Sarcocystis nesbitti, using snakes as the definitive host, is a causative agent of acute human muscular sarcocystosis in Malaysia. Therefore, it is important to explore the distribution and prevalence of S. nesbitti in snakes. Nevertheless, epizootiological information of S. nesbitti in snakes remains insufficient because few surveys have assessed Sarcocystis infection in snakes in endemic countries. In Japan, snakes are popular exotic pet animals that are imported from overseas, but the degree of Sarcocystis infection in them remains unclear. The possibility exists that muscular sarcocystosis by S. nesbitti occurs in contact with captive snakes in non-endemic countries. For a total of 125 snake faecal samples from 67 snake species collected at animal hospitals, pet shops and a zoo, this study investigated the presence of Sarcocystis using polymerase chain reaction (PCR) for the 18S ribosomal RNA gene (18S rDNA). Four (3.2%) faecal samples were positive by PCR. Phylogenetic analysis of the 18S rDNA sequences obtained from four amplification products revealed one isolate from a beauty snake (Elaphe taeniura), Sarcocystis zuoi, which uses rat snakes as the definitive host. The isolate from a Macklot's python (Liasis mackloti) was closely related with unidentified Sarcocystis sp. from reticulated pythons in Malaysia. The remaining two isolates from tree boas (Corallus spp.) were closely related with Sarcocystis lacertae, Sarcocystis gallotiae and unidentified Sarcocystis sp. from smooth snakes, Tenerife lizards and European shrews, respectively. This report is the first of a study examining the distribution of Sarcocystis species in captive snakes in Japan.
Trichomonas vaginalis, a flagellated protozoan parasite causes a variety of adverse health consequences in both men and women. The parasite exists in the trophozoite and the pseudocystic stage. The study reports for the first time that pseudocyst forms of T. vaginalis isolated from cervical neoplasia (CN) patients demonstrated distinct, different and significant in vitro growth profiles when grown in vitro cultures from day 1 up to day 5 (p<0.05, Mann-Whitney test) when compared with the same life cycle stages isolated from non-cervical neoplasia but symptomatic patients (NCN). Pseudocysts from CN and NCN isolates remained viable in distilled water until 3 h 10 min and 2 h 10 min, respectively. The nucleus of pseudocysts in CN isolates using acridine orange and DAPI showed more intense staining revealing higher nuclear content. The FITC-labeled Concanavalin A stained stronger green fluorescence with surface of pseudocysts in CN isolates showing more rough and creased surface with higher numbers of deep micropores with larger numbers of chromatin masses, vacuoles, and hydrogenosomes. The study confirms that pseudocystic stage from CN, despite the uniformity in appearance of being rounded and showing no motility without a true cyst wall under light microscopy, demonstrated different biochemical, surface, and ultrastructural properties. The study provides evidence that phenotypic variant forms of pseudocysts does exist and possibly does play a role in exacerbating cervical cancer.
Detection of Strongyloides stercoralis infection particularly in asymptomatic individuals is often hampered due to the lack of standard diagnostic tools. In this study, the use of serological and molecular approaches were investigated for the detection of S. stercoralis infection among an Orang Asli (indigenous) community following a preliminary detection by microscopic examination of faecal samples. Out of 54 individuals studied, 17/54 (31.5%) were detected to be positive for S. stercoralis infection by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA), compared to 0/54 (0%) by faecal examination. Further confirmation performed by a nested polymerase chain reaction (PCR) using DNA extracted from faecal samples of these 17 individuals yielded 3/17 (17.6%) positives for S. stercoralis DNA amplification. No amplification was seen with the other 37 faecal samples, which were negative by microscopy and ELISA. As the high ELISA positive results were suspected to be false-positives, ELISA is not recommended for use as a detection tool but may be beneficial for evaluating the effectiveness of anti-Strongyloides drugs. The present finding indicated that PCR should be considered as an alternative diagnostic tool for the detection of S. stercoralis infection.
