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Sample records for affect parasite transmission

  1. Predicting optimal transmission investment in malaria parasites.

    PubMed

    Greischar, Megan A; Mideo, Nicole; Read, Andrew F; Bjørnstad, Ottar N

    2016-07-01

    In vertebrate hosts, malaria parasites face a tradeoff between replicating and the production of transmission stages that can be passed onto mosquitoes. This tradeoff is analogous to growth-reproduction tradeoffs in multicellular organisms. We use a mathematical model tailored to the life cycle and dynamics of malaria parasites to identify allocation strategies that maximize cumulative transmission potential to mosquitoes. We show that plastic strategies can substantially outperform fixed allocation because parasites can achieve greater fitness by investing in proliferation early and delaying the production of transmission stages. Parasites should further benefit from restraining transmission investment later in infection, because such a strategy can help maintain parasite numbers in the face of resource depletion. Early allocation decisions are predicted to have the greatest impact on parasite fitness. If the immune response saturates as parasite numbers increase, parasites should benefit from even longer delays prior to transmission investment. The presence of a competing strain selects for consistently lower levels of transmission investment and dramatically increased exploitation of the red blood cell resource. While we provide a detailed analysis of tradeoffs pertaining to malaria life history, our approach for identifying optimal plastic allocation strategies may be broadly applicable. PMID:27271841

  2. Potential Parasite Transmission in Multi-Host Networks Based on Parasite Sharing

    PubMed Central

    Pilosof, Shai; Morand, Serge; Krasnov, Boris R.; Nunn, Charles L.

    2015-01-01

    Epidemiological networks are commonly used to explore dynamics of parasite transmission among individuals in a population of a given host species. However, many parasites infect multiple host species, and thus multi-host networks may offer a better framework for investigating parasite dynamics. We investigated the factors that influence parasite sharing – and thus potential transmission pathways – among rodent hosts in Southeast Asia. We focused on differences between networks of a single host species and networks that involve multiple host species. In host-parasite networks, modularity (the extent to which the network is divided into subgroups of rodents that interact with similar parasites) was higher in the multi-species than in the single-species networks. This suggests that phylogeny affects patterns of parasite sharing, which was confirmed in analyses showing that it predicted affiliation of individuals to modules. We then constructed “potential transmission networks” based on the host-parasite networks, in which edges depict the similarity between a pair of individuals in the parasites they share. The centrality of individuals in these networks differed between multi- and single-species networks, with species identity and individual characteristics influencing their position in the networks. Simulations further revealed that parasite dynamics differed between multi- and single-species networks. We conclude that multi-host networks based on parasite sharing can provide new insights into the potential for transmission among hosts in an ecological community. In addition, the factors that determine the nature of parasite sharing (i.e. structure of the host-parasite network) may impact transmission patterns. PMID:25748947

  3. Quantifying Transmission Investment in Malaria Parasites

    PubMed Central

    Greischar, Megan A.; Mideo, Nicole; Read, Andrew F.; Bjørnstad, Ottar N.

    2016-01-01

    Many microparasites infect new hosts with specialized life stages, requiring a subset of the parasite population to forgo proliferation and develop into transmission forms. Transmission stage production influences infectivity, host exploitation, and the impact of medical interventions like drug treatment. Predicting how parasites will respond to public health efforts on both epidemiological and evolutionary timescales requires understanding transmission strategies. These strategies can rarely be observed directly and must typically be inferred from infection dynamics. Using malaria as a case study, we test previously described methods for inferring transmission stage investment against simulated data generated with a model of within-host infection dynamics, where the true transmission investment is known. We show that existing methods are inadequate and potentially very misleading. The key difficulty lies in separating transmission stages produced by different generations of parasites. We develop a new approach that performs much better on simulated data. Applying this approach to real data from mice infected with a single Plasmodium chabaudi strain, we estimate that transmission investment varies from zero to 20%, with evidence for variable investment over time in some hosts, but not others. These patterns suggest that, even in experimental infections where host genetics and other environmental factors are controlled, parasites may exhibit remarkably different patterns of transmission investment. PMID:26890485

  4. Quantifying Transmission Investment in Malaria Parasites.

    PubMed

    Greischar, Megan A; Mideo, Nicole; Read, Andrew F; Bjørnstad, Ottar N

    2016-02-01

    Many microparasites infect new hosts with specialized life stages, requiring a subset of the parasite population to forgo proliferation and develop into transmission forms. Transmission stage production influences infectivity, host exploitation, and the impact of medical interventions like drug treatment. Predicting how parasites will respond to public health efforts on both epidemiological and evolutionary timescales requires understanding transmission strategies. These strategies can rarely be observed directly and must typically be inferred from infection dynamics. Using malaria as a case study, we test previously described methods for inferring transmission stage investment against simulated data generated with a model of within-host infection dynamics, where the true transmission investment is known. We show that existing methods are inadequate and potentially very misleading. The key difficulty lies in separating transmission stages produced by different generations of parasites. We develop a new approach that performs much better on simulated data. Applying this approach to real data from mice infected with a single Plasmodium chabaudi strain, we estimate that transmission investment varies from zero to 20%, with evidence for variable investment over time in some hosts, but not others. These patterns suggest that, even in experimental infections where host genetics and other environmental factors are controlled, parasites may exhibit remarkably different patterns of transmission investment. PMID:26890485

  5. How have fisheries affected parasite communities?

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Wood, Chelsea L.; Lafferty, Kevin D.

    2015-01-01

    To understand how fisheries affect parasites, we conducted a meta-analysis of studies that contrasted parasite assemblages in fished and unfished areas. Parasite diversity was lower in hosts from fished areas. Larger hosts had a greater abundance of parasites, suggesting that fishing might reduce the abundance of parasites by selectively removing the largest, most heavily parasitized individuals. After controlling for size, the effect of fishing on parasite abundance varied according to whether the host was fished and the parasite's life cycle. Parasites of unfished hosts were more likely to increase in abundance in response to fishing than were parasites of fished hosts, possibly due to compensatory increases in the abundance of unfished hosts. While complex life cycle parasites tended to decline in abundance in response to fishing, directly transmitted parasites tended to increase. Among complex life cycle parasites, those with fished hosts tended to decline in abundance in response to fishing, while those with unfished hosts tended to increase. However, among directly transmitted parasites, responses did not differ between parasites with and without fished hosts. This work suggests that parasite assemblages are likely to change substantially in composition in increasingly fished ecosystems, and that parasite life history and fishing status of the host are important in predicting the response of individual parasite species or groups to fishing.

  6. Monarch butterfly migration and parasite transmission in eastern North America.

    PubMed

    Bartel, Rebecca A; Oberhauser, Karen S; De Roode, Jacobus C; Altizer, Sonia M

    2011-02-01

    Seasonal migration occurs in many animal systems and is likely to influence interactions between animals and their parasites. Here, we focus on monarch butterflies (Danaus plexippus) and a protozoan parasite (Ophryocystis elektroscirrha) to investigate how host migration affects infectious disease processes. Previous work showed that parasite prevalence was lower among migratory than nonmigratory monarch populations; two explanations for this pattern are that (1) migration allows animals to periodically escape contaminated habitats (i.e., migratory escape), and (2) long-distance migration weeds out infected animals (i.e., migratory culling). We combined field-sampling and analysis of citizen science data to examine spatiotemporal trends of parasite prevalence and evaluate evidence for these two mechanisms. Analysis of within-breeding-season variation in eastern North America showed that parasite prevalence increased from early to late in the breeding season, consistent with the hypothesis of migratory escape. Prevalence was also positively related to monarch breeding activity, as indexed by larval density. Among adult monarchs captured at different points along the east coast fall migratory flyway, parasite prevalence declined as monarchs progressed southward, consistent with the hypothesis of migratory culling. Parasite prevalence was also lower among monarchs sampled at two overwintering sites in Mexico than among monarchs sampled during the summer breeding period. Collectively, these results indicate that seasonal migration can affect parasite transmission in wild animal populations, with implications for predicting disease risks for species with threatened migrations. PMID:21618914

  7. Feline lungworms unlock a novel mode of parasite transmission

    PubMed Central

    Colella, Vito; Giannelli, Alessio; Brianti, Emanuele; Ramos, Rafael Antonio Nascimento; Cantacessi, Cinzia; Dantas-Torres, Filipe; Otranto, Domenico

    2015-01-01

    Snail-borne lungworms exert an enormous toll on the health and welfare of animals and humans. Of these parasites, Aelurostrongylus abstrusus and Troglostrongylus brevior affect the respiratory tract of felids. These lungworms share both the ecological niche and the species of snail (Helix aspersa) acting as intermediate host. Recently, the ability of H. aspersa to shed infective third-stage larvae (L3s) of A. abstrusus and T. brevior in the environment has been demonstrated, matching previous knowledge of mode of transmission of zoonotic lungworms. Here, we evaluated, for the first time, the ability of A. abstrusus and T. brevior L3s to infect new, susceptible snail hosts following their release from experimentally infected molluscs, and refer to this novel route of parasite transmission as intermediesis. The implications of snail-to-snail transmission in the epidemiology of snail-borne diseases are also discussed. PMID:26271902

  8. Coupled Heterogeneities and Their Impact on Parasite Transmission and Control.

    PubMed

    Vazquez-Prokopec, Gonzalo M; Perkins, T Alex; Waller, Lance A; Lloyd, Alun L; Reiner, Robert C; Scott, Thomas W; Kitron, Uriel

    2016-05-01

    Most host-parasite systems exhibit remarkable heterogeneity in the contribution to transmission of certain individuals, locations, host infectious states, or parasite strains. While significant advancements have been made in the understanding of the impact of transmission heterogeneity in epidemic dynamics and parasite persistence and evolution, the knowledge base of the factors contributing to transmission heterogeneity is limited. We argue that research efforts should move beyond considering the impact of single sources of heterogeneity and account for complex couplings between conditions with potential synergistic impacts on parasite transmission. Using theoretical approaches and empirical evidence from various host-parasite systems, we investigate the ecological and epidemiological significance of couplings between heterogeneities and discuss their potential role in transmission dynamics and the impact of control. PMID:26850821

  9. Parasite and host assemblages: embracing the reality will improve our knowledge of parasite transmission and virulence

    PubMed Central

    Rigaud, Thierry; Perrot-Minnot, Marie-Jeanne; Brown, Mark J. F.

    2010-01-01

    Interactions involving several parasite species (multi-parasitized hosts) or several host species (multi-host parasites) are the rule in nature. Only a few studies have investigated these realistic, but complex, situations from an evolutionary perspective. Consequently, their impact on the evolution of parasite virulence and transmission remains poorly understood. The mechanisms by which multiple infections may influence virulence and transmission include the dynamics of intrahost competition, mediation by the host immune system and an increase in parasite genetic recombination. Theoretical investigations have yet to be conducted to determine which of these mechanisms are likely to be key factors in the evolution of virulence and transmission. In contrast, the relationship between multi-host parasites and parasite virulence and transmission has seen some theoretical investigation. The key factors in these models are the trade-off between virulence across different host species, variation in host species quality and patterns of transmission. The empirical studies on multi-host parasites suggest that interspecies transmission plays a central role in the evolution of virulence, but as yet no complete picture of the phenomena involved is available. Ultimately, determining how complex host–parasite interactions impact the evolution of host–parasite relationships will require the development of cross-disciplinary studies linking the ecology of quantitative networks with the evolution of virulence. PMID:20667874

  10. Parasites in bloom: flowers aid dispersal and transmission of pollinator parasites within and between bee species

    PubMed Central

    Graystock, Peter; Goulson, Dave; Hughes, William O. H.

    2015-01-01

    The dispersal of parasites is critical for epidemiology, and the interspecific vectoring of parasites when species share resources may play an underappreciated role in parasite dispersal. One of the best examples of such a situation is the shared use of flowers by pollinators, but the importance of flowers and interspecific vectoring in the dispersal of pollinator parasites is poorly understood and frequently overlooked. Here, we use an experimental approach to show that during even short foraging periods of 3 h, three bumblebee parasites and two honeybee parasites were dispersed effectively onto flowers by their hosts, and then vectored readily between flowers by non-host pollinator species. The results suggest that flowers are likely to be hotspots for the transmission of pollinator parasites and that considering potential vector, as well as host, species will be of general importance for understanding the distribution and transmission of parasites in the environment and between pollinators. PMID:26246556

  11. Parasite predators exhibit a rapid numerical response to increased parasite abundance and reduce transmission to hosts

    PubMed Central

    Hopkins, Skylar R; Wyderko, Jennie A; Sheehy, Robert R; Belden, Lisa K; Wojdak, Jeremy M

    2013-01-01

    Predators of parasites have recently gained attention as important parts of food webs and ecosystems. In aquatic systems, many taxa consume free-living stages of parasites, and can thus reduce parasite transmission to hosts. However, the importance of the functional and numerical responses of parasite predators to disease dynamics is not well understood. We collected host–parasite–predator cooccurrence data from the field, and then experimentally manipulated predator abundance, parasite abundance, and the presence of alternative prey to determine the consequences for parasite transmission. The parasite predator of interest was a ubiquitous symbiotic oligochaete of mollusks, Chaetogaster limnaei limnaei, which inhabits host shells and consumes larval trematode parasites. Predators exhibited a rapid numerical response, where predator populations increased or decreased by as much as 60% in just 5 days, depending on the parasite:predator ratio. Furthermore, snail infection decreased substantially with increasing parasite predator densities, where the highest predator densities reduced infection by up to 89%. Predators of parasites can play an important role in regulating parasite transmission, even when infection risk is high, and especially when predators can rapidly respond numerically to resource pulses. We suggest that these types of interactions might have cascading effects on entire disease systems, and emphasize the importance of considering disease dynamics at the community level. PMID:24340184

  12. Long-term selection experiment produces breakdown of horizontal transmissibility in parasite with mixed transmission mode.

    PubMed

    Dusi, Eike; Gougat-Barbera, Claire; Berendonk, Thomas U; Kaltz, Oliver

    2015-04-01

    Evolutionary transitions from parasitism toward beneficial or mutualistic associations may encompass a change from horizontal transmission to (strict) vertical transmission. Parasites with both vertical and horizontal transmission are amendable to study factors driving such transitions. In a long-term experiment, microcosm populations of the protozoan Paramecium caudatum and its bacterial parasite Holospora undulata were exposed to three growth treatments, manipulating vertical transmission opportunities over ca. 800 host generations. In inoculation tests, horizontal transmission propagules produced by parasites from a "high-growth" treatment, with elevated host division rates increasing levels of parasite vertical transmission, showed a near-complete loss of infectivity. A similar reduction was observed for parasites from a treatment alternating between high growth and low growth (i.e., low levels of population turn-over). Parasites from a low-growth treatment had the highest infectivity on all host genotypes tested. Our results complement previous findings of reduced investment in horizontal transmission and increased vertical transmissibility of high-growth parasites. We explain the loss of horizontal transmissibility by epidemiological feedbacks and resistance evolution, reducing the frequency of susceptible hosts in the population and thereby decreasing the selective advantage of horizontal transmission. This illustrates how environmental conditions may push parasites with a mixed transmission mode toward becoming vertically transmitted nonvirulent symbionts. PMID:25756600

  13. Manipulation of host-resource dynamics impacts transmission of trophic parasites.

    PubMed

    Luong, Lien T; Grear, Daniel A; Hudson, Peter J

    2014-09-01

    Many complex life cycle parasites rely on predator-prey interactions for transmission, whereby definitive hosts become infected via the consumption of an infected intermediate host. As such, these trophic parasites are embedded in the larger community food web. We postulated that exposure to infection and, hence, parasite transmission are inherently linked to host foraging ecology, and that perturbation of the host-resource dynamic will impact parasite transmission dynamics. We employed a field manipulation experiment in which natural populations of the eastern chipmunk (Tamias striatus) were provisioned with a readily available food resource in clumped or uniform spatial distributions. Using replicated longitudinal capture-mark-recapture techniques, replicated supplemented and unsupplemented control sites were monitored before and after treatment for changes in infection levels with three gastro-intestinal helminth parasites. We predicted that definitive hosts subject to food supplementation would experience lower rates of exposure to infective intermediate hosts, presumably because they shifted their diet away from the intermediate host towards the more readily available resource (sunflower seeds). As predicted, prevalence of infection by the trophically transmitted parasite decreased in response to supplemental food treatment, but no such change in infection prevalence was detected for the two directly transmitted parasites in the system. The fact that food supplementation only had an impact on the transmission of the trophically transmitted parasite, and not the directly transmitted parasites, supports our hypothesis that host foraging ecology directly affects exposure to parasites that rely on the ingestion of intermediate hosts for transmission. We concluded that the relative availability of different food resources has important consequences for the transmission of parasites and, more specifically, parasites that are embedded in the food web. The broader

  14. The consequences of co-infections for parasite transmission in the mosquito Aedes aegypti.

    PubMed

    Duncan, Alison B; Agnew, Philip; Noel, Valérie; Michalakis, Yannis

    2015-03-01

    Co-infections may modify parasite transmission opportunities directly as a consequence of interactions in the within-host environment, but also indirectly through changes in host life history. Furthermore, host and parasite traits are sensitive to the abiotic environment with variable consequences for parasite transmission in co-infections. We investigate how co-infection of the mosquito Aedes aegypti with two microsporidian parasites (Vavraia culicis and Edhazardia aedis) at two levels of larval food availability affects parasite transmission directly, and indirectly through effects on host traits. In a laboratory infection experiment, we compared how co-infection, at low and high larval food availability, affected the probability of infection, within-host growth and the transmission potential of each parasite, compared to single infections. Horizontal transmission was deemed possible for both parasites when infected hosts died harbouring horizontally transmitting spores. Vertical transmission was judged possible for E. aedis when infected females emerged as adults. We also compared the total input number of spores used to seed infections with output number, in single and co-infections for each parasite. The effects of co-infection on parasite fitness were complex, especially for V. culicis. In low larval food conditions, co-infection increased the chances of mosquitoes dying as larvae or pupae, thus increasing opportunities for V. culicis' horizontal transmission. However, co-infection reduced larval longevity and hence time available for V. culicis spore production. Overall, there was a negative net effect of co-infection on V. culicis, whereby the number of spores produced was less than the number used to seed infection. Co-infections also negatively affected horizontal transmission of the more virulent parasite, E. aedis, through reduced longevity of pre-adult hosts. However, its potential transmission suffered less relative to V. culicis. Our results

  15. Horizontal transmission of a parasite is influenced by infected host phenotype and density.

    PubMed

    Roberts, K E; Hughes, W O H

    2015-02-01

    Transmission is a key determinant of parasite fitness, and understanding the dynamics of transmission is fundamental to the ecology and evolution of host-parasite interactions. Successful transmission is often reliant on contact between infected individuals and susceptible hosts. The social insects consist of aggregated groups of genetically similar hosts, making them particularly vulnerable to parasite transmission. Here we investigate how the ratio of infected to susceptible individuals impacts parasite transmission, using the honey bee, Apis mellifera and its microsporidian parasite Nosema ceranae. We used 2 types of infected hosts found simultaneously in colonies; sterile female workers and sexual males. We found a higher ratio of infected to susceptible individuals in groups resulted in a greater proportion of susceptibles becoming infected, but this effect was non-linear and interestingly, the ratio also affected the spore production of infected individuals. The transmission level was much greater in an experiment where the infected individuals were drones than in an experiment where they were workers, suggesting drones may act as intracolonial 'superspreaders'. Understanding the subtleties of transmission and how it is influenced by the phenotype of the infected/susceptible individuals is important for understanding pathogen transmission at population level, and for optimum targeting of parasite control strategies. PMID:25111753

  16. Parasites as prey in aquatic food webs: implications for predator infection and parasite transmission

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Thieltges, David W.; Amundsen, Per-Arne; Hechinger, Ryan F.; Johnson, Pieter T.J.; Lafferty, Levin D.; Mouritsen, Kim N.; Preston, Daniel L.; Reise, Karsten; Zander, C. Dieter; Poulin, Robert

    2013-01-01

    While the recent inclusion of parasites into food-web studies has highlighted the role of parasites as consumers, there is accumulating evidence that parasites can also serve as prey for predators. Here we investigated empirical patterns of predation on parasites and their relationships with parasite transmission in eight topological food webs representing marine and freshwater ecosystems. Within each food web, we examined links in the typical predator–prey sub web as well as the predator–parasite sub web, i.e. the quadrant of the food web indicating which predators eat parasites. Most predator– parasite links represented ‘concomitant predation’ (consumption and death of a parasite along with the prey/host; 58–72%), followed by ‘trophic transmission’ (predator feeds on infected prey and becomes infected; 8–32%) and predation on free-living parasite life-cycle stages (4–30%). Parasite life-cycle stages had, on average, between 4.2 and 14.2 predators. Among the food webs, as predator richness increased, the number of links exploited by trophically transmitted parasites increased at about the same rate as did the number of links where these stages serve as prey. On the whole, our analyses suggest that predation on parasites has important consequences for both predators and parasites, and food web structure. Because our analysis is solely based on topological webs, determining the strength of these interactions is a promising avenue for future research.

  17. Big dung beetles dig deeper: trait-based consequences for faecal parasite transmission.

    PubMed

    Gregory, Nichar; Gómez, Andrés; Oliveira, Trícia Maria F de S; Nichols, Elizabeth

    2015-02-01

    Observational evidence suggests that burial of faeces by dung beetles negatively influences the transmission of directly transmitted gastrointestinal helminths. However, the mechanistic basis for these interactions is poorly characterised, limiting our ability to understand relationships between beetle community composition and helminth transmission. We demonstrate that beetle body size and sex significantly impact tunnel depth, a key variable affecting parasite survival. Additionally, high parasite loads reduce the depth of beetle faeces burial, suggesting that the local prevalence of parasites infecting beetles may impact beetle ecosystem function. Our study represents a first step towards a mechanistic understanding of a potentially epidemiologically relevant ecosystem function. PMID:25496914

  18. Seasonal transmission of gastrointestinal parasites of equids in southern Louisiana.

    PubMed

    Chapman, M R; French, D D; Klei, T R

    2001-12-01

    Parasite-naive pony foals were used as sentinels to monitor transmission of gastrointestinal parasites of equids in Louisiana during 4 seasons of the year. Two annual periods were studied, 1988-1989 and 1992-1993. Two or 3 foals each season were turned out to graze a contaminated pasture along with resident parasitized mares and their foals. After a grazing period of 8 wk, sentinel ponies were held in a parasite-free box stall for a period of 6 wk to allow parasites to develop, thus enhancing the evaluation of hypobiotic stages. Following this holding period, necropsies were performed for complete parasite recoveries. Data show that transmission of large and small strongyles occurs during all seasons in southern Louisiana, with highest levels of transmission occurring in the winter and only minimal transmission taking place in the summer. Numbers of mucosal cyathostomes, as well as total cyathostome numbers, were highest in the winter, and luminal cyathostome numbers were highest in the spring. Transmission of Anoplocephala perfoliata and Parascaris equorum occurred during all seasons of the year, although numbers of P. equorum were reduced in spring 1989 and 1993. Gasterophilus intestinalis instars were recovered from fall and winter sentinels only. Oxyuris equi L4 were found all seasons 1 yr, but only during the fall and winter of the final year. PMID:11780824

  19. Alternative prey use affects helminth parasite infections in grey wolves.

    PubMed

    Friesen, Olwyn C; Roth, James D

    2016-09-01

    Predators affect prey populations not only through direct predation, but also by acting as definitive hosts for their parasites and completing parasite life cycles. Understanding the affects of parasitism on prey population dynamics requires knowing how their predators' parasite community is affected by diet and prey availability. Ungulates, such as moose (Alces americanus) and white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus), are often important prey for wolves (Canis lupus), but wolves also consume a variety of alternative prey, including beaver (Castor canadensis) and snowshoe hare (Lepus americanus). The use of alternative prey, which may host different or fewer parasites than ungulates, could potentially reduce overall abundance of ungulate parasites within the ecosystem, benefiting both wolves and ungulate hosts. We examined parasites in wolf carcasses from eastern Manitoba and estimated wolf diet using stable isotope analysis. Taeniidae cestodes were present in most wolves (75%), reflecting a diet primarily comprised of ungulates, but nematodes were unexpectedly rare. Cestode abundance was negatively related to the wolf's δ(13) C value, indicating diet affects parasite abundance. Wolves that consumed a higher proportion of beaver and caribou (Rangifer tarandus), estimated using Bayesian mixing models, had lower cestode abundance, suggesting the use of these alternative prey can reduce parasite loads. Long-term consumption of beavers may lower the abundance of adult parasites in wolves, eventually lowering parasite density in the region and ultimately benefiting ungulates that serve as intermediate hosts. Thus, alternative prey can affect both predator-prey and host-parasite interactions and potentially affect food web dynamics. PMID:27155132

  20. Costs of crowding for the transmission of malaria parasites

    PubMed Central

    Pollitt, Laura C; Churcher, Thomas S; Dawes, Emma J; Khan, Shahid M; Sajid, Mohammed; Basáñez, María-Gloria; Colegrave, Nick; Reece, Sarah E

    2013-01-01

    The utility of using evolutionary and ecological frameworks to understand the dynamics of infectious diseases is gaining increasing recognition. However, integrating evolutionary ecology and infectious disease epidemiology is challenging because within-host dynamics can have counterintuitive consequences for between-host transmission, especially for vector-borne parasites. A major obstacle to linking within- and between-host processes is that the drivers of the relationships between the density, virulence, and fitness of parasites are poorly understood. By experimentally manipulating the intensity of rodent malaria (Plasmodium berghei) infections in Anopheles stephensi mosquitoes under different environmental conditions, we show that parasites experience substantial density-dependent fitness costs because crowding reduces both parasite proliferation and vector survival. We then use our data to predict how interactions between parasite density and vector environmental conditions shape within-vector processes and onward disease transmission. Our model predicts that density-dependent processes can have substantial and unexpected effects on the transmission potential of vector-borne disease, which should be considered in the development and evaluation of transmission-blocking interventions. PMID:23789029

  1. Genotypic and phenotypic variation in transmission traits of a complex life cycle parasite

    PubMed Central

    Louhi, Katja-Riikka; Karvonen, Anssi; Rellstab, Christian; Jokela, Jukka

    2013-01-01

    Characterizing genetic variation in parasite transmission traits and its contribution to parasite vigor is essential for understanding the evolution of parasite life-history traits. We measured genetic variation in output, activity, survival, and infection success of clonal transmission stages (cercaria larvae) of a complex life cycle parasite (Diplostomum pseudospathaceum). We further tested if variation in host nutritional stage had an effect on these traits by keeping hosts on limited or ad libitum diet. The traits we measured were highly variable among parasite genotypes indicating significant genetic variation in these life-history traits. Traits were also phenotypically variable, for example, there was significant variation in the measured traits over time within each genotype. However, host nutritional stage had no effect on the parasite traits suggesting that a short-term reduction in host resources was not limiting the cercarial output or performance. Overall, these results suggest significant interclonal and phenotypic variation in parasite transmission traits that are not affected by host nutritional status. PMID:23919156

  2. Changes in parasite transmission stage excretion after pheasant release.

    PubMed

    Villanúa, D; Acevedo, P; Höfle, U; Rodríguez, O; Gortázar, C

    2006-09-01

    The production of parasite transmission stages was investigated in the faeces of 77 farm-bred ring-necked pheasants (Phasianus colchicus). Coccidian oocysts (Eimeria sp.), and nematode eggs (Heterakis sp., and Capillaria-like eggs) were recovered before and after release but all birds were treated prior to release. Treatment with fenbendazole significantly reduced the abundance of transmission-stage excretion for all parasites, and reduced the prevalence in the case of Eimeria sp. and Heterakis sp. Nonetheless, a significant increase in the excretion abundance for all parasites and in the prevalence of Eimeria sp. and Heterakis sp. was found after release. Eggs of Ascaridia sp. were found only after releasing, suggesting infection ocurred in the wild. A negative relationship was found between the pheasant body condition and Heterakis excretion abundance and a higher abundance of Capillaria sp. eggs in female birds. No significant relationship was found between parasite excretion abundance and pheasant survival. Despite this, results suggest that an increase in the excretion of parasite transmission stages follows the release of captive pheasants into the wild. This can in part explain restocking failures, but also means that autochtonous free-living birds may become exposed to new and potentially harmful pathogens. To avoid these risks it is proposed that improved prophylactic measures should be taken. PMID:16923277

  3. Endemic infection reduces transmission potential of an epidemic parasite during co-infection

    PubMed Central

    Randall, J.; Cable, J.; Guschina, I. A.; Harwood, J. L.; Lello, J.

    2013-01-01

    Endemic, low-virulence parasitic infections are common in nature. Such infections may deplete host resources, which in turn could affect the reproduction of other parasites during co-infection. We aimed to determine whether the reproduction, and therefore transmission potential, of an epidemic parasite was limited by energy costs imposed on the host by an endemic infection. Total lipids, triacylglycerols (TAG) and polar lipids were measured in cockroaches (Blattella germanica) that were fed ad libitum, starved or infected with an endemic parasite, Gregarina blattarum. Reproductive output of an epidemic parasite, Steinernema carpocapsae, was then assessed by counting the number of infective stages emerging from these three host groups. We found both starvation and gregarine infection reduced cockroach lipids, mainly through depletion of TAG. Further, both starvation and G. blattarum infection resulted in reduced emergence of nematode transmission stages. This is, to our knowledge, the first study to demonstrate directly that host resource depletion caused by endemic infection could affect epidemic disease transmission. In view of the ubiquity of endemic infections in nature, future studies of epidemic transmission should take greater account of endemic co-infections. PMID:23966641

  4. Endemic infection reduces transmission potential of an epidemic parasite during co-infection.

    PubMed

    Randall, J; Cable, J; Guschina, I A; Harwood, J L; Lello, J

    2013-10-22

    Endemic, low-virulence parasitic infections are common in nature. Such infections may deplete host resources, which in turn could affect the reproduction of other parasites during co-infection. We aimed to determine whether the reproduction, and therefore transmission potential, of an epidemic parasite was limited by energy costs imposed on the host by an endemic infection. Total lipids, triacylglycerols (TAG) and polar lipids were measured in cockroaches (Blattella germanica) that were fed ad libitum, starved or infected with an endemic parasite, Gregarina blattarum. Reproductive output of an epidemic parasite, Steinernema carpocapsae, was then assessed by counting the number of infective stages emerging from these three host groups. We found both starvation and gregarine infection reduced cockroach lipids, mainly through depletion of TAG. Further, both starvation and G. blattarum infection resulted in reduced emergence of nematode transmission stages. This is, to our knowledge, the first study to demonstrate directly that host resource depletion caused by endemic infection could affect epidemic disease transmission. In view of the ubiquity of endemic infections in nature, future studies of epidemic transmission should take greater account of endemic co-infections. PMID:23966641

  5. Social transmission of a host defense against cuckoo parasitism.

    PubMed

    Davies, Nicholas B; Welbergen, Justin A

    2009-06-01

    Coevolutionary arms races between brood parasites and hosts involve genetic adaptations and counter-adaptations. However, hosts sometimes acquire defenses too rapidly to reflect genetic change. Our field experiments show that observation of cuckoo (Cuculus canorus) mobbing by neighbors on adjacent territories induced reed warblers (Acrocephalus scirpaceus) to increase the mobbing of cuckoos but not of parrots (a harmless control) on their own territory. In contrast, observation of neighbors mobbing parrots had no effect on reed warblers' responses to either cuckoos or parrots. These results indicate that social learning provides a mechanism by which hosts rapidly increase their nest defense against brood parasites. Such enemy-specific social transmission enables hosts to track fine-scale spatiotemporal variation in parasitism and may influence the coevolutionary trajectories and population dynamics of brood parasites and hosts. PMID:19498167

  6. HOW WILL GLOBAL CLIMATE CHANGE AFFECT PARASITES?

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    : Parasites are integral components of complex biotic assemblages that comprise the biosphere. Host switching correlated with episodic climate-change events are common in evolutionary and ecological time. Global climate change produces ecological perturbation, manifested in major geographical/pheno...

  7. Symbiont transmission entails the risk of parasite infection.

    PubMed

    Salem, Hassan; Onchuru, Thomas O; Bauer, Eugen; Kaltenpoth, Martin

    2015-12-01

    Like many animals, firebugs (Hemiptera, Pyrrhocoridae) rely on behavioural adaptations to successfully endow their offspring with microbial mutualists. To transmit the nutritionally beneficial Coriobacteriaceae symbionts, female firebugs smear egg surfaces with symbiont-containing faecal droplets that are subsequently ingested by newly hatched nymphs through active probing to initiate infection. Alternatively, the symbionts can be acquired horizontally through contact with faeces of infected conspecifics. Here, we report that these adaptations ensuring successful transmission of bacterial symbionts among firebugs are exploited by the specialized trypanosomatid parasite Leptomonas pyrrhocoris. Using comparative transcriptomics, fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) and controlled bioassays, we demonstrate that the transmission cycle of L. pyrrhocoris mirrors that of the bacterial mutualists, with high efficiency for both vertical and horizontal transmission. This indicates that the parasite capitalizes on pre-existing behavioural adaptations (egg smearing and probing) to facilitate its own transfer within host populations, adaptations that likely evolved to initiate and maintain an association with beneficial gut symbionts. Thus, the transmission of mutualistic microbes across host generations can entail a significant risk of co-transmitting pathogens or parasites, thereby exerting selective pressures on the host to evolve more specific mechanisms of transfer. PMID:26673937

  8. A Transmission Model for the Ecology of an Avian Blood Parasite in a Temperate Ecosystem

    PubMed Central

    Murdock, Courtney C.; Foufopoulos, Johannes; Simon, Carl P.

    2013-01-01

    Most of our knowledge about avian haemosporidian parasites comes from the Hawaiian archipelago, where recently introduced Plasmodiumrelictum has contributed to the extinction of many endemic avian species. While the ecology of invasive malaria is reasonably understood, the ecology of endemic haemosporidian infection in mainland systems is poorly understood, even though it is the rule rather than the exception. We develop a mathematical model to explore and identify the ecological factors that most influence transmission of the common avian parasite, Leucocytozoonfringillinarum (Apicomplexa). The model was parameterized from White-crowned Sparrow (Zonotrichialeucophrys) and S. silvestre / craigi black fly populations breeding in an alpine ecosystem. We identify and examine the importance of altricial nestlings, the seasonal relapse of infected birds for parasite persistence across breeding seasons, and potential impacts of seasonal changes in black fly emergence on parasite prevalence in a high elevation temperate system. We also use the model to identify and estimate the parameters most influencing transmission dynamics. Our analysis found that relapse of adult birds and young of the year birds were crucial for parasite persistence across multiple seasons. However, distinguishing between nude nestlings and feathered young of the year was unnecessary. Finally, due to model sensitivity to many black fly parameters, parasite prevalence and sparrow recruitment may be most affected by seasonal changes in environmental temperature driving shifts in black fly emergence and gonotrophic cycles. PMID:24073288

  9. Mosquitoes and transmission of malaria parasites – not just vectors

    PubMed Central

    Paul, Richard EL; Diallo, Mawlouth; Brey, Paul T

    2004-01-01

    The regional malaria epidemics of the early 1900s provided the basis for much of our current understanding of malaria epidemiology. Colonel Gill, an eminent malariologist of that time, suggested that the explosive nature of the regional epidemics was due to a sudden increased infectiousness of the adult population. His pertinent observations underlying this suggestion have, however, gone unheeded. Here, the literature on Plasmodium seasonal behaviour is reviewed and three historical data sets, concerning seasonal transmission of Plasmodium falciparum, are examined. It is proposed that the dramatic seasonal increase in the density of uninfected mosquito bites results in an increased infectiousness of the human reservoir of infection and, therefore, plays a key role in "kick-starting" malaria parasite transmission. PMID:15533243

  10. Aphids indirectly increase virulence and transmission potential of a monarch butterfly parasite by reducing defensive chemistry of a shared food plant.

    PubMed

    de Roode, Jacobus C; Rarick, Rachel M; Mongue, Andrew J; Gerardo, Nicole M; Hunter, Mark D

    2011-05-01

    Parasites and hosts live in communities consisting of many interacting species, but few studies have examined how communities affect parasite virulence and transmission. We studied a food web consisting of two species of milkweed, two milkweed herbivores (monarch butterfly and oleander aphid) and a monarch butterfly-specific parasite. We found that the presence of aphids increased the virulence and transmission potential of the monarch butterfly's parasite on one milkweed species. These increases were associated with aphid-induced decreases in the defensive chemicals of milkweed plants. Our experiment suggests that aphids can indirectly increase the virulence and transmission potential of monarch butterfly parasites, probably by altering the chemical composition of a shared food plant. These results indicate that species that are far removed from host-parasite interactions can alter such interactions through cascading indirect effects in the food web. As such, indirect effects within ecological communities may drive the dynamics and evolution of parasites. PMID:21375682

  11. Detection of Leishmania parasites in the testis of a dog affected by orchitis: case report

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background Transmission of canine leishmaniasis (CanL), a severe infection caused by L. infantum, usually occurs through the sand fly bite to the vertebrate host. A venereal route of transmission has also been suggested, but this issue is still controversial. Findings Here, we report a case of a dog affected by orchitis showing a clinical profile of L. infantum infection. By exploiting a real-time PCR assay, we detected a significantly higher DNA load of the parasite in the lymph node and testis than in blood and urine samples collected from the dog. Conclusions Our results suggest that: 1) L. infantum infection can be associated with testicular lesions in naturally infected dogs; 2) genital involvement could result in shedding of the parasites in the semen, favoring venereal transmission of the disease. PMID:23021706

  12. Parasites

    MedlinePlus

    ... CME and CNE for clinicians... Parasitic Disease and Malaria Strategic Priorities: 2015—2020... Cyclosporiasis: Most U.S. cases ... R S T U V W X Y Z Malaria An ancient disease that affects millions of people ...

  13. Evolution of seasonal transmission patterns in avian blood-borne parasites.

    PubMed

    Pérez-Rodríguez, Antón; de la Hera, Iván; Bensch, Staffan; Pérez-Tris, Javier

    2015-08-01

    In temperate regions, many vector-borne parasites maximise their transmission prospects by adjusting reproduction to seasonal cycles of host susceptibility and vector availability. Nevertheless, in these regions there are areas where environmental conditions are favourable throughout the year, so that parasites could benefit from a year-round transmission strategy. We analysed how different transmission strategies (strict summer transmission, extended summer transmission - including spring and autumn, and year round transmission) have evolved among the different genetic lineages of Haemoproteus parabelopolskyi, an avian blood-borne parasite shared by three sibling species of passerine hosts. Our results indicate that the ancestral state of this clade of parasites had a strict summer transmission with the blackcap (Sylvia atricapilla) as the host. Other transmission strategies and switches to the other host species (Sylvia abyssinica and Sylvia borin) evolved recently, several times, independently. This suggests that, although year-round transmission is ecologically successful at present, seasonal transmission may have become more stable over evolutionary time. Switches from strict summer to an extended or year-round transmission strategy could have ecological consequences, if they promote the spread of parasites into more distant regions, transported by the migrating bird hosts. Therefore, a deeper knowledge of how different parasite transmission strategies are structured among birds in temperate areas is essential for understanding how disease emergence risks may develop in the future. PMID:25957160

  14. Networks and the ecology of parasite transmission: A framework for wildlife parasitology☆

    PubMed Central

    Godfrey, Stephanie S.

    2013-01-01

    Social network analysis has recently emerged as a popular tool for understanding disease transmission in host populations. Although social networks have most extensively been applied to modelling the transmission of diseases through human populations, more recently the method has been applied to wildlife populations. The majority of examples from wildlife involve modelling the transmission of contagious microbes (mainly viruses and bacteria), normally in context of understanding wildlife disease epidemics. However, a growing number of studies have used networks to explore the ecology of parasite transmission in wildlife populations for a range of endemic parasites representing a diversity of life cycles and transmission methods. This review addresses the application of network models in representing the transmission of parasites with more complex life cycles, and illustrates the way in which this approach can be used to answer ecological questions about the transmission of parasites in wildlife populations. PMID:24533342

  15. The evolution of mutation rate in an antagonistic coevolutionary model with maternal transmission of parasites

    PubMed Central

    Greenspoon, Philip B.; M'Gonigle, Leithen K.

    2013-01-01

    By constantly selecting for novel genotypes, coevolution between hosts and parasites can favour elevated mutation rates. Models of this process typically assume random encounters. However, offspring are often more likely to encounter their mother's parasites. Because parents and offspring are genetically similar, they may be susceptible to the same parasite strains and thus, in hosts, maternal transmission should select for mechanisms that decrease intergenerational genetic similarity. In parasites, however, maternal transmission should select for genetic similarity. We develop and analyse a model of host and parasite mutation rate evolution when parasites are maternally inherited. In hosts, we find that maternal transmission has two opposing effects. First, it eliminates coevolutionary cycles that previous work shows select for higher mutation. Second, it independently selects for higher mutation rates, because offspring that differ from their mothers are more likely to avoid infection. In parasites, however, the two effects of maternal transmission act in the same direction. As for hosts, maternal transmission eliminates coevolutionary cycles, thereby reducing selection for increased mutation. Unlike for hosts, however, maternal transmission additionally selects against higher mutation by favouring parasite offspring that are the same as their mothers. PMID:23760645

  16. Combination therapy counteracts the enhanced transmission of drug-resistant malaria parasites to mosquitoes.

    PubMed

    Hallett, Rachel L; Sutherland, Colin J; Alexander, Neal; Ord, Rosalynn; Jawara, Musa; Drakeley, Chris J; Pinder, Margaret; Walraven, Gijs; Targett, Geoffrey A T; Alloueche, Ali

    2004-10-01

    Malaria parasites carrying genes conferring resistance to antimalarials are thought to have a selective advantage which leads to higher rates of transmissibility from the drug-treated host. This is a likely mechanism for the increasing prevalence of parasites with resistance to chloroquine (CQ) and sulfadoxine-pyrimethamine in sub-Saharan Africa. Combination therapy is the key strategy being implemented to reduce the impact of resistance, but its effect on the transmission of genetically resistant parasites from treated patients to mosquito vectors has not been measured directly. In a trial comparing CQ monotherapy to the combination CQ plus artesunate (AS) in Gambian children with uncomplicated falciparum malaria, we measured transmissibility by feeding Anopheles gambiae mosquitoes with blood from 43 gametocyte-positive patients through a membrane. In the CQ-treated group, gametocytes from patients carrying parasites with the CQ resistance-associated allele pfcrt-76T prior to treatment produced infected mosquitoes with 38 times higher Plasmodium falciparum oocyst burdens than mosquitoes fed on gametocytes from patients infected with sensitive parasites (P < 0.001). Gametocytes from parasites carrying the resistance-associated allele pfmdr1-86Y produced 14-fold higher oocyst burdens than gametocytes from patients infected with sensitive parasites (P = 0.011). However, parasites carrying either of these resistance-associated alleles pretreatment were not associated with higher mosquito oocyst burdens in the CQ-AS-treated group. Thus, combination therapy overcomes the transmission advantage enjoyed by drug-resistant parasites. PMID:15388456

  17. Modeling effective transmission pathways and control of the world's most successful parasite.

    PubMed

    Turner, Matthew; Lenhart, Suzanne; Rosenthal, Benjamin; Zhao, Xiaopeng

    2013-06-01

    Toxoplasma gondii(T. gondii) is a single-celled, intracellular protozoan responsible for the disease toxoplasmosis. The parasite is prevalent worldwide, and it infects all warm-blooded vertebrates. Consumption of meats in which this parasite has encysted confers risk of infection to people and other animals, as does ingestion of water or foods contaminated with environmentally resistant oocysts excreted by cats. Vertical transmission (from mother to offspring) is also possible, leading to disease risk and contributing additional means of ensuring perpetuation of transmission. In this work, we adopt a differential equation model to investigate the effective transmission pathways of T. gondii, as well as potential control mechanisms. Detailed analyses are carried out to examine the significance of transmission routes, virulence, vertical transmission, parasite-induced changes in host behavior, and controls based on vaccination and harvesting. Modeling and analysis efforts may shed insights into understanding the complex life cycle of T. gondii. PMID:23624067

  18. Prevalence, transmission, and genetic diversity of blood parasites infecting tundra-nesting geese in Alaska

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Ramey, Andy M.; Reed, John A.; Schmutz, Joel A.; Fondell, Tom F.; Meixell, Brandt W.; Hupp, Jerry W.; Ward, David H.; Terenzi, John; Ely, Craig R.

    2014-01-01

    A total of 842 blood samples collected from five species of tundra-nesting geese in Alaska was screened for haemosporidian parasites using molecular techniques. Parasites of the generaLeucocytozoon Danilewsky, 1890, Haemoproteus Kruse, 1890, and Plasmodium Marchiafava and Celli, 1885 were detected in 169 (20%), 3 (<1%), and 0 (0%) samples, respectively. Occupancy modeling was used to estimate prevalence of Leucocytozoon parasites and assess variation relative to species, age, sex, geographic area, year, and decade. Species, age, and decade were identified as important in explaining differences in prevalence of Leucocytozoonparasites. Leucocytozoon parasites were detected in goslings sampled along the Arctic Coastal Plain using both historic and contemporary samples, which provided support for transmission in the North American Arctic. In contrast, lack of detection of Haemoproteus and Plasmodiumparasites in goslings (n = 238) provided evidence to suggest that the transmission of parasites of these genera may not occur among waterfowl using tundra habitats in Alaska, or alternatively, may only occur at low levels. Five haemosporidian genetic lineages shared among different species of geese sampled from two geographic areas were indicative of interspecies parasite transmission and supported broad parasite or vector distributions. However, identicalLeucocytozoon and Haemoproteus lineages on public databases were limited to waterfowl hosts suggesting constraints in the range of parasite hosts.

  19. Sexual transmission of intestinal parasites in men who have sex with men.

    PubMed

    Abdolrasouli, Alireza; McMillan, Alexander; Ackers, John P

    2009-09-01

    Direct oral-anal sexual contact is a common practice among men who have sex with men (MSM) and is implicated in the transmission of various enteric pathogens including intestinal parasites. The present study reviewed data on the sexual transmission of intestinal parasites among MSM, and highlighted advances in the diagnosis of such infections. The emergence and spread of intestinal parasites is of public health concern particularly in the homosexual community. Intestinal parasitic infection should be considered in the differential diagnosis of gastrointestinal disease in this population. Combination of traditional diagnostic procedures with implementation of testing based on novel molecular methods in the accurate identification of intestinal parasites is important so that early intervention and control of infection is facilitated. PMID:19653954

  20. A Class of Tricyclic Compounds Blocking Malaria Parasite Oocyst Development and Transmission

    PubMed Central

    Eastman, Richard T.; Pattaradilokrat, Sittiporn; Raj, Dipak K.; Dixit, Saurabh; Deng, Bingbing; Miura, Kazutoyo; Yuan, Jing; Tanaka, Takeshi Q.; Johnson, Ronald L.; Jiang, Hongying; Huang, Ruili; Williamson, Kim C.; Lambert, Lynn E.; Long, Carole; Austin, Christopher P.; Wu, Yimin

    2013-01-01

    Malaria is a deadly infectious disease in many tropical and subtropical countries. Previous efforts to eradicate malaria have failed, largely due to the emergence of drug-resistant parasites, insecticide-resistant mosquitoes and, in particular, the lack of drugs or vaccines to block parasite transmission. ATP-binding cassette (ABC) transporters are known to play a role in drug transport, metabolism, and resistance in many organisms, including malaria parasites. To investigate whether a Plasmodium falciparum ABC transporter (Pf14_0244 or PfABCG2) modulates parasite susceptibility to chemical compounds or plays a role in drug resistance, we disrupted the gene encoding PfABCG2, screened the recombinant and the wild-type 3D7 parasites against a library containing 2,816 drugs approved for human or animal use, and identified an antihistamine (ketotifen) that became less active against the PfABCG2-disrupted parasite in culture. In addition to some activity against asexual stages and gametocytes, ketotifen was highly potent in blocking oocyst development of P. falciparum and the rodent parasite Plasmodium yoelii in mosquitoes. Tests of structurally related tricyclic compounds identified additional compounds with similar activities in inhibiting transmission. Additionally, ketotifen appeared to have some activity against relapse of Plasmodium cynomolgi infection in rhesus monkeys. Further clinical evaluation of ketotifen and related compounds, including synthetic new derivatives, in blocking malaria transmission may provide new weapons for the current effort of malaria eradication. PMID:23129054

  1. Criticality of Parasitic Disease Transmission in a Diffusive Population

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    He, Min-Hua; Zhang, Duan-Ming; Pan, Gui-Jun; Yin, Yan-Ping; Chen, Zhi-Yuan

    2008-12-01

    Through using the methods of finite-size effect and short time dynamic scaling, we study the critical behavior of parasitic disease spreading process in a diffusive population mediated by a static vector environment. Through comprehensive analysis of parasitic disease spreading we find that this model presents a dynamical phase transition from disease-free state to endemic state with a finite population density. We determine the critical population density, above which the system reaches an epidemic spreading stationary state. We also perform a scaling analysis to determine the order parameter and critical relaxation exponents. The results show that the model does not belong to the usual directed percolation universality class and is compatible with the class of directed percolation with diffusive and conserved fields.

  2. Parasite Transmission in Social Interacting Hosts: Monogenean Epidemics in Guppies

    PubMed Central

    Johnson, Mirelle B.; Lafferty, Kevin D.; van Oosterhout, Cock; Cable, Joanne

    2011-01-01

    Background Infection incidence increases with the average number of contacts between susceptible and infected individuals. Contact rates are normally assumed to increase linearly with host density. However, social species seek out each other at low density and saturate their contact rates at high densities. Although predicting epidemic behaviour requires knowing how contact rates scale with host density, few empirical studies have investigated the effect of host density. Also, most theory assumes each host has an equal probability of transmitting parasites, even though individual parasite load and infection duration can vary. To our knowledge, the relative importance of characteristics of the primary infected host vs. the susceptible population has never been tested experimentally. Methodology/Principal Findings Here, we examine epidemics using a common ectoparasite, Gyrodactylus turnbulli infecting its guppy host (Poecilia reticulata). Hosts were maintained at different densities (3, 6, 12 and 24 fish in 40 L aquaria), and we monitored gyrodactylids both at a population and individual host level. Although parasite population size increased with host density, the probability of an epidemic did not. Epidemics were more likely when the primary infected fish had a high mean intensity and duration of infection. Epidemics only occurred if the primary infected host experienced more than 23 worm days. Female guppies contracted infections sooner than males, probably because females have a higher propensity for shoaling. Conclusions/Significance These findings suggest that in social hosts like guppies, the frequency of social contact largely governs disease epidemics independent of host density. PMID:21897838

  3. Parasite transmission in social interacting hosts: Monogenean epidemics in guppies

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Johnson, M.B.; Lafferty, K.D.; van, Oosterhout C.; Cable, J.

    2011-01-01

    Background: Infection incidence increases with the average number of contacts between susceptible and infected individuals. Contact rates are normally assumed to increase linearly with host density. However, social species seek out each other at low density and saturate their contact rates at high densities. Although predicting epidemic behaviour requires knowing how contact rates scale with host density, few empirical studies have investigated the effect of host density. Also, most theory assumes each host has an equal probability of transmitting parasites, even though individual parasite load and infection duration can vary. To our knowledge, the relative importance of characteristics of the primary infected host vs. the susceptible population has never been tested experimentally. Methodology/Principal Findings: Here, we examine epidemics using a common ectoparasite, Gyrodactylus turnbulli infecting its guppy host (Poecilia reticulata). Hosts were maintained at different densities (3, 6, 12 and 24 fish in 40 L aquaria), and we monitored gyrodactylids both at a population and individual host level. Although parasite population size increased with host density, the probability of an epidemic did not. Epidemics were more likely when the primary infected fish had a high mean intensity and duration of infection. Epidemics only occurred if the primary infected host experienced more than 23 worm days. Female guppies contracted infections sooner than males, probably because females have a higher propensity for shoaling. Conclusions/Significance: These findings suggest that in social hosts like guppies, the frequency of social contact largely governs disease epidemics independent of host density. ?? 2011 Johnson et al.

  4. Parasite transmission in social interacting hosts: Monogenean epidemics in guppies

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Johnson, Mirelle B.; Lafferty, Kevin D.; van Oosterhout, Cock; Cable, Joanne

    2011-01-01

    Background Infection incidence increases with the average number of contacts between susceptible and infected individuals. Contact rates are normally assumed to increase linearly with host density. However, social species seek out each other at low density and saturate their contact rates at high densities. Although predicting epidemic behaviour requires knowing how contact rates scale with host density, few empirical studies have investigated the effect of host density. Also, most theory assumes each host has an equal probability of transmitting parasites, even though individual parasite load and infection duration can vary. To our knowledge, the relative importance of characteristics of the primary infected host vs. the susceptible population has never been tested experimentally. Methodology/Principal Findings Here, we examine epidemics using a common ectoparasite, Gyrodactylus turnbulli infecting its guppy host (Poecilia reticulata). Hosts were maintained at different densities (3, 6, 12 and 24 fish in 40 L aquaria), and we monitored gyrodactylids both at a population and individual host level. Although parasite population size increased with host density, the probability of an epidemic did not. Epidemics were more likely when the primary infected fish had a high mean intensity and duration of infection. Epidemics only occurred if the primary infected host experienced more than 23 worm days. Female guppies contracted infections sooner than males, probably because females have a higher propensity for shoaling. Conclusions/Significance These findings suggest that in social hosts like guppies, the frequency of social contact largely governs disease epidemics independent of host density.

  5. Atrazine reduces the transmission of an amphibian trematode by altering snail and ostracod host-parasite interactions.

    PubMed

    Gustafson, Kyle D; Belden, Jason B; Bolek, Matthew G

    2016-04-01

    Trematodes are ubiquitous members of aquatic environments, have many functional roles in ecosystems, and can cause diseases in humans, livestock, and wild animals. Despite their importance and reports of parasite population declines, few studies have concurrently assessed the effects of aquatic contaminants on multiple hosts, multiple parasite life cycle stages, and on transmission-related host-parasite interactions. Here, we test the effects of environmentally relevant concentrations of the herbicide atrazine (0, 3, 30 μg/L) on the establishment and development of an amphibian trematode (Halipegus eccentricus) in a first-intermediate snail host (Physa acuta) and in a second-intermediate ostracod host (Cypridopsis sp.). Additionally, we test the interactive effects of atrazine and parasitism on snail and ostracod survival. Our results indicate that atrazine negatively affects trematode transmission by altering snail and ostracod host-parasite interactions. Although atrazine did not affect the survival of uninfected snails alone, atrazine acted synergistically with parasitism to reduce the longevity of infected snails. As a result, the number of cercariae (i.e., larval trematodes) produced by snails was 50.7 % (3 μg/L) and 14.9 % (30 μg/L) relative to controls. Atrazine exhibited direct negative effects on ostracod survival at 30 μg/L. However, when ostracods were also exposed to trematodes, the negative effects of atrazine on survival were diminished. Although infected ostracod survival remained high, trematode development was significantly reduced, resulting in reduced infectivity of metacercariae (i.e., nongravid adult cysts infective to definite host) to 32.2 % (3 μg/L) and 28.6 % (30 μg/L) relative to the controls. The combination of reduced cercaria production and reduced metacercarial infectivity in the 3 and 30 μg/L atrazine treatment groups reduced the net number of infective worms produced to 16.4 and 4.3 % (respectively) relative to the control

  6. Exploitation of manipulators: 'hitch-hiking' as a parasite transmission strategy.

    PubMed

    Thomas; Renaud; Poulin

    1998-07-01

    For many parasites with complex life cycles, manipulation of host behaviour is an adaptation to increase the probability of successful transmission. Since manipulation is likely to be costly, other parasites may exploit hosts already manipulated so as to ensure their transmission without investing in manipulation. Such a cheating strategy, called 'hitch-hiking', could be adaptive in a range of situations. We first propose and discuss criteria that should be met by any parasite to be considered a hitch-hiker. Then, to understand the evolution of the hitch-hiking strategy, we use simple mathematical models to analyse the influence of several variables on the potential benefits for a nonmanipulative parasite of actively seeking a ride to the definitive host with a manipulative parasite. The models suggest that the prevalence or abundance of manipulative parasites will be a key determinant of whether hitch-hiking can be an advantageous option for other parasites. Copyright 1998 The Association for the Study of Animal Behaviour. PMID:9710478

  7. Differential sources of host species heterogeneity influence the transmission and control of multihost parasites

    PubMed Central

    Streicker, Daniel G; Fenton, Andy; Pedersen, Amy B

    2013-01-01

    Controlling parasites that infect multiple host species often requires targeting single species that dominate transmission. Yet, it is rarely recognised that such ‘key hosts’ can arise through disparate mechanisms, potentially requiring different approaches for control. We identify three distinct, but not mutually exclusive, processes that underlie host species heterogeneity: infection prevalence, population abundance and infectiousness. We construct a theoretical framework to isolate the role of each process from ecological data and to explore the outcome of different control approaches. Applying this framework to data on 11 gastrointestinal parasites in small mammal communities across the eastern United States reveals variation not only in the magnitude of transmission asymmetries among host species but also in the processes driving heterogeneity. These differences influence the efficiency by which different control strategies reduce transmission. Identifying and tailoring interventions to a specific type of key host may therefore enable more effective management of multihost parasites. PMID:23714379

  8. Superinfection reconciles host-parasite association and cross-species transmission.

    PubMed

    Haven, James; Park, Andrew William

    2013-12-01

    Parasites are either dedicated to a narrow host range, or capable of exploiting a wide host range. Understanding how host ranges are determined is very important for public health, as well as wildlife, plant, livestock and agricultural diseases. Our current understanding of host-parasite associations hinges on co-evolution, which assumes evolved host preferences (host specialization) of the parasite. Despite the explanatory power of this framework, we have only a vague understanding of why many parasites routinely cross the host species' barrier. Here we introduce a simple model demonstrating how superinfection (in a heterogeneous community) can promote host-parasite association. Strikingly, the model illustrates that strong host-parasite association occurs in the absence of host specialization, while still permitting cross-species transmission. For decades, host specialization has been foundational in explaining the maintenance of distinct parasites/strains in host species. We argue that host specializations may be exaggerated, and can occur as a byproduct (not necessarily the cause) of host-parasite associations. PMID:24161558

  9. Parasitism affects vaccine efficacy against Streptococcus iniae in Nile tilapia

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Tilapia culture worldwide is estimated to be US$ 5 billion and is important to domestic and global food security. Parasites and bacteria co-occur in both extensive and intensive production of tilapia. The effect of parasitism on vaccine performance in fish is little studied. The objective of this ...

