A new sanguinicolid blood fluke, Parasanguinicola vastispina, is described from sea bass Lates calcarifer cultured in Malaysia. It is distinguished by its massive armature and widely spaced genital pores, the female pore being pre-ovarian. P. vastispina inhabits the branchial arteries, dorsal aorta, mesenteric venules and renal artery of its host. No pathological effect was observed in infected fish.
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.
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.
This work investigated the anti-amoebic activity of two samarium (Sm) complexes, the acyclic complex [bis(picrato)(pentaethylene glycol)samarium(III)] picrate-referred to as [Sm(Pic)2(EO5)](Pic)-and the cyclic complex [bis(picrato)(18-crown-6)samarium(III)] picrate-referred to as [Sm(Pic)2(18C6)](Pic). Both Sm complexes caused morphological transformation of the protozoa Acanthamoeba from its native trophozoite form carrying a spine-like structure called acanthopodia, to round-shaped cells with loss of the acanthopodia structure, a trademark response to environmental stress. Further investigation, however, revealed that the two forms of the Sm complexes exerted unique cytotoxicity characteristics. Firstly, the IC50 of the acyclic complex (0.7 μg/mL) was ~ 10-fold lower than IC50 of the cyclic Sm complex (6.5 μg/mL). Secondly, treatment of the Acanthamoeba with the acyclic complex caused apoptosis of the treated cells, while the treatment with the cyclic complex caused necrosis evident by the leakage of the cell membrane. Both treatments induced DNA damage in Acanthamoeba. Finally, a molecular docking simulation revealed the potential capability of the acyclic complex to form hydrogen bonds with profilin-a membrane protein present in eukaryotes, including Acanthamoeba, that plays important roles in the formation and degradation of actin cytoskeleton. Not found for the cyclic complex, such potential interactions could be the underlying reason, at least in part, for the much higher cytotoxicity of the acyclic complex and also possibly, for the observed differences in the cytotoxicity traits. Nonetheless, with IC50 values of
The present study investigated whether people working closely with animals were at higher risk of getting infected with Blastocystis hominis. The prevalence of the parasite was determined in two population groups, i.e., animal handlers and normal healthy individuals who did not work with animals. In all, 105 stool samples were collected from animal handlers from 2 local research institutions, a local zoo, and a local abattoir and 163 stool samples were collected from normal healthy individuals residing in high-rise flats in the city. The in vitro culture method used in the study detected that 41% of 105 animal handlers and 17% of 163 flat-dwellers in the city were positive for Blastocystis. This statistically significant finding (P = 0.0000313) shows that people who work closely with animals do stand at risk of acquiring Blastocystis infection.
Blastocystis sp. is a commonly found intestinal microorganism and was reported to cause many nonspecific gastrointestinal symptoms. Various subtypes have been previously reported, and the pathogenicity of different subtypes of Blastocystis is unclear and remains as a controversial issue. A recent study has shown that the Blastocystis antigen isolated from an unknown subtype could facilitate the proliferation of colon cancer cells. Current study was conducted to compare the effect of solubilized antigen isolated from five different subtypes of Blastocystis on colon cancer cells, HCT116. A statistically significant proliferation of these cells was observed when exposed to 1.0 μg/ml solubilized antigen isolated from subtype 3 Blastocystis (37.22%, p < 0.05). Real-time polymerase chain reaction demonstrated the upregulation of Th2 cytokines especially transforming growth factor beta in subtype 3-treated cancer cells (p < 0.01, 3.71-fold difference). Of interest, subtype 3 Blastocystis antigen also caused a significantly higher upregulation of cathepsin B (subtypes 1 and 2, p < 0.01; subtypes 4 and 5, p < 0.001; 6.71-fold difference) which lead to the postulation that it may enhance the exacerbation of existing colon cancer cells by weakening the cellular immune response. The dysregulation of IFN-γ and p53 expression also suggest Blastocystis as a proponent of carcinogenesis. Therefore, it is very likely for subtype 3 Blastocystis to have higher pathogenic potential as it caused an increased propagation of cancer cells and substantial amount of inflammatory reaction compared to other subtypes.
