constituency-levels using variance partition/intra-class correlation co-efficients and median odds ratios. These were compared with GCE for HIV, Plasmodium falciparum and Mycobacterium tuberculosis. The role of place of residence in shaping infection risk was further assessed using the spatial scan statistic. Individuals from the same household showed correlation in infection for all pathogens, and this was consistently highest for the gastrointestinal helminths. The lowest levels of household clustering were observed for E. histolytica/dispar, P. falciparum and M. tuberculosis. Substantial heterogeneity in individual infection risk was observed between sublocations for S. mansoni and Taenia solium cysticercosis and between constituencies for infection with S. mansoni, Trichuris trichiura and Ascaris lumbricoides. Large overlapping spatial clusters were detected for S. mansoni, T. trichiura, A. lumbricoides, and Taenia spp., which overlapped a large cluster of elevated HIV risk. Important place-based heterogeneities in infection risk exist in this community, and these GCEs are greater for the NTDs and HIV than for TB and malaria. Our findings suggest that broad-scale contextual drivers shape infectious disease risk in this population, but these effects operate at different grouping-levels for different pathogens. A general contextual analysis can provide a foundation for understanding the complex ecology of NTDs and contribute to the targeting of interventions.

]]>
<![CDATA[Antagonistic effects of Plasmodium-helminth co-infections on malaria pathology in different population groups in Côte d’Ivoire]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c40f783d5eed0c4843862ba

Introduction

Plasmodium spp. and helminths are co-endemic in many parts of the tropics; hence, co-infection is a common phenomenon. Interactions between Plasmodium and helminth infections may alter the host’s immune response and susceptibility and thus impact on morbidity. There is little information on the direction and magnitude of such interactions and results are conflicting. This study aimed at shedding new light on the potential interactions of Plasmodium and helminth co-infections on anemia and splenomegaly in different population groups in Côte d’Ivoire.

Methodology

Parasitologic and clinical data were obtained from four cross-sectional community-based studies and a national school-based survey conducted between 2011 and 2013 in Côte d’Ivoire. Six scenarios of co-infection pairs defined as Plasmodium infection or high parasitemia, combined with one of three common helminth infections (i.e., Schistosoma mansoni, S. haematobium, and hookworm) served for analysis. Adjusted logistic regression models were built for each scenario and interaction measures on additive scale calculated according to Rothman et al., while an interaction term in the model served as multiplicative scale measure.

Principal findings

All identified significant interactions were of antagonistic nature but varied in magnitude and species combination. In study participants aged 5–18 years from community-based studies, Plasmodium-hookworm co-infection showed an antagonistic interaction on additive scale on splenomegaly, while Plasmodium-Schistosoma co-infection scenarios showed protective effects on multiplicative scale for anemia and splenomegaly in participants aged 5–16 years from a school-based study.

Conclusions/Significance

No exacerbation from co-infection with Plasmodium and helminths was observed, neither in participants aged 5–18 years nor in adults from the community-based studies. Future studies should unravel underlying mechanisms of the observed interactions, as this knowledge might help shaping control efforts against these diseases of poverty.

]]>
<![CDATA[Safety and efficacy of the rSh28GST urinary schistosomiasis vaccine: A phase 3 randomized, controlled trial in Senegalese children]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c141e74d5eed0c484d26b2e

Background

Urinary schistosomiasis, the result of infection by Schistosoma haematobium (Sh), remains a major global health concern. A schistosome vaccine could represent a breakthrough in schistosomiasis control strategies, which are presently based on treatment with praziquantel (PZQ). We report the safety and efficacy of the vaccine candidate recombinant 28-kDa glutathione S-transferase of Sh (rSh28GST) designated as Bilhvax, in a phase 3 trial conducted in Senegal.

Methods and findings

After clearance of their ongoing schistosomiasis infection with two doses of PZQ, 250 children aged 6–9 years were randomized to receive three subcutaneous injections of either rSh28GST/Alhydrogel (Bilhvax group) or Alhydrogel alone (control group) at week 0 (W0), W4, and W8 and then a booster at W52 (one year after the first injection). PZQ treatment was given at W44, according to previous phase 2 results. The primary endpoint of the analysis was efficacy, evaluated as a delay of recurrence of urinary schistosomiasis, defined by a microhematuria associated with at least one living Sh egg in urine from baseline to W152. During the 152-week follow-up period, there was no difference between study arms in the incidence of serious adverse events. The median follow-up time for subjects without recurrence was 22.9 months for the Bilhvax group and 18.8 months for the control group (log-rank p = 0.27). At W152, 108 children had experienced at least one recurrence in the Bilhvax group versus 112 in the control group. Specific immunoglobulin (Ig)G1, IgG2, and IgG4, but not IgG3 or IgA titers, were increased in the vaccine group.