  10. The influence of poverty and culture on the transmission of parasitic infections in rural nicaraguan villages.

    PubMed

    Karan, Abraar; Chapman, Gretchen B; Galvani, Alison

    2012-01-01

    Intestinal parasitic infections cause one of the largest global burdens of disease. To identify possible areas for interventions, a structured questionnaire addressing knowledge, attitude, and practice regarding parasitic infections as well as the less studied role of culture and resource availability was presented to mothers of school-age children in rural communities around San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua. We determined that access to resources influenced knowledge, attitude, and behaviors that may be relevant to transmission of parasitic infections. For example, having access to a clinic and prior knowledge about parasites was positively correlated with the practice of having fencing for animals, having fewer barefoot children, and treating children for parasites. We also found that cultural beliefs may contribute to parasitic transmission. Manifestations of machismo culture and faith in traditional medicines conflicted with healthy practices. We identified significant cultural myths that prevented healthy behaviors, including the beliefs that cutting a child's nails can cause tetanus and that showering after a hot day caused sickness. The use of traditional medicine was positively correlated with the belief in these cultural myths. Our study demonstrates that the traditional knowledge, attitude, and practice model could benefit from including components that examine resource availability and culture. PMID:22934154

  11. The Influence of Poverty and Culture on the Transmission of Parasitic Infections in Rural Nicaraguan Villages

    PubMed Central

    Karan, Abraar; Chapman, Gretchen B.; Galvani, Alison

    2012-01-01

    Intestinal parasitic infections cause one of the largest global burdens of disease. To identify possible areas for interventions, a structured questionnaire addressing knowledge, attitude, and practice regarding parasitic infections as well as the less studied role of culture and resource availability was presented to mothers of school-age children in rural communities around San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua. We determined that access to resources influenced knowledge, attitude, and behaviors that may be relevant to transmission of parasitic infections. For example, having access to a clinic and prior knowledge about parasites was positively correlated with the practice of having fencing for animals, having fewer barefoot children, and treating children for parasites. We also found that cultural beliefs may contribute to parasitic transmission. Manifestations of machismo culture and faith in traditional medicines conflicted with healthy practices. We identified significant cultural myths that prevented healthy behaviors, including the beliefs that cutting a child's nails can cause tetanus and that showering after a hot day caused sickness. The use of traditional medicine was positively correlated with the belief in these cultural myths. Our study demonstrates that the traditional knowledge, attitude, and practice model could benefit from including components that examine resource availability and culture. PMID:22934154

  12. Deviance partitioning of host factors affecting parasitization in the European brown hare ( Lepus europaeus)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Alzaga, Vanesa; Tizzani, Paolo; Acevedo, Pelayo; Ruiz-Fons, Francisco; Vicente, Joaquín; Gortázar, Christian

    2009-10-01

    Deviance partitioning can provide new insights into the ecology of host-parasite interactions. We studied the host-related factors influencing parasite prevalence, abundance, and species richness in European brown hares ( Lepus europaeus) from northern Spain. We defined three groups of explanatory variables: host environment, host population, and individual factors. We hypothesised that parasite infection rates and species richness were determined by different host-related factors depending on the nature of the parasite (endo- or ectoparasite, direct or indirect life cycle). To assess the relative importance of these components, we used deviance partitioning, an innovative approach. The explained deviance (ED) was higher for parasite abundance models, followed by those of prevalence and then by species richness, suggesting that parasite abundance models may best describe the host factors influencing parasitization. Models for parasites with a direct life cycle yielded higher ED values than those for indirect life cycle ones. As a general trend, host individual factors explained the largest proportion of the ED, followed by host environmental factors and, finally, the interaction between host environmental and individual factors. Similar hierarchies were found for parasite prevalence, abundance, and species richness. Individual factors comprised the most relevant group of explanatory variables for both types of parasites. However, host environmental factors were also relevant in models for indirect life-cycle parasites. These findings are consistent with the idea of the host as the main habitat of the parasite; whereas, for indirect life-cycle parasites, transmission would be also modulated by environmental conditions. We suggest that parasitization can be used not only as an indicator of individual fitness but also as an indicator of environmental quality for the host. This research underlines the importance of monitoring parasite rates together with environmental

  13. Distribution and transmission of the highly pathogenic parasite Ichthyophonus in marine fishes of Alaska

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Gregg, Jacob L.; Grady, Courtney A.; Thompson, Rachel L.; Purcell, Maureen K.; Friedman, Carolyn S.; Hershberger, Paul K.

    2014-01-01

    A combination of field surveys, molecular typing, and laboratory experiments were used to improve our understanding of the distribution and transmission mechanisms of fish parasites in the genus Ichthyophonus. Ichthyophonus spp. infections were detected from the Bering Sea to the coast of Oregon in 10 of 13 host species surveyed. Sequences of rDNA extracted from these isolates indicate that a ubiquitous Ichthyophonus type occurs in the NE Pacific Ocean and Bering Sea and accounts for nearly all the infections encountered. Among NE Pacific isolates, only parasites from yellowtail rockfish and Puget Sound rockfish varied at the DNA locus examined. These data suggest that a single source population of these parasites is available to fishes in diverse niches across a wide geographic range. A direct life cycle within a common forage species could account for the relatively low parasite diversity we encountered. In the laboratory we tested the hypothesis that waterborne transmission occurs among Pacific herring, a common NE Pacific forage species. No horizontal transmission occurred during a four-month cohabitation experiment involving infected herring and conspecific sentinels. The complete life cycle of Ichthyophonus spp. is not known, but these results suggest that system-wide processes maintain a relatively homogenous parasite population.

  14. Information about transmission opportunities triggers a life-history switch in a parasite.

    PubMed

    Poulin, Robert

    2003-12-01

    Many microbial pathogens can switch to new hosts or adopt alternative transmission routes as environmental conditions change, displaying unexpected flexibility in their infection pathways and often causing emerging diseases. In contrast, parasitic worms that must develop through a fixed series of host species appear less likely to show phenotypic plasticity in their transmission pathways. Here, I demonstrate experimentally that a trematode parasite, Coitocaecum parvum, can accelerate its development and rapidly reach precocious maturity in its crustacean intermediate host in the absence of chemical cues emanating from its fish definitive host. Juvenile trematodes can also mature precociously when the mortality rate of their intermediate hosts is increased. Eggs produced by precocious adults hatch into viable larvae, capable of pursuing the parasite's life cycle. In the absence of chemical cues from fish hosts, the size of eggs released by precocious trematodes in their intermediate hosts becomes more variable, possibly indicating a bet-hedging strategy. These results illustrate that parasitic worms with complex life cycles have development and transmission strategies that are more plastic than commonly believed, allowing them to skip one host in their cycle when they perceive limited opportunities for transmission. PMID:14761067

  15. Additional heritable virus in the parasitic wasp Leptopilina boulardi: prevalence, transmission and phenotypic effects.

    PubMed

    Martinez, Julien; Lepetit, David; Ravallec, Marc; Fleury, Frédéric; Varaldi, Julien

    2016-02-01

    Parasitoid wasps can be found in association with heritable viruses. Although some viruses have been shown to profoundly affect the biology and evolution of parasitoid wasps, the genetic and phenotypic diversity of parasitoid-associated viruses remains largely unexplored. We previously discovered a behaviour-manipulating DNA virus in the parasitoid wasp Leptopilina boulardi. In this species, which lays its eggs inside Drosophila larvae, Leptopilina boulardi filamentous virus (LbFV) forces the females to lay their eggs in already parasitized Drosophila larvae. This behavioural manipulation increases the chances for the horizontal transmission of the virus. Here, we describe in the same parasitoid species another virus, which we propose to call Leptopilina boulardi toti-like virus (LbTV). This double-stranded RNA virus is highly prevalent in insect laboratory lines as well as in parasitoids caught in the field. In some cases, LbTV was found in coinfection with LbFV, but did not affect the behaviour of the wasp. Instead we found that the presence of LbTV correlates with an increase in the number of offspring, mostly due to increased survival of parasitoid larvae. LbTV is vertically transmitted mostly through the maternal lineage even if frequent paternal transmission also occurs. Unlike LbFV, LbTV is not horizontally transmitted. Its genome encodes a putative RNA-dependent RNA polymerase (RdRp) showing similarities with RdRps of Totiviridae. These results underline the high incidence and diversity of inherited viruses in parasitoids as well as their potential impact on the phenotype of their hosts. PMID:26642803

  16. Rationale for the Coadministration of Albendazole and Ivermectin to Humans for Malaria Parasite Transmission Control

    PubMed Central

    Kobylinski, Kevin C.; Alout, Haoues; Foy, Brian D.; Clements, Archie; Adisakwattana, Poom; Swierczewski, Brett E.; Richardson, Jason H.

    2014-01-01

    Recently there have been calls for the eradication of malaria and the elimination of soil-transmitted helminths (STHs). Malaria and STHs overlap in distribution, and STH infections are associated with increased risk for malaria. Indeed, there is evidence that suggests that STH infection may facilitate malaria transmission. Malaria and STH coinfection may exacerbate anemia, especially in pregnant women, leading to worsened child development and more adverse pregnancy outcomes than these diseases would cause on their own. Ivermectin mass drug administration (MDA) to humans for malaria parasite transmission suppression is being investigated as a potential malaria elimination tool. Adding albendazole to ivermectin MDAs would maximize effects against STHs. A proactive, integrated control platform that targets malaria and STHs would be extremely cost-effective and simultaneously reduce human suffering caused by multiple diseases. This paper outlines the benefits of adding albendazole to ivermectin MDAs for malaria parasite transmission suppression. PMID:25070998

  17. Rationale for the coadministration of albendazole and ivermectin to humans for malaria parasite transmission control.

    PubMed

    Kobylinski, Kevin C; Alout, Haoues; Foy, Brian D; Clements, Archie; Adisakwattana, Poom; Swierczewski, Brett E; Richardson, Jason H

    2014-10-01

    Recently there have been calls for the eradication of malaria and the elimination of soil-transmitted helminths (STHs). Malaria and STHs overlap in distribution, and STH infections are associated with increased risk for malaria. Indeed, there is evidence that suggests that STH infection may facilitate malaria transmission. Malaria and STH coinfection may exacerbate anemia, especially in pregnant women, leading to worsened child development and more adverse pregnancy outcomes than these diseases would cause on their own. Ivermectin mass drug administration (MDA) to humans for malaria parasite transmission suppression is being investigated as a potential malaria elimination tool. Adding albendazole to ivermectin MDAs would maximize effects against STHs. A proactive, integrated control platform that targets malaria and STHs would be extremely cost-effective and simultaneously reduce human suffering caused by multiple diseases. This paper outlines the benefits of adding albendazole to ivermectin MDAs for malaria parasite transmission suppression. PMID:25070998

  18. Interactions of warming and exposure affect susceptibility to parasite infection in a temperate fish species.

    PubMed

    Sheath, Danny J; Andreou, Demetra; Britton, J Robert

    2016-09-01

    Predicting how elevated temperatures from climate change alter host-parasite interactions requires understandings of how warming affects host susceptibility and parasite virulence. Here, the effect of elevated water temperature and parasite exposure level was tested on parasite prevalence, abundance and burden, and on fish growth, using Pomphorhynchus laevis and its fish host Squalius cephalus. At 60 days post-exposure, prevalence was higher at the elevated temperature (22 °C) than ambient temperature (18 °C), with infections achieved at considerably lower levels of exposure. Whilst parasite number was significantly higher in infected fish at 22 °C, both mean parasite weight and parasite burden was significantly higher at 18 °C. There were, however, no significant relationships between fish growth rate and temperature, parasite exposure, and the infection parameters. Thus, whilst elevated temperature significantly influenced parasite infection rates, it also impacted parasite development rates, suggesting warming could have complex implications for parasite dynamics and host resistance. PMID:27225942

  19. Cyclic GMP Balance Is Critical for Malaria Parasite Transmission from the Mosquito to the Mammalian Host

    PubMed Central

    Lakshmanan, Viswanathan; Fishbaugher, Matthew E.; Morrison, Bob; Baldwin, Michael; Macarulay, Michael; Vaughan, Ashley M.; Mikolajczak, Sebastian A.

    2015-01-01

    ABSTRACT Transmission of malaria occurs during Anopheles mosquito vector blood meals, when Plasmodium sporozoites that have invaded the mosquito salivary glands are delivered to the mammalian host. Sporozoites display a unique form of motility that is essential for their movement across cellular host barriers and invasion of hepatocytes. While the molecular machinery powering motility and invasion is increasingly well defined, the signaling events that control these essential parasite activities have not been clearly delineated. Here, we identify a phosphodiesterase (PDEγ) in Plasmodium, a regulator of signaling through cyclic nucleotide second messengers. Reverse transcriptase PCR (RT-PCR) analysis and epitope tagging of endogenous PDEγ detected its expression in blood stages and sporozoites of Plasmodium yoelii. Deletion of PDEγ (pdeγ−) rendered sporozoites nonmotile, and they failed to invade the mosquito salivary glands. Consequently, PDEγ deletion completely blocked parasite transmission by mosquito bite. Strikingly, pdeγ− sporozoites showed dramatically elevated levels of cyclic GMP (cGMP), indicating that a perturbation in cyclic nucleotide balance is involved in the observed phenotypic defects. Transcriptome sequencing (RNA-Seq) analysis of pdeγ− sporozoites revealed reduced transcript abundance of genes that encode key components of the motility and invasion apparatus. Our data reveal a crucial role for PDEγ in maintaining the cyclic nucleotide balance in the malaria parasite sporozoite stage, which in turn is essential for parasite transmission from mosquito to mammal. PMID:25784701

  20. Environmental effects on parasitic disease transmission exemplified by schistosomiasis in western China

    PubMed Central

    Liang, Song; Seto, Edmund Y. W.; Remais, Justin V.; Zhong, Bo; Yang, Changhong; Hubbard, Alan; Davis, George M.; Gu, Xueguang; Qiu, Dongchuan; Spear, Robert C.

    2007-01-01

    Environmental effects on the transmission of many parasitic diseases are well recognized, but the role of specific factors like climate and agricultural practices in modulating transmission is seldom characterized quantitatively. Based on studies of Schistosoma japonicum transmission in irrigated agricultural environments in western China, a mathematical model was used to quantify environmental impacts on transmission intensity. The model was calibrated by using field data from intervention studies in three villages and simulated to predict the effects of alternative control options. Both the results of these interventions and earlier epidemiological findings confirm the central role of environmental factors, particularly those relating to snail habitat and agricultural and sanitation practices. Moreover, the findings indicate the inadequacy of current niclosamide-praziquantel strategies alone to achieve sustainable interruption of transmission in some endemic areas. More generally, the analysis suggests a village-specific index of transmission potential and how this potential is modulated by time-varying factors, including climatological variables, seasonal water-contact patterns, and irrigation practices. These time-variable factors, a village's internal potential, and its connectedness to its neighbors provide a framework for evaluating the likelihood of sustained schistosomiasis transmission and suggest an approach to quantifying the role of environmental factors for other parasitic diseases. PMID:17438266

  1. Real-time PCR investigation of parasite ecology: in situ determination of oyster parasite Perkinsus marinus transmission dynamics in lower Chesapeake Bay.

    PubMed

    Audemard, C; Ragone Calvo, L M; Paynter, K T; Reece, K S; Burreson, E M

    2006-06-01

    Perkinsus marinus is a severe pathogen of the oyster Crassostrea virginica on the East Coast of the United States. Transmission dynamics of this parasite were investigated in situ for 2 consecutive years (May through October) at 2 lower Chesapeake Bay sites. Compared to previous studies where seasonal infection patterns in oysters were measured, this study also provided parasite water column abundance data measured using real-time PCR. As previously observed, salinity and temperature modulated parasite transmission dynamics. Using regression analysis, parasite prevalence, oyster mortalities and parasite water column abundance were significantly positively related to salinity. Perkinsus marinus weighted prevalence in wild oysters and parasite water column abundance both were significantly related to temperature, but the responses lagged 1 month behind temperature. Parasite water column abundance was the highest during August (up to 1,200 cells/l) and was significantly related to P. marinus weighted prevalence in wild oysters, and to wild oyster mortality suggesting that parasites are released in the environment via both moribund and live hosts (i.e. through feces). Incidence was not significantly related to parasite water column abundance, which seems to indicate the absence of a linear relationship or that infection acquisition is controlled by a more complex set of parameters. PMID:16476183

  2. Host cell deformability is linked to transmission in the human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum

    PubMed Central

    Aingaran, Mythili; Zhang, Rou; Law, Sue KaYee; Peng, Zhangli; Undisz, Andreas; Meyer, Evan; Diez-Silva, Monica; Burke, Thomas A.; Spielmann, Tobias; Lim, Chwee Teck; Suresh, Subra; Dao, Ming; Marti, Matthias

    2012-01-01

    SUMMARY Gametocyte maturation in Plasmodium falciparum is a critical step in the transmission of malaria. While the majority of parasites proliferate asexually in red blood cells, a small fraction of parasites undergo sexual conversion and mature over two weeks to become competent for transmission to a mosquito vector. Immature gametocytes sequester in deep tissues while mature stages must be able to circulate, pass the spleen and present themselves to the mosquito vector in order to complete transmission. Sequestration of asexual red blood cell stage parasites has been investigated in great detail. These studies have demonstrated that induction of cytoadherence properties through specific receptor-ligand interactions coincides with a significant increase in host cell stiffness. In contrast, the adherence and biophysical properties of gametocyte-infected red blood cells have not been studied systematically. Utilizing a transgenic line for 3D live imaging, in vitro capillary assays and 3D finite element whole cell modeling, we studied the role of cellular deformability in determining the circulatory characteristics of gametocytes. Our analysis shows that the red blood cell deformability of immature gametocytes displays an overall decrease followed by rapid restoration in mature gametocytes. Intriguingly, simulations suggest that along with deformability variations, the morphological changes of the parasite may play an important role in tissue distribution in vivo. Taken together we present a model, which suggests that mature but not immature gametocytes circulate in the peripheral blood for uptake in the mosquito blood meal and transmission to another human host thus ensuring long term survival of the parasite. PMID:22417683

  3. Experimental parasite community ecology: intraspecific variation in a large tapeworm affects community assembly.

    PubMed

    Benesh, Daniel P; Kalbe, Martin

    2016-07-01

    Non-random species associations occur in naturally sampled parasite communities. The processes resulting in predictable community structure (e.g. particular host behaviours, cross-immunity, interspecific competition) could be affected by traits that vary within a parasite species, like growth or antigenicity. We experimentally infected three-spined sticklebacks with a large tapeworm (Schistocephalus solidus) that impacts the energy needs, foraging behaviour and immune reactions of its host. The tapeworms came from two populations, characterized by high or low growth in sticklebacks. Our goal was to evaluate how this parasite, and variation in its growth, affects the acquisition of other parasites. Fish infected with S. solidus were placed into cages in a lake to expose them to the natural parasite community. We also performed a laboratory experiment in which infected fish were exposed to a fixed dose of a common trematode parasite. In the field experiment, infection with S. solidus affected the abundance of four parasite species, relative to controls. For two of the four species, changes occurred only in fish harbouring the high-growth S. solidus; one species increased in abundance and the other decreased. These changes did not appear to be directly linked to S. solidus growth though. The parasite exhibiting elevated abundance was the same trematode used in the laboratory infection. In that experiment, we found a similar infection pattern, suggesting that S. solidus affects the physiological susceptibility of fish to this trematode. Associations between S. solidus and other parasites occur and vary in direction. However, some of these associations were contingent on the S. solidus population, suggesting that intraspecific variability can affect the assembly of parasite communities. PMID:27061288

  4. Plasmodium falciparum STEVOR phosphorylation regulates host erythrocyte deformability enabling malaria parasite transmission.

    PubMed

    Naissant, Bernina; Dupuy, Florian; Duffier, Yoann; Lorthiois, Audrey; Duez, Julien; Scholz, Judith; Buffet, Pierre; Merckx, Anais; Bachmann, Anna; Lavazec, Catherine

    2016-06-16

    Deformability of Plasmodium falciparum gametocyte-infected erythrocytes (GIEs) allows them to persist for several days in blood circulation and to ensure transmission to mosquitoes. Here, we investigate the mechanism by which the parasite proteins STEVOR (SubTElomeric Variable Open Reading frame) exert changes on GIE deformability. Using the microsphiltration method, immunoprecipitation, and mass spectrometry, we produce evidence that GIE stiffness is dependent on the cytoplasmic domain of STEVOR that interacts with ankyrin complex at the erythrocyte skeleton. Moreover, we show that GIE deformability is regulated by protein kinase A (PKA)-mediated phosphorylation of the STEVOR C-terminal domain at a specific serine residue (S324). Finally, we show that the increase of GIE stiffness induced by sildenafil (Viagra) is dependent on STEVOR phosphorylation status and on another independent mechanism. These data provide new insights into mechanisms by which phosphodiesterase inhibitors may block malaria parasite transmission. PMID:27136945

  5. Parasite transmission risk from geophagic and foraging behavior in chacma baboons.

    PubMed

    Pebsworth, Paula A; Archer, Colleen E; Appleton, Chris C; Huffman, Michael A

    2012-10-01

    Numerous behavioral and ecological factors are associated with parasite transmission. One factor explored in human research, but absent from nonhuman primate research, is parasite transmission from soil ingestion. Human studies suggest geophagy, the regular and deliberate consumption of soil, increases risk of soil-transmitted helminth (STH) infection. Geophagy, which is prevalent in nonhuman primates, has several positive associations: gastrointestinal distress alleviation, possible mineral supplementation, and bacterial infection prevention. Our objective was to determine whether STH transmission was possible from deliberate or accidental soil ingestion, in a troop of chacma baboons (Papio hamadryas ursinus) that engaged in geophagy, foraged on the terrestrial substrata, and had a Trichuris sp. sample prevalence of 100%. We collected and analyzed 80 soil samples from geophagy and ground foraging sites on and around Wildcliff Nature Reserve, South Africa. Forty soil samples were collected from sites where soil was consumed, and 40 were collected from sites where soil was not consumed. At geophagy sites, the number of Trichuris sp. eggs recovered varied significantly between areas used and unused by the baboons, suggesting behavior is an important factor. In contrast, at foraging sites, there was only a tendency to recover more eggs at used than unused areas, and we propose egg recovery was influenced by fecal contamination that occurred throughout foraging stands. The difference in egg recovery between used areas at geophagy sites and used areas at foraging sites was not significant. These preliminary findings suggest both geophagy and foraging sites are a potential source of STH infection for this troop. Whether geophagy benefits outweigh the potential cost of parasite reinfection for this baboon troop is unknown, so we encourage future research on the influence that host foraging behavior may have on parasite reinfection. PMID:22707091

  6. Maternally supplied S-acyl-transferase is required for crystalloid organelle formation and transmission of the malaria parasite.

    PubMed

    Santos, Jorge M; Duarte, Neuza; Kehrer, Jessica; Ramesar, Jai; Avramut, M Cristina; Koster, Abraham J; Dessens, Johannes T; Frischknecht, Friedrich; Chevalley-Maurel, Séverine; Janse, Chris J; Franke-Fayard, Blandine; Mair, Gunnar R

    2016-06-28

    Transmission of the malaria parasite from the mammalian host to the mosquito vector requires the formation of adequately adapted parasite forms and stage-specific organelles. Here we show that formation of the crystalloid-a unique and short-lived organelle of the Plasmodium ookinete and oocyst stage required for sporogony-is dependent on the precisely timed expression of the S-acyl-transferase DHHC10. DHHC10, translationally repressed in female Plasmodium berghei gametocytes, is activated translationally during ookinete formation, where the protein is essential for the formation of the crystalloid, the correct targeting of crystalloid-resident protein LAP2, and malaria parasite transmission. PMID:27303037

  7. Parasites and Pathogens of the Honeybee (Apis mellifera) and Their Influence on Inter-Colonial Transmission

    PubMed Central

    Frey, Eva; Rosenkranz, Peter; Paxton, Robert J.; Moritz, Robin F. A.

    2015-01-01

    Pathogens and parasites may facilitate their transmission by manipulating host behavior. Honeybee pathogens and pests need to be transferred from one colony to another if they are to maintain themselves in a host population. Inter-colony transmission occurs typically through honeybee workers not returning to their home colony but entering a foreign colony (“drifting”). Pathogens might enhance drifting to enhance transmission to new colonies. We here report on the effects infection by ten honeybee viruses and Nosema spp., and Varroa mite infestation on honeybee drifting. Genotyping of workers collected from colonies allowed us to identify genuine drifted workers as well as source colonies sending out drifters in addition to sink colonies accepting them. We then used network analysis to determine patterns of drifting. Distance between colonies in the apiary was the major factor explaining 79% of drifting. None of the tested viruses or Nosema spp. were associated with the frequency of drifting. Only colony infestation with Varroa was associated with significantly enhanced drifting. More specifically, colonies with high Varroa infestation had a significantly enhanced acceptance of drifters, although they did not send out more drifting workers. Since Varroa-infested colonies show an enhanced attraction of drifting workers, and not only those infected with Varroa and its associated pathogens, infestation by Varroa may also facilitate the uptake of other pests and parasites. PMID:26451849

  8. Galápagos mockingbirds tolerate introduced parasites that affect Darwin's finches.

    PubMed

    Knutie, Sarah A; Owen, Jeb P; McNew, Sabrina M; Bartlow, Andrew W; Arriero, Elena; Herman, Jordan M; DiBlasi, Emily; Thompson, Michael; Koop, Jennifer A H; Clayton, Dale H

    2016-04-01

    Introduced parasites threaten native host species that lack effective defenses. Such parasites increase the risk of extinction, particularly in small host populations like those on islands. If some host species are tolerant to introduced parasites, this could amplify the risk of the parasite to vulnerable host species. Recently, the introduced parasitic nest fly Philornis downsi has been implicated in the decline of Darwin's finch populations in the Galápagos Islands. In some years, 100% of finch nests fail due to P. downsi; however, other common host species nesting near Darwin's finches, such as the endemic Galápagos mockingbird (Mimus parvulus), appear to be less affected by P. downsi. We compared effects of P. downsi on mockingbirds and medium ground finches (Geospiza fortis) on Santa Cruz Island in the Galápagos. We experimentally manipulated the abundance of P. downsi in nests of mockingbirds and finches to measure the direct effect of the parasite on the reproductive success of each species of host. We also compared immunological and behavioral responses by each species of host to the fly. Although nests of the two host species had similar parasite densities, flies decreased the fitness of finches but not mockingbirds. Neither host species had a significant antibody-mediated immune response to P. downsi. Moreover, finches showed no significant increase in begging, parental provisioning, or plasma glucose levels in response to the flies. In contrast, parasitized mockingbird nestlings begged more than nonparasitized mockingbird nestlings. Greater begging was correlated with increased parental provisioning behavior, which appeared to compensate for parasite damage. The results of our study suggest that finches are negatively affected by P. downsi because they do not have such behavioral mechanisms for energy compensation. In contrast, mockingbirds are capable of compensation, making them tolerant hosts, and a possible indirect threat to Darwin's finches

  9. Parasite communities of four fish species in the Wadden Sea and the role of fish discarded by the shrimp fisheries in parasite transmission

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Groenewold, S.; Berghahn, R.; Zander, C.-D.

    1996-03-01

    Parasites were observed in medium- and small-sized fish taken from the discards of a commercial shrimper during seven different cruises in the tidal channels of the North Frisian Wadden Sea (Süderaue, North Sea) from April to September 1991. In total, 442 fish comprising four species ( Sprattus sprattus, Hyperoplus lanceolatus, Ammodytes tobianus, Pomatoschistus minutus) were investigated. The parasite fauna consisted of 22 species. The parasite community structure of the 4 hosts was compared. The diet of the hosts seemed to be the main factor determining the structure of the parasite community. Other factors could not be assessed. Eight species of parasites occurred as larval stages. This indicated that fish were intermediate or paratenic hosts in their life cycle. The nematode Hysterothylacium sp. (Anisakidae) and the digenean Cryptocotyle lingua (Heterophyidea) were the dominant parasites, reaching their highest prevalence and density in sprat and sand eel. Sprat and sand eel play a very important role in parasite transmission to predacious fish and seabirds.

  10. Parasite infection negatively affects PHA-triggered inflammation in the subterranean rodent Ctenomys talarum.

    PubMed

    Merlo, Julieta L; Cutrera, Ana P; Zenuto, Roxana R

    2016-02-01

    Magnitude and effectiveness of immune responses vary greatly between and within species. Among factors reported to determine this variation, parasitism is a critical one, although controversial effects of parasites over immunological indices have been reported. Information regarding immune strategies in species with different life histories is crucial to better understand the role of immune defenses in an ecological and evolutionary context. Here, we examine the influence of the parasite community on immune responsiveness of a solitary subterranean rodent, Ctenomys talarum. To do this, we assessed the impact of the natural parasite community and the experimental infection with Eimeria sp. on the phytohemagglutinin (PHA)-response, as well as other immune, condition, nutrition, and stress parameters. PHA-triggered inflammation was similarly impaired by Eimeria sp. infection alone or co-occurring with a number of gastrointestinal nematodes. None of the other physiological parameters studied were affected by parasitism. This indicates that parasitism is a general key factor modulating immune responsiveness of the host, and in particular for C. talarum, it could explain the great inter-individual variation previously observed in the PHA-response. Thus, our results highlight the importance of taking the parasite community into account in ecoimmunological studies, particularly when using immunological indices. PMID:26718121

  11. The distribution of parasite strains among hosts affects disease spread in a social insect.

    PubMed

    Ulrich, Yuko; Schmid-Hempel, Paul

    2015-06-01

    Social insects present highly interesting and experimentally amenable systems for the study of disease transmission because they naturally live in dense groups of frequently interacting individuals. Using experimental inoculations of five trypanosomatid strains into groups of its natural host, the bumblebee Bombus terrestris, we investigate the effects of the initial parasite strain distribution across group members on the establishment and transmission success of the different strains to new hosts. For a given number of parasite strains circulating within a host group, transmission to new hosts was increased when the strains were initially inoculated as mixed infections (as opposed to separate single infections), presumably because mixed infections generally favored fast replicating strains. In contrast, separate single infections reduced transmission at least in part through a precedence effect, whereby weak strains appeared to persist by making their host unavailable to superinfection. These results suggest that host groups could benefit from 'compartmentalizing' infections by different parasite strains across different group members, which might be achieved in social insects, for example, by division of labor. PMID:25858120

  12. Methodological issues affecting the study of fish parasites. II. Sampling method affects ectoparasite studies.

    PubMed

    Kvach, Yuriy; Ondračková, Markéta; Janáč, Michal; Jurajda, Pavel

    2016-08-31

    In this study, we assessed the impact of sampling method on the results of fish ectoparasite studies. Common roach Rutilus rutilus were sampled from the same gravel pit in the River Dyje flood plain (Czech Republic) using 3 different sampling methods, i.e. electrofishing, beach seining and gill-netting, and were examined for ectoparasites. Not only did fish caught by electrofishing have more of the most abundant parasites (Trichodina spp., Gyrodactylus spp.) than those caught by beach seining or gill-netting, they also had relatively rich parasite infracommunities, resulting in a significantly different assemblage composition, presumably as parasites were lost through handling and 'manipulation' in the net. Based on this, we recommend electrofishing as the most suitable method to sample fish for parasite community studies, as data from fish caught with gill-nets and beach seines will provide a biased picture of the ectoparasite community, underestimating ectoparasite abundance and infracommunity species richness. PMID:27596860

  13. Immune Characterization of Plasmodium falciparum Parasites with a Shared Genetic Signature in a Region of Decreasing Transmission

    PubMed Central

    Bei, Amy K.; Diouf, Ababacar; Miura, Kazutoyo; Larremore, Daniel B.; Ribacke, Ulf; Tullo, Gregory; Moss, Eli L.; Neafsey, Daniel E.; Daniels, Rachel F.; Zeituni, Amir E.; Nosamiefan, Iguosadolo; Volkman, Sarah K.; Ahouidi, Ambroise D.; Ndiaye, Daouda; Dieye, Tandakha; Mboup, Souleymane; Buckee, Caroline O.; Long, Carole A.

    2014-01-01

    As the intensity of malaria transmission has declined, Plasmodium falciparum parasite populations have displayed decreased clonal diversity resulting from the emergence of many parasites with common genetic signatures (CGS). We have monitored such CGS parasite clusters from 2006 to 2013 in Thiès, Senegal, using the molecular barcode. The first, and one of the largest observed clusters of CGS parasites, was present in 24% of clinical isolates in 2008, declined to 3.4% of clinical isolates in 2009, and then disappeared. To begin to explore the relationship between the immune responses of the population and the emergence and decline of specific parasite genotypes, we have determined whether antibodies to CGS parasites correlate with their prevalence. We measured (i) antibodies capable of inhibiting parasite growth in culture and (ii) antibodies recognizing the surfaces of infected erythrocytes (RBCs). IgG obtained from volunteers in 2009 showed increased reactivity to the surfaces of CGS-parasitized erythrocytes over IgG from 2008. Since P. falciparum EMP-1 (PfEMP-1) is a major variant surface antigen, we used var Ups quantitative reverse transcription-PCR (qRT-PCR) and sequencing with degenerate DBL1α domain primers to characterize the var genes expressed by CGS parasites after short-term in vitro culture. CGS parasites show upregulation of UpsA var genes and 2-cysteine-containing PfEMP-1 molecules and express the same dominant var transcript. Our work indicates that the CGS parasites in this cluster express similar var genes, more than would be expected by chance in the population, and that there is year-to-year variation in immune recognition of surface antigens on CGS parasite-infected erythrocytes. This study lays the groundwork for detailed investigations of the mechanisms driving the expansion or contraction of specific parasite clones in the population. PMID:25368109

  14. Supplementation with Abscisic Acid Reduces Malaria Disease Severity and Parasite Transmission.

    PubMed

    Glennon, Elizabeth K K; Adams, L Garry; Hicks, Derrick R; Dehesh, Katayoon; Luckhart, Shirley

    2016-06-01

    Nearly half of the world's population is at risk for malaria. Increasing drug resistance has intensified the need for novel therapeutics, including treatments with intrinsic transmission-blocking properties. In this study, we demonstrate that the isoprenoid abscisic acid (ABA) modulates signaling in the mammalian host to reduce parasitemia and the formation of transmissible gametocytes and in the mosquito host to reduce parasite infection. Oral ABA supplementation in a mouse model of malaria was well tolerated and led to reduced pathology and enhanced gene expression in the liver and spleen consistent with infection recovery. Oral ABA supplementation also increased mouse plasma ABA to levels that can signal in the mosquito midgut upon blood ingestion. Accordingly, we showed that supplementation of a Plasmodium falciparum-infected blood meal with ABA increased expression of mosquito nitric oxide synthase and reduced infection prevalence in a nitric oxide-dependent manner. Identification of the mechanisms whereby ABA reduces parasite growth in mammals and mosquitoes could shed light on the balance of immunity and metabolism across eukaryotes and provide a strong foundation for clinical translation. PMID:27001761

  15. New Insights Into the Transmissibility of Leishmania infantum From Dogs to Sand Flies: Experimental Vector-Transmission Reveals Persistent Parasite Depots at Bite Sites.

    PubMed

    Aslan, Hamide; Oliveira, Fabiano; Meneses, Claudio; Castrovinci, Philip; Gomes, Regis; Teixeira, Clarissa; Derenge, Candace A; Orandle, Marlene; Gradoni, Luigi; Oliva, Gaetano; Fischer, Laurent; Valenzuela, Jesus G; Kamhawi, Shaden

    2016-06-01

    Canine leishmaniasis (CanL) is a chronic fatal disease of dogs and a major source of human infection through propagation of parasites in vectors. Here, we infected 8 beagles through multiple experimental vector transmissions with Leishmania infantum-infected Lutzomyia longipalpis. CanL clinical signs varied, although live parasites were recovered from all dog spleens. Splenic parasite burdens correlated positively with Leishmania-specific interleukin 10 levels, negatively with Leishmania-specific interferon γ and interleukin 2 levels, and negatively with Leishmania skin test reactivity. A key finding was parasite persistence for 6 months in lesions observed at the bite sites in all dogs. These recrudesced following a second transmission performed at a distal site. Notably, sand flies efficiently acquired parasites after feeding on lesions at the primary bite site. In this study, controlled vector transmissions identify a potentially unappreciated role for skin at infectious bite sites in dogs with CanL, providing a new perspective regarding the mechanism of Leishmania transmissibility to vector sand flies. PMID:26768257

  16. New Insights Into the Transmissibility of Leishmania infantum From Dogs to Sand Flies: Experimental Vector-Transmission Reveals Persistent Parasite Depots at Bite Sites

    PubMed Central

    Aslan, Hamide; Oliveira, Fabiano; Meneses, Claudio; Castrovinci, Philip; Gomes, Regis; Teixeira, Clarissa; Derenge, Candace A.; Orandle, Marlene; Gradoni, Luigi; Oliva, Gaetano; Fischer, Laurent; Valenzuela, Jesus G.; Kamhawi, Shaden

    2016-01-01

    Canine leishmaniasis (CanL) is a chronic fatal disease of dogs and a major source of human infection through propagation of parasites in vectors. Here, we infected 8 beagles through multiple experimental vector transmissions with Leishmania infantum–infected Lutzomyia longipalpis. CanL clinical signs varied, although live parasites were recovered from all dog spleens. Splenic parasite burdens correlated positively with Leishmania-specific interleukin 10 levels, negatively with Leishmania-specific interferon γ and interleukin 2 levels, and negatively with Leishmania skin test reactivity. A key finding was parasite persistence for 6 months in lesions observed at the bite sites in all dogs. These recrudesced following a second transmission performed at a distal site. Notably, sand flies efficiently acquired parasites after feeding on lesions at the primary bite site. In this study, controlled vector transmissions identify a potentially unappreciated role for skin at infectious bite sites in dogs with CanL, providing a new perspective regarding the mechanism of Leishmania transmissibility to vector sand flies. PMID:26768257

  17. Rapid Response to Selection, Competitive Release and Increased Transmission Potential of Artesunate-Selected Plasmodium chabaudi Malaria Parasites

    PubMed Central

    Pollitt, Laura C.; Huijben, Silvie; Sim, Derek G.; Salathé, Rahel M.; Jones, Matthew J.; Read, Andrew F.

    2014-01-01

    The evolution of drug resistance, a key challenge for our ability to treat and control infections, depends on two processes: de-novo resistance mutations, and the selection for and spread of resistant mutants within a population. Understanding the factors influencing the rates of these two processes is essential for maximizing the useful lifespan of drugs and, therefore, effective disease control. For malaria parasites, artemisinin-based drugs are the frontline weapons in the fight against disease, but reports from the field of slower parasite clearance rates during drug treatment are generating concern that the useful lifespan of these drugs may be limited. Whether slower clearance rates represent true resistance, and how this provides a selective advantage for parasites is uncertain. Here, we show that Plasmodium chabaudi malaria parasites selected for resistance to artesunate (an artemisinin derivative) through a step-wise increase in drug dose evolved slower clearance rates extremely rapidly. In single infections, these slower clearance rates, similar to those seen in the field, provided fitness advantages to the parasite through increased overall density, recrudescence after treatment and increased transmission potential. In mixed infections, removal of susceptible parasites by drug treatment led to substantial increases in the densities and transmission potential of resistant parasites (competitive release). Our results demonstrate the double-edged sword for resistance management: in our initial selection experiments, no parasites survived aggressive chemotherapy, but after selection, the fitness advantage for resistant parasites was greatest at high drug doses. Aggressive treatment of mixed infections resulted in resistant parasites dominating the pool of gametocytes, without providing additional health benefits to hosts. Slower clearance rates can evolve rapidly and can provide a strong fitness advantage during drug treatment in both single and mixed strain

  18. Rapid response to selection, competitive release and increased transmission potential of artesunate-selected Plasmodium chabaudi malaria parasites.

    PubMed

    Pollitt, Laura C; Huijben, Silvie; Sim, Derek G; Salathé, Rahel M; Jones, Matthew J; Read, Andrew F

    2014-04-01

    The evolution of drug resistance, a key challenge for our ability to treat and control infections, depends on two processes: de-novo resistance mutations, and the selection for and spread of resistant mutants within a population. Understanding the factors influencing the rates of these two processes is essential for maximizing the useful lifespan of drugs and, therefore, effective disease control. For malaria parasites, artemisinin-based drugs are the frontline weapons in the fight against disease, but reports from the field of slower parasite clearance rates during drug treatment are generating concern that the useful lifespan of these drugs may be limited. Whether slower clearance rates represent true resistance, and how this provides a selective advantage for parasites is uncertain. Here, we show that Plasmodium chabaudi malaria parasites selected for resistance to artesunate (an artemisinin derivative) through a step-wise increase in drug dose evolved slower clearance rates extremely rapidly. In single infections, these slower clearance rates, similar to those seen in the field, provided fitness advantages to the parasite through increased overall density, recrudescence after treatment and increased transmission potential. In mixed infections, removal of susceptible parasites by drug treatment led to substantial increases in the densities and transmission potential of resistant parasites (competitive release). Our results demonstrate the double-edged sword for resistance management: in our initial selection experiments, no parasites survived aggressive chemotherapy, but after selection, the fitness advantage for resistant parasites was greatest at high drug doses. Aggressive treatment of mixed infections resulted in resistant parasites dominating the pool of gametocytes, without providing additional health benefits to hosts. Slower clearance rates can evolve rapidly and can provide a strong fitness advantage during drug treatment in both single and mixed strain

  19. Factors affecting stem borer parasitoid species diversity and parasitism in cultivated and natural habitats.

    PubMed

    Mailafiya, Duna Madu; Le Ru, Bruno Pierre; Kairu, Eunice Waitherero; Calatayud, Paul-André; Dupas, Stéphane

    2010-02-01

    The effects of biotic and abiotic factors on stem borer parasitoid diversity, abundance, and parasitism were studied in cultivated and natural habitats in four agroecological zones in Kenya. Comparing habitat types, we found partial support for the "natural enemy" hypothesis, whereby, across all localities, parasitoid diversity was higher in more diverse host plant communities in natural habitats, whereas parasitoid abundance was higher in cultivated habitats. For both habitats, parasitoid richness was mainly influenced by stem borer density and/or its interaction with stem borer richness, whereas parasitoid abundance was mainly affected by stem borer abundance. Parasitoid richness was higher in localities (with bimodal rainfall distribution) with increased spatial and temporal availability of host plants that harbored the borers. Across seasons, parasitoid richness was lower in both cultivated and natural habitats in the driest locality, Mtito Andei. Overall, parasitoid diversity was low in Suam and Mtito Andei, where maize cultivation was practiced on a commercial scale and intense grazing activities persist across seasons, respectively. Across localities, habitats, and seasons, stem borer parasitism was positively correlated with parasitoid richness and abundance. Furthermore, the interaction of rainfall and altitude influenced the presence and absence of parasitoids, and consequently, stem borer parasitism. Parasitism was positively and negatively correlated with temperature in cultivated and natural habitats, respectively. Overall, natural habitats seem to serve as important refugia for sustaining parasitoid diversity, which in turn can affect stem borer parasitism in the cereal cropping system. PMID:20146840

  20. Mixed-genotype infections of malaria parasites: within-host dynamics and transmission success of competing clones.

    PubMed Central

    Taylor, L H; Walliker, D; Read, A F

    1997-01-01

    Mixed-genotype infections of microparasites are common, but almost nothing is known about how competitive interactions within hosts affect the subsequent transmission success of individual genotypes. We investigated changes in the composition of mixed-genotype infections of the rodent malaria Plasmodium chabaudi clones CR and ER by monoclonal antibody analysis of the asexual infection in mice, and by PCR amplification of clone-specific alleles in oocysts sampled from mosquitoes which had fed on these mice. Mixed-clone infections were initiated with a 9:1 ratio of the two clones, with ER as the minority in the first experiment and CR as the minority in the second experiment. When beginning as the majority, clones achieved parasite densities in mice comparable to those achieved in control (single-clone) infections. When they began as the minority, clones were suppressed to less than 10% of control parasitaemias during the early part of the infections. However, in mosquitoes, the frequency of the initially rare clone was substantially greater than it was in mice at the start of the infection or four days prior to the feed. In both experiments, the minority clone in the inocula produced as many, or more, oocysts than it did as a single-clone infection. These experiments show that asexual dominance during most of the infection is poorly correlated to transmission probability, and therefore that the assumption that within-host population size correlates to transmission probability may not be warranted. They also raise the fundamental question of why transmission rates of individual genotypes are often higher from mixed than single-clone infections. PMID:9225482

  1. Fighting while parasitized: can nematode infections affect the outcome of staged combat in beetles?

    PubMed

    Vasquez, David; Willoughby, Anna; Davis, Andrew K

    2015-01-01

    The effects of non-lethal parasites may be felt most strongly when hosts engage in intense, energy-demanding behaviors. One such behavior is fighting with conspecifics, which is common among territorial animals, including many beetle species. We examined the effects of parasites on the fighting ability of a saproxylic beetle, the horned passalus (Odontotaenius disjunctus, Family: Passalidae), which is host to a non-lethal nematode, Chondronema passali. We pitted pairs of randomly-chosen (but equally-weighted) beetles against each other in a small arena and determined the winner and aggression level of fights. Then we examined beetles for the presence, and severity of nematode infections. There was a non-significant tendency (p = 0.065) for the frequency of wins, losses and draws to differ between beetles with and without C. passali; non-parasitized individuals (n = 104) won 47% of their fights while those with the parasite (n = 88) won 34%, a 13% difference in wins. The number of nematodes in a beetle affected the outcome of fights between infected and uninfected individuals in an unexpected fashion: fighting ability was lowest in beetles with the lowest (p = 0.033), not highest (p = 0.266), nematode burdens. Within-fight aggression was highest when both beetles were uninfected and lowest when both were infected (p = 0.034). Collectively, these results suggest the nematode parasite, C. passali, is associated with a modest reduction in fighting ability in horned passalus beetles, consistent with the idea that parasitized beetles have lower energy available for fighting. This study adds to a small but growing body of evidence showing how parasites negatively influence fighting behavior in animals. PMID:25830367

  2. Patterns of parasite transmission in polar seas: Daily rhythms of cercarial emergence from intertidal snails

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Prokofiev, Vladimir V.; Galaktionov, Kirill V.; Levakin, Ivan A.

    2016-07-01

    Trematodes are common parasites in intertidal ecosystems. Cercariae, their dispersive larvae, ensure transmission of infection from the first intermediate molluscan host to the second intermediate (invertebrates and fishes) or the final (fishes, marine birds and mammals) host. Trematode transmission in polar seas, while interesting in many respects, is poorly studied. This study aimed to elucidate the patterns of cercarial emergence from intertidal snails at the White Sea and Barents Sea. The study, involving cercariae of 12 species, has provided the most extensive material obtained so far in high latitude seas (66-69° N). The experiments were conducted in situ. Multichannel singular spectral analysis (MSSA) used for processing primary data made it possible to estimate the relative contribution of different oscillations into the analysed time series and to separate the daily component from the other oscillatory components and the noise. Cercarial emergence had pronounced daily rhythms, which did not depend on the daily tidal schedule but were regulated by thermo- and photoperiod. Daily emergence maximums coincided with periods favourable for infecting the second intermediate hosts. Cercarial daily emergence rhythms differed in species using the same molluscan hosts which can be explained by cercarial host searching behaviour. Daily cercarial output (DCO) correlated negatively with larval volume and positively with that of the molluscan host except in cercariae using ambuscade behaviour. In the Barents Sea cercariae emerged from their molluscan hosts at lower temperatures than in the warmer White Sea but the daily emergence period was prolonged. Thus, DCO of related species were similar in these two seas and comparable with DCO values reported for boreal seas. Local temperature adaptations in cercarial emergence suggests that in case of Arctic climate warming trematode transmission in coastal ecosystems is likely to be intensified not because of the increased

  3. 9 CFR 311.25 - Parasites not transmissible to man; tapeworm cysts in sheep; hydatid cysts; flukes; gid bladder...

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-01-01

    ... human food after condemnation of the affected organ (brain or spinal cord). (d) Organs or other parts of... the carcass may be passed for human food after the removal and condemnation of the affected portions... renders the part in any way unfit for human food, the affected part shall be condemned. If parasites...

  4. 9 CFR 311.25 - Parasites not transmissible to man; tapeworm cysts in sheep; hydatid cysts; flukes; gid bladder...

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-01-01

    ... human food after condemnation of the affected organ (brain or spinal cord). (d) Organs or other parts of... the carcass may be passed for human food after the removal and condemnation of the affected portions... renders the part in any way unfit for human food, the affected part shall be condemned. If parasites...

  5. 9 CFR 311.25 - Parasites not transmissible to man; tapeworm cysts in sheep; hydatid cysts; flukes; gid bladder...

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-01-01

    ... human food after condemnation of the affected organ (brain or spinal cord). (d) Organs or other parts of... the carcass may be passed for human food after the removal and condemnation of the affected portions... renders the part in any way unfit for human food, the affected part shall be condemned. If parasites...

  6. 9 CFR 311.25 - Parasites not transmissible to man; tapeworm cysts in sheep; hydatid cysts; flukes; gid bladder...

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-01-01

    ... human food after condemnation of the affected organ (brain or spinal cord). (d) Organs or other parts of... the carcass may be passed for human food after the removal and condemnation of the affected portions... renders the part in any way unfit for human food, the affected part shall be condemned. If parasites...

  7. 9 CFR 311.25 - Parasites not transmissible to man; tapeworm cysts in sheep; hydatid cysts; flukes; gid bladder...

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-01-01

    ... 9 Animals and Animal Products 2 2013-01-01 2013-01-01 false Parasites not transmissible to man; tapeworm cysts in sheep; hydatid cysts; flukes; gid bladder-worms. 311.25 Section 311.25 Animals and Animal Products FOOD SAFETY AND INSPECTION SERVICE, DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE AGENCY ORGANIZATION AND TERMINOLOGY; MANDATORY MEAT AND POULTRY...

  8. Escape from gregarine parasites affects the competitive interactions of an invasive mosquito

    PubMed Central

    Aliabadi, Brianna W.; Juliano, Steven A.

    2009-01-01

    When a species is introduced into a new location, it may escape, at least temporarily, from its natural enemies. In field surveys, we found that when the exotic, invasive mosquito, Aedes albopictus, invades new sites, it initially experiences reduced infection by its gut parasite, Ascogregarina taiwanensis. To determine the effect of this escape from parasitism on the competitive ability of A. albopictus, we performed a laboratory competition experiment in which infected and uninfected A. albopictus larvae were reared in microcosms alone and in competition with larvae of the native mosquito, Ochlerotatus triseriatus. We analyzed the effect of parasitism by A. taiwanensis on A. albopictus performance when subjected to intra- and interspecific competition across a range of larval densities, as well as the effect of A. albopictus parasitism by A. taiwanensis on the competitive impact of A. albopictus on O. triseriatus. At a density of 30 O. triseriatus larvae, O. triseriatus survivorship was significantly reduced by the addition of 30 unifected A. albopictus, but not by addition of 30 infected A. albopictus, and not by addition of 15 A. albopictus whether infected or uninfected. Although estimated finite rate of population increase (λ’) showed similar trends, and was significantly affected by treatments, no pairwise differences in rate of increase were significant. Infection by A. taiwanensis also significantly prolonged A. albopictus female development time and reduced the intraspecific competitive effect of increased density of A. albopictus, but did not affect A. albopictus survivorship, mass, or estimated finite rate of population increase. Thus, when A. albopictus escapes from this parasite as it colonizes new sites, this escape may give it a small, but significant, added competitive advantage over O. triseriatus, which may facilitate range expansion of A. albopictus and enhance A. albopictus’s initial impact on resident species. PMID:19777120

  9. Immigrants living in an urban milieu with sanitation in Southern Italy: persistence and transmission of intestinal parasites.

    PubMed

    Gualdieri, Luciano; Piemonte, Monica; Alfano, Settimia; Maffei, Rita; Della Pepa, Maria Elena; Rinaldi, Laura; Galdiero, Marilena; Galdiero, Massimiliano; Cringoli, Giuseppe

    2016-03-01

    In the current era of globalization, the massive movement of populations to developed countries causes a greater attention to neglected tropical diseases in places where such diseases are considered unusual. The present study was planned to assess the persistence of intestinal parasitosis in immigrants stably living in the urban central area of Naples (Southern Italy) and the spread of infection within households with a lifestyle similar to that of the country of origin. A total of 2150 stool samples were analysed with the FLOTAC dual technique, and 415 subjects (19.3 %) tested positive for pathogenic intestinal parasites. One hundred ninety-six subjects were randomly selected and monitored again after 1 year in order to evaluate the persistence of intestinal parasites in immigrants having access to proper sanitation. No pathogenic parasites were found in these 196 samples. A total of 482 cohabitants of 151 positive subjects were recruited to evaluate the interfamilial spread of the identified parasites. Only in 18 households were there subjects infected with the same parasite. Monitoring of parasites in stool samples of immigrants showed a decrease of almost all pathogenic species over the years. From the analysis of households, it is not possible to assert that there is a familial transmission. Our study provides evidence that the prevalence of parasitic infections in immigrants is likely related to the poor sanitary habits of the country of origin and that acquisition of new sanitary regulations, together with the administration of pharmacological treatment, limits the transmission in the households and in the local population of their destination. PMID:26706907

  10. Ciprofloxacin Derivatives Affect Parasite Cell Division and Increase the Survival of Mice Infected with Toxoplasma gondii.

    PubMed

    Martins-Duarte, Erica S; Dubar, Faustine; Lawton, Philippe; da Silva, Cristiane França; Soeiro, Maria de Nazaré C; de Souza, Wanderley; Biot, Christophe; Vommaro, Rossiane C

    2015-01-01

    Toxoplasmosis, caused by the protozoan Toxoplasma gondii, is a worldwide disease whose clinical manifestations include encephalitis and congenital malformations in newborns. Previously, we described the synthesis of new ethyl-ester derivatives of the antibiotic ciprofloxacin with ~40-fold increased activity against T. gondii in vitro, compared with the original compound. Cipro derivatives are expected to target the parasite's DNA gyrase complex in the apicoplast. The activity of these compounds in vivo, as well as their mode of action, remained thus far uncharacterized. Here, we examined the activity of the Cipro derivatives in vivo, in a model of acute murine toxoplasmosis. In addition, we investigated the cellular effects T. gondii tachyzoites in vitro, by immunofluorescence and transmission electron microscopy (TEM). When compared with Cipro treatment, 7-day treatments with Cipro derivatives increased mouse survival significantly, with 13-25% of mice surviving for up to 60 days post-infection (vs. complete lethality 10 days post-infection, with Cipro treatment). Light microscopy examination early (6 and 24h) post-infection revealed that 6-h treatments with Cipro derivatives inhibited the initial event of parasite cell division inside host cells, in an irreversible manner. By TEM and immunofluorescence, the main cellular effects observed after treatment with Cipro derivatives and Cipro were cell scission inhibition--with the appearance of 'tethered' parasites--malformation of the inner membrane complex, and apicoplast enlargement and missegregation. Interestingly, tethered daughter cells resulting from Cipro derivatives, and also Cipro, treatment did not show MORN1 cap or centrocone localization. The biological activity of Cipro derivatives against C. parvum, an apicomplexan species that lacks the apicoplast, is, approximately, 50 fold lower than that in T. gondii tachyzoites, supporting that these compounds targets the apicoplast. Our results show that Cipro

  11. An essential malaria protein defines the architecture of blood-stage and transmission-stage parasites.

    PubMed

    Absalon, Sabrina; Robbins, Jonathan A; Dvorin, Jeffrey D

    2016-01-01

    Blood-stage replication of the human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum occurs via schizogony, wherein daughter parasites are formed by a specialized cytokinesis known as segmentation. Here we identify a parasite protein, which we name P. falciparum Merozoite Organizing Protein (PfMOP), as essential for cytokinesis of blood-stage parasites. We show that, following PfMOP knockdown, parasites undergo incomplete segmentation resulting in a residual agglomerate of partially divided cells. While organelles develop normally, the structural scaffold of daughter parasites, the inner membrane complex (IMC), fails to form in this agglomerate causing flawed segmentation. In PfMOP-deficient gametocytes, the IMC formation defect causes maturation arrest with aberrant morphology and death. Our results provide insight into the mechanisms of replication and maturation of malaria parasites. PMID:27121004

  12. An essential malaria protein defines the architecture of blood-stage and transmission-stage parasites

    PubMed Central

    Absalon, Sabrina; Robbins, Jonathan A.; Dvorin, Jeffrey D.

    2016-01-01

    Blood-stage replication of the human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum occurs via schizogony, wherein daughter parasites are formed by a specialized cytokinesis known as segmentation. Here we identify a parasite protein, which we name P. falciparum Merozoite Organizing Protein (PfMOP), as essential for cytokinesis of blood-stage parasites. We show that, following PfMOP knockdown, parasites undergo incomplete segmentation resulting in a residual agglomerate of partially divided cells. While organelles develop normally, the structural scaffold of daughter parasites, the inner membrane complex (IMC), fails to form in this agglomerate causing flawed segmentation. In PfMOP-deficient gametocytes, the IMC formation defect causes maturation arrest with aberrant morphology and death. Our results provide insight into the mechanisms of replication and maturation of malaria parasites. PMID:27121004

  13. Seasonal pattern of avian Plasmodium-infected mosquitoes and implications for parasite transmission in central Panama.

    PubMed

    Loaiza, Jose R; Miller, Matthew J

    2013-11-01

    Aedeomyia squamipennis and Culex (Melanoconion) ocossa, two ubiquitous Neotropical mosquito species, are likely involved in the transmission of several bird pathogens in Gamboa, central Panama. However, knowledge on their eco-epidemiological profiles is still incomplete. Our goal in this study was to investigate temporal trends of vector density and their relationship with avian plasmodia prevalence. This information is central to identifying the risk posed by each vector species to the avian community locally. We found that A. squamipennis maintains stable population size across climatic seasons and thus maybe a more efficient vector of avian malaria than C. ocossa. In contrast, C. ocossa, which undergoes considerable population expansion in the rainy season and contraction in the dry season, is likely only an important avian malaria vector during part of the year. This is consistent with the larger number of parasite isolations and Plasmodium cyt b lineages recovered from A. squamipennis than from C. ocossa and might be explained by marked differences in their seasonality and host-feeding preferences. More Plasmodium PCR testing in mosquito communities from other areas of Panama might reveal additional vectors of avian plasmodia. PMID:23974324

  14. Inferring host-parasite relationships using stable isotopes: implications for disease transmission and host specificity.

    PubMed

    Stapp, Paul; Salkeld, Daniel J

    2009-11-01

    Identifying the roles of different hosts and vectors is a major challenge in the study of the ecology of diseases caused by multi-host pathogens. Intensive field studies suggested that grasshopper mice (Onychomys leucogaster) help spread the bacterium that causes plague (Yersinia pestis) in prairie dog colonies by sharing fleas with prairie dogs (Cynomys ludovicianus); yet conclusive evidence that prairie dog fleas (Oropsylla hirsuta) feed on grasshopper mice is lacking. Using stable nitrogen isotope analysis, we determined that many blood-engorged O. hirsuta collected from wild grasshopper mice apparently contained blood meals of prairie dogs. These results suggest that grasshopper mice may be infected with Y. pestis via mechanisms other than flea feeding, e.g., early phase or mechanical transmission or scavenging carcasses, and raise questions about the ability of grasshopper mice to maintain Y. pestis in prairie dog colonies during years between plague outbreaks. They also indicate that caution may be warranted when inferring feeding relationships based purely on the occurrence of fleas or other haematophagous ectoparasites on hosts. Stable-isotope analysis may complement or provide a useful alternative to immunological or molecular techniques for identifying hosts of cryptically feeding ectoparasites, and for clarifying feeding relationships in studies of host-parasite interactions. PMID:19967881

  15. Differential responses of Africanized and European honey bees (Apis mellifera) to viral replication following mechanical transmission or Varroa destructor parasitism.

