ResearchPad - zoonoses https://www.researchpad.co Default RSS Feed en-us © 2020 Newgen KnowledgeWorks <![CDATA[Selected wetland soil properties correlate to Rift Valley fever livestock mortalities reported in 2009-10 in central South Africa]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_15754 Outbreaks of Rift Valley fever have devastating impacts on ruminants, humans, as well as on regional and national economies. Although numerous studies on the impact and outbreak of Rift Valley fever exist, relatively little is known about the role of environmental factors, especially soil, on the aestivation of the virus. This study thus selected 22 sites for study in central South Africa, known to be the recurrent epicenter of widespread Rift Valley fever outbreaks in Southern Africa. Soils were described, sampled and analyzed in detail at each site. Of all the soil variables analyzed for, only eight (cation exchange capacity, exchangeable Ca2+, exchangeable K+, exchangeable Mg2+, soluble Ca2+, medium sand, As, and Br) were statistically identified to be potential indicators of sites with reported Rift Valley fever mortalities, as reported for the 2009–2010 Rift Valley fever outbreak. Four soil characteristics (exchangeable K+, exchangeable Mg2+, medium sand, and Br) were subsequently included in a discriminant function that could potentially be used to predict sites that had reported Rift Valley fever-associated mortalities in livestock. This study therefore constitutes an initial attempt to predict sites prone to Rift Valley fever livestock mortality from soil properties and thus serves as a basis for broader research on the interaction between soil, mosquitoes and Rift Valley fever virus. Future research should include other environmental components such as vegetation, climate, and water properties as well as correlating soil properties with floodwater Aedes spp. abundance and Rift Valley fever virus prevalence.

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<![CDATA[Vaccination and monitoring strategies for epidemic prevention and detection in the Channel Island fox (<i>Urocyon littoralis</i>)]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_15750 Disease transmission and epidemic prevention are top conservation concerns for wildlife managers, especially for small, isolated populations. Previous studies have shown that the course of an epidemic within a heterogeneous host population is strongly influenced by whether pathogens are introduced to regions of relatively high or low host densities. This raises the question of how disease monitoring and vaccination programs are influenced by spatial heterogeneity in host distributions. We addressed this question by modeling vaccination and monitoring strategies for the Channel Island fox (Urocyon littoralis), which has a history of substantial population decline due to introduced disease. We simulated various strategies to detect and prevent epidemics of rabies and canine distemper using a spatially explicit model, which was parameterized from field studies. Increasing sentinel monitoring frequency, and to a lesser degree, the number of monitored sentinels from 50 to 150 radio collared animals, reduced the time to epidemic detection and percentage of the fox population infected at the time of detection for both pathogens. Fox density at the location of pathogen introduction had little influence on the time to detection, but a large influence on how many foxes had become infected by the detection day, especially when sentinels were monitored relatively infrequently. The efficacy of different vaccination strategies was heavily influenced by local host density at the site of pathogen entry. Generally, creating a vaccine firewall far away from the site of pathogen entry was the least effective strategy. A firewall close to the site of pathogen entry was generally more effective than a random distribution of vaccinated animals when pathogens entered regions of high host density, but not when pathogens entered regions of low host density. These results highlight the importance of considering host densities at likely locations of pathogen invasion when designing disease management plans.

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<![CDATA[Kala-azar elimination in a highly-endemic district of Bihar, India: A success story]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_14634 The World Health Organization (WHO) has set a target to eliminate visceral leishmaniasis (VL), commonly known as “Kala-azar,” as a public health problem in India by 2020. The elimination target is defined as achieving less than 1 case per 10,000 people at the block level. Although India has made substantial progress in the elimination of the disease since 2012, VL remains a stable public health problem in four middle-eastern states including Bihar. Bihar contributes >61% of the total Indian cases annually, and a few districts of the state have reported more than 600 cases annually. In this study, the results indicate that an intensive integrated VL control strategy including epidemiological analysis based on a geographical information system (GIS), hot-spot mapping, active case detection, vector control using the indoor residual spraying (IRS) of chemical insecticides, awareness campaigns, human resource development, the close monitoring of control activities, and active epidemiological surveillance and entomological monitoring can achieve the elimination target in the highly endemic region of Bihar. The elimination of VL from highly endemic zones is urgently required to control any new outbreak. Therefore, the implementation of the Vaishali VL control strategy is strongly recommended in all highly endemic districts of Bihar, India.