The sensitivity of larval paralysis assay (LPA) and 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyl tetrazolium bromide-formazan (MTT-formazan) assay was compared to evaluate the anthelmintic activity of plant extracts. In this study, the methanolic extract of Azadirachta indica (neem) was evaluated for its activity against the infective-stage larvae (L(3)) of susceptible and resistant Haemonchus contortus strains using the two aforementioned assays. In both in vitro assays, the same serial concentrations of the extract were used, and the median lethal concentrations were determined to compare the sensitivity of both assays. The results revealed a significant difference (P < 0.05) in the sensitivity of the LPA and the MTT-formazan assay. The MTT-formazan assay is more feasible for practical applications because it measured the L(3) mortality more accurately than LPA. This study may help find a suitable assay for investigating the anthelmintic activity of plant extracts against trichostrongylid nematodes.
Infectious diseases are the leading cause of morbidity and mortality, killing more than 15 million people worldwide. This is despite our advances in antimicrobial chemotherapy and supportive care. Nanoparticles offer a promising technology to enhance drug efficacy and formation of effective vehicles for drug delivery. Here, we conjugated amphotericin B, nystatin (macrocyclic polyenes), and fluconazole (azole) with silver nanoparticles. Silver-conjugated drugs were synthesized successfully and characterized by ultraviolet-visible spectrophotometry, Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, and atomic force microscopy. Conjugated and unconjugated drugs were tested against Acanthamoeba castellanii belonging to the T4 genotype using amoebicidal assay and host cell cytotoxicity assay. Viability assays revealed that silver nanoparticles conjugated with amphotericin B (Amp-AgNPs) and nystatin (Nys-AgNPs) exhibited significant antiamoebic properties compared with drugs alone or AgNPs alone (P
Acanthamoeba castellanii belonging to the T4 genotype is an opportunistic pathogen which is associated with blinding eye keratitis and rare but fatal central nervous system infection. A. castellanii pose serious challenges in antimicrobial chemotherapy due to its ability to convert into resistant, hardy shell-protected cyst form that leads to infection recurrence. The fatty acid composition of A. castellanii trophozoites is known to be most abundant in oleic acid which chemically is an unsaturated cis-9-Octadecanoic acid and naturally found in animal and vegetable fats and oils. This study was designed to evaluate antiacanthamoebic effects of oleic acid against trophozoites, cysts as well as parasite-mediated host cell cytotoxicity. Moreover, oleic acid-conjugated silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) were also synthesized and tested against A. castellanii. Oleic acid-AgNPs were synthesized by chemical reduction method and characterized by ultraviolet-visible spectrophotometry, atomic force microscopy, dynamic light scattering analysis, and Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy. Viability, growth inhibition, encystation, and excystation assays were performed with 10 and 5 μM concentration of oleic acid alone and oleic acid-conjugated AgNPs. Bioassays revealed that oleic acid alone and oleic acid-conjugated AgNPs exhibited significant antiamoebic properties, whereas nanoparticle conjugation further enhanced the efficacy of oleic acid. Phenotype differentiation assays also showed significant inhibition of encystation and excystation at 5 μM. Furthermore, oleic acid and oleic acid-conjugated AgNPs also inhibited amoebae-mediated host cell cytotoxicity as determined by lactate dehydrogenase release. These findings for the first time suggest that oleic acid-conjugated AgNPs exhibit antiacanthamoebic activity that hold potential for therapeutic applications against A. castellanii.
Eliminating the Plasmodium vivax malaria parasite infection remains challenging. One of the main problems is its capacity to form hypnozoites that potentially lead to recurrent infections. At present, primaquine is the only drug used for the management of hypnozoites. However, the effects of primaquine may differ from one individual to another. The aim of this work is to determine new measures to reduce P. vivax recurrence, through primaquine metabolism and host genetics. A genetic study of MAO-A, CYP2D6, CYP1A2 and CYP2C19 and their roles in primaquine metabolism was undertaken of healthy volunteers (n = 53). The elimination rate constant (Ke) and the metabolite-to-parent drug concentration ratio (Cm/Cp) were obtained to assess primaquine metabolism. Allelic and genotypic analysis showed that polymorphisms MAO-A (rs6323, 891G>T), CYP2D6 (rs1065852, 100C>T) and CYP2C19 (rs4244285, 19154G>A) significantly influenced primaquine metabolism. CYP1A2 (rs762551, -163C>A) did not influence primaquine metabolism. In haplotypic analysis, significant differences in Ke (p = 0.00) and Cm/Cp (p = 0.05) were observed between individuals with polymorphisms, GG-MAO-A (891G>T), CT-CYP2D6 (100C>T) and GG-CYP2C19 (19154G>A), and individuals with polymorphisms, TT-MAO-A (891G>T), TT-CYP2D6 (100C>T) and AA-CYP2C19 (19154G>A), as well as polymorphisms, GG-MAO-A (891G>T), TT-CYP2D6 (100C>T) and GA-CYP2C19 (19154G>A). Thus, individuals with CYP2D6 polymorphisms had slower primaquine metabolism activity. The potential significance of genetic roles in primaquine metabolism and exploration of these might help to further optimise the management of P. vivax infection.