    PubMed

    Hamiduzzaman, Mollah Md; Guzman-Novoa, Ernesto; Goodwin, Paul H; Reyes-Quintana, Mariana; Koleoglu, Gun; Correa-Benítez, Adriana; Petukhova, Tatiana

    2015-03-01

    For the first time, adults and brood of Africanized and European honey bees (Apis mellifera) were compared for relative virus levels over 48 h following Varroa destructor parasitism or injection of V. destructor homogenate. Rates of increase of deformed wing virus (DWV) for Africanized versus European bees were temporarily lowered for 12h with parasitism and sustainably lowered over the entire experiment (48 h) with homogenate injection in adults. The rates were also temporarily lowered for 24h with parasitism but were not affected by homogenate injection in brood. Rates of increase of black queen cell virus (BQCV) for Africanized versus European bees were similar with parasitism but sustainably lowered over the entire experiment with homogenate injection in adults and were similar for parasitism and homogenate injection in brood. Analyses of sac brood bee virus and Israeli acute paralysis virus were limited as detection did not occur after both homogenate injection and parasitism treatment, or levels were not significantly higher than those following control buffer injection. Lower rates of replication of DWV and BQCV in Africanized bees shows that they may have greater viral resistance, at least early after treatment. PMID:25527405

  16. Ciprofloxacin Derivatives Affect Parasite Cell Division and Increase the Survival of Mice Infected with Toxoplasma gondii

    PubMed Central

    Martins-Duarte, Erica S.; Dubar, Faustine; Lawton, Philippe; França da Silva, Cristiane; C. Soeiro, Maria de Nazaré; de Souza, Wanderley; Biot, Christophe; Vommaro, Rossiane C.

    2015-01-01

    Toxoplasmosis, caused by the protozoan Toxoplasma gondii, is a worldwide disease whose clinical manifestations include encephalitis and congenital malformations in newborns. Previously, we described the synthesis of new ethyl-ester derivatives of the antibiotic ciprofloxacin with ~40-fold increased activity against T. gondii in vitro, compared with the original compound. Cipro derivatives are expected to target the parasite’s DNA gyrase complex in the apicoplast. The activity of these compounds in vivo, as well as their mode of action, remained thus far uncharacterized. Here, we examined the activity of the Cipro derivatives in vivo, in a model of acute murine toxoplasmosis. In addition, we investigated the cellular effects T. gondii tachyzoites in vitro, by immunofluorescence and transmission electron microscopy (TEM). When compared with Cipro treatment, 7-day treatments with Cipro derivatives increased mouse survival significantly, with 13–25% of mice surviving for up to 60 days post-infection (vs. complete lethality 10 days post-infection, with Cipro treatment). Light microscopy examination early (6 and 24h) post-infection revealed that 6-h treatments with Cipro derivatives inhibited the initial event of parasite cell division inside host cells, in an irreversible manner. By TEM and immunofluorescence, the main cellular effects observed after treatment with Cipro derivatives and Cipro were cell scission inhibition - with the appearance of ‘tethered’ parasites – malformation of the inner membrane complex, and apicoplast enlargement and missegregation. Interestingly, tethered daughter cells resulting from Cipro derivatives, and also Cipro, treatment did not show MORN1 cap or centrocone localization. The biological activity of Cipro derivatives against C. parvum, an apicomplexan species that lacks the apicoplast, is, approximately, 50 fold lower than that in T. gondii tachyzoites, supporting that these compounds targets the apicoplast. Our results show

  17. Plasmodium Cysteine Repeat Modular Proteins 3 and 4 are essential for malaria parasite transmission from the mosquito to the host

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Background The Plasmodium Cysteine Repeat Modular Proteins (PCRMP) are a family of four conserved proteins of malaria parasites, that contain a number of motifs implicated in host-parasite interactions. Analysis of mutants of the rodent parasite Plasmodium berghei lacking expression of PCRMP1 or 2 showed that these proteins are essential for targeting of P. berghei sporozoites to the mosquito salivary gland and, hence, for transmission from the mosquito to the mouse. Methods In this work, the role of the remaining PCRMP family members, PCRMP3 and 4, has been investigated throughout the Plasmodium life cycle by generation and analysis of P. berghei gene deletion mutants, Δpcrmp3 and Δpcrmp4. The role of PCRMP members during the transmission and hepatic stages of the Plasmodium lifecycle has been evaluated by light- and electron microscopy and by analysis of liver stage development in HEPG2 cells in vitro and by infecting mice with mutant sporozoites. In addition, mice were immunized with live Δpcrmp3 and Δpcrmp4 sporozoites to evaluate their immunization potential as a genetically-attenuated parasite-based vaccine. Results Disruption of pcrmp3 and pcrmp4 in P. berghei revealed that they are also essential for transmission of the parasite through the mosquito vector, although acting in a distinct way to pbcrmp1 and 2. Mutants lacking expression of PCRMP3 or PCRMP4 show normal blood stage development and oocyst formation in the mosquito and develop into morphologically normal sporozoites, but these have a defect in egress from oocysts and do not enter the salivary glands. Sporozoites extracted from oocysts perform gliding motility and invade and infect hepatocytes but do not undergo further development and proliferation. Furthermore, the study shows that immunization with Δcrmp3 and Δcrmp4 sporozoites does not confer protective immunity upon subsequent challenge. Conclusions PCRMP3 and 4 play multiple roles during the Plasmodium life cycle; they are essential

  18. Parasitic Effects Affecting Responsivity of Sub-THz Radiation Detector Built of a MOSFET

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kopyt, P.; Salski, B.; Marczewski, J.; Zagrajek, P.; Lusakowski, J.

    2015-11-01

    In this paper, an analysis of parasitic elements that are found in all typical metal-oxide-semiconductor field-effect transistors (MOSFETs) has been performed from a viewpoint of a designer of sub-THz radiation detectors. A simplified model of the extrinsic MOSFET device has been proposed. Typical values of its parameters have been assumed. The authors have also built a model of the MOSFET's channel (intrinsic device) employing the standard transmission line approach and defining a Z-matrix of the circuit in order to facilitate its integration with the parasitic elements. The full effective circuit model of the MOSFET has been employed to analyze the behavior of the detector when subjected to sub-THz radiation delivered through the Gate and Source pads. Finally, predictions of the responsivity of an example detector built of a typical MOSFET integrated with a patch antenna fabricated on a 40-μm-thick silicon membrane have been compared with measurements of several structures employing MOSFETs of various channel widths. Good agreement between the predictions and the measurements has been demonstrated, which indicates that despite its simplicity, the presented model can significantly help to better understand operation of MOSFET-based detectors and also to use the existing silicon-based manufacturing processes.

  19. Application of Radar Altimetry Methods to Monitoring of Parasitic Disease Transmission: Schistosomiasis in Poyang Lake, China

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McCandless, M.; Ibaraki, M.; Shum, C.; Lee, H.; Liang, S.

    2008-12-01

    Schistosomiasis is the second-most prevalent tropical disease after malaria affecting two-hundred million people annually world-wide; it shortens lifespan on average by ten years in endemic areas and no vaccine exists. The current control methods of human host chemotherapy and application of molluscicides to the environment do not break the disease transmission cycle. Schistosomiasis transmission in southern China involves an amphibious intermediate host snail for which hydrology is a key factor because the adults need moist vegetation while the juveniles are fully aquatic. Thus, hydrology is a key factor in schistosomiasis transmission and understanding its role can inform control measures. Our objective is to integrate hydrologic, ecologic, and other environmental factors to determine the changes in available snail habitat through space and time. We use radar altimetry measurements to determine water level every 35 days when the Envisat (Environmental Satellite) passes over the lake. The radar altimetry readings have been calibrated to levels from in-situ gauging stations and will support remote analysis of disease transmission potential without the need for gauging station data. A geographic information system was used to combine key factors including water level, topography, and air temperature data to identify areas of available snail habitat. In order to accomplish this, we conducted three steps including: delineating the watershed, specifying potential snail habitat areas through topography and air temperature classification, and calculating the intersection between potential snail habitat and non-flooded areas in the watershed. Statistical analyses of total available habitat area are also conducted. These maps and statistics analyses can be used by public health agencies to monitor snail habitat trends over time. Coupling remote sensing of water levels with a geographic information system model will continue to be important as the hydrology of the lake

  20. On the study of the transmission networks of blood parasites from SW Spain: diversity of avian haemosporidians in the biting midge Culicoides circumscriptus and wild birds

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Blood-sucking flying insects play a key role in the transmission of pathogens of vector-borne diseases. However, at least for the case of avian malaria parasites, the vast majority of studies focus on the interaction between parasites and vertebrate hosts, but there is a lack of information regarding the interaction between the parasites and the insect vectors. Here, we identified the presence of malaria and malaria-like parasite lineages harbored by the potential vector Culicoides circumscriptus (Kieffer). Also, we identified some nodes of the transmission network connecting parasite lineages, potential insect vectors and avian hosts by comparing Haemoproteus and Plasmodium lineages isolated from insects with those infecting wild birds in this and previous studies. Methods Using a molecular approach, we analysed the presence of blood parasites in a total of 97 biting midges trapped in the Doñana National Park (SW Spain) and surrounding areas. Also, 123 blood samples from 11 bird species were analyzed for the presence of blood parasite infections. Blood parasites Haemoproteus and Plasmodium were identified by amplification of a 478 bp fragment of the mitochondrial cytochrome b gen. Results Thirteen biting midges harboured blood parasites including six Haemoproteus and two Plasmodium lineages, supporting the potential role of these insects on parasite transmission. Moreover, ten (8.1%) birds carried blood parasites. Seven Plasmodium and one Haemoproteus lineages were isolated from birds. Overall, six new Haemoproteus lineages were described in this study. Also, we identified the transmission networks of some blood parasites. Two Haemoproteus lineages, hCIRCUM03 and GAGLA03, were identical to those isolated from Corvus monedula in southern Spain and Garrulus glandarius in Bulgaria, respectively. Furthermore, the new Haemoproteus lineage hCIRCUM05 showed a 99% similarity with a lineage found infecting captive penguins in Japan. Conclusions The comparison

  1. The role of wildlife in the transmission of parasitic zoonoses in peri-urban and urban areas

    PubMed Central

    Mackenstedt, Ute; Jenkins, David; Romig, Thomas

    2015-01-01

    During the last 100 years in many countries of the world, there have been dramatic changes in natural/rural landscapes due to urbanization. Since many wildlife species are unable to adapt to these alterations in their environment, urbanization is commonly responsible for a decline of biodiversity in areas of urban development. In contrast, some wild animal species are attracted to peri-urban and urban habitats due to the availability of an abundant food supply and the presence of structures in which to shelter. Urban foxes and/or raccoons are common sights in many peri-urban and urban areas of Europe where they can reach far higher population densities than in their natural habitats. The same is true for foxes and dingoes in some urban areas of Australia. Unfortunately, some of these highly adaptable species are also hosts for a number of parasites of public health and veterinary importance. Due to the complexity of many parasitic life cycles involving several host species, the interactions between wild animals, domestic animals and humans are not fully understood. The role of potential hosts for transmission of a zoonotic disease in urban or peri-urban areas cannot be extrapolated from data obtained in rural areas. Since more than 75% of human diseases are of zoonotic origin, it is important to understand the dynamics between wildlife, domestic animal species and humans in urbanized areas, and to conduct more focused research on transmission of zoonotic parasites including arthropod vectors under such conditions. PMID:25830108

  2. The role of wildlife in the transmission of parasitic zoonoses in peri-urban and urban areas.

    PubMed

    Mackenstedt, Ute; Jenkins, David; Romig, Thomas

    2015-04-01

    During the last 100 years in many countries of the world, there have been dramatic changes in natural/rural landscapes due to urbanization. Since many wildlife species are unable to adapt to these alterations in their environment, urbanization is commonly responsible for a decline of biodiversity in areas of urban development. In contrast, some wild animal species are attracted to peri-urban and urban habitats due to the availability of an abundant food supply and the presence of structures in which to shelter. Urban foxes and/or raccoons are common sights in many peri-urban and urban areas of Europe where they can reach far higher population densities than in their natural habitats. The same is true for foxes and dingoes in some urban areas of Australia. Unfortunately, some of these highly adaptable species are also hosts for a number of parasites of public health and veterinary importance. Due to the complexity of many parasitic life cycles involving several host species, the interactions between wild animals, domestic animals and humans are not fully understood. The role of potential hosts for transmission of a zoonotic disease in urban or peri-urban areas cannot be extrapolated from data obtained in rural areas. Since more than 75% of human diseases are of zoonotic origin, it is important to understand the dynamics between wildlife, domestic animal species and humans in urbanized areas, and to conduct more focused research on transmission of zoonotic parasites including arthropod vectors under such conditions. PMID:25830108

  3. [PATTERNS IN CIRCULATION AND TRANSMISSION OF MARINE BIRD PARASITES IN HIGH ARCTIC: A CASE OF ACANTHOCEPHALAN POLYMORPHUS PHIPPSI (PALAEACANTHOCEPHALA, POLYMORPHIDAE)].

    PubMed

    Galaktionov, K V; Atrashkevich, G I

    2015-01-01

    This study, based on the materials on parasitic infection of marine birds and invertebrates in Frantz Josef Land (FJL) collected in 1991-1993, focussed on the acanthocephalan Polymorphus phippsi. We identified this parasite, confirmed its species status and analysed its circulation and transmission patterns in high Arctic. The causes of its erroneous identification as P. minutus in several studies were also examined. In contrast to P. minutus, the transmission of P. phippsi is realized in marine coastal ecosystems. Its' main intermediate host in the Arctic is the amphipod Gammarus (Lagunogammarus) setosus, commonin coastal. areas of the shelf zone throughout the Arctic basin. P. phippsi population in FJL and the entire European Arctic is on the whole maintained by a single obligate final host, the common eider Somateria mollissima. Prevalence (P) of P. phippsi in this bird reached 100 %, with the maximal infection intensity (IImax) of 1188 and the mean abundance (MA) of 492.1. Other species of birds found to be infected with P. phippsi (Arctic turn, black guillemot, purple sandpiper and several gulls) are facultative and/or eliminative hosts. The most heavily infected birds were Arctic terns (P = 72.7%, IImax = 227, MA = = 47.1), which contained single mature acanthocephalans. For one of the FJL regions, infections flows of P. phippsi through various host categories were calculated. Involvement of birds unrelated to the common eider into the circulation of P. phippsi is facilitated by their feeding character in the Arctic. While coastal crustaceans are abundant, fish food is relatively scarce (polar cod, snailfishes), and so amphipods make up a considerable part of the diet of marine birds in FJL, if not most of it, as for instance in case of Arctic tern. This promotes an easy entry of the larvae of crustaceans-parasitizing helminthes (cestodes and acanthocephalans, including cystacanths P. phippsi) into non-specific hosts and opens broad colonization possibilities

  4. Vectors and transmission dynamics for Setaria tundra (Filarioidea; Onchocercidae), a parasite of reindeer in Finland

    PubMed Central

    Laaksonen, Sauli; Solismaa, Milla; Kortet, Raine; Kuusela, Jussi; Oksanen, Antti

    2009-01-01

    Background Recent studies have revealed expansion by an array of Filarioid nematodes' into the northern boreal region of Finland. The vector-borne nematode, Setaria tundra, caused a serious disease outbreak in the Finnish reindeer population in 2003–05. The main aim of this study was to understand the outbreak dynamics and the rapid expansion of S. tundra in the sub arctic. We describe the vectors of S. tundra, and its development in vectors, for the first time. Finally we discuss the results in the context of the host-parasite ecology of S. tundra in Finland Results Development of S. tundra to the infective stage occurs in mosquitoes, (genera Aedes and Anopheles). We consider Aedes spp. the most important vectors. The prevalence of S. tundra naturally infected mosquitoes from Finland varied from 0.5 to 2.5%. The rate of development in mosquitoes was temperature-dependent. Infective larvae were present approximately 14 days after a blood meal in mosquitoes maintained at room temperature (mean 21 C), but did not develop in mosquitoes maintained outside for 22 days at a mean temperature of 14.1 C. The third-stage (infective) larvae were elongated (mean length 1411 μm (SD 207), and width 28 μm (SD 2)). The anterior end was blunt, and bore two liplike structures, the posterior end slight tapering with a prominent terminal papilla. Infective larvae were distributed anteriorly in the insect's body, the highest abundance being 70 larvae in one mosquito. A questionnaire survey revealed that the peak activity of Culicidae in the reindeer herding areas of Finland was from the middle of June to the end of July and that warm summer weather was associated with reindeer flocking behaviour on mosquito-rich wetlands. Conclusion In the present work, S. tundra vectors and larval development were identified and described for the first time. Aedes spp. mosquitoes likely serve as the most important and competent vectors for S. tundra in Finland. Warm summers apparently promote

  5. Parasites and health affect multiple sexual signals in male common wall lizards, Podarcis muralis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Martín, José; Amo, Luisa; López, Pilar

    2008-04-01

    Multiple advertising sexual traits may either advertise different characteristics of male condition or be redundant to reinforce reliability of signals. Research has focused on multiple visual traits. However, in animals that use different multiple additional sensory systems, such as chemoreception, different types of traits might have evolved to signal similar characteristics of a male quality using different sensory channels. We examined whether ventral coloration and chemicals in femoral gland secretions of male common wall lizards, Podarcis muralis, are affected by their health state (blood-parasite load and cell-mediated immune response). Our results indicated that less parasitized lizards had brighter and more yellowish ventral colorations and also femoral secretions with higher proportions of two esters of octadecenoic acid. In addition, lizards with a greater immune response had more saturated coloration and secretions with higher proportions of octadecenoic acid methyl ester. We suggest that these signals would be reliable because only healthier males seemed able to allocate more carotenoids to coloration and presumably costly chemicals to secretions. The use of multiple sensory channels may provide more opportunities to signal a male quality under different circumstances, but also may reinforce the reliability of the signal when both types of traits may be perceived simultaneously.

  6. The cost of promiscuity: sexual transmission of Nosema microsporidian parasites in polyandrous honey bees.

    PubMed

    Roberts, K E; Evison, S E F; Baer, B; Hughes, W O H

    2015-01-01

    Multiple mating (and insemination) by females with different males, polyandry, is widespread across animals, due to material and/or genetic benefits for females. It reaches particularly high levels in some social insects, in which queens can produce significantly fitter colonies by being polyandrous. It is therefore a paradox that two thirds of eusocial hymenopteran insects appear to be exclusively monandrous, in spite of the fitness benefits that polyandry could provide. One possible cost of polyandry could be sexually transmitted parasites, but evidence for these in social insects is extremely limited. Here we show that two different species of Nosema microsporidian parasites can transmit sexually in the honey bee Apis mellifera. Honey bee males that are infected by the parasite have Nosema spores in their semen, and queens artificially inseminated with either Nosema spores or the semen of Nosema-infected males became infected by the parasite. The emergent and more virulent N. ceranae achieved much higher rates of infection following insemination than did N. apis. The results provide the first quantitative evidence of a sexually transmitted disease (STD) in social insects, indicating that STDs may represent a potential cost of polyandry in social insects. PMID:26123939

  7. The cost of promiscuity: sexual transmission of Nosema microsporidian parasites in polyandrous honey bees

    PubMed Central

    Roberts, K. E.; Evison, S. E. F.; Baer, B.; Hughes, W. O. H.

    2015-01-01

    Multiple mating (and insemination) by females with different males, polyandry, is widespread across animals, due to material and/or genetic benefits for females. It reaches particularly high levels in some social insects, in which queens can produce significantly fitter colonies by being polyandrous. It is therefore a paradox that two thirds of eusocial hymenopteran insects appear to be exclusively monandrous, in spite of the fitness benefits that polyandry could provide. One possible cost of polyandry could be sexually transmitted parasites, but evidence for these in social insects is extremely limited. Here we show that two different species of Nosema microsporidian parasites can transmit sexually in the honey bee Apis mellifera. Honey bee males that are infected by the parasite have Nosema spores in their semen, and queens artificially inseminated with either Nosema spores or the semen of Nosema-infected males became infected by the parasite. The emergent and more virulent N. ceranae achieved much higher rates of infection following insemination than did N. apis. The results provide the first quantitative evidence of a sexually transmitted disease (STD) in social insects, indicating that STDs may represent a potential cost of polyandry in social insects. PMID:26123939

  8. Human behavior and opportunities for parasite transmission in communities surrounding long-tailed macaque populations in Bali, Indonesia.

    PubMed

    Lane-DeGraaf, Kelly E; Putra, I G A Arta; Wandia, I Nengah; Rompis, Aida; Hollocher, Hope; Fuentes, Agustin

    2014-02-01

    Spatial overlap and shared resources between humans and wildlife can exacerbate parasite transmission dynamics. In Bali, Indonesia, an agricultural-religious temple system provides sanctuaries for long-tailed macaques (Macaca fascicularis), concentrating them in areas in close proximity to humans. In this study, we interviewed individuals in communities surrounding 13 macaque populations about their willingness to participate in behaviors that would put them at risk of exposure to gastrointestinal parasites to understand if age, education level, or occupation are significant determinants of exposure behaviors. These exposure risk behaviors and attitudes include fear of macaques, direct contact with macaques, owning pet macaques, hunting and eating macaques, and overlapping water uses. We find that willingness to participate in exposure risk behaviors are correlated with an individual's occupation, age, and/or education level. We also found that because the actual risk of infection varies across populations, activities such as direct macaque contact and pet ownership, could be putting individuals at real risk in certain contexts. Thus, we show that human demographics and social structure can influence willingness to participate in behaviors putting them at increased risk for exposure to parasites. PMID:24123083

  9. Interacting parasites

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Lafferty, Kevin D.

    2010-01-01

    Parasitism is the most popular life-style on Earth, and many vertebrates host more than one kind of parasite at a time. A common assumption is that parasite species rarely interact, because they often exploit different tissues in a host, and this use of discrete resources limits competition (1). On page 243 of this issue, however, Telfer et al. (2) provide a convincing case of a highly interactive parasite community in voles, and show how infection with one parasite can affect susceptibility to others. If some human parasites are equally interactive, our current, disease-by-disease approach to modeling and treating infectious diseases is inadequate (3).

  10. The Chagas disease domestic transmission cycle in Guatemala: Parasite-vector switches and lack of mitochondrial co-diversification between Triatoma dimidiata and Trypanosoma cruzi subpopulations suggest non-vectorial parasite dispersal across the Motagua valley.

    PubMed

    Pennington, Pamela M; Messenger, Louisa Alexandra; Reina, Jeffrey; Juárez, José G; Lawrence, Gena G; Dotson, Ellen M; Llewellyn, Martin S; Cordón-Rosales, Celia

    2015-11-01

    can be explained by multiple parasite-host switches between vector populations and selection or bottleneck processes across the Motagua Valley, with a possible role for didelphids in domestic transmission. PMID:26215126

  11. Baculovirus-Vectored Multistage Plasmodium vivax Vaccine Induces Both Protective and Transmission-Blocking Immunities against Transgenic Rodent Malaria Parasites

    PubMed Central

    Mizutani, Masanori; Iyori, Mitsuhiro; Blagborough, Andrew M.; Fukumoto, Shinya; Funatsu, Tomohiro; Sinden, Robert E.

    2014-01-01

    A multistage malaria vaccine targeting the pre-erythrocytic and sexual stages of Plasmodium could effectively protect individuals against infection from mosquito bites and provide transmission-blocking (TB) activity against the sexual stages of the parasite, respectively. This strategy could help prevent malaria infections in individuals and, on a larger scale, prevent malaria transmission in communities of endemicity. Here, we describe the development of a multistage Plasmodium vivax vaccine which simultaneously expresses P. vivax circumsporozoite protein (PvCSP) and P25 (Pvs25) protein of this species as a fusion protein, thereby acting as a pre-erythrocytic vaccine and a TB vaccine, respectively. A new-concept vaccine platform based on the baculovirus dual-expression system (BDES) was evaluated. The BDES-Pvs25-PvCSP vaccine displayed correct folding of the Pvs25-PvCSP fusion protein on the viral envelope and was highly expressed upon transduction of mammalian cells in vitro. This vaccine induced high levels of antibodies to Pvs25 and PvCSP and elicited protective (43%) and TB (82%) efficacies against transgenic P. berghei parasites expressing the corresponding P. vivax antigens in mice. Our data indicate that our BDES, which functions as both a subunit and DNA vaccine, can offer a promising multistage vaccine capable of delivering a potent antimalarial pre-erythrocytic and TB response via a single immunization regimen. PMID:25092912

  12. Xenodiagnosis on dogs with visceral leishmaniasis: Canine and sand fly aspects related to the parasite transmission.

    PubMed

    Magalhães-Junior, Jairo Torres; Mota, Tiago Feitosa; Porfirio-Passos, Gabriela; Larangeira, Daniela Farias; Franke, Carlos Roberto; Barrouin-Melo, Stella Maria

    2016-06-15

    One of the main limitations for the effective control of canine leishmaniasis in endemic areas is the difficulty in identifying infectious dogs. The objective of this study was to determine factors, related to dogs and to parasite detection in sand flies, which are associated with the positive xenodiagnosis of Leishmania infantum using the vector Lutzomyia longipalpis. The xenodiagnosis was performed in 50 owned dogs residing in endemic areas, which were divided into three different groups: G1-26 dogs proved to be infected and classified by severity of VL clinical signs on physical examination; G2-15 dogs proved to be infected and classified by severity of clinical signs and intensity of laboratory abnormalities; G3-nine dogs that were seropositive for anti-Leishmania IgG in ELISA tests. Parasite search in the sand flies after having fed on dogs in the xenodiagnosis was performed by both methodologies, PCR and dissection followed by microscopy. In G1, 58% (15/26) of dogs were able to transmit Leishmania to the vector, when parasite detection in sand flies were performed by PCR technique, 5 days after blood meal, whereas in G2, 53% (8/15) transmitted the parasite to the vector, however, confirmation was performed by direct observation of parasite through optical miscroscopy held 10 days after blood meal. Rate of infectiousness of dogs to sand flies was positively associated to severity of disease (p=0.042 and p=0.040), regardless the method used for clinical classification or for parasite detection in sand flies after xenodiagnosis. In G1 30% (3/10) of dogs with subclinical infection were infectious to the vector, while 80% (12/16) of dogs with clinical disease were also infectious. Even more, 17% (1/6) of dogs that had moderate disease were infectious to the sand flies, while 78% (7/9) of dogs with severe disease were infectious in G2. Still in G2, the proportion of sand flies infected (grade of infectiousness) was significantly lower (p=0.0098) when they fed on

  13. Parasites affect food web structure primarily through increased diversity and complexity

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Dunne, Jennifer A.; Lafferty, Kevin D.; Dobson, Andrew P.; Hechinger, Ryan F.; Kuris, Armand M.; Martinez, Neo D.; McLaughlin, John P.; Mouritsen, Kim N.; Poulin, Robert; Reise, Karsten; Stouffer, Daniel B.; Thieltges, David W.; Williams, Richard J.; Zander, Claus Dieter

    2013-01-01

    Comparative research on food web structure has revealed generalities in trophic organization, produced simple models, and allowed assessment of robustness to species loss. These studies have mostly focused on free-living species. Recent research has suggested that inclusion of parasites alters structure. We assess whether such changes in network structure result from unique roles and traits of parasites or from changes to diversity and complexity. We analyzed seven highly resolved food webs that include metazoan parasite data. Our analyses show that adding parasites usually increases link density and connectance (simple measures of complexity), particularly when including concomitant links (links from predators to parasites of their prey). However, we clarify prior claims that parasites ‘‘dominate’’ food web links. Although parasites can be involved in a majority of links, in most cases classic predation links outnumber classic parasitism links. Regarding network structure, observed changes in degree distributions, 14 commonly studied metrics, and link probabilities are consistent with scale-dependent changes in structure associated with changes in diversity and complexity. Parasite and free-living species thus have similar effects on these aspects of structure. However, two changes point to unique roles of parasites. First, adding parasites and concomitant links strongly alters the frequency of most motifs of interactions among three taxa, reflecting parasites’ roles as resources for predators of their hosts, driven by trophic intimacy with their hosts. Second, compared to free-living consumers, many parasites’ feeding niches appear broader and less contiguous, which may reflect complex life cycles and small body sizes. This study provides new insights about generic versus unique impacts of parasites on food web structure, extends the generality of food web theory, gives a more rigorous framework for assessing the impact of any species on trophic

  14. Genotypic variation in host response to infection affects parasite reproductive rate.

    PubMed

    Tavalire, Hannah F; Blouin, Michael S; Steinauer, Michelle L

    2016-02-01

    Parasite fitness is largely influenced by a variation in host response due to the host's genetic background. Here we investigated the impact of host genotype on pathogen success in the snail vector of its castrating parasite, Schistosoma mansoni. We infected five inbred lines of Biomphalaria glabrata with two infection doses and followed their growth, reproductive output and parasite production throughout the course of infection. There was no difference in resistance to infection among inbred lines, but lines varied in their responses to infection and the numbers of parasites produced. Snails did not compensate for castration by increasing their fecundity during the early phase of infection (fecundity compensation). However, some lines were able to delay parasite shedding for up to 30 weeks, thus prolonging reproduction before the onset of castration. Here we propose this strategy as a novel defense against castrating pathogens in snails. Gigantism, a predicted outcome of castration due to energy reallocation, occurred early in infection (<15 weeks) and was not universal among the snail lines. Lines that did not show gigantism were also characterised by a high parasite production rate and low survivorship, perhaps indicating energy reallocation into parasite production and costly immune defense. We observed no differences in total parasite production among lines throughout the entire course of infection, although lines differed in their parasite reproductive rate. The average rate of parasite production varied among lines from 1300 to 2450 cercariae within a single 2h shedding period, resulting in a total production of 6981-29,509 cercariae over the lifetime of a single snail. Regardless of genetic background, snail size was a strong predictor of parasite reproduction: each millimetre increase in snail size at the time of the first shed resulted in up to 3500 more cercariae over the lifetime of the snail. The results of this study provide a detailed picture of

  15. Factors that affect the fatigue strength of power transmission shafting

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Loewenthal, S. H.

    1984-01-01

    A long standing objective in the design of power transmission shafting is to eliminate excess shaft material without compromising operational reliability. A shaft design method is presented which accounts for variable amplitude loading histories and their influence on limited life designs. The effects of combined bending and torsional loading are considered along with a number of application factors known to influence the fatigue strength of shafting materials. Among the factors examined are surface condition, size, stress concentration, residual stress and corrosion fatigue.

  16. Food availability affects Osmia pumila (Hymenoptera: Megachilidae) foraging, reproduction, and brood parasitism.

    PubMed

    Goodell, Karen

    2003-03-01

    Food limitation can reduce reproductive success directly, as well as indirectly, if foraging imposes a risk of predation or parasitism. The solitary bee Osmia pumila suffers brood parasitism by the cleptoparasitic wasp Sapyga centrata, which enters the host nest to oviposit while the female bee is away. I studied foraging and reproduction of O. pumila nesting within cages stocked with rich or sparse floral resources, and the presence or absence of S. centrata to test (1) the response of nesting female O. pumila to food shortages, (2) the response of nesting female O. pumila to the presence of parasites, and (3) whether brood produced under scarce resources are more likely to be parasitized by S. centrata. The rate of brood cell production was significantly lower in cages with sparse floral resources, although females in sparse cages did not produce significantly fewer brood cells overall. Sapyga centrata did not influence the rate of brood cell production, but females exposed to the cleptoparasites had marginally significantly lower reproductive output. Nests in parasite cages had significantly fewer brood cells than those in parasite free cages. The mean duration of foraging bouts made by female O. pumila in sparse cages was not significantly longer than that in rich cages. O. pumila spent less time in the nest between pollen and nectar foraging bouts in sparse cages with S. centrata than those in other cages suggesting that these individuals made more frequent food foraging trips. Despite the weak effects of parasites and bloom density on foraging behavior, O. pumila brood cells experienced a 5-fold higher probability of parasitism by S. centrata in cages with sparse bloom than in those with rich bloom [corrected]. These results support the hypothesis that indirect effects of food scarcity increase O. pumila susceptibility to brood parasitism, although the exact mechanism is not entirely clear yet. PMID:12647124

  17. Family Transmission of Work Affectivity and Experiences to Children

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Porfeli, Erik J.; Wang, Chuang; Hartung, Paul J.

    2008-01-01

    Theory and research suggest that children develop orientations toward work appreciably influenced by their family members' own expressed work experiences and emotions. Cross-sectional data from 100 children (53 girls, 47 boys; mean age = 11.1 years) and structural equation modeling were used to assess measures of work affectivity and experiences…

  18. Clonal diversity of a lizard malaria parasite, Plasmodium mexicanum, in its vertebrate host, the western fence lizard: role of variation in transmission intensity over time and space.

    PubMed

    Vardo, A M; Schall, J J

    2007-07-01

    Within the vertebrate host, infections of a malaria parasite (Plasmodium) could include a single genotype of cells (single-clone infections) or two to several genotypes (multiclone infections). Clonal diversity of infection plays an important role in the biology of the parasite, including its life history, virulence, and transmission. We determined the clonal diversity of Plasmodium mexicanum, a lizard malaria parasite at a study region in northern California, using variable microsatellite markers, the first such study for any malaria parasite of lizards or birds (the most common hosts for Plasmodium species). Multiclonal infections are common (50-88% of infections among samples), and measures of genetic diversity for the metapopulation (expected heterozygosity, number of alleles per locus, allele length variation, and effective population size) all indicated a substantial overall genetic diversity. Comparing years with high prevalence (1996-1998 = 25-32% lizards infected), and years with low prevalence (2001-2005 = 6-12%) found fewer alleles in samples taken from the low-prevalence years, but no reduction in overall diversity (H = 0.64-0.90 among loci). In most cases, rare alleles appeared to be lost as prevalence declined. For sites chronically experiencing low transmission intensity (prevalence approximately 1%), overall diversity was also high (H = 0.79-0.91), but there were fewer multiclonal infections. Theory predicts an apparent excess in expected heterozygosity follows a genetic bottleneck. Evidence for such a distortion in genetic diversity was observed after the drop in parasite prevalence under the infinite alleles mutation model but not for the stepwise mutation model. The results are similar to those reported for the human malaria parasite, Plasmodium falciparum, worldwide, and support the conclusion that malaria parasites maintain high genetic diversity in host populations despite the potential for loss in alleles during the transmission cycle or

  19. Transmission of the haplosporidian parasite MSX Haplosporidium nelsoni to the eastern oyster Crassostrea virginica in an upweller system.

    PubMed

    Sunila, I; Karolus, J; Lang, E P; Mroczka, M E; Volk, J

    2000-08-31

    The haplosporidian oyster parasite MSX (Multinucleated Sphere X) Haplosporidium nelsoni was transmitted to eastern oysters Crassostrea virginica. Hatchery-raised, MSX-free juvenile oysters were placed in upweller tanks. Water to the tanks was filtered through a screen with 1 mm2 openings and originated from the water column overlaying naturally infected oysters beds (MSX prevalence 17 to 57%). MSX was diagnosed by histopathological analysis. MSX-disease (57% prevalence) with increased mortality (19%) was observed 11 wk after the beginning of the exposure and mortality of 80% after 16 wk. The study demonstrates transmission of MSX via water-borne infectious agents capable of passing through a 1 mm filter. PMID:11023255

  20. Parasitic colitis.

    PubMed

    Hechenbleikner, Elizabeth M; McQuade, Jennifer A

    2015-06-01

    Over one billion people worldwide harbor intestinal parasites. Parasitic intestinal infections have a predilection for developing countries due to overcrowding and poor sanitation but are also found in developed nations, such as the United States, particularly in immigrants or in the setting of sporadic outbreaks. Although the majority of people are asymptomatically colonized with parasites, the clinical presentation can range from mild abdominal discomfort or diarrhea to serious complications, such as perforation or bleeding. Protozoa and helminths (worms) are the two major classes of intestinal parasites. Protozoal intestinal infections include cryptosporidiosis, cystoisosporiasis, cyclosporiasis, balantidiasis, giardiasis, amebiasis, and Chagas disease, while helminth infections include ascariasis, trichuriasis, strongyloidiasis, enterobiasis, and schistosomiasis. Intestinal parasites are predominantly small intestine pathogens but the large intestine is also frequently involved. This article highlights important aspects of parasitic infections of the colon including epidemiology, transmission, symptoms, and diagnostic methods as well as appropriate medical and surgical treatment. PMID:26034403

  1. Parasitic Colitis

    PubMed Central

    Hechenbleikner, Elizabeth M.; McQuade, Jennifer A.

    2015-01-01

    Over one billion people worldwide harbor intestinal parasites. Parasitic intestinal infections have a predilection for developing countries due to overcrowding and poor sanitation but are also found in developed nations, such as the United States, particularly in immigrants or in the setting of sporadic outbreaks. Although the majority of people are asymptomatically colonized with parasites, the clinical presentation can range from mild abdominal discomfort or diarrhea to serious complications, such as perforation or bleeding. Protozoa and helminths (worms) are the two major classes of intestinal parasites. Protozoal intestinal infections include cryptosporidiosis, cystoisosporiasis, cyclosporiasis, balantidiasis, giardiasis, amebiasis, and Chagas disease, while helminth infections include ascariasis, trichuriasis, strongyloidiasis, enterobiasis, and schistosomiasis. Intestinal parasites are predominantly small intestine pathogens but the large intestine is also frequently involved. This article highlights important aspects of parasitic infections of the colon including epidemiology, transmission, symptoms, and diagnostic methods as well as appropriate medical and surgical treatment. PMID:26034403

  2. A semi-automated luminescence based standard membrane feeding assay identifies novel small molecules that inhibit transmission of malaria parasites by mosquitoes

    PubMed Central

    Vos, Martijn W.; Stone, Will J. R.; Koolen, Karin M.; van Gemert, Geert-Jan; van Schaijk, Ben; Leroy, Didier; Sauerwein, Robert W.; Bousema, Teun; Dechering, Koen J.

    2015-01-01

    Current first-line treatments for uncomplicated falciparum malaria rapidly clear the asexual stages of the parasite, but do not fully prevent parasite transmission by mosquitoes. The standard membrane feeding assay (SMFA) is the biological gold standard assessment of transmission reducing activity (TRA), but its throughput is limited by the need to determine mosquito infection status by dissection and microscopy. Here we present a novel dissection-free luminescence based SMFA format using a transgenic Plasmodium falciparum reporter parasite without resistance to known antimalarials and therefore unrestricted in its utility in compound screening. Analyses of sixty-five compounds from the Medicines for Malaria Venture validation and malaria boxes identified 37 compounds with high levels of TRA (>80%); different assay modes allowed discrimination between gametocytocidal and downstream modes of action. Comparison of SMFA data to published assay formats for predicting parasite infectivity indicated that individual in vitro screens show substantial numbers of false negatives. These results highlight the importance of the SMFA in the screening pipeline for transmission reducing compounds and present a rapid and objective method. In addition we present sixteen diverse chemical scaffolds from the malaria box that may serve as a starting point for further discovery and development of malaria transmission blocking drugs. PMID:26687564

  3. Parasites and marine invasions: Ecological and evolutionary perspectives

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Goedknegt, M. Anouk; Feis, Marieke E.; Wegner, K. Mathias; Luttikhuizen, Pieternella C.; Buschbaum, Christian; Camphuysen, Kees (C. J.); van der Meer, Jaap; Thieltges, David W.

    2016-07-01

    Worldwide, marine and coastal ecosystems are heavily invaded by introduced species and the potential role of parasites in the success and impact of marine invasions has been increasingly recognized. In this review, we link recent theoretical developments in invasion ecology with empirical studies from marine ecosystems in order to provide a conceptual framework for studying the role of parasites and their hosts in marine invasions. Based on an extensive literature search, we identified six mechanisms in which invaders directly or indirectly affect parasite and host populations and communities: I) invaders can lose some or all of their parasites during the invasion process (parasite release or reduction), often causing a competitive advantage over native species; II) invaders can also act as a host for native parasites, which may indirectly amplify the parasite load of native hosts (parasite spillback); III) invaders can also be parasites themselves and be introduced without needing co-introduction of the host (introduction of free-living infective stages); IV) alternatively, parasites may be introduced together with their hosts (parasite co-introduction with host); V) consequently, these co-introduced parasites can sometimes also infect native hosts (parasite spillover); and VI) invasive species may be neither a host nor a parasite, but nevertheless affect native parasite host interactions by interfering with parasite transmission (transmission interference). We discuss the ecological and evolutionary implications of each of these mechanisms and generally note several substantial effects on natural communities and ecosystems via i) mass mortalities of native populations creating strong selection gradients, ii) indirect changes in species interactions within communities and iii) trophic cascading and knock-on effects in food webs that may affect ecosystem function and services. Our review demonstrates a wide range of ecological and evolutionary implications of

  4. Water potential affects Coniothyrium minitans growth, germination and parasitism of Sclerotinia sclerotiorum sclerotia.

    PubMed

    Jones, E Eirian; Stewart, Alison; Whipps, John M

    2011-09-01

    Water availability is an important environmental factor which has major effects on fungal activity. The effects of osmotic (KCl amended agar) and matric Polyethylene glycol ((PEG) 8000 amended agar) potentials over the range -0.1 to -5.0MPa on mycelial growth and conidial germination of eight isolates of the sclerotial parasite Coniothyrium minitans was assessed. The influence of soil water potential on the ability of three selected isolates (LU112, LU545, and T5R42i) to parasitise sclerotia of the plant pathogen Sclerotinia sclerotiorum was determined. For all eight C. minitans isolates, decreasing osmotic and matric potentials caused a reduction in mycelial growth and conidial germination. Isolates were more sensitive to decreasing matric potential than osmotic potential. Across the isolates, growth at an osmotic potential of -5.0MPa was 30-70% of the growth seen in the control, whereas less than 20% of the control growth was seen at the corresponding matric potential. Across all isolates no conidial germination was seen at matric potential of -5.0MPa. The C. minitans isolates varied in their sensitivity to decreasing water potentials. Mycelial growth and conidial germination of three isolates (LU112, Conio, and CH1) were more tolerant of low osmotic potential and matric potential with respect to mycelial growth. Isolates T5R42i and LU430 were least tolerant. In contrast, conidial germination of isolates Conio, LU545, and T5R42i were less sensitive to decreasing matric potential. Soil water potential was seen to affect infection and viability of sclerotia by the three C. minitans isolates. Isolate LU545 reduced sclerotial viability over a wider water potential range (-0.01 to -1.5MPa) compared with LU112 (-0.01 to -1.0MPa), with isolate T5R42i being intermediate. Indigenous soil fungi (Trichoderma spp. and Clonostachys rosea) were recovered from sclerotia but did not result in reduction in sclerotial viability. The relevance of these results in relation to

  5. Nutritional ecology of a parasitic wasp: food source affects gustatory response, metabolic utilization, and survivorship

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The success of biological control is largely mediated by the longevity and reproductive success of beneficial insects. Nectar and honeydew can improve the nutrition of parasitic insects, and thereby increase their longevity and realized fecundity. Development of effective conservation biological c...

  6. How Varroa parasitism affects the immunological and nutritional status of the honey bee, Apis mellifera

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    We investigated the effect of the parasitic mite Varroa destructor on the immunological and nutritional condition of honey bees, Apis mellifera, from the perspective of the individual bee and the colony. Pupae, newly-emerged adults and foraging adults were sampled from up to 10 colonies at one site ...

  7. Brown spider monkeys (Ateles hybridus): a model for differentiating the role of social networks and physical contact on parasite transmission dynamics.

    PubMed

    Rimbach, Rebecca; Bisanzio, Donal; Galvis, Nelson; Link, Andrés; Di Fiore, Anthony; Gillespie, Thomas R

    2015-05-26

    Elevated risk of disease transmission is considered a major cost of sociality, although empirical evidence supporting this idea remains scant. Variation in spatial cohesion and the occurrence of social interactions may have profound implications for patterns of interindividual parasite transmission. We used a social network approach to shed light on the importance of different aspects of group-living (i.e. within-group associations versus physical contact) on patterns of parasitism in a neotropical primate, the brown spider monkey (Ateles hybridus), which exhibits a high degree of fission-fusion subgrouping. We used daily subgroup composition records to create a 'proximity' network, and built a separate 'contact' network using social interactions involving physical contact. In the proximity network, connectivity between individuals was homogeneous, whereas the contact network highlighted high between-individual variation in the extent to which animals had physical contact with others, which correlated with an individual's age and sex. The gastrointestinal parasite species richness of highly connected individuals was greater than that of less connected individuals in the contact network, but not in the proximity network. Our findings suggest that among brown spider monkeys, physical contact impacts the spread of several common parasites and supports the idea that pathogen transmission is one cost associated with social contact. PMID:25870396

  8. Quantifying Anuran Microhabitat Use to Infer the Potential for Parasite Transmission between Invasive Cane Toads and Two Species of Australian Native Frogs

    PubMed Central

    Pizzatto, Lígia; Both, Camila; Shine, Richard

    2014-01-01

    Parasites that are carried by invasive species can infect native taxa, with devastating consequences. In Australia, invading cane toads (Rhinella marina) carry lungworm parasites (Rhabdias pseudosphaerocephala) that (based on previous laboratory studies) can infect native treefrogs (Litoria caerulea and L. splendida). To assess the potential of parasite transmission from the invader to the native species (and from one infected native frog to another), we used surveys and radiotelemetry to quantify anuran microhabitat use, and proximity to other anurans, in two sites in tropical Australia. Unsurprisingly, treefrogs spent much of their time off the ground (especially by day, and in undisturbed forests) but terrestrial activity was common at night (especially in anthropogenically modified habitats). Microhabitat overlap between cane toads and frogs was generally low, except at night in disturbed areas, whereas overlap between the two frog species was high. The situations of highest overlap, and hence with the greatest danger of parasite transmission, involve aggregations of frogs within crevices by day, and use of open ground by all three anuran species at night. Overall, microhabitat divergence between toads and frogs should reduce, but not eliminate, the transmission of lungworms from invasive toads to vulnerable native frogs. PMID:25188421

  9. Brown spider monkeys (Ateles hybridus): a model for differentiating the role of social networks and physical contact on parasite transmission dynamics

    PubMed Central

    Rimbach, Rebecca; Bisanzio, Donal; Galvis, Nelson; Link, Andrés; Di Fiore, Anthony; Gillespie, Thomas R.

    2015-01-01

    Elevated risk of disease transmission is considered a major cost of sociality, although empirical evidence supporting this idea remains scant. Variation in spatial cohesion and the occurrence of social interactions may have profound implications for patterns of interindividual parasite transmission. We used a social network approach to shed light on the importance of different aspects of group-living (i.e. within-group associations versus physical contact) on patterns of parasitism in a neotropical primate, the brown spider monkey (Ateles hybridus), which exhibits a high degree of fission–fusion subgrouping. We used daily subgroup composition records to create a ‘proximity’ network, and built a separate ‘contact’ network using social interactions involving physical contact. In the proximity network, connectivity between individuals was homogeneous, whereas the contact network highlighted high between-individual variation in the extent to which animals had physical contact with others, which correlated with an individual's age and sex. The gastrointestinal parasite species richness of highly connected individuals was greater than that of less connected individuals in the contact network, but not in the proximity network. Our findings suggest that among brown spider monkeys, physical contact impacts the spread of several common parasites and supports the idea that pathogen transmission is one cost associated with social contact. PMID:25870396

  10. Changes in the transcriptome of the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum during the initial phase of transmission from the human to the mosquito

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background The transmission of the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum from the human to the mosquito is mediated by dormant sexual precursor cells, the gametocytes, which become activated in the mosquito midgut. Because gametocytes are the only parasite stages able to establish an infection in the mosquito, they play a crucial role in spreading the tropical disease. The human-to-mosquito transmission triggers important molecular changes in the gametocytes, which initiate gametogenesis and prepare the parasite for life-cycle progression in the insect vector. Results To better understand gene regulations during the initial phase of malaria parasite transmission, we focused on the transcriptome changes that occur within the first half hour of parasite development in the mosquito. Comparison of mRNA levels of P. falciparum gametocytes before and 30 min following activation using suppression subtractive hybridization (SSH) identified 126 genes, which changed in expression during gametogenesis. Among these, 17.5% had putative functions in signaling, 14.3% were assigned to cell cycle and gene expression, 8.7% were linked to the cytoskeleton or inner membrane complex, 7.9% were involved in proteostasis and 6.4% in metabolism, 12.7% were cell surface-associated proteins, 11.9% were assigned to other functions, and 20.6% represented genes of unknown function. For 40% of the identified genes there has as yet not been any protein evidence. For a subset of 27 genes, transcript changes during gametogenesis were studied in detail by real-time RT-PCR. Of these, 22 genes were expressed in gametocytes, and for 15 genes transcript expression in gametocytes was increased compared to asexual blood stage parasites. Transcript levels of seven genes were particularly high in activated gametocytes, pointing at functions downstream of gametocyte transmission to the mosquito. For selected genes, a regulated expression during gametogenesis was confirmed on the protein level, using

  11. Experimental Shifts in Intraclutch Egg Color Variation Do Not Affect Egg Rejection in a Host of a Non-Egg-Mimetic Avian Brood Parasite

    PubMed Central

    Croston, Rebecca; Hauber, Mark E.

    2015-01-01

    Avian brood parasites lay their eggs in the nests of other birds, and impose the costs associated with rearing parasitic young onto these hosts. Many hosts of brood parasites defend against parasitism by removing foreign eggs from the nest. In systems where parasitic eggs mimic host eggs in coloration and patterning, extensive intraclutch variation in egg appearances may impair the host’s ability to recognize and reject parasitic eggs, but experimental investigation of this effect has produced conflicting results. The cognitive mechanism by which hosts recognize parasitic eggs may vary across brood parasite hosts, and this may explain variation in experimental outcome across studies investigating egg rejection in hosts of egg-mimicking brood parasites. In contrast, for hosts of non-egg-mimetic parasites, intraclutch egg color variation is not predicted to co-vary with foreign egg rejection, irrespective of cognitive mechanism. Here we tested for effects of intraclutch egg color variation in a host of nonmimetic brood parasite by manipulating egg color in American robins (Turdus migratorius), hosts of brown-headed cowbirds (Molothrus ater). We recorded robins’ behavioral responses to simulated cowbird parasitism in nests where color variation was artificially enhanced or reduced. We also quantified egg color variation within and between unmanipulated robin clutches as perceived by robins themselves using spectrophotometric measures and avian visual modeling. In unmanipulated nests, egg color varied more between than within robin clutches. As predicted, however, manipulation of color variation did not affect rejection rates. Overall, our results best support the scenario wherein egg rejection is the outcome of selective pressure by a nonmimetic brood parasite, because robins are efficient rejecters of foreign eggs, irrespective of the color variation within their own clutch. PMID:25831051

  12. Quantifying the Contribution of Hosts with Different Parasite Concentrations to the Transmission of Visceral Leishmaniasis in Ethiopia

    PubMed Central

    Miller, Ezer; Warburg, Alon; Novikov, Ilya; Hailu, Asrat; Volf, Petr; Seblova, Veronika; Huppert, Amit

    2014-01-01

    Background An important factor influencing the transmission dynamics of vector-borne diseases is the contribution of hosts with different parasitemia (no. of parasites per ml of blood) to the infected vector population. Today, estimation of this contribution is often impractical since it relies exclusively on limited-scale xenodiagnostic or artificial feeding experiments (i.e., measuring the proportion of vectors that become infected after feeding on infected blood/host). Methodology We developed a novel mechanistic model that facilitates the quantification of the contribution of hosts with different parasitemias to the infection of the vectors from data on the distribution of these parasitemias within the host population. We applied the model to an ample data set of Leishmania donovani carriers, the causative agent of visceral leishmaniasis in Ethiopia. Results Calculations facilitated by the model quantified the host parasitemias that are mostly responsible for the infection of vector, the sand fly Phlebotomus orientalis. Our findings indicate that a 3.2% of the most infected people were responsible for the infection of between 53% and 79% (mean – 62%) of the infected sand fly vector population. Significance Our modeling framework can easily be extended to facilitate the calculation of the contribution of other host groups (such as different host species, hosts with different ages) to the infected vector population. Identifying the hosts that contribute most towards infection of the vectors is crucial for understanding the transmission dynamics, and planning targeted intervention policy of visceral leishmaniasis as well as other vector borne infectious diseases (e.g., West Nile Fever). PMID:25356795

  13. Risk of parasite transmission influences perceived vulnerability to disease and perceived danger of disease-relevant animals.

    PubMed

    Prokop, Pavol; Usak, Muhammet; Fancovicová, Jana

    2010-09-01

    Adaptationist view proposes that emotions were shaped by natural selection and their primary function is to protect humans against predators and/or disease threat. This study examined cross-cultural and inter-personal differences in behavioural immune system measured by disgust, fear and perceived danger in participants from high (Turkey) and low (Slovakia) pathogen prevalence areas. We found that behavioural immune system in Turkish participants was activated more than those of Slovakian participants when exposed to photographs depicting disease-relevant cues, but not when exposed to disease-irrelevant cues. However, participants from Slovakia, where human to human disease transmission is expected to be more prevalent than in Turkey, showed lower aversion in Germ Aversion subscale supporting hypersensitiveness of the behavioural immune system. Having animals at home was less frequent both in Turkey and in participants who perceived higher danger about disease relevant animals. Participants more vulnerable to diseases reported higher incidence of illness last year and considered perceived disease-relevant animals more dangerous than others. Females showed greater fear, disgust and danger about disease-relevant animals than males. Our results further support the finding that cultural and inter-personal differences in human personality are influenced by parasite threat. PMID:20558257

  14. Does Magnetic Field Affect Malaria Parasite Replication in Human Red Blood Cells?

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Chanturiya, Alexandr N.; Glushakova, Svetlana; Yin, Dan; Zimmerberg, Joshua

    2004-01-01

    Digestion of red blood cell (RBC) hemoglobin by the malaria parasite results in the formation of paramagnetic hemazoin crystals inside the parasite body. A number of reports suggest that magnetic field interaction with hamazoin crystals significantly reduces the number of infected cells in culture, and thus magnetic field can be used to combat malaria. We studies the effects of magnetic filed on the Plasmodium falciparum asexual life cycle inside RBCs under various experimental conditions. No effect was found during prolonged exposure of infected RBCs to constant magnetic fields up to 6000 Gauss. Infected RBCs were also exposed, under temperature-controlled conditions, to oscillating magnetic fields with frequencies in the range of 500-20000 kHz, and field strength 30-600 Gauss. This exposure often changed the proportion of different parasite stages in treated culture compared to controls. However, no significant effect on parasitemia was observed in treated cultures. This result indicates that the magnetic field effect on Plasmodium falciparum is negligible, or that hypothetical negative and positive effects on different stages within one 48-hour compensate each other.

  15. PARASITES AND POVERTY: THE CASE OF SCHISTOSOMIASIS

    PubMed Central

    King, Charles H.

    2009-01-01

    Simultaneous and sequential transmission of multiple parasites, and their resultant overlapping chronic infections, are facts of life in many underdeveloped rural areas. These represent significant but often poorly-measured health and economic burdens for affected populations. For example, the chronic inflammatory process associated with long-term schistosomiasis contributes to anaemia and undernutrition, which, in turn, can lead to growth stunting, poor school performance, poor work productivity, and continued poverty. To date, most national and international programs aimed at parasite control have not considered the varied economic and ecological factors underlying multi-parasite transmission, but some are beginning to provide a coordinated approach to control. In addition, interest is emerging in new studies for the re-evaluation and recalibration of the health burden of helminthic parasite infection. Their results should highlight the strong potential of integrated parasite control in efforts for poverty reduction. PMID:19962954

  16. Parasites and poverty: the case of schistosomiasis.

    PubMed

    King, Charles H

    2010-02-01

    Simultaneous and sequential transmission of multiple parasites, and their resultant overlapping chronic infections, are facts of life in many underdeveloped rural areas. These represent significant but often poorly measured health and economic burdens for affected populations. For example, the chronic inflammatory process associated with long-term schistosomiasis contributes to anaemia and undernutrition, which, in turn, can lead to growth stunting, poor school performance, poor work productivity, and continued poverty. To date, most national and international programs aimed at parasite control have not considered the varied economic and ecological factors underlying multi-parasite transmission, but some are beginning to provide a coordinated approach to control. In addition, interest is emerging in new studies for the re-evaluation and recalibration of the health burden of helminthic parasite infection. Their results should highlight the strong potential of integrated parasite control in efforts for poverty reduction. PMID:19962954

  17. Cardio-Pulmonary Parasitic Nematodes Affecting Cats in Europe: Unraveling the Past, Depicting the Present, and Predicting the Future

    PubMed Central

    Traversa, Donato; Di Cesare, Angela

    2014-01-01

    Various cardio-pulmonary parasitic nematodes infecting cats have recently been fascinating and stimulating the attention of the Academia, pharmaceutical companies, and veterinary practitioners. This is the case of the metastrongyloids: Aelurostrongylus abstrusus and Troglostrongylus brevior, the trichuroid: Capillaria aerophila (syn. Eucoleus aerophilus), and the filarioid: Dirofilaria immitis. Apparently, these parasites have been emerging in several European countries, thus, gaining an important role in feline parasitology and clinical practice. Under a practical standpoint, a sound knowledge of the biological, epidemiological, and clinical impact of cardio-respiratory parasitoses affecting cats, in addition to a potential risk of introduction, establishment, and spreading of “new” parasites in Europe is mandatory in order to understand the present and future impact for feline medicine and to address new strategies of control and treatment. The purpose of the present article is to review the current knowledge of heartworm and lungworm infections in cats, discussing and comparing past and present issues, and predicting possible future scenarios. PMID:26664917

  18. Dispersal, environmental forcing, and parasites combine to affect metapopulation synehrony and stability.

    PubMed

    Duncan, Alison B; Gonzalez, Andrew; Kaltz, Oliver

    2015-01-01

    Dispersal can have positive and negative effects on metapopulation stability and persistence. One prediction is that high levels of dispersal synchronize density fluctuations between subpopulations. However, little is still known about how biotic and abiotic factors combine to modify the effects of dispersal rate on synchrony and metapopulation dynamics. In a fully factorial experimental design, we investigated the combined effects of (1) dispersal, (2) parasite infection, and (3) synchrony in temperature fluctuations on subpopulation synchrony, metapopulation instability, and minimum population size, in laboratory metapopulations of the ciliate Paramecium caudatum. Metapopulations, comprising two subpopulations linked by high or low levels of dispersal, were exposed to daily fluctuations in temperature between permissive (23 degrees C) and restrictive (5 degrees C) conditions. Infected metapopulations started the experiment with one subpopulation uninfected, while the other was infected at a prevalence of 5% with the bacterial parasite Holospora undulata. The temperature synchrony treatment involved subpopulations within a metapopulation following the same (synchronous temperatures) or different (asynchronous temperatures) temporal sequences. Population size was tracked over the 56-day experiment. We found that subpopulation density fluctuations were synchronized by high dispersal in infected metapopulations, and by synchronous temperatures in all metapopulations. Subpopulation synchrony was positively correlated with metapopulation instability and minimum metapopulation size, highlighting the multiple consequences of our treatments for metapopulation dynamics. Our results illustrate how parasites can generate dispersal-driven synchrony in non-cycling, declining populations. This "biotic forcing" via a natural enemy added to the temperature-dependent environmental forcing. We therefore conclude that predictions of metapopulation persistence in natural populations

  19. Prevalence and genetic diversity of the intestinal parasites Blastocystis sp. and Cryptosporidium spp. in household dogs in France and evaluation of zoonotic transmission risk.

