A total of 20 isolates of Blastocystis were characterized using a single set of polymerase chain reaction (PCR) primers. The amplification product revealed five types of pattern. All four isolates from Singapore yielded PCR products quite different from those of the local isolates. However, most of the local isolates showed a major product at either 280 or 500 bp, or both. We also suspected that the amplification product detected at 280 bp might be an indicator of the pathogenicity of this parasite. One isolate (M12) obtained from a monkey showed patterns similar to those of human isolates (10203 and KP1) and probably belongs to the same strain. The results indicate that the intraspecific or interstrain variations in these 20 Blastocystis isolates belong to 5 different patterns. The differences among isolates of the same strain revealed by the presence or absence of certain amplification products showed further intrastrain variations in this parasite.
Seaweeds are one of the most widely studied natural resources for their biological activities. Novel seaweed compounds with unique chemical structures have been reported for their pharmacological properties. The urge to search for novel insecticidal compound with a new mode of action for development of botanical insecticides supports the relevant scientific research on discovering the bioactive compounds in seaweeds. The mosquitocidal potential of seaweed extracts and their isolated compounds are documented in this review paper, along with the discussion on bioactivities of the major components of seaweeds such as polysaccharides, phenolics, proteins, terpenes, lipids, and halogenated compounds. The effects of seaweed extracts and compounds toward different life stages of mosquito (egg, larva, pupa, and adult), its growth, development, and reproduction are elaborated. The structure-activity relationships of mosquitocidal compounds are discussed to extrapolate the possible chemical characteristics of seaweed compounds responsible for insecticidal properties. Furthermore, the possible target sites and mode of actions of the mosquitocidal seaweed compounds are included in this paper. The potential synergistic effects between seaweeds and commercial insecticides as well as the toxic effects of seaweed extracts and compounds toward other insects and non-target organisms in the same habitat are also described. On top of that, various factors that influence the mosquitocidal potential of seaweeds, such as abiotic and biotic variables, sample preparation, test procedures, and considerations for a precise experimental design are discussed. The potential of active seaweed extracts and compounds in the development of effective bioinsecticide are also discussed.
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 Simulium rufibasis subgroup is one of three subgroups of the Simulium (Simulium) tuberosum species-group; it is characterized by a pair of clustered stout hairs on the ventral surface of female abdominal segment 7. A member of the S. rufibasis subgroup in Taiwan was investigated morphologically and genetically using the universal cytochrome c oxidase subunit I (COI) barcoding gene and polytene chromosomal banding pattern. The Taiwanese material is morphologically similar to S. rosliramlii Takaoka & Chen from Vietnam and represents the second species of the S. rufibasis subgroup known from Taiwan. It also represents a novel molecular lineage that is distinct from three other primary lineages identified as S. doipuiense, S. doipuiense/S. rufibasis, and S. weji previously reported from Thailand. The mitochondrial evidence for a distinct lineage in Taiwan is supported by chromosomal analysis, which revealed unique sex chromosomes. For nomenclatural stability, we associate the name S. arisanum Shiraki with the Taiwanese entity. Originally described from females from Taiwan, S. arisanum until now has remained an enigmatic species.
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.
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.
Thelohanellus kitauei is a freshwater myxosporean parasite causing intestinal giant cystic disease of common carp. To clarify the life cycle of T. kitauei, we investigated the oligochaete populations in China and Hungary. This study confirms two distinct aurantiactinomyxon morphotypes (Aurantiactinomyxon type 1 and Aurantiactinomyxon type 2) from Branchiura sowerbyi as developmental stages of the life cycle of T. kitauei. The morphological characteristics and DNA sequences of these two types are described here. Based on 18S rDNA sequence analysis, Aurantiactinomyxon type 1 (2048 bp) and Aurantiactinomyxon type 2 (2031 bp) share 99.2-99.4 %, 99.8-100 % similarity to the published sequences of T. kitauei, respectively. The 18S rDNA sequences of these two aurantiactinomyxon morphotypes share 99.4 % similarity, suggesting intraspecific variation within the taxon, possibly due to geographic origin. Phylogenetic analyses demonstrate the two aurantiactinomyxon types clustered with T. kitauei. Regardless, based on 18S rDNA synonymy, it is likely that Aurantiactinomyxon type 1 and 2 are conspecific with T. kitauei. This is the fourth elucidated two-host life cycle of Thelohanellus species and the first record of T. kitauei in Europe.
