ResearchPad - trematodes https://www.researchpad.co Default RSS Feed en-us © 2020 Newgen KnowledgeWorks <![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[Low Efficacy of Single-Dose Albendazole and Mebendazole against Hookworm and Effect on Concomitant Helminth Infection in Lao PDR]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da6bab0ee8fa60b92f0b

Background

Albendazole and mebendazole are increasingly deployed for preventive chemotherapy targeting soil-transmitted helminth (STH) infections. We assessed the efficacy of single oral doses of albendazole (400 mg) and mebendazole (500 mg) for the treatment of hookworm infection in school-aged children in Lao PDR. Since Opisthorchis viverrini is co-endemic in our study setting, the effect of the two drugs could also be determined against this liver fluke.

Methodology

We conducted a randomized, open-label, two-arm trial. In total, 200 children infected with hookworm (determined by quadruplicate Kato-Katz thick smears derived from two stool samples) were randomly assigned to albendazole (n = 100) and mebendazole (n = 100). Cure rate (CR; percentage of children who became egg-negative after treatment), and egg reduction rate (ERR; reduction in the geometric mean fecal egg count at treatment follow-up compared to baseline) at 21–23 days posttreatment were used as primary outcome measures. Adverse events were monitored 3 hours post treatment.

Principal Findings

Single-dose albendazole and mebendazole resulted in CRs of 36.0% and 17.6% (odds ratio: 0.4; 95% confidence interval: 0.2–0.8; P = 0.01), and ERRs of 86.7% and 76.3%, respectively. In children co-infected with O. viverrini, albendazole and mebendazole showed low CRs (33.3% and 24.2%, respectively) and moderate ERRs (82.1% and 78.2%, respectively).

Conclusions/Significance

Both albendazole and mebendazole showed disappointing CRs against hookworm, but albendazole cured infection and reduced intensity of infection with a higher efficacy than mebendazole. Single-dose administrations showed an effect against O. viverrini, and hence it will be interesting to monitor potential ancillary benefits of a preventive chemotherapy strategy that targets STHs in areas where opisthorchiasis is co-endemic.

Clinical Trial Registration

Current Controlled Trials ISRCTN29126001

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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[Efficacy of Praziquantel against Schistosoma mekongi and Opisthorchis viverrini: A Randomized, Single-Blinded Dose-Comparison Trial]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989dab2ab0ee8fa60babf28

Background

Schistosomiasis and opisthorchiasis are of public health importance in Southeast Asia. Praziquantel (PZQ) is the drug of choice for morbidity control but few dose comparisons have been made.

Methodology

Ninety-three schoolchildren were enrolled in an area of Lao PDR where Schistosoma mekongi and Opisthorchis viverrini coexist for a PZQ dose-comparison trial. Prevalence and intensity of infections were determined by a rigorous diagnostic effort (3 stool specimens, each examined with triplicate Kato-Katz) before and 28–30 days after treatment. Ninety children with full baseline data were randomized to receive PZQ: the 40 mg/kg standard single dose (n = 45) or a 75 mg/kg total dose (50 mg/kg+25 mg/kg, 4 hours apart; n = 45). Adverse events were assessed at 3 and 24 hours posttreatment.

Principal Findings

Baseline infection prevalence of S. mekongi and O. viverrini were 87.8% and 98.9%, respectively. S. mekongi cure rates were 75.0% (95% confidence interval (CI): 56.6–88.5%) and 80.8% (95% CI: 60.6–93.4%) for 40 mg/kg and 75 mg/kg PZQ, respectively (P = 0.60). O. viverrini cure rates were significantly different at 71.4% (95% CI: 53.4–84.4%) and 96.6% (95% CI: not defined), respectively (P = 0.009). Egg reduction rates (ERRs) against O. viverrini were very high for both doses (>99%), but slightly lower for S. mekongi at 40 mg/kg (96.4% vs. 98.1%) and not influenced by increasing diagnostic effort. O. viverrini cure rates would have been overestimated and no statistical difference between doses found if efficacy was based on a minimum sampling effort (single Kato-Katz before and after treatment). Adverse events were common (96%), mainly mild with no significant differences between the two treatment groups.

Conclusions/Significance

Cure rate from the 75 mg/kg PZQ dose was more efficacious than 40 mg/kg against O. viverrini but not against S. mekongi infections, while ERRs were similar for both doses.