    PubMed

    Osman, Marwan; Bories, Jessica; El Safadi, Dima; Poirel, Marie-Thérèse; Gantois, Nausicaa; Benamrouz-Vanneste, Sadia; Delhaes, Laurence; Hugonnard, Marine; Certad, Gabriela; Zenner, Lionel; Viscogliosi, Eric

    2015-11-30

    Several parasites including the protozoa Blastocystis sp. and Cryptosporidium spp. may be causative agents of gastrointestinal symptoms in domestic dogs, and there may be a potential risk of transmission to owners. While France is one of the largest European countries in terms of its canine population, little data is available about the molecular epidemiology of these two parasites. The purpose of this study was to determine the prevalence of intestinal parasites in household dogs in France, and to evaluate the zoonotic risk of Blastocystis sp. and Cryptosporidium spp. by genotyping the corresponding isolates. To this end, 116 faecal samples were collected from household dogs regardless of breed, age or gender, living in the Lyons area, France. Various intestinal protozoa and helminths were identified by light microscopy. Screening for Blastocystis sp. and Cryptosporidium spp. were subsequently performed by PCR targeting the small subunit (SSU) rDNA coding region, followed by direct sequencing of the PCR products and analysis of the sequences obtained for genotyping. The overall prevalence of dogs infected with at least one gastrointestinal parasite was 42.2% (49/116). After light microscopy examination of faecal samples, the most common parasites found were the protozoa Giardia sp. (25.0%) and Cystoisospora sp. (19.8%). Using molecular methods, four dogs (3.4%) were shown to be infected by Blastocystis sp. and carried either subtype (ST) 2, commonly identified in various animal groups, or ST10, frequently found in bovids. Three dogs (2.6%) were positive for C. canis, infecting humans episodically. The low prevalence of both parasites, combined with the identification of C. canis and Blastocystis sp. ST2 and ST10 in the canine population, strongly suggests that dogs play a negligible role as zoonotic reservoirs for both parasites and do not seem to be natural hosts of Blastocystis sp. PMID:26395822

  20. Centrality in primate–parasite networks reveals the potential for the transmission of emerging infectious diseases to humans

    PubMed Central

    Gómez, José María; Nunn, Charles L.; Verdú, Miguel

    2013-01-01

    Most emerging infectious diseases (EIDs) in humans have arisen from animals. Identifying high-risk hosts is therefore vital for the control and surveillance of these diseases. Viewing hosts as connected through the parasites they share, we use network tools to investigate predictors of parasitism and sources of future EIDs. We generated host–parasite networks that link hosts when they share a parasite, using nonhuman primates as a model system because—owing to their phylogenetic proximity and ecological overlap with humans—they are an important source of EIDs to humans. We then tested whether centrality in the network of host species—a measurement of the importance of a given node (i.e., host species) in the network—is associated with that host serving as a potential EID source. We found that centrality covaries with key predictors of parasitism, such as population density and geographic range size. Importantly, we also found that primate species having higher values of centrality in the primate–parasite network harbored more parasites identified as EIDs in humans and had parasite communities more similar to those found in humans. These relationships were robust to the use of different centrality metrics and to multiple ways of controlling for variation in how well each species has been studied (i.e., sampling effort). Centrality may therefore estimate the role of a host as a source of EIDs to humans in other multispecific host–parasite networks. PMID:23610389

  1. Chronic neonicotinoid pesticide exposure and parasite stress differentially affects learning in honeybees and bumblebees.

    PubMed

    Piiroinen, Saija; Goulson, Dave

    2016-04-13

    Learning and memory are crucial functions which enable insect pollinators to efficiently locate and extract floral rewards. Exposure to pesticides or infection by parasites may cause subtle but ecologically important changes in cognitive functions of pollinators. The potential interactive effects of these stressors on learning and memory have not yet been explored. Furthermore, sensitivity to stressors may differ between species, but few studies have compared responses in different species. Here, we show that chronic exposure to field-realistic levels of the neonicotinoid clothianidin impaired olfactory learning acquisition in honeybees, leading to potential impacts on colony fitness, but not in bumblebees. Infection by the microsporidian parasite Nosema ceranae slightly impaired learning in honeybees, but no interactive effects were observed. Nosema did not infect bumblebees (3% infection success). Nevertheless, Nosema-treated bumblebees had a slightly lower rate of learning than controls, but faster learning in combination with neonicotinoid exposure. This highlights the potential for complex interactive effects of stressors on learning. Our results underline that one cannot readily extrapolate findings from one bee species to others. This has important implications for regulatory risk assessments which generally use honeybees as a model for all bees. PMID:27053744

  2. How Varroa Parasitism Affects the Immunological and Nutritional Status of the Honey Bee, Apis mellifera.

    PubMed

    Aronstein, Katherine A; Saldivar, Eduardo; Vega, Rodrigo; Westmiller, Stephanie; Douglas, Angela E

    2012-01-01

    We investigated the effect of the parasitic mite Varroa destructor on the immunological and nutritional condition of honey bees, Apis mellifera, from the perspective of the individual bee and the colony. Pupae, newly-emerged adults and foraging adults were sampled from honey bee colonies at one site in S. Texas, USA. Varroa‑infested bees displayed elevated titer of Deformed Wing Virus (DWV), suggestive of depressed capacity to limit viral replication. Expression of genes coding three anti-microbial peptides (defensin1, abaecin, hymenoptaecin) was either not significantly different between Varroa-infested and uninfested bees or was significantly elevated in Varroa-infested bees, varying with sampling date and bee developmental age. The effect of Varroa on nutritional indices of the bees was complex, with protein, triglyceride, glycogen and sugar levels strongly influenced by life-stage of the bee and individual colony. Protein content was depressed and free amino acid content elevated in Varroa-infested pupae, suggesting that protein synthesis, and consequently growth, may be limited in these insects. No simple relationship between the values of nutritional and immune-related indices was observed, and colony-scale effects were indicated by the reduced weight of pupae in colonies with high Varroa abundance, irrespective of whether the individual pupa bore Varroa. PMID:26466617

  3. Selective mass treatment with ivermectin to control intestinal helminthiases and parasitic skin diseases in a severely affected population.

    PubMed Central

    Heukelbach, Jörg; Winter, Benedikt; Wilcke, Thomas; Muehlen, Marion; Albrecht, Stephan; de Oliveira, Fabíola Araújo Sales; Kerr-Pontes, Lígia Regina Sansigolo; Liesenfeld, Oliver; Feldmeier, Hermann

    2004-01-01

    OBJECTIVE: To assess the short-term and long-term impact of selective mass treatment with ivermectin on the prevalence of intestinal helminthiases and parasitic skin diseases in an economically depressed community in north-east Brazil. METHODS: An intervention was carried out in a traditional fishing village in north-east Brazil where the population of 605 is heavily affected by ectoparasites and enteroparasites. The prevalence of intestinal helminths was determined by serial stool examination and the prevalence of parasitic skin diseases by clinical inspection. A total of 525 people out of a target population of 576 were treated at baseline. The majority of these were treated with ivermectin (200 microg/kg with a second dose given after 10 days). If ivermectin was contraindicated, participants were treated with albendazole or mebendazole for intestinal helminths or with topical deltamethrin for ectoparasites. Follow-up examinations were performed at 1 month and 9 months after treatment. FINDINGS: Prevalence rates of intestinal helminthiases before treatment and at 1 month and 9 months after mass treatment were: hookworm disease 28.5%, 16.4% and 7.7%; ascariasis 17.1%, 0.4% and 7.2%; trichuriasis 16.5%, 3.4% and 9.4%; strongyloidiasis 11.0%, 0.6% and 0.7%; and hymenolepiasis 0.6%; 0.4% and 0.5%, respectively. Prevalence rates of parasitic skin diseases before treatment and 1 month and 9 months after mass treatment were: active pediculosis 16.1%, 1.0% and 10.3%; scabies 3.8%, 1.0% and 1.5%; cutaneous larva migrans 0.7%, 0% and 0%; tungiasis 51.3%, 52.1% and 31.2%, respectively. Adverse events occurred in 9.4% of treatments. They were all of mild to moderate severity and were transient. CONCLUSION: Mass treatment with ivermectin was an effective and safe means of reducing the prevalence of most of the parasitic diseases prevalent in a poor community in north-east Brazil. The effects of treatment lasted for a prolonged period of time. PMID:15375445

  4. How do humans affect wildlife nematodes?

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Weinstein, Sara B.; Lafferty, Kevin D.

    2015-01-01

    Human actions can affect wildlife and their nematode parasites. Species introductions and human-facilitated range expansions can create new host–parasite interactions. Novel hosts can introduce parasites and have the potential to both amplify and dilute nematode transmission. Furthermore, humans can alter existing nematode dynamics by changing host densities and the abiotic conditions that affect larval parasite survival. Human impacts on wildlife might impair parasites by reducing the abundance of their hosts; however, domestic animal production and complex life cycles can maintain transmission even when wildlife becomes rare. Although wildlife nematodes have many possible responses to human actions, understanding host and parasite natural history, and the mechanisms behind the changing disease dynamics might improve disease control in the few cases where nematode parasitism impacts wildlife.

  5. How do humans affect wildlife nematodes?

    PubMed

    Weinstein, Sara B; Lafferty, Kevin D

    2015-05-01

    Human actions can affect wildlife and their nematode parasites. Species introductions and human-facilitated range expansions can create new host-parasite interactions. Novel hosts can introduce parasites and have the potential to both amplify and dilute nematode transmission. Furthermore, humans can alter existing nematode dynamics by changing host densities and the abiotic conditions that affect larval parasite survival. Human impacts on wildlife might impair parasites by reducing the abundance of their hosts; however, domestic animal production and complex life cycles can maintain transmission even when wildlife becomes rare. Although wildlife nematodes have many possible responses to human actions, understanding host and parasite natural history, and the mechanisms behind the changing disease dynamics might improve disease control in the few cases where nematode parasitism impacts wildlife. PMID:25680855

  6. Evaluation of speech transmission in open public spaces affected by combined noises.

    PubMed

    Lee, Pyoung Jik; Jeon, Jin Yong

    2011-07-01

    In the present study, the effects of interference from combined noises on speech transmission were investigated in a simulated open public space. Sound fields for dominant noises were predicted using a typical urban square model surrounded by buildings. Then road traffic noise and two types of construction noises, corresponding to stationary and impulsive noises, were selected as background noises. Listening tests were performed on a group of adults, and the quality of speech transmission was evaluated using listening difficulty as well as intelligibility scores. During the listening tests, two factors that affect speech transmission performance were considered: (1) temporal characteristics of construction noise (stationary or impulsive) and (2) the levels of the construction and road traffic noises. The results indicated that word intelligibility scores and listening difficulty ratings were affected by the temporal characteristics of construction noise due to fluctuations in the background noise level. It was also observed that listening difficulty is unable to describe the speech transmission in noisy open public spaces showing larger variation than did word intelligibility scores. PMID:21786892

  7. Targeting of blood safety measures to affected areas with ongoing local transmission of malaria.

    PubMed

    Domanović, D; Kitchen, A; Politis, C; Panagiotopoulos, T; Bluemel, J; Van Bortel, W; Overbosch, D; Lieshout-Krikke, R; Fabra, C; Facco, G; Zeller, H

    2016-06-01

    An outbreak of locally acquired Plasmodium vivax malaria in Greece started in 2009 and peaked in 2011. Targeting of blood safety measures to affected areas with ongoing transmission of malaria raised questions of how to define spatial boundaries of such an area and when to trigger any specific blood safety measures, including whether and which blood donation screening strategy to apply. To provide scientific advice the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) organised expert meetings in 2013. The outcomes of these consultations are expert opinions covering spatial targeting of blood safety measures to affected areas with ongoing local transmission of malaria and blood donation screening strategy for evidence of malaria infection in these areas. Opinions could help EU national blood safety authorities in developing a preventive strategy during malaria outbreaks. PMID:27238883

  8. Transmission of the fra(X) haplotype from three nonpenetrant brothers to their affected grandsons.

    PubMed

    Kirkilionis, A J; Chudley, A E; Greenberg, C R; Yan, D L; McGillivray, B; Hamerton, J L

    1992-06-01

    We report on a family showing transmission of the fra(X) gene by 3 nonpenetrant, fra(X) negative, normally intelligent, full and half-brothers to their affected grandsons. The mothers of the affected boys are obligate carriers, fra(X) negative, and of normal intelligence. This family illustrates the "Sherman Paradox" and is compatible with the predictions of the Laird X-inactivation imprinting model. In addition, molecular and/or cytogenetic studies have enabled at-risk relatives to learn more about their carrier fra(X) status and have allowed for more accurate genetic counselling. PMID:1605253

  9. Immunization of Wistar female rats with 255-Gy-irradiated Toxoplasma gondii: preventing parasite load and maternofoetal transmission.

    PubMed

    Camossi, Lucilene Granuzzio; Fornazari, Felipe; Richini-Pereira, Virgínia Bodelão; da Silva, Rodrigo Costa; Cardia, Daniel Fontana Ferreira; Langoni, Helio

    2014-10-01

    Toxoplasmosis, caused by an obligate intracellular protozoan parasite, Toxoplasma gondii, is an worldwide parasitic disease, with significant importance for animal production and considerable impact to the public health. This study was aimed to evaluate the dynamic of the distribution of T.gondii in tissues of female Wistar rats and their puppies tissues, after the immunization by oral rote with irradiated tachyzoites. One week after pregnancy confirmation, rats was challenged by gavage with T. gondii bradyzoites, oocysts or tachyzoites of T. gondii. Forty-eight pregnant rats were grouped as follow: immunized and challenged with bradyzoites (BZ*); non-immunized and challenged with bradyzoites (BZ); immunized and challenged with oocysts (OC*); non-immunized and challenged with oocysts (OC); immunized and challenged with tachyzoites (TZ*); non-immunized and challenged with tachyzoites (TZ); only immunized (I); control group (C). After parturition the rats were sacrificed and the tissues were researched for the DNA of T. gondii by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and the parasite load determined by the quantitative PCR (qPCR). It was verified that the immunization with irradiated tachyzoites of T. gondii induced the reduction of parasitic load in most organs analyzed, although not prevent the establishment of infection with the parasite. And also, the immunization showed a favorable effect on the birth rate and litter size. PMID:25169764

  10. Gas density does not affect pulmonary acoustic transmission in normal men.

    PubMed

    Mahagnah, M; Gavriely, N

    1995-03-01

    Fremitus, the transmission of sound and vibration from the mouth to the chest wall, has long been used clinically to examine the pulmonary system. Recently, modern technology has become available to measure the acoustic transfer function (TF) and transit times (TT) of the pulmonary system. Because sound speed is inversely proportional to the square root of gas density in free gas, but not in porous media, we measured the effect of air and Heliox (80% He-20% O2) breathing on pulmonary sound transmission in six healthy subjects to investigate the mechanism of sound transmission. Wide-band noise (75-2,000 Hz) was "injected" into the mouth and picked up over the trachea and chest wall. The averaged power spectra, TF, phase, and coherence were calculated using a fast Fourier transform-based algorithm. The phase data were used to calculate TT as a function of frequency. TF was found to consist of a low-pass filter property with essentially flat transmitted energy to 300 Hz and exponential decline to 600 Hz at the anterior right upper lobe (CR) and flat transmission to 100 Hz with exponential decline to 150 Hz at the right posterior base (BR). TF was not affected by breathing Heliox. The average TT values, calculated from the slopes of the averaged phase, were 1.5 +/- 0.5 ms for trachea to CR and 5.2 +/- 0.5 ms for trachea to BR transmission during air breathing. During Heliox breathing, the values of TT were 1.5 +/- 0.5 ms and 4.9 +/- 0.5 ms from the trachea to CR and from the trachea to BR locations, respectively. These results suggest that sound transmission in the respiratory system is dominated by wave propagation through the parenchymal porous structure. PMID:7775338

  11. Cockroaches and flies in mechanical transmission of medical important parasites in Khaldyia Village, El-Fayoum, Governorate, Egypt.

    PubMed

    El-Sherbini, Gehad T; Gneidy, Morsy Rateb

    2012-04-01

    The role of non-blood sucking insects in dissemination of human parasites was investigated in Khaldyia Village, Al-Fayoum Governorate over during the summer of 2011. A total of 278 American cockroach (Periplaneta americana), and 508 house flies Musca domestica var. vicina were collected. The insects were collected indoors and outdoors. Flies were abundant in defecation areas and around houses. The recovered zoonotic parasites identified were cysts of Entamoeba histolytica Cryptosporidium parvum and Balantidium coli, and eggs of Ascaris lumbricoides, Anchylostoma deodunale, Enterobius vermicularis, and Trichuris trichura as well as larvae of Strongyloides stercoralis. PMID:22662605

  12. Survival of weed seeds and animal parasites as affected by anaerobic digestion at meso- and thermophilic conditions.

    PubMed

    Johansen, Anders; Nielsen, Henrik B; Hansen, Christian M; Andreasen, Christian; Carlsgart, Josefine; Hauggard-Nielsen, Henrik; Roepstorff, Allan

    2013-04-01

    Anaerobic digestion of residual materials from animals and crops offers an opportunity to simultaneously produce bioenergy and plant fertilizers at single farms and in farm communities where input substrate materials and resulting digested residues are shared among member farms. A surplus benefit from this practice may be the suppressing of propagules from harmful biological pests like weeds and animal pathogens (e.g. parasites). In the present work, batch experiments were performed, where survival of seeds of seven species of weeds and non-embryonated eggs of the large roundworm of pigs, Ascaris suum, was assessed under conditions similar to biogas plants managed at meso- (37°C) and thermophilic (55°C) conditions. Cattle manure was used as digestion substrate and experimental units were sampled destructively over time. Regarding weed seeds, the effect of thermophilic conditions (55°C) was very clear as complete mortality, irrespective of weed species, was reached after less than 2 days. At mesophilic conditions, seeds of Avena fatua, Sinapsis arvensis, Solidago canadensis had completely lost germination ability, while Brassica napus, Fallopia convolvulus and Amzinckia micrantha still maintained low levels (~1%) of germination ability after 1 week. Chenopodium album was the only weed species which survived 1 week at substantial levels (7%) although after 11 d germination ability was totally lost. Similarly, at 55°C, no Ascaris eggs survived more than 3h of incubation. Incubation at 37°C did not affect egg survival during the first 48 h and it took up to 10 days before total elimination was reached. In general, anaerobic digestion in biogas plants seems an efficient way (thermophilic more efficient than mesophilic) to treat organic farm wastes in a way that suppresses animal parasites and weeds so that the digestates can be applied without risking spread of these pests. PMID:23266071

  13. Postsynaptic conversion of silent synapses during LTP affects synaptic gain and transmission dynamics.

    PubMed

    Poncer, J C; Malinow, R

    2001-10-01

    Synaptic transmission relies on both the gain and the dynamics of synapses. Activity-dependent changes in synaptic gain are well-documented at excitatory synapses and may represent a substrate for information storage in the brain. Here we examine the mechanisms of changes in transmission dynamics at excitatory synapses. We show that paired-pulse ratios (PPRs) of AMPAR and NMDAR EPSCs onto dentate gyrus granule cells are often different; this difference is reduced during LTP, reflecting PPR changes of AMPAR but not NMDAR EPSCs. Presynaptic manipulations, however, produce parallel changes in AMPAR and NMDAR EPSCs. LTP at these synapses reflects a reduction in the proportion of silent synapses lacking functional AMPARs. Changes in PPR during LTP therefore reflect the initial difference between PPRs of silent and functional synapses. Functional conversion of silent synapses permits postsynaptic sampling from additional release sites and thereby affects the dynamics and gain of signals conveyed between neurons. PMID:11544481

  14. Malaria proteases mediate inside-out egress of gametocytes from red blood cells following parasite transmission to the mosquito.

    PubMed

    Sologub, Ludmilla; Kuehn, Andrea; Kern, Selina; Przyborski, Jude; Schillig, Rebecca; Pradel, Gabriele

    2011-06-01

    Malaria parasites reside in human erythrocytes within a parasitophorous vacuole. The parasites are transmitted from the human to the mosquito by the uptake of intraerythrocytic gametocytes during a blood meal, which in the midgut become activated by external stimuli and subsequently egress from the enveloping erythrocyte. Gametocyte egress is a crucial step for the parasite to prepare for fertilization, but the molecular mechanisms of egress are not well understood. Via electron microscopy, we show that Plasmodium falciparum gametocytes exit the erythrocyte by an inside-out type of egress. The parasitophorous vacuole membrane (PVM) ruptures at multiple sites within less than a minute following activation, a process that requires a temperature drop and parasite contact with xanthurenic acid. PVM rupture can also be triggered by the ionophore nigericin and is sensitive to the cysteine protease inhibitor E-64d. Following PVM rupture the subpellicular membrane begins to disintegrate. This membrane is specific to malaria gametocytes, and disintegration is impaired by the aspartic protease inhibitor EPNP and the cysteine/serine protease inhibitor TLCK. Approximately 15 min post activation, the erythrocyte membrane ruptures at a single breaking point, which can be inhibited by inhibitors TLCK and TPCK. In all cases inhibitor treatment results in interrupted gametogenesis. PMID:21501358

  15. Factors affecting patterns of Amblyomma triste (Acari: Ixodidae) parasitism in a rodent host.

    PubMed

    Colombo, Valeria C; Nava, Santiago; Antoniazzi, Leandro R; Monje, Lucas D; Racca, Andrea L; Guglielmone, Alberto A; Beldomenico, Pablo M

    2015-07-30

    Here we offer a multivariable analysis that explores associations of different factors (i.e., environmental, host parameters, presence of other ectoparasites) with the interaction of Amblyomma triste immature stages and one of its main hosts in Argentina, the rodent Akodon azarae. Monthly and for two years, we captured and sampled rodents at 16 points located at 4 different sites in the Parana River Delta region. The analyses were conducted with Generalized Linear Mixed Models with a negative binomial response (counts of larvae or nymphs). The independent variables assessed were: (a) environmental: trapping year, season, presence of cattle; type of vegetation (natural grassland or implanted forest); rodent abundance; (b) host parameters: body length; sex; body condition; blood cell counts; natural antibody titres; and (c) co-infestation with other ectoparasites: other stage of A. triste; Ixodes loricatus; lice; mites; and fleas. Two-way interaction terms deemed a priori as relevant were also included in the analysis. Larvae were affected by all environmental variables assessed and by the presence of other ectoparasites (lice, fleas and other tick species). Host factors significantly associated with larval count were sex and levels of natural antibodies. Nymphs were associated with season, presence of cattle, body condition, body length and with burdens of I. loricatus. In most cases, the direction and magnitude of the associations were context-dependent (many interaction terms were significant). The findings of greater significance and implications of our study are two. Firstly, as burdens of A. triste larvae and nymphs were greater where cattle were present, and larval tick burdens were higher in implanted forests, silvopastoral practices developing in the region may affect the population dynamics of A. triste, and consequently the eco-epidemiology of Rickettsia parkeri. Secondly, strong associations and numerous interactions with other ectoparasites suggest that

  16. Feeding guild of non-host community members affects host-foraging efficiency of a parasitic wasp.

    PubMed

    De Rijk, Marjolein; Yang, Daowei; Engel, Bas; Dicke, Marcel; Poelman, Erik H

    2016-06-01

    Interactions between predator and prey, or parasitoid and host, are shaped by trait- and density-mediated processes involving other community members. Parasitoids that lay their eggs in herbivorous insects locate their hosts through infochemicals such as herbivore-induced plant volatiles (HIPVs) and host-produced kairomones. Hosts are frequently accompanied by non-host herbivores that are unsuitable for the parasitoid. These non-hosts may interfere with host location primarily through trait-mediated processes, by their own infochemicals, and their induction of the emission of plant volatiles. Although it is known that single non-hosts can interfere with parasitoid host location, it is still unknown whether the observed effects are due to species specific characteristics or to the feeding habits of the non-host herbivores. Here we addressed whether the feeding guild of non-host herbivores differentially affects foraging of the parasitoid Cotesia glomerata for its common host, caterpillars of Pieris brassicae feeding on Brassica oleracea plants. We used different phloem-feeding and leaf-chewing non-hosts to study their effects on host location by the parasitoid when searching for host-infested plants based on HIPVs and when searching for hosts on the plant using infochemicals. To evaluate the ultimate effect of these two phases in host location, we studied parasitism efficiency of parasitoids in small plant communities under field-tent conditions. We show that leaf-chewing non-hosts primarily affected host location through trait-mediated effects via plant volatiles, whereas phloem-feeding non-hosts exerted trait-mediated effects by affecting foraging efficiency of the parasitoid on the plant. These trait-mediated effects resulted in associational susceptibility of hosts in environments with phloem feeders and associational resistance in environments with non-host leaf chewers. PMID:27459770

  17. Plant population size and isolation affect herbivory of Silene latifolia by the specialist herbivore Hadena bicruris and parasitism of the herbivore by parasitoids.

    PubMed

    Elzinga, Jelmer A; Turin, Hans; van Damme, Jos M M; Biere, Arjen

    2005-07-01

    Habitat fragmentation can affect levels of herbivory in plant populations if plants and herbivores are differentially affected by fragmentation. Moreover, if herbivores are top-down controlled by predators or parasitoids, herbivory may also be affected by differential effects of fragmentation on herbivores and their natural enemies. We used natural Silene latifolia populations to examine the effects of plant population size and isolation on the level of herbivory by the seed predating noctuid Hadena bicruris and the rate of parasitism of the herbivore by its parasitoids. In addition, we examined oviposition rate, herbivory and parasitism in differently sized experimental populations. In natural populations, the level of herbivory increased and the rate of parasitism decreased with decreasing plant population size and increasing degree of isolation. The number of parasitoid species also declined with decreasing plant population size. In the experimental populations, the level of herbivory was also higher in smaller populations, in accordance with higher oviposition rates, but was not accompanied by lower rates of parasitism. Similarly, oviposition rate and herbivory, but not parasitism rate, increased near the edges of populations. These results suggests that in this system with the well dispersing herbivore H. bicruris, habitat fragmentation increases herbivory of the plant through a behavioural response of the moth that leads to higher oviposition rates in fragmented populations with a reduced population size, increased isolation and higher edge-to-interior ratio. Although the rate of parasitism and the number of parasitoid species declined with decreasing population size in the natural populations, we argue that in this system it is unlikely that this decline made a major contribution to increased herbivory. PMID:15891816

  18. Nucleopolyhedrovirus infection and/or parasitism by Microplitis pallidipes Szepligeti affect hemocyte apoptosis of Spodoptera exigua (Hübner) larvae.

    PubMed

    Wan, Nian-Feng; Ji, Xiang-Yun; Zhang, Hao; Yang, Jun-Hua; Jiang, Jie-Xian

    2015-11-01

    We determined the effects of parasitism by the endoparasitoid Microplitis pallidipes Szepligeti and/or nucleopolyhedrovirus (NPV) infection on hemocyte apoptosis of Spodoptera exigua (Hübner) larvae. Compared to healthy (control) larvae, larvae that were parasitized, virus-infected, or both all showed a significant increase in hemocyte apoptosis during 48-h observation period. The peaks of hemocyte apoptosis in parasitized, virus-infected and parasitized+infected larvae were at 12, 24 and 48 h after treatment, and were 86.7±1.9, 87.4±3.6 and 76.5±1.6%, respectively. Meanwhile, compared to parasitized larvae, hemocyte apoptosis in jointly parasitized and infected larvae increased by 12.9%, 18.7% and 2.8% at 8, 36 and 48 h respectively, and decreased by 39.0% and 9.1% at 12 and 24h. Compared to virus-infected larvae, hemocyte apoptosis in jointly parasitized and infected larvae increased by 13.4%, 2.4% and 15.3% at 8, 36 and 48 h, respectively, and decreased by 4.0% and 29.9% at 12 and 24h. Our study found that joint and separate parasitism and SeNPV infection induced hemocyte apoptosis of S. exigua larvae. It also revealed that NPV infection promoted host hemocyte apoptosis induced by parasitism at early egg and larval stages of M. pallidipes in host larvae, but inhibited the same effect at late egg stage of M. pallidipes in host larvae, and that parasitism promoted host hemocyte apoptosis induced by NPV infection at early egg and larval stages of M. pallidipes in host larvae, but inhibited the same effect at late egg stage of M. pallidipes in host larvae. PMID:26470677

  19. Bionomics of Anopheles latens in Kapit, Sarawak, Malaysian Borneo in relation to the transmission of zoonotic simian malaria parasite Plasmodium knowlesi

    PubMed Central

    Tan, Cheong H; Vythilingam, Indra; Matusop, Asmad; Chan, Seng T; Singh, Balbir

    2008-01-01

    Background A large focus of human infections with Plasmodium knowlesi, a simian parasite naturally found in long-tailed and pig-tailed macaques was discovered in the Kapit Division of Sarawak, Malaysian Borneo. A study was initiated to identify the vectors of malaria, to elucidate where transmission is taking place and to understand the bionomics of the vectors in Kapit. Methods Three different ecological sites in the forest, farm and longhouse in the Kapit district were selected for the study. Mosquitoes were collected by human landing collection at all sites and at the forest also by monkey-baited-traps situated on three different levels. All mosquitoes were identified and salivary glands and midguts of anopheline mosquitoes were dissected to determine the presence of malaria parasites. Results and Discussions Over an 11-month period, a total of 2,504 Anopheles mosquitoes comprising 12 species were caught; 1,035 at the farm, 774 at the forest and 425 at the longhouse. Anopheles latens (62.3%) and Anopheles watsonii (30.6%) were the predominant species caught in the forested ecotypes, while in the farm Anopheles donaldi (49.9%) and An. latens (35.6%) predominated. In the long house, An. latens (29.6%) and An. donaldi (22.8%) were the major Anopheline species. However, An. latens was the only mosquito positive for sporozoites and it was found to be attracted to both human and monkey hosts. In monkey-baited net traps, it preferred to bite monkeys at the canopy level than at ground level. An. latens was found biting early as 18.00 hours. Conclusion Anopheles latens is the main vector for P. knowlesi malaria parasites in the Kapit District of Sarawak, Malaysian Borneo. The study underscores the relationship between ecology, abundance and bionomics of anopheline fauna. The simio-anthropophagic and acrodendrophilic behaviour of An. latens makes it an efficient vector for the transmission of P. knowlesi parasites to both human and monkey hosts. PMID:18377652

  20. Host age modulates parasite infectivity, virulence and reproduction.

    PubMed

    Izhar, Rony; Ben-Ami, Frida

    2015-07-01

    Host age is one of the most striking differences among hosts within most populations, but there is very little data on how age-dependent effects impact ecological and evolutionary dynamics of both the host and the parasite. Here, we examined the influence of host age (juveniles, young and old adults) at parasite exposure on host susceptibility, fecundity and survival as well as parasite transmission, using two clones of the water flea Daphnia magna and two clones of its bacterial parasite Pasteuria ramosa. Younger D. magna were more susceptible to infection than older ones, regardless of host or parasite clone. Also, younger-infected D. magna became castrated faster than older hosts, but host and parasite clone effects contributed to this trait as well. Furthermore, the early-infected D. magna produced considerably more parasite transmission stages than late-infected ones, while host age at exposure did not affect virulence as it is defined in models (host mortality). When virulence is defined more broadly as the negative effects of infection on host fitness, by integrating the parasitic effects on host fecundity and mortality, then host age at exposure seems to slide along a negative relationship between host and parasite fitness. Thus, the virulence-transmission trade-off differs strongly among age classes, which in turn affects predictions of optimal virulence. Age-dependent effects on host susceptibility, virulence and parasite transmission could pose an important challenge for experimental and theoretical studies of infectious disease dynamics and disease ecology. Our results present a call for a more explicit stage-structured theory for disease, which will incorporate age-dependent epidemiological parameters. PMID:25661269

  1. Trypanosomes and haemosporidia in the buzzard (Buteo buteo) and sparrowhawk (Accipiter nisus): factors affecting the prevalence of parasites.

    PubMed

    Svobodová, Milena; Weidinger, Karel; Peške, Lubomír; Volf, Petr; Votýpka, Jan; Voříšek, Petr

    2015-02-01

    The prevalences of heteroxenous parasites are influenced by the interplay of three main actors: hosts, vectors, and the parasites themselves. We studied blood protists in the nesting populations of raptors in two different areas of the Czech Republic. Altogether, 788 nestlings and 258 adult Eurasian sparrowhawks (Accipiter nisus) and 321 nestlings and 86 adult common buzzards (Buteo buteo) were screened for parasites by the microscopic examination of blood smears and by cultivation. We examined the role of shared vectors and parasite phylogenetic relationships on the occurrence of parasites. In different years and hosts, trypanosome prevalence ranged between 1.9 and 87.2 %, that of Leucocytozoon between 1.9 and 100 %, and Haemoproteus between 0 and 72.7 %. Coinfections with Leucocytozoon and Trypanosoma, phylogenetically distant parasites but both transmitted by blackflies (Simuliidae), were more frequent than coinfections with Leucocytozoon and Haemoproteus, phylogenetically closely related parasites transmitted by different vectors (blackflies and biting midges (Ceratopogonidae), respectively). For example, 16.6 % buzzard nestlings were coinfected with Trypanosoma and Leucocytozoon, while only 4.8 % with Leucocytozoon and Haemoproteus and 0.3 % with Trypanosoma and Haemoproteus. Nestlings in the same nest tended to have the same infection status. Furthermore, prevalence increased with the age of nestlings and with Julian date, while brood size had only a weak negative/positive effect on prevalence at the individual/brood level. Prevalences in a particular avian host species also varied between study sites and years. All these factors should thus be considered while comparing prevalences from different studies, the impact of vectors being the most important. We conclude that phylogenetically unrelated parasites that share the same vectors tend to have similar distributions within the host populations of two different raptor species. PMID:25403377

  2. Vertical transmission of Zika virus targeting the radial glial cells affects cortex development of offspring mice.

    PubMed

    Wu, Kong-Yan; Zuo, Guo-Long; Li, Xiao-Feng; Ye, Qing; Deng, Yong-Qiang; Huang, Xing-Yao; Cao, Wu-Chun; Qin, Cheng-Feng; Luo, Zhen-Ge

    2016-06-01

    The recent Zika virus (ZIKV) epidemic in Latin America coincided with a marked increase in microcephaly in newborns. However, the causal link between maternal ZIKV infection and malformation of the fetal brain has not been firmly established. Here we show a vertical transmission of ZIKV in mice and a marked effect on fetal brain development. We found that intraperitoneal (i.p.) injection of a contemporary ZIKV strain in pregnant mice led to the infection of radial glia cells (RGs) of dorsal ventricular zone of the fetuses, the primary neural progenitors responsible for cortex development, and caused a marked reduction of these cortex founder cells in the fetuses. Interestingly, the infected fetal mice exhibited a reduced cavity of lateral ventricles and a discernable decrease in surface areas of the cortex. This study thus supports the conclusion that vertically transmitted ZIKV affects fetal brain development and provides a valuable animal model for the evaluation of potential therapeutic or preventative strategies. PMID:27174054

  3. Vertical transmission of Zika virus targeting the radial glial cells affects cortex development of offspring mice

    PubMed Central

    Wu, Kong-Yan; Zuo, Guo-Long; Li, Xiao-Feng; Ye, Qing; Deng, Yong-Qiang; Huang, Xing-Yao; Cao, Wu-Chun; Qin, Cheng-Feng; Luo, Zhen-Ge

    2016-01-01

    The recent Zika virus (ZIKV) epidemic in Latin America coincided with a marked increase in microcephaly in newborns. However, the causal link between maternal ZIKV infection and malformation of the fetal brain has not been firmly established. Here we show a vertical transmission of ZIKV in mice and a marked effect on fetal brain development. We found that intraperitoneal (i.p.) injection of a contemporary ZIKV strain in pregnant mice led to the infection of radial glia cells (RGs) of dorsal ventricular zone of the fetuses, the primary neural progenitors responsible for cortex development, and caused a marked reduction of these cortex founder cells in the fetuses. Interestingly, the infected fetal mice exhibited a reduced cavity of lateral ventricles and a discernable decrease in surface areas of the cortex. This study thus supports the conclusion that vertically transmitted ZIKV affects fetal brain development and provides a valuable animal model for the evaluation of potential therapeutic or preventative strategies. PMID:27174054

  4. Analysis of Polygonal Distance Protection Relay of Transmission Line Affected by SMES Device

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yang, Jun; Zhang, Wenjia

    Because of unique advantages in rapid response and independent control of act ve and reactive power, Superconducting Magnetic Energy Storage (SMES) device will be widely used in the power system. The SMES exchanges power with power grid in the charging and discharging process, so it may affect the performance of protection relay of transmission line, which will lead to mal-operation. Based on SMES model, the tripping characteristic of polygonal distance relay for single-machine-infinite-bus performance of polygonal distance relay with SMES. The simulation results show the measured impedance of polygonal distance relay is changed by SMES, and polygonal distance relay will make mal-operation when faults occur in the boundary of protection zone. Also an improving distance relay is proposed to solve the problem.

  5. Methodological issues affecting the study of fish parasites. I. Duration of live fish storage prior to dissection.

    PubMed

    Kvach, Yuriy; Ondračková, Markéta; Janáč, Michal; Jurajda, Pavel

    2016-05-01

    We tested the ability of parasite species to respond quickly to artificial conditions (e.g. by changing abundance or even decreasing to extinction) while host fish species were being held alive prior to dissection. Prussian carp Carassius gibelio were sampled by electrofishing from 2 ponds alongside the River Dyje (Czech Republic) during 'cold' and 'warm' seasons. All fish were transported to the laboratory in aerated pond water and kept in a 1 m3 outdoor basin with aged tap water for 6 d. Twenty fish were dissected on consecutive days (total 120 fish for each site). Our results indicated that there was little change in parasite loading over the first 3 d of holding, suggesting no impact on parasitological studies undertaken over this period. From the fourth day, however, overall parasite abundance increased due to rapid reproduction of some parasite species, especially gyrodactylids in the cold season and dactylogyrids in the warm season. Parasite diversity appeared less stable in the warm season, with significant differences being registered as early as the second day. In addition to holding period, environmental conditions during fish holding will also play an important role in parasite community shifts. PMID:27137069

  6. Scanning and transmission electron microscopy of the tegument of Paranaella luquei Kohn, Baptista-Farias & Cohen, 2000 (Microcotylidae, Monogenea), parasite of a Brazilian catfish, Hypostomus regani.

    PubMed

    Cohen, S C; Kohn, A; Baptista-Farias, M F

    2001-05-01

    The surface topography and ultrastructure of the tegument of Paranaella luquei Kohn, Baptista-Farias & Cohen, 2000, a microcotylid monogenean parasite from the gills of Hypostomus regani (Ihering, 1905) (Loricariidae) was studied by scanning (SEM) and transmission electron microscopy (TEM). By SEM, it was observed that the tegument presents transversal ridges, forming folds in the ventral and dorsal surfaces and microvillous-like tegumental projections in the anterior and median regions of body. These projections were also observed by TEM. The tegument is made up of a syncytium delimited by apical and basal plasma membranes, containing inclusion bodies and mitochondria, connected to the nucleated region by means of cytoplasmatic processes. The tegumental cells present a well developed nucleus and cytoplasm containing inclusion bodies, similar to those found on the external layer, mitochondria, rough endoplasmatic reticulum and free ribossomes. PMID:11391431

  7. A new pathogen transmission mechanism in the ocean: the case of sea otter exposure to the land-parasite Toxoplasma gondii.

    PubMed

    Mazzillo, Fernanda F M; Shapiro, Karen; Silver, Mary W

    2013-01-01

    Toxoplasma gondii is a land-derived parasite that infects humans and marine mammals. Infections are a significant cause of mortality for endangered southern sea otters (Enhydra lutris nereis), but the transmission mechanism is poorly understood. Otter exposure to T. gondii has been linked to the consumption of marine turban snails in kelp (Macrocystis pyrifera) forests. It is unknown how turban snails acquire oocysts, as snails scrape food particles attached to surfaces, whereas T. gondii oocysts enter kelp beds as suspended particles via runoff. We hypothesized that waterborne T. gondii oocysts attach to kelp surfaces when encountering exopolymer substances (EPS) forming the sticky matrix of biofilms on kelp, and thus become available to snails. Results of a dietary composition analysis of field-collected snails and of kelp biofilm indicate that snails graze the dense kelp-biofilm assemblage composed of pennate diatoms and bacteria inserted within the EPS gel-like matrix. To test whether oocysts attach to kelp blades via EPS, we designed a laboratory experiment simulating the kelp forest canopy in tanks spiked with T. gondii surrogate microspheres and controlled for EPS and transparent exopolymer particles (TEP - the particulate form of EPS). On average, 19% and 31% of surrogates were detected attached to kelp surfaces covered with EPS in unfiltered and filtered seawater treatments, respectively. The presence of TEP in the seawater did not increase surrogate attachment. These findings support a novel transport mechanism of T. gondii oocysts: as oocysts enter the kelp forest canopy, a portion adheres to the sticky kelp biofilms. Snails grazing this biofilm encounter oocysts as 'bycatch' and thereby deliver the parasite to sea otters that prey upon snails. This novel mechanism can have health implications beyond T. gondii and otters, as a similar route of pathogen transmission may be implicated with other waterborne pathogens to marine wildlife and humans consuming

  8. Targeting Human Transmission Biology for Malaria Elimination

    PubMed Central

    Buckee, Caroline; Marti, Matthias

    2015-01-01

    Malaria remains one of the leading causes of death worldwide, despite decades of public health efforts. The recent commitment by many endemic countries to eliminate malaria marks a shift away from programs aimed at controlling disease burden towards one that emphasizes reducing transmission of the most virulent human malaria parasite, Plasmodium falciparum. Gametocytes, the only developmental stage of malaria parasites able to infect mosquitoes, have remained understudied, as they occur in low numbers, do not cause disease, and are difficult to detect in vivo by conventional methods. Here, we review the transmission biology of P. falciparum gametocytes, featuring important recent discoveries of genes affecting parasite commitment to gametocyte formation, microvesicles enabling parasites to communicate with each other, and the anatomical site where immature gametocytes develop. We propose potential parasite targets for future intervention and highlight remaining knowledge gaps. PMID:26086192

  9. Persistently Infected Horses Are Reservoirs for Intrastadial Tick-Borne Transmission of the Apicomplexan Parasite Babesia equi

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Tick-borne pathogens may be transmitted intrastadially and transstadially within a single vector generation as well as vertically between generations. Understanding the mode and relative efficiency of this transmission is required for infection control. In this study, we established that adult male ...

  10. Metals, Parasites, and Environmental Conditions Affecting Breeding Populations of Spotted Salamanders (Ambystoma maculatum) in Northern Arkansas, USA.

    PubMed

    DeMali, Heather M; Trauth, Stanley E; Bouldin, Jennifer L

    2016-06-01

    The spotted salamander (Ambystoma maculatum) is indigenous to northern Arkansas, and several breeding sites are known to exist in the region. Spotted salamanders (n = 17) were collected and examined for parasites and only three females harbored nematodes (Physaloptera spp.). Chronic aquatic bioassays were conducted using water collected from eight breeding ponds during different hydroperiod events. No lethal or sublethal effects were measured in Ceriodaphnia dubia; however, decreased growth and survival were seen in Pimephales promelas. Aqueous, sediment, and salamander hepatic samples were analyzed for As, Cd, Cu, Pb, and Ni. Metal analysis revealed possible increased metal exposure following precipitation, with greatest metal concentrations measured in sediment samples. Hepatic metal concentrations were similar in parasitized and non-parasitized individuals, and greatest Pb concentrations were measured following normal precipitation events. Determining environmental stressors of amphibians, especially during their breeding and subsequent larval life stage, is imperative to improve species conservation. PMID:26886425

  11. Role for the Plasmodium sporozoite-specific transmembrane protein S6 in parasite motility and efficient malaria transmission.

    PubMed

    Steinbuechel, Marion; Matuschewski, Kai

    2009-02-01

    Malaria transmission occurs by intradermal deposition of Plasmodium sporozoites during the infectious bite of a female Anopheles mosquito. After formation in midgut-associated oocysts sporozoites actively enter mosquito salivary glands and subsequently invade host hepatocytes where they transform into clinically silent liver stages. To date, two sporozoite-specific transmembrane proteins have been identified that perform vital functions in natural malaria transmission. The sporozoite invasin TRAP drives sporozoite motility and target cell entry whereas the adhesin MAEBL mediates sporozoite recognition of and attachment to salivary glands. Here, we demonstrate that the sporozoite-specific transmembrane protein S6 is required for efficient malaria transmission to the vertebrate host. Targeted deletion of S6 results in severe impairment of sporozoite gliding motility and invasion of mosquito salivary glands. During sporozoite maturation S6 expression is tightly regulated by transcriptional and translational control. We propose that S6 functions together with TRAP/MIC2 family invasins to direct fast, efficient and specific cell entry and, ultimately, life cycle progression of the malaria sporozoite. PMID:19016774

  12. Parasite adaptation to extreme conditions in a desert environment.

    PubMed

    Tinsley, R C

    1999-01-01

    Deserts represent universally recognized extreme environments for animal life. This paper documents the highly specialized adaptations of Pseudodiplorchis americanus, a monogenean parasite of the desert toad, Scaphiopus couchii. Building on a long-term record of parasite population ecology (continuing since the early 1980s), field studies focus on the effects of severe drought in the Sonoran Desert, Arizona, in the mid 1990s. This provides a test of the ability of the host-parasite system to tolerate exceptional perturbation. The analysis provides new insight into parasite infection dynamics in a natural wildlife system through integration of host and parasite population age structure. The environmental check interrupted host recruitment in 1993-95 and parasite recruitment in 1995-97. This produced an imprint in age structure and infection levels recognizable over several years: parasite recruitment failure reduced transmission 2-3 years later. The host (maximum life span 17 years) tolerated the disruption but the impact was more serious for the parasite (life span 3 years) leading to extinction of some previously stable populations. Despite this demonstration of a rare event exacerbating external environmental constraints, experimental studies suggest that the internal (host) environment normally creates the most severe conditions affecting P. americanus. Only about 3% of parasites survive from invasion until first reproduction. Post-invasion factors including host immunity, characteristic of most parasite life cycles, constitute a greater constraint upon survival than external conditions, even in a desert environment. PMID:11254147

  13. Life history strategy influences parasite responses to habitat fragmentation.

    PubMed

    Froeschke, Götz; van der Mescht, Luther; McGeoch, Melodie; Matthee, Sonja

    2013-12-01

    Anthropogenic habitat use is a major threat to biodiversity and is known to increase the abundance of generalist host species such as rodents, which are regarded as potential disease carriers. Parasites have an intimate relationship with their host and the surrounding environment and it is expected that habitat fragmentation will affect parasite infestation levels. We investigated the effect of habitat fragmentation on the ecto- and endoparasitic burdens of a broad niche small mammal, Rhabdomys pumilio, in the Western Cape Province, South Africa. Our aim was to look at the effects of fragmentation on different parasite species with diverse life history characteristics and to determine whether general patterns can be found. Sampling took place within pristine lowland (Fynbos/Renosterveld) areas and at fragmented sites surrounded and isolated by agricultural activities. All arthropod ectoparasites and available gastrointestinal endoparasites were identified. We used conditional autoregressive models to investigate the effects of habitat fragmentation on parasite species richness and abundance of all recovered parasites. Host density and body size were larger in the fragments. Combined ecto- as well as combined endoparasite taxa showed higher parasite species richness in fragmented sites. Parasite abundance was generally higher in the case of R. pumilio individuals in fragmented habitats but it appears that parasites that are more permanently associated with the host's body and those that are host-specific show the opposite trend. Parasite life history is an important factor that needs to be considered when predicting the effects of habitat fragmentation on parasite and pathogen transmission. PMID:23954434

  14. Landscape and regional context differentially affect nest parasitism and nest predation for Wood Thrush in central Virginia, USA (Presentation)

    EPA Science Inventory

    Many empirical studies have shown that forest-breeding songbirds suffer greater rates of nest predation and nest parasitism in smaller forest patches and in fragmented landscapes. To compare the performance of different metrics of spatial habitat configuration resulting from defo...

  15. The Role of Host Traits, Season and Group Size on Parasite Burdens in a Cooperative Mammal

    PubMed Central

    Viljoen, Hermien; Bennett, Nigel C.; Ueckermann, Edward A.; Lutermann, Heike

    2011-01-01

    The distribution of parasites among hosts is often characterised by a high degree of heterogeneity with a small number of hosts harbouring the majority of parasites. Such patterns of aggregation have been linked to variation in host exposure and susceptibility as well as parasite traits and environmental factors. Host exposure and susceptibility may differ with sexes, reproductive effort and group size. Furthermore, environmental factors may affect both the host and parasite directly and contribute to temporal heterogeneities in parasite loads. We investigated the contributions of host and parasite traits as well as season on parasite loads in highveld mole-rats (Cryptomys hottentotus pretoriae). This cooperative breeder exhibits a reproductive division of labour and animals live in colonies of varying sizes that procreate seasonally. Mole-rats were parasitised by lice, mites, cestodes and nematodes with mites (Androlaelaps sp.) and cestodes (Mathevotaenia sp.) being the dominant ecto- and endoparasites, respectively. Sex and reproductive status contributed little to the observed parasite prevalence and abundances possibly as a result of the shared burrow system. Clear seasonal patterns of parasite prevalence and abundance emerged with peaks in summer for mites and in winter for cestodes. Group size correlated negatively with mite abundance while it had no effect on cestode burdens and group membership affected infestation with both parasites. We propose that the mode of transmission as well as social factors constrain parasite propagation generating parasite patterns deviating from those commonly predicted. PMID:22069481

  16. Amastin Knockdown in Leishmania braziliensis Affects Parasite-Macrophage Interaction and Results in Impaired Viability of Intracellular Amastigotes.

    PubMed

    de Paiva, Rita Marcia Cardoso; Grazielle-Silva, Viviane; Cardoso, Mariana Santos; Nakagaki, Brenda Naemi; Mendonça-Neto, Rondon Pessoa; Canavaci, Adriana Monte Cassiano; Souza Melo, Normanda; Martinelli, Patrícia Massara; Fernandes, Ana Paula; daRocha, Wanderson Duarte; Teixeira, Santuza M R

    2015-12-01

    Leishmaniasis, a human parasitic disease with manifestations ranging from cutaneous ulcerations to fatal visceral infection, is caused by several Leishmania species. These protozoan parasites replicate as extracellular, flagellated promastigotes in the gut of a sandfly vector and as amastigotes inside the parasitophorous vacuole of vertebrate host macrophages. Amastins are surface glycoproteins encoded by large gene families present in the genomes of several trypanosomatids and highly expressed in the intracellular amastigote stages of Trypanosoma cruzi and Leishmania spp. Here, we showed that the genome of L. braziliensis contains 52 amastin genes belonging to all four previously described amastin subfamilies and that the expression of members of all subfamilies is upregulated in L. braziliensis amastigotes. Although primary sequence alignments showed no homology to any known protein sequence, homology searches based on secondary structure predictions indicate that amastins are related to claudins, a group of proteins that are components of eukaryotic tight junction complexes. By knocking-down the expression of δ-amastins in L. braziliensis, their essential role during infection became evident. δ-amastin knockdown parasites showed impaired growth after in vitro infection of mouse macrophages and completely failed to produce infection when inoculated in BALB/c mice, an attenuated phenotype that was reverted by the re-expression of an RNAi-resistant amastin gene. Further highlighting their essential role in host-parasite interactions, electron microscopy analyses of macrophages infected with amastin knockdown parasites showed significant alterations in the tight contact that is normally observed between the surface of wild type amastigotes and the membrane of the parasitophorous vacuole. PMID:26641088

  17. Amastin Knockdown in Leishmania braziliensis Affects Parasite-Macrophage Interaction and Results in Impaired Viability of Intracellular Amastigotes

    PubMed Central

    Nakagaki, Brenda Naemi; Mendonça-Neto, Rondon Pessoa; Canavaci, Adriana Monte Cassiano; Souza Melo, Normanda; Martinelli, Patrícia Massara; Fernandes, Ana Paula; daRocha, Wanderson Duarte; Teixeira, Santuza M. R.

    2015-01-01

    Leishmaniasis, a human parasitic disease with manifestations ranging from cutaneous ulcerations to fatal visceral infection, is caused by several Leishmania species. These protozoan parasites replicate as extracellular, flagellated promastigotes in the gut of a sandfly vector and as amastigotes inside the parasitophorous vacuole of vertebrate host macrophages. Amastins are surface glycoproteins encoded by large gene families present in the genomes of several trypanosomatids and highly expressed in the intracellular amastigote stages of Trypanosoma cruzi and Leishmania spp. Here, we showed that the genome of L. braziliensis contains 52 amastin genes belonging to all four previously described amastin subfamilies and that the expression of members of all subfamilies is upregulated in L. braziliensis amastigotes. Although primary sequence alignments showed no homology to any known protein sequence, homology searches based on secondary structure predictions indicate that amastins are related to claudins, a group of proteins that are components of eukaryotic tight junction complexes. By knocking-down the expression of δ-amastins in L. braziliensis, their essential role during infection became evident. δ-amastin knockdown parasites showed impaired growth after in vitro infection of mouse macrophages and completely failed to produce infection when inoculated in BALB/c mice, an attenuated phenotype that was reverted by the re-expression of an RNAi-resistant amastin gene. Further highlighting their essential role in host-parasite interactions, electron microscopy analyses of macrophages infected with amastin knockdown parasites showed significant alterations in the tight contact that is normally observed between the surface of wild type amastigotes and the membrane of the parasitophorous vacuole. PMID:26641088

  18. MIR137 variants identified in psychiatric patients affect synaptogenesis and neuronal transmission gene sets.

    PubMed

    Strazisar, M; Cammaerts, S; van der Ven, K; Forero, D A; Lenaerts, A-S; Nordin, A; Almeida-Souza, L; Genovese, G; Timmerman, V; Liekens, A; De Rijk, P; Adolfsson, R; Callaerts, P; Del-Favero, J

    2015-04-01

    Sequence analysis of 13 microRNA (miRNA) genes expressed in the human brain and located in genomic regions associated with schizophrenia and/or bipolar disorder, in a northern Swedish patient/control population, resulted in the discovery of two functional variants in the MIR137 gene. On the basis of their location and the allele frequency differences between patients and controls, we explored the hypothesis that the discovered variants impact the expression of the mature miRNA and consequently influence global mRNA expression affecting normal brain functioning. Using neuronal-like SH-SY5Y cells, we demonstrated significantly reduced mature miR-137 levels in the cells expressing the variant miRNA gene. Subsequent transcriptome analysis showed that the reduction in miR-137 expression led to the deregulation of gene sets involved in synaptogenesis and neuronal transmission, all implicated in psychiatric disorders. Our functional findings add to the growing data, which implicate that miR-137 has an important role in the etiology of psychiatric disorders and emphasizes its involvement in nervous system development and proper synaptic function. PMID:24888363

  19. Overexpression of bromodomain factor 3 in Trypanosoma cruzi (TcBDF3) affects differentiation of the parasite and protects it against bromodomain inhibitors.

    PubMed

    Alonso, Victoria Lucia; Ritagliati, Carla; Cribb, Pamela; Cricco, Julia Alejandra; Serra, Esteban Carlos

    2016-06-01

    The bromodomain is the only protein domain known to bind acetylated lysine. In the last few years many bromodomain inhibitors have been developed in order to treat diseases such as cancer caused by aberrant acetylation of lysine residues. We have previously characterized Trypanosoma cruzi bromodomain factor 3 (TcBDF3), a bromodomain with an atypical localization that binds acetylated α-tubulin. In the present work we show that parasites overexpressing TcBDF3 exhibit altered differentiation patterns and are less susceptible to treatment with bromodomain inhibitors. We also demonstrate that recombinant TcBDF3 is able to bind to these inhibitors in vitro in a concentration-dependant manner. In parallel, the overexpression of a mutated version of TcBDF3 negatively affects growth of epimastigotes. Recent results, including the ones presented here, suggest that bromodomain inhibitors can be conceived as a new type of anti-parasitic drug against trypanosomiasis. PMID:27007774

  20. Epidemiological aspects of vector, parasite, and domestic reservoir in areas of recent transmission and no reported human cases of visceral leishmaniasis in Brazil.

    PubMed

    Lara-Silva, Fabiana de Oliveira; Michalsky, Érika Monteiro; Fortes-Dias, Consuelo Latorre; Fiuza, Vanessa de Oliveira Pires; Pessanha, José Eduardo Marques; Regina-Silva, Shara; de Avelar, Daniel Moreira; Silva, Maiara Alves; Lima, Ana Cristina Vianna Mariano da Rocha; da Costa, Ailton Junior Antunes; Machado-Coelho, George Luiz Lins; Dias, Edelberto Santos

    2015-08-01

    About 97% of the human cases of the American visceral leishmaniasis (VL) occur in Brazil. In the last few years, the disease expanded to medium- and large-sized cities, in which surveillance and control actions have been intensified, in an effort to control VL spreading. Our two-year study was conducted in Belo Horizonte, the sixth most populous city in Brazil, which is endemic for VL. We focused in two particular districts of recent transmission of the disease, with no reported human cases and submitted to minor surveillance and control actions. Our aim was to draw an epidemiological profile of the local situation concerning Lutzomyia vector, Leishmania parasites, and the main domestic reservoirs (dogs). Lutzomyia longipalpis comprised 96.5% of the total phlebotomine sand flies captured and displayed an expressive minimal infection rate by Leishmania infantum (16.7%). Positive correlations were found between the population densities of L. longipalpis, rainfall and temperature. L. infantum was also detected in the cortelezzii complex and, for the first time, in Lutzomyia lloydi. Leishmania braziliensis, an etiological agent of the American cutaneous leishmaniasis, was also identified in L. longipalpis. Among the 1408 dogs serologically tested by standard enzyme-linked and fluorescence immune assays (ELISA/IFA) 3.6% were positive for VL. L. infantum DNA and Leishmania parasites were identified in 100% and 72.5% of the seropositive dogs, respectively. The co-positivity of other diagnostic tests for VL-Leishmania-nested PCR, imprint and myeloculture-was compared to the standard serology. Both symptomatic or asymptomatic dogs displayed an equal average number of positive diagnostic tests for VL. The districts studied display favorable conditions for the rapid spreading of human infection, in terms of L. longipalpis population density, and presence of L. infantum in both vector and main reservoir. PMID:25882769

  1. Transmission of some species of internal parasites in horses born in 1990, 1991, and 1992 in the same pasture on a farm in central Kentucky.