Conclusions

While Bilhvax was immunogenic and well tolerated by infected children, a sufficient efficacy was not reached. The lack of effect may be the result of several factors, including interference by individual PZQ treatments administered each time a child was found infected, or the chosen vaccine-injection regimen favoring blocking IgG4 rather than protective IgG3 antibodies. These observations contrasting with results obtained in experimental models will help in the design of future trials.

Trial registration

ClinicalTrials.gov NCT 00870649

]]>
<![CDATA[Schistosomiasis is associated with incident HIV transmission and death in Zambia]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c1c0ab8d5eed0c484426956

Background

We examined relationships between schistosome infection, HIV transmission or acquisition, and all-cause death.

Methods

We retrospectively tested baseline sera from a heterosexual HIV-discordant couple cohort in Lusaka, Zambia with follow-up from 1994–2012 in a nested case-control design. Schistosome-specific antibody levels were measured by ELISA. Associations between baseline antibody response to schistosome antigens and incident HIV transmission, acquisition, and all-cause death stratified by gender and HIV status were assessed. In a subset of HIV- women and HIV+ men, we performed immunoblots to evaluate associations between Schistosoma haematobium or Schistosoma mansoni infection history and HIV incidence.

Results

Of 2,145 individuals, 59% had positive baseline schistosome-specific antibody responses. In HIV+ women and men, baseline schistosome-specific antibodies were associated with HIV transmission to partners (adjusted hazard ratio [aHR] = 1.8, p<0.005 and aHR = 1.4, p<0.05, respectively) and death in HIV+ women (aHR = 2.2, p<0.001). In 250 HIV- women, presence of S. haematobium-specific antibodies was associated with increased risk of HIV acquisition (aHR = 1.4, p<0.05).

Conclusion

Schistosome infections were associated with increased transmission of HIV from both sexes, acquisition of HIV in women, and increased progression to death in HIV+ women. Establishing effective prevention and treatment strategies for schistosomiasis, including in urban adults, may reduce HIV incidence and death in HIV+ persons living in endemic areas.

]]>
<![CDATA[Liver ultrasound elastography for the evaluation of periportal fibrosis in schistosomiasis mansoni: A cross-sectional study]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5bf86f34d5eed0c48405a506

Background

ARFI elastrography has been used as a noninvasive method to assess the severity of liver fibrosis in viral hepatitis, although with few studies in schistosomiasis mansoni. We aimed to evaluate the performance of point shear wave elastography (pSWE) for predicting significant periportal fibrosis (PPF) in schistosomotic patients and to determine its best cutoff point.

Methodology/principal findings

This cross-sectional study included 358 adult schistosomotic patients subjected to US and pSWE on the right lobe. Two hundred two patients (62.0%) were women, with a median age of 54 (ranging 18–92) years. The pSWE measurements were compared to the US patterns of PPF, as gold standard, according to the Niamey classification. The performance of pSWE was calculated as the area under the ROC curve (AUC). Patients were further classified into two groups: 86 patients with mild PPF and 272 patients with significant PPF. The median pSWE of the significant fibrosis group was higher (1.40 m/s) than that of mild fibrosis group (1.14 m/s, p<0.001). AUC was 0.719 with ≤1.11 m/s as the best cutoff value for excluding significant PPF. Sensitivity and negative predictive values were 80.5% and 40.5%, respectively. Whereas, for confirming significant PPF, the best cutoff value was >1.39 m/s, with specificity of 86.1% and positive predictive value of 92.0%.

Conclusions/significance

pSWE was able to differentiate significant from mild PPF, with better performance to predict significant PPF.

]]>
<![CDATA[The current epidemiological status of urogenital schistosomiasis among primary school pupils in Katsina State, Nigeria: An imperative for a scale up of water and sanitation initiative and mass administration of medicines with Praziquantel]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5b4a2868463d7e4513b897e8

Introduction

Human schistosomiasis, a debilitating and chronic disease, is among a set of 17 neglected tropical infectious diseases of poverty that is currently posing a threat to the wellbeing of 2 billion people in the world. The SHAWN/WASH and MAM programmes in the study area require epidemiological data to enhance their effectiveness. We therefore embarked on this cross-sectional study with the aim of investigating the prevalence, intensity and risk factors of urogenital schistosomiasis.

