Recent Related Articles

Comparative evaluation of the Sticky-Resting-Box-Trap, the standardised resting-bucket-trap and indoor aspiration for sampling malaria vectors

Parasites and Vectors -

Background: Understanding mosquito resting behaviour is important for the control of vector-borne diseases, but this remains a challenge because of the paucity of efficient sampling tools. We evaluated two novel sampling methods in the field: the Sticky Resting Box (SRB) and the Resting Bucket trap (RBu) to test their efficiency for sampling malaria vectors resting outdoors and inside houses in rural Tanzania. The performance of RBu and SRB was compared outdoors, while indoors SRB were compared with the Back Pack Aspiration method (BP). Trapping was conducted within 4 villages in the Kilombero Valley, Tanzania over 14 nights. On each night, the performance for collecting Anopheles vectors and Culicinae was compared in 4 households by SRB and RBu outdoors and by SRB or fixed-time Back Pack aspirator in 2 of the 4 focal households indoors.FindingsA total of 619 Anopheles gambiae s.l., 224 Anopheles funestus s.l. and 1737 Culicinae mosquitoes were captured. The mean abundance of An. arabiensis and An. funestus s.l. collected with SRB traps inside and outdoors was significantly lower than with BP or RBu. The SRB however, outperformed BP aspiration for collection of Culicinae indoors. Conclusions: Of the methods trialled indoors (BP and SRB), BP was the most effective, whilst outdoors RBu performed much better than SRB. However, as SRB can passively sample mosquitoes over a week they could provide an alternative to the RBu where daily monitoring is not possible.

Rickettsia raoultii in Haemaphysalis erinacei from marbled polecats, China–Kazakhstan border

Parasites and Vectors -

We found Rickettsia raoultii DNA in 2 out of 32 (6.25 %) Haemaphysalis erinacei ticks. Result showed that the sequences of five genes (17-kDa, gltA, ompA, rrs, and ompB) were 100 % identity with that of R. Raoultii in GenBank. This study is the first report on the presence of R. raoultii in H. erinacei from wild marbled polecat, Vormela peregusna. Our findings suggest that H. erinacei parasitizing wild marbled polecat may serve as reservoir and carriers for R. raoultii in areas around the China-Kazakhstan border. The transmission of tick-borne diseases originated from wildlife should not be underestimated in border region.

Larval and adult environmental temperatures influence the adult reproductive traits of Anopheles gambiae s.s.

Parasites and Vectors -

Background: Anopheles mosquito life-history parameters and population dynamics strongly influence malaria transmission, and environmental factors, particularly temperature, strongly affect these parameters. There are currently some studies on how temperature affects Anopheles gambiae s.s. survival but very few exist examining other life-history traits. We investigate here the effect of temperature on population dynamics parameters. Methods: Anopheles gambiae s.s. immatures were reared individually at 23 ± 1 °C, 27 ± 1 °C, 31 ± 1 °C, and 35 ± 1 °C, and adults were held at their larval temperature or at one of the other temperatures. Larvae were checked every 24 h for development to the next stage and measured for size; wing length was measured as a proxy for adult size. Females were blood fed three times, and the number of females feeding and laying eggs was counted. The numbers of eggs and percentage of eggs hatched were recorded. Results: Increasing temperatures during the larval stages resulted in significantly smaller larvae (p = 0.005) and smaller adults (p < 0.001). Adult temperature had no effect on the time to egg laying, and the larval temperature of adults only affected the incubation period of the first egg batch. Temperature influenced the time to hatching of eggs, as well as the time to development at every stage. The number of eggs laid was highest when adults were kept at 27 °C, and lowest at 31 °C, and higher adult temperatures decreased the proportion of eggs hatching after the second and third blood meal. Higher adult temperatures significantly decreased the probability of blood feeding, but the larval temperature of adults had no influence on the probability of taking a blood meal. Differences were observed between the first, second, and third blood meal in the times to egg laying and hatching, number of eggs laid, and probabilities of feeding and laying eggs. Conclusions: Our study shows that environmental temperature during the larval stages as well as during the adult stages affects Anopheles life-history parameters. Data on how temperature and other climatic factors affect vector life-history parameters are necessary to parameterise more reliably models predicting how global warming may influence malaria transmission.

