Mosquito vectors (Diptera: Culicidae) are responsible for transmission of serious diseases worldwide. Mosquito control is being enhanced in many areas, but there are significant challenges, including increasing resistance to insecticides and lack of alternative, cost-effective, and eco-friendly products. To deal with these crucial issues, recent emphasis has been placed on plant materials with mosquitocidal properties. Furthermore, cancers figure among the leading causes of morbidity and mortality worldwide, with approximately 14 million new cases and 8.2 million cancer-related deaths in 2012. It is expected that annual cancer cases will rise from 14 million in 2012 to 22 million within the next two decades. Nanotechnology is a promising field of research and is expected to give major innovation impulses in a variety of industrial sectors. In this study, we synthesized titanium dioxide (TiO2) nanoparticles using the hydrothermal method. Nanoparticles were subjected to different analysis including UV-Vis spectrophotometry, Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), X-ray diffraction (XRD), field emission scanning electron microscopy (FESEM), zeta potential, and energy-dispersive spectrometric (EDX). The synthesized TiO2 nanoparticles exhibited dose-dependent cytotoxicity against human breast cancer cells (MCF-7) and normal breast epithelial cells (HBL-100). After 24-h incubation, the inhibitory concentrations (IC50) were found to be 60 and 80 μg/mL on MCF-7 and normal HBL-100 cells, respectively. Induction of apoptosis was evidenced by Acridine Orange (AO)/ethidium bromide (EtBr) and 4',6-diamidino-2-phenylindole dihydrochloride (DAPI) staining. In larvicidal and pupicidal experiments conducted against the primary dengue mosquito Aedes aegypti, LC50 values of nanoparticles were 4.02 ppm (larva I), 4.962 ppm (larva II), 5.671 ppm (larva III), 6.485 ppm (larva IV), and 7.527 ppm (pupa). Overall, our results suggested that TiO2 nanoparticles may be considered as a safe tool to build newer and safer mosquitocides and chemotherapeutic agents with little systemic toxicity.
Malaria remains a major public health problem due to the emergence and spread of Plasmodium falciparum strains resistant to chloroquine. There is an urgent need to investigate new and effective sources of antimalarial drugs. This research proposed a novel method of fern-mediated synthesis of silver nanoparticles (AgNP) using a cheap plant extract of Pteridium aquilinum, acting as a reducing and capping agent. AgNP were characterized by UV-vis spectrophotometry, Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy, energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDX), and X-ray diffraction (XRD). Phytochemical analysis of P. aquilinum leaf extract revealed the presence of phenols, alkaloids, tannins, flavonoids, proteins, carbohydrates, saponins, glycosides, steroids, and triterpenoids. LC/MS analysis identified at least 19 compounds, namely pterosin, hydroquinone, hydroxy-acetophenone, hydroxy-cinnamic acid, 5, 7-dihydroxy-4-methyl coumarin, trans-cinnamic acid, apiole, quercetin 3-glucoside, hydroxy-L-proline, hypaphorine, khellol glucoside, umbelliferose, violaxanthin, ergotamine tartrate, palmatine chloride, deacylgymnemic acid, methyl laurate, and palmitoyl acetate. In DPPH scavenging assays, the IC50 value of the P. aquilinum leaf extract was 10.04 μg/ml, while IC50 of BHT and rutin were 7.93 and 6.35 μg/ml. In mosquitocidal assays, LC50 of P. aquilinum leaf extract against Anopheles stephensi larvae and pupae were 220.44 ppm (larva I), 254.12 ppm (II), 302.32 ppm (III), 395.12 ppm (IV), and 502.20 ppm (pupa). LC50 of P. aquilinum-synthesized AgNP were 7.48 ppm (I), 10.68 ppm (II), 13.77 ppm (III), 18.45 ppm (IV), and 31.51 ppm (pupa). In the field, the application of P. aquilinum extract and AgNP (10 × LC50) led to 100 % larval reduction after 72 h. Both the P. aquilinum extract and AgNP reduced longevity and fecundity of An. stephensi adults. Smoke toxicity experiments conducted against An. stephensi adults showed that P. aquilinum leaf-, stem-, and root-based coils evoked mortality rates comparable to the permethrin-based positive control (57, 50, 41, and 49 %, respectively). Furthermore, the antiplasmodial activity of P. aquilinum leaf extract and green-synthesized AgNP was evaluated against CQ-resistant (CQ-r) and CQ-sensitive (CQ-s) strains of P. falciparum. IC50 of P. aquilinum were 62.04 μg/ml (CQ-s) and 71.16 μg/ml (CQ-r); P. aquilinum-synthesized AgNP achieved IC50 of 78.12 μg/ml (CQ-s) and 88.34 μg/ml (CQ-r). Overall, our results highlighted that fern-synthesized AgNP could be candidated as a new tool against chloroquine-resistant P. falciparum and different developmental instars of its primary vector An. stephensi. Further research on nanosynthesis routed by the LC/MS-identified constituents is ongoing.
Dientamoeba fragilis, a trichomonad parasite is usually found in the gastrointestinal tract of human, and it is known to be the cause for gastrointestinal disease. The parasite is globally distributed and mostly found in rural and urban areas. The parasite is found in humans and nonhuman primates such as the macaques, baboons, and gorillas. Often, the parasite is confused with another largely found organism in stools called Blastocystis sp. especially when seen directly under light microscopy on culture samples containing both parasites. Both sometimes are seen with two nuclei with sizes tending to be similar which complicates identification. Stools were collected fresh from nine previously diagnosed persons infected with D. fragilis who also were found to be positive for Blastocystis sp. Samples were then cultured in Loeffler's medium and were stained with Giemsa, iron hematoxylin, and modified Fields' (MF) stain, respectively. D. fragilis was differentiated from Blastocystis sp. when stained with MF stain by the presence of a thinner outer membrane with clearly demarcated nuclei in the center of the cell whilst Blastocystis sp. had a darker and thicker stained outer membrane with the presence of two nuclei. The staining contrast was more evident with modified Fields' stain when compared with the other two. The simplicity in preparing the stain as well as the speed of the staining procedure make MF stain an ideal alternate. The modified Fields' stain is faster and easier to prepare when compared to the other two stains. MF stain provides a better contrast differentiating the two organisms and therefore provides a more reliable diagnostic method to precisely identify one from the other especially when cultures show mixed infections.