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<![CDATA[Serological evidence for human exposure to <i>Bacillus cereus</i> biovar <i>anthracis</i> in the villages around Taï National Park, Côte d’Ivoire]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_14539 Anthrax is a zoonotic disease transmitted from animals to humans and normally caused by B. anthracis mainly in savanna regions. However, untypical bacteria named Bacillus cereus biovar anthracis (Bcbva) were detected in a variety of wild animals in the rain forest region of the Taï National Park (TNP) in Côte d’Ivoire. No anthrax infections in humans living in the region around TNP were reported until now. Therefore, we assessed exposure to the pathogen by analysis of sera from human volunteers for the presence of antibodies against the protective antigen (PA), which is produced by B. anthracis and Bcbva, and against the Bcbva-specific protein pXO2-60. We found antibodies against PA in more than 20% of sera from humans living in the TNP region, and around 10% possessed also antibodies against pXO2-60, confirming exposure to Bcbva. As only Bcbva, but not classic B. anthracis was found in TNP, we assume that the majority of humans had contact with Bcbva and that pXO2-60 is less immunogenic than PA. Although most people reported animal contacts, there was no statistically significant correlation with the presence of antibodies against Bcbva. Nevertheless, our study confirmed that Bcbva represents a danger for humans living in the affected area.

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<![CDATA[Forecasting the monthly incidence rate of brucellosis in west of Iran using time series and data mining from 2010 to 2019]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_13811 The identification of statistical models for the accurate forecast and timely determination of the outbreak of infectious diseases is very important for the healthcare system. Thus, this study was conducted to assess and compare the performance of four machine-learning methods in modeling and forecasting brucellosis time series data based on climatic parameters.MethodsIn this cohort study, human brucellosis cases and climatic parameters were analyzed on a monthly basis for the Qazvin province–located in northwestern Iran- over a period of 9 years (2010–2018). The data were classified into two subsets of education (80%) and testing (20%). Artificial neural network methods (radial basis function and multilayer perceptron), support vector machine and random forest were fitted to each set. Performance analysis of the models were done using the Root Mean Square Error (RMSE), Mean Absolute Error (MAE), Mean Absolute Root Error (MARE), and R2 criteria.ResultsThe incidence rate of the brucellosis in Qazvin province was 27.43 per 100,000 during 2010–2019. Based on our results, the values of the RMSE (0.22), MAE (0.175), MARE (0.007) criteria were smaller for the multilayer perceptron neural network than their values in the other three models. Moreover, the R2 (0.99) value was bigger in this model. Therefore, the multilayer perceptron neural network exhibited better performance in forecasting the studied data. The average wind speed and mean temperature were the most effective climatic parameters in the incidence of this disease.ConclusionsThe multilayer perceptron neural network can be used as an effective method in detecting the behavioral trend of brucellosis over time. Nevertheless, further studies focusing on the application and comparison of these methods are needed to detect the most appropriate forecast method for this disease. ]]> <![CDATA[Risk factors associated to a high Mycobacterium tuberculosis complex seroprevalence in wild boar (Sus scrofa) from a low bovine tuberculosis prevalence area]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/Nfbbd03ef-7cb8-4d82-b605-16cf8ee0d77e

Animal tuberculosis is a worldwide zoonotic disease caused principally by Mycobacterium bovis, a member of the Mycobacterium tuberculosis complex (MTC). In southern Iberian Peninsula, wild reservoirs such as the wild boar, among other factors, have prevented the eradication of bovine tuberculosis. However, most of the studies have been focused on south-central Spain, where the prevalence of tuberculosis is high among wild ungulates and cattle herds. In northern regions, where wild boar density and bovine tuberculosis prevalence are lower, fewer studies have been carried out and the role of this species is still under debate. The aim of this study was to describe the temporal and spatial distribution of antibodies against MTC in wild boar from the Basque Country, northern Spain. Sera from 1902 animals were collected between 2010 and 2016. The seroprevalence was determined with an in house enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay and the search of risk factors was assessed by Generalized Linear Models. Overall, 17% of wild boars (326/1902; 95%CI, [15.5%–18.9%]) showed antibodies against MTC. Risk factors associated with seropositivity were the year and location of sampling, the number of MTC positive cattle, the distance to positive farms and the percentage of shrub cover. Younger age classes were associated with increased antibody titres among seropositive individuals. The seroprevalence detected was higher than those previously reported in neighbouring regions. Hence, further studies are needed to better understand the role of wild boar in the epidemiology of tuberculosis in low tuberculosis prevalence areas and consequently, its relevance when developing control strategies.