Trial Registration

Controlled-Trials.com ISRCTN57714676

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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[A Research Agenda for Helminth Diseases of Humans: Diagnostics for Control and Elimination Programmes]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db07ab0ee8fa60bc89fa

Diagnostic tools appropriate for undertaking interventions to control helminth infections are key to their success. Many diagnostic tests for helminth infection have unsatisfactory performance characteristics and are not well suited for use in the parasite control programmes that are being increasingly implemented. Although the application of modern laboratory research techniques to improve diagnostics for helminth infection has resulted in some technical advances, uptake has not been uniform. Frequently, pilot or proof of concept studies of promising diagnostic technologies have not been followed by much needed product development, and in many settings diagnosis continues to rely on insensitive and unsatisfactory parasitological or serodiagnostic techniques. In contrast, PCR-based xenomonitoring of arthropod vectors, and use of parasite recombinant proteins as reagents for serodiagnostic tests, have resulted in critical advances in the control of specific helminth parasites. The Disease Reference Group on Helminths Infections (DRG4), established in 2009 by the Special Programme for Research and Training in Tropical Diseases (TDR) was given the mandate to review helminthiases research and identify research priorities and gaps. In this review, the diagnostic technologies relevant to control of helminth infections, either available or in development, are reviewed. Critical gaps are identified and opportunities to improve needed technologies are discussed.

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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[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[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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<![CDATA[Emergence of the Zoonotic Biliary Trematode Pseudamphistomum truncatum in Grey Seals (Halichoerus grypus) in the Baltic Sea]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989d9daab0ee8fa60b67415

The biliary trematode Pseudamphistomum truncatum parasitizes a wide range of fish-eating mammals, including humans. Here we report the emergence of this parasite in grey seals (Halichoerus grypus) in the Baltic Sea. One hundred eighty-three of 1 554 grey seals (11.9%) examined from 2002–2013 had detectable hepatobiliary trematode infection. Parasite identification was confirmed as P. truncatum by sequencing the ITS2 region of a pool of five to 10 trematodes from each of ten seals collected off the coast of seven different Swedish counties. The proportion of seals parasitized by P. truncatum increased significantly over time and with increasing age of seals. Males were 3.1 times more likely to be parasitized than females and animals killed in fishery interactions were less likely to be parasitized than animals found dead or hunted. There was no significant difference in parasitism of seals examined from the Gulf of Bothnia versus those examined from the Baltic Proper. Although the majority of infections were mild, P. truncatum can cause severe hepatobiliary disease and resulted in liver failure in at least one seal. Because cyprinid fish are the second intermediate host for opisthorchiid trematodes, diets of grey seals from the Baltic Sea were analysed regarding presence of cyprinids. The proportion of gastrointestinal tracts containing cyprinid remains was ten times higher in seals examined from 2008 to 2013 (12.2%) than those examined from 2002 to 2007 (1.2%) and coincided with a general increase of trematode parasitism in the host population. The emergence and relatively common occurrence of P. truncatum in grey seals signals the presence of this parasite in the Baltic Sea ecosystem and demonstrates how aquatic mammals can serve as excellent sentinels of marine ecosystem change. Investigation of drivers behind P. truncatum emergence and infection risk for other mammals, including humans, is highly warranted.

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<![CDATA[A Protein Microarray for the Rapid Screening of Patients Suspected of Infection with Various Food-Borne Helminthiases]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989dae4ab0ee8fa60bbcf4f

Background

Food-borne helminthiases (FBHs) have become increasingly important due to frequent occurrence and worldwide distribution. There is increasing demand for developing more sensitive, high-throughput techniques for the simultaneous detection of multiple parasitic diseases due to limitations in differential clinical diagnosis of FBHs with similar symptoms. These infections are difficult to diagnose correctly by conventional diagnostic approaches including serological approaches.