Examination of 35 barramundi (Lates calcarifer) from aquaculture cages in Setiu Wetland, Malaysia, revealed a single fish infected with three Henneguya spp. (Cnidaria: Myxosporea). Characterization of the infections using tissue tropism, myxospore morphology and morphometry and 18S rDNA sequencing supported description of three new species: Henneguya setiuensis n. sp., Henneguya voronini n. sp. and H. calcarifer n. sp. Myxospores of all three species had typical Henneguya morphology, with two polar capsules in the plane of the suture, an oval spore body, smooth valve cell surfaces, and two caudal appendages. Spores were morphometrically similar, and many dimensions overlapped, but H. voronini n. sp. had shorter caudal appendages compared with H. calcarifer n. sp. and H. setiuensis n. sp. Gross tissue tropism distinguished the muscle parasite H. calcarifer n. sp. from gill parasites H. setiuensis n. sp. and H. voronini n. sp.; and these latter two species were further separable by fine-scale location of developing plasmodia, which were intra-lamellar for H. setiuensis n. sp. and basal to the filaments for H. voronini n. sp. small subunit ribosomal DNA sequences distinguished all three species: the two gill species H. setiuensis n. sp. and H voronini n. sp. were only 88% similar (over 1708 bp), whereas the muscle species H. calcarifer n. sp. was most similar to H. voronini n. sp. (98% over 1696 bp). None of the three novel species was more than 90% similar to any known myxosporean sequence in GenBank. Low infection prevalence of these myxosporeans and lack of obvious tissue pathology from developing plasmodia suggested none of these parasites are currently a problem for barramundi culture in Setiu Wetland; however additional surveys of fish, particularly at different times of the year, would be informative for better risk assessment.
Blastocystis sp. is a common intestinal parasite. To date, there have been sporadic and scanty studies on Blastocystis sp. carried out in rural communities in Nepal. We surveyed the prevalence of Blastocystis sp. and its possible associated risk factors, and reported the predominant Blastocystis sp. subtype in two rural communities, Bolde Phediche and Bahunipati, in Nepal. Human faecal samples were collected from 241 participants, cultured using in vitro cultivation and examined for Blastocystis sp. The presence of Blastocystis sp. in faecal samples was further confirmed by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and subsequently genotyped using subtype-specific sequence tagged site (STS) primers. There were 26.1% (63/241) of the participants that were infected by Blastocystis sp. We detected 84.1% (53/63) of Blastocystis sp. subtype 4 infections in these rural communities. The unusually high prevalence of Blastocystis sp. subtype 4 can be attributed to the rearing of family-owned animals in barns built close to their houses. Eighty one percent (51/63) of the Blastocystis sp. infected participants drank not boiled or unfiltered water. The present study revealed that Blastocystis sp. could pose a health concern to the communities and travellers to the hilly area in Nepal. Infection may be transmitted through human-to-human, zoonotic and waterborne transmissions. We provide recommendations to ensure good public health practices.
Blastocystis sp. is a common intestinal parasite found in humans and animals. The possibility of zoonotic transmission to humans from livestock especially goats led us to investigate the genetic diversity of caprine Blastocystis sp. obtained from five different farms in Peninsular Malaysia. Moreover, there is a lack of information on the prevalence as well as genetic diversity of Blastocystis sp. in goat worldwide. Results showed that 73/236 (30.9 %) of the goats were found to be positive for Blastocystis infection. The most predominant Blastocystis sp. subtype was ST1 (60.3 %) followed by ST7 (41.1 %), ST6 (41.1 %), and ST3 (11.0 %) when amplified by PCR using sequenced-tagged site (STS) primers. Four farms had goats infected only with ST1 whereas the fifth showed mixed infections with multiple STs. The proximity of the fifth farm to human dwellings, nearby domesticated animals and grass land as opposed to a sterile captive environment in the first four farms may account for the multiple STs seen in the fifth farm. Since ST1, ST3, ST6 and ST 7 were previously reported in human infection worldwide in particular Malaysia, the potential of the zoonotic transmission of blastocystosis should not be disregarded. The implications of different farm management systems on the distribution of Blastocystis sp. STs are discussed.
This represents the first study to determine the genetic diversity of Blastocystis sp. among cancer and HIV/AIDS patients. Forty Blastocystis sp. isolates obtained from 20 cancer and 20 HIV/AIDS patients were genotyped by PCR using seven pairs of known sequenced-tagged site primers. Out of the 40 isolates, 38 were identified as one of the known genotypes and two isolates were negative with all the STS primers. Blastocystis sp. subtype 3 which is reported to be associated with disease was found to be predominant among the study subjects.