    PubMed

    Lyons, E T; Tolliver, S C; Stamper, S; Drudge, J H; Granstrom, D E; Collins, S S

    1994-04-01

    Studies were conducted on transmission of natural infections of several species of internal parasites in horses born and kept on the same pasture on a farm in central Kentucky. Data for the first year (1989) of a 4 year study on this farm have been published recently. The present research represents the second (1990), third (1991), and fourth (1992) years of the investigation. The number of animals (n = 28) examined varied from eight born in 1990 to ten each born in 1991 and 1992. For each year, examination was made of one horse per month, beginning in June of the year of birth and extending through January (1990) or March (1991 and 1992) the following year. Ages of the horses at necropsy ranged from 87 to 251 days. Major parasites present and months of recovery were: bots--Gasterophilus intestinalis in the mouth September-January and in the stomach August-March; stomach worms--Trichostrongylus axei in August and November, Habronema spp. (immature) in July-November and January, and Habronema muscae in October, January, and February; ascarids--Parascaris equorum in the small intestine and lungs all months; intestinal threadworms--Strongyloides westeri in all months except February; large strongyles--Strongylus vulgaris in the large intestine in all months except July and August and in the cranial mesenteric artery in all months, and Strongylus edentatus in the large intestine in January and in the ventral abdominal wall in all months; pinworms--Oxyuris equi in June and January-March; tapeworms--Anoplocephala perfoliata in August-October and December-March; and eyeworms--Thelazia lacrymalis August-February. Yearly differences and similarities of infections in the horses are discussed. The value of this type of research is mentioned. PMID:8073609

  2. Using the entomological inoculation rate to assess the impact of vector control on malaria parasite transmission and elimination

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    Background Prior studies have shown that annual entomological inoculation rates (EIRs) must be reduced to less than one to substantially reduce the prevalence of malaria infection. In this study, EIR values were used to quantify the impact of insecticide-treated bed nets (ITNs), indoor residual spraying (IRS), and source reduction (SR) on malaria transmission. The analysis of EIR was extended through determining whether available vector control tools can ultimately eradicate malaria. Method The analysis is based primarily on a review of all controlled studies that used ITN, IRS, and/or SR and reported their effects on the EIR. To compare EIRs between studies, the percent difference in EIR between the intervention and control groups was calculated. Results Eight vector control intervention studies that measured EIR were found: four ITN studies, one IRS study, one SR study, and two studies with separate ITN and IRS intervention groups. In both the Tanzania study and the Solomon Islands study, one community received ITNs and one received IRS. In the second year of the Tanzania study, EIR was 90% lower in the ITN community and 93% lower in the IRS community, relative to the community without intervention; the ITN and IRS effects were not significantly different. In contrast, in the Solomon Islands study, EIR was 94% lower in the ITN community and 56% lower in the IRS community. The one SR study, in Dar es Salaam, reported a lower EIR reduction (47%) than the ITN and IRS studies. All of these vector control interventions reduced EIR, but none reduced it to zero. Conclusion These studies indicate that current vector control methods alone cannot ultimately eradicate malaria because no intervention sustained an annual EIR less than one. While researchers develop new tools, integrated vector management may make the greatest impact on malaria transmission. There are many gaps in the entomological malaria literature and recommendations for future research are provided. PMID

  3. Parasitic diseases and urban development.

    PubMed Central

    Mott, K. E.; Desjeux, P.; Moncayo, A.; Ranque, P.; de Raadt, P.

    1990-01-01

    The distribution and epidemiology of parasitic diseases in both urban and periurban areas of endemic countries have been changing as development progresses. The following different scenarios involving Chagas disease, lymphatic filariasis, leishmaniasis and schistosomiasis are discussed: (1) infected persons entering nonendemic urban areas without vectors; (2) infected persons entering nonendemic urban areas with vectors; (3) infected persons entering endemic urban areas; (4) non-infected persons entering endemic urban areas; (5) urbanization or domestication of natural zoonotic foci; and (6) vectors entering nonendemic urban areas. Cultural and social habits from the rural areas, such as type of house construction and domestic water usage, are adopted by migrants to urban areas and increase the risk of disease transmission which adversely affects employment in urban populations. As the urban health services must deal with the rise in parasitic diseases, appropriate control strategies for the urban setting must be developed and implemented. PMID:2127380

  4. Parasitic Diseases

    MedlinePlus

    ... a bug bite, or sexual contact. Some parasitic diseases are easily treated and some are not. Parasites ... be seen with the naked eye. Some parasitic diseases occur in the United States. Contaminated water supplies ...

  5. Parasitic Diseases

    MedlinePlus

    ... water, a bug bite, or sexual contact. Some parasitic diseases are easily treated and some are not. Parasites ... can be seen with the naked eye. Some parasitic diseases occur in the United States. Contaminated water supplies ...

  6. Parasites in marine food webs

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Lafferty, Kevin D.

    2013-01-01

    Most species interactions probably involve parasites. This review considers the extent to which marine ecologists should consider parasites to fully understand marine communities. Parasites are influential parts of food webs in estuaries, temperate reefs, and coral reefs, but their ecological importance is seldom recognized. Though difficult to observe, parasites can have substantial biomass, and they can be just as common as free-living consumers after controlling for body mass and trophic level. Parasites have direct impacts on the energetics of their hosts and some affect host behaviors, with ecosystem-level consequences. Although they cause disease, parasites are sensitive components of ecosystems. In particular, they suffer secondary extinctions due to biodiversity loss. Some parasites can also return to a system after habitat restoration. For these reasons, parasites can make good indicators of ecosystem integrity. Fishing can indirectly increase or decrease parasite populations and the effects of climate change on parasites are likely to be equally as complex.

  7. Environmental Conditions Affect Exhalation of H3N2 Seasonal and Variant Influenza Viruses and Respiratory Droplet Transmission in Ferrets

    PubMed Central

    Gustin, Kortney M.; Belser, Jessica A.; Veguilla, Vic; Zeng, Hui; Katz, Jacqueline M.; Tumpey, Terrence M.; Maines, Taronna R.

    2015-01-01

    The seasonality of influenza virus infections in temperate climates and the role of environmental conditions like temperature and humidity in the transmission of influenza virus through the air are not well understood. Using ferrets housed at four different environmental conditions, we evaluated the respiratory droplet transmission of two influenza viruses (a seasonal H3N2 virus and an H3N2 variant virus, the etiologic virus of a swine to human summertime infection) and concurrently characterized the aerosol shedding profiles of infected animals. Comparisons were made among the different temperature and humidity conditions and between the two viruses to determine if the H3N2 variant virus exhibited enhanced capabilities that may have contributed to the infections occurring in the summer. We report here that although increased levels of H3N2 variant virus were found in ferret nasal wash and exhaled aerosol samples compared to the seasonal H3N2 virus, enhanced respiratory droplet transmission was not observed under any of the environmental settings. However, overall environmental conditions were shown to modulate the frequency of influenza virus transmission through the air. Transmission occurred most frequently at 23°C/30%RH, while the levels of infectious virus in aerosols exhaled by infected ferrets agree with these results. Improving our understanding of how environmental conditions affect influenza virus infectivity and transmission may reveal ways to better protect the public against influenza virus infections. PMID:25969995

  8. Manifold habitat effects on the prevalence and diversity of avian blood parasites.

    PubMed

    Sehgal, Ravinder N M

    2015-12-01

    Habitats are rapidly changing across the planet and the consequences will have major and long-lasting effects on wildlife and their parasites. Birds harbor many types of blood parasites, but because of their relatively high prevalence and ease of diagnosis, it is the haemosporidians - Plasmodium, Haemoproteus, and Leucocytozoon - that are the best studied in terms of ecology and evolution. For parasite transmission to occur, environmental conditions must be permissive, and given the many constraints on the competency of parasites, vectors and hosts, it is rather remarkable that these parasites are so prevalent and successful. Over the last decade, a rapidly growing body of literature has begun to clarify how environmental factors affect birds and the insects that vector their hematozoan parasites. Moreover, several studies have modeled how anthropogenic effects such as global climate change, deforestation and urbanization will impact the dynamics of parasite transmission. This review highlights recent research that impacts our understanding of how habitat and environmental changes can affect the distribution, diversity, prevalence and parasitemia of these avian blood parasites. Given the importance of environmental factors on transmission, it remains essential that researchers studying avian hematozoa document abiotic factors such as temperature, moisture and landscape elements. Ultimately, this continued research has the potential to inform conservation policies and help avert the loss of bird species and threatened habitats. PMID:26835250

  9. Manifold habitat effects on the prevalence and diversity of avian blood parasites

    PubMed Central

    Sehgal, Ravinder N.M.

    2015-01-01

    Habitats are rapidly changing across the planet and the consequences will have major and long-lasting effects on wildlife and their parasites. Birds harbor many types of blood parasites, but because of their relatively high prevalence and ease of diagnosis, it is the haemosporidians – Plasmodium, Haemoproteus, and Leucocytozoon – that are the best studied in terms of ecology and evolution. For parasite transmission to occur, environmental conditions must be permissive, and given the many constraints on the competency of parasites, vectors and hosts, it is rather remarkable that these parasites are so prevalent and successful. Over the last decade, a rapidly growing body of literature has begun to clarify how environmental factors affect birds and the insects that vector their hematozoan parasites. Moreover, several studies have modeled how anthropogenic effects such as global climate change, deforestation and urbanization will impact the dynamics of parasite transmission. This review highlights recent research that impacts our understanding of how habitat and environmental changes can affect the distribution, diversity, prevalence and parasitemia of these avian blood parasites. Given the importance of environmental factors on transmission, it remains essential that researchers studying avian hematozoa document abiotic factors such as temperature, moisture and landscape elements. Ultimately, this continued research has the potential to inform conservation policies and help avert the loss of bird species and threatened habitats. PMID:26835250

  10. How does the suppression of energy supplementation affect herbage intake, performance and parasitism in lactating saddle mares?

    PubMed

    Collas, C; Fleurance, G; Cabaret, J; Martin-Rosset, W; Wimel, L; Cortet, J; Dumont, B

    2014-08-01

    Agroecology opens up new perspectives for the design of sustainable farming systems by using the stimulation of natural processes to reduce the inputs needed for production. In horse farming systems, the challenge is to maximize the proportion of forages in the diet, and to develop alternatives to synthetic chemical drugs for controlling gastrointestinal nematodes. Lactating saddle mares, with high nutritional requirements, are commonly supplemented with concentrates at pasture, although the influence of energy supplementation on voluntary intake, performance and immune response against parasites has not yet been quantified. In a 4-month study, 16 lactating mares experimentally infected with cyathostome larvae either received a daily supplement of barley (60% of energy requirements for lactation) or were non-supplemented. The mares were rotationally grazed on permanent pastures over three vegetation cycles. All the mares met their energy requirements and maintained their body condition score higher than 3. In both treatments, they produced foals with a satisfying growth rate (cycle 1: 1293 g/day; cycle 2: 1029 g/day; cycle 3: 559 g/day) and conformation (according to measurements of height at withers and cannon bone width at 11 months). Parasite egg excretion by mares increased in both groups during the grazing season (from 150 to 2011 epg), independently of whether they were supplemented or not. This suggests that energy supplementation did not improve mare ability to regulate parasite burden. Under unlimited herbage conditions, grass dry matter intake by supplemented mares remained stable around 22.6 g DM/kg LW per day (i.e. 13.5 kg DM/al per day), whereas non-supplemented mares increased voluntary intake from 22.6 to 28.0 g DM/kg LW per day (13.5 to 17.2 kg DM/al per day) between mid-June and the end of August. Hence total digestible dry matter intake and net energy intake did not significantly differ between supplemented and non-supplemented mares during the

  11. How Ambient Humidity May Affect the Transmission of Viral Infectious Diseases

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yang, Wan; Marr, Linsey; Elankumaran, Subbiah

    2013-04-01

    Viral infectious diseases such as influenza have been a great burden to public health. The airborne transmission route is an important venue for the spread of many respiratory viral diseases. Many airborne viruses have been shown to be sensitive to ambient humidity, yet the mechanisms responsible for this phenomenon remain elusive. A thorough understanding of this phenomenon may provide insight into the temporal and spatial distribution of diseases. For instance, studies have repeatedly suggested ambient humidity as an important environmental determinant in the transmission of influenza in temperate regions. Further, knowing how to optimize humidity so as to minimize virus survival may have practical implications for disease prevention. In this talk, we will discuss multiple mechanisms that may account for the association between humidity and viability of viruses in aerosols, including water activity, surface inactivation, salt toxicity, and conformational changes to the virus in response to varying pH. As a case study, we will discuss our work on the effect of relative humidity (RH) on survival of influenza A virus (IAV) and how it may contribute to the transmission patterns of seasonal flu around the world. We measured the change in viability of IAV in droplets at various RHs. Results suggest three potential regimes defined by humidity: physiological (~100% RH) with high viability, concentrated (~50% to near 100% RH) with lower viability, and dry (<~50% RH) with high viability. Based on these results, we propose a mechanistic basis for the dependence of IAV's transmission on humidity. In temperate regions, the increase in influenza activity in winter may be due to enhanced transmission via the aerosol route thanks to IAV's higher viability in droplets at low RH. In tropical regions, transmission could be enhanced due to high viability of IAV at extremely high RH (rainy season), as observed in our study, possibly through both the aerosol route and the contact

  12. PACKAGE FILM OXYGEN TRANSMISSION RATE AFFECTS POSTHARVEST BIOLOGY AND QUALITY OF FRESH-CUT CILANTRO LEAVES

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Experiments were conducted to develop a modified atmosphere packaging system for fresh-cut cilantro (Coriandrum sativum L.) leaves, and to determine the effect of package film oxygen transmission rate (OTR) on postharvest physiology and quality of the products. Package film OTR significantly (P<0.0...

  13. Consideration of some factors affecting low-frequency fuselage noise transmission for propeller aircraft

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mixson, J. S.; Roussos, L. A.

    1986-01-01

    Possible reasons for disagreement between measured and predicted trends of sidewall noise transmission at low frequency are investigated using simplified analysis methods. An analytical model combining incident plane acoustic waves with an infinite flat panel is used to study the effects of sound incidence angle, plate structural properties, frequency, absorption, and the difference between noise reduction and transmission loss. Analysis shows that these factors have significant effects on noise transmission but they do not account for the differences between measured and predicted trends at low frequencies. An analytical model combining an infinite flat plate with a normally incident acoustic wave having exponentially decaying magnitude along one coordinate is used to study the effect of a localized source distribution such as is associated with propeller noise. Results show that the localization brings the predicted low-frequency trend of noise transmission into better agreement with measured propeller results. This effect is independent of low-frequency stiffness effects that have been previously reported to be associated with boundary conditions.

  14. Intraspecific conflict over host manipulation between different larval stages of an acanthocephalan parasite.

    PubMed

    Dianne, L; Rigaud, T; Léger, E; Motreuil, S; Bauer, A; Perrot-Minnot, M-J

    2010-12-01

    Competitive interactions between coinfecting parasites are expected to be strong when they affect transmission success. When transmission is enhanced by altering host behaviour, intraspecific conflict can lead to 'coinfection exclusion' by the first-in parasite or to a 'sabotage' of behavioural manipulation by the youngest noninfective parasite. We tested these hypotheses in the acanthocephalan parasite Pomphorhynchus laevis, reversing phototaxis in its intermediate host Gammarus pulex. No evidence was found for coinfection exclusion in gammarids sequentially exposed to infection. Behavioural manipulation was slightly weakened but not cancelled in gammarids infected with mixed larval stages. Therefore, coinfecting infective and noninfective larvae both suffered competition, potentially resulting in delayed transmission and increased risk of mortality, respectively. Consequently, noninfective larva is not just a 'passive passenger' in the manipulated host, which raises interesting questions about the selective pressures at play and the mechanisms underlying manipulation. PMID:20964763

  15. Factors that affect the fatigue strength of power transmission shafting and their impact on design

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Leowenthal, S. H.

    1986-01-01

    A long standing objective in the design of power transmission shafting is to eliminate excess shaft material without compromising operational reliability. A shaft design method is presented which accounts for variable amplitude loading histories and their influence on limited life designs. The effects of combined bending and torsional loading are considered along with a number of application factors known to influence the fatigue strength of shafting materials. Among the factors examined are surface condition, size, stress concentration, residual stress and corrosion fatigue.

  16. Do malaria parasites manipulate the escape behaviour of their avian hosts? An experimental study.

    PubMed

    Garcia-Longoria, Luz; Møller, Anders P; Balbontín, Javier; de Lope, Florentino; Marzal, Alfonso

    2015-12-01

    Escape behaviour is the behaviour that birds and other animals display when already caught by a predator. An individual exhibiting higher intensity of such anti-predator behaviour could have greater probabilities of escape from predators. Parasites are known to affect different aspects of host behaviour to increase their own fitness. Vector-transmitted parasites such as malaria parasites should gain by manipulating their hosts to enhance the probability of transmission. Several studies have shown that malaria parasites can manipulate their vectors leading to increased transmission success. However, little is known about whether malaria parasites can manipulate escape behaviour of their avian hosts thereby increasing the spread of the parasite. Here we used an experimental approach to explore if Plasmodium relictum can manipulate the escape behaviour of one of its most common avian hosts, the house sparrow Passer domesticus. We experimentally tested whether malaria parasites manipulate the escape behaviour of their avian host. We showed a decrease in the intensity of biting and tonic immobility after removal of infection with anti-malaria medication compared to pre-experimental behaviour. These outcomes suggest that infected sparrows performed more intense escape behaviour, which would increase the likelihood of individuals escaping from predators, but also benefit the parasite by increasing its transmission opportunities. PMID:26337268

  17. Assessing the Effects of Climate on Host-Parasite Interactions: A Comparative Study of European Birds and Their Parasites

    PubMed Central

    Møller, Anders Pape; Merino, Santiago; Soler, Juan José; Antonov, Anton; Badás, Elisa P.; Calero-Torralbo, Miguel A.; de Lope, Florentino; Eeva, Tapio; Figuerola, Jordi; Flensted-Jensen, Einar; Garamszegi, Laszlo Z.; González-Braojos, Sonia; Gwinner, Helga; Hanssen, Sveinn Are; Heylen, Dieter; Ilmonen, Petteri; Klarborg, Kurt; Korpimäki, Erkki; Martínez, Javier; Martínez-de la Puente, Josue; Marzal, Alfonso; Matthysen, Erik; Matyjasiak, Piotr; Molina-Morales, Mercedes; Moreno, Juan; Mousseau, Timothy A.; Nielsen, Jan Tøttrup; Pap, Péter László; Rivero-de Aguilar, Juan; Shurulinkov, Peter; Slagsvold, Tore; Szép, Tibor; Szöllősi, Eszter; Török, Janos; Vaclav, Radovan; Valera, Francisco; Ziane, Nadia

    2013-01-01

    Background Climate change potentially has important effects on distribution, abundance, transmission and virulence of parasites in wild populations of animals. Methodology/Principal Finding Here we analyzed paired information on 89 parasite populations for 24 species of bird hosts some years ago and again in 2010 with an average interval of 10 years. The parasite taxa included protozoa, feather parasites, diptera, ticks, mites and fleas. We investigated whether change in abundance and prevalence of parasites was related to change in body condition, reproduction and population size of hosts. We conducted analyses based on the entire dataset, but also on a restricted dataset with intervals between study years being 5–15 years. Parasite abundance increased over time when restricting the analyses to datasets with an interval of 5–15 years, with no significant effect of changes in temperature at the time of breeding among study sites. Changes in host body condition and clutch size were related to change in temperature between first and second study year. In addition, changes in clutch size, brood size and body condition of hosts were correlated with change in abundance of parasites. Finally, changes in population size of hosts were not significantly related to changes in abundance of parasites or their prevalence. Conclusions/Significance Climate change is associated with a general increase in parasite abundance. Variation in laying date depended on locality and was associated with latitude while body condition of hosts was associated with a change in temperature. Because clutch size, brood size and body condition were associated with change in parasitism, these results suggest that parasites, perhaps mediated through the indirect effects of temperature, may affect fecundity and condition of their hosts. The conclusions were particularly in accordance with predictions when the restricted dataset with intervals of 5–15 years was used, suggesting that short

  18. Prevalence of intestinal parasites among food handlers in Western Iran.

    PubMed

    Kheirandish, Farnaz; Tarahi, Mohammad Javad; Ezatpour, Behrouz

    2014-01-01

    Parasitic infection is one of the problems that affect human health, especially in developing countries. In this study, all of the fast food shops, restaurants, and roast meat outlets of Khorramabad (Western Iran) and all the staff employed by them, some 210 people, were selected through a census and their stools were examined for the presence of parasites. The parasitological tests of direct wet-mount, Lugol's iodine staining, formaldehyde-ether sedimentation and Trichrome staining techniques were performed on the samples. The data was analyzed with a chi-square test and logistic regression was selected as the analytical model. The results showed 19 (9%) stool specimens were positive for different intestinal parasites. These intestinal parasites included Giardia lamblia 2.9%, Entamoeba coli 4.3%, Blastocystis sp. 1.4%, and Hymenolepis nana 0.5%. There was a significant difference between the presence of a valid health card, awareness of transmission of intestinal parasites, participation in training courses in environmental health with intestinal parasites (p < 0.05). No statistically significant difference was found between the rate of literacy and gender among patients infected with intestinal parasites (p > 0.05). To control parasitic infection in food handlers, several strategies are recommended such as stool examinations every three months, public education, application of health regulations, controlling the validity of health cards and training on parasitic infection transmission. In this regard, the findings of the present study can be used as a basis to develop preventive programs targeting food handlers because the spread of disease via them is a common problem worldwide. PMID:24626411

  19. Parasites: Water

    MedlinePlus

    ... Tropical Diseases Laboratory Diagnostic Assistance [DPDx] Parasites Home Water Recommend on Facebook Tweet Share Compartir Parasites can live in natural water sources. When outdoors, treat your water before drinking ...

  20. Indices of onchocerciasis transmission by different members of the Simulium damnosum complex conflict with the paradigm of forest and savanna parasite strains.

    PubMed

    Cheke, Robert A; Garms, Rolf

    2013-01-01

    Onchocerciasis in savanna zones is generally more severe than in the forest and pathologies also differ geographically, differences often ascribed to the existence of two or more strains and incompatibilities between vectors and strains. However, flies in the forest transmit more infective larvae than their savanna counterparts, even in sympatry, contradicting expectations based on the forest and savanna strains paradigm. We analysed data on the numbers of Onchocerca volvulus larvae of different stages found in 10 different taxonomic categories of the Simulium damnosum complex derived from more than 48,800 dissections of flies from Sierra Leone in the west of Africa to Uganda in the east. The samples were collected before widespread ivermectin distribution and thus provide a baseline for evaluating control measures. Savanna species contained fewer larvae per infected or per infective fly than the forest species, even when biting and parous rates were accounted for. The highest transmission indices were found in the forest-dwelling Pra form of Simulium sanctipauli (616 L3/1000 parous flies) and the lowest in the savanna-inhabiting species S. damnosum/S. sirbanum (135) and S. kilibanum (65). Frequency distributions of numbers of L1-2 and L3 larvae found in parous S. damnosum/S. sirbanum, S. kilibanum, S. squamosum, S. yahense, S. sanctipauli, S. leonense and S. soubrense all conformed to the negative binomial distribution, with the mainly savanna-dwelling species (S. damnosum/S. sirbanum) having less overdispersed distributions than the mainly forest-dwelling species. These infection patterns were maintained even when forest and savanna forms were sympatric and biting the same human population. Furthermore, for the first time, levels of blindness were positively correlated with infection intensities of the forest vector S. yahense, consistent with relations previously reported for savanna zones. Another novel result was that conversion rates of L1-2 larvae to L3s

  1. Ionizing air affects influenza virus infectivity and prevents airborne-transmission.

    PubMed

    Hagbom, Marie; Nordgren, Johan; Nybom, Rolf; Hedlund, Kjell-Olof; Wigzell, Hans; Svensson, Lennart

    2015-01-01

    By the use of a modified ionizer device we describe effective prevention of airborne transmitted influenza A (strain Panama 99) virus infection between animals and inactivation of virus (>97%). Active ionizer prevented 100% (4/4) of guinea pigs from infection. Moreover, the device effectively captured airborne transmitted calicivirus, rotavirus and influenza virus, with recovery rates up to 21% after 40 min in a 19 m(3) room. The ionizer generates negative ions, rendering airborne particles/aerosol droplets negatively charged and electrostatically attracts them to a positively charged collector plate. Trapped viruses are then identified by reverse transcription quantitative real-time PCR. The device enables unique possibilities for rapid and simple removal of virus from air and offers possibilities to simultaneously identify and prevent airborne transmission of viruses. PMID:26101102

  2. Ionizing air affects influenza virus infectivity and prevents airborne-transmission

    PubMed Central

    Hagbom, Marie; Nordgren, Johan; Nybom, Rolf; Hedlund, Kjell-Olof; Wigzell, Hans; Svensson, Lennart

    2015-01-01

    By the use of a modified ionizer device we describe effective prevention of airborne transmitted influenza A (strain Panama 99) virus infection between animals and inactivation of virus (>97%). Active ionizer prevented 100% (4/4) of guinea pigs from infection. Moreover, the device effectively captured airborne transmitted calicivirus, rotavirus and influenza virus, with recovery rates up to 21% after 40 min in a 19 m3 room. The ionizer generates negative ions, rendering airborne particles/aerosol droplets negatively charged and electrostatically attracts them to a positively charged collector plate. Trapped viruses are then identified by reverse transcription quantitative real-time PCR. The device enables unique possibilities for rapid and simple removal of virus from air and offers possibilities to simultaneously identify and prevent airborne transmission of viruses. PMID:26101102

  3. Protozoan Parasites.

    PubMed

    Custodio, Haidee

    2016-02-01

    • Stool antigen detection for Cryptosporidium sp, Giardia lamblia and Entamoeba histolytica are now commercially available, have better sensitivity and specificity than the traditional stool microscopy, and are less dependent on personnel skill. Tests employing newer techniques with faster turnaround time are also available for diagnosing trichomoniasis.• Nitazoxanide, the only U.S. Food and Drug Administration-approved medication for therapy of cryptosporidiosis, is effective among immunocompetent patients. However, on the basis of strong evidence from multiple clinical trials, nitazoxanide is considered ineffective among immunocompromised patients. (14) • Giardiasis can be asymptomatic or have a chronic course leading to malabsorption and failure to thrive. It can be treated with metronidazole, tinidazole, or nitazoxanide. On the basis of growing observational studies, postinfectious and extraintestinal manifestations of giardiasis occur, but the mechanisms are unclear. Given the high prevalence of giardiasis, public health implications need to be defined. (16) • Eradicating E histolytica from the gastrointestinal tract requires only intraluminal agent therapy. Therapy for invasive illnesses requires use of imidazole followed by intraluminal agents to eliminate persistent intraluminal parasites. • Malaria is considered the most lethal parasitic infection, with Plasmodium falciparum as the predominant cause of mortality. P vivax and P ovale can be dormant in the liver, and primaquine is necessary to resolve infection by P vivax and P ovale. • Among immunocompetent patients, infection with Toxoplasma gondii may be asymptomatic, involve localized lymphadenopathy, or cause ocular infection. In immunocompromised patients, reactivation or severe infection is not uncommon. On the basis of limited observational studies (there are no well-controlled randomized trials), therapy is recommended for acute infection during pregnancy to prevent transmission to the

  4. The parasite's long arm: a tapeworm parasite induces behavioural changes in uninfected group members of its social host.

    PubMed

    Beros, Sara; Jongepier, Evelien; Hagemeier, Felizitas; Foitzik, Susanne

    2015-11-22

    Parasites can induce alterations in host phenotypes in order to enhance their own survival and transmission. Parasites of social insects might not only benefit from altering their individual hosts, but also from inducing changes in uninfected group members. Temnothorax nylanderi ant workers infected with the tapeworm Anomotaenia brevis are known to be chemically distinct from nest-mates and do not contribute to colony fitness, but are tolerated in their colonies and well cared for. Here, we investigated how tapeworm- infected workers affect colony aggression by manipulating their presence in ant colonies and analysing whether their absence or presence resulted in behavioural alterations in their nest-mates. We report a parasite-induced shift in colony aggression, shown by lower aggression of uninfected nest-mates from parasitized colonies towards conspecifics, potentially explaining the tolerance towards infected ants. We also demonstrate that tapeworm-infected workers showed a reduced flight response and higher survival, while their presence caused a decrease in survival of uninfected nest-mates. This anomalous behaviour of infected ants, coupled with their increased survival, could facilitate the parasites' transmission to its definitive hosts, woodpeckers. We conclude that parasites exploiting individuals that are part of a society not only induce phenotypic changes within their individual hosts, but in uninfected group members as well. PMID:26582019

  5. How human practices have affected vector-borne diseases in the past: a study of malaria transmission in Alpine valleys

    PubMed Central

    Sérandour, Julien; Girel, Jacky; Boyer, Sebastien; Ravanel, Patrick; Lemperière, Guy; Raveton, Muriel

    2007-01-01

    Background Malaria was endemic in the Rhône-Alpes area of eastern France in the 19th century and life expectancy was particularly shortened in Alpine valleys. This study was designed to determine how the disease affected people in the area and to identify the factors influencing malaria transmission. Methods Demographic data of the 19th century were collected from death registers of eight villages of the flood-plain of the river Isère. Correlations were performed between these demographic data and reconstructed meteorological data. Archive documents from medical practitioners gave information on symptoms of ill people. Engineer reports provided information on the hydraulic project developments in the Isère valley. Results Description of fevers was highly suggestive of endemic malaria transmission in the parishes neighbouring the river Isère. The current status of anopheline mosquitoes in the area supports this hypothesis. Mean temperature and precipitation were poorly correlated with demographic data, whereas the chronology of hydrological events correlated with fluctuations in death rates in the parishes. Conclusion Nowadays, most of the river development projects involve the creation of wet areas, enabling controlled flooding events. Flood-flow risk and the re-emergence of vector-borne diseases would probably be influenced by the climate change. The message is not to forget that human disturbance of any functioning hydrosystem has often been linked to malaria transmission in the past. PMID:17727700

  6. A large proportion of asymptomatic Plasmodium infections with low and sub-microscopic parasite densities in the low transmission setting of Temotu Province, Solomon Islands: challenges for malaria diagnostics in an elimination setting

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    Background Many countries are scaling up malaria interventions towards elimination. This transition changes demands on malaria diagnostics from diagnosing ill patients to detecting parasites in all carriers including asymptomatic infections and infections with low parasite densities. Detection methods suitable to local malaria epidemiology must be selected prior to transitioning a malaria control programme to elimination. A baseline malaria survey conducted in Temotu Province, Solomon Islands in late 2008, as the first step in a provincial malaria elimination programme, provided malaria epidemiology data and an opportunity to assess how well different diagnostic methods performed in this setting. Methods During the survey, 9,491 blood samples were collected and examined by microscopy for Plasmodium species and density, with a subset also examined by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and rapid diagnostic tests (RDTs). The performances of these diagnostic methods were compared. Results A total of 256 samples were positive by microscopy, giving a point prevalence of 2.7%. The species distribution was 17.5% Plasmodium falciparum and 82.4% Plasmodium vivax. In this low transmission setting, only 17.8% of the P. falciparum and 2.9% of P. vivax infected subjects were febrile (≥38°C) at the time of the survey. A significant proportion of infections detected by microscopy, 40% and 65.6% for P. falciparum and P. vivax respectively, had parasite density below 100/μL. There was an age correlation for the proportion of parasite density below 100/μL for P. vivax infections, but not for P. falciparum infections. PCR detected substantially more infections than microscopy (point prevalence of 8.71%), indicating a large number of subjects had sub-microscopic parasitemia. The concordance between PCR and microscopy in detecting single species was greater for P. vivax (135/162) compared to P. falciparum (36/118). The malaria RDT detected the 12 microscopy and PCR positive P

  7. Pin1-dependent signalling negatively affects GABAergic transmission by modulating neuroligin2/gephyrin interaction

    PubMed Central

    Antonelli, Roberta; Pizzarelli, Rocco; Pedroni, Andrea; Fritschy, Jean-Marc; Del Sal, Giannino; Cherubini, Enrico; Zacchi, Paola

    2014-01-01

    The cell adhesion molecule Neuroligin2 (NL2) is localized selectively at GABAergic synapses, where it interacts with the scaffolding protein gephyrin in the post-synaptic density. However, the role of this interaction for formation and plasticity of GABAergic synapses is unclear. Here, we demonstrate that endogenous NL2 undergoes proline-directed phosphorylation at its unique S714-P consensus site, leading to the recruitment of the peptidyl-prolyl cis–trans isomerase Pin1. This signalling cascade negatively regulates NL2’s ability to interact with gephyrin at GABAergic post-synaptic sites. As a consequence, enhanced accumulation of NL2, gephyrin and GABAA receptors was detected at GABAergic synapses in the hippocampus of Pin1-knockout mice (Pin1−/−) associated with an increase in amplitude of spontaneous GABAA-mediated post-synaptic currents. Our results suggest that Pin1-dependent signalling represents a mechanism to modulate GABAergic transmission by regulating NL2/gephyrin interaction. PMID:25297980

  8. Plasticity-Related Gene 1 Affects Mouse Barrel Cortex Function via Strengthening of Glutamatergic Thalamocortical Transmission.

    PubMed

    Unichenko, Petr; Kirischuk, Sergei; Yang, Jenq-Wei; Baumgart, Jan; Roskoden, Thomas; Schneider, Patrick; Sommer, Angela; Horta, Guilherme; Radyushkin, Konstantin; Nitsch, Robert; Vogt, Johannes; Luhmann, Heiko J

    2016-07-01

    Plasticity-related gene-1 (PRG-1) is a brain-specific protein that modulates glutamatergic synaptic transmission. Here we investigated the functional role of PRG-1 in adolescent and adult mouse barrel cortex both in vitro and in vivo. Compared with wild-type (WT) animals, PRG-1-deficient (KO) mice showed specific behavioral deficits in tests assessing sensorimotor integration and whisker-based sensory discrimination as shown in the beam balance/walking test and sandpaper tactile discrimination test, respectively. At P25-31, spontaneous network activity in the barrel cortex in vivo was higher in KO mice compared with WT littermates, but not at P16-19. At P16-19, sensory evoked cortical responses in vivo elicited by single whisker stimulation were comparable in KO and WT mice. In contrast, at P25-31 evoked responses were smaller in amplitude and longer in duration in WT animals, whereas KO mice revealed no such developmental changes. In thalamocortical slices from KO mice, spontaneous activity was increased already at P16-19, and glutamatergic thalamocortical inputs to Layer 4 spiny stellate neurons were potentiated. We conclude that genetic ablation of PRG-1 modulates already at P16-19 spontaneous and evoked excitability of the barrel cortex, including enhancement of thalamocortical glutamatergic inputs to Layer 4, which distorts sensory processing in adulthood. PMID:26980613

  9. Plasticity-Related Gene 1 Affects Mouse Barrel Cortex Function via Strengthening of Glutamatergic Thalamocortical Transmission

    PubMed Central

    Unichenko, Petr; Kirischuk, Sergei; Yang, Jenq-Wei; Baumgart, Jan; Roskoden, Thomas; Schneider, Patrick; Sommer, Angela; Horta, Guilherme; Radyushkin, Konstantin; Nitsch, Robert; Vogt, Johannes; Luhmann, Heiko J.

    2016-01-01

    Plasticity-related gene-1 (PRG-1) is a brain-specific protein that modulates glutamatergic synaptic transmission. Here we investigated the functional role of PRG-1 in adolescent and adult mouse barrel cortex both in vitro and in vivo. Compared with wild-type (WT) animals, PRG-1-deficient (KO) mice showed specific behavioral deficits in tests assessing sensorimotor integration and whisker-based sensory discrimination as shown in the beam balance/walking test and sandpaper tactile discrimination test, respectively. At P25-31, spontaneous network activity in the barrel cortex in vivo was higher in KO mice compared with WT littermates, but not at P16-19. At P16-19, sensory evoked cortical responses in vivo elicited by single whisker stimulation were comparable in KO and WT mice. In contrast, at P25-31 evoked responses were smaller in amplitude and longer in duration in WT animals, whereas KO mice revealed no such developmental changes. In thalamocortical slices from KO mice, spontaneous activity was increased already at P16-19, and glutamatergic thalamocortical inputs to Layer 4 spiny stellate neurons were potentiated. We conclude that genetic ablation of PRG-1 modulates already at P16-19 spontaneous and evoked excitability of the barrel cortex, including enhancement of thalamocortical glutamatergic inputs to Layer 4, which distorts sensory processing in adulthood. PMID:26980613

  10. Identification of quantitative trait loci affecting resistance to gastrointestinal parasites in a double backcross population of Red Maasai and Dorper sheep.

    PubMed

    Silva, M V B; Sonstegard, T S; Hanotte, O; Mugambi, J M; Garcia, J F; Nagda, S; Gibson, J P; Iraqi, F A; McClintock, A E; Kemp, S J; Boettcher, P J; Malek, M; Van Tassell, C P; Baker, R L

    2012-02-01

    A genome-wide scan for quantitative trait loci (QTL) affecting gastrointestinal nematode resistance in sheep was completed using a double backcross population derived from Red Maasai and Dorper ewes bred to F(1) rams. This design provided an opportunity to map potentially unique genetic variation associated with a parasite-tolerant breed like Red Maasai, a breed developed to survive East African grazing conditions. Parasite indicator phenotypes (blood packed cell volume - PCV and faecal egg count - FEC) were collected on a weekly basis from 1064 lambs during a single 3-month post-weaning grazing challenge on infected pastures. The averages of last measurements for FEC (AVFEC) and PCV (AVPCV), along with decline in PCV from challenge start to end (PCVD), were used to select lambs (N = 371) for genotyping that represented the tails (10% threshold) of the phenotypic distributions. Marker genotypes for 172 microsatellite loci covering 25 of 26 autosomes (1560.7 cm) were scored and corrected by Genoprob prior to qxpak analysis that included Box-Cox transformed AVFEC and arcsine transformed PCV statistics. Significant QTL for AVFEC and AVPCV were detected on four chromosomes, and this included a novel AVFEC QTL on chromosome 6 that would have remained undetected without Box-Cox transformation methods. The most significant P-values for AVFEC, AVPCV and PCVD overlapped the same marker interval on chromosome 22, suggesting the potential for a single causative mutation, which remains unknown. In all cases, the favourable QTL allele was always contributed from Red Maasai, providing support for the idea that future marker-assisted selection for genetic improvement of production in East Africa will rely on markers in linkage disequilibrium with these QTL. PMID:22221026

  11. Examination of the relationship between host worm community structure on transmission of the parasite, Myxobolus cerebralis by developing taxon-specific probes for multiplex qPCR to identify worm taxa in stream communities

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fytilis, N.; Lamb, R.; Kerans, B.; Stevens, L.; Rizzo, D. M.

    2011-12-01

    Fish diseases are often caused by waterborne parasites, making them ideal systems for modeling the non-linear relationships between disease dynamics, stream dwelling oligochaete communities and geochemical features. Myxobolus cerebralis, the causative agent of whirling disease in salmonid fishes, has been a major contributor to the loss of wild rainbow trout populations in numerous streams within the Intermountain West. The parasite alternates between an invertebrate and vertebrate host, being transmitted between the sediment feeding worm Tubifex tubifex (T.tubifex) and salmonid fishes. Worm community biodiversity and abundance are influenced by biogeochemical features and have been linked to disease severity in fish. The worm (T.tubifex) lives in communities with 3-4 other types of worms in stream sediments. Unfortunately, taxonomic identification of oligochaetes is largely dependent on morphological characteristics of sexually mature adults. We have collected and identified ~700 worms from eight sites using molecular genetic probes and a taxonomic key. Additionally, ~1700 worms were identified using only molecular genetic probes. To facilitate distinguishing among tubificids, we developed two multiplex molecular genetic probe-based quantitative polymerase reaction (qPCR) assays to assess tubificid communities in the study area. Similar qPCR techniques specific for M.cerebralis used to determine if individual worms were infected with the parasite. We show how simple Bayesian analysis of the qPCR data can predict the worm community structure and reveal relationships between biodiversity of host communities and host-parasite dynamics. To our knowledge, this is the first study that combines molecular data of both the host and the parasite to examine the effects of host community structure on the transmission of a parasite. Our work can be extended to examine the links between worm community structure and biogeochemical features using molecular genetics and Bayesian

  12. Demographic and socio-economic factors affecting the physical development, haemoglobin and parasitic infection status of schoolchildren in Sanliurfa province, Turkey.

    PubMed

    Ulukanligil, M; Seyrek, A

    2004-03-01

    A cross-sectional population-based survey was undertaken to evaluate the relationship between nutritional status and parasitic infections of schoolchildren and demographic, socio-economic factors in Sanliurfa province, southern Turkey. Nine hundred and eight schoolchildren took part in the survey: 57.2% boys and 42.7% girls. The children's mean z scores were as follows: height for age-0.8 (+/-1.0) and weight for age-1.0 (+/-0.9). The mean haemoglobin concentration was 123 g/l (+/-2.1) and the prevalence of parasitic infections was 55.1%. In total, 50.2% of children were hungry when they arrived at school and 13.4% worked after school. Over 70% (70.4%) of mothers and 18.1% of fathers were illiterate, 16.1% of fathers were unemployed and 46.3% of fathers were engaged in low-income labour. The mean number of children in each family was 5.4 (+/-2.5), and the mean number of children from each family who attended school was 2.1 (+/-1.1). The school-attendance ratio was 0.4 (+/-1.0). Data indicated that older children had significantly lower mean z scores of height (P < 0.0001) and weight for age (P < 0.0001) than younger children, and boys had significantly lower mean z scores of height for age than girls (P < 0.0001). Children living in shantytown areas had significantly lower mean z scores of height for age (P < 0.0001) and weight for age (P < 0.0001), lower mean haemoglobin concentrations (P : 0.003)and a worse parasitic infection status (P < 0.0001) than those living in apartment areas. Children who were hungry when they arrived at school had significantly lower mean haemoglobin concentrations than those who had eaten (P : 0.04). Multiple regression analyses indicated that mean z scores of height for age were significantly related to maternal (multiple R = 0.183; P < 0.0001) and paternal illiteracy (multiple R = 0.216; P : 0.004). Mean z scores of weight for age were significantly related to maternal illiteracy (multiple R = 0.154; P < 0.0001), as was parasitic

  13. Seasonal and demographic factors influencing gastrointestinal parasitism in ungulates of Etosha National Park.

    PubMed

    Turner, Wendy C; Getz, Wayne M

    2010-10-01

    Host-parasite dynamics can be strongly affected by seasonality and age-related host immune responses. We investigated how observed variation in the prevalence and intensity of parasite egg or oocyst shedding in four co-occurring ungulate species may reflect underlying seasonal variation in transmission and host immunity. This study was conducted July 2005-October 2006 in Etosha National Park, Namibia, using indices of parasitism recorded from 1,022 fecal samples collected from plains zebra (Equus quagga), springbok (Antidorcas marsupialis), blue wildebeest (Connochaetes taurinus), and gemsbok (Oryx gazella). The presence and intensity of strongyle nematodes, Strongyloides spp. and Eimeria spp. parasites, were strongly seasonal for most host-parasite combinations, with more hosts infected in the wet season than the dry season. Strongyle intensity in zebra was significantly lower in juveniles than adults, and in springbok hosts, Eimeria spp. intensity was significantly greater in juveniles than adults. These results provide evidence that acquired immunity is less protective against strongyle nematodes than Eimeria spp. infections. The seasonal patterns in parasitism further indicate that the long dry season may limit development and survival of parasite stages in the environment and, as a result, host contact and parasite transmission. PMID:20966262

  14. SEASONAL AND DEMOGRAPHIC FACTORS INFLUENCING GASTROINTESTINAL PARASITISM IN UNGULATES OF ETOSHA NATIONAL PARK

    PubMed Central

    Turner, Wendy C.; Getz, Wayne M.

    2011-01-01

    Host-parasite dynamics can be strongly affected by seasonality and age-related host immune responses. We investigated how observed variation in the prevalence and intensity of parasite egg or oocyst shedding in four co-occurring ungulate species may reflect underlying seasonal variation in transmission and host immunity. This study was conducted July 2005–October 2006 in Etosha National Park, Namibia, using indices of parasitism recorded from 1,022 fecal samples collected from plains zebra (Equus quagga), springbok (Antidorcas marsupialis), blue wildebeest (Connochaetes taurinus), and gemsbok (Oryx gazella). The presence and intensity of strongyle nematodes, Strongyloides spp. and Eimeria spp. parasites, were strongly seasonal for most host-parasite combinations, with more hosts infected in the wet season than the dry season. Strongyle intensity in zebra was significantly lower in juveniles than adults, and in springbok hosts, Eimeria spp. intensity was significantly greater in juveniles than adults. These results provide evidence that acquired immunity is less protective against strongyle nematodes than Eimeria spp. infections. The seasonal patterns in parasitism further indicate that the long dry season may limit development and survival of parasite stages in the environment and, as a result, host contact and parasite transmission. PMID:20966262

  15. The languages of parasite communication.

    PubMed

    Roditi, Isabel

    2016-07-01

    Although it is regarded as self-evident that parasites interact with their hosts, with the primary aim of enhancing their own survival and transmission, the extent to which unicellular parasites communicate with each has been severely underestimated. Recent publications show that information is commonly exchanged between parasites of the same species and that this can govern their decisions to divide, to differentiate or to migrate as a group. Communication can take the form of soluble secreted factors, extracellular vesicles or contact between cells. Extracellular parasites can do this directly, while intracellular parasites use the infected host cell - or components derived from it - as an intermediary. By emitting signals that can be dispersed within the host, parasites can also have long-distance effects on the course of an infection and its pathology. This article presents an overview of recent developments in this field and draws attention to some older work that merits re-examination. PMID:27211242

  16. Parasitic gastro-enteritis in lambs — A model for estimating the timing of the larval emergence peak

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Starr, J. R.; Thomas, R. J.

    1980-09-01

    The life history of the nematode parasites of domestic ruminants usually involves the development and survival of free-living stages on pasture. The pasture is, therefore, the site of deposition, development and transmission of nematode infection and meteorological factors affecting the pasture will affect the parasites. Recently Thomas and Starr (1978) discussed an empirical technique for forecasting the timing of the summer wave of gastro-intestinal parasitism in North-East England in the lamb crop using meteorological data and in particular estimates of the duration of “surface wetness”. This paper presents an attempt to model “surface wetness” and the temperature limitation to nematode development.

  17. Acute Small-Bowel Obstruction From Intestinal Anisakiasis After the Ingestion of Raw Clams; Documenting a New Method of Marine-to-Human Parasitic Transmission

    PubMed Central

    Shweiki, Ehyal; Rittenhouse, David W.; Ochoa, Joana E.; Punja, Viren P.; Zubair, Muhammad H.; Baliff, Jeffrey P.

    2014-01-01

    Enteric anisakiasis is a known parasitic infection. To date, human infection has been reported as resulting from the inadvertent ingestion of the anisakis larvae when eating raw/undercooked fish, squid, or eel. We present a first reported case of intestinal obstruction caused by anisakiasis, after the ingestion of raw clams. PMID:25734153

  18. Psychostimulants affect dopamine transmission through both dopamine transporter-dependent and independent mechanisms.

    PubMed

    dela Peña, Ike; Gevorkiana, Ruzanna; Shi, Wei-Xing

    2015-10-01

    The precise mechanisms by which cocaine and amphetamine-like psychostimulants exert their reinforcing effects are not yet fully defined. It is widely believed, however, that these drugs produce their effects by enhancing dopamine neurotransmission in the brain, especially in limbic areas such as the nucleus accumbens, by inducing dopamine transporter-mediated reverse transport and/or blocking dopamine reuptake though the dopamine transporter. Here, we present the evidence that aside from dopamine transporter, non-dopamine transporter-mediated mechanisms also participate in psychostimulant-induced dopamine release and contribute to the behavioral effects of these drugs, such as locomotor activation and reward. Accordingly, psychostimulants could increase norepinephrine release in the prefrontal cortex, the latter then alters the firing pattern of dopamine neurons resulting in changes in action potential-dependent dopamine release. These alterations would further affect the temporal pattern of dopamine release in the nucleus accumbens, thereby modifying information processing in that area. Hence, a synaptic input to a nucleus accumbens neuron may be enhanced or inhibited by dopamine depending on its temporal relationship to dopamine release. Specific temporal patterns of dopamine release may also be required for certain forms of synaptic plasticity in the nucleus accumbens. Together, these effects induced by psychostimulants, mediated through a non-dopamine transporter-mediated mechanism involving norepinephrine and the prefrontal cortex, may also contribute importantly to the reinforcing properties of these drugs. PMID:26209364

  19. An extract of lionfish (Pterois volitans) spine tissue contains acetylcholine and a toxin that affects neuromuscular transmission.

    PubMed

    Cohen, A S; Olek, A J

    1989-01-01

    A soluble toxic extract derived from spine tissue of the lionfish (Pterois volitans) decreased heart rate and force of contraction in isolated clam and frog hearts. These actions were due to the presence of micromolar concentrations of acetylcholine in the extract. Toxicity was retained after hydrolysis of acetylcholine by exogenous acetylcholinesterase, but heart function was no longer affected. Toxin treated in this way induced muscle fibrillation in an isolated nerve-muscle preparation, followed by blockade of neuromuscular transmission. Bursts of transient depolarizations were recorded at the muscle endplate shortly after toxin addition that correlated in time with the duration of toxin-induced muscle fibrillation. These effects are thought to be due to the increased release and then depletion of acetylcholine from the nerve terminal. PMID:2560846

  20. Within plant distribution of Potato Virus Y in hairy nightshade (Solanum sarrachoides): an inoculum source affecting PVY aphid transmission.

    PubMed

    Cervantes, Felix A; Alvarez, Juan M

    2011-08-01

    Potato virus Y (PVY) is vectored by several potato-colonizing and non-colonizing aphid species in a non-persistent manner and has a wide host range. It occurs naturally in several plant families. Myzus persicae and Macrosiphum euphorbiae are the most efficient potato-colonizing aphid vectors of PVY. Rhopalosiphum padi, a cereal aphid that migrates in large numbers through potato fields during the middle of the growing season, does not colonize potato plants but can transmit PVY. Hairy nightshade, Solanum sarrachoides, a prevalent annual solanaceous weed in the Pacific Northwest (PNW) of the United States, is an alternative host for PVY and a preferred host for M. persicae and M. euphorbiae. Hence, hairy nightshade plants might play an important role as an inoculum source in the epidemiology of PVY. We looked at titre accumulation and distribution of PVY(O), PVY(N:O) and PVY(NTN) in S. sarrachoides and potato after aphid inoculation with M. persicae and studied the transmission of PVY(O) and PVY(NTN), by M. persicae, M. euphorbiae and R. padi from hairy nightshade to potato plants. Virus titre at different positions on the plant was similar in S. sarrachoides and potato plants with strains PVY(O) and PVY(N:O). Titres of PVY(NTN) were similar in S. sarrachoides and potato but differences in titre were observed at different positions within the plant depending on the plant phenology. Percentage transmission of PVY(NTN) by M. persicae and M. euphorbiae was twice as high (46 and 34%, respectively) from hairy nightshade to potato than from potato to potato (20 and 14%). Percentage transmission of PVY(O) by M. persicae and M. euphorbiae was not affected by the inoculum source. No effect of the inoculum source was observed in the transmission of either PVY strain by R. padi. These results show that hairy nightshade may be an equal or better virus reservoir than potato and thus, important in the epidemiology of PVY. PMID:21601597

  1. No Evidence for Lymphatic Filariasis Transmission in Big Cities Affected by Conflict Related Rural-Urban Migration in Sierra Leone and Liberia

    PubMed Central

    de Souza, Dziedzom K.; Sesay, Santigie; Moore, Marnijina G.; Ansumana, Rashid; Narh, Charles A.; Kollie, Karsor; Rebollo, Maria P.; Koudou, Benjamin G.; Koroma, Joseph B.; Bolay, Fatorma K.; Boakye, Daniel A.; Bockarie, Moses J.

    2014-01-01

    Background In West Africa, the principal vectors of lymphatic filariasis (LF) are Anopheles species with Culex species playing only a minor role in transmission, if any. Being a predominantly rural disease, the question remains whether conflict-related migration of rural populations into urban areas would be sufficient for active transmission of the parasite. Methodology/Principal Findings We examined LF transmission in urban areas in post-conflict Sierra Leone and Liberia that experienced significant rural-urban migration. Mosquitoes from Freetown and Monrovia, were analyzed for infection with Wuchereria bancrofti. We also undertook a transmission assessment survey (TAS) in Bo and Pujehun districts in Sierra Leone. The majority of the mosquitoes collected were Culex species, while Anopheles species were present in low numbers. The mosquitoes were analyzed in pools, with a maximum of 20 mosquitoes per pool. In both countries, a total of 1731 An. gambiae and 14342 Culex were analyzed for W. bancrofti, using the PCR. Two pools of Culex mosquitoes and 1 pool of An. gambiae were found infected from one community in Freetown. Pool screening analysis indicated a maximum likelihood of infection of 0.004 (95% CI of 0.00012–0.021) and 0.015 (95% CI of 0.0018–0.052) for the An. gambiae and Culex respectively. The results indicate that An. gambiae is present in low numbers, with a microfilaria prevalence breaking threshold value not sufficient to maintain transmission. The results of the TAS in Bo and Pujehun also indicated an antigen prevalence of 0.19% and 0.67% in children, respectively. This is well below the recommended 2% level for stopping MDA in Anopheles transmission areas, according to WHO guidelines. Conclusions We found no evidence for active transmission of LF in cities, where internally displaced persons from rural areas lived for many years during the more than 10 years conflict in Sierra Leone and Liberia. PMID:24516686

  2. Relative reproductive success of co-infecting parasite genotypes under intensified within-host competition.

    PubMed

    Seppälä, Otto; Louhi, Katja-Riikka; Karvonen, Anssi; Rellstab, Christian; Jokela, Jukka

    2015-12-01

    In nature, host individuals are commonly simultaneously infected with more than one genotype of the same parasite species. These co-infecting parasites often interact, which can affect their fitness and shape host-parasite ecology and evolution. Many of such interactions take place through competition for limited host resources. Therefore, variation in ecological factors modifying the host resource level could be important in determining the intensity of competition and the outcome of co-infections. We tested this hypothesis by measuring the relative reproductive success of co-infecting genotypes of the trematode parasite Diplostomum pseudospathaceum in its snail host Lymnaea stagnalis while experimentally manipulating snail resource level using contrasting feeding treatments (ad libitum food supply, no food). We found that food deprivation constrained the overall parasite within-host reproduction as the release of parasite transmission stages (cercariae) was reduced. This indicates intensified competition among the parasite genotypes. The genotypic composition of the released cercariae, however, was not affected by the feeding treatments. This suggests that in this system, the relative reproductive success of co-infecting parasite genotypes, which is an important component determining their fitness, is robust to variation in ecological factors modifying the strength of resource competition. PMID:26296607

  3. Ecomorphology and disease: cryptic effects of parasitism on host habitat use, thermoregulation, and predator avoidance.

    PubMed

    Goodman, Brett A; Johnson, Pieter T J

    2011-03-01

    Parasites can cause dramatic changes in the phenotypes of their hosts, sometimes leading to a higher probability of predation and parasite transmission. Because an organism's morphology directly affects its locomotion, even subtle changes in key morphological traits may affect survival and behavior. However, despite the ubiquity of parasites in natural communities, few studies have incorporated parasites into ecomorphological research. Here, we evaluated the effects of parasite-induced changes in host phenotype on the habitat use, thermal biology, and simulated predator-escape ability of Pacific chorus frogs (Pseudacris regilla) in natural environments. Frogs with parasite-induced limb malformations were more likely to use ground microhabitats relative to vertical refugia and selected less-angled perches closer to the ground in comparison with normal frogs. Although both groups had similar levels of infection, malformed frogs used warmer microhabitats, which resulted in higher body temperatures. Likely as a result of their morphological abnormalities, malformed frogs allowed a simulated predator to approach closer before escaping and escaped shorter distances relative to normal frogs. These data indicate that parasite-induced morphological changes can significantly alter host behavior and habitat use, highlighting the importance of incorporating the ubiquitous, albeit cryptic, role of parasites into ecomorphological research. PMID:21608461

  4. Landscape Genetics Reveals Focal Transmission of a Human Macroparasite

    PubMed Central

    Criscione, Charles D.; Anderson, Joel D.; Sudimack, Dan; Subedi, Janardan; Upadhayay, Ram P.; Jha, Bharat; Williams, Kimberly D.; Williams-Blangero, Sarah; Anderson, Timothy J. C.

    2010-01-01

    Macroparasite infections (e.g., helminths) remain a major human health concern. However, assessing transmission dynamics is problematic because the direct observation of macroparasite dispersal among hosts is not possible. We used a novel landscape genetics approach to examine transmission of the human roundworm Ascaris lumbricoides in a small human population in Jiri, Nepal. Unexpectedly, we found significant genetic structuring of parasites, indicating the presence of multiple transmission foci within a small sampling area (∼14 km2). We analyzed several epidemiological variables, and found that transmission is spatially autocorrelated around households and that transmission foci are stable over time despite extensive human movement. These results would not have been obtainable via a traditional epidemiological study based on worm counts alone. Our data refute the assumption that a single host population corresponds to a single parasite transmission unit, an assumption implicit in many classic models of macroparasite transmission. Newer models have shown that the metapopulation-like pattern observed in our data can adversely affect targeted control strategies aimed at community-wide impacts. Furthermore, the observed metapopulation structure and local mating patterns generate an excess of homozygotes that can accelerate the spread of recessive traits such as drug resistance. Our study illustrates how molecular analyses complement traditional epidemiological information in providing a better understanding of parasite transmission. Similar landscape genetic approaches in other macroparasite systems will be warranted if an accurate depiction of the transmission process is to be used to inform effective control strategies. PMID:20421919

  5. Intraspecific chromosomal polymorphism in the Anopheles gambiae complex as a factor affecting malaria transmission in the Kisumu area of Kenya.