Simulium dermatitis is an IgE-mediated skin reaction in animals and humans caused by the bites of black flies. Although Simulium nigrogilvum has been incriminated as the main human-biting black fly species in Thailand, information on its salivary allergens is lacking. Salivary gland extract of S. nigrogilvum females was subjected to sodium dodecylsulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis, and the separated components were applied onto nitrocellulose membranes for immunoblotting, which was performed by probing the protein blots with sera from 17 individuals who were allergic to the bites of S. nigrogilvum. IgE-reactive protein bands were characterized further by liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) analysis. Nine protein bands (79, 42, 32, 25, 24, 22, 15, 13, and 11 kDa) were recognized in the serum of the subjects. Four of the nine protein bands (32, 24, 15, and 11 kDa) showed IgE reactivity in all (100%) of the tested sera, and they were identified as salivary secreted antigen 5-related protein, salivary serine protease, erythema protein, and hypothetical secreted protein, respectively. Three other proteins, salivary serine protease (25 kDa), salivary D7 secreted protein (22 kDa), and hypothetical protein (13 kDa), reacted with > 50% of the sera. The relevance of the identified protein bands as allergens needs to be confirmed by using pure recombinant proteins, either in the in vivo skin prick test or in vitro detection of the specific IgE in the serum samples of allergic subjects. This will be useful for the rational design of component-resolved diagnosis and allergen immunotherapy for the allergy mediated by the bites of black flies.
In this study, the genome of the Plasmodium falciparum Gombak A strain was examined for the presence of a gene encoding falcipain-2, a cysteine protease, using homology-based polymerase chain reaction cloning. The nucleotide sequence obtained from the gene cloned (designated pFG1) is approximately 99% homologous to other falcipain-2 genes from different strains. Comparatively, it is 69% homologous to falcipain-3 genes. Direct cloning of the falcipain-2 gene and its resemblance to the reported corresponding mRNA transcript suggests the absence of introns in this gene. Sequence alignment and comparison revealed four amino acid differences at positions 15, 51, 59 and 414 in the falcipain-2 from P. falciparum Gombak A as compared to other falcipain-2 proteins from different strains.
In February 2013, forty-seven Notched threadfin bream, the Nemipterus peronii, were sampled from the eastern coastal waters of the South China Sea. The concentration of various elements, namely cadmium (Cd), chromium (Cr), copper (Cu), mercury (Hg), strontium (Sr), manganese (Mn), selenium (Se), Lead (Pb), nickel (Ni), aluminum (Al), arsenic (As), iron (Fe), and Zinc (Zn) were analyzed in the liver, muscle, and kidney organs of the host, as well as in their parasites Hysterothalycium reliquens (nematode) and the Paraphilometroides nemipteri (nematode), using inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS). The former group of parasites showed highest accumulation capacity for Cr, Cu, Fe, Mn, Se, Ni, and Zn while the latter group had high accumulation potential of As, Hg, Cd, Al, Pb, and Sr. The divergence in heavy-metal accumulation profiles of both nematodes is linked with the specificity of microhabitats, cuticle morphology, and interspecific competition. The outcome of this study indicates that both parasite models can be used for biomonitoring of metal pollution in marine ecosystems.
Entamoeba histolytica is the etiologic agent for amoebiasis. The excretory-secretory (ES) products of the trophozoites contain virulence factors and antigens useful for diagnostic applications. Contaminants from serum supplements and dead trophozoites impede analysis of ES. Therefore, a protein-free medium that can sustain maximum viability of E. histolytica trophozoites for the longest time duration will enable collection of contaminant-free and higher yield of ES products. In the present study, we compared the efficacy of four types of media in maintaining ≥ 95% trophozoite viability namely Roswell Memorial Park Institute (RPMI-1640), Dulbecco's Modified Eagle Medium (DMEM), phosphate-buffered saline for amoeba (PBS-A), and Hank's balanced salt solution (HBSS). Concurrently, the effect of adding L: -cysteine and ascorbic acid (C&A) to each medium on the parasite viability was also compared. DMEM and RPMI 1640 showed higher viabilities as compared to PBS-A and HBSS. Only RPMI 1640 showed no statistical difference with the control medium for the first 4 h, however the ≥ 95% viability was only maintained for the first 2 h. The other protein-free media showed differences from the serum- and vitamin-free TYI-S-33 control media even after 1 h of incubation. When supplemented with C&A, all media were found to sustain higher trophozoite viabilities than those without the supplements. HBSS-C&A, DMEM-C&A, and RPMI 1640-C&A demonstrated no difference (P>0.05) in parasite viabilities when compared with the control medium throughout the 8-h incubation period. DMEM-C&A showed an eightfold increment in time duration of sustaining ≥ 95% parasite viability, i.e. 8 h, as compared to DMEM alone. Both RPMI 1640-C&A and HBSS-C&A revealed fourfold and threefold increments (i.e., 8 and 6 h, respectively), whereas PBS-A-C&A showed only one fold improvement (i.e., 2 h) as compared to the respective media without C&A. Thus, C&A-supplemented DMEM or RPMI are recommended for collection of ES products.
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.
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.