Methodology/ Principal findings

Interviewed 484 respondents produced terminal urine samples (between 10.00h – 14.00h) which were analyzed with Medi ─Test Combi 10 and centrifuged at 400 r.p.m for 4 minutes using C2 series Centurion Scientific Centrifuge. Eggs of S. haematobium were identified with their terminal spines using Motic Binocular Microscope. Data were analyzed with Epi Info 7. In this study, the overall prevalence and arithmetic mean intensity of the infection were 8.68% (6.39─ 11.64) and 80.09 (30.92─129.28) eggs per 10ml of urine respectively. Urogenital schistosomiasis was significantly associated with knowledge about the snail host (χ2 = 4.23; P = 0.0398); water contact activities (χ2 = 25.788; P = 0.0001), gender (χ2 = 16.722; P = 0.0001); age (χ2 = 9.589; P = 0.0019); economic status of school attended (χ2 = 4.869; P = 0.0273); residence distance from open water sources (χ2 = 10.546; P = 0.0012); mothers’ occupational (χ2 = 6.081; P = 0.0137) and educational status (χ2 = 4.139; P = 0.0419).

Conclusion/ Significance

The overall prevalence obtained in this survey shows that the study area was at a low-risk degree of endemicity for urogenital schistosomiasis. Beneath this is a subtle, latent and deadly morbidity-inducing heavy mean intensity of infection, calling for urgent implementation of WHO recommendation that MAM with PZQ be carried out twice for School-Age Children (enrolled or not enrolled) during their primary schooling age (once each at the point of admission and graduation). The criteria for classifying endemic areas for schistosomiasis should also be reviewed to capture the magnitude of mean intensity of infection rather than prevalence only as this may underplay its epidemiological severity.

]]>
<![CDATA[Metabolite profiling for biomarkers in Schistosoma haematobium infection and associated bladder pathologies]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5af106aa463d7e336df9e532

Background

Metabolic fingerprinting analysis can offer insights into underlying reactions in a biological system; hence it is crucial to the understanding of disease pathogenesis and could provide useful tools for discovering biomarkers. We sought to examine the urine and plasma metabolome in individuals affected by urogenital schistosomiasis and its associated-bladder pathologies.

Methodology

Blood and midstream urine were obtained from volunteers who matched our inclusion criteria among residents from Eggua, southwestern Nigeria. Samples were screened by urinalysis, microscopy, PCR and ultrasonography, and categorised as advanced (urogenital schistosomiasis associated-bladder pathologies), infection-only (urogenital schistosomiasis alone) and controls (no infection and no pathology). Metabolites were extracted and data acquired with ultra high-performance liquid chromatography coupled with Thermo Q-Exactive orbitrap HRMS. Data was analysed with MetaboAnalyst, Workflow4Metabolomics, HMDB, LipidMaps and other bioinformatics tools, with univariate and multivariate statistics for metabolite selection.

Principal findings

There were low levels of host sex steroids, and high levels of several benzenoids, catechols and lipids (including ganglioside, phosphatidylcholine and phosphatidylethanolamine), in infection-only and advanced cases (FDR<0.05, VIP>2, delta>2.0). Metabolites involved in biochemical pathways related to chorismate production were abundant in controls, while those related to choline and sphingolipid metabolism were upregulated in advanced cases (FDR<0.05). Some of these human host and Schistosoma haematobium molecules, including catechol estrogens, were good markers to distinguish infection-only and advanced cases.

Conclusions

Altered glycerophospholipid and sphingolipid metabolism could be key factors promoting the development of bladder pathologies and tumours during urogenital schistosomiasis.

]]>
<![CDATA[The Schistosomiasis Clinical Trials Landscape: A Systematic Review of Antischistosomal Treatment Efficacy Studies and a Case for Sharing Individual Participant-Level Data (IPD)]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989dab0ab0ee8fa60bab294

Background

Schistosomiasis control mainly relies on preventive chemotherapy with praziquantel (PZQ) distributed through mass drug administration. With a target of 260 million treatments yearly, reliably assessing and monitoring efficacy is all-important. Recommendations for treatment and control of schistosomiasis are supported by systematic reviews and meta-analyses of aggregated data, which however also point to limitations due to heterogeneity in trial design, analyses and reporting. Some such limitations could be corrected through access to individual participant-level data (IPD), which facilitates standardised analyses.