The intraspecific variation of four laboratory-reared isolates of Taenia taeniaformis the SRN and KRN isolates from Norway rats, Rattus norvegicus, captured in Japan and Malaysia, respectively; the BMM isolated from a house mouse, Mus musculus, captured in Belgium; and the ACR isolate from a gray red-backed vole, Clethrionomys rufocanus bedfordiae, captured in Japan was examined by various criteria. Eggs of each of the four isolates were orally inoculated into several species of intermediate host. They were most infective to the rodent species from which the original metacestode of each isolate had been isolated in the field, and only the ACR isolate was infective to the gray red-backed vole. Although little difference was found between the SRN, KRN, and BMM isolates by the other criteria, including the morphology of rostellar hooks, the protein composition of the metacestode, and restriction endonuclease analysis of DNA, the ACR isolate was clearly different from the others. It was considered that the ACR isolate was independent as a strain distinct from the other three isolates.
The authors studied the myxosporean infection of wild gobiid fishes (Perciformes: Gobioidei) in the Merang Estuary of Terengganu, Malaysia, and described Myxobolus ophiocarae sp. n. in Ophiocara porocephala. Several myxosporean plasmodia were found intralamellarly within the gill filaments. The spores differed from those of other Myxobolus species previously recorded on gobiid fishes. They were round in valvular view and lens-shaped in sutural view, and had two equal-sized, pyriform polar capsules with polar filaments having six to seven turns. The spores measured 10.34 × 8.79 × 4.53 μm. The 18S rDNA sequence of M. ophiocarae sp. n., based on a contiguous sequence of 1,789 base pairs, differed from any other Myxobolus spp. in GenBank. Phylogenetic analysis of the 18S rDNA gene revealed that this species showed the closest similarity to Myxobolus nagaraensis, Myxobolus lentisuturalis, and Myxobolus cultus.
The pathogenesis of Blastocystis hominis in human hosts has always been a matter of debate as it is present in both symptomatic and asymptomatic individuals. A recent report showed that B. hominis isolated from an asymptomatic individual could facilitate the proliferation and growth of existing cancer cells while having the potential to downregulate the host immune response. The present study investigated the differences between the effects of symptomatic and asymptomatic derived solubilized antigen of B. hominis (Blasto-Ag) on the cell viability and proliferation of colorectal cancer cells. Besides that, the gene expression of cytokine and nuclear transcriptional factors in response to the symptomatic and asymptomatic B. hominis antigen in HCT116 was also compared. In the current study, an increase in cell proliferation was observed in HCT116 cells which led to the speculation that B. hominis infection could facilitate the growth of colorectal cancer cells. In addition, a more significant upregulation of Th2 cytokines observed in HCT116 may lead to the postulation that symptomatic Blasto-Ag may have the potential in weakening the cellular immune response, allowing the progression of existing tumor cells. The upregulation of nuclear factor kappa light chain enhancer of activated B cells (NF-κB) was observed in HCT116 exposed to symptomatic Blasto-Ag, while asymptomatic Blasto-Ag exhibited an insignificant effect on NF-κB gene expression in HCT116. HCT116 cells exposed to symptomatic and asymptomatic Blasto-Ag caused a significant upregulation of CTSB which lead to the postulation that the Blasto-Ag may enhance the invasive and metastasis properties of colorectal cancer. In conclusion, antigen isolated from a symptomatic individual is more pathogenic as compared to asymptomatic isolates as it caused a more extensive inflammatory reaction as well as more enhanced proliferation of cancer cells.