Detection of viable plasmodium ookinetes in the midguts of anopheles coluzzi using PMA-qrtPCR

Parasites and Vectors -

Background: Mosquito infection with malaria parasites depends on complex interactions between the mosquito immune response, the parasite developmental program and the midgut microbiota. Simultaneous monitoring of the parasite and bacterial dynamics is important when studying these interactions. PCR based methods of genomic DNA (gDNA) have been widely used, but their inability to discriminate between live and dead cells compromises their application. The alternative method of quantification of mRNA mainly reports on cell activity rather than density.MethodQuantitative real-time (qrt) PCR in combination with Propidium Monoazide (PMA) treatment (PMA-qrtPCR) has been previously used for selectively enumerating viable microbial cells. PMA penetrates damaged cell membranes and intercalates in the DNA inhibiting its PCR amplification. Here, we tested the potential of PMA-qrtPCR to discriminate between and quantify live and dead Plasmodium berghei malarial parasites and commensal bacteria in the midgut of Anopheles coluzzii Coetzee & Wilkerson 2013 (formerly An. gambiae M-form). Results: By combining microscopic observations with reverse transcriptase PCR (RT-PCR) we reveal that, in addition to gDNA, mRNA from dead parasites also persists inside the mosquito midgut, therefore its quantification cannot accurately reflect live-only parasites at the time of monitoring. In contrast, pre-treating the samples with PMA selectively inhibited qrtPCR amplification of parasite gDNA, with about 15 cycles (Ct-value) difference between PMA-treated and control samples. The limit of detection corresponds to 10 Plasmodium ookinetes. Finally, we show that the PMA-qrtPCR method can be used to quantify bacteria that are present in the mosquito midgut. Conclusion: The PMA-qrtPCR is a suitable method for quantification of viable parasites and bacteria in the midgut of Anopheles mosquitoes. The method will be valuable when studying the molecular interactions between the mosquito, the malaria parasite and midgut microbiota.

Population expansion and gene flow in Giardia duodenalis as revealed by triosephosphate isomerase gene

Parasites and Vectors -

Background: Giardia duodenalis is a protozoan parasite that can cause significant diarrhoeal diseases. Knowledge of population genetics is a prerequisite for ascertaining the invasion patterns of this parasite. In order to infer evolutionary patterns that could not be uncovered based on the morphological features, a population genetic study with the incorporation of molecular marker was carried out to access the genetic structure of G. duodenalis isolated from the Malaysian population and the global populations. Methods: A total of 154 samples positive for Giardia, collected from different Malaysian communities, were subjected to DNA amplification and sequencing targeting three genetic loci (tpi, gdh, and bg). The tpi sequences together with sequences from the global data obtained from the NCBI GenBank were used for genetic diversity analyses including identification of haplotypes, haplotype diversity, nucleotide diversity, Tajima’s D and Fu and Li’s D, gene flow and genetic differentiation tests. Results: Analysis of the Malaysian and global data showed that assemblages A, B, and E (the most prevalent assemblages in humans and animals), have different levels of genetic diversity. Assemblage B had the highest level of both haplotype diversity and nucleotide diversity, followed by assemblage E. The analysis also revealed population expansion and high gene flow in all assemblages. No clear genetic structure was observed across five continents (i.e., the Americas, Europe, Asia, Australia and Africa). However, median joining network of assemblage B formed a cluster that was exclusively isolated from Asia while other haplotypes were well dispersed across the continents. Conclusions: This study provides new insight into the genetic diversity of Giardia assemblages in different geographical regions. The significant result shown by gene flow and genetic differentiation analyses as well as test of neutrality among the populations should have brought a clearer picture to the dynamics and distribution of Giardia infection.

