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.
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.
Established criteria for morphological typing of sarcocysts was applied to a large series of cases of human skeletal muscle sarcocystosis in Malaysia to determine the type of sarcocyst present. We also wanted to test the general usefulness of this classification and to determine if there are any new cyst types. Three-dimensional (3-D) reconstruction was done to see if the sarcocyst has a distinct 3-D morphology. A total of 66 sarcocysts from 21 cases of human muscle sarcocystosis obtained from a previous prevalence study were examined. Tissue sections (5 microns thick) were stained with haematoxylin and eosin and studied under the light microscope. For 3-D reconstruction, an image analyser was used to align and reconstruct the sarcocyst after microscopic images had been captured with a charge-coupled device (CCD) camera. All the cysts best fit into the type 4 category. This classification is generally useful, although cyst wall characteristics and zoite size appear to be the most reliable criteria for classification. The cyst width averaged 77 microns (range, 30-137.5 microns). Cyst walls were smooth, had no cytophaneres and were less than 1 micron thick. No secondary cyst wall or surrounding inflammation was evident. Numerous cyst merozoites with diameters averaging 1 micron filled the cyst lumen. Although septa were not apparent, in many cysts, zoites were arranged in a unique, curvilinear fashion that suggested their presence. 3-D reconstruction showed the sarcocyst to be a long, tortuous "cylinder" with no branching or other distinguishing feature.
Presbytis cristata monkeys infected through the inoculation of between 200 and 400 subperiodic Brugia malayi infective larvae (L3) in the right thigh, in both thighs or in the dorsum of the right foot were followed up for varying periods of up to about 8 months after infection. All 148 inoculated animals became patent, with mean prepatent periods being between 66 and 76 days. In animals injected in the thigh, the patterns of microfilaraemia were similar, there being a rapid rise in the geometric mean counts (GMCs) of microfilariae during the first 10-12 weeks of patency, which then plateaued at levels of greater than 1000/ml. Adult worm recovery, expressed as the percentage of the infective dose, was significantly higher in animals injected with 100 L3 in each thigh, being 9.4% as compared with 2.8%-4.8% in other groups. It is therefore recommended that animals should be injected with 100 L3 in each thigh and that the testing of potential filaricides in this model be carried out during the phase of rapid increase in microfilaraemia to ensure that any microfilaricidal effect can easily be detected.
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.
Daily intramuscular injection with thyroxine (T4) at a dose of 2.5 micrograms/100 g body weight decreased the larvae and adult worm burden of Parastrongylus malaysiensis in the brain and pulmonary arteries of male Sprague-Dawley albino rats. In contrast, rats treated with propyl thiouracil (PTU), an antithyroid drug, at a dose of 3.75 mg/100 g body weight retained greater numbers of larvae and adult worms. The results may reflect the contrasting immunomodulatory effects of T4 and PTU that influence the susceptibility of the host.
Gonadectomized male albino rats aged 7 weeks were given 1.5 mg/kg testosterone propionate daily and inoculated with 50 third-stage larvae of Angiostrongylus malaysiensis. The treatment significantly increased the number of larvae and adult worms recovered from the brain and pulmonary arteries, respectively, and the rats exhibited smaller thymus glands. The total numbers of leukocytes, monocytes, neutrophils, and especially eosinophils increased significantly post-infection, but the counts were higher in the untreated infected controls. Presumably, immunosuppressive effects of testosterone may at least partly be responsible for the higher loads of A. malaysiensis worms found in male rats as compared with females in the field.
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.
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.
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.
Antennal sensilla were first investigated in the eight medically and veterinary important Anopheles mosquito species (Anopheles argyropus, Anopheles crawfordi, Anopheles nigerrimus, Anopheles nitidus, Anopheles paraliae (= Anopheles lesteri), Anopheles peditaeniatus, Anopheles pursati, and Anopheles sinensis) of the Hyrcanus Group in Thailand, using scanning electron microscopy (SEM). Four types of sensilla, including sensilla chaetica (large and small), sensilla trichodea (sharp- and blunt-tipped), sensilla basiconica or grooved pegs (types I, II, and III), and sensilla coeloconica (large and small), were observed on the female antennae of the eight species. The greatest number of sensilla found along the flagellum of all the Anopheles species consisted of sensilla trichodea. Grooved pegs type II were not found on the antennae of An. peditaeniatus. Interestingly, clusters of 10-15 grooved pegs type III, with blunt-tipped and unevenly grooved-lengthwise sensilla, and a sunken group of 7-12 grooved pegs type III, with slightly curved and point-tipped sensilla, were found distally on flagellomeres 3-7 of An. argyropus and An. peditaeniatus, respectively. In addition, the key for species identification, based on fine structure and morphometrics of antennal sensilla among the eight species, was constructed and differentiated successfully. However, in order to focus intensively on the exact function of these sensilla, further electrophysiological study is needed in understanding their significant role in mosquito behavior, especially when these insects seek hosts for transmitting pathogens to humans.