Blastocystis hominis is one of the most common intestinal protozoan parasites in humans, and reports have shown that blastocystosis is coupled with intestinal disorders. In the past, researchers have developed an in vitro model using B. hominis culture filtrates to investigate its ability in triggering inflammatory cytokine responses and transcription factors in human colonic epithelial cells. Studies have also correlated the inflammation by parasitic infection with cancer. The present study provides evidence of the parasite facilitating cancer cell growth through observing the cytopathic effect, cellular immunomodulation, and apoptotic responses of B. hominis, especially in malignancy. Here we investigated the effect of solubilized antigen from B. hominis on cell viability, using peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) and human colorectal carcinoma cells (HCT116). The gene expressions of cytokines namely interleukin 6 (IL-6), IL-8, tumor necrosis factor alpha, interferon gamma, nuclear factor kappa light-chain enhancer of activated B cells (a gene transcription factor), and proapoptotic genes namely protein 53 and cathepsin B were also studied. Results exhibited favor the fact that antigen from B. hominis, at a certain concentration, could facilitate the growth of HCT116 while having the ability to downregulate immune cell responses (PBMCs). Therefore, there is a vital need to screen colorectal cancer patients for B. hominis infection as it possesses the ability to enhance the tumor growth.
The fact whether Blastocystis hominis can invade has always been in question. Apart from a few sporadic studies such as that done on gnotobiotic guinea pigs which showed surface invasion and mucosal inflammation of the host's intestine caused by B. hominis infection, no real documentation of invasion has been proven. Studies have shown that hyaluronidase is secreted during the penetration into the host's skin and gut by nematode parasites. Hyaluronidase activity in protozoa namely Entamoeba histolytica has also been described previously. This study attempts to determine hyaluronidase in urine samples of B. hominis-infected rats. The presence of hyaluronidase in urine provides an indirect evidence of invasion by B. hominis into colonic epithelium causing the degradation of extracellular matrix proteins namely hyaluronic acid (HA). HA is depolymerized by hyaluronidase which may be used by organisms to invade one another. In this study, the levels of urinary hyaluronidase of Sprague-Dawley rats infected with B. hominis were monitored for 30 days. Hyaluronidase levels in the infected rats were significantly higher on days 28 and 30 compared to the day before inoculation (P < 0.01 and P < 0.05, respectively). During this stage, parasitic burden in infected stools was also at a high level. Proinflammatory cytokines, interleukin-6 and interleukin-8, were also significantly higher (P < 0.05) in the serum of infected rats. The study demonstrates that since no other pathogen was present and that amoeboid forms of the parasites have been shown to exist previously, the elevated levels of hyaluronidase in this preliminary finding suggests that the organism is capable of having invasion or penetration activity in the hosts' intestine.
This study focuses on the larvicidal, oviposition, and ovicidal effects of a crude extract of Artemisia annua against Aedes aegypti, Anopheles sinensis, and Culex quinquefasciatus. Dried cells of Artemisia annua from cell suspension cultures were extracted using hexane. The extract showed moderate larvicidal effects against mosquitoes. At 24-h post treatment, the LC50 values for Anopheles sinensis, Aedes aegypti, and Culex quinquefasciatus were recorded as 244.55, 276.14, and 374.99 ppm, respectively. The percentage mortality of larvae was directly proportional to the tested concentration. Anopheles sinensis was found to be the most susceptible species, whereas Culex quinquefasciatus was the most tolerant to the Artemisia annua extract. The results indicated that the Artemisia annua extract showed concentration-dependent oviposition deterrent activity and had a strong deterrent effect. At 500 ppm, the percentage effective repellency was more than 85% compared with the control group for all the species, with oviposition activity index values of -0.94, -0.95, and -0.78 for Aedes aegypti, Anopheles sinensis, and Culex quinquefasciatus, respectively. In the ovicidal assay, the percentage hatchability of eggs after treatment with 500 ppm of Artemisia annua extract was significantly lower than the control, with values of 48.84 ± 4.08, 38.42 ± 3.67, and 79.35 ± 2.09% for Aedes aegypti, Anopheles sinensis, and Culex quinquefasciatus, respectively. Artemisia annua was found to be more effective against Aedes aegypti and Anopheles sinensis compared with Culex quinquefasciatus. This study indicated that crude extract of A. annua could be a potential alternative for use in vector management programs.