Blastocystis specific serum immunoglobulin in patients with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) versus healthy controls

Parasites and Vectors -

Background: Blastocystis species are common enteric human parasites and carriage has been linked to Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), particularly diarrhoea-predominant IBS. The spectrum of immune reactivity to Blastocystis proteins has been reported previously in symptomatic patients. We investigated differences in serum immunoglobulin profiles between patients with IBS, both positive and negative for Blastocystis carriage, and healthy controls (HC). Methods: Forty diarrhoea-predominant IBS patients (26 patients positive for Blastocystis sp., 14 negative patients) and forty HC (24 positive, 16 Blastocystis-negative) were enrolled. Age, gender, ethnicity and serum immunoglobulin A (IgA) levels were recorded and faecal specimens were analysed using smear, culture and polymerase chain reaction amplification of ribosomal DNA. Sera were tested in Western blots and the reactivities compared to known targets using monoclonal antibodies Blastofluor® (Blastocystis specific antibody), MAb1D5 (cytopathicto Blastocystis cells), anti-promatrix metalloprotease-9 (anti-MMP-9) and SDS-PAGE zymograms. Results: Levels of serum IgA were significantly lower in Blastocystis carriers (p < 0.001) but had no relationship to symptoms. Western blots demonstrated serum IgG antibodies specific for Blastocystis proteins of 17,27,37,50,60-65, 75–90, 95–105 and 150 kDa MW. Reactivity to the 27, 50 and 75-95 kDa proteins were found more frequently in the IBS group compared to the HC’s (p < 0.001) and correlation was greater for Blastocystis-positive IBS patients (p < 0.001) than for negative IBS patients (p < 0.05). MAb1D5 reacted with proteins of 27 and 100 kDa, and anti-MMP-9 with 27, 50 and 75-100 kDa proteins. Bands were seen in zymograms around 100 kDa. Conclusions: Low serum IgA levels are associated with Blastocystis carriage. All IBS patients were more likely to demonstrate reactivity with Blastocystis proteins of 27 kDa (likely a cysteine protease), 50 and 75-95 kDa MW compared to HC. The presence of antibodies to these Blastocystis proteins in some Blastocystis-negative subjects suggests either prior exposure to Blastocystis organisms or antibody cross reactivities. The anti-proMMP-9 reaction at 50 and 75–100 kDa and the zymogram result suggest that metalloproteases may be important Blastocystis antigens.Trial registrationAustralian and New Zealand Clinical Trials registry ACTRN: 12611000918921

Detecting genotyping errors at Schistosoma japonicum microsatellites with pedigree information

Parasites and Vectors -

Background: Schistosomiasis japonica remains a major public health problem in China. Integrating molecular analyses, such as population genetic analyses, of the parasite into the on-going surveillance programs is helpful in exploring the factors causing the persistence and/or spread of Schistosoma japonicum. However, genotyping errors can seriously affect the results of such studies, unless accounted for in the analyses. Methods: We assessed the genotyping errors (missing alleles or false alleles) of seven S. japonicum microsatellites, using a pedigree data approach for schistosome miracidia, which were stored on Whatman FTA cards. Results: Among 107 schistosome miracidia successfully genotyped, resulting in a total of 715 loci calls, a total of 31 genotyping errors were observed with 25.2 % of the miracidia having at least one error. The error rate per locus differed among loci, which ranged from 0 to 9.8 %, with the mean error rate 4.3 % over loci. With the parentage analysis software Cervus, the assignment power with these seven markers was estimated to be 89.5 % for one parent and 99.9 % for a parent pair. One locus was inferred to have a high number of null alleles and a second with a high mistyping rate. Conclusion: To the authors’ knowledge, this is the first time that S. japonicum pedigrees have been used in an assessment of genotyping errors of microsatellite markers. The observed locus-specific error rate will benefit downstream epidemiological or ecological analyses of S. japonicum with the markers.