Methodology

A systematic literature review was conducted to identify antischistosomal drug efficacy studies performed since 2000; including electronic searches of the Cochrane Infectious Diseases Group specialised register and the Cochrane Library, PubMed, CENTRAL and Embase; complemented with a manual search for articles listed in past reviews. Antischistosomal treatment studies with assessment of outcome within 60 days post-treatment were eligible. Meta-data, i.e. study-level characteristics (Schistosoma species, number of patients, drug administered, country, etc.) and efficacy parameters were extracted from published documents to evaluate the scope of an individual-level data sharing platform.

Principal findings

Out of 914 documents screened, 90 studies from 26 countries were included, enrolling 20,517 participants infected with Schistosoma spp. and treated with different PZQ regimens or other drugs. Methodologies varied in terms of diagnostic approaches (number of samples and test repeats), time of outcome assessment, and outcome measure (cure rate or egg reduction rate, as an arithmetic or geometric mean), making direct comparison of published data difficult.

Conclusions

This review describes the landscape of schistosomiasis clinical research. The volume of data and the methodological and reporting heterogeneity identified all indicate that there is scope for an individual participant-level database, to allow for standardised analyses.

]]>
<![CDATA[Soil-Transmitted Helminths and Schistosoma mansoni Infections in Ethiopian Orthodox Church Students around Lake Tana, Northwest Ethiopia]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989d9dfab0ee8fa60b691fc

Background

Soil-transmitted helminths (STH) and Schistosoma mansoni infections are the major neglected tropical diseases that result in serious consequences on health, education and nutrition in children in developing countries. The Ethiopian Orthodox church students, who are called Yekolotemari in Amharic, live in areas with poor sanitation and hygiene. Moreover, they are not included in the national STH control programs. Thus, STH and S. mansoni infections prevalence is unknown.

Methods

A cross-sectional study was conducted on 384 students in June 2014 to determine STH and S. mansoni infections prevalence. Moreover, the knowledge of students about STH and S. mansoni was assessed. Data on knowledge and clinical symptoms were collected using structured questionnaires via face to face interview. Stool specimens were examined by formol-ether concentration method.

Results

The overall prevalence of intestinal helminths infections was 85.9% (95% confidence interval (CI): 82.1–89%). STHs infections prevalence was 65.6% (95% CI: 60.7–70.2%). The prevalence of hookworm, Ascaris lumbricoides and Trichuris trichiura were 31.8% (95% CI: 27.3–36.6%), 29.4% (25–31%) and 3.1% (1.8–5.4%), respectively. On the other hand, S. mansoni prevalence was 14.3% (95% CI: 11.1–18.1%). Majority of students infected with S. mansoni had bloody stool with crud odds-ratio of 2.9 (95% CI: 1.5–5.5). Knowledge assessment showed that 50 (13%) and 18 (4.9%) of the respondents knew about transmission of STH and S. mansoni, respectively.

Conclusions

The prevalence of STH and S. mansoni infections were high thus de-worming program should include the students of Ethiopian Orthodox churches. Furthermore, provision and use of sanitary facilities, health education for students to create awareness of parasitic infections and improved personal hygiene should be in place.

]]>
<![CDATA[Impact of Annual Praziquantel Treatment on Urogenital Schistosomiasis in a Seasonal Transmission Focus in Central Senegal]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da25ab0ee8fa60b80562

In Sub-Saharan Africa, urogenital schistosomiasis remains a significant public health problem, causing 150.000 deaths/year with approximately 112 million cases diagnosed. The Niakhar district is a disease hotspot in central Senegal where transmission occurs seasonally with high prevalences. The aim of this study was to determine the effect of annual treatment over 3 years on the seasonal transmission dynamics of S. haematobium in 9 villages in the Niakhar district. Adults and children aged between 5 and 60 years were surveyed from 2011 to 2014. Urine samples were collected door-to-door and examined for S. haematobium eggs at baseline in June 2011, and all participants were treated in August 2011 with PZQ (40 mg/kg). After this initial examination, evaluations were conducted at 3 successive time points from September 2011 to March 2014, to measure the efficacy of the annual treatments and the rates of reinfection. Each year, during the transmission period, from July to November-December, malacological surveys were also carried out in the fresh water bodies of each village to evaluate the infestation of the snail intermediate hosts. At baseline, the overall prevalence of S. haematobium infection was 57.7%, and the proportion of heavy infection was 45.3%, but one month after the first treatment high cure rates (92.9%) were obtained. The overall infection prevalence and proportion of heavy infection intensities were drastically reduced to 4.2% and 2.3%, respectively. The level of the first reinfection in February-March 2012 was 9.5%. At follow-up time points, prevalence levels varied slightly between reinfection and treatment from 9.5% in June 2012 to 0.3% in March 2013, 11.2 in June 2013, and 10.1% April 2014. At the end of the study, overall prevalence was significantly reduced from 57.7% to 10.1%. The overall rate of infested Bulinid snails was reduced after repeated treatment from 0.8% in 2012 to 0.5% in 2013. Repeated annual treatments are suggested to have a considerable impact on the transmission dynamics of S. haematobium in Niakhar, due to the nature of the epidemiological system with seasonal transmission. Thus, to maintain this benefit and continue to reduce the morbidity of urogenital schistosomiasis, other approaches should be integrated into the strategy plans of the National program to achieve the goal of urogenital schistosomiasis elimination in seasonal foci in Senegal.