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.
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.
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.
Caballeria liewi Lim, 1995, uses adhesive secretions from the head organs and posterior secretory systems to assist in locomotion and attachment. Ultrastructural investigations show that the head organs of C. liewi consist of three pairs of antero-lateral pit-like openings bearing microvilli and ducts leading from two types of uninucleated gland cells (located lateral to the pharynx), one type producing rod-like (S1) bodies with an electron-dense matrix containing less electron-dense vesicles and the second type producing oval (S2) bodies with a homogeneous electron-dense matrix. Interlinking band-like structures are observed between S1 bodies and between S2 bodies. S1 body is synthesised in the granular endoplasmic reticulum, transported to a Golgi complex to be packaged into vesicles and routed into ducts for exudation. The synthesis of the S2 body is unresolved. Haptoral secretions manifested externally as net-like structures are derived from dual electron-dense (DED) secretory body produced in the peduncular gland cells. The DED body consists of a less electron-dense oval core in a homogeneous electron-dense matrix. On exocytosis into the pyriform haptoral reservoir, DED bodies are transformed into a secretion with two types of inclusions (less electron-dense oval and electron-dense spherical inclusions) in an electron-dense matrix. The secretions are further transformed (as small, oval, electron-dense bodies) when transported to the superficial anchor grooves, and on exudation into the gill tissues, the secretions become an electron-dense matrix. Secretory bodies associated with uniciliated structures, anchor sleeves and marginal hooks are also observed.
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.
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 objective of this study was to assess the physico-chemical parameters and waterborne parasites in selected recreational lakes from Malaysia. Samples were collected from seven stations of Recreational Lake A (RL-A) and six stations of Recreational Lake B (RL-B). The samples were processed to detect the presence of Giardia spp. and Cryptosporidium spp. using immunomagnetic separation kit, helminth eggs or ova by bright field microscopy and Acanthamoeba spp. by cultivation in non-nutrient agar. Chemical parameters such as ammonia, chlorine, fluoride, nitrate and nitrite and physical parameters such as dissolved oxygen, electrical conductivity, pH, salinity, temperature and total dissolved solid were also measured. Both lakes were freshwater with salinity ranging from 0.05 to 0.09 ppt. Most stations of these lakes were contaminated with Cryptosporidium spp., Giardia spp., Ascaris spp. and hookworm. Schistosoma spp. was found in RL-B only, while Acanthamoeba spp. was found in all stations. Of all sampling sites, station 5 of RL-B is the most contaminated. Linear regression and correlation analysis revealed that Giardia spp. and Schistosoma spp. showed a significant negative correlation with turbidity (p
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.
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.
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.
In forensic entomology, breeding of fly larvae in a controlled laboratory environment using animal tissue is a common technique to obtain insect developmental time for the estimation of postmortem interval. Previous studies on growth media are mostly on the effect of different diets on fly development. However, the interaction effects between temperature and food type used have not been explored. The objective of this study was to compare the use of cow's liver agar and raw liver on the development of a forensically important fly, Megaselia scalaris (Loew). This study also determined the interaction between different temperatures and different food types on the growth of this species. A total of 100 M. scalaris eggs were transferred into each of the two media mentioned above. Liver agar was prepared by adding dried ground liver into nutrient agar, whilst raw liver was naturally prepared from the same animal source. This experiment was conducted at 27, 30 and 33 °C in an incubator in a continuously dark condition. Length and weight of larvae, puparia and adult samples were determined. Total developmental times for larvae feeding on liver agar at each temperature were approximately 7-15 h slower than those feeding on raw liver. Survival rates were almost equal in both diets but were lower at 33 °C. Mean larva length in both diets did not differ significantly at all temperatures, but larvae feeding on liver agar had lower mean weight values than those in raw liver at 30 and 33 °C. The effect of temperature was significant in female puparia weight and male adult weight whereas the effect of diet types was significant in both male and female puparia size and weight. Interaction effects of temperature and food type on M. scalaris puparium size and adult weight were significant, indicating that puparium size and adult weight depended on both food type and temperature. This experiment highlighted the use of cow's liver agar as an alternative diet to breed M. scalaris in the laboratory and the importance of considering the interaction effect between temperatures and food types when deciding the most suitable medium in fly larva rearing.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Tor tambroides, a common and appreciated cyprinid fish of the Tasik Kenyir water reservoir in Malaysia, is one of the species selected for propagation. This fish was first successfully propagated in Malaysia by the Department of Agriculture, Sarawak, Malaysia, and the breeding program continued throughout the country. The gills were frequently infected by a Myxobolus species to be described as Myxobolus tambroides sp. n. The small, 50 to 70 μm, round plasmodia of this species is located intralamellarly. Plasmodia were filled with pyriform myxospores, 9.9 and 7.4 μm wide. In sutural view, the caudal end of the myxospores had a distinctive valvular groove, parallel with the suture. Plasmodia caused deformations on the affected and the neighbouring gill lamellae. The 18S rDNA sequence of M. tambroides sp.n. did not show a close relationship with any other Myxobolus spp., represented in the GenBank. This might be an emerging parasite likely to impact the propagation of this fish.
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.