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<![CDATA[Toxin-neutralizing antibodies elicited by naturally acquired cutaneous anthrax are elevated following severe disease and appear to target conformational epitopes]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/N0733fdcc-4c39-44e4-82cd-032e69d54dbc

Understanding immune responses to native antigens in response to natural infections can lead to improved approaches to vaccination. This study sought to characterize the humoral immune response to anthrax toxin components, capsule and spore antigens in individuals (n = 46) from the Kayseri and Malatya regions of Turkey who had recovered from mild or severe forms of cutaneous anthrax infection, compared to regional healthy controls (n = 20). IgG antibodies to each toxin component, the poly-γ-D-glutamic acid capsule, the Bacillus collagen-like protein of anthracis (BclA) spore antigen, and the spore carbohydrate anthrose, were detected in the cases, with anthrax toxin neutralization and responses to Protective Antigen (PA) and Lethal Factor (LF) being higher following severe forms of the disease. Significant correlative relationships among responses to PA, LF, Edema Factor (EF) and capsule were observed among the cases. Though some regional control sera exhibited binding to a subset of the tested antigens, these samples did not neutralize anthrax toxins and lacked correlative relationships among antigen binding specificities observed in the cases. Comparison of serum binding to overlapping decapeptides covering the entire length of PA, LF and EF proteins in 26 cases compared to 8 regional controls revealed that anthrax toxin-neutralizing antibody responses elicited following natural cutaneous anthrax infection are directed to conformational epitopes. These studies support the concept of vaccination approaches that preserve conformational epitopes.

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<![CDATA[Porcine Innate and Adaptative Immune Responses to Influenza and Coronavirus Infections]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/Nef41251f-51f4-455c-b97e-ec9b3b02fa75

abstract:  Both innate and adaptative immune responses contribute to the control of infectious diseases, including by limiting the spreading of zoonotic diseases from animal reservoirs to humans. Pigs represent an important animal reservoir for influenza virus infection of human populations and are also naturally infected by coronaviruses, an important group of viruses, which includes the recently emerged severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) virus. Studies on both innate and adaptative immune responses of pigs to influenza virus and coronaviruses contribute, therefore, to a better control of these infections in their natural hosts and will be briefly reviewed in this article. Pro‐inflammatory cytokines, including type I interferon (IFN), tumor necrosis factor‐α (TNF‐α), and interleukin‐6 (IL‐6), were found in lung secretions of influenza virus infected pigs, and correlated with the intensity of clinical signs, whereas prior vaccination against influenza strongly reduced the production of infectious virus and cytokines in the lungs upon challenge, which was associated with clinical protection. An early type I IFN production was also found in coronavirus infected pigs, including at mucosal sites. IFN induction by coronavirus is shown to involve interaction between a viral glycoprotein and a leukocyte subset, likely equivalent to plasmacytoid dendritic cells, present in the mucosae and associated lymphoid tissues. Given the IFN mediated antiviral and immunomodulatory effects, the use of IFN or IFN inducers may prove an efficient strategy for a better control of influenza virus and coronavirus infections in pigs. Because influenza and coronaviruses target mucosal surfaces, adaptative immune responses have to be characterized at mucosal sites. Thus, nasal and pulmonary antibody responses were analyzed in influenza virus infected or vaccinated pigs showing short‐lived, but potentially protective local IgA and IgG antibody (Ab) responses. Interestingly, primary influenza virus infection induced long‐lived increase of lung CD8+ T cells and local lymphoproliferative responses. Pigs infected by a respiratory coronavirus (PRCV) showed virus‐specific IgG Ab‐secreting cells in the bronchial lymph nodes, whereas the transmissible gastroenteritis coronavirus (TGEV) induced more IgA Ab‐secreting cells in gut tissues, which illustrates the importance of the route of antigen administration for inducing local immune effector mechanisms. Porcine viral infections provide, therefore, valuable models for evaluating the immune parameters that are important for controlling transmission of important viral zoonotic infections.