    PubMed

    Petrarca, V; Beier, J C

    1992-02-01

    The paracentric inversion polymorphisms of Anopheles gambiae and An. arabiensis populations in the Kisumu area of western Kenya were studied in relation to parameters of Plasmodium falciparum transmission. Anopheles gambiae (n = 1,387) was polymorphic for inversions b on chromosomal arm 2R and a on arm 2L, with frequencies of the inverted arrangements of 17% and 43%, respectively. Anopheles arabiensis (n = 484) was polymorphic for inversion b on chromosomal arm 2R and a on 3R, with frequencies of the inverted arrangements of 58% and 5%, respectively. Observed karyotypic frequencies did not deviate from Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium, indicating a condition of panmixia (i.e., random mating) for both species. The overall degree of intraspecific polymorphism was low, confirming findings from other zones of East Africa. No significant differences in inversion frequencies of either An. gambiae or An. arabiensis were observed, either between collecting sites or between similar sampling periods of consecutive years. At the same time, a stable, significant two-fold difference in Plasmodium infection rates was detected among An. gambiae carriers of different inversion karyotypes on chromosome 2. A significant non-uniform distribution of human- and bovid-fed specimens was also detected among the carriers of different 2Rb inversion karyotypes in indoor resting An. arabiensis. Relationships among inversion karyotypes of the two major malaria vectors in the An. gambiae complex and key factors affecting malaria transmission intensity emphasize that intraspecific variation could contribute significantly to the diversity and stability of malaria vectorial systems in Africa. PMID:1539757

  6. In Vivo, In Vitro, and In Silico Studies Suggest a Conserved Immune Module that Regulates Malaria Parasite Transmission from Mammals to Mosquitoes

    PubMed Central

    Price, Ian; Ermentrout, Bard; Zamora, Ruben; Wang, Bo; Azhar, Nabil; Mi, Qi; Constantine, Gregory; Faeder, James R.; Luckhart, Shirley; Vodovotz, Yoram

    2013-01-01

    Human malaria can be caused by the parasite Plasmodium falciparum that is transmitted by female Anopheles mosquitoes. “Immunological crosstalk” between the mammalian and anopheline hosts for Plasmodium functions to control parasite numbers. Key to this process is the mammalian cytokine transforming growth factor-β1 (TGF-β1). In mammals, TGF-β1 regulates inducible nitric oxide (NO) synthase (iNOS) both positively and negatively. In some settings, high levels of NO activate latent TGF-β1, which in turn suppresses iNOS expression. In the mosquito, ingested TGF-β1 induces A. stephensi NOS (AsNOS), which limits parasite development and which in turn is suppressed by activation of the mosquito homolog of the mitogen-activated protein kinases MEK and ERK. Computational models linking TGF-β1, AsNOS, and MEK/ERK were developed to provide insights into this complex biology. An initial Boolean model suggested that, as occurs in mammalian cells, MEK/ERK and AsNOS would oscillate upon ingestion of TGF-β1. In support of this hypothesis, statistical models of multiphasic behavior were a best fit for data derived from time courses of Anopheles ERK activation in vitro and of AsNOS expression in vivo following treatment with TGF-β1. An ordinary differential equation (ODE) model further supported the hypothesis of TGF-β1-induced multiphasic behavior of MEK/ERK and AsNOS. To achieve this multiphasic behavior, the ODE model was predicated on the presence of constant levels of TGF-β1 in the mosquito midgut. Ingested TGF-β1, however, did not exhibit this behavior. Accordingly, we hypothesized and experimentally verified that ingested TGF-β1 induces the expression of the endogenous mosquito TGF-β superfamily ligand As60A. Computational simulation of these complex, cross-species interactions suggested that TGF-β1 and NO-mediated induction of As60A expression together may act to maintain multiphasic AsNOS expression via MEK/ERK-dependent signaling. We hypothesize that

  7. Gene expression patterns underlying parasite-induced alterations in host behaviour and life history.

    PubMed

    Feldmeyer, Barbara; Mazur, Johanna; Beros, Sara; Lerp, Hannes; Binder, Harald; Foitzik, Susanne

    2016-01-01

    Many parasites manipulate their hosts' phenotype. In particular, parasites with complex life cycles take control of their intermediate hosts' behaviour and life history to increase transmission to their definitive host. The proximate mechanisms underlying these parasite-induced alterations are poorly understood. The cestode Anomotaenia brevis affects the behaviour, life history and morphology of parasitized Temnothorax nylanderi ants and indirectly of their unparasitized nestmates. To gain insights on how parasites alter host phenotypes, we contrast brain gene expression patterns of T. nylanderi workers parasitized with the cestode, their unparasitized nestmates and unparasitized workers from unparasitized colonies. Over 400 differentially expressed genes between the three groups were identified, with most uniquely expressed genes detected in parasitized workers. Among these are genes that can be linked to the increased lifespan of parasitized workers. Furthermore, many muscle (functionality) genes are downregulated in these workers, potentially causing the observed muscular deformations and their inactive behaviour. Alterations in lifespan and activity could be adaptive for the parasite by increasing the likelihood that infected workers residing in acorns are eaten by their definitive host, a woodpecker. Our transcriptome analysis reveals numerous gene expression changes in parasitized workers and their uninfected nestmates and indicates possible routes of parasite manipulation. Although causality still needs to be established, parasite-induced alterations in lifespan and host behaviour appear to be partly explained by morphological muscle atrophy instead of central nervous system interference, which is often the core of behavioural regulation. Results of this study will shed light upon the molecular basis of antagonistic species interactions. PMID:26615010

  8. Anti-parasitic Peptides from Arthropods and their Application in Drug Therapy

    PubMed Central

    Lacerda, Ariane F.; Pelegrini, Patrícia B.; de Oliveira, Daiane M.; Vasconcelos, Érico A. R.; Grossi-de-Sá, Maria F.

    2016-01-01

    Africa, Asia, and Latin America are regions highly affected by endemic diseases, such as Leishmaniasis, Malaria, and Chagas’ disease. They are responsible for the death of 1000s of patients every year, as there is not yet a cure for them and the drugs used are inefficient against the pathogenic parasites. During the life cycle of some parasitic protozoa, insects become the most important host and disseminator of the diseases triggered by these microorganisms. As infected insects do not develop nocive symptoms, they can carry the parasites for long time inside their body, enabling their multiplication and life cycle completion. Eventually, parasites infect human beings after insect’s transmission through their saliva and/or feces. Hence, host insects and general arthropods, which developed a way to coexist with such parasites, are a promising source for the prospection of anti-parasitic compounds, as alternative methods for the treatment of protozoa-related diseases. Among the molecules already isolated and investigated, there are proteins and peptides with high activity against parasites, able to inhibit parasite activity in different stages of development. Although, studies are still taking their first steps, initial results show new perspectives on the treatment of parasitic diseases. Therefore, in this report, we describe about peptides from host insect sources with activity against the three most endemic parasites: Leishmania sp., Plasmodium sp., and Trypanosomes. Moreover, we discuss the future application insect peptides as anti-parasitic drugs and the use of non-hosts insect transcriptomes on the prospection of novel molecules for the treatment of parasitic neglected diseases. PMID:26903970

  9. Parasite-induced aggression and impaired contest ability in a fish host

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    Background Success of trophically transmitted parasites depends to a great extent on their ability to manipulate their intermediate hosts in a way that makes them easier prey for target hosts. Parasite-induced behavioural changes are the most spectacular and diverse examples of manipulation. Most of the studies have been focused on individual behaviour of hosts including fish. We suggest that agonistic interactions and territoriality in fish hosts may affect their vulnerability to predators and thus the transmission efficiency of trophically transmitted parasites. The parasite Diplostomum spathaceum (Trematoda) and juvenile rainbow trout, Oncorhynchus mykiss, were used to study whether infection can alter aggression rates and territorial behaviour of intermediate fish hosts. Results The changes in behaviour of rainbow trout, Oncorhynchus mykiss, infected with an eye fluke Diplostomum spathaceum (Trematoda), was monitored over the course of an experimental infection for 1.5 months. At the beginning of their development, not yet infective D. spathaceum metacercariae decreased the aggressiveness of rainbow trout. By the time that metacercariae were fully infective to their definitive hosts, the aggressiveness increased and exceeded that of control fish. Despite the increased aggressiveness, the experimentally infected fish lost contests for a territory (dark parts of the bottom) against the control fish. Conclusions The results obtained indicate that the parasitized fish pay the cost of aggressiveness without the benefit of acquiring a territory that would provide them with better protection against predators. This behaviour should increase transmission of the parasite as expected by the parasite manipulation hypothesis. PMID:20226098

  10. Parasites alter community structure.

    PubMed

    Wood, Chelsea L; Byers, James E; Cottingham, Kathryn L; Altman, Irit; Donahue, Megan J; Blakeslee, April M H

    2007-05-29

    Parasites often play an important role in modifying the physiology and behavior of their hosts and may, consequently, mediate the influence hosts have on other components of an ecological community. Along the northern Atlantic coast of North America, the dominant herbivorous snail Littorina littorea structures rocky intertidal communities through strong grazing pressure and is frequently parasitized by the digenean trematode Cryptocotyle lingua. We hypothesized that the effects of parasitism on host physiology would induce behavioral changes in L. littorea, which in turn would modulate L. littorea's influence on intertidal community composition. Specifically, we hypothesized that C. lingua infection would alter the grazing rate of L. littorea and, consequently, macroalgal communities would develop differently in the presence of infected versus uninfected snails. Our results show that uninfected snails consumed 40% more ephemeral macroalgal biomass than infected snails in the laboratory, probably because the digestive system of infected snails is compromised by C. lingua infection. In the field, this weaker grazing by infected snails resulted in significantly greater expansion of ephemeral macroalgal cover relative to grazing by uninfected snails. By decreasing the per-capita grazing rate of the dominant herbivore, C. lingua indirectly affects the composition of the macroalgal community and may in turn affect other species that depend on macroalgae for resources or habitat structure. In light of the abundance of parasites across systems, we suggest that, through trait-mediated indirect effects, parasites may be a common determinant of structure in ecological communities. PMID:17517667

  11. Transmission of the FRAXA haplotype from three nonpenetrant brothers to their affected grandsons: an update with AGG interspersion analysis.

    PubMed

    Mogk, R L; Carson, N L; Chudley, A E; Dawson, A J

    1998-01-01

    Recently, we reported on a family showing transmission of the FRAXA gene by three nonpenetrant, normally intelligent, full and half brothers to their affected grandsons [Kirkilionis et al., 1992]. We have reanalyzed this family for CGG repeat size by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) amplification/Southern blot and FMR1 methylation status using EcoRI/BssHII double digests with pE5-1 as the hybridization probe. The half brother was found to have a premutation allele size of 59 CGG repeats. MnlI digestion of PCR products showed the absence of intervening AGG sequences. All of his obligate carrier daughters had CGG alleles ranging from 65 to 90 repeats, with a final expansion of more than 200 repeats in his FRAXA-affected grandson and 131 repeats in his carrier granddaughter. Two full brothers were shown to have inherited a 47-CGG repeat premutation allele. Analysis of one brother showed that he stably transmitted the 47-repeat allele to his daughter. Analysis of the second brother, his daughter, and his granddaughter showed that this allele was meiotically unstable, with the allele size increasing from 47, to 48, to 49 from the father, to the daughter to the granddaughter, respectively. MnlI digestion and DNA sequencing of PCR products showed the absence of intervening AGG sequences. This is the first case in which the lack of AGG interspersions has been associated with instability of a gray zone allele resulting in a one-repeat increase in two successive generations. PMID:9450853

  12. Host Density and Competency Determine the Effects of Host Diversity on Trematode Parasite Infection

    PubMed Central

    Wojdak, Jeremy M.; Edman, Robert M.; Wyderko, Jennie A.; Zemmer, Sally A.; Belden, Lisa K.

    2014-01-01

    Variation in host species composition can dramatically alter parasite transmission in natural communities. Whether diverse host communities dilute or amplify parasite transmission is thought to depend critically on species traits, particularly on how hosts affect each other’s densities, and their relative competency as hosts. Here we studied a community of potential hosts and/or decoys (i.e. non-competent hosts) for two trematode parasite species, Echinostoma trivolvis and Ribeiroia ondatrae, which commonly infect wildlife across North America. We manipulated the density of a focal host (green frog tadpoles, Rana clamitans), in concert with manipulating the diversity of alternative species, to simulate communities where alternative species either (1) replace the focal host species so that the total number of individuals remains constant (substitution) or (2) add to total host density (addition). For E. trivolvis, we found that total parasite transmission remained roughly equal (or perhaps decreased slightly) when alternative species replaced focal host individuals, but parasite transmission was higher when alternative species were added to a community without replacing focal host individuals. Given the alternative species were roughly equal in competency, these results are consistent with current theory. Remarkably, both total tadpole and per-capita tadpole infection intensity by E. trivolvis increased with increasing intraspecific host density. For R. ondatrae, alternative species did not function as effective decoys or hosts for parasite infective stages, and the diversity and density treatments did not produce clear changes in parasite transmission, although high tank to tank variation in R. ondatrae infection could have obscured patterns. PMID:25119568

  13. Preventing mother-to-child transmission: factors affecting mothers' choice of feeding--a case study from Cameroon.

    PubMed

    Muko, K N; Tchangwe, G K; Ngwa, V C; Njoya, L

    2004-11-01

    This paper reports on factors influencing the decision of mothers regarding the type of feeding method for their babies in a rural setting in Cameroon. The aim of the study was to ascertain the proportion of mothers choosing the different methods of feeding, to determine the various factors influencing their choices, and to ascertain the relationships of these factors to their respective choices. Questionnaires were used on 108 HIV-positive mothers who had delivered babies and who were administered nevirapine at least 3 months prior to the study. A focus group discussion with mothers also took place. Findings were that more mothers (84%) chose breastfeeding than artificial feeding (16%), while a minority (4%) selected mixed feeding. Factors found to militate against artificial feeding were cost (69%), stigma (64%), family pressure (44%), inconvenience in preparation/administration (38%), prior education from health workers (23%), and loss of special attention from family (8%). On the other hand, advice of health worker (44%), ill health (19.5%), free milk (12.5%),job pressure (12.5%) and loss of beauty (12.5%) were found to militate against breastfeeding. A direct relationship was also found between age, educational level, income size, marital status and choice of feeding. Policies targeting stigma reduction and socio-cultural factors affecting the choice of feeding are needed to optimise uptake of the less risky methods of feeding which could in turn contribute to a reduction in transmission. PMID:17601001

  14. The impact of conservation-driven translocations on blood parasite prevalence in the Seychelles warbler.

    PubMed

    Fairfield, Eleanor A; Hutchings, Kimberly; Gilroy, Danielle L; Kingma, Sjouke A; Burke, Terry; Komdeur, Jan; Richardson, David S

    2016-01-01

    Introduced populations often lose the parasites they carried in their native range, but little is known about which processes may cause parasite loss during host movement. Conservation-driven translocations could provide an opportunity to identify the mechanisms involved. Using 3,888 blood samples collected over 22 years, we investigated parasite prevalence in populations of Seychelles warblers (Acrocephalus sechellensis) after individuals were translocated from Cousin Island to four new islands (Aride, Cousine, Denis and Frégate). Only a single parasite (Haemoproteus nucleocondensus) was detected on Cousin (prevalence = 52%). This parasite persisted on Cousine (prevalence = 41%), but no infection was found in individuals hatched on Aride, Denis or Frégate. It is not known whether the parasite ever arrived on Aride, but it has not been detected there despite 20 years of post-translocation sampling. We confirmed that individuals translocated to Denis and Frégate were infected, with initial prevalence similar to Cousin. Over time, prevalence decreased on Denis and Frégate until the parasite was not found on Denis two years after translocation, and was approaching zero prevalence on Frégate. The loss (Denis) or decline (Frégate) of H. nucleocondensus, despite successful establishment of infected hosts, must be due to factors affecting parasite transmission on these islands. PMID:27405249

  15. The impact of conservation-driven translocations on blood parasite prevalence in the Seychelles warbler

    PubMed Central

    Fairfield, Eleanor A.; Hutchings, Kimberly; Gilroy, Danielle L.; Kingma, Sjouke A.; Burke, Terry; Komdeur, Jan; Richardson, David S.

    2016-01-01

    Introduced populations often lose the parasites they carried in their native range, but little is known about which processes may cause parasite loss during host movement. Conservation-driven translocations could provide an opportunity to identify the mechanisms involved. Using 3,888 blood samples collected over 22 years, we investigated parasite prevalence in populations of Seychelles warblers (Acrocephalus sechellensis) after individuals were translocated from Cousin Island to four new islands (Aride, Cousine, Denis and Frégate). Only a single parasite (Haemoproteus nucleocondensus) was detected on Cousin (prevalence = 52%). This parasite persisted on Cousine (prevalence = 41%), but no infection was found in individuals hatched on Aride, Denis or Frégate. It is not known whether the parasite ever arrived on Aride, but it has not been detected there despite 20 years of post-translocation sampling. We confirmed that individuals translocated to Denis and Frégate were infected, with initial prevalence similar to Cousin. Over time, prevalence decreased on Denis and Frégate until the parasite was not found on Denis two years after translocation, and was approaching zero prevalence on Frégate. The loss (Denis) or decline (Frégate) of H. nucleocondensus, despite successful establishment of infected hosts, must be due to factors affecting parasite transmission on these islands. PMID:27405249

  16. Gastrointestinal Parasitic Infections

    PubMed Central

    Embil, Juan A.; Embil, John M.

    1988-01-01

    This article surveys the most important gastrointestinal parasites that affect humans. The modes of acquisition, pathology, epidemiology, diagnosis, and treatment are all briefly examined. Gastrointestinal parasites have become increasingly important in the differential diagnosis of gastrointestinal disease, as a result of a number of circumstances. These circumstances include: increasing travel to developing countries; increased numbers, for one reason or another, of immunocompromised individuals; increased consumption of raw or partially cooked ethnic delicacies; more crowding in day-care centres; increased immigration from developing countries; and an endemic pocket of individuals with certain unhygienic or unsanitary practices. PMID:21253148

  17. Parasite Manipulation of the Invariant Chain and the Peptide Editor H2-DM Affects Major Histocompatibility Complex Class II Antigen Presentation during Toxoplasma gondii Infection

    PubMed Central

    Leroux, Louis-Philippe; Nishi, Manami; El-Hage, Sandy; Fox, Barbara A.; Bzik, David J.

    2015-01-01

    Toxoplasma gondii is an obligate intracellular protozoan parasite. This apicomplexan is the causative agent of toxoplasmosis, a leading cause of central nervous system disease in AIDS. It has long been known that T. gondii interferes with major histocompatibility complex class II (MHC-II) antigen presentation to attenuate CD4+ T cell responses and establish persisting infections. Transcriptional downregulation of MHC-II genes by T. gondii was previously established, but the precise mechanisms inhibiting MHC-II function are currently unknown. Here, we show that, in addition to transcriptional regulation of MHC-II, the parasite modulates the expression of key components of the MHC-II antigen presentation pathway, namely, the MHC-II-associated invariant chain (Ii or CD74) and the peptide editor H2-DM, in professional antigen-presenting cells (pAPCs). Genetic deletion of CD74 restored the ability of infected dendritic cells to present a parasite antigen in the context of MHC-II in vitro. CD74 mRNA and protein levels were, surprisingly, elevated in infected cells, whereas MHC-II and H2-DM expression was inhibited. CD74 accumulated mainly in the endoplasmic reticulum (ER), and this phenotype required live parasites, but not active replication. Finally, we compared the impacts of genetic deletion of CD74 and H2-DM genes on parasite dissemination toward lymphoid organs in mice, as well as activation of CD4+ T cells and interferon gamma (IFN-γ) levels during acute infection. Cyst burdens and survival during the chronic phase of infection were also evaluated in wild-type and knockout mice. These results highlight the fact that the infection is influenced by multiple levels of parasite manipulation of the MHC-II antigen presentation pathway. PMID:26195549

  18. Parasite Manipulation of the Invariant Chain and the Peptide Editor H2-DM Affects Major Histocompatibility Complex Class II Antigen Presentation during Toxoplasma gondii Infection.

    PubMed

    Leroux, Louis-Philippe; Nishi, Manami; El-Hage, Sandy; Fox, Barbara A; Bzik, David J; Dzierszinski, Florence S

    2015-10-01

    Toxoplasma gondii is an obligate intracellular protozoan parasite. This apicomplexan is the causative agent of toxoplasmosis, a leading cause of central nervous system disease in AIDS. It has long been known that T. gondii interferes with major histocompatibility complex class II (MHC-II) antigen presentation to attenuate CD4(+) T cell responses and establish persisting infections. Transcriptional downregulation of MHC-II genes by T. gondii was previously established, but the precise mechanisms inhibiting MHC-II function are currently unknown. Here, we show that, in addition to transcriptional regulation of MHC-II, the parasite modulates the expression of key components of the MHC-II antigen presentation pathway, namely, the MHC-II-associated invariant chain (Ii or CD74) and the peptide editor H2-DM, in professional antigen-presenting cells (pAPCs). Genetic deletion of CD74 restored the ability of infected dendritic cells to present a parasite antigen in the context of MHC-II in vitro. CD74 mRNA and protein levels were, surprisingly, elevated in infected cells, whereas MHC-II and H2-DM expression was inhibited. CD74 accumulated mainly in the endoplasmic reticulum (ER), and this phenotype required live parasites, but not active replication. Finally, we compared the impacts of genetic deletion of CD74 and H2-DM genes on parasite dissemination toward lymphoid organs in mice, as well as activation of CD4(+) T cells and interferon gamma (IFN-γ) levels during acute infection. Cyst burdens and survival during the chronic phase of infection were also evaluated in wild-type and knockout mice. These results highlight the fact that the infection is influenced by multiple levels of parasite manipulation of the MHC-II antigen presentation pathway. PMID:26195549

  19. Allee effect from parasite spill-back.

    PubMed

    Krkošek, Martin; Ashander, Jaime; Frazer, L Neil; Lewis, Mark A

    2013-11-01

    The exchange of native pathogens between wild and domesticated animals can lead to novel disease threats to wildlife. However, the dynamics of wild host-parasite systems exposed to a reservoir of domesticated hosts are not well understood. A simple mathematical model reveals that the spill-back of native parasites from domestic to wild hosts may cause a demographic Allee effect in the wild host population. A second model is tailored to the particulars of pink salmon (Oncorhynchus gorbuscha) and salmon lice (Lepeophtheirus salmonis), for which parasite spill-back is a conservation and fishery concern. In both models, parasite spill-back weakens the coupling of parasite and wild host abundance-particularly at low host abundance-causing parasites per host to increase as a wild host population declines. These findings show that parasites shared across host populations have effects analogous to those of generalist predators and can similarly cause an unstable equilibrium in a focal host population that separates persistence and extirpation. Allee effects in wildlife arising from parasite spill-back are likely to be most pronounced in systems where the magnitude of transmission from domestic to wild host populations is high because of high parasite abundance in domestic hosts, prolonged sympatry of domestic and wild hosts, a high transmission coefficient for parasites, long-lived parasite larvae, and proximity of domesticated populations to wildlife migration corridors. PMID:24107371

  20. Host infection history modifies co-infection success of multiple parasite genotypes.

    PubMed

    Klemme, Ines; Louhi, Katja-Riikka; Karvonen, Anssi

    2016-03-01

    Co-infections by multiple parasite genotypes are common and have important implications for host-parasite ecology and evolution through within-host interactions. Typically, these infections take place sequentially, and therefore, the outcome of co-infection may be shaped by host immune responses triggered by previous infections. For example, in vertebrates, specific immune responses play a central role in protection against disease over the course of life, but co-infection research has mostly focused on previously uninfected individuals. Here, we investigated whether sequential exposure and activation of host resistance in rainbow trout Oncorhynchus mykiss affects infection success and interactions between co-infecting parasite genotypes of the trematode eye-fluke Diplostomum pseudospathaceum. In accordance with earlier results, we show that a simultaneous attack of two parasite genotypes facilitates parasite establishment in previously uninfected hosts. However, we find for the first time that this facilitation in co-infection is lost in hosts with prior infection. We conclude that vertebrate host infection history can affect the direction of within-host-parasite interactions. Our results may have significant implications for the evolution of co-infections and parasite transmission strategies. PMID:26589834

  1. Informative-Transmission Disequilibrium Test (i-TDT):Combined Linkage and Association Mapping That Includes Unaffected Offspring as Well as Affected Offspring

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    To date, there is no test valid for the composite null hypothesis of no linkage or no association that utilizes transmission information from heterozygous parents to their unaffected offspring as well as the affected offspring from ascertained nuclear families. Since the unaffected siblings also pro...

  2. Anthropogenics: human influence on global and genetic homogenization of parasite populations.

    PubMed

    Zarlenga, Dante S; Hoberg, Eric; Rosenthal, Benjamin; Mattiucci, Simonetta; Nascetti, Giuseppe

    2014-12-01

    The distribution, abundance, and diversity of life on Earth have been greatly shaped by human activities. This includes the geographic expansion of parasites; however, measuring the extent to which humans have influenced the dissemination and population structure of parasites has been challenging. In-depth comparisons among parasite populations extending to landscape-level processes affecting disease emergence have remained elusive. New research methods have enhanced our capacity to discern human impact, where the tools of population genetics and molecular epidemiology have begun to shed light on our historical and ongoing influence. Only since the 1990s have parasitologists coupled morphological diagnosis, long considered the basis of surveillance and biodiversity studies, with state-of-the-art tools enabling variation to be examined among, and within, parasite populations. Prior to this time, populations were characterized only by phenotypic attributes such as virulence, infectivity, host range, and geographical location. The advent of genetic/molecular methodologies (multilocus allozyme electrophoresis, polymerase chain reaction-DNA [PCR-DNA] fragments analysis, DNA sequencing, DNA microsatellites, single nucleotide polymorphisms, etc.) have transformed our abilities to reveal variation among, and within, populations at local, regional, landscape, and global scales, and thereby enhanced our understanding of the biosphere. Numerous factors can affect population structure among parasites, e.g., evolutionary and ecological history, mode of reproduction and transmission, host dispersal, and life-cycle complexity. Although such influences can vary considerably among parasite taxa, anthropogenic factors are demonstrably perturbing parasite fauna. Minimal genetic structure among many geographically distinct (isolated) populations is a hallmark of human activity, hastened by geographic introductions, environmental perturbation, and global warming. Accelerating

  3. Can the common brain parasite, Toxoplasma gondii, influence human culture?

    PubMed Central

    Lafferty, Kevin D

    2006-01-01

    The latent prevalence of a long-lived and common brain parasite, Toxoplasma gondii, explains a statistically significant portion of the variance in aggregate neuroticism among populations, as well as in the ‘neurotic’ cultural dimensions of sex roles and uncertainty avoidance. Spurious or non-causal correlations between aggregate personality and aspects of climate and culture that influence T. gondii transmission could also drive these patterns. A link between culture and T. gondii hypothetically results from a behavioural manipulation that the parasite uses to increase its transmission to the next host in the life cycle: a cat. While latent toxoplasmosis is usually benign, the parasite's subtle effect on individual personality appears to alter the aggregate personality at the population level. Drivers of the geographical variation in the prevalence of this parasite include the effects of climate on the persistence of infectious stages in soil, the cultural practices of food preparation and cats as pets. Some variation in culture, therefore, may ultimately be related to how climate affects the distribution of T. gondii, though the results only explain a fraction of the variation in two of the four cultural dimensions, suggesting that if T. gondii does influence human culture, it is only one among many factors. PMID:17015323

  4. Importation and Transmission of Parasitic and Other Infectious Diseases Associated with International Adoptees and Refugees Immigrating into the United States of America.

    PubMed

    Smith Darr, Jordan; Conn, David Bruce

    2015-01-01

    Each year, hundreds of millions of people travel across international borders or even oceans, and up to 230 million may remain for long periods. Among these, 3-5 million settle permanently in their new homes, with about 1 million migrating permanently to the United States of America. This may result in transport of parasites and other pathogens, which might become established, infecting individuals in the new location. Beyond concern of disease spread, the health of migrants is of concern since the rigors, circumstances, and living conditions surrounding migrations may increase the vulnerability of migrants to infections. International adoptees and refugees are a small subset of these migrants but are of special significance inasmuch as adoptees may be more vulnerable to infection due to their immature immune status, and refugees may be more vulnerable due to substandard living conditions. Both originate from diverse regions, but often from environments of low hygiene and health care standards. This review examines recent examples of infections reported from adoptees and refugees entering the USA through 2010, highlighting the most common origin countries and the diseases most frequently involved, including Chagas disease, Balamuthia amebic meningoencephalitis, giardiasis, microsporidiosis, hepatitis, measles, pertussis, tuberculosis, malaria, intestinal helminths, and syphilis. PMID:26583130

  5. Importation and Transmission of Parasitic and Other Infectious Diseases Associated with International Adoptees and Refugees Immigrating into the United States of America

    PubMed Central

    Smith Darr, Jordan; Conn, David Bruce

    2015-01-01

    Each year, hundreds of millions of people travel across international borders or even oceans, and up to 230 million may remain for long periods. Among these, 3–5 million settle permanently in their new homes, with about 1 million migrating permanently to the United States of America. This may result in transport of parasites and other pathogens, which might become established, infecting individuals in the new location. Beyond concern of disease spread, the health of migrants is of concern since the rigors, circumstances, and living conditions surrounding migrations may increase the vulnerability of migrants to infections. International adoptees and refugees are a small subset of these migrants but are of special significance inasmuch as adoptees may be more vulnerable to infection due to their immature immune status, and refugees may be more vulnerable due to substandard living conditions. Both originate from diverse regions, but often from environments of low hygiene and health care standards. This review examines recent examples of infections reported from adoptees and refugees entering the USA through 2010, highlighting the most common origin countries and the diseases most frequently involved, including Chagas disease, Balamuthia amebic meningoencephalitis, giardiasis, microsporidiosis, hepatitis, measles, pertussis, tuberculosis, malaria, intestinal helminths, and syphilis. PMID:26583130

  6. Travel/Travelers and Parasitic Diseases

    MedlinePlus

    ... Taenia infection fascioliasis Vector-borne Transmission More Common malaria leishmaniasis Less Common Chagas disease lymphatic filariasis African ... source: Global Health - Division of Parasitic Diseases and Malaria Notice: Linking to a non-federal site does ...

  7. Parasitic Apologies

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Galatolo, Renata; Ursi, Biagio; Bongelli, Ramona

    2016-01-01

    The action of apologizing can be accomplished as the main business of the interaction or incidentally while participants are doing something else. We refer to these apologies as "parasitic apologies," because they are produced "en passant" (Schegloff, 2007), and focus our analysis on this type of apology occurring at the…

  8. Foodborne Parasites

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Foodborne infections are a significant cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide, and foodborne parasitic diseases, though not as widespread as bacterial and viral infections, are common on all continents and in most ecosystems, including arctic, temperate, and tropical regions. Certain foodborne ...

  9. Parasitism and phenotypic change in colonial hosts.

    PubMed

    Hartikainen, Hanna; Fontes, Inês; Okamura, Beth

    2013-09-01

    Changes in host phenotype are often attributed to manipulation that enables parasites to complete trophic transmission cycles. We characterized changes in host phenotype in a colonial host–endoparasite system that lacks trophic transmission (the freshwater bryozoan Fredericella sultana and myxozoan parasite Tetracapsuloides bryosalmonae). We show that parasitism exerts opposing phenotypic effects at the colony and module levels. Thus, overt infection (the development of infectious spores in the host body cavity) was linked to a reduction in colony size and growth rate, while colony modules exhibited a form of gigantism. Larger modules may support larger parasite sacs and increase metabolite availability to the parasite. Host metabolic rates were lower in overtly infected relative to uninfected hosts that were not investing in propagule production. This suggests a role for direct resource competition and active parasite manipulation (castration) in driving the expression of the infected phenotype. The malformed offspring (statoblasts) of infected colonies had greatly reduced hatching success. Coupled with the severe reduction in statoblast production this suggests that vertical transmission is rare in overtly infected modules. We show that although the parasite can occasionally infect statoblasts during overt infections, no infections were detected in the surviving mature offspring, suggesting that during overt infections, horizontal transmission incurs a trade-off with vertical transmission. PMID:23965820

  10. Substitution of a single amino acid in the 2b protein of Pea early-browning virus affects nematode transmission.

    PubMed

    Vellios, Evangelos; Brown, Derek J F; MacFarlane, Stuart A

    2002-07-01

    The 2b protein of Pea early-browning virus (PEBV) is required for transmission of the virus by nematodes. Comparison of the 2b proteins of highly transmissible (TpA56) and poorly transmissible (SP5) isolates of PEBV identified two amino acid substitutions (G90S and G177R) that might be responsible for the poor transmission of isolate SP5. Hybrid viruses were created in which the TpA56 2b protein carried SP5-specific substitutions at residue 90 or 177, and in which the SP5 2b protein carried TpA56-specific substitutions at these positions. Transmission tests showed that the G177R substitution is sufficient to prevent nematode transmission of the virus. Examination of the 2b proteins from PEBV and other tobraviruses predicted the presence of a coiled-coil domain in the central region of the protein. This structural element is important for the association of interacting proteins and, thus, might mediate interaction of the 2b protein with the virus coat protein or with the vector nematode. PMID:12075098

  11. PKDL—A Silent Parasite Pool for Transmission of Leishmaniasis in Kala-azar Endemic Areas of Malda District, West Bengal, India

    PubMed Central

    Ganguly, Swagata; Saha, Pabitra; Chatterjee, Moytrey; Roy, Surajit; Ghosh, Tamal Kanti; Guha, Subhasish K.; Kundu, Pratip K.; Bera, Dilip K.; Basu, Nandita; Maji, Ardhendu K.

    2015-01-01

    Post Kala-azar Dermal Leishmaniasis (PKDL) is a chronic but not life-threatening disease; patients generally do not demand treatment, deserve much more attention because PKDL is highly relevant in the context of Visceral Leishmaniasis (VL) elimination. There is no standard guideline for diagnosis and treatment for PKDL. A species-specific PCR on slit skin smear demonstrated a sensitivity of 93.8%, but it has not been applied for routine diagnostic purpose. The study was conducted to determine the actual disease burden in an endemic area of Malda district, West Bengal, comparison of the three diagnostic tools for PKDL case detection and pattern of lesion regression after treatment. The prevalence of PKDL was determined by active surveillance and confirmed by PCR based diagnosis. Patients were treated with either sodium stibogluconate (SSG) or oral miltefosine and followed up for two years to observe lesion regression period. Twenty six PKDL cases were detected with a prevalence rate of 27.5% among the antileishmanial antibody positive cases. Among three diagnostic methods used, PCR is highly sensitive (88.46%) for case confirmation. In majority of the cases skin lesions persisted after treatment completion which gradually disappeared during 6–12 months post treatment period. Reappearance of lesions noted in two cases after 1.5 years of miltefosine treatment. A significant number of PKDL patients would remain undiagnosed without active mass surveys. Such surveys are required in other endemic areas to attain the ultimate goal of eliminating Kala-azar. PCR-based method is helpful in confirming diagnosis of PKDL, referral laboratory at district or state level can achieve it. So a well-designed study with higher number of samples is essential to establish when/whether PKDL patients are free from parasite after treatment and to determine which PKDL patients need treatment for longer period. PMID:26485704

  12. PKDL--A Silent Parasite Pool for Transmission of Leishmaniasis in Kala-azar Endemic Areas of Malda District, West Bengal, India.

    PubMed

    Ganguly, Swagata; Saha, Pabitra; Chatterjee, Moytrey; Roy, Surajit; Ghosh, Tamal Kanti; Guha, Subhasish K; Kundu, Pratip K; Bera, Dilip K; Basu, Nandita; Maji, Ardhendu K

    2015-01-01

    Post Kala-azar Dermal Leishmaniasis (PKDL) is a chronic but not life-threatening disease; patients generally do not demand treatment, deserve much more attention because PKDL is highly relevant in the context of Visceral Leishmaniasis (VL) elimination. There is no standard guideline for diagnosis and treatment for PKDL. A species-specific PCR on slit skin smear demonstrated a sensitivity of 93.8%, but it has not been applied for routine diagnostic purpose. The study was conducted to determine the actual disease burden in an endemic area of Malda district, West Bengal, comparison of the three diagnostic tools for PKDL case detection and pattern of lesion regression after treatment. The prevalence of PKDL was determined by active surveillance and confirmed by PCR based diagnosis. Patients were treated with either sodium stibogluconate (SSG) or oral miltefosine and followed up for two years to observe lesion regression period. Twenty six PKDL cases were detected with a prevalence rate of 27.5% among the antileishmanial antibody positive cases. Among three diagnostic methods used, PCR is highly sensitive (88.46%) for case confirmation. In majority of the cases skin lesions persisted after treatment completion which gradually disappeared during 6-12 months post treatment period. Reappearance of lesions noted in two cases after 1.5 years of miltefosine treatment. A significant number of PKDL patients would remain undiagnosed without active mass surveys. Such surveys are required in other endemic areas to attain the ultimate goal of eliminating Kala-azar. PCR-based method is helpful in confirming diagnosis of PKDL, referral laboratory at district or state level can achieve it. So a well-designed study with higher number of samples is essential to establish when/whether PKDL patients are free from parasite after treatment and to determine which PKDL patients need treatment for longer period. PMID:26485704

  13. Nature limits filarial transmission

    PubMed Central

    Chandra, Goutam

    2008-01-01

    Lymphatic filariasis, caused by Wuchereria bancrofti, Brugia malayi and B. timori is a public health problem of considerable magnitude of the tropics and subtropics. Presently 1.3 billion people are at risk of lymphatic filariasis (LF) infection and about 120 million people are affected in 83 countries. In this context it is worth mentioning that 'nature' itself limits filarial transmission to a great extent in a number of ways such as by reducing vector populations, parasitic load and many other bearings. Possibilities to utilize these bearings of natural control of filariasis should be searched and if manipulations on nature, like indiscriminate urbanization and deforestation, creating sites favourable for the breeding of filarial vectors and unsanitary conditions, water pollution with organic matters etc., are reduced below the threshold level, we will be highly benefited. Understandings of the factors related to natural phenomena of control of filariasis narrated in this article may help to adopt effective control strategies. PMID:18500974

  14. When parasites disagree: evidence for parasite-induced sabotage of host manipulation.

    PubMed

    Hafer, Nina; Milinski, Manfred

    2015-03-01

    Host manipulation is a common parasite strategy to alter host behavior in a manner to enhance parasite fitness usually by increasing the parasite's transmission to the next host. In nature, hosts often harbor multiple parasites with agreeing or conflicting interests over host manipulation. Natural selection might drive such parasites to cooperation, compromise, or sabotage. Sabotage would occur if one parasite suppresses the manipulation of another. Experimental studies on the effect of multi-parasite interactions on host manipulation are scarce, clear experimental evidence for sabotage is elusive. We tested the effect of multiple infections on host manipulation using laboratory-bred copepods experimentally infected with the trophically transmitted tapeworm Schistocephalus solidus. This parasite is known to manipulate its host depending on its own developmental stage. Coinfecting parasites with the same aim enhance each other's manipulation but only after reaching infectivity. If the coinfecting parasites disagree over host manipulation, the infective parasite wins this conflict: the noninfective one has no effect. The winning (i.e., infective) parasite suppresses the manipulation of its noninfective competitor. This presents conclusive experimental evidence for both cooperation in and sabotage of host manipulation and hence a proof of principal that one parasite can alter and even neutralize manipulation by another. PMID:25643621

  15. Extracellular vesicles in parasitic diseases

    PubMed Central

    Marcilla, Antonio; Martin-Jaular, Lorena; Trelis, Maria; de Menezes-Neto, Armando; Osuna, Antonio; Bernal, Dolores; Fernandez-Becerra, Carmen; Almeida, Igor C.; del Portillo, Hernando A.

    2014-01-01

    Parasitic diseases affect billions of people and are considered a major public health issue. Close to 400 species are estimated to parasitize humans, of which around 90 are responsible for great clinical burden and mortality rates. Unfortunately, they are largely neglected as they are mainly endemic to poor regions. Of relevance to this review, there is accumulating evidence of the release of extracellular vesicles (EVs) in parasitic diseases, acting both in parasite–parasite inter-communication as well as in parasite–host interactions. EVs participate in the dissemination of the pathogen and play a role in the regulation of the host immune systems. Production of EVs from parasites or parasitized cells has been described for a number of parasitic infections. In this review, we provide the most relevant findings of the involvement of EVs in intercellular communication, modulation of immune responses, involvement in pathology, and their potential as new diagnostic tools and therapeutic agents in some of the major human parasitic pathogens. PMID:25536932

  16. The many roads to parasitism: a tale of convergence.

    PubMed

    Poulin, Robert

    2011-01-01

    Parasitic organisms account for a large portion of living species. They have arisen on multiple independent occasions in many phyla, and thus encompass a huge biological diversity. This review uses several lines of evidence to argue that this vast diversity can be reduced to a few evolutionary end points that transcend phylogenetic boundaries. These represent peaks in the adaptive landscape reached independently by different lineages undergoing convergent evolution. Among eukaryotic parasites living in or on animals, six basic parasitic strategies are identified based on the number of hosts used per parasite generation, the fitness loss incurred by the host, and the transmission routes used by the parasites. They are parasitoids, parasitic castrators, directly transmitted parasites, trophically transmitted parasites, vector-transmitted parasites and micropredators. These show evidence of convergence in morphology, physiology, reproduction, life cycles and transmission patterns. Parasite-host body size ratios, and the relationship between virulence and intensity of infection, are also associated with the different parasitic strategies, but not consistently so. At the population level, patterns of parasite distribution among hosts are not uniform across all parasitic strategies, but are distinctly different for parasitoids and castrators than for other parasites. To demonstrate that the above six strategies defined for animal parasites are universal, comparisons are made with parasites of plants, in particular, plant-parasitic nematodes and parasitic angiosperms; these are shown to follow the same evolutionary trajectories seen among animal parasites, despite huge physiological and ecological differences between animals and plants. Beyond demonstrating the inevitable convergence of disparate lineages across biological hyperspace towards a limited set of adaptive strategies, this synthesis also provides a unifying framework for the study of parasitism. PMID:21295676

  17. The study of parasite sharing for surveillance of zoonotic diseases

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Farrell, Maxwell J.; Berrang-Ford, Lea; Davies, T. Jonathan

    2013-03-01

    Determining the factors that influence the transmission of parasites among hosts is important for directing surveillance of animal parasites before they successfully emerge in humans, and increasing the efficacy of programs for the control and management of zoonotic diseases. Here we present a review of recent advances in the study of parasite sharing, wildlife ecology, and epidemiology that could be extended and incorporated into proactive surveillance frameworks for multi-host infectious diseases. These methods reflect emerging interdisciplinary techniques with significant promise for the identification of future zoonotic parasites and unknown reservoirs of current zoonoses, strategies for the reduction of parasite prevalence and transmission among hosts, and decreasing the burden of infectious diseases.

  18. Deep sequencing of citrus affected by graft-transmissible diseases of unknown etiology leads to discovery of two novel viruses.

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Citrus is susceptible to graft-transmissible disease agents and to a number of arthropod-transmitted pathogens. Citrus cultivars vary greatly in susceptibility or tolerance to these pathogens. Furthermore, pathogenicity amongst pathogen strains also varies. Established tests for known disease agent...

  19. Physicians, Primary Caregivers and Topical Repellent: All Under-Utilised Resources in Stopping Dengue Virus Transmission in Affected Households

    PubMed Central

    Nguyen, Nguyet Minh; Whitehorn, James S.; Luong Thi Hue, Tai; Nguyen Thanh, Truong; Mai Xuan, Thong; Vo Xuan, Huy; Nguyen Thi Cam, Huong; Nguyen Thi Hong, Lan; Nguyen, Hoa L.; Dong Thi Hoai, Tam; Nguyen Van Vinh, Chau; Wolbers, Marcel; Wills, Bridget; Simmons, Cameron P.; Carrington, Lauren B.

    2016-01-01

    Background Primary health care facilities frequently manage dengue cases on an ambulatory basis for the duration of the patient’s illness. There is a great opportunity for specific messaging, aimed to reduce dengue virus (DENV) transmission in and around the home, to be directly targeted toward this high-risk ambulatory patient group, as part of an integrated approach to dengue management. The extent however, to which physicians understand, and can themselves effectively communicate strategies to stop focal DENV transmission around an ambulatory dengue case is unknown; the matter of patient comprehension and recollection then ensues. In addition, the effectiveness of N,N-diethyl-3-methylbenzamide (DEET)-based insect repellent in protecting dengue patients from Aedes aegypti mosquitoes’ bites has not been investigated. Methodology A knowledge, attitude and practice (KAP) survey, focusing on the mechanisms of DENV transmission and prevention, was performed using semi-structured questionnaires. This survey was targeted towards the patients and family members providing supportive care, and physicians routinely involved in dengue patient management in Southern Vietnam. An additional clinical observational study was conducted to measure the efficacy of a widely-used 13% DEET-based insect repellent to repel Ae. aegypti mosquitoes from the forearms of dengue cases and matched healthy controls. Principal Findings Among both the physician (n = 50) and patient (n = 49) groups there were several respondents lacking a coherent understanding of DENV transmission, leading to some inappropriate attitudes and inadequate acute preventive practices in the household. The application of insect repellent to protect patients and their relatives from mosquito bites was frequently recommended by majority of physicians (78%) participating in the survey. Nevertheless, our tested topical application of 13% DEET conferred only ~1hr median protection time from Ae. aegypti landing. This is

  20. Bold, Sedentary Fathead Minnows Have More Parasites.

    PubMed

    Pan, Tiffany; Gladen, Kelsey; Duncan, Elizabeth C; Cotner, Sehoya; Cotner, James B; McEwen, Daniel C; Wisenden, Brian D

    2016-08-01

    Parasites that rely on trophic transmission can manipulate the behavior of an intermediate host to compromise the host's antipredator competence and increase the probability of reaching the next host. Selection for parasite manipulation is diminished when there is significant risk of host death to causes other than consumption by a suitable definitive host for the parasite. Consequently, behavioral manipulation by parasites can be expected to be subtle. Ornithodiplostomum ptychocheilus (Op) is a trematode parasite that has a bird-snail-fish host life cycle. Fathead minnows are a common intermediate host of Op, where metacercariae encyst in the minnow brain. In this study, we report a link between metacercarial intensity and behavior in fathead minnows. In the field, we found that roaming distance by free-living minnows over 24 h was negatively correlated with parasite intensity. In the laboratory, we found that boldness in an open field test was positively correlated with parasite intensity. These parasite-induced behavioral changes may render infected minnows more susceptible to predators, which would serve to facilitate trophic transmission of parasites to the bird host. PMID:27093037

  1. Evolution of parasitism along convergent lines: from ecology to genomics.

    PubMed

    Poulin, Robert; Randhawa, Haseeb S

    2015-02-01

    SUMMARY From hundreds of independent transitions from a free-living existence to a parasitic mode of life, separate parasite lineages have converged over evolutionary time to share traits and exploit their hosts in similar ways. Here, we first summarize the evidence that, at a phenotypic level, eukaryotic parasite lineages have all converged toward only six general parasitic strategies: parasitoid, parasitic castrator, directly transmitted parasite, trophically transmitted parasite, vector-transmitted parasite or micropredator. We argue that these strategies represent adaptive peaks, with the similarities among unrelated taxa within any strategy extending to all basic aspects of host exploitation and transmission among hosts and transcending phylogenetic boundaries. Then, we extend our examination of convergent patterns by looking at the evolution of parasite genomes. Despite the limited taxonomic coverage of sequenced parasite genomes currently available, we find some evidence of parallel evolution among unrelated parasite taxa with respect to genome reduction or compaction, and gene losses or gains. Matching such changes in parasite genomes with the broad phenotypic traits that define the convergence of parasites toward only six strategies of host exploitation is not possible at present. Nevertheless, as more parasite genomes become available, we may be able to detect clear trends in the evolution of parasitic genome architectures representing true convergent adaptive peaks, the genomic equivalents of the phenotypic strategies used by all parasites. PMID:24229807

  2. Canine and feline parasitic zoonoses in China

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Canine and feline parasitic zoonoses have not been given high priority in China, although the role of companion animals as reservoirs for zoonotic parasitic diseases has been recognized worldwide. With an increasing number of dogs and cats under unregulated conditions in China, the canine and feline parasitic zoonoses are showing a trend towards being gradually uncontrolled. Currently, canine and feline parasitic zoonoses threaten human health, and cause death and serious diseases in China. This article comprehensively reviews the current status of major canine and feline parasitic zoonoses in mainland China, discusses the risks dogs and cats pose with regard to zoonotic transmission of canine and feline parasites, and proposes control strategies and measures. PMID:22839365

  3. Control of human parasitic diseases: Context and overview.

    PubMed

    Molyneux, David H

    2006-01-01

    The control of parasitic diseases of humans has been undertaken since the aetiology and natural history of the infections was recognized and the deleterious effects on human health and well-being appreciated by policy makers, medical practitioners and public health specialists. However, while some parasitic infections such as malaria have proved difficult to control, as defined by a sustained reduction in incidence, others, particularly helminth infections can be effectively controlled. The different approaches to control from diagnosis, to treatment and cure of the clinically sick patient, to control the transmission within the community by preventative chemotherapy and vector control are outlined. The concepts of eradication, elimination and control are defined and examples of success summarized. Overviews of the health policy and financing environment in which programmes to control or eliminate parasitic diseases are positioned and the development of public-private partnerships as vehicles for product development or access to drugs for parasite disease control are discussed. Failure to sustain control of parasites may be due to development of drug resistance or the failure to implement proven strategies as a result of decreased resources within the health system, decentralization of health management through health-sector reform and the lack of financial and human resources in settings where per capita government expenditure on health may be less than $US 5 per year. However, success has been achieved in several large-scale programmes through sustained national government investment and/or committed donor support. It is also widely accepted that the level of investment in drug development for the parasitic diseases of poor populations is an unattractive option for pharmaceutical companies. The development of partnerships to specifically address this need provides some hope that the intractable problems of the treatment regimens for the trypanosomiases and

  4. Optimal temperature for malaria transmission is dramaticallylower than previously predicted

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Mordecai, Eerin A.; Paaijmans, Krijin P.; Johnson, Leah R.; Balzer, Christian; Ben-Horin, Tal; de Moor, Emily; McNally, Amy; Pawar, Samraat; Ryan, Sadie J.; Smith, Thomas C.; Lafferty, Kevin D.

    2013-01-01

    The ecology of mosquito vectors and malaria parasites affect the incidence, seasonal transmission and geographical range of malaria. Most malaria models to date assume constant or linear responses of mosquito and parasite life-history traits to temperature, predicting optimal transmission at 31 °C. These models are at odds with field observations of transmission dating back nearly a century. We build a model with more realistic ecological assumptions about the thermal physiology of insects. Our model, which includes empirically derived nonlinear thermal responses, predicts optimal malaria transmission at 25 °C (6 °C lower than previous models). Moreover, the model predicts that transmission decreases dramatically at temperatures > 28 °C, altering predictions about how climate change will affect malaria. A large data set on malaria transmission risk in Africa validates both the 25 °C optimum and the decline above 28 °C. Using these more accurate nonlinear thermal-response models will aid in understanding the effects of current and future temperature regimes on disease transmission.

  5. Transmission of Tomato Yellow Leaf Curl Virus by Bemisia tabaci as Affected by Whitefly Sex and Biotype

    PubMed Central

    Ning, Wenxi; Shi, Xiaobin; Liu, Baiming; Pan, Huipeng; Wei, Wanting; Zeng, Yang; Sun, Xinpei; Xie, Wen; Wang, Shaoli; Wu, Qingjun; Cheng, Jiaxu; Peng, Zhengke; Zhang, Youjun

    2015-01-01

    Bemisia tabaci is a serious pest of vegetables and other crops worldwide. The most damaging and predominant B. tabaci biotypes are B and Q, and both are vectors of tomato yellow leaf curl virus (TYLCV). Previous research has shown that Q outperforms B in many respects but comparative research is lacking on the ability of B and Q to transmit viruses. In the present study, we tested the hypothesis that B and Q differ in their ability to transmit TYLCV and that this difference helps explain TYLCV outbreaks. We compared the acquisition, retention, and transmission of TYLCV by B and Q females and males. We found that Q females are more efficient than Q males, B females, and B males at TYLCV acquisition and transmission. Although TYLCV acquisition and transmission tended to be greater for B females than B males, the differences were not statistically significant. Based on electrical penetration graphs determination of phloem sap ingestion parameters, females fed better than males, and Q females fed better than Q males, B females, or B males. These results are consistent with the occurrences of TYLCV outbreaks in China, which have been associated with the spread of Q rather than B. PMID:26021483

  6. Transmission of Tomato Yellow Leaf Curl Virus by Bemisia tabaci as Affected by Whitefly Sex and Biotype.

    PubMed

    Ning, Wenxi; Shi, Xiaobin; Liu, Baiming; Pan, Huipeng; Wei, Wanting; Zeng, Yang; Sun, Xinpei; Xie, Wen; Wang, Shaoli; Wu, Qingjun; Cheng, Jiaxu; Peng, Zhengke; Zhang, Youjun

    2015-01-01

    Bemisia tabaci is a serious pest of vegetables and other crops worldwide. The most damaging and predominant B. tabaci biotypes are B and Q, and both are vectors of tomato yellow leaf curl virus (TYLCV). Previous research has shown that Q outperforms B in many respects but comparative research is lacking on the ability of B and Q to transmit viruses. In the present study, we tested the hypothesis that B and Q differ in their ability to transmit TYLCV and that this difference helps explain TYLCV outbreaks. We compared the acquisition, retention, and transmission of TYLCV by B and Q females and males. We found that Q females are more efficient than Q males, B females, and B males at TYLCV acquisition and transmission. Although TYLCV acquisition and transmission tended to be greater for B females than B males, the differences were not statistically significant. Based on electrical penetration graphs determination of phloem sap ingestion parameters, females fed better than males, and Q females fed better than Q males, B females, or B males. These results are consistent with the occurrences of TYLCV outbreaks in China, which have been associated with the spread of Q rather than B. PMID:26021483

  7. Influence of Hepatozoon parasites on host-seeking and host-choice behaviour of the mosquitoes Culex territans and Culex pipiens☆

    PubMed Central

    Ferguson, Laura V.; Kirk Hillier, N.; Smith, Todd G.

    2012-01-01

    Hepatozoon species are heteroxenous parasites that commonly infect the blood of vertebrates and various organs of arthropods. Despite their ubiquity, little is known about how these parasites affect host phenotype, including whether or not these parasites induce changes in hosts to increase transmission success. The objectives of this research were to investigate influences of the frog blood parasite Hepatozoon clamatae and the snake blood parasite Hepatozoon sipedon on host-seeking and host-choice behaviour of the mosquitoes Culex territans and Culex pipiens, respectively. During development of H. sipedon in C. pipiens, significantly fewer infected mosquitoes fed on uninfected snakes compared to uninfected mosquitoes. When H. sipedon was mature in C. pipiens, the number of infected and uninfected C. pipiens that fed on snakes was not significantly different. Higher numbers of mosquitoes fed on naturally infected snakes and frogs compared to laboratory-reared, uninfected control animals. However, experiments using only laboratory-raised frogs revealed that infection did not significantly affect host choice by C. territans. Behaviour of C. pipiens in the presence of H. sipedon may increase transmission success of the parasite and provide the first evidence of phenotypic changes in the invertebrate host of Hepatozoon parasites. PMID:24533317

  8. Transmission-Ratio Distortion and Allele Sharing in Affected Sib Pairs: A New Linkage Statistic with Reduced Bias, with Application to Chromosome 6q25.3

    PubMed Central

    Lemire, Mathieu; Roslin, Nicole M.; Laprise, Catherine; Hudson, Thomas J.; Morgan, Kenneth

    2004-01-01

    We studied the effect of transmission-ratio distortion (TRD) on tests of linkage based on allele sharing in affected sib pairs. We developed and implemented a discrete-trait allele-sharing test statistic, Sad, analogous to the Spairs test statistic of Whittemore and Halpern, that evaluates an excess sharing of alleles at autosomal loci in pairs of affected siblings, as well as a lack of sharing in phenotypically discordant relative pairs, where available. Under the null hypothesis of no linkage, nuclear families with at least two affected siblings and one unaffected sibling have a contribution to Sad that is unbiased, with respect to the effects of TRD independent of the disease under study. If more distantly related unaffected individuals are studied, the bias of Sad is generally reduced compared with that of Spairs, but not completely. Moreover, Sad has higher power, in some circumstances, because of the availability of unaffected relatives, who are ignored in affected-only analyses. We discuss situations in which it may be an efficient use of resources to genotype unaffected relatives, which would give insights for promising study designs. The method is applied to a sample of pedigrees ascertained for asthma in a chromosomal region in which TRD has been reported. Results are consistent with the presence of transmission distortion in that region. PMID:15322985

  9. Cardiac Involvement with Parasitic Infections

    PubMed Central

    Hidron, Alicia; Vogenthaler, Nicholas; Santos-Preciado, José I.; Rodriguez-Morales, Alfonso J.; Franco-Paredes, Carlos; Rassi, Anis

    2010-01-01

    Summary: Parasitic infections previously seen only in developing tropical settings can be currently diagnosed worldwide due to travel and population migration. Some parasites may directly or indirectly affect various anatomical structures of the heart, with infections manifested as myocarditis, pericarditis, pancarditis, or pulmonary hypertension. Thus, it has become quite relevant for clinicians in developed settings to consider parasitic infections in the differential diagnosis of myocardial and pericardial disease anywhere around the globe. Chagas' disease is by far the most important parasitic infection of the heart and one that it is currently considered a global parasitic infection due to the growing migration of populations from areas where these infections are highly endemic to settings where they are not endemic. Current advances in the treatment of African trypanosomiasis offer hope to prevent not only the neurological complications but also the frequently identified cardiac manifestations of this life-threatening parasitic infection. The lack of effective vaccines, optimal chemoprophylaxis, or evidence-based pharmacological therapies to control many of the parasitic diseases of the heart, in particular Chagas' disease, makes this disease one of the most important public health challenges of our time. PMID:20375355

  10. Pervasiveness of Parasites in Pollinators

    PubMed Central

    Evison, Sophie E. F.; Roberts, Katherine E.; Laurenson, Lynn; Pietravalle, Stéphane; Hui, Jeffrey; Biesmeijer, Jacobus C.; Smith, Judith E.; Budge, Giles; Hughes, William O. H.