Toxoplasma gondii infects all warm-blooded animals including humans, causing serious public health problems and great economic loss in the food industry. Commonly used serological tests involve preparation of whole Toxoplasma lysate antigens from tachyzoites which are costly and hazardous. An alternative method for better antigen production involving the prokaryotic expression system was therefore used in this study. Recombinant dense granular protein, GRA2, was successfully cloned, expressed, and purified in Escherichia coli, BL21 (DE3) pLysS. The potential of this purified antigen for diagnosis of human infections was evaluated through western blot analysis against 100 human serum samples. Results showed that the rGRA2 protein has 100 and 61.5 % sensitivity towards acute and chronic infection, respectively, in T. gondii-infected humans, indicating that this protein is useful in differentiating present and past infections. Therefore, it is suitable to be used as a sensitive and specific molecular marker for the serodiagnosis of Toxoplasma infection in both humans and animals.
This article is a review of the latest information on the prevalence of G. lamblia in South Asia, South East Asia and Far East, characterizing the current endemic situation within these regions. Around 33 published papers from 2002-2007 were collected on G. lamblia. The included countries were Nepal, Bangladesh, India, Cambodia, Vietnam, Malaysia, Philippines, Indonesia, Thailand, Republic of Korea, and China. Only five published papers were discarded because data was extracted before 2002-2007 or they are not included within our regions, emphasizing more on G. lamblia in animals, or performed at extensive molecular level. The prevalence of G. lamblia varied markedly between studies illustrating higher levels in the urban than in the rural areas, more among poor communities, slightly higher in males than in females with age range of 2-5-year-old children, and among university students, old-aged people, HIV-positive patients, and gastric carcinoma patients. Though G. lamblia is not a life-threatening parasite, nevertheless, it is still considered as the most common water-borne diarrhea-causing disease. It is important to understand the etiology, frequency, and consequences of acute diarrhea in children. Routine surveillance such as bi-annual follow-up treatments, treating G. duodenalis cysts and other protozoa oocysts detected in ground water sources, and continuous health education are the most preventive measures.
The WHO adult susceptibility test is in use for insecticide resistance monitoring. Presently, materials are being imported from the Universiti Sains Malaysia, Malaysia and sometimes it is cost prohibitive. As an alternative, we present here a method of bottle bioassay using indigenous material. Different aspects related to the assay were studied and validated in the field. Bottle assay was standardized in the laboratory by using locally sourced material and laboratory-maintained insecticide-susceptible Anopheles stephensi and Aedes aegypti strains against technical grade deltamethrin and cyfluthrin insecticides dissolved in ethanol in a range of different concentrations. The frequency of use of the deltamethrin-coated bottles and shelf-life were determined. Discriminating dose for deltamethrin and cyfluthrin was 10 μg against An. stephensi and 2 μg against Ae. aegypti females. Insecticide-coated bottles stored at 25 to 35 °C can be used for three exposures within 7 days of coating. The study carried out in the laboratory was validated on wild caught An. culicifacies in the states of Odisha and Chhattisgarh against deltamethrin-coated bottles in comparison to WHO adult susceptibility test. Results of the study indicated that deltamethrin-coated bottles were effective up to three exposures within 7 days of coating for field population and 100% mortality was recorded within 35 min as observed in laboratory studies for field collected susceptible population. Also in the WHO adult susceptibility test, 100% knock-down within 35 min and 100% mortality after 24 h holding period were observed in susceptible population, while in it was 50% knock-down in 1 h and 64% mortality after 24 h holding period for resistant population (50% mortality in bottle assay in 60 min). The bottle assay can be used as an alternative to the WHO adult susceptibility test both in the laboratory and field for monitoring insecticide resistance in mosquito vectors using locally sourced material.
A gene encoding the larval excretory-secretory antigen TES-120 of the dog ascarid worm Toxocara canis was cloned into the methylotrophic yeast Pichia pastoris. Specificity of the recombinant TES-120 antigen produced by the yeast was investigated. Forty-five human serum samples from patients infected with different()parasitic organisms, including 8 cases of toxocariasis, were tested against the recombinant antigen in immunoblot assays. Results from the assays showed that the recombinant TES-120 antigen reacted with sera from toxocariasis patients only. This highly specific recombinant TES-120 antigen can potentially be used for the development of an inexpensive serodiagnostic assay for human toxocariasis.