Cosmopolitan scuttle fly, Megaselia scalaris (Loew) (Diptera: Phoridae) is one of the commonest forensic species recorded colonizing human corpse indoors and in concealed environment. The occurrence of this species in such environments provides a higher evidential value to assist estimation of postmortem interval (PMI) compared to other forensically important dipterans. However, developmental and size data of M. scalaris are still lacking and they are derived from a limited range of thermal values. The objective of this study is to develop the growth model of M. scalaris by emphasizing the size range of larvae and puparia at different constant temperatures. This species was reared in six replicates at eight varying constant temperatures ranging from 23 to 36 °C and cow's liver was provided as food source. Larvae and puparia were sampled at set time intervals and measured by their length and weight. Because interpretation of forensic entomological evidence is subject to application of different techniques, development of M. scalaris is expressed herein by using developmental table, length/morphological stage diagrams and linear/nonlinear estimation methods. From the findings, it is very important to highlight that sexual dimorphism of M. scalaris during post feeding larva and pupa stage could be observed based on size and developmental periods. Mean length and weight ratios of male to female puparia are approximately 0.8 and 0.3-0.5, respectively, indicating sexual dimorphism of this species. Developmental period in female are 4.0-11.4 h (post feeding larval stage), 3.7-24.0 h (pupal stage), and 3.0-20.1 h (total developmental period) longer in male. Due to this dimorphism, PMI estimation using M. scalaris post feeding larva or puparium specimens must be carried out carefully by to avoid inaccuracy and misinterpretation.
Domestic dogs, Canis lupus, have been one of the longest companions of humans and have introduced their own menagerie of parasites and pathogens into this relationship. Here, we investigate the parasitic load of 212 domestic dogs with fleas (Siphonaptera) chewing lice (Phthiraptera), and ticks (Acarina) along a gradient from rural areas with near-natural forest cover to suburban areas in Northern Borneo (Sabah, Malaysia). We used a spatially-explicit hierarchical Bayesian model that allowed us to impute missing data and to consider spatial structure in modelling dog infestation probability and parasite density. We collected a total of 1,968 fleas of two species, Ctenocephalides orientis and Ctenocephalides felis felis, from 195 dogs (prevalence, 92 %). Flea density was higher on dogs residing in houses made of bamboo or corrugated metal (increase of 40 % from the average) compared to timber or stone/compound houses. Host-dependent and landscape-level environmental variables and spatial structure only had a weak explanatory power. We found adults of the invasive chewing louse Heterodoxus spiniger on 42 dogs (20 %). The effect of housing conditions was opposite to those for fleas; lice were only found on dogs residing in stone or timber houses. We found ticks of the species Rhipicephalus sanguineus as well as Haemaphysalis bispinosa gp., Haemaphysalis cornigera, Haemaphysalis koenigsbergi, and Haemaphysalis semermis on 36 dogs (17 %). The most common tick species was R. sanguineus, recorded from 23 dogs. Tick infestations were highest on dogs using both plantation and forest areas (282 % increase in overall tick density of dogs using all habitat types). The infestation probability of dogs with lice and ticks decreased with elevation, most infestations occurred below 800 m above sea level. However, the density of lice and ticks revealed no spatial structure; infestation probability of dogs with these two groups revealed considerable autocorrelation. Our study shows that environmental conditions on the house level appeared to be more influential on flea and lice density whereas tick density was also influenced by habitat use. Infestation of dogs with Haemaphysalis ticks identified an important link between dogs and forest wildlife for potential pathogen transmission.
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.
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.
Gonadectomized male laboratory rats were given 0.06 mg/kg estradiol benzoate daily for 14 days before being inoculated with 50 third-stage larvae of Parastrongylus malaysiensis. Hormone treatment was continued until the rats were killed. The numbers of larvae in the brain and of adult worms in the pulmonary area of the rats were determined every 7 days after the inoculation. It was found that the rats treated daily with estradiol benzoate had significantly and consistently higher numbers of larvae and adult worms as compared with the controls. The number of total leukocytes increased significantly after the rats were infected. The results show that estradiol-treated rats become susceptible to P. malaysiensis infection, which may indicate that the immunosuppressive effects of testosterone observed in earlier studies may partly be caused by estradiol that was peripherally aromatized from testosterone.
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.
Gonadectomized male mice aged 5 weeks were given 5 mg testosterone propionate daily for 14 days. The treatment significantly decreased the number of blood leukocytes. The number of all individual types of leukocytes except basophils in vehicle-treated gonadectomized mice was increased. Testosterone-treated mice consistently had a lower number of leukocytes after being infected with Plasmodium berghei than did vehicle-treated mice. The results suggest that testosterone suppresses the production of leukocytes and that testosterone-treated mice become more susceptible to parasite infection.
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.