Methodology/Principal Findings

In this study, antigens obtained from 5 parasite species, namely Cysticercus cellulosae, Angiostrongylus cantonensis, Paragonimus westermani, Trichinella spiralis and Spirometra sp., were semi-purified after immunoblotting. Sera from 365 human cases of helminthiasis and 80 healthy individuals were assayed with semi-purified antigens by both a protein microarray and the enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). The sensitivity, specificity and simplicity of each test for the end-user were evaluated. The specificity of the tests ranged from 97.0% (95% confidence interval (CI): 95.3–98.7%) to 100.0% (95% CI: 100.0%) in the protein microarray and from 97.7% (95% CI: 96.2–99.2%) to 100.0% (95% CI: 100.0%) in ELISA. The sensitivity varied from 85.7% (95% CI: 75.1–96.3%) to 92.1% (95% CI: 83.5–100.0%) in the protein microarray, while the corresponding values for ELISA were 82.0% (95% CI: 71.4–92.6%) to 92.1% (95% CI: 83.5–100.0%). Furthermore, the Youden index spanned from 0.83 to 0.92 in the protein microarray and from 0.80 to 0.92 in ELISA. For each parasite, the Youden index from the protein microarray was often slightly higher than the one from ELISA even though the same antigen was used.

Conclusions/Significance

The protein microarray platform is a convenient, versatile, high-throughput method that can easily be adapted to massive FBH screening.

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<![CDATA[Population Genetic Structuring in Opisthorchis viverrini over Various Spatial Scales in Thailand and Lao PDR]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989dad8ab0ee8fa60bb8c23

Khon Kaen Province in northeast Thailand is known as a hot spot for opisthorchiasis in Southeast Asia. Preliminary allozyme and mitochondrial DNA haplotype data from within one endemic district in this Province (Ban Phai), indicated substantial genetic variability within Opisthorchis viverrini. Here, we used microsatellite DNA analyses to examine the genetic diversity and population structure of O. viverrini from four geographically close localities in Khon Kaen Province. Genotyping based on 12 microsatellite loci yielded a mean number of alleles per locus that ranged from 2.83 to 3.7 with an expected heterozygosity in Hardy–Weinberg equilibrium of 0.44–0.56. Assessment of population structure by pairwise FST analysis showed inter-population differentiation (P<0.05) which indicates population substructuring between these localities. Unique alleles were found in three of four localities with the highest number observed per locality being three. Our results highlight the existence of genetic diversity and population substructuring in O. viverrini over a small spatial scale which is similar to that found at a larger scale. This provides the basis for the investigation of the role of parasite genetic diversity and differentiation in transmission dynamics and control of O. viverrini.

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<![CDATA[Increased hepatic Th2 and Treg subsets are associated with biliary fibrosis in different strains of mice caused by Clonorchis sinensis]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db51ab0ee8fa60bdc24e

Previous studies showed that CD4+T cells responses might be involved in the process of biliary fibrosis. However, the underlying mechanism resulting in biliary fibrosis caused by Clonorchis sinensis remains not yet fully elucidated. The objectives of the present study were to investigate the different profiles of hepatic CD4+T cell subsets (Th1, Th2, Th17 and Treg cells) and their possible roles in the biliary fibrosis of different strains of mice (C57BL/6, BALB/c and FVB mice) induced by C. sinensis infection. C57BL/6, BALB/c and FVB mice were orally gavaged with 45 metacercariae. All mice were sacrificed on 28 days post infection in deep anesthesia conditions. The leukocytes in the liver were separated to examine CD4+T cell subsets by flow cytometry and the left lobe of liver was used to observe pathological changes, collagen depositions and the concentrations of hydroxyproline. The most serious cystic and fibrotic changes appeared in FVB infected mice indicated by gross observation, Masson’s trichrome staining and hydroxyproline content detection. In contrast to C57BL/6 infected mice, diffuse nodules and more intensive fibrosis were observed in the BALB/c infected mice. No differences of the hepatic Th1 subset and Th17 subset were found among the three strains, but the hepatic Th2 and Treg cells and their relative cytokines were dramatically increased in the BALB/c and FVB infected groups compared with the C57BL/6 infected group (P<0.01). Importantly, increased Th2 subset and Treg subset all positively correlated with hydroxyproline contents (P<0.01). This result for the first time implied that the increased hepatic Th2 and Treg cell subsets were likely to play potential roles in the formation of biliary fibrosis in C. sinensis-infected mice.