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<![CDATA[Retrospective, epidemiological cluster analysis of the Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) epidemic using open source data]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/Nd6d15b67-72b6-440a-adbf-6fec3da602ea

SUMMARY

The Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) is caused by a novel coronavirus discovered in 2012. Since then, 1806 cases, including 564 deaths, have been reported by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) and affected countries as of 1 June 2016. Previous literature attributed increases in MERS-CoV transmission to camel breeding season as camels are likely the reservoir for the virus. However, this literature review and subsequent analysis indicate a lack of seasonality. A retrospective, epidemiological cluster analysis was conducted to investigate increases in MERS-CoV transmission and reports of household and nosocomial clusters. Cases were verified and associations between cases were substantiated through an extensive literature review and the Armed Forces Health Surveillance Branch's Tiered Source Classification System. A total of 51 clusters were identified, primarily nosocomial (80·4%) and most occurred in KSA (45·1%). Clusters corresponded temporally with the majority of periods of greatest incidence, suggesting a strong correlation between nosocomial transmission and notable increases in cases.

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<![CDATA[Serological evidence of coronavirus infections in native hamadryas baboons (Papio hamadryas hamadryas) of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/N95ce18ff-584a-4994-bedb-877a688c1f1a

SUMMARY

The hamadryas baboon (Papio hamadryas hamadryas) is the only indigenous species of non-human primates (NHP) found in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA). There are no peer-reviewed publications on viral infections of the baboons of KSA. Apart from camels, other animals are likely sources of the novel Middle East Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus (MERSCoV) for humans. We investigated evidence of highly pathogenic coronavirus infections including MERSCoV in a large group of commensal baboons accompanied by feral dogs, on the outskirts of Ta'if city, KSA, in February 2013. Fifty baboons (16 juveniles and 34 adults) were screened for serum antibodies to human coronaviruses (HCoV-043/-NL63/-229) and canine coronaviruses (CCoV-1-3) using direct Enzyme-linked Immunosorbent Assay (ELISA) technique and for MERSCoV antibodies using Serum Neutralization Test (SNT). Of the 50 sampled baboons, 22% (n = 11) were seropositive to HCoVs, 10% (n = 5) were seropositive to CCoVs, while none had detectable MERSCoV antibodies. These findings bear potentially significant implications for public health, canine health and baboon conservation efforts, necessitating follow-up investigations and preventive measures at locations where baboons frequent human habitations, or are regarded as tourist attractions, in KSA.

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<![CDATA[Evaluation of liposomal ciprofloxacin formulations in a murine model of anthrax]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/Ne17111d7-5152-4c88-81b1-0e84a1b58e42

The in vivo efficacy of liposomal encapsulated ciprofloxacin in two formulations, lipoquin and apulmiq, were evaluated against the causative agent of anthrax, Bacillus anthracis. Liposomal encapsulated ciprofloxacin is attractive as a therapy since it allows for once daily dosing and achieves higher concentrations of the antibiotic at the site of initial mucosal entry but lower systemic drug concentrations. The in vivo efficacy of lipoquin and apulmiq delivered by intranasal instillation was studied at different doses and schedules in both a post exposure prophylaxis (PEP) therapy model and in a delayed treatment model of murine inhalational anthrax. In the mouse model of infection, the survival curves for all treatment cohorts differed significantly from the vehicle control. Ciprofloxacin, lipoquin and apulmiq provided a high level of protection (87–90%) after 7 days of therapy when administered within 24 hours of exposure. Reducing therapy to only three days still provided protection of 60–87%, if therapy was provided within 24 hours of exposure. If treatment was initiated 48 hours after exposure the survival rate was reduced to 46–65%. These studies suggest that lipoquin and apulmiq may be attractive therapies as PEP and as part of a treatment cocktail for B. anthracis.

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<![CDATA[The evolution and genetic diversity of avian influenza A(H9N2) viruses in Cambodia, 2015 – 2016]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/Ncf402c92-86f9-4684-b431-03c7c64bd7da