Draft genome of Brugia pahangi : high similarity between B. pahangi and B. malayi

Parasites and Vectors -

Background: Efforts to completely eradicate lymphatic filariasis from human population may be challenged by the emergence of Brugia pahangi as another zoonotic lymphatic filarial nematode. In this report, a genomic study was conducted to understand this species at molecular level. Methods: After blood meal on a B. pahangi-harbouring cat, the Aedes togoi mosquitoes were maintained to harvest infective third stage larvae, which were then injected into male Mongolian gerbils. Subsequently, adult B. pahangi were obtained from the infected gerbil for genomic DNA extraction. Sequencing and subsequently, construction of genomic libraries were performed. This was followed by genomic analyses and gene annotation analysis. By using archived protein sequences of B. malayi and a few other nematodes, clustering of gene orthologs and phylogenetics were conducted. Results: A total of 9687 coding genes were predicted. The genome of B. pahangi shared high similarity to that B. malayi genome, particularly genes annotated to fundamental processes. Nevertheless, 166 genes were considered to be unique to B. pahangi, which may be responsible for the distinct properties of B. pahangi as compared to other filarial nematodes. In addition, 803 genes were deduced to be derived from Wolbachia, an endosymbiont bacterium, with 44 of these genes intercalate into the nematode genome. Conclusions: The reporting of B. pahangi draft genome contributes to genomic archive. Albeit with high similarity to B. malayi genome, the B. pahangi-unique genes found in this study may serve as new focus to study differences in virulence, vector selection and host adaptability among different Brugia spp.

Vector-borne transmission of Besnoitia besnoiti by blood-sucking and secretophagous flies: epidemiological and clinicopathological implications

Parasites and Vectors -

Background: Bovine besnoitiosis has been recently diagnosed in a three-parted herd of 796 Aubrac and Charolais beef cattle in Hungary. A large scale serological, histological and molecular survey was initiated in order to uncover important factors in the local epidemiology of the disease.FindingsBlood samples were collected (three times from the whole herd, and repeatedly from selected animals) for serological screening by ELISA. In addition, various organs from aborted fetuses and newborn calves, skin and colostrum samples of seropositive heifers/cows, and ticks collected from the cattle were histologically and/or molecularly analysed for the presence of Besnoitia besnoiti.All fetal and calf tissues, as well as colostrum and tick samples from cows were PCR negative. Based on ELISA results, only very few local cows seroconverted after mating with imported, infected bulls, and not necessarily as a consequence of this event. Among calves that were born to seropositive, imported cows and stayed with their mother until weaning at seven months of age, seroprevalence decreased significantly, but remained high. At the same time, 28 calves born from seropositive cows, but separated from their dams immediately after receiving colostrum, were successfully reared and remained uninfected.Following a second herd-level screening, all Aubrac cattle (except for heifer calves) and all seropositive Charolais cows and bulls were culled. Manifestation of the disease is currently sporadic. Among chronically affected heifers two types of skin lesions were noted, and histological evaluation indicated marked distension of sweat gland ducts with membrane-bound structures (resembling cystozoites) in their contents. Conclusions: Transmission through natural mating, as well as transplacental, colostral and tick-borne transmission of B. besnoiti was either unlikely or did not occur. However, the risk for spreading of the infection was high, when calves stayed with their mother during suckling, and if animals were kept in the same stable (although physically separated) during the main fly season. Herd replacement and generation exchange (i.e. early weaning and artificial feeding) appear to be the successful strategies for the local eradication of bovine besnoitiosis. Adding to the already known mechanical transmission of B. besnoiti by blood-sucking flies, results of the present study suggest that secretophagous flies should also be evaluated as potential vectors of this coccidium species.