]]>
<![CDATA[Schistosoma mansoni reinfection: Analysis of risk factors by classification and regression tree (CART) modeling]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5aafcd42463d7e7f05234546

Praziquantel (PZQ) is an effective chemotherapy for schistosomiasis mansoni and a mainstay for its control and potential elimination. However, it does not prevent against reinfection, which can occur rapidly in areas with active transmission. A guide to ranking the risk factors for Schistosoma mansoni reinfection would greatly contribute to prioritizing resources and focusing prevention and control measures to prevent rapid reinfection. The objective of the current study was to explore the relationship among the socioeconomic, demographic, and epidemiological factors that can influence reinfection by S. mansoni one year after successful treatment with PZQ in school-aged children in Northeastern Minas Gerais state Brazil. Parasitological, socioeconomic, demographic, and water contact information were surveyed in 506 S. mansoni-infected individuals, aged 6 to 15 years, resident in these endemic areas. Eligible individuals were treated with PZQ until they were determined to be negative by the absence of S. mansoni eggs in the feces on two consecutive days of Kato-Katz fecal thick smear. These individuals were surveyed again 12 months from the date of successful treatment with PZQ. A classification and regression tree modeling (CART) was then used to explore the relationship between socioeconomic, demographic, and epidemiological variables and their reinfection status. The most important risk factor identified for S. mansoni reinfection was their “heavy” infection at baseline. Additional analyses, excluding heavy infection status, showed that lower socioeconomic status and a lower level of education of the household head were also most important risk factors for S. mansoni reinfection. Our results provide an important contribution toward the control and possible elimination of schistosomiasis by identifying three major risk factors that can be used for targeted treatment and monitoring of reinfection. We suggest that control measures that target heavily infected children in the most economically disadvantaged households would be most beneficial to maintain the success of mass chemotherapy campaigns.

]]>
<![CDATA[School Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene, Soil-Transmitted Helminths, and Schistosomes: National Mapping in Ethiopia]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989dad4ab0ee8fa60bb745a

Background

It is thought that improving water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) might reduce the transmission of schistosomes and soil-transmitted helminths, owing to their life cycles. However, few large-scale studies have yet assessed the real extent of associations between WASH and these parasites.

Methodology/Principal Findings

In the 2013–2014 Ethiopian national mapping of infections with these parasites, school WASH was assessed alongside infection intensity in children, mostly between 10 and 15 years of age. Scores were constructed reflecting exposure to schistosomes arising from water collection for schools, from freshwater sources, and the adequacy of school sanitation and hygiene facilities. Kendall’s τb was used to test the WASH scores against the school-level arithmetic mean intensity of infection with each parasite, in schools with at least one child positive for the parasite in question.

WASH and parasitology data were available for 1,645 schools. More frequent collection of water for schools, from open freshwater sources was associated with statistically significantly higher Schistosoma mansoni infection intensity (Kendall’s τb = 0.097, 95% confidence interval, CI: 0.011 to 0.18), better sanitation was associated with significantly lower Ascaris lumbricoides intensity (Kendall’s τb = -0.067, 95% CI: -0.11 to -0.023) and borderline significant lower hookworm intensity (Kendall’s τb = -0.039, 95% CI: -0.090 to 0.012, P = 0.067), and better hygiene was associated with significantly lower hookworm intensity (Kendall’s τb = -0.076, 95% CI: -0.13 to -0.020). However, no significant differences were observed when comparing sanitation and infection with S. mansoni or Trichuris trichiura, or hygiene and infection with A. lumbricoides or T. trichiura.

Conclusions/Significance

Improving school WASH may reduce transmission of these parasites. However, different forms of WASH appear to have different effects on infection with the various parasites, with our analysis finding the strongest associations between water and S. mansoni, sanitation and A. lumbricoides, and hygiene and hookworm.

]]>