Low pathogenic A(H9N2) subtype avian influenza viruses (AIVs) were originally detected in Cambodian poultry in 2013, and now circulate endemically. We sequenced and characterised 64 A(H9N2) AIVs detected in Cambodian poultry (chickens and ducks) from January 2015 to May 2016. All A(H9) viruses collected in 2015 and 2016 belonged to a new BJ/94-like h9-4.2.5 sub-lineage that emerged in the region during or after 2013, and was distinct to previously detected Cambodian viruses. Overall, there was a reduction of genetic diversity of H9N2 since 2013, however two genotypes were detected in circulation, P and V, with extensive reassortment between the viruses. Phylogenetic analysis showed a close relationship between A(H9N2) AIVs detected in Cambodian and Vietnamese poultry, highlighting cross-border trade/movement of live, domestic poultry between the countries. Wild birds may also play a role in A(H9N2) transmission in the region. Some genes of the Cambodian isolates frequently clustered with zoonotic A(H7N9), A(H9N2) and A(H10N8) viruses, suggesting a common ecology. Molecular analysis showed 100% of viruses contained the hemagglutinin (HA) Q226L substitution, which favours mammalian receptor type binding. All viruses were susceptible to the neuraminidase inhibitor antivirals; however, 41% contained the matrix (M2) S31N substitution associated with resistance to adamantanes. Overall, Cambodian A(H9N2) viruses possessed factors known to increase zoonotic potential, and therefore their evolution should be continually monitored.

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<![CDATA[Cutaneous leishmaniasis and co-morbid major depressive disorder: A systematic review with burden estimates]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c7d95d9d5eed0c484734dd0

Background

Major depressive disorder (MDD) associated with chronic neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) has been identified as a significant and overlooked contributor to overall disease burden. Cutaneous leishmaniasis (CL) is one of the most prevalent and stigmatising NTDs, with an incidence of around 1 million new cases of active CL infection annually. However, the characteristic residual scarring (inactive CL) following almost all cases of active CL has only recently been recognised as part of the CL disease spectrum due to its lasting psychosocial impact.

Methods and findings

We performed a multi-language systematic review of the psychosocial impact of active and inactive CL. We estimated inactive CL (iCL) prevalence for the first time using reported WHO active CL (aCL) incidence data that were adjusted for life expectancy and underreporting. We then quantified the disability (YLD) burden of co-morbid MDD in CL using MDD disability weights at three severity levels. Overall, we identified 29 studies of CL psychological impact from 5 WHO regions, representing 11 of the 50 highest burden countries for CL. We conservatively calculated the disability burden of co-morbid MDD in CL to be 1.9 million YLDs, which equalled the overall (DALY) disease burden (assuming no excess mortality in depressed CL patients). Thus, upon inclusion of co-morbid MDD alone in both active and inactive CL, the DALY burden was seven times higher than the latest 2016 Global Burden of Disease study estimates, which notably omitted both psychological impact and inactive CL.

Conclusions

Failure to include co-morbid MDD and the lasting sequelae of chronic NTDs, as exemplified by CL, leads to large underestimates of overall disease burden.

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<![CDATA[Long term outcomes and prognostics of visceral leishmaniasis in HIV infected patients with use of pentamidine as secondary prophylaxis based on CD4 level: a prospective cohort study in Ethiopia]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c784fedd5eed0c48400792b

Background

The long-term treatment outcome of visceral leishmaniasis (VL) patients with HIV co-infection is complicated by a high rate of relapse, especially when the CD4 count is low. Although use of secondary prophylaxis is recommended, it is not routinely practiced and data on its effectiveness and safety are limited.

Methods

A prospective cohort study was conducted in Northwest Ethiopia from August 2014 to August 2017 (NCT02011958). HIV-VL patients were followed for up to 12 months. Patients with CD4 cell counts below 200/μL at the end of VL treatment received pentamidine prophylaxis starting one month after parasitological cure, while those with CD4 count ≥200 cells/μL were followed without secondary prophylaxis. Compliance, safety and relapse-free survival, using Kaplan-Meier analysis methods to account for variable time at risk, were summarised. Risk factors for relapse or death were analysed.

Results

Fifty-four HIV patients were followed. The probability of relapse-free survival at one year was 50% (95% confidence interval [CI]: 35–63%): 53% (30–71%) in 22 patients with CD4 ≥200 cells/μL without pentamidine prophylaxis and 46% (26–63%) in 29 with CD4 <200 cells/μL who started pentamidine. Three patients with CD4 <200 cells/μL did not start pentamidine. Amongst those with CD4 ≥200 cells/μL, VL relapse was an independent risk factor for subsequent relapse or death (adjusted rate ratio: 5.42, 95% CI: 1.1–25.8). Except for one case of renal failure which was considered possibly related to pentamidine, there were no drug-related safety concerns.

Conclusion

The relapse-free survival rate for VL patients with HIV was low. Relapse-free survival of patients with CD4 count <200cells/μL given pentamidine secondary prophylaxis appeared to be comparable to patients with a CD4 count ≥200 cells/μL not given prophylaxis. Patients with relapsed VL are at higher risk for subsequent relapse and should be considered a priority for secondary prophylaxis, irrespective of their CD4 count.