Blastocystis hominis has been regarded as an enigmatic parasite as many aspects of its basic biology remain uncertain. Many reproductive processes have been suggested for the organism; however, to date, only the binary fission has been proven. Plasmotomy is one of the modes of reproduction previously suggested to be seen in in vitro cultures. The present study provides trichrome and acridine orange staining evidence for the existence of nucleic acid suggestive of division of nucleus into multinucleate forms with the respective cytoplasm dividing giving rise to two or three progeny B. hominis. Transmission electron micrographs further confirmed that these daughter cells had respective surrounding surface coat, mitochondria, and vacuoles.
The amoeboid form of Blastocystis hominis has been reported infrequently, and its morphological descriptions have yielded conflicting and confusing reports. In the present study, we used the amoeboid forms seen predominantly in symptomatic patients infected with Blastocystis to provide detailed descriptions on the fine surface structure and intracellular morphology. Scanning electron microscopy revealed the irregular shape of the amoeboid form, with an intercalated fibrillar structure and a highly convoluted surface with deep indentations and projected pseudopodia. Transmission electron microscopy showed the existence of two types of amoeboid forms of B. hominis in in vitro culture, one with a large central vacuole containing tiny electron-dense particles while the other contains multiple small vacuoles in the cytoplasm. A surface coat with varying thickness surrounded the amoeboid form, which also showed prominent, extended pseudopodia of varying shape. Irregularly shaped mitochondrion-like organelles with prominent cristae, lipid inclusions, and multiple vacuoles were frequently seen in close proximity with the pseudopodia. The characteristic nucleus with a crescentic band of electron-dense chromatin material was also seen.
Blastocystis hominis is one of the most common human parasites that inhabit the intestinal tract. Conflicting reports continue to exist regarding the existence and the functional role of the amoeboid forms in the life cycle of the parasite. The present study investigates the presence of these forms in 20 isolates obtained from ten symptomatic and asymptomatic patients respectively. A total of 10,000 parasite cells per ml from each isolate were inoculated into three culture tubes each containing 3 ml of Jones' medium supplemented with 10% horse serum, incubated at 37 degrees C. The contents were examined daily for 10 days. Irregular and polymorphic amoeboid forms with multiple extended pseudopodia were observed in all isolates from symptomatic patients, while none of the isolates from asymptomatic patients showed the presence of the amoeboid forms. The amoeboid forms were initially noted on day 2 and the percentages increased from 2% to 28%, with peak percentages from day 3 to day 6. Transmission electron microscopy revealed two types of amoeboid forms; one containing a large central vacuole completely filled with tiny electron-dense granules, and the other which revealed multiple small vacuoles within the central body. The cytoplasm contained strands of electron-dense granules resembling rough endoplasmatic reticulum, which is suggestive of active protein synthesis. The surface coat of the amoeboid form surrounding the parasite showed uneven thickness. Acridine orange stained the central body yellow and the periphery orange, indicating activity at the level of nucleic acids. The amoeboid form could either be an indicator of pathogenicity of B. hominis, or the form likely to contribute to pathogenicity and be responsible for the symptoms seen in patients.
Ivermectin at single doses of 0.2-1.0 mg/kg body weight reduced the microfilarial counts of subperiodic Brugia malayi in Presbytis cristata by 59.9%-89.6% of initial counts, 4 weeks after treatment. Adult filaricidal activity was poor, live adult worms being recovered from all animals at autopsy. There was no serious side effect at these doses.
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.
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.
Nine 50-l surface water samples from a Malaysian recreational lake were examined microscopically using an immunomagnetisable separation-immunofluorescent method. No Cryptosporidium oocysts were detected, but 77.8% of samples contained low numbers of Giardia cysts (range, 0.17-1.1 cysts/l), which were genetically characterised by SSU rRNA gene sequencing. Genotype analyses indicated the presence of Giardia duodenalis assemblage A suggesting potential risk to public health. The present study represents the first contribution to our knowledge of G. duodenalis assemblages in Malaysian recreational water.
Despite frequent reports on the presence of Blastocystis hominis in human intestinal tract, its pathogenicity remains a matter of intense debate. These discrepancies may be due to the varying pathogenic potential or virulence of the isolates studied. The present study represents the first to investigate both phenotypic and genotypic characteristics of B. hominis obtained from symptomatic and asymptomatic individuals. Symptomatic isolates had a significantly greater size range and lower growth rate in Jones' medium than asymptomatic isolates. The parasite cells of symptomatic isolates exhibited rougher surface topography and greater binding affinity to Canavalia ensiformis (ConA) and Helix pomatia (HPA). The present study also identifies further phenotypic characteristics, which aided in differentiating the pathogenic forms from the non-pathogenic forms of B. hominis. Blastocystis subtype 3 was found to be correlated well with the disease.