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<![CDATA[Application of a loop-mediated isothermal amplification (LAMP) assay targeting cox1 gene for the detection of Clonorchis sinensis in human fecal samples]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5ab08489463d7e2faeab8ab7

Background

Clonorchiasis is prevalent in the Far East, and a major health problem in endemic areas. Infected persons may experience, if not treated, serious complications such as bile stone formation, pyogenic cholangitis, and even cholangiocarcinoma. Early diagnosis and treatment are important to prevent serious complications and, therefore, the simple and reliable diagnostic method is necessary to control clonorchiasis in endemic areas, where resources for the diagnosis are limited.

Methodology/Principle findings

The loop-mediated isothermal amplification (LAMP) assay has been applied for the detection of Clonorchis sinensis DNA. Six primers targeting eight locations on the cytochrome c oxidase subunit 1 gene of C. sinensis were designed for species-specific amplification using the LAMP assay. The LAMP assay was sensitive enough to detect as little as 100 fg of C. sinensis genomic DNA and the detection limit in 100 mg of stool was as low as one egg. The assay was highly specific because no cross-reactivity was observed with the DNA of other helminths, protozoa or Escherichia coli. Then, LAMP assay was applied to human fecal samples collected from an endemic area of clonorchiasis in Korea. Using samples showing consistent results by both Kato-Katz method and real-time PCR as reference standards, the LAMP assay showed 97.1% (95% CI, 90.1–99.2) of sensitivity and 100% (95% CI, 92.9–100) of specificity. In stool samples with more than 100 eggs per gram of feces, the sensitivity achieved 100%.

Conclusions

To detect C. sinensis in human fecal samples, the LAMP assay was applied and achieved high sensitivity and specificity. The LAMP assay can be utilized in field laboratories as a powerful tool for diagnosis and epidemiological survey of clonorchiasis.

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<![CDATA[Risk mapping of clonorchiasis in the People’s Republic of China: A systematic review and Bayesian geostatistical analysis]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db54ab0ee8fa60bdd10f

Background

Clonorchiasis, one of the most important food-borne trematodiases, affects more than 12 million people in the People’s Republic of China (P.R. China). Spatially explicit risk estimates of Clonorchis sinensis infection are needed in order to target control interventions.

Methodology

Georeferenced survey data pertaining to infection prevalence of C. sinensis in P.R. China from 2000 onwards were obtained via a systematic review in PubMed, ISI Web of Science, Chinese National Knowledge Internet, and Wanfang Data from January 1, 2000 until January 10, 2016, with no restriction of language or study design. Additional disease data were provided by the National Institute of Parasitic Diseases, Chinese Center for Diseases Control and Prevention in Shanghai. Environmental and socioeconomic proxies were extracted from remote-sensing and other data sources. Bayesian variable selection was carried out to identify the most important predictors of C. sinensis risk. Geostatistical models were applied to quantify the association between infection risk and the predictors of the disease, and to predict the risk of infection across P.R. China at high spatial resolution (over a grid with grid cell size of 5×5 km).

Principal findings

We obtained clonorchiasis survey data at 633 unique locations in P.R. China. We observed that the risk of C. sinensis infection increased over time, particularly from 2005 onwards. We estimate that around 14.8 million (95% Bayesian credible interval 13.8–15.8 million) people in P.R. China were infected with C. sinensis in 2010. Highly endemic areas (≥ 20%) were concentrated in southern and northeastern parts of the country. The provinces with the highest risk of infection and the largest number of infected people were Guangdong, Guangxi, and Heilongjiang.

Conclusions/Significance

Our results provide spatially relevant information for guiding clonorchiasis control interventions in P.R. China. The trend toward higher risk of C. sinensis infection in the recent past urges the Chinese government to pay more attention to the public health importance of clonorchiasis and to target interventions to high-risk areas.

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<![CDATA[PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases Issue Image | Vol. 11(9) September 2017]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5ab0700c463d7e2b83d278da

Scrambled eggs

Golden-brown fragments of the liver fluke (Fasciola hepatica) eggs after being disrupted on a bench top homogeniser with the aid of ceramic beads prior to DNA 'eggs'-traction. The eggs, which are notoriously hard to crack and even remain intact after freezing, are shown here under a light microscope suspended in lysis buffer. Complete disruption is an important precursor enabling access to the DNA within, ultimately allowing the development of a diagnostic workflow for detection of Fasciola-positive faecal samples. Calvani et al.

Image Credit: Calvani et al. (2017)

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