    2012-01-01

    Many pollinator populations are declining, with large economic and ecological implications. Parasites are known to be an important factor in the some of the population declines of honey bees and bumblebees, but little is known about the parasites afflicting most other pollinators, or the extent of interspecific transmission or vectoring of parasites. Here we carry out a preliminary screening of pollinators (honey bees, five species of bumblebee, three species of wasp, four species of hoverfly and three genera of other bees) in the UK for parasites. We used molecular methods to screen for six honey bee viruses, Ascosphaera fungi, Microsporidia, and Wolbachia intracellular bacteria. We aimed simply to detect the presence of the parasites, encompassing vectoring as well as actual infections. Many pollinators of all types were positive for Ascosphaera fungi, while Microsporidia were rarer, being most frequently found in bumblebees. We also detected that most pollinators were positive for Wolbachia, most probably indicating infection with this intracellular symbiont, and raising the possibility that it may be an important factor in influencing host sex ratios or fitness in a diversity of pollinators. Importantly, we found that about a third of bumblebees (Bombus pascuorum and Bombus terrestris) and a third of wasps (Vespula vulgaris), as well as all honey bees, were positive for deformed wing virus, but that this virus was not present in other pollinators. Deformed wing virus therefore does not appear to be a general parasite of pollinators, but does interact significantly with at least three species of bumblebee and wasp. Further work is needed to establish the identity of some of the parasites, their spatiotemporal variation, and whether they are infecting the various pollinator species or being vectored. However, these results provide a first insight into the diversity, and potential exchange, of parasites in pollinator communities. PMID:22347356

  11. Pervasiveness of parasites in pollinators.

    PubMed

    Evison, Sophie E F; Roberts, Katherine E; Laurenson, Lynn; Pietravalle, Stéphane; Hui, Jeffrey; Biesmeijer, Jacobus C; Smith, Judith E; Budge, Giles; Hughes, William O H

    2012-01-01

    Many pollinator populations are declining, with large economic and ecological implications. Parasites are known to be an important factor in the some of the population declines of honey bees and bumblebees, but little is known about the parasites afflicting most other pollinators, or the extent of interspecific transmission or vectoring of parasites. Here we carry out a preliminary screening of pollinators (honey bees, five species of bumblebee, three species of wasp, four species of hoverfly and three genera of other bees) in the UK for parasites. We used molecular methods to screen for six honey bee viruses, Ascosphaera fungi, Microsporidia, and Wolbachia intracellular bacteria. We aimed simply to detect the presence of the parasites, encompassing vectoring as well as actual infections. Many pollinators of all types were positive for Ascosphaera fungi, while Microsporidia were rarer, being most frequently found in bumblebees. We also detected that most pollinators were positive for Wolbachia, most probably indicating infection with this intracellular symbiont, and raising the possibility that it may be an important factor in influencing host sex ratios or fitness in a diversity of pollinators. Importantly, we found that about a third of bumblebees (Bombus pascuorum and Bombus terrestris) and a third of wasps (Vespula vulgaris), as well as all honey bees, were positive for deformed wing virus, but that this virus was not present in other pollinators. Deformed wing virus therefore does not appear to be a general parasite of pollinators, but does interact significantly with at least three species of bumblebee and wasp. Further work is needed to establish the identity of some of the parasites, their spatiotemporal variation, and whether they are infecting the various pollinator species or being vectored. However, these results provide a first insight into the diversity, and potential exchange, of parasites in pollinator communities. PMID:22347356

  12. Parasitic Pneumonia and Lung Involvement

    PubMed Central

    Cheepsattayakorn, Ruangrong

    2014-01-01

    Parasitic infestations demonstrated a decline in the past decade as a result of better hygiene practices and improved socioeconomic conditions. Nevertheless, global immigration, increased numbers of the immunocompromised people, international traveling, global warming, and rapid urbanization of the cities have increased the susceptibility of the world population to parasitic diseases. A number of new human parasites, such as Plasmodium knowlesi, in addition to many potential parasites, have urged the interest of scientific community. A broad spectrum of protozoal parasites frequently affects the respiratory system, particularly the lungs. The diagnosis of parasitic diseases of airway is challenging due to their wide varieties of clinical and roentgenographic presentations. So detailed interrogations of travel history to endemic areas are critical for clinicians or pulmonologists to manage this entity. The migrating adult worms can cause mechanical airway obstruction, while the larvae can cause airway inflammation. This paper provides a comprehensive review of both protozoal and helminthic infestations that affect the airway system, particularly the lungs, including clinical and roentgenographic presentations, diagnostic tests, and therapeutic approaches. PMID:24995332

  13. Habitat-based constraints on food web structure and parasite life cycles.

    PubMed

    Rossiter, Wayne; Sukhdeo, Michael V K

    2014-04-01

    Habitat is frequently implicated as a powerful determinant of community structure and species distributions, but few studies explicitly evaluate the relationship between habitat-based patterns of species' distributions and the presence or absence of trophic interactions. The complex (multi-host) life cycles of parasites are directly affected by these factors, but almost no data exist on the role of habitat in constraining parasite-host interactions at the community level. In this study the relationship(s) between species abundances, distributions and trophic interactions (including parasitism) were evaluated in the context of habitat structure (classic geomorphic designations of pools, riffles and runs) in a riverine community (Raritan River, Hunterdon County, NJ, USA). We report 121 taxa collected over a 2-year period, and compare the observed food web patterns to null model expectations. The results show that top predators are constrained to particular habitat types, and that species' distributions are biased towards pool habitats. However, our null model (which incorporates cascade model assumptions) accurately predicts the observed patterns of trophic interactions. Thus, habitat strongly dictates species distributions, and patterns of trophic interactions arise as a consequence of these distributions. Additionally, we find that hosts utilized in parasite life cycles are more overlapping in their distributions, and this pattern is more pronounced among those involved in trophic transmission. We conclude that habitat structure may be a strong predictor of parasite transmission routes, particularly within communities that occupy heterogeneous habitats. PMID:24249118

  14. Parasite diversity of Nyctiphanes simplex and Nematoscelis difficilis (Crustacea: Euphausiacea) along the northwestern coast of Mexico.

    PubMed

    Gómez-Gutiérrez, Jaime; Robinson, Carlos J; Kawaguchi, So; Nicol, Stephen

    2010-02-17

    The diversity of parasites found on Nyctiphanes simplex and Nematoscelis difficilis (Order Euphausiacea) was compared during 10 oceanographic cruises made off both coasts of the Baja California peninsula, Mexico. We tested the hypothesis that N. simplex has a more diverse parasitic assemblage than N. difficilis because it is a neritic species, has larger population abundance, and tends to form denser and more compact swarms than N. difficilis. These biological and behavioral features may enhance parasite transmission within swarms. We detected 6 types of ectoparasites: (1) epibiotic diatoms Licmophora sp.; (2) Ephelotidae suctorian ciliates; (3) Foettingeriidae exuviotrophic apostome ciliates; (4) an unidentified epicaridean cryptoniscus larvae (isopoda); and 2 castrators: (5) the ectoparasitic Dajidae isopod Notophryxus lateralis and (6) the ellobiopsid mesoparasite Thalassomyces fagei. We also detected 7 types of endoparasites: (1) an undescribed Collinia ciliate (Apostomatida); 3 types of Cestoda: (2) a Tetrarhynchobothruium sp. (Trypanorhyncha), (3) Echinobothrium sp. (Diphyllidea: Echinobothyriidae), and (4) unidentified metacestode; (5) a Trematoda Paronatrema-like metacercaria (Syncoeliidae); (6) the nematode Anisakis simplex (L3); and (7) Polymorphidae acantocephalan larvae (acanthor, acanthella, and cystacanth larval stages). N. simplex is affected by all types of parasites, except the isopod N. lateralis, having a considerably larger parasitic diversity and prevalence rates than N. difficilis, which is only infested with 3 types of ectoparasites and T. fagei. Euphausiid swarming is an adaptive behavior for reproduction, protection against predators, and increased efficiency in food searching, but has a negative effect due to parasitism. Although the advantages of aggregation must overcome the reduction of population and individual fitness induced by parasites, we demonstrated that all types of parasites can affect approximately 14% of N. simplex

  15. Stress and sex in malaria parasites

    PubMed Central

    Carter, Lucy M.; Kafsack, Björn F.C.; Llinás, Manuel; Mideo, Nicole; Pollitt, Laura C.; Reece, Sarah E.

    2013-01-01

    For vector-borne parasites such as malaria, how within- and between-host processes interact to shape transmission is poorly understood. In the host, malaria parasites replicate asexually but for transmission to occur, specialized sexual stages (gametocytes) must be produced. Despite the central role that gametocytes play in disease transmission, explanations of why parasites adjust gametocyte production in response to in-host factors remain controversial. We propose that evolutionary theory developed to explain variation in reproductive effort in multicellular organisms, provides a framework to understand gametocyte investment strategies. We examine why parasites adjust investment in gametocytes according to the impact of changing conditions on their in-host survival. We then outline experiments required to determine whether plasticity in gametocyte investment enables parasites to maintain fitness in a variable environment. Gametocytes are a target for anti-malarial transmission-blocking interventions so understanding plasticity in investment is central to maximizing the success of control measures in the face of parasite evolution. PMID:24481194

  16. Transmission coefficient for a point scatterer at specific energies is affected by the presence of the scatterer but independent of the scatterer's characteristics

    SciTech Connect

    Granot, Er'el

    2005-01-15

    We calculate the exact transmission coefficients of a quantum wire in the presence of a single point defect at the wire's cutoff frequencies. We show that at these frequencies while the conductance pattern (i.e., the scattering) is strongly affected by the presence of the defect, the pattern is totally independent of the defect's characteristics (i.e., the defect that caused the scattering cannot be identified from that pattern). The change in the conduction pattern can cause universal attraction and/or repulsion forces between two parallel conducting wires.

  17. The impact of climate change on the parasites and infectious diseases of aquatic animals.

    PubMed

    Marcogliese, D J

    2008-08-01

    Climate change is predicted to have important effects on parasitism and disease in freshwater and marine ecosystems, with consequences for human health and socio-economics. The distribution of parasites and pathogens will be directly affected by global warming, but also indirectly, through effects on host range and abundance. To date, numerous disease outbreaks, especially in marine organisms, have been associated with climatic events such as the El Niño-Southern Oscillation. In general, transmission rates of parasites and pathogens are expected to increase with increasing temperature. Evidence suggests that the virulence of some pathogens and parasites may also increase with global warming. The effects of climate change on parasites and pathogens will be superimposed onto the effects of other anthropogenic stressors in ecosystems, such as contaminants, habitat loss and species introductions. This combination of stressors may work cumulatively or synergistically to exacerbate negative effects on host organisms and populations. Climatic effects on parasites and diseases of key species may cascade through food webs, with consequences for entire ecosystems. PMID:18819673

  18. Transmission and persistence of Ceratonova shasta genotypes in Chinook salmon.

    PubMed

    Hurst, Charlene N; Wong, Peter; Hallett, Sascha L; Ray, R Adam; Bartholomew, Jerri L

    2014-12-01

    Ceratonova shasta is a myxozoan parasite of salmon and trout transmitted by waterborne actinospores. Based on DNA sequence data and host specificity, 4 distinct parasite genotypes are recognized. Genotypes I and II are common in the lower reaches of the Klamath River, Oregon-California, but only infection by genotype I causes mortality in Chinook salmon. We conducted sentinel fish exposures and determined genotype composition in river water during exposure, and in fish gills, intestine, and tank water post-exposure to determine whether: (1) transmission of parasites having different genotypes is host-specific and (2) all transmitted genotypes persist in the host through to release as waterborne stages. Initial parasite transmission to the fish host appears indiscriminant, since we detected both genotypes I and II in 83.6% of the fish gills sampled. However, only genotype I was detected in fish that succumbed to infection, while both genotypes persisted in fish that survived. Persistence was likely dependent on exposure dose, initial infection type (mixed or single) and infection outcome (mortality or survival). The transmission of both genotypes to a majority of Chinook salmon and the persistence of multiple genotypes raises questions about how infection with mixed genotypes could result in within-host interactions that affect disease severity. PMID:24945751

  19. Parasite Zoonoses and Wildlife: Emerging Issues

    PubMed Central

    Thompson, R.C. Andrew; Kutz, Susan J.; Smith, Andrew

    2009-01-01

    The role of wildlife as important sources, reservoirs and amplifiers of emerging human and domestic livestock pathogens, in addition to well recognized zoonoses of public health significance, has gained considerable attention in recent years. However, there has been little attention given to the transmission and impacts of pathogens of human origin, particularly protozoan, helminth and arthropod parasites, on wildlife. Substantial advances in molecular technologies are greatly improving our ability to follow parasite flow among host species and populations and revealing valuable insights about the interactions between cycles of transmission. Here we present several case studies of parasite emergence, or risk of emergence, in wildlife, as a result of contact with humans or anthropogenic activities. For some of these parasites, there is growing evidence of the serious consequences of infection on wildlife survival, whereas for others, there is a paucity of information about their impact. PMID:19440409

  20. Single amino acid changes in the viral glycoprotein M affect induction of alpha interferon by the coronavirus transmissible gastroenteritis virus.

    PubMed Central

    Laude, H; Gelfi, J; Lavenant, L; Charley, B

    1992-01-01

    Transmissible gastroenteritis virus, an enteropathogenic coronavirus of swine, is a potent inducer of alpha interferon (IFN-alpha) both in vitro and in vivo. Previous studies have shown that virus-infected fixed cells or viral suspensions were able to induce an early and strong IFN-alpha synthesis by naive lymphocytes. Two monoclonal antibodies directed against the viral membrane glycoprotein M (29,000; formerly E1) were found to markedly inhibit virus-induced IFN production, thus assigning to M protein a potential effector role in this phenomenon (B. Charley and H. Laude, J. Virol. 62:8-11, 1988). The present report describes the selection and characterization of a collection of 125 mutant viruses which escaped complement-mediated neutralization by two IFN induction-blocking anti-M protein monoclonal antibodies. Two of these mutants, designated H92 and dm49-4, were found to exhibit a markedly reduced interferogenic activity. IFN synthesis by lymphocytes incubated with purified suspensions of these mutants was 30- to 300-fold lower than that of the parental virus. The transcription of IFN-alpha genes following induction by each mutant was decreased proportionally, as evidenced by Northern (RNA) blot analysis. The sequence of the M gene of 20 complement-mediated neutralization-resistant mutants, including the 2 defective mutants, was determined by direct sequencing of genome RNA. Thirteen distinct amino acid changes were predicted, all located at positions 6 to 22 from the N terminus of the mature M protein and within the putative ectodomain of the molecule. Two substitutions, Thr-17 to Ile and Ser-19 to Pro, were assumed to generate the defective phenotypes of mutants dm49-4 and H92, respectively. The alteration of an Asn-Ser-Thr sequence in dm49-4 virus led to the synthesis of an M protein devoid of a glycan side chain, which suggests a possible involvement of this structure in IFN induction. Overall, these data supported the view that an interferogenic

  1. Asynchrony in host and parasite phenology may decrease disease risk in livestock under climate warming: Nematodirus battus in lambs as a case study.

    PubMed

    Gethings, Owen J; Rose, Hannah; Mitchell, Siân; Van Dijk, Jan; Morgan, Eric R

    2015-09-01

    Mismatch in the phenology of trophically linked species as a result of climate warming has been shown to have far-reaching effects on animal communities, but implications for disease have so far received limited attention. This paper presents evidence suggestive of phenological asynchrony in a host-parasite system arising from climate change, with impacts on transmission. Diagnostic laboratory data on outbreaks of infection with the pathogenic nematode Nematodirus battus in sheep flocks in the UK were used to validate region-specific models of the effect of spring temperature on parasite transmission. The hatching of parasite eggs to produce infective larvae is driven by temperature, while the availability of susceptible hosts depends on lambing date, which is relatively insensitive to inter-annual variation in spring temperature. In southern areas and in warmer years, earlier emergence of infective larvae in spring was predicted, with decline through mortality before peak availability of susceptible lambs. Data confirmed model predictions, with fewer outbreaks recorded in those years and regions. Overlap between larval peaks and lamb availability was not reduced in northern areas, which experienced no decreases in the number of reported outbreaks. Results suggest that phenological asynchrony arising from climate warming may affect parasite transmission, with non-linear but predictable impacts on disease burden. Improved understanding of complex responses of host-parasite systems to climate change can contribute to effective adaptation of parasite control strategies. PMID:26091257

  2. Malaria Parasites Produce Volatile Mosquito Attractants

    PubMed Central

    Kelly, Megan; Su, Chih-Ying; Schaber, Chad; Crowley, Jan R.; Hsu, Fong-Fu; Carlson, John R.

    2015-01-01

    ABSTRACT The malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum contains a nonphotosynthetic plastid organelle that possesses plant-like metabolic pathways. Plants use the plastidial isoprenoid biosynthesis pathway to produce volatile odorants, known as terpenes. In this work, we describe the volatile chemical profile of cultured malaria parasites. Among the identified compounds are several plant-like terpenes and terpene derivatives, including known mosquito attractants. We establish the molecular identity of the odorant receptors of the malaria mosquito vector Anopheles gambiae, which responds to these compounds. The malaria parasite produces volatile signals that are recognized by mosquitoes and may thereby mediate host attraction and facilitate transmission. PMID:25805727

  3. Mansonelliasis, a neglected parasitic disease in Haiti

    PubMed Central

    Raccurt, Christian Pierre; Brasseur, Philippe; Boncy, Jacques

    2014-01-01

    Reported in Haiti as early as 1923, Mansonella ozzardi is still a neglected disease ignored by the health authorities of the country. This review is an update on the geographic distribution of the coastal foci of mansonelliasis in Haiti, the epidemiological profile and prevalence rates of microfilariae in people living in endemic areas, the clinical impact of the parasite on health and the efficiency of the transmission of the parasite among three Culicoides biting-midge species identified as vectors in Haiti. Additionally, interest in establishing a treatment programme to combat this parasite using a single dose of ivermectin is emphasised. PMID:25317697

  4. Effects of a hurricane on fish parasites.

    PubMed

    Overstreet, R M

    2007-09-01

    Hurricanes, also called tropical cyclones, can dramatically affect life along their paths, including a temporary losing or reducing in number of parasites of fishes. Hurricane Katrina in the northern Gulf of Mexico in August 2005 provides many examples involving humans and both terrestrial and aquatic animals and plants. Fishes do not provide much of an indicator of hurricane activity because most species quickly repopulate the area. Fish parasites, however, serve as a good indicator of the overall biodiversity and environmental health. The reasons for the noted absence or reduction of parasites in fishes are many, and specific parasites provide indications of different processes. The powerful winds can produce perturbations of the sediments harboring intermediate hosts. The surge of high salinity water can kill or otherwise affect low salinity intermediate hosts or free-living stages. Both can introduce toxicants into the habitat and also interfere with the timing and processes involved with host-parasite interrelationships. All these have had a major influence on fish parasite populations of fishes in coastal Mississippi, especially for those parasites incorporating intermediate hosts in their life cycles. The length of time for a parasite to become re-established can vary considerably, depending on its life cycle as well as the associated biota, habitat, and environmental conditions, and each parasite provides a special indicator of environmental health. PMID:18410074

  5. Parasites in the Wadden Sea food web

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Thieltges, David W.; Engelsma, Marc Y.; Wendling, Carolin C.; Wegner, K. Mathias

    2013-09-01

    While the free-living fauna of the Wadden Sea has received much interest, little is known on the distribution and effects of parasites in the Wadden Sea food web. However, recent studies on this special type of trophic interaction indicate a high diversity of parasites in the Wadden Sea and suggest a multitude of effects on the hosts. This also includes effects on specific predator-prey relationships and the general structure of the food web. Focussing on molluscs, a major group in the Wadden Sea in terms of biomass and abundance and an important link between primary producers and predators, we review existing studies and exemplify the ecological role of parasites in the Wadden Sea food web. First, we give a brief inventory of parasites occurring in the Wadden Sea, ranging from microparasites (e.g. protozoa, bacteria) to macroparasites (e.g. helminths, parasitic copepods) and discuss the effects of spatial scale on heterogeneities in infection levels. We then demonstrate how parasites can affect host population dynamics by acting as a strong mortality factor, causing mollusc mass mortalities. In addition, we will exemplify how parasites can mediate the interaction strength of predator-prey relationships and affect the topological structure of the Wadden Sea food web as a whole. Finally, we highlight some ongoing changes regarding parasitism in the Wadden Sea in the course of global change (e.g. species introduction, climate change) and identify important future research questions to entangle the role of parasites in the Wadden Sea food web.

  6. Michel Serres' "Le Parasite" and Martin Buber's "I and Thou: Noise" in Informal Education Affecting "Dialogue" between Communities in Conflict in the Middle East

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Guilherme, Alex

    2015-01-01

    One issue that is often ignored in political theory is the problem of means and modes of communication affecting "dialogue" between parties. In this age of hyper communication, this is something particularly relevant. The point here is that, despite the ease with which we have access to both means and modes of communication, there…

  7. Identification of quantitative trait loci affecting resistance to gastro-intestinal parasites in a double backcross population of Red Maasai and Dorper sheep

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    A genome-wide scan for quantitative trait loci (QTL) affecting gastrointestinal (GI) nematode resistance was completed using a double backcross sheep population derived from Red Maasai and Dorper ewes bred to F1 rams. These breeds were chosen, because Red Maasai sheep are known to be more tolerant ...

  8. Comparing mechanisms of host manipulation across host and parasite taxa

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Lafferty, Kevin D.; Shaw, Jenny C.

    2013-01-01

    Parasites affect host behavior in several ways. They can alter activity, microhabitats or both. For trophically transmitted parasites (the focus of our study), decreased activity might impair the ability of hosts to respond to final-host predators, and increased activity and altered microhabitat choice might increase contact rates between hosts and final-host predators. In an analysis of trophically transmitted parasites, more parasite groups altered activity than altered microhabitat choice. Parasites that infected vertebrates were more likely to impair the host’s reaction to predators, whereas parasites that infected invertebrates were more likely to increase the host’s contact with predators. The site of infection might affect how parasites manipulate their hosts. For instance, parasites in the central nervous system seem particularly suited to manipulating host behavior. Manipulative parasites commonly occupy the body cavity, muscles and central nervous systems of their hosts. Acanthocephalans in the data set differed from other taxa in that they occurred exclusively in the body cavity of invertebrates. In addition, they were more likely to alter microhabitat choice than activity. Parasites in the body cavity (across parasite types) were more likely to be associated with increased host contact with predators. Parasites can manipulate the host through energetic drain, but most parasites use more sophisticated means. For instance, parasites target four physiological systems that shape behavior in both invertebrates and vertebrates: neural, endocrine, neuromodulatory and immunomodulatory. The interconnections between these systems make it difficult to isolate specific mechanisms of host behavioral manipulation.

  9. PCR detection of malaria parasites in desiccated Anopheles mosquitoes is uninhibited by storage time and temperature

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background Reliable methods to preserve mosquito vectors for malaria studies are necessary for detecting Plasmodium parasites. In field settings, however, maintaining a cold chain of storage from the time of collection until laboratory processing, or accessing other reliable means of sample preservation is often logistically impractical or cost prohibitive. As the Plasmodium infection rate of Anopheles mosquitoes is a central component of the entomological inoculation rate and other indicators of transmission intensity, storage conditions that affect pathogen detection may bias malaria surveillance indicators. This study investigated the effect of storage time and temperature on the ability to detect Plasmodium parasites in desiccated Anopheles mosquitoes by real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR). Methods Laboratory-infected Anopheles stephensi mosquitoes were chloroform-killed and stored over desiccant for 0, 1, 3, and 6 months while being held at four different temperatures: 28, 37, -20 and -80°C. The detection of Plasmodium DNA was evaluated by real-time PCR amplification of a 111 base pair region of block 4 of the merozoite surface protein. Results Varying the storage time and temperature of desiccated mosquitoes did not impact the sensitivity of parasite detection. A two-way factorial analysis of variance suggested that storage time and temperature were not associated with a loss in the ability to detect parasites. Storage of samples at 28°C resulted in a significant increase in the ability to detect parasite DNA, though no other positive associations were observed between the experimental storage treatments and PCR amplification. Conclusions Cold chain maintenance of desiccated mosquito samples is not necessary for real-time PCR detection of parasite DNA. Though field-collected mosquitoes may be subjected to variable conditions prior to molecular processing, the storage of samples over an inexpensive and logistically accessible desiccant will likely

  10. Role of parasitic vaccines in integrated control of parasitic diseases in livestock

    PubMed Central

    Sharma, Neelu; Singh, Veer; Shyma, K. P.

    2015-01-01

    Parasitic infections adversely affect animal’s health and threaten profitable animal production, thus affecting the economy of our country. These infections also play a major role in the spread of zoonotic diseases. Parasitic infections cause severe morbidity and mortality in animals especially those affecting the gastrointestinal system and thus affect the economy of livestock owner by decreasing the ability of the farmer to produce economically useful animal products. Due to all these reasons proper control of parasitic infection is critically important for sustained animal production. The most common and regularly used method to control parasitic infection is chemotherapy, which is very effective but has several disadvantages like drug resistance and drug residues. Integrated approaches to control parasitic infections should be formulated including grazing management, biological control, genetic resistance of hosts, and parasitic vaccines. India ranks first in cattle and buffalo population, but the majority of livestock owners have fewer herds, so other measures like grazing management, biological control, genetic resistance of hosts are not much practical to use. The most sustainable and economical approach to control parasitic infection in our country is to vaccinate animals, although vaccines increase the initial cost, but the immunity offered by the vaccine are long lived. Thus, vaccination of animals for various clinical, chronic, subclinical parasitic infections will be a cheaper and effective alternative to control parasitic infection for long time and improve animal production. PMID:27047140

  11. Ecology of avian brood parasitism at an early interfacing of host and parasite populations

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Wiley, J.W.

    1982-01-01

    The shiny cowbird (Molothrus bonariensis), a brood parasite, has recently spread into the Greater Antilles from South America via the Lesser Antilles. This species is a host generalist and upon reaching Puerto Rico exploited avian communities with no history of social parasitism. Forty-two percent of the resident non-raptorial land bird species were parasitized in mangrove habitat study areas. Cowbird parasitism affected hosts by (1) depressing nest success an average of 41 percent below non-parasitized nests, and (2) reducing host productivity. Parasitized hosts produced 12 percent fewer eggs and fledged 67 percent fewer of their own chicks than non-parasitized pairs. Growth rates of chicks of some host species were lower in parasitized nests compared with non-parasitized nests while growth of others was not affected by brood parasitism. Cowbird chick growth varied directly with host size; i.e., cowbird chicks grew faster and attained greater fledging weight and body size in nests of larger hosts. Factors important in shiny cowbird host selection were examined within the mangrove study community. Cowbirds did not parasitize avian species in proportion to their abundance. The cowbird breeding season coincided with that of its major hosts, which were high quality foster species, and did not extend into other periods even though nests of poor quality species were available. Food habits and egg size of cowbirds were similar to those of their hosts, suggesting that cowbirds choose hosts partly on the basis of this alignment. Cowbirds locate nests by cryptically watching activities of birds in likely habitat. Despite the recency of the cowbird's arrival in Puerto Rico, some nesting species have effective anti-parasite strategies, including alien egg rejection and nest guarding. Behavior effective in avoiding parasitism is similar to that used by certain birds in evading nest predators. It is suggested that anti-predator behavior is preadaptive to countering cowbird

  12. Malaria transmission potential could be reduced with current and future climate change

    PubMed Central

    Murdock, C. C.; Sternberg, E. D.; Thomas, M. B.

    2016-01-01

    Several studies suggest the potential for climate change to increase malaria incidence in cooler, marginal transmission environments. However, the effect of increasing temperature in warmer regions where conditions currently support endemic transmission has received less attention. We investigate how increases in temperature from optimal conditions (27 °C to 30 °C and 33 °C) interact with realistic diurnal temperature ranges (DTR: ± 0 °C, 3 °C, and 4.5 °C) to affect the ability of key vector species from Africa and Asia (Anopheles gambiae and An. stephensi) to transmit the human malaria parasite, Plasmodium falciparum. The effects of increasing temperature and DTR on parasite prevalence, parasite intensity, and mosquito mortality decreased overall vectorial capacity for both mosquito species. Increases of 3 °C from 27 °C reduced vectorial capacity by 51–89% depending on species and DTR, with increases in DTR alone potentially halving transmission. At 33 °C, transmission potential was further reduced for An. stephensi and blocked completely in An. gambiae. These results suggest that small shifts in temperature could play a substantial role in malaria transmission dynamics, yet few empirical or modeling studies consider such effects. They further suggest that rather than increase risk, current and future warming could reduce transmission potential in existing high transmission settings. PMID:27324146

  13. Malaria transmission potential could be reduced with current and future climate change.

    PubMed

    Murdock, C C; Sternberg, E D; Thomas, M B

    2016-01-01

    Several studies suggest the potential for climate change to increase malaria incidence in cooler, marginal transmission environments. However, the effect of increasing temperature in warmer regions where conditions currently support endemic transmission has received less attention. We investigate how increases in temperature from optimal conditions (27 °C to 30 °C and 33 °C) interact with realistic diurnal temperature ranges (DTR: ± 0 °C, 3 °C, and 4.5 °C) to affect the ability of key vector species from Africa and Asia (Anopheles gambiae and An. stephensi) to transmit the human malaria parasite, Plasmodium falciparum. The effects of increasing temperature and DTR on parasite prevalence, parasite intensity, and mosquito mortality decreased overall vectorial capacity for both mosquito species. Increases of 3 °C from 27 °C reduced vectorial capacity by 51-89% depending on species and DTR, with increases in DTR alone potentially halving transmission. At 33 °C, transmission potential was further reduced for An. stephensi and blocked completely in An. gambiae. These results suggest that small shifts in temperature could play a substantial role in malaria transmission dynamics, yet few empirical or modeling studies consider such effects. They further suggest that rather than increase risk, current and future warming could reduce transmission potential in existing high transmission settings. PMID:27324146

  14. Parasitic infestation of lung: An unusual cause of interstitial pneumonitis

    PubMed Central

    Shah, Parth; Kate, Arvind H; Nester, Nora; Patole, Kamlakar; Leuppi, Joerg D; Chhajed, Prashant N

    2016-01-01

    Parasite infections are increasing worldwide due to increasing migration and traveling. Parasitic infections can affect lungs and present as a focal or diffuse lung diseases. High index of suspicion and detailed history are most important. We present a case of interstitial pneumonitis caused by parasite infestation, which was diagnosed on transbronchial lung biopsy. PMID:27051117

  15. Coevolution of parasite virulence and host mating strategies

    PubMed Central

    Ashby, Ben; Boots, Michael

    2015-01-01

    Parasites are thought to play an important role in sexual selection and the evolution of mating strategies, which in turn are likely to be critical to the transmission and therefore the evolution of parasites. Despite this clear interdependence we have little understanding of parasite-mediated sexual selection in the context of reciprocal parasite evolution. Here we develop a general coevolutionary model between host mate preference and the virulence of a sexually transmitted parasite. We show when the characteristics of both the host and parasite lead to coevolutionarily stable strategies or runaway selection, and when coevolutionary cycling between high and low levels of host mate choosiness and virulence is possible. A prominent argument against parasites being involved in sexual selection is that they should evolve to become less virulent when transmission depends on host mating success. The present study, however, demonstrates that coevolution can maintain stable host mate choosiness and parasite virulence or indeed coevolutionary cycling of both traits. We predict that choosiness should vary inversely with parasite virulence and that both relatively long and short life spans select against choosy behavior in the host. The model also reveals that hosts can evolve different behavioral responses from the same initial conditions, which highlights difficulties in using comparative analysis to detect parasite-mediated sexual selection. Taken as a whole, our results emphasize the importance of viewing parasite-mediated sexual selection in the context of coevolution. PMID:26430236

  16. Serotonin genes and attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder in a Brazilian sample: preferential transmission of the HTR2A 452His allele to affected boys.

    PubMed

    Guimarães, Ana Paula M; Zeni, Cristian; Polanczyk, Guilherme V; Genro, Julia P; Roman, Tatiana; Rohde, Luis A; Hutz, Mara H

    2007-01-01

    Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is one of the most common psychiatric disorders of childhood. The role of genetic factors in its etiology is strongly supported by family, adoption, and twin studies. Low serotonin activity has been associated in both animal and human studies with measures of impulsivity, aggression, and disinhibited behaviors, which make genes from the serotonin system reasonable candidates for ADHD susceptibility. In the present study, we investigated a polymorphism in the promoter region of the serotonin transporter (SLC6A4) and two polymorphisms (-1438 A > G and His452Tyr) in the serotonin 5-HTR2A receptor gene using family based association analyses in a sample of 243 Brazilian ADHD children and adolescents and their parents. No linkage disequilibrium between the two HTR2A polymorphisms was detected in this sample (P = 0.76). Considering several evidences from animal models for sexual dimorphism in serotonin genes expression, analyses were performed separately for the whole sample and for male probands. No evidences for biased transmissions of both HTR2A -1438 A > G and SLC6A4 polymorphisms to ADHD youths were observed. Preferential transmission of the HTR2A His452 allele was observed only in families with affected boys (P = 0.04). Our results suggest that findings from ADHD association studies for serotonin genes might be understood in the context of a gender effect, which may help to explain conflicting results in these association studies. PMID:16958038

  17. Rodent sociality and parasite diversity.

    PubMed

    Bordes, Frédéric; Blumstein, Daniel T; Morand, Serge

    2007-12-22

    The risk of parasitism is considered to be a general cost of sociality and individuals living in larger groups are typically considered to be more likely to be infected with parasites. However, contradictory results have been reported for the relationship between group size and infection by directly transmitted parasites. We used independent contrasts to examine the relationship between an index of sociality in rodents and the diversity of their macroparasites (helminths and arthropods such as fleas, ticks, suckling lice and mesostigmatid mites). We found that the species richness of directly transmitted ectoparasites, but not endoparasites, decreased significantly with the level of rodent sociality. A greater homogeneity in the biotic environment (i.e. a reduced number of cohabiting host species) of the more social species may have reduced ectoparasites' diversity by impairing ectoparasites transmission and exchange. Our finding may also result from beneficial outcomes of social living that include behavioural defences, like allogrooming, and the increased avoidance of parasites through dilution effects. PMID:17925270

  18. Leishmania chitinase facilitates colonization of sand fly vectors and enhances transmission to mice

    PubMed Central

    Rogers, Matthew E; Hajmová, Martina; Joshi, Manju B; Sadlova, Jovana; Dwyer, Dennis M; Volf, Petr; Bates, Paul A

    2008-01-01

    Chitinases of trypanosomatid parasites have been proposed to fulfil various roles in their blood-feeding arthropod vectors but so far none have been directly tested using a molecular approach. We characterized the ability of Leishmania mexicana episomally transfected with LmexCht1 (the L. mexicana chitinase gene) to survive and grow within the permissive sand fly vector, Lutzomyia longipalpis. Compared with control plasmid transfectants, the overexpression of chitinase was found to increase the average number of parasites per sand fly and accelerate the escape of parasites from the peritrophic matrix-enclosed blood meal as revealed by earlier arrival at the stomodeal valve. Such flies also exhibited increased damage to the structure of the stomodeal valve, which may facilitate transmission by regurgitation. When exposed individually to BALB/c mice, those flies with chitinase-overexpressing parasites spent on average 2.4–2.5 times longer in contact with their host during feeding, compared with flies with control infections. Furthermore, the lesions that resulted from these single fly bite infections were both significantly larger and with higher final parasite burdens than controls. These data show that chitinase is a multifunctional virulence factor for L. mexicana which assists its survival in Lu. longipalpis. Specifically, this enzyme enables the parasites to colonize the anterior midgut of the sand fly more quickly, modify the sand fly stomodeal valve and affect its blood feeding, all of which combine to enhance transmission. PMID:18284631

  19. Fish Parasites: A Growing Concern During Pregnancy.

    PubMed

    Villazanakretzer, Diana L; Napolitano, Peter G; Cummings, Kelly F; Magann, Everett F

    2016-04-01

    Intestinal parasitic worms affect more than 2 billion people worldwide according to the World Health Organization. Fish-borne parasitic infections are becoming more common with the increasing popularity of sushi, sashimi, Carpaccio, tartare, gefilte, and ceviche. The ingestion of these parasites can cause serve anemia, malabsorption, severe abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, strong allergic reactions, and gastric ulcers. Knowledge about fish parasites and pregnancy is limited. A literature search on PubMed and Web of Science used the search terms "fish parasites" OR "diphyllobothrium" OR "anisakiasis" OR "pseudoterranova" OR ("food borne parasites" AND "fish") AND "pregnancy" OR "maternal" OR "fetus" OR "fetal" OR "newborn" OR "neonatal" OR "childbirth." No limit was put on the number of years searched. There were 281 publications identified. The abstracts of all of these publications were read. After exclusion of the articles that were not relevant to pregnancy, pregnancy outcome, and fish parasites, there were 24 articles that became the basis of this review. The pathophysiology, altered maternal immunity related to the infection, limited information about fish-borne parasitic infections and pregnancy, and treatments are discussed. The main impact of a fish-borne parasitic infection on pregnant women is anemia and altered immunity, which may increase the risk of a maternal infection. The primary fetal effects include intrauterine growth restriction and preterm delivery. PMID:27065071

  20. Interactive effects of wildfire, forest management, and isolation on amphibian and parasite abundance

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hossack, Blake R.; Corn, P. Stephen; Winsor H. Lowe; R. Kenneth Honeycutt; Sean A. Parks

    2013-01-01

    Projected increases in wildfire and other climate-driven disturbances will affect populations and communities worldwide, including host–parasite relationships. Research in temperate forests has shown that wildfire can negatively affect amphibians, but this research has occurred primarily outside of managed landscapes where interactions with human disturbances could result in additive or synergistic effects. Furthermore, parasites represent a large component of biodiversity and can affect host fitness and population dynamics, yet they are rarely included in studies of how vertebrate hosts respond to disturbance. To determine how wildfire affects amphibians and their parasites, and whether effects differ between protected and managed landscapes, we compared abundance of two amphibians and two nematodes relative to wildfire extent and severity around wetlands in neighboring protected and managed forests (Montana, USA). Population sizes of adult, male long-toed salamanders (Ambystoma macrodactylum) decreased with increased burn severity, with stronger negative effects on isolated populations and in managed forests. In contrast, breeding population sizes of Columbia spotted frogs (Rana luteiventris) increased with burn extent in both protected and managed protected forests. Path analysis showed that the effects of wildfire on the two species of nematodes were consistent with differences in their life history and transmission strategies and the responses of their hosts. Burn severity indirectly reduced abundance of soil-transmitted Cosmocercoides variabilis through reductions in salamander abundance. Burn severity also directly reduced C. variabilis abundance, possibly though changes in soil conditions. For the aquatically transmitted nematode Gyrinicola batrachiensis, the positive effect of burn extent on density of Columbia spotted frog larvae indirectly increased parasite abundance. Our results show that effects of wildfire on amphibians depend upon burn extent

  1. Interactive effects of wildfire, forest management, and isolation on amphibian and parasite abundance.

    PubMed

    Hossack, Blake R; Lowe, Winsor H; Honeycutt, R Ken; Parks, Sean A; Corn, Paul Stephen

    2013-03-01

    Projected increases in wildfire and other climate-driven disturbances will affect populations and communities worldwide, including host-parasite relationships. Research in temperate forests has shown that wildfire can negatively affect amphibians, but this research has occurred primarily outside of managed landscapes where interactions with human disturbances could result in additive or synergistic effects. Furthermore, parasites represent a large component of biodiversity and can affect host fitness and population dynamics, yet they are rarely included in studies of how vertebrate hosts respond to disturbance. To determine how wildfire affects amphibians and their parasites, and whether effects differ between protected and managed landscapes, we compared abundance of two amphibians and two nematodes relative to wildfire extent and severity around wetlands in neighboring protected and managed forests (Montana, USA). Population sizes of adult, male long-toed salamanders (Ambystoma macrodactylum) decreased with increased burn severity, with stronger negative effects on isolated populations and in managed forests. In contrast, breeding population sizes of Columbia spotted frogs (Rana luteiventris) increased with burn extent in both protected and managed protected forests. Path analysis showed that the effects of wildfire on the two species of nematodes were consistent with differences in their life history and transmission strategies and the responses of their hosts. Burn severity indirectly reduced abundance of soil-transmitted Cosmocercoides variabilis through reductions in salamander abundance. Burn severity also directly reduced C. variabilis abundance, possibly though changes in soil conditions. For the aquatically transmitted nematode Gyrinicola batrachiensis, the positive effect of burn extent on density of Columbia spotted frog larvae indirectly increased parasite abundance. Our results show that effects of wildfire on amphibians depend upon burn extent and

  2. Transfusion-transmitted parasitic infections.

    PubMed

    Singh, Gagandeep; Sehgal, Rakesh

    2010-07-01

    The transmission of parasitic organisms through transfusion is relatively rare. Of the major transfusion-transmitted diseases, malaria is a major cause of TTIP in tropical countries whereas babesiosis and Chagas' disease pose the greatest threat to donors in the USA In both cases, this is due to the increased number of potentially infected donors. There are no reliable serologic tests available to screen donors for any of these organisms and the focus for prevention remains on adherence to donor screening guidelines that address travel history and previous infection with the etiologic agent. One goal is the development of tests that are able to screen for and identify donors potentially infectious for parasitic infections without causing the deferral of a large number of non-infectious donors or significantly increasing costs. Ideally, methods to inactivate the infectious organism will provide an element of added safety to the blood supply. PMID:20859503

  3. Transfusion-transmitted parasitic infections

    PubMed Central

    Singh, Gagandeep; Sehgal, Rakesh

    2010-01-01

    The transmission of parasitic organisms through transfusion is relatively rare. Of the major transfusion-transmitted diseases, malaria is a major cause of TTIP in tropical countries whereas babesiosis and Chagas’ disease pose the greatest threat to donors in the USA In both cases, this is due to the increased number of potentially infected donors. There are no reliable serologic tests available to screen donors for any of these organisms and the focus for prevention remains on adherence to donor screening guidelines that address travel history and previous infection with the etiologic agent. One goal is the development of tests that are able to screen for and identify donors potentially infectious for parasitic infections without causing the deferral of a large number of non-infectious donors or significantly increasing costs. Ideally, methods to inactivate the infectious organism will provide an element of added safety to the blood supply. PMID:20859503

  4. The rediscovery of malaria parasites of ungulates.

    PubMed

    Templeton, Thomas J; Martinsen, Ellen; Kaewthamasorn, Morakot; Kaneko, Osamu

    2016-10-01

    Over a hundred years since their first description in 1913, the sparsely described malaria parasites (genus Plasmodium) of ungulates have been rediscovered using molecular typing techniques. In the span of weeks, three studies have appeared describing the genetic characterization and phylogenetic analyses of malaria parasites from African antelope (Cephalophus spp.) and goat (Capra aegagrus hircus), Asian water buffalo (Bubalus bubalis), and North American white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus). Here we unify the contributions from those studies with the literature on pre-molecular characterizations of ungulate malaria parasites, which are largely based on surveys of Giemsa-reagent stained blood smears. We present a phylogenetic tree generated from all available ungulate malaria parasite sequence data, and show that parasites from African duiker antelope and goat, Asian water buffalo and New World white-tailed deer group together in a clade, which branches early in Plasmodium evolution. Anopheline mosquitoes appear to be the dominant, if not sole vectors for parasite transmission. We pose questions for future phylogenetic studies, and discuss topics that we hope will spur further molecular and cellular studies of ungulate malaria parasites. PMID:27444556

  5. Where are the parasites in food webs?

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    This review explores some of the reasons why food webs seem to contain relatively few parasite species when compared to the full diversity of free living species in the system. At present, there are few coherent food web theories to guide scientific studies on parasites, and this review posits that the methods, directions and questions in the field of food web ecology are not always congruent with parasitological inquiry. For example, topological analysis (the primary tool in food web studies) focuses on only one of six important steps in trematode life cycles, each of which requires a stable community dynamic to evolve. In addition, these transmission strategies may also utilize pathways within the food web that are not considered in traditional food web investigations. It is asserted that more effort must be focused on parasite-centric models, and a central theme is that many different approaches will be required. One promising approach is the old energetic perspective, which considers energy as the critical resource for all organisms, and the currency of all food web interactions. From the parasitological point of view, energy can be used to characterize the roles of parasites at all levels in the food web, from individuals to populations to community. The literature on parasite energetics in food webs is very sparse, but the evidence suggests that parasite species richness is low in food webs because parasites are limited by the quantity of energy available to their unique lifestyles. PMID:23092160

  6. Parasite control in transhumant situations.

    PubMed

    Eckert, J; Hertzberg, H

    1994-08-01

    Transhumance is defined as 'seasonal moving of livestock to regions of different climate'. It is an integral part of livestock production in many parts of the world and takes several forms including moving of livestock from lowland to mountainous pastures or from dry to humid areas. The impact of transhumance on parasite populations of livestock and on parasite control is described, mainly using examples from Europe. The epidemiology of trichostrongylidosis of cattle, mainly caused by Ostertagia ostertagi and Cooperia oncophora, is characterised by prolonged survival of overwintered infective larvae until the end of June. Cattle moved to such contaminated pastures in a transhumant grazing system are exposed to these larvae and may be protected, during the second half of the grazing season until autumn, by a late application (June/July) of an intraruminal drug-release device. Community pastures used in a transhumant system with mixed grazing of young cattle originating from various farms may enhance transmission of dictyocaulosis. Therefore, specific prophylactic measures are required. Hill sheep nematode populations may differ from those in lowland sheep in that Haemonchus contortus generally plays a minor role in hill sheep in which Ostertagia circumcincta and Nematodirus spp. predominate. Infections with Fasciola hepatica and Dicrocoelium dendriticum can be acquired on mountainous pastures by cattle, sheep and other livestock grazing in a transhumant system as intermediate hosts of these parasites may find suitable habitats in these regions. There is evidence that in the prealpine and alpine area both parasites are mainly transmitted in two-season cycles. Further examples for the impact of transhumance on parasite-host inter-relationships include cysticercosis in cattle, echinococcosis, psoroptic manage in sheep, tick-borne fever of cattle, and hypodermosis in cattle. These are described and discussed. PMID:7846845

  7. Parasites, Plants, and People.

    PubMed

    Johnson, Marion; Moore, Tony

    2016-06-01

    Anthelminthic resistance is acknowledged worldwide and is a major problem in Aotearoa New Zealand, thus alternative parasite management strategies are imperative. One Health is an initiative linking animal, human, and environmental health. Parasites, plants, and people illustrate the possibilities of providing diverse diets for stock thereby lowering parasite burdens, improving the cultural wellbeing of a local community, and protecting the environment. PMID:27105933

  8. Optimal temperature for malaria transmission is dramatically lower than previously predicted

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Mordecai, Erin A.; Paaijmans, Krijn P.; Johnson, Leah R.; Balzer, Christian; Ben-Horin, Tal; de Moor, Emily; McNally, Amy; Pawar, Samraat; Ryan, Sadie J.; Smith, Thomas C.; Lafferty, Kevin D.

    2013-01-01

    The ecology of mosquito vectors and malaria parasites affect the incidence, seasonal transmission and geographical range of malaria. Most malaria models to date assume constant or linear responses of mosquito and parasite life-history traits to temperature, predicting optimal transmission at 31 °C. These models are at odds with field observations of transmission dating back nearly a century. We build a model with more realistic ecological assumptions about the thermal physiology of insects. Our model, which includes empirically derived nonlinear thermal responses, predicts optimal malaria transmission at 25 °C (6 °C lower than previous models). Moreover, the model predicts that transmission decreases dramatically at temperatures > 28 °C, altering predictions about how climate change will affect malaria. A large data set on malaria transmission risk in Africa validates both the 25 °C optimum and the decline above 28 °C. Using these more accurate nonlinear thermal-response models will aid in understanding the effects of current and future temperature regimes on disease transmission.

  9. Multilocus sequence typing approach for a broader range of species of Leishmania genus: describing parasite diversity in Argentina.

    PubMed

    Marco, Jorge D; Barroso, Paola A; Locatelli, Fabricio M; Cajal, S Pamela; Hoyos, Carlos L; Nevot, M Cecilia; Lauthier, Juan J; Tomasini, Nicolás; Juarez, Marisa; Estévez, J Octavio; Korenaga, Masataka; Nasser, Julio R; Hashiguchi, Yoshihisa; Ruybal, Paula

    2015-03-01

    Leishmaniasis is a vector-borne protozoan infection affecting over 350 million people around the world. In Argentina cutaneous leishmaniasis is endemic in nine provinces and visceral leishmaniasis is spreading from autochthonous transmission foci in seven provinces. However, there is limited information about the diversity of the parasite in this country. Implementation of molecular strategies for parasite typing, particularly multilocus sequence typing (MLST), represents an improved approach for genetic variability and population dynamics analyses. We selected six loci as candidates implemented in reference strains and Argentinean isolates. Phylogenetic analysis showed high correlation with taxonomic classification of the parasite. Autochthonous Leishmania (Viannia) braziliensis showed higher genetic diversity than L. (Leishmania) infantum but low support was obtained for intra-L. braziliensis complex variants suggesting the need of new loci that contribute to phylogenetic resolution for an improved MLST or nested-MLST scheme. This study represents the first characterization of genetic variability of Leishmania spp. in Argentina. PMID:25558029

  10. Parasites in food webs: the ultimate missing links.

    PubMed

    Lafferty, Kevin D; Allesina, Stefano; Arim, Matias; Briggs, Cherie J; De Leo, Giulio; Dobson, Andrew P; Dunne, Jennifer A; Johnson, Pieter T J; Kuris, Armand M; Marcogliese, David J; Martinez, Neo D; Memmott, Jane; Marquet, Pablo A; McLaughlin, John P; Mordecai, Erin A; Pascual, Mercedes; Poulin, Robert; Thieltges, David W

    2008-06-01

    Parasitism is the most common consumer strategy among organisms, yet only recently has there been a call for the inclusion of infectious disease agents in food webs. The value of this effort hinges on whether parasites affect food-web properties. Increasing evidence suggests that parasites have the potential to uniquely alter food-web topology in terms of chain length, connectance and robustness. In addition, parasites might affect food-web stability, interaction strength and energy flow. Food-web structure also affects infectious disease dynamics because parasites depend on the ecological networks in which they live. Empirically, incorporating parasites into food webs is straightforward. We may start with existing food webs and add parasites as nodes, or we may try to build food webs around systems for which we already have a good understanding of infectious processes. In the future, perhaps researchers will add parasites while they construct food webs. Less clear is how food-web theory can accommodate parasites. This is a deep and central problem in theoretical biology and applied mathematics. For instance, is representing parasites with complex life cycles as a single node equivalent to representing other species with ontogenetic niche shifts as a single node? Can parasitism fit into fundamental frameworks such as the niche model? Can we integrate infectious disease models into the emerging field of dynamic food-web modelling? Future progress will benefit from interdisciplinary collaborations between ecologists and infectious disease biologists. PMID:18462196

  11. Parasites in food webs: the ultimate missing links

    PubMed Central

    Lafferty, Kevin D; Allesina, Stefano; Arim, Matias; Briggs, Cherie J; De Leo, Giulio; Dobson, Andrew P; Dunne, Jennifer A; Johnson, Pieter T J; Kuris, Armand M; Marcogliese, David J; Martinez, Neo D; Memmott, Jane; Marquet, Pablo A; McLaughlin, John P; Mordecai, Erin A; Pascual, Mercedes; Poulin, Robert; Thieltges, David W

    2008-01-01

    Parasitism is the most common consumer strategy among organisms, yet only recently has there been a call for the inclusion of infectious disease agents in food webs. The value of this effort hinges on whether parasites affect food-web properties. Increasing evidence suggests that parasites have the potential to uniquely alter food-web topology in terms of chain length, connectance and robustness. In addition, parasites might affect food-web stability, interaction strength and energy flow. Food-web structure also affects infectious disease dynamics because parasites depend on the ecological networks in which they live. Empirically, incorporating parasites into food webs is straightforward. We may start with existing food webs and add parasites as nodes, or we may try to build food webs around systems for which we already have a good understanding of infectious processes. In the future, perhaps researchers will add parasites while they construct food webs. Less clear is how food-web theory can accommodate parasites. This is a deep and central problem in theoretical biology and applied mathematics. For instance, is representing parasites with complex life cycles as a single node equivalent to representing other species with ontogenetic niche shifts as a single node? Can parasitism fit into fundamental frameworks such as the niche model? Can we integrate infectious disease models into the emerging field of dynamic food-web modelling? Future progress will benefit from interdisciplinary collaborations between ecologists and infectious disease biologists. PMID:18462196

  12. Parasites and supernormal manipulation.

    PubMed

    Holen, Ø H; Saetre, G P; Slagsvold, T; Stenseth, N C

    2001-12-22

    Social parasites may exploit their hosts by mimicking other organisms that the hosts normally benefit from investing in or responding to in some other way. Some parasites exaggerate key characters of the organisms they mimic, possibly in order to increase the response from the hosts. The huge gape and extreme begging intensity of the parasitic common cuckoo chick (Cuculus canorus) may be an example. In this paper, the evolutionary stability of manipulating hosts through exaggerated signals is analysed using game theory. Our model indicates that a parasite's signal intensity must be below a certain threshold in order to ensure acceptance and that this threshold depends directly on the rate of parasitism. The only evolutionarily stable strategy (ESS) combination is when hosts accept all signallers and parasites signal at their optimal signal intensity, which must be below the threshold. Supernormal manipulation by parasites is only evolutionarily stable under sufficiently low rates of parasitism. If the conditions for the ESS combination are not satisfied, rejector hosts can invade using signal intensity as a cue for identifying parasites. These qualitative predictions are discussed with respect to empirical evidence from parasitic mimicry systems that have been suggested to involve supernormal signalling, including evicting avian brood parasites and insect-mimicking Ophrys orchids. PMID:11749709

  13. Paradigms for parasite conservation.

    PubMed

    Dougherty, Eric R; Carlson, Colin J; Bueno, Veronica M; Burgio, Kevin R; Cizauskas, Carrie A; Clements, Christopher F; Seidel, Dana P; Harris, Nyeema C

    2016-08-01

    Parasitic species, which depend directly on host species for their survival, represent a major regulatory force in ecosystems and a significant component of Earth's biodiversity. Yet the negative impacts of parasites observed at the host level have motivated a conservation paradigm of eradication, moving us farther from attainment of taxonomically unbiased conservation goals. Despite a growing body of literature highlighting the importance of parasite-inclusive conservation, most parasite species remain understudied, underfunded, and underappreciated. We argue the protection of parasitic biodiversity requires a paradigm shift in the perception and valuation of their role as consumer species, similar to that of apex predators in the mid-20th century. Beyond recognizing parasites as vital trophic regulators, existing tools available to conservation practitioners should explicitly account for the unique threats facing dependent species. We built upon concepts from epidemiology and economics (e.g., host-density threshold and cost-benefit analysis) to devise novel metrics of margin of error and minimum investment for parasite conservation. We define margin of error as the risk of accidental host extinction from misestimating equilibrium population sizes and predicted oscillations, while minimum investment represents the cost associated with conserving the additional hosts required to maintain viable parasite populations. This framework will aid in the identification of readily conserved parasites that present minimal health risks. To establish parasite conservation, we propose an extension of population viability analysis for host-parasite assemblages to assess extinction risk. In the direst cases, ex situ breeding programs for parasites should be evaluated to maximize success without undermining host protection. Though parasitic species pose a considerable conservation challenge, adaptations to conservation tools will help protect parasite biodiversity in the face of

  14. Cultivation of parasites

    PubMed Central

    Ahmed, Nishat Hussain

    2014-01-01

    Parasite cultivation techniques constitute a substantial segment of present-day study of parasites, especially of protozoa. Success in establishing in vitro and in vivo culture of parasites not only allows their physiology, behavior and metabolism to be studied dynamically, but also allows the nature of the antigenic molecules in the excretory and secretory products to be vigorously pursued and analyzed. The complex life-cycles of various parasites having different stages and host species requirements, particularly in the case of parasitic helminths, often make parasite cultivation an uphill assignment. Culturing of parasites depends on the combined expertise of all types of microbiological cultures. Different parasites require different cultivation conditions such as nutrients, temperature and even incubation conditions. Cultivation is an important method for diagnosis of many clinically important parasites, for example, Entamoeba histolytica, Trichomonas vaginalis, Leishmania spp., Strongyloides stercoralis and free-living amoebae. Many commercial systems like InPouch TV for T. vaginalis, microaerophilous stationary phase culture for Babesia bovis and Harada-Mori culture technique for larval-stage nematodes have been developed for the rapid diagnosis of the parasitic infections. Cultivation also has immense utility in the production of vaccines, testing vaccine efficacy, and antigen - production for obtaining serological reagents, detection of drug-resistance, screening of potential therapeutic agents and conducting epidemiological studies. Though in vitro cultivation techniques are used more often compared with in vivo techniques, the in vivo techniques are sometimes used for diagnosing some parasitic infections such as trypanosomiasis and toxoplasmosis. Parasite cultivation continues to be a challenging diagnostic option. This review provides an overview of intricacies of parasitic culture and update on popular methods used for cultivating parasites. PMID

  15. NB protein does not affect influenza B virus replication in vitro and is not required for replication in or transmission between ferrets.

    PubMed

    Elderfield, Ruth A; Koutsakos, Marios; Frise, Rebecca; Bradley, Konrad; Ashcroft, Jonathan; Miah, Shanhjahan; Lackenby, Angie; Barclay, Wendy S

    2016-03-01

    The influenza B virus encodes a unique protein, NB, a membrane protein whose function in the replication cycle is not, as yet, understood. We engineered a recombinant influenza B virus lacking NB expression, with no concomitant difference in expression or activity of viral neuraminidase (NA) protein, an important caveat since NA is encoded on the same segment and initiated from a start codon just 4 nt downstream of NB. Replication of the virus lacking NB was not different to wild-type virus with full-length NB in clonal immortalized or complex primary cell cultures. In the mouse model, virus lacking NB induced slightly lower IFN-α levels in infected lungs, but this did not affect virus titres or weight loss. In ferrets infected with a mixture of viruses that did or did not express NB, there was no fitness advantage for the virus that retained NB. Moreover, virus lacking NB protein was transmitted following respiratory droplet exposure of sentinel animals. These data suggest no role for NB in supporting replication or transmission in vivo in this animal model. The role of NB and the nature of selection to retain it in all natural influenza B viruses remain unclear. PMID:26703440

  16. Intestinal Epithelial Toll-Like Receptor 4 Signaling Affects Epithelial Function and Colonic Microbiota and Promotes a Risk for Transmissible Colitis

    PubMed Central

    Dheer, Rishu; Santaolalla, Rebeca; Davies, Julie M.; Lang, Jessica K.; Phillips, Matthew C.; Pastorini, Cristhine; Vazquez-Pertejo, Maria T.

    2016-01-01

    Evidence obtained from gene knockout studies supports the role of Toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4) in intestinal inflammation and microbiota recognition. Increased epithelial TLR4 expression is observed in patients with inflammatory bowel disease. However, little is known of the effect of increased TLR4 signaling on intestinal homeostasis. Here, we examined the effect of increased TLR4 signaling on epithelial function and microbiota by using transgenic villin-TLR4 mice that overexpress TLR4 in the intestinal epithelium. Our results revealed that villin-TLR4 mice are characterized by increases in the density of mucosa-associated bacteria and bacterial translocation. Furthermore, increased epithelial TLR4 signaling was associated with an impaired epithelial barrier, altered expression of antimicrobial peptide genes, and altered epithelial cell differentiation. The composition of the colonic luminal and mucosa-associated microbiota differed between villin-TLR4 and wild-type (WT) littermates. Interestingly, WT mice cohoused with villin-TLR4 mice displayed greater susceptibility to acute colitis than singly housed WT mice did. The results of this study suggest that epithelial TLR4 expression shapes the microbiota and affects the functional properties of the epithelium. The changes in the microbiota induced by increased epithelial TLR4 signaling are transmissible and exacerbate dextran sodium sulfate-induced colitis. Together, our findings imply that host innate immune signaling can modulate intestinal bacteria and ultimately the host's susceptibility to colitis. PMID:26755160

  17. Intestinal Epithelial Toll-Like Receptor 4 Signaling Affects Epithelial Function and Colonic Microbiota and Promotes a Risk for Transmissible Colitis.