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<![CDATA[Evolutionary behaviour of bacterial prion-like proteins]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c8823f7d5eed0c484639437

Prions in eukaryotes have been linked to diseases, evolutionary capacitance, large-scale genetic control and long-term memory formation. In bacteria, constructed prion-forming proteins have been described, such as the prion-forming protein recently described for Clostridium botulinum transcription terminator Rho. Here, I analyzed the evolution of the Rho prion-forming domain across bacteria, and discovered that its conservation is sporadic both in the Clostridium genus and in bacteria generally. Nonetheless, it has an apparent evolutionary reach into eight or more different bacterial phyla. Motivated by these results, I investigated whether this pattern of wide-ranging evolutionary sporadicity is typical of bacterial prion-like domains. A measure of coverage of a domain (C) within its evolutionary range was derived, which is effectively a weighted fraction of the number of species in which the domain is found. I observe that occurrence across multiple phyla is not uncommon for bacterial prion-like protein domain families, but that they tend to sample of a low fraction of species within their evolutionary range, like Rho. The Rho prion-like domain family is one of the top three most widely distributed prion-like protein domain families in terms of number of phyla. There are >60 prion-like protein domain families that have at least the evolutionary coverage of Rho, and are found in multiple phyla. The implications of these findings for evolution and for experimental investigations into prion-forming proteins are discussed.

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<![CDATA[Host and parasite responses in human diffuse cutaneous leishmaniasis caused by L. amazonensis]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c8acc39d5eed0c48498f231

Diffuse cutaneous leishmaniasis (DCL) is a rare form of leishmaniasis where parasites grow uncontrolled in diffuse lesions across the skin. Meta-transcriptomic analysis of biopsies from DCL patients infected with Leishmania amazonensis demonstrated an infiltration of atypical B cells producing a surprising preponderance of the IgG4 isotype. DCL lesions contained minimal CD8+ T cell transcripts and no evidence of persistent TH2 responses. Whereas localized disease exhibited activated (so-called M1) macrophage presence, transcripts in DCL suggested a regulatory macrophage (R-Mϕ) phenotype with higher levels of ABCB5, DCSTAMP, SPP1, SLAMF9, PPARG, MMPs, and TM4SF19. The high levels of parasite transcripts in DCL and the remarkable uniformity among patients afforded a unique opportunity to study parasite gene expression in this disease. Patterns of parasite gene expression in DCL more closely resembled in vitro parasite growth in resting macrophages, in the absence of T cells. In contrast, parasite gene expression in LCL revealed 336 parasite genes that were differently upregulated, relative to DCL and in vitro macrophage growth, and these transcripts may represent transcripts that are produced by the parasite in response to host immune pressure.

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<![CDATA[The role of TLR9 on Leishmania amazonensis infection and its influence on intranasal LaAg vaccine efficacy]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c7d95ebd5eed0c484734fa1

Leishmania (L.) amazonensis is one of the etiological agents of cutaneous leishmaniasis (CL) in Brazil. Currently, there is no vaccine approved for human use against leishmaniasis, although several vaccine preparations are in experimental stages. One of them is Leishvacin, or LaAg, a first-generation vaccine composed of total L. amazonensis antigens that has consistently shown an increase of mouse resistance against CL when administered intranasally (i.n.). Since Toll-like receptor 9 (TLR9) is highly expressed in the nasal mucosa and LaAg is composed of TLR9-binding DNA CpG motifs, in this study we proposed to investigate the role of TLR9 in both L. amazonensis infection and in LaAg vaccine efficacy in C57BL/6 (WT) mice and TLR9-/- mice. First, we evaluated, the infection of macrophages by L. amazonensis in vitro, showing no significant difference between macrophages from WT and TLR9-/- mice in terms of both infection percentage and total number of intracellular amastigotes, as well as NO production. In addition, neutrophils from WT and TLR9-/- mice had similar capacity to produce neutrophil extracellular traps (NETs) in response to L. amazonensis. L. amazonensis did not activate dendritic cells from WT and TLR9-/- mice, analysed by MHCII and CD86 expression. However, in vivo, TLR9-/- mice were slightly more susceptible to L. amazonensis infection than WT mice, presenting a larger lesion and an increased parasite load at the peak of infection and in the chronic phase. The increased TLR9-/- mice susceptibility was accompanied by an increased IgG and IgG1 production; a decrease of IFN-γ in infected tissue, but not IL-4 and IL-10; and a decreased number of IFN-γ producing CD8+ T cells, but not CD4+ T cells in the lesion-draining lymph nodes. Also, TLR9-/- mice could not control parasite growth following i.n. LaAg vaccination unlike the WT mice. This protection failure was associated with a reduction of the hypersensitivity response induced by immunization. The TLR9-/- vaccinated mice failed to respond to antigen stimulation and to produce IFN-γ by lymph node cells. Together, these results suggest that TLR9 contributes to C57BL/6 mouse resistance against L. amazonensis, and that the TLR9-binding LaAg comprising CpG motifs may be important for intranasal vaccine efficacy against CL.