A main challenge in parasitology is the development of reliable tools to prevent or treat mosquito-borne diseases. We investigated the toxicity of magnetic nanoparticles (MNP) produced by Magnetospirillum gryphiswaldense (strain MSR-1) on chloroquine-resistant (CQ-r) and sensitive (CQ-s) Plasmodium falciparum, dengue virus (DEN-2), and two of their main vectors, Anopheles stephensi and Aedes aegypti, respectively. MNP were studied by Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy and transmission electron microscopy. They were toxic to larvae and pupae of An. stephensi, LC50 ranged from 2.563 ppm (1st instar larva) to 6.430 ppm (pupa), and Ae. aegypti, LC50 ranged from 3.231 ppm (1st instar larva) to 7.545 ppm (pupa). MNP IC50 on P. falciparum were 83.32 μg ml(-1) (CQ-s) and 87.47 μg ml(-1) (CQ-r). However, the in vivo efficacy of MNP on Plasmodium berghei was low if compared to CQ-based treatments. Moderate cytotoxicity was detected on Vero cells post-treatment with MNP doses lower than 4 μg ml(-1). MNP evaluated at 2-8 μg ml(-1) inhibited DEN-2 replication inhibiting the expression of the envelope (E) protein. In conclusion, our findings represent the first report about the use of MNP in medical and veterinary entomology, proposing them as suitable materials to develop reliable tools to combat mosquito-borne diseases.
Computational approaches to predict structure/function and other biological characteristics of proteins are becoming more common in comparison to the traditional methods in drug discovery. Cryptosporidiosis is a major zoonotic diarrheal disease particularly in children, which is caused primarily by Cryptosporidium hominis and Cryptosporidium parvum. Currently, there are no vaccines for cryptosporidiosis and recommended drugs are ineffective. With the availability of complete genome sequence of C. hominis, new targets have been recognized for the development of effective and better drugs and/or vaccines. We identified a unique hypothetical protein (TU502HP) in the C. hominis genome from the CryptoDB database. A three-dimensional model of the protein was generated using the Iterative Threading ASSEmbly Refinement server through an iterative threading method. Functional annotation and phylogenetic study of TU502HP protein revealed similarity with human transportin 3. The model is further subjected to a virtual screening study form the ZINC database compound library using the Dock Blaster server. A docking study through AutoDock software reported N-(3-chlorobenzyl)ethane-1,2-diamine as the best inhibitor in terms of docking score and binding energy. The reliability of the binding mode of the inhibitor is confirmed by a complex molecular dynamics simulation study using GROMACS software for 10 ns in the water environment. Furthermore, antigenic determinants of the protein were determined with the help of DNASTAR software. Our findings report a great potential in order to provide insights in the development of new drug(s) or vaccine(s) for treatment and prophylaxis of cryptosporidiosis among humans and animals.
Blastocystis sp. is known to be the most commonly found intestinal protozoan parasite in human fecal surveys and has been incriminated to cause diarrhea and abdominal bloating. Binary fission has been widely accepted as the plausible mode of reproduction for this parasite. The present study demonstrates that subjecting the parasites in vitro to higher temperature shows the proliferation of parasite numbers in cultures. Transmission electron microscopy was used to compare the morphology of Blastocystis sp. subtype 3 isolated from a dengue patient having high fever (in vivo thermal stress) and Blastocystis sp. 3 maintained at 41 °C (in vitro thermal stress) and 37 °C (control). Fluorescence stains like acridine orange (AO) and 4',6'-diamino-2-phenylindole (DAPI) were used to demonstrate the viability and nuclear content of the parasite for both the in vitro and in vivo thermal stress groups of parasites. Blastocystis sp. at 37 °C was found to be mostly vacuolar whereas the in vitro thermal stressed isolates at 41 °C were granular with electron dense material seen to protect the granules within the central body. Parasites of the in vivo thermal stressed group showed similar ultrastructure as the in vitro ones. AO and DAPI staining provided evidence that these granules are viable which develop into progenies of Blastocystis sp. These granular forms were then observed to rupture and release progenies from the mother cells whilst the peripheral cytoplasmic walls were seen to degrade. Upon exposure to high temperature both in vitro and in vivo, Blastocystis sp. in cultures show higher number of granular forms seen to be protected by the electron dense material within the central body possibly acting as a protective mechanism. This is possibly to ensure the ability to survive for the granules to be developed as viable progenies for release into the host system.
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
Thus far, Entamoeba species have been classified based on morphology such as the number of nuclei in mature cysts and their hosts. Using recently developed molecular tools, ruminant Entamoeba spp. are currently classified into four species/genotypes: E. bovis and Entamoeba ribosomal lineages (RL) 1, 2, and 4. However, the distribution or pathogenicity of ruminant Entamoeba has not been well documented. In the present study, we examined a total of 25 fecal and seven environmental samples collected from six farms in Japan from 2016 to 2017 by the floatation method and PCR and sequencing analyses. Consequently, we detected Entamoeba cysts in 18 of 25 cattle samples and four of the seven environmental samples, including soil and drinking water, by microscopic examinations. In sequential examinations, Entamoeba-positive cattle were found to shed cysts without any clinical symptoms for more than 8 months. By PCR for molecular identification, isolates in ten cattle and one soil sample were successfully sequenced and formed a cluster of E. bovis, which was separated from those of other Entamoeba species/genotypes such as RL1-4 in phylogenetic analysis. To our knowledge, this is the first report about E. bovis in Japan, and our results may implicate that E. bovis is not pathogenic.
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.