A broad-range survey of ticks from livestock in Northern Xinjiang: changes in tick distribution and the isolation of Borrelia burgdorferi sensu stricto

Parasites and Vectors -

Background: Borreliosis is highly prevalent in Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, China. However, little is known about the presence of Borrelia pathogens in tick species in this region, in addition Borrelia pathogens have not been isolated from domestic animals. Methods: We collected adult ticks from domestic animals at 19 sampling sites in 14 counties in northern Xinjiang from 2012 to 2014. Ticks were identified to species by morphology and were molecularly analysed by sequences of mitochondrial 16S rDNA gene; 4–8 ticks of each species at every sampling site were sequenced. 112 live adult ticks were selected for each species in every county, and were used to culture Borrelia pathogens; the genotypes were then determined by sequences of the 5S-23S rRNA intergenic spacer and the outer surface protein A (ospA) gene. Results: A total of 5257 adult ticks, belonging to four genera and seven species, were collected. Compared with three decades ago, the abundance of the five common tick species during the peak ixodid tick season has changed. Certain tick species, such as Rhipicephalus turanicus (Rh. turanicus), was found at Jimusaer, Yining, Fukang, and Chabuchaer Counties for the first time. Additionally, the sequence analyses showed that the Hyalomma asiaticum (Hy. asiaticum), Haemaphysalis punctata (Ha. punctata), and Dermacentor marginatus (D. marginatus) that were collected from different sampling sites (≥3 sites) shared identical 16S rDNA sequences respectively. For the tick species that were collected from the same county, such as Hy. asiaticum from Shihezi County and Rh. turanicus from Yining County, their 16S rDNA sequences showed genetic diversity. In addition, sixteen Borrelia isolates were found in Hy. asiaticum, Ha. punctata, D. marginatus and Rh. turanicus, which infested cattle, sheep, horse and camel in Yining, Chabuchaer, Shihezi and Shawan Counties. All of the isolates were genetically identified as B. Burgdorferi sensu stricto. Conclusions: Warmer and wetter climate may have contributed to the altered distribution and abundance of the five most common ticks in northern Xinjiang. The genetic analyses showed that certain tick species, such as Hy. asiaticum or Rh. turanicus, exhibit genetic commonness or diversity. Additionally, this study is the first to isolate B. burgdorferi sensu stricto in Hy. asiaticum asiaticum, H. punctata, D. nuttalli and D. marginatus ticks from domestic animals. These ticks may transmit borreliosis among livestock.

Phenotypic and genotypic variations among three allopatric populations of Lutzomyia umbratilis , main vector of Leishmania guyanensis

Parasites and Vectors -

Background: In South America, Lutzomyia umbratilis is the main vector of Leishmania guyanensis, one of the species involved in the transmission of American tegumentary leishmaniasis. In Brazil, L. umbratilis has been recorded in the Amazon region, and in the state of Pernambuco, Northeastern region, where an isolated population has been identified. This study assessed the phylogeographic structure and size and shape differences of the wing of three Brazilian populations. Methods: Samples of L. umbratilis were collected from Rio Preto da Eva (north of the Amazon River, Amazonas), from Manacapuru (south of the Amazon River), and from the isolated population in Recife, Pernambuco state. These samples were processed to obtain sequences of the Cytochrome Oxidase I mitochondrial gene. Geometrics morphometry analysis of the right wing shape of the three populations was made using discriminate canonical analysis. Results: Phylogenetic analysis revealed the presence of two distinct monophyletic clades: one clade comprised of the Recife and Rio Preto da Eva samples, and the other clade comprised of the Manacapuru samples. Comparing the Manacapuru population with the Recife and Rio Preto da Eva populations generated high indices of interpopulational divergence. Geometric morphometry analysis indicated two distinct groups between the studied populations. Canonical variate analysis of wing shape indicated that Rio Preto da Eva population is significantly closer to Recife population, and both populations were genetically distant from Manacapuru. Conclusion: The polymorphic sites and geometric morphometry analysis indicate that the distance, lack of continuity and environmental differences have not modified the ancestral relationship between Recife and Rio Preto da Eva populations. The genetic and morphological similarities shared by the Recife and Rio Preto da Eva populations suggest that these populations are more closely related evolutionarily. These results confirm the existence of an L. umbratilis species complex in the North and Northeast regions.

Pages

Subscribe to -   PALE-Blu Data Portal aggregator - Recent Related Articles