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<![CDATA[Evaluation of a class of isatinoids identified from a high-throughput screen of human kinase inhibitors as anti-Sleeping Sickness agents]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c6730afd5eed0c484f37eca

New treatments are needed for neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) such as Human African trypanosomiasis (HAT), Chagas disease, and schistosomiasis. Through a whole organism high-throughput screening campaign, we previously identified 797 human kinase inhibitors that grouped into 59 structural clusters and showed activity against T. brucei, the causative agent of HAT. We herein report the results of further investigation of one of these clusters consisting of substituted isatin derivatives, focusing on establishing structure-activity and -property relationship scope. We also describe their in vitro absorption, distribution, metabolism, and excretion (ADME) properties. For one isatin, NEU-4391, which offered the best activity-property profile, pharmacokinetic parameters were measured in mice.

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<![CDATA[Identification of French Guiana sand flies using MALDI-TOF mass spectrometry with a new mass spectra library]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c5df366d5eed0c48458120f

Phlebotomine sand flies are insects that are highly relevant in medicine, particularly as the sole proven vectors of leishmaniasis. Accurate identification of sand fly species is an essential prerequisite for eco-epidemiological studies aiming to better understand the disease. Traditional morphological identification is painstaking and time-consuming, and molecular methods for extensive screening remain expensive. Recent studies have shown that matrix-assisted laser desorption and ionization time-of-flight mass spectrometry (MALDI-TOF MS) is a promising tool for rapid and cost-effective identification of arthropod vectors, including sand flies. The aim of this study was to validate the use of MALDI-TOF MS for the identification of Northern Amazonian sand flies. We constituted a MALDI-TOF MS reference database comprising 29 species of sand flies that were field-collected in French Guiana, which are expected to cover many of the more common species of the Northern Amazonian region, including known vectors of leishmaniasis. Carrying out a blind test, all the sand flies tested (n = 157) with a log (score) threshold greater than 1.7 were correctly identified at the species level. We confirmed that MALDI-TOF MS protein profiling is a useful tool for the study of sand flies, including neotropical species, known for their great diversity. An application that includes the spectra generated here will be available to the scientific community in the near future via an online platform.

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<![CDATA[Comparison of the new fully automated extraction platform eMAG to the MagNA PURE 96 and the well-established easyMAG for detection of common human respiratory viruses]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c75ac8ad5eed0c484d089f7

Respiratory viral infections constitute the majority of samples tested in the clinical virology laboratory during the winter season, and are mainly diagnosed using molecular assays, namely real-time PCR (qPCR). Therefore, a high-quality extraction process is critical for successful, reliable and sensitive qPCR results. Here we aimed to evaluate the performance of the newly launched eMAG compared to the fully automated MagNA PURE 96 (Roche, Germany) and to the semi-automated easyMAG (bioMerieux, France) extraction platforms. For this analysis, we assessed and compared the analytic and clinical performance of the three platforms, using 262 archived respiratory samples positive or negative to common viruses regularly examined in our laboratory (influenza A, B, H1N1pdm, Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV), human Metapneumovirus (hMPV), parainfluenza-3, adenovirus and negative samples). In addition, quantitated virus controls were used to determine the limit of detection of each extraction method.

In all categories tested, eMAG results were comparable to those of the easyMAG and MagNa PURE 96, highly sensitive for all viruses and over 98% clinical specificity and sensitivity for all viruses tested. Together with its high level of automation, the bioMerieux eMAG is a high-quality extraction platform enabling effective molecular analysis and is mostly suitable for medium-sized laboratories.

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