Dirofilaria immitis is a parasite of domestic and wild canids and felids in tropical, subtropical and temperate regions throughout the world. The canine heartworm (D. immitis) is the causative agent of canine and feline cardiopulmonary dirofilariasis. This parasite is known to cause a zoonotic disease, namely human pulmonary dirofilariasis. D. immitis is known to be endemic in several South and Southeast Asian countries (e.g. India and Malaysia), but there has previously been no information about the presence of this pathogen in Bangladesh. We present a case of canine dirofilariasis caused by D. immitis in rural southeastern Bangladesh. A male filaroid nematode (95 mm in length and 1.94 mm in width) was identified in the heart of a dog. Species classification was performed by microscopy and molecular tools. Sequence analysis revealed a 100 % identity within the mitochondrial cytochrome c oxidase I (CO1) gene to two Chinese and one Australian D. immitis samples. Usually, dogs stay outside overnight with a high risk to get infected with D. immitis via nocturnal mosquito vectors, which may lead to high prevalences of this pathogen in the canine population and thus increase the risk of human infections with this neglected parasitic disease.
Brain-eating amoebae (Acanthamoeba spp., Balamuthia mandrillaris, Naegleria fowleri) have gained increasing attention owing to their capacity to produce severe human and animal infections involving the brain. Early detection is a pre-requisite in successful prognosis. Here, we developed a nanoPCR assay for the rapid detection of brain-eating amoebae using various nanoparticles. Graphene oxide, copper and alumina nanoparticles used in this study were characterized using Raman spectroscopy measurements through excitation with a He-Ne laser, while powder X-ray diffraction patterns were taken on a PANanalytical, X'Pert HighScore diffractometer and the morphology of the materials was confirmed using high-resolution transmission electron microscopy (HRTEM). Using nanoparticle-assisted PCR, the results revealed that graphene oxide, copper oxide and alumina nanoparticles significantly enhanced PCR efficiency in the detection of pathogenic free-living amoebae using genus-specific probes. The optimal concentration of graphene oxide, copper oxide and alumina nanoparticles for Acanthamoeba spp. was determined at 0.4, 0.04 and 0.4 μg per mL respectively. For B. mandrillaris, the optimal concentration was determined at 0.4 μg per mL for graphene oxide, copper oxide and alumina nanoparticles, and for Naegleria, the optimal concentration was 0.04, 4.0 and 0.04 μg per mL respectively. Moreover, combinations of these nanoparticles proved to further enhance PCR efficiency. The addition of metal oxide nanoparticles leads to excellent surface effect, while thermal conductivity property of the nanoparticles enhances PCR productivity. These findings suggest that nanoPCR assay has tremendous potential in the clinical diagnosis of parasitic infections as well as for studying epidemiology and pathology and environmental monitoring of other microbes.
Phosphatidylinositol 4-phosphate 5-kinase (PIP5K) may play an important role in host-cell invasion by the Eimeria species, protozoan parasites which can cause severe intestinal disease in livestock. Here, we report the structural organization of the PIP5K gene in Eimeria maxima (Weybridge strain). Two E. maxima BAC clones carrying the E. maxima PIP5K (EmPIP5K) coding sequences were selected for shotgun sequencing, yielding a 9.1-kb genomic segment. The EmPIP5K coding region was initially identified using in silico gene-prediction approaches and subsequently confirmed by mapping rapid amplification of cDNA ends and RT-PCR-generated cDNA sequence to its genomic segment. The putative EmPIP5K gene was located at position 710-8036 nt on the complimentary strand and comprised of 23 exons. Alignment of the 1147 amino acid sequence with previously annotated PIP5K proteins from other Apicomplexa species detected three conserved motifs encompassing the kinase core domain, which has been shown by previous protein deletion studies to be necessary for PIP5K protein function. Phylogenetic analysis provided further evidence that the putative EmPIP5K protein is orthologous to that of other Apicomplexa. Subsequent comparative gene structure characterization revealed events of intron loss/gain throughout the evolution of the apicomplexan PIP5K gene. Further scrutiny of the genomic structure revealed a possible trend towards "intron gain" between two of the motif regions. Our findings offer preliminary insights into the structural variations that have occurred during the evolution of the PIP5K locus and may aid in understanding the functional role of this gene in the cellular biology of apicomplexan parasites.