    PubMed

    Dheer, Rishu; Santaolalla, Rebeca; Davies, Julie M; Lang, Jessica K; Phillips, Matthew C; Pastorini, Cristhine; Vazquez-Pertejo, Maria T; Abreu, Maria T

    2016-03-01

    Evidence obtained from gene knockout studies supports the role of Toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4) in intestinal inflammation and microbiota recognition. Increased epithelial TLR4 expression is observed in patients with inflammatory bowel disease. However, little is known of the effect of increased TLR4 signaling on intestinal homeostasis. Here, we examined the effect of increased TLR4 signaling on epithelial function and microbiota by using transgenic villin-TLR4 mice that overexpress TLR4 in the intestinal epithelium. Our results revealed that villin-TLR4 mice are characterized by increases in the density of mucosa-associated bacteria and bacterial translocation. Furthermore, increased epithelial TLR4 signaling was associated with an impaired epithelial barrier, altered expression of antimicrobial peptide genes, and altered epithelial cell differentiation. The composition of the colonic luminal and mucosa-associated microbiota differed between villin-TLR4 and wild-type (WT) littermates. Interestingly, WT mice cohoused with villin-TLR4 mice displayed greater susceptibility to acute colitis than singly housed WT mice did. The results of this study suggest that epithelial TLR4 expression shapes the microbiota and affects the functional properties of the epithelium. The changes in the microbiota induced by increased epithelial TLR4 signaling are transmissible and exacerbate dextran sodium sulfate-induced colitis. Together, our findings imply that host innate immune signaling can modulate intestinal bacteria and ultimately the host's susceptibility to colitis. PMID:26755160

  18. Vulnerability to changes in malaria transmission due to climate change in West Africa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yamana, T. K.; Eltahir, E. A.

    2012-12-01

    Malaria transmission in West Africa is strongly tied to climate; temperature affects the development rate of the malaria parasite, as well as the survival of the mosquitoes that transmit the disease, and rainfall is tied to mosquito abundance, as the vector lays its eggs in rain-fed water pools. As a result, the environmental suitability for malaria transmission in this region is expected to change as temperatures rise and rainfall patterns are altered. The vulnerability to changes in transmission varies throughout West Africa. Areas where malaria prevalence is already very high will be less sensitive to changes in transmission. Increases in environmental suitability for malaria transmission in the most arid regions may still be insufficient to allow sustained transmission. However, areas were malaria transmission currently occurs at low levels are expected to be the most sensitive to changes in environmental suitability for transmission. Here, we use data on current environment and malaria transmission rates to highlight areas in West Africa that we expect to be most vulnerable to an increase in malaria under certain climate conditions. We then analyze climate predictions from global climate models in vulnerable areas, and make predictions for the expected change in environmental suitability for malaria transmission using the Hydrology, Entomology and Malaria Transmission Simulator (HYDREMATS), a mechanistic model developed to simulate village-scale response of malaria transmission to environmental variables in West Africa.

  19. Cooperation and conflict in host manipulation: interactions among macro-parasites and micro-organisms

    PubMed Central

    Cézilly, Frank; Perrot-Minnot, Marie-Jeanne; Rigaud, Thierry

    2014-01-01

    Several parasite species are known to manipulate the phenotype of their hosts in ways that enhance their own transmission. Co-occurrence of manipulative parasites, belonging to the same species or to more than one species, in a single host has been regularly observed. Little is known, however, on interactions between co-occurring manipulative parasites with same or different transmission routes. Several models addressing this problem have provided predictions on how cooperation and conflict between parasites could emerge from multiple infections. Here, we review the empirical evidence in favor of the existence of synergistic or antagonistic interactions between co-occurring parasites, and highlight the neglected role of micro-organisms. We particularly discuss the actual importance of selective forces shaping the evolution of interactions between manipulative parasites in relation to parasite prevalence in natural populations, efficiency in manipulation, and type of transmission (i.e., horizontal versus vertical), and we emphasize the potential for future research. PMID:24966851

  20. Nematode–coccidia parasite co-infections in African buffalo: Epidemiology and associations with host condition and pregnancy

    PubMed Central

    Gorsich, Erin E.; Ezenwa, Vanessa O.; Jolles, Anna E.

    2014-01-01

    Co-infections are common in natural populations and interactions among co-infecting parasites can significantly alter the transmission and host fitness costs of infection. Because both exposure and susceptibility vary over time, predicting the consequences of parasite interactions on host fitness and disease dynamics may require detailed information on their effects across different environmental (season) and host demographic (age, sex) conditions. This study examines five years of seasonal health and co-infection patterns in African buffalo (Syncerus caffer). We use data on two groups of gastrointestinal parasites, coccidia and nematodes, to test the hypothesis that co-infection and season interact to influence (1) parasite prevalence and intensity and (2) three proxies for host fitness: host pregnancy, host body condition, and parasite aggregation. Our results suggest that season-dependent interactions between nematodes and coccidia affect the distribution of infections. Coccidia prevalence, coccidia intensity and nematode prevalence were sensitive to factors that influence host immunity and exposure (age, sex, and season) but nematode intensity was most strongly predicted by co-infection with coccidia and its interaction with season. The influence of co-infection on host body condition and parasite aggregation occurred in season-dependent manner. Co-infected buffalo in the early wet season were in worse condition, had a less aggregated distribution of nematode parasites, and lower nematode infection intensity than buffalo infected with nematodes alone. We did not detect an effect of infection or co-infection on host pregnancy. These results suggest that demographic and seasonal variation may mediate the effects of parasites, and their interactions, on the distribution and fitness costs of infection. PMID:25161911

  1. Short-sighted evolution of virulence in parasitic honeybee workers ( Apis mellifera capensis Esch.)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Moritz, Robin F. A.; Pirk, Christian W. W.; Hepburn, H. Randall; Neumann, Peter

    2008-06-01

    The short-sighted selection hypothesis for parasite virulence predicts that winners of within-host competition are poorer at transmission to new hosts. Social parasitism by self-replicating, female-producing workers occurs in the Cape honeybee Apis mellifera capensis, and colonies of other honeybee subspecies are susceptible hosts. We found high within-host virulence but low transmission rates in a clone of social parasitic A. m. capensis workers invading the neighbouring subspecies A. m. scutellata. In contrast, parasitic workers from the endemic range of A. m. capensis showed low within-host virulence but high transmission rates. This suggests a short-sighted selection scenario for the host-parasite co-evolution in the invasive range of the Cape honeybee, probably facilitated by beekeeping-assisted parasite transmission in apiaries.

  2. Mobile phones and malaria: modeling human and parasite travel

    PubMed Central

    Buckee, Caroline O.; Wesolowski, Amy; Eagle, Nathan; Hansen, Elsa; Snow, Robert W.

    2013-01-01

    Human mobility plays an important role in the dissemination of malaria parasites between regions of variable transmission intensity. Asymptomatic individuals can unknowingly carry parasites to regions where mosquito vectors are available, for example, undermining control programs and contributing to transmission when they travel. Understanding how parasites are imported between regions in this way is therefore an important goal for elimination planning and the control of transmission, and would enable control programs to target the principal sources of malaria. Measuring human mobility has traditionally been difficult to do on a population scale, but the widespread adoption of mobile phones in low-income settings presents a unique opportunity to directly measure human movements that are relevant to the spread of malaria. Here, we discuss the opportunities for measuring human mobility using data from mobile phones, as well as some of the issues associated with combining mobility estimates with malaria infection risk maps to meaningfully estimate routes of parasite importation. PMID:23478045

  3. Evolution of parasitism and mutualism between filamentous phage M13 and Escherichia coli

    PubMed Central

    Williams, Elizabeth S.C.P.; Turner, Paul E.

    2016-01-01

    Background. How host-symbiont interactions coevolve between mutualism and parasitism depends on the ecology of the system and on the genetic and physiological constraints of the organisms involved. Theory often predicts that greater reliance on horizontal transmission favors increased costs of infection and may result in more virulent parasites or less beneficial mutualists. We set out to understand transitions between parasitism and mutualism by evolving the filamentous bacteriophage M13 and its host Escherichia coli. Results. The effect of phage M13 on bacterial fitness depends on the growth environment, and initial assays revealed that infected bacteria reproduce faster and to higher density than uninfected bacteria in 96-well microplates. These data suggested that M13 is, in fact, a facultative mutualist of E. coli. We then allowed E. coli and M13 to evolve in replicated environments, which varied in the relative opportunity for horizontal and vertical transmission of phage in order to assess the evolutionary stability of this mutualism. After 20 experimental passages, infected bacteria from treatments with both vertical and horizontal transmission of phage had evolved the fastest growth rates. At the same time, phage from these treatments no longer benefited the ancestral bacteria. Conclusions. These data suggest a positive correlation between the positive effects of M13 on E. coli hosts from the same culture and the negative effects of the same phage toward the ancestral bacterial genotype. The results also expose flaws in applying concepts from the virulence-transmission tradeoff hypothesis to mutualism evolution. We discuss the data in the context of more recent theory on how horizontal transmission affects mutualisms and explore how these effects influence phages encoding virulence factors in pathogenic bacteria. PMID:27257543

  4. The contagion indicator hypothesis for parasite-mediated sexual selection.

    PubMed

    Able, D J

    1996-03-01

    Hamilton and Zuk [Hamilton, W. D. & Zuk, M. (1982) Science 218, 384-387] proposed that females choosing mates based on the degree of expression of male characters obtain heritable parasite resistance for their offspring. Alternatively, the "contagion indicator" hypothesis posits that females choose mates based on the degree of expression of male characters because the latter indicate a male's degree of infestation of parasites and thus the risk that choosing females and their offspring will acquire these parasites. I examined whether parasite transmittability affects the probability that parasite intensity and male mating success are negatively correlated in intraspecific studies of parasite-mediated sexual selection. When females risk infection of themselves or their future offspring as a result of mating with a parasitized male, negative relationships between parasite intensity and male mating success are significantly more likely to occur than when females do not risk such infection. The direct benefit to females of avoiding parasitic infection is proposed to lead to the linkage between variable secondary sexual characters and the intensity of transmittable parasites. The direct benefits of avoiding associatively transmittable parasites should be considered in future studies of parasite-mediated sexual selection. PMID:8700912

  5. Egg size matching by an intraspecific brood parasite

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Lemons, Patrick R.; Sedinger, James S.

    2011-01-01

    Avian brood parasitism provides an ideal system with which to understand animal recognition and its affect on fitness. This phenomenon of laying eggs in the nests of other individuals has classically been framed from the perspective of interspecific brood parasitism and host recognition of parasitic eggs. Few examples exist of strategies adopted by intraspecific brood parasites to maximize success of parasitic eggs. Intraspecific brood parasitism within precocial birds can be a risky strategy in that hatch synchrony is essential to reproductive success. Given that egg size is positively correlated with incubation time, parasitic birds would benefit by recognizing and selecting hosts with a similar egg size. Intraspecific brood parasitism is an alternative reproductive strategy in black brant (Branta bernicla nigricans), a colonial nesting goose with precocial young. Based on a randomization test, parasitic eggs in this study differed less in size from eggs in their host's nests than did random eggs placed in random nests. Parasitic eggs were remarkably similar in size to hosts’ eggs, differing by <2% of volume on average from host eggs, whereas randomly paired eggs in random nests differed by nearly 8%. The precision with which parasitic brant match the egg size of hosts in our study supports our hypothesis that brant match egg size of hosts, thereby maximizing hatching success of their parasitic eggs.

  6. Review of Parasitic Zoonoses in Egypt

    PubMed Central

    Youssef, Ahmed I.; Uga, Shoji

    2014-01-01

    This review presents a comprehensive picture of the zoonotic parasitic diseases in Egypt, with particular reference to their relative prevalence among humans, animal reservoirs of infection, and sources of human infection. A review of the available literature indicates that many parasitic zoonoses are endemic in Egypt. Intestinal infections of parasitic zoonoses are widespread and are the leading cause of diarrhea, particularly among children and residents of rural areas. Some parasitic zoonoses are confined to specific geographic areas in Egypt, such as cutaneous leishmaniasis and zoonotic babesiosis in the Sinai. Other areas have a past history of a certain parasitic zoonoses, such as visceral leishmaniasis in the El-Agamy area in Alexandria. As a result of the implementation of control programs, a marked decrease in the prevalence of other zoonoses, such as schistosomiasis and fascioliasis has been observed. Animal reservoirs of parasitic zoonoses have been identified in Egypt, especially in rodents, stray dogs and cats, as well as vectors, typically mosquitoes and ticks, which constitute potential risks for disease transmission. Prevention and control programs against sources and reservoirs of zoonoses should be planned by public health and veterinary officers based on reliable information from systematic surveillance. PMID:24808742

  7. Seed transmission rates of Bean pod mottle virus and Soybean mosaic virus in soybean may be affected by mixed infection or expression of the Kunitz trypsin inhibitor

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    To facilitate their spread, plant viruses have developed several methods for dispersal including insect and seed transmission. While insect transmission requires virus stability against insect digestion, seed-transmitted viruses have to overcome barriers to entry into embryos. Bean pod mottle virus ...

  8. Intracellular Parasite Invasion Strategies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sibley, L. D.

    2004-04-01

    Intracellular parasites use various strategies to invade cells and to subvert cellular signaling pathways and, thus, to gain a foothold against host defenses. Efficient cell entry, ability to exploit intracellular niches, and persistence make these parasites treacherous pathogens. Most intracellular parasites gain entry via host-mediated processes, but apicomplexans use a system of adhesion-based motility called ``gliding'' to actively penetrate host cells. Actin polymerization-dependent motility facilitates parasite migration across cellular barriers, enables dissemination within tissues, and powers invasion of host cells. Efficient invasion has brought widespread success to this group, which includes Toxoplasma, Plasmodium, and Cryptosporidium.

  9. Sphingolipids in parasitic protozoa

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Kai; Bangs, James D.; Beverley, Stephen M.

    2009-01-01

    The surface of most protozoan parasites relies heavily upon lipid-anchored molecules, to form protective barriers and play critical functions required for infectivity. Sphingolipids (SLs) play important roles through their abundance and involvement in membrane microdomain formation, as well as serving as the lipid anchor for many of these molecules, and in some but possibly not all species, as important signaling molecules. Interactions of parasite sphingolipid metabolism with that of the host may potentially contribute to parasite survival and/or host defense. In this chapter we summarize current knowledge of SL structure, synthesis and function in several of the major parasitic protozoan groups. PMID:20919659

  10. Parasitism and the expression of sexual dimorphism.

    PubMed

    De Lisle, Stephen P; Rowe, Locke

    2015-02-01

    Although a negative covariance between parasite load and sexually selected trait expression is a requirement of few sexual selection models, such a covariance may be a general result of life-history allocation trade-offs. If both allocation to sexually selected traits and to somatic maintenance (immunocompetence) are condition dependent, then in populations where individuals vary in condition, a positive covariance between trait expression and immunocompetence, and thus a negative covariance between trait and parasite load, is expected. We test the prediction that parasite load is generally related to the expression of sexual dimorphism across two breeding seasons in a wild salamander population and show that males have higher trematode parasite loads for their body size than females and that a key sexually selected trait covaries negatively with parasite load in males. We found evidence of a weaker negative relationship between the analogous female trait and parasite infection. These results underscore that parasite infection may covary with expression of sexually selected traits, both within and among species, regardless of the model of sexual selection, and also suggest that the evolution of condition dependence in males may affect the evolution of female trait expression. PMID:25750721

  11. Measuring changes in Plasmodium falciparum transmission: Precision, accuracy and costs of metrics

    PubMed Central

    Tusting, Lucy S.; Bousema, Teun; Smith, David L.; Drakeley, Chris

    2016-01-01

    As malaria declines in parts of Africa and elsewhere, and as more countries move towards elimination, it is necessary to robustly evaluate the effect of interventions and control programmes on malaria transmission. To help guide the appropriate design of trials to evaluate transmission-reducing interventions, we review eleven metrics of malaria transmission, discussing their accuracy, precision, collection methods and costs, and presenting an overall critique. We also review the non-linear scaling relationships between five metrics of malaria transmission; the entomological inoculation rate, force of infection, sporozoite rate, parasite rate and the basic reproductive number, R0. Our review highlights that while the entomological inoculation rate is widely considered the gold standard metric of malaria transmission and may be necessary for measuring changes in transmission in highly endemic areas, it has limited precision and accuracy and more standardised methods for its collection are required. In areas of low transmission, parasite rate, sero-conversion rates and molecular metrics including MOI and mFOI may be most appropriate. When assessing a specific intervention, the most relevant effects will be detected by examining the metrics most directly affected by that intervention. Future work should aim to better quantify the precision and accuracy of malaria metrics and to improve methods for their collection. PMID:24480314

  12. Infection with schistosome parasites in snails leads to increased predation by prawns: implications for human schistosomiasis control.

    PubMed

    Swartz, Scott J; De Leo, Giulio A; Wood, Chelsea L; Sokolow, Susanne H

    2015-12-01

    Schistosomiasis - a parasitic disease that affects over 200 million people across the globe - is primarily transmitted between human definitive hosts and snail intermediate hosts. To reduce schistosomiasis transmission, some have advocated disrupting the schistosome life cycle through biological control of snails, achieved by boosting the abundance of snails' natural predators. But little is known about the effect of parasitic infection on predator-prey interactions, especially in the case of schistosomiasis. Here, we present the results of laboratory experiments performed on Bulinus truncatus and Biomphalaria glabrata snails to investigate: (i) rates of predation on schistosome-infected versus uninfected snails by a sympatric native river prawn, Macrobrachium vollenhovenii, and (ii) differences in snail behavior (including movement, refuge-seeking and anti-predator behavior) between infected and uninfected snails. In predation trials, prawns showed a preference for consuming snails infected with schistosome larvae. In behavioral trials, infected snails moved less quickly and less often than uninfected snails, and were less likely to avoid predation by exiting the water or hiding under substrate. Although the mechanism by which the parasite alters snail behavior remains unknown, these results provide insight into the effects of parasitic infection on predator-prey dynamics and suggest that boosting natural rates of predation on snails may be a useful strategy for reducing transmission in schistosomiasis hotspots. PMID:26677260

  13. Solar radiation decreases parasitism in Daphnia.

    PubMed

    Overholt, Erin P; Hall, Spencer R; Williamson, Craig E; Meikle, Claire K; Duffy, Meghan A; Cáceres, Carla E

    2012-01-01

    Climate change and variation in atmospheric ozone are influencing the intensity of ultraviolet radiation (UVR) reaching ecosystems. Changing UVR regimes, in turn, may alter epidemics of infectious disease. This possibility hinges on the sensitivity of epidemiologically relevant traits of host and parasite to UVR. We address this issue using a planktonic system (a zooplankton host, Daphnia dentifera, and its virulent fungal parasite, Metschnikowia bicuspidata). Controlled laboratory experiments, coupled with in situ field incubations of spores, revealed that quite low levels of UVR (as well as longer wavelength light) sharply reduced the infectivity of fungal spores but did not affect host susceptibility to infection. The parasite's sensitivity to solar radiation may underlie patterns in a lake survey: higher penetration of solar radiation into lakes correlated with smaller epidemics that started later in autumn (as incident sunlight declined). Thus, solar radiation, by diminishing infectivity of the parasite, may potently reduce disease. PMID:22034950

  14. Genomics and the biology of parasites.

    PubMed

    Johnston, D A; Blaxter, M L; Degrave, W M; Foster, J; Ivens, A C; Melville, S E

    1999-02-01

    Despite the advances of modern medicine, the threat of chronic illness, disfigurement, or death that can result from parasitic infection still affects the majority of the world population, retarding economic development. For most parasitic diseases, current therapeutics often leave much to be desired in terms of administration regime, toxicity, or effectiveness and potential vaccines are a long way from market. Our best prospects for identifying new targets for drug, vaccine, and diagnostics development and for dissecting the biological basis of drug resistance, antigenic diversity, infectivity and pathology lie in parasite genome analysis, and international mapping and gene discovery initiatives are under way for a variety of protozoan and helminth parasites. These are far from ideal experimental organisms, and the influence of biological and genomic characteristics on experimental approaches is discussed, progress is reviewed and future prospects are examined. PMID:10193187

  15. A productivity model for parasitized, multibrooded songbirds

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Powell, L.A.; Knutson, M.G.

    2006-01-01

    We present an enhancement of a simulation model to predict annual productivity for Wood Thrushes (Hylocichla mustelina) and American Redstarts (Setophaga ruticilla); the model includes effects of Brown-headed Cowbird (Molothrus ater) parasitism. We used species-specific data from the Driftless Area Ecoregion of Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Iowa to parameterize the model as a case study. The simulation model predicted annual productivity of 2.03 ?? 1.60 SD for Wood Thrushes and 1.56 ?? 1.31 SD for American Redstarts. Our sensitivity analysis showed that high parasitism lowered Wood Thrush annual productivity more than American Redstart productivity, even though parasitism affected individual nests of redstarts more severely. Annual productivity predictions are valuable for habitat managers, but productivity is not easily obtained from field studies. Our model provides a useful means of integrating complex life history parameters to predict productivity for songbirds that experience nest parasitism. ?? The Cooper Ornithological Society 2006.

  16. In vitro culture and developmental cycle of the parasitic dinoflagellate Hematodinium sp. from the blue crab Callinectes sapidus.

    PubMed

    Li, Caiwen; Miller, Terrence L; Small, Hamish J; Shields, Jeffrey D

    2011-12-01

    Hematodinium is a genus of parasitic dinoflagellates whose species have caused significant mortalities in marine crustacean fisheries worldwide. A species of Hematodinium infects the blue crab, Callinectes sapidus on the eastern seaboard of the USA. The mode of transmission of the parasite in blue crabs is unknown. We established several continuous in vitro cultures of Hematodinium sp. isolated from the haemolymph of infected blue crabs. One isolate has been continuously maintained in our laboratory through serial subcultivation for over 12 months, and is capable of infecting new hosts when inoculated into healthy crabs. Cells of the parasite undergo characteristic developmental changes in vitro consistent with the identifiable stages of Hematodinium sp.: filamentous trophonts, amoeboid trophonts, arachnoid trophonts and sporonts, sporoblasts, prespores and dinospores (macrospores and microspores). Additionally, we describe an unusual shunt in the life cycle wherein presumptive schizonts derived from arachnoid sporonts developed into filamentous and arachnoid trophonts that can then initiate arachnoid sporonts in new cultures. This may explain the rapid proliferation of the parasite in blue crab hosts. We also found that temperature and light intensity affected the growth and development of the parasite in vitro. PMID:21902874

  17. Isonicotinic acid hydrazide: an anti-tuberculosis drug inhibits malarial transmission in the mosquito gut.

    PubMed

    Arai, Meiji; Alavi, Yasmene I H; Mendoza, Jacqueline; Billker, Oliver; Sinden, Robert E

    2004-01-01

    We studied the transmission-blocking effect of isonicotinic acid hydrazide (INH), a widely used anti-tuberculosis drug, against Plasmodium gallinaceum and Plasmodium berghei. INH-treatment of infected animals did not inhibit parasite development in the blood of the vertebrate host, but did inhibit exflagellation, ookinete formation, and oocyst development in the mosquito. Oocyst development was inhibited in a dose-dependent manner. The ED(50) in the P. gallinaceum/chicken/Aedes aegypti model and P. berghei/mouse/Anopheles stephensi model was 72 and 109 mg/kg, respectively. In marked contrast, in vitro exflagellation and ookinete development were not directly affected by physiological concentrations of INH. We suggest that INH exerts its inhibitory effects on the mosquito stages of the malaria parasite by an indirect, and at present undefined mechanism. Further elucidation of the mechanism how INH inhibits parasite development specifically on mosquito stages may allow us to identify new targets for malaria control strategy. PMID:15013786

  18. Where are the parasites?

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The Review by E. Post et al. (“Ecological dynamics across the Arctic associated with recent climate change,” 11 September, p. 1355) paid little heed to parasites and other pathogens. The rapidly growing literature on parasites in arctic and subarctic ecosystems provides empirical and observational e...

  19. PARASITES OF FISH

    EPA Science Inventory

    The intent of this chapter is to describe the parasites of importance to fishes maintained and used in laboratory settings. In contrast to the frist edition, the focus will be only on those parasites that pose a serious threat to or are common in fishes held in these confined en...

  20. Amino acid substitutions in the neuraminidase protein of an H9N2 avian influenza virus affect its airborne transmission in chickens.

    PubMed

    Lv, Jing; Wei, Liangmeng; Yang, Yan; Wang, Bingxiao; Liang, Wei; Gao, Yuwei; Xia, Xianzhu; Gao, Lili; Cai, Yumei; Hou, Peiqiang; Yang, Huili; Wang, Airong; Huang, Rong; Gao, Jing; Chai, Tongjie

    2015-01-01

    Cases of H9N2 avian influenza virus (AIV) in poultry are increasing throughout many Eurasian countries, and co-infections with other pathogens have resulted in high morbidity and mortality in poultry. Few studies have investigated the genetic factors of virus airborne transmission which determine the scope of this epidemic. In this study, we used specific-pathogen-free chickens housed in isolators to investigate the airborne transmissibility of five recombinant H9N2 AIV rescued by reverse genetic technology. The results show that airborne transmission of A/Chicken/Shandong/01/2008 (SD01) virus was related to the neuraminidase (NA) gene, and four amino acid mutations (D368E, S370L, E313K and G381D) within the head region of the SD01 NA, reduced virus replication in the respiratory tract of chickens, reduced virus NA activity, and resulted in a loss of airborne transmission ability in chickens. Similarly, reverse mutations of these four amino acids in the NA protein of r01/NASS virus, conferred an airborne transmission ability to the recombinant virus. We conclude that these four NA residues may be significant genetic markers for evaluating potential disease outbreak of H9N2 AIV, and propose that immediate attention should be paid to the airborne transmission of this virus. PMID:25928577

  1. Cranberry Resistance to Dodder Parasitism: Induced Chemical Defenses and Behavior of a Parasitic Plant.

    PubMed

    Tjiurutue, Muvari Connie; Sandler, Hilary A; Kersch-Becker, Monica F; Theis, Nina; Adler, Lynn A

    2016-02-01

    Parasitic plants are common in many ecosystems, where they can structure community interactions and cause major economic damage. For example, parasitic dodder (Cuscuta spp.) can cause up to 80-100 % yield loss in heavily infested cranberry (Vaccinium macrocarpon) patches. Despite their ecological and economic importance, remarkably little is known about how parasitic plants affect, or are affected by, host chemistry. To examine chemically-mediated interactions between dodder and its cranberry host, we conducted a greenhouse experiment asking whether: (1) dodder performance varies with cranberry cultivar; (2) cultivars differ in levels of phytohormones, volatiles, or phenolics, and whether such variation correlates with dodder parasitism; (3) dodder parasitism induced changes in phytohormones, volatiles, or phenolics, and whether the level of inducible response varied among cultivars. We used five cranberry cultivars to assess host attractiveness to dodder and dodder performance. Dodder performance did not differ across cultivars, but there were marginally significant differences in host attractiveness to dodder, with fewer dodder attaching to Early Black than to any other cultivar. Dodder parasitism induced higher levels of salicylic acid (SA) across cultivars. Cultivars differed in overall levels of flavonols and volatile profiles, but not phenolic acids or proanthocyanidins, and dodder attachment induced changes in several flavonols and volatiles. While cultivars differed slightly in resistance to dodder attachment, we did not find evidence of chemical defenses that mediate these interactions. However, induction of several defenses indicates that parasitism alters traits that could influence subsequent interactions with other species, thus shaping community dynamics. PMID:26905738

  2. Differential Spleen Remodeling Associated with Different Levels of Parasite Virulence Controls Disease Outcome in Malaria Parasite Infections

    PubMed Central

    Huang, Ximei; Huang, Sha; Ong, Lai Chun; Lim, Jason Chu-Shern; Hurst, Rebecca Joan Mary; Mushunje, Annals Tatenda; Matsudaira, Paul Thomas; Han, Jongyoon

    2015-01-01

    ABSTRACT Infections by malaria parasites can lead to very different clinical outcomes, ranging from mild symptoms to death. Differences in the ability of the spleen to deal with the infected red blood cells (iRBCs) are linked to differences in virulence. Using virulent and avirulent strains of the rodent malaria parasite Plasmodium yoelii, we investigated how parasite virulence modulates overall spleen function. Following parasite invasion, a difference in parasite virulence was observed in association with different levels of spleen morphology and iRBC rigidity, both of which contributed to enhanced parasite clearance. Moreover, iRBC rigidity as modulated by the spleen was demonstrated to correlate with disease outcome and thus can be used as a robust indicator of virulence. The data indicate that alterations in the biomechanical properties of iRBCs are the result of the complex interaction between host and parasite. Furthermore, we confirmed that early spleen responses are a key factor in directing the clinical outcome of an infection. IMPORTANCE The spleen and its response to parasite infection are important in eliminating parasites in malaria. By comparing P. yoelii parasite lines with different disease outcomes in mice that had either intact spleens or had had their spleens removed, we showed that upon parasite infection, the spleen exhibits dramatic changes that can affect parasite clearance. The spleen itself directly impacts RBC deformability independently of parasite genetics. The data indicated that the changes in the biomechanical properties of malaria parasite-infected RBCs are the result of the complex interaction between host and parasite, and RBC deformability itself can serve as a novel predictor of clinical outcome. The results also suggest that early responses in the spleen are a key factor directing the clinical outcome of an infection. PMID:27303680

  3. Hemolytic C-type lectin CEL-III from sea cucumber expressed in transgenic mosquitoes impairs malaria parasite development.

    PubMed

    Yoshida, Shigeto; Shimada, Yohei; Kondoh, Daisuke; Kouzuma, Yoshiaki; Ghosh, Anil K; Jacobs-Lorena, Marcelo; Sinden, Robert E

    2007-12-01

    The midgut environment of anopheline mosquitoes plays an important role in the development of the malaria parasite. Using genetic manipulation of anopheline mosquitoes to change the environment in the mosquito midgut may inhibit development of the malaria parasite, thus blocking malaria transmission. Here we generate transgenic Anopheles stephensi mosquitoes that express the C-type lectin CEL-III from the sea cucumber, Cucumaria echinata, in a midgut-specific manner. CEL-III has strong and rapid hemolytic activity toward human and rat erythrocytes in the presence of serum. Importantly, CEL-III binds to ookinetes, leading to strong inhibition of ookinete formation in vitro with an IC(50) of 15 nM. Thus, CEL-III exhibits not only hemolytic activity but also cytotoxicity toward ookinetes. In these transgenic mosquitoes, sporogonic development of Plasmodium berghei is severely impaired. Moderate, but significant inhibition was found against Plasmodium falciparum. To our knowledge, this is the first demonstration of stably engineered anophelines that affect the Plasmodium transmission dynamics of human malaria. Although our laboratory-based research does not have immediate applications to block natural malaria transmission, these findings have significant implications for the generation of refractory mosquitoes to all species of human Plasmodium and elucidation of mosquito-parasite interactions. PMID:18159942

  4. Free-living ciliates as potential reservoirs for eukaryotic parasites: occurrence of a trypanosomatid in the macronucleus of Euplotes encysticus

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background Flagellates of the family Trypanosomatidae are obligate endoparasites, which can be found in various hosts. Several genera infect insects and occur as monoxenous parasites especially in representatives of Diptera and Hemiptera. These trypanosomatid flagellates probably share the worldwide distribution of their hosts, which are often infested by large numbers of endoparasites. Traditionally, their taxonomy was based on morphology, host origin, and life cycle. Here we report the characterization of a trypanosomatid infection detected in a protozoan, a ciliate collected from a polluted freshwater pond in a suburb of New Delhi (India). Methods Live observations and morphological studies applying light, fluorescence and transmission electron microscopy were conducted. Molecular analyses of host and parasite were performed and used for phylogenetic reconstructions and species (host) or genus level (parasite) identification. Results Although the morphological characteristics were not revealing, a high similarity of the trypanosomatids 18S rRNA gene sequence to Herpetomonas ztiplika and Herpetomonas trimorpha (Kinetoplastida, Trypanosomatidae), both parasites of biting midges (Culicoides kibunensis and Culicoides truncorum, respectively) allowed the assignment to this genus. The majority of the host population displayed a heavy infection that significantly affected the shape of the host macronucleus, which was the main site of parasite localization. In addition, the growth rate of host cultures, identified as Euplotes encysticus according to cell morphology and 18S rRNA gene sequence, was severely impacted by the infection. Conclusions The host-parasite system described here represents a recent example of free-living protists acting as environmental reservoirs for parasitic eukaryotic microorganisms. PMID:24774858

  5. INTERACTIONS OF CHLORINE-PRODUCED OXIDANTS (CPO) AND SALINITY IN AFFECTING LETHAL AND SUBLETHAL EFFECTS IN THE EASTERN OR AMERICAN OYSTER, 'CRASSOSTREA VIRGINICA' (GMELIN), INFECTED WITH THE PROTISTAN PARASITE, 'PERKINSUS MARINUS'

    EPA Science Inventory

    Exposure of oysters, infected with the protistan parasite, Perkinsus marinus, to high salinity and high salinity, chlorine-produced oxidants (CPO) conditions was quite toxic. The combination of high salinity and CPO exposure generally increased toxicity above levels measured in h...

  6. Peroxiredoxins in Parasites

    PubMed Central

    Gretes, Michael C.; Poole, Leslie B.

    2012-01-01

    Abstract Significance: Parasite survival and virulence relies on effective defenses against reactive oxygen and nitrogen species produced by the host immune system. Peroxiredoxins (Prxs) are ubiquitous enzymes now thought to be central to such defenses and, as such, have potential value as drug targets and vaccine antigens. Recent Advances: Plasmodial and kinetoplastid Prx systems are the most extensively studied, yet remain inadequately understood. For many other parasites our knowledge is even less well developed. Through parasite genome sequencing efforts, however, the key players are being discovered and characterized. Here we describe what is known about the biochemistry, regulation, and cell biology of Prxs in parasitic protozoa, helminths, and fungi. At least one Prx is found in each parasite with a sequenced genome, and a notable theme is the common patterns of expression, localization, and functionality among sequence-similar Prxs in related species. Critical Issues: The nomenclature of Prxs from parasites is in a state of disarray, causing confusion and making comparative inferences difficult. Here we introduce a systematic Prx naming convention that is consistent between organisms and informative about structural and evolutionary relationships. Future Directions: The new nomenclature should stimulate the crossfertilization of ideas among parasitologists and with the broader redox research community. The diverse parasite developmental stages and host environments present complex systems in which to explore the variety of roles played by Prxs, with a view toward parlaying what is learned into novel therapies and vaccines that are urgently needed. Antioxid. Redox Signal. 17, 608–633. PMID:22098136

  7. Reduction of parasitic lasing

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Storm, Mark E. (Inventor)

    1994-01-01

    A technique was developed which carefully retro-reflects precisely controlled amounts of light back into a laser system thereby intentionally forcing the laser system components to oscillate in a new resonator called the parasitic oscillator. The parasitic oscillator uses the laser system to provide the gain and an external mirror is used to provide the output coupling of the new resonator. Any change of gain or loss inside the new resonator will directly change the lasing threshold of the parasitic oscillator. This change in threshold can be experimentally measured as a change in the absolute value of reflectivity, provided by the external mirror, necessary to achieve lasing in the parasitic oscillator. Discrepancies between experimental data and a parasitic oscillator model are direct evidence of optical misalignment or component performance problems. Any changes in the optical system can instantly be measured as a change in threshold for the parasitic oscillator. This technique also enables aligning the system for maximum parasitic suppression with the system fully operational.

  8. Density-dependent topographical specialization in Gyrodactylus anisopharynx (Monogenoidea, Gyrodactylidae): boosting transmission or evading competition?

    PubMed

    Pie, Marcio R; Engers, Kerlen B; Boeger, Walter A

    2006-06-01

    Viviparous gyrodactylids are remarkable monogenoid ectoparasites, not only because of their speciousness, but also due to their unusually wide range of hosts. Although many factors have been proposed to determine the location where gyrodactylids attach to their hosts, little is known about how their preference for specific host body regions changes over the course of infection. In this study, we investigate the dynamics of topographical specialization of the parasite Gyrodactylus anisopharynx on 2 of its natural freshwater fish hosts (Corydoras paleatus and C. ehrhardti), as well as a naïve host (C. schwartzi). We recorded the spatial location of this parasite from the foundation of the infrapopulation to its extinction to assess how topographical specialization is affected by host species, the size and the age of the infrapopulation, and the possibility of transmission among hosts. Our results indicate that topographical specialization is negatively correlated with infrapopulation size and only marginally affected by infrapopulation age. Also, the degree of specialization was different among host species, but seemed unaffected by the possibility of transmission among hosts. Therefore, observed changes in spatial specialization of G. anisopharynx do not appear to represent adaptive responses to maximize their transmission. Rather, mechanisms such as increased competition and/ or local immune responses might cause parasites to occupy less favorable regions of the body of their hosts with increasing density. PMID:16883986

  9. Eaten alive: cannibalism is enhanced by parasites.

    PubMed

    Bunke, Mandy; Alexander, Mhairi E; Dick, Jaimie T A; Hatcher, Melanie J; Paterson, Rachel; Dunn, Alison M

    2015-03-01

    Cannibalism is ubiquitous in nature and especially pervasive in consumers with stage-specific resource utilization in resource-limited environments. Cannibalism is thus influential in the structure and functioning of biological communities. Parasites are also pervasive in nature and, we hypothesize, might affect cannibalism since infection can alter host foraging behaviour. We investigated the effects of a common parasite, the microsporidian Pleistophora mulleri, on the cannibalism rate of its host, the freshwater amphipod Gammarus duebeni celticus. Parasitic infection increased the rate of cannibalism by adults towards uninfected juvenile conspecifics, as measured by adult functional responses, that is, the rate of resource uptake as a function of resource density. This may reflect the increased metabolic requirements of the host as driven by the parasite. Furthermore, when presented with a choice, uninfected adults preferred to cannibalize uninfected rather than infected juvenile conspecifics, probably reflecting selection pressure to avoid the risk of parasite acquisition. By contrast, infected adults were indiscriminate with respect to infection status of their victims, probably owing to metabolic costs of infection and the lack of risk as the cannibals were already infected. Thus parasitism, by enhancing cannibalism rates, may have previously unrecognized effects on stage structure and population dynamics for cannibalistic species and may also act as a selective pressure leading to changes in resource use. PMID:26064614

  10. Eaten alive: cannibalism is enhanced by parasites

    PubMed Central

    Bunke, Mandy; Alexander, Mhairi E.; Dick, Jaimie T. A.; Hatcher, Melanie J.; Paterson, Rachel; Dunn, Alison M.

    2015-01-01

    Cannibalism is ubiquitous in nature and especially pervasive in consumers with stage-specific resource utilization in resource-limited environments. Cannibalism is thus influential in the structure and functioning of biological communities. Parasites are also pervasive in nature and, we hypothesize, might affect cannibalism since infection can alter host foraging behaviour. We investigated the effects of a common parasite, the microsporidian Pleistophora mulleri, on the cannibalism rate of its host, the freshwater amphipod Gammarus duebeni celticus. Parasitic infection increased the rate of cannibalism by adults towards uninfected juvenile conspecifics, as measured by adult functional responses, that is, the rate of resource uptake as a function of resource density. This may reflect the increased metabolic requirements of the host as driven by the parasite. Furthermore, when presented with a choice, uninfected adults preferred to cannibalize uninfected rather than infected juvenile conspecifics, probably reflecting selection pressure to avoid the risk of parasite acquisition. By contrast, infected adults were indiscriminate with respect to infection status of their victims, probably owing to metabolic costs of infection and the lack of risk as the cannibals were already infected. Thus parasitism, by enhancing cannibalism rates, may have previously unrecognized effects on stage structure and population dynamics for cannibalistic species and may also act as a selective pressure leading to changes in resource use. PMID:26064614

  11. Parasitic interference in nulling interferometry

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Matter, A.; Defrère, D.; Danchi, W. C.; Lopez, B.; Absil, O.

    2013-05-01

    Nulling interferometry aims to detect faint objects close to bright stars. Its principle is to produce a destructive interference along the line of sight so that the stellar flux is rejected, while the flux of the off-axis source can be transmitted. In practice, various instrumental perturbations can degrade the nulling performance. Any imperfection in phase, amplitude or polarization produces a spurious flux that leaks to the interferometer output and corrupts the transmitted off-axis flux. One of these instrumental perturbations is the crosstalk phenomenon, which occurs because of multiple parasitic reflections inside transmitting optics, and/or diffraction effects related to beam propagation along finite size optics. It can include a crosstalk of a beam with itself, and a mutual crosstalk between different beams. This can create a parasitic interference pattern, which degrades the intrinsic transmission map - or intensity response - of the interferometer. In this context, we describe how this instrumental effect impairs the performance of a Bracewell interferometer. A simple formalism is developed to derive the corresponding modified intensity response of the interferometer, as a function of the two parameters of interest: the crosstalk level (or contamination rate) and the phase shift between the primary and secondary - parasitic - beams. We then apply our mathematical approach to a few scientific cases, both analytically and using the GENIESIM simulation software, adapted to handle coherent crosstalk. Our results show that a coherent crosstalk level of about 1 per cent implies a 20 per cent drop of the signal-to-noise ratio at most. Careful attention should thus be paid to reduce the crosstalk level inside an interferometric instrument and ensure an instrumental stability that provides the necessary sensitivity through calibration procedures.

  12. The transcriptomes of the cattle parasitic nematode Ostertagia ostartagi

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Ostertagia ostertagi is a gastrointestinal parasitic nematode that affects cattle and leads to a loss of production. In this study, we present the first large-scale genomic survey of O. ostertagi by the analysis of expressed transcripts from three stages of the parasite: third-stage larvae, fourth-s...

  13. Estuaries May Face Increased Parasitism as Sea Levels Rise

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wendel, JoAnna

    2014-12-01

    Invertebrates in estuaries could be at a greater risk of parasitism as climate change causes sea levels to rise. A new paper published 8 December in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (doi:10.1073/pnas.1416747111) describes how rapid sea level rise in the Holocene affected the population of parasitic flatworms called trematodes.

  14. Epigenetic Regulation of Virulence Gene Expression in Parasitic Protozoa.

    PubMed

    Duraisingh, Manoj T; Horn, David

    2016-05-11

    Protozoan parasites colonize numerous metazoan hosts and insect vectors through their life cycles, with the need to respond quickly and reversibly while encountering diverse and often hostile ecological niches. To succeed, parasites must also persist within individuals until transmission between hosts is achieved. Several parasitic protozoa cause a huge burden of disease in humans and livestock, and here we focus on the parasites that cause malaria and African trypanosomiasis. Efforts to understand how these pathogens adapt to survive in varied host environments, cause disease, and transmit between hosts have revealed a wealth of epigenetic phenomena. Epigenetic switching mechanisms appear to be ideally suited for the regulation of clonal antigenic variation underlying successful parasitism. We review the molecular players and complex mechanistic layers that mediate the epigenetic regulation of virulence gene expression. Understanding epigenetic processes will aid the development of antiparasitic therapeutics. PMID:27173931

  15. Intestinal parasites in southeast Asian refugees two years after immigration.

    PubMed Central

    Molina, C D; Molina, M M; Molina, J M

    1988-01-01

    We collected stool specimens from 2,520 Southeast Asian refugees who had resided in the United States for an average of 2.1 years. More than half reported receiving prior treatment of parasites. At least one parasite was discovered in 32%, and multiple parasites were found in 8% of patients. Hookworm, Giardia, Strongyloides, and Hymenolepis nana were most commonly found. In comparison to studies done at the time of immigration, all parasites had decreased in frequency, but Giardia, hookworm, and H nana remain common. Although initial screening efforts may have failed to identify substantial numbers of infected refugees, poor compliance with treatment may also explain the persistence of intestinal parasites in our patients. The continued presence of Giardia and H nana, especially among children, may be explained by person-to-person transmission or autoinfection. PMID:3265822

  16. Malaria parasite epigenetics: when virulence and romance collide.

    PubMed

    Flueck, Christian; Baker, David A

    2014-08-13

    Blood-stage malaria parasites evade the immune system by switching the protein exposed at the surface of the infected erythrocyte. A small proportion of these parasites commits to sexual development to mediate mosquito transmission. Two studies in this issue (Brancucci et al., 2014; Coleman et al., 2014) shed light on shared epigenetic machinery underlying both of these events. PMID:25121742

  17. Parasitic fauna of a yellow-legged gull colony in the island of Escombreras (South-eastern Mediterranean) in close proximity to a landfill site: potential effects on cohabiting species.

    PubMed

    Parejo, Sandra Hervías; Martínez-Carrasco, Carlos; Diaz, Julia I; Chitimia, Lidia; Ortiz, Juana; Mayo, Elvira; Ybáñez, Rocío Ruiz de

    2015-06-01

    We identified the ectoparasites and helminth fauna of yellow-legged gulls (Larus michahellis michahellis), breeding near to a solid waste landfill, and compared infection levels with those of other yellow-legged gull colonies. Moreover, we analysed correlations between parasites and sex and body condition of yellow-legged gulls, co-infections and the helminth community structure in order to propose the role of this species as reservoir of certain parasites. We also discuss the potential transmission of parasites between the yellow-legged gull and the endangered Audouin's gull, because interactions between these two species, such as kleptoparasitism and predation, occur frequently around colonies. The following species were recorded: Ornithodorus capensis (Arthropoda); Cosmocephalus obvelatus, Paracuaria adunca, Eucoleus contortus, Tetrameres skrjabini and Contracaecum sp. (Nematoda); Tetrabothrius cylindraceus (Cestoda); Acanthotrema armata, Cardiocephaloides longicollis and Ornithobilharzia intermedia (Digenea). Tetrabothrius cylindraceus, A. armata and O. capensis are new parasite records for this host. The dependence of yellow-legged-gulls on fishery discards is supported by the dominance of parasites transmitted through marine intermediate hosts with interest to fisheries in the study area. However, the shift in diet from natural resources to food derived from human activities seems not to affect the parasitic fauna of yellow-legged gull. Besides of direct physical contact between individuals in nesting and resting habitats, the high availability of fishery discards could increase the risk of Audouin's gulls to be infected by common parasites of yellow-legged gull. PMID:26203998

  18. Deep sequencing of small RNAs from citrus affected by graft-transmissible diseases of unknown etiology leads to discovery of two novel viruses

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Citrus is susceptible to graft-transmissible pathogens; some of which are arthropod-transmitted. Citrus cultivars vary in susceptibility or tolerance to these pathogens and may remain symptomless when infected. Established tests for known disease agents are used in certification and disease manage...

  19. Shiny cowbird parasitism in two avian communities in Puerto Rico

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Wiley, J.W.

    1985-01-01

    The shiny cowbird (M. bonariensis), a brood parasite, has recently expanded its range from South America to Puerto Rico via the Lesser Antilles. This species is a host generalist and, on reaching Puerto Rico, encounteed avian species with no history of social parasitism. In mangrove habitat study areas, 42% of the resident non-raptorial land bird species were parasitized. Some species were heavily parasitized; e.g., yellow warbler (Dendroica petechia), 76% of nests parasitized black-whiskered vireo (Vireo altiloquus), 82%, Puerto Rican flycatcher (Myiarchus antillarum), 85%, yellow-shouldered blackbird (Agelaius xanthomus), 95%, troupial (Icterus icterus), 100%, black-cowled oriole (I. dominicensis), 100%. Others suffered low rates of parasitism (2-17% of nests examined); e.g., gray kingbird (Tyrannus dominicensis), red-legged thrush (Turdus plumbeus), bronze mannikin (Lonchura cucullata), northern mockingbird (Mimus polyglottos), greater antillean grackle (Quiscalus niger). Cowbird parasitism affected hosts by depressing nest success an average of 41% below non-parasitized nests and reducing host productivity. Parasitized host nests hatched 12% fewer eggs an fledged 67% fewer of their own chicks than non-parasitized pairs.

  20. A role for insect galectins in parasite survival.

    PubMed

    Kamhawi, Shaden; Ramalho-Ortigao, Marcelo; Pham, Van M; Kumar, Sanjeev; Lawyer, Phillip G; Turco, Salvatore J; Barillas-Mury, Carolina; Sacks, David L; Valenzuela, Jesus G

    2004-10-29

    Insect galectins are associated with embryonic development or immunity against pathogens. Here, we show that they can be exploited by parasites for survival in their insect hosts. PpGalec, a tandem repeat galectin expressed in the midgut of the sandfly Phlebotomus papatasi, is used by Leishmania major as a receptor for mediating specific binding to the insect midgut, an event crucial for parasite survival, and accounts for species-specific vector competence for the most widely distributed form of cutaneous leishmaniasis in the Old World. In addition, these studies demonstrate the feasibility of using midgut receptors for parasite ligands as target antigens for transmission-blocking vaccines. PMID:15543683

  1. Diagnosis of Parasitic Diseases

    MedlinePlus

    ... Blood Food Insects Water Education and Training CDC Bottle Bioassay References and Resources How to Find A ... days, be examined. This test looks for ova (eggs) or the parasite. Your health care provider may ...

  2. Pets and Parasites

    MedlinePlus

    ... make me sick? Household pets such as dogs, cats, birds and reptiles can carry diseases or parasites ... might be used as litter boxes by neighborhood cats. Keep your children out of the dirt in ...

  3. Evolution: predator versus parasite.

    PubMed

    Stevens, Martin

    2014-05-19

    Both predators and brood parasites can be major threats to the reproduction of many birds. A new study shows that some cuckoo chicks can help deter nest predators, potentially improving host reproductive success when predation risks are high. PMID:24845665

  4. Effects of invasive parasites on bumble bee declines.

    PubMed

    Meeus, Ivan; Brown, Mark J F; De Graaf, Dirk C; Smagghe, Guy

    2011-08-01

    Bumble bees are a group of pollinators that are both ecologically and economically important and declining worldwide. Numerous mechanisms could be behind this decline, and the spread of parasites from commercial colonies into wild populations has been implicated recently in North America. Commercial breeding may lead to declines because commercial colonies may have high parasite loads, which can lead to colonization of native bumble bee populations; commercial rearing may allow higher parasite virulence to evolve; and global movement of commercial colonies may disrupt spatial patterns in local adaptation between hosts and parasites. We assessed parasite virulence, transmission mode, and infectivity. Microparasites and so-called honey bee viruses may pose the greatest threat to native bumble bee populations because certain risk factors are present; for example, the probability of horizontal transmission of the trypanosome parasite Crithidia bombi is high. The microsporidian parasite Nosema bombi may play a role in declines of bumble bees in the United States. Preliminary indications that C. bombi and the neogregarine Apicystis bombi may not be native in parts of South America. We suggest that the development of molecular screening protocols, thorough sanitation efforts, and cooperation among nongovernmental organizations, governments, and commercial breeders might immediately mitigate these threats. PMID:21771075

  5. Larval food quantity affects the capacity of adult mosquitoes to transmit human malaria.

    PubMed

    Shapiro, Lillian L M; Murdock, Courtney C; Jacobs, Gregory R; Thomas, Rachel J; Thomas, Matthew B

    2016-07-13

    Adult traits of holometabolous insects are shaped by conditions experienced during larval development, which might impact interactions between adult insect hosts and parasites. However, the ecology of larval insects that vector disease remains poorly understood. Here, we used Anopheles stephensi mosquitoes and the human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum, to investigate whether larval conditions affect the capacity of adult mosquitoes to transmit malaria. We reared larvae in two groups; one group received a standard laboratory rearing diet, whereas the other received a reduced diet. Emerging adult females were then provided an infectious blood meal. We assessed mosquito longevity, parasite development rate and prevalence of infectious mosquitoes over time. Reduced larval food led to increased adult mortality and caused a delay in parasite development and a slowing in the rate at which parasites invaded the mosquito salivary glands, extending the time it took for mosquitoes to become infectious. Together, these effects increased transmission potential of mosquitoes in the high food regime by 260-330%. Such effects have not, to our knowledge, been shown previously for human malaria and highlight the importance of improving knowledge of larval ecology to better understand vector-borne disease transmission dynamics. PMID:27412284

  6. Larval food quantity affects the capacity of adult mosquitoes to transmit human malaria

    PubMed Central

    Shapiro, Lillian L. M.; Murdock, Courtney C.; Jacobs, Gregory R.; Thomas, Rachel J.; Thomas, Matthew B.

    2016-01-01

    Adult traits of holometabolous insects are shaped by conditions experienced during larval development, which might impact interactions between adult insect hosts and parasites. However, the ecology of larval insects that vector disease remains poorly understood. Here, we used Anopheles stephensi mosquitoes and the human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum, to investigate whether larval conditions affect the capacity of adult mosquitoes to transmit malaria. We reared larvae in two groups; one group received a standard laboratory rearing diet, whereas the other received a reduced diet. Emerging adult females were then provided an infectious blood meal. We assessed mosquito longevity, parasite development rate and prevalence of infectious mosquitoes over time. Reduced larval food led to increased adult mortality and caused a delay in parasite development and a slowing in the rate at which parasites invaded the mosquito salivary glands, extending the time it took for mosquitoes to become infectious. Together, these effects increased transmission potential of mosquitoes in the high food regime by 260–330%. Such effects have not, to our knowledge, been shown previously for human malaria and highlight the importance of improving knowledge of larval ecology to better understand vector-borne disease transmission dynamics. PMID:27412284

  7. ZOONOTIC PARASITES, OUR ENVIROMENT AND CHANGE

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Environmental changes arising from nature and human activity are affecting patterns for the occurrence and significance of many infectious diseases, including zoonotic parasites, which are those naturally transmitted between domestic animals or wildlife and people. As these changes continue, and pe...

  8. Host behaviour-parasite feedback: an essential link between animal behaviour and disease ecology.

    PubMed

    Ezenwa, Vanessa O; Archie, Elizabeth A; Craft, Meggan E; Hawley, Dana M; Martin, Lynn B; Moore, Janice; White, Lauren

    2016-04-13

    Animal behaviour and the ecology and evolution of parasites are inextricably linked. For this reason, animal behaviourists and disease ecologists have been interested in the intersection of their respective fields for decades. Despite this interest, most research at the behaviour-disease interface focuses either on how host behaviour affects parasites or how parasites affect behaviour, with little overlap between the two. Yet, the majority of interactions between hosts and parasites are probably reciprocal, such that host behaviour feeds back on parasites and vice versa. Explicitly considering these feedbacks is essential for understanding the complex connections between animal behaviour and parasite ecology and evolution. To illustrate this point, we discuss how host behaviour-parasite feedbacks might operate and explore the consequences of feedback for studies of animal behaviour and parasites. For example, ignoring the feedback of host social structure on parasite dynamics can limit the accuracy of predictions about parasite spread. Likewise, considering feedback in studies of parasites and animal personalities may provide unique insight about the maintenance of variation in personality types. Finally, applying the feedback concept to links between host behaviour and beneficial, rather than pathogenic, microbes may shed new light on transitions between mutualism and parasitism. More generally, accounting for host behaviour-parasite feedbacks can help identify critical gaps in our understanding of how key host behaviours and parasite traits evolve and are maintained. PMID:27053751

  9. Host behaviour–parasite feedback: an essential link between animal behaviour and disease ecology

    PubMed Central

    Archie, Elizabeth A.; Craft, Meggan E.; Hawley, Dana M.; Martin, Lynn B.; Moore, Janice; White, Lauren

    2016-01-01

    Animal behaviour and the ecology and evolution of parasites are inextricably linked. For this reason, animal behaviourists and disease ecologists have been interested in the intersection of their respective fields for decades. Despite this interest, most research at the behaviour–disease interface focuses either on how host behaviour affects parasites or how parasites affect behaviour, with little overlap between the two. Yet, the majority of interactions between hosts and parasites are probably reciprocal, such that host behaviour feeds back on parasites and vice versa. Explicitly considering these feedbacks is essential for understanding the complex connections between animal behaviour and parasite ecology and evolution. To illustrate this point, we discuss how host behaviour–parasite feedbacks might operate and explore the consequences of feedback for studies of animal behaviour and parasites. For example, ignoring the feedback of host social structure on parasite dynamics can limit the accuracy of predictions about parasite spread. Likewise, considering feedback in studies of parasites and animal personalities may provide unique insight about the maintenance of variation in personality types. Finally, applying the feedback concept to links between host behaviour and beneficial, rather than pathogenic, microbes may shed new light on transitions between mutualism and parasitism. More generally, accounting for host behaviour–parasite feedbacks can help identify critical gaps in our understanding of how key host behaviours and parasite traits evolve and are maintained. PMID:27053751

  10. Productivity and fishing pressure drive variability in fish parasite assemblages of the Line Islands, equatorial Pacific.

    PubMed

    Wood, Chelsea L; Baum, Julia K; Reddy, Sheila M W; Trebilco, Rowan; Sandin, Stuart A; Zgliczynski, Brian J; Briggs, Amy A; Micheli, Fiorenza

    2015-05-01

    across a span of spatial scales. Overall, these results indicate that there are strong and variable effects of anthropogenic and natural drivers on parasite abundance and taxonomic richness. These effects are likely to be mediated by parasite traits, particularly by parasite transmission strategies. PMID:26236851

  11. Brood parasitism among waterfowl nesting on islands and peninsulas in North Dakota

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Lokemoen, J.T.

    1991-01-01

    During 1985 and 1986 I studied interspecific brood parasitism among seven species of waterfowl nesting on 36 islands and 24 peninsulas in central North Dakota. On islands, 40% of 178 nests were parasitized with an average of 4.3 parasitic eggs, and on peninsulas 2% of 275 nests were parasitized with an average of 2.2 parasitic eggs. Redheads (Aythya americana) were the primary parasite, adding eggs to 92% of all parasitized nests. Species nesting in open cover were parasitized at a higher rate than species nesting in dense cover. Nests with parasitic eggs had fewer host eggs and there was a negative association between the number of parasitic eggs and the success of host eggs. Parasitized nests had lower success, but additional parasitic eggs had no added influence on nest success. Interspecific brood parasitism had significant negative effects on dabbling ducks on islands but Lesser Scaup (Aythya affinis) were little affected. Even so, the number of young hatched per nest was much higher on islands because of the high loss of eggs to predators on the mainland. Parasitic eggs were deposited during the middle of the nesting season, but the peak of parasitic laying occurred before the peak of normal nesting.

  12. Marine protected areas facilitate parasite populations among four fished host species of central Chile.

    PubMed

    Wood, Chelsea L; Micheli, Fiorenza; Fernández, Miriam; Gelcich, Stefan; Castilla, Juan Carlos; Carvajal, Juan

    2013-11-01

    1. Parasites comprise a substantial proportion of global biodiversity and exert important ecological influences on hosts, communities and ecosystems, but our knowledge of how parasite populations respond to human impacts is in its infancy. 2. Here, we present the results of a natural experiment in which we used a system of highly successful marine protected areas and matched open-access areas in central Chile to assess the influence of fishing-driven biodiversity loss on parasites of exploited fish and invertebrate hosts. We measured the burden of gill parasites for two reef fishes (Cheilodactylus variegatus and Aplodactylus punctatus), trematode parasites for a keyhole limpet (Fissurella latimarginata), and pinnotherid pea crab parasites for a sea urchin (Loxechinus albus). We also measured host density for all four hosts. 3. We found that nearly all parasite species exhibited substantially greater density (# parasites m(-2)) in protected than in open-access areas, but only one parasite species (a gill monogenean of C. variegatus) was more abundant within hosts collected from protected relative to open-access areas. 4. These data indicate that fishing can drive declines in parasite abundance at the parasite population level by reducing the availability of habitat and resources for parasites, but less commonly affects the abundance of parasites at the infrapopulation level (within individual hosts). 5. Considering the substantial ecological role that many parasites play in marine communities, fishing and other human impacts could exert cryptic but important effects on marine community structure and ecosystem functioning via reductions in parasite abundance. PMID:23855822

  13. Tick-Borne Encephalitis Virus Structural Proteins Are the Primary Viral Determinants of Non-Viraemic Transmission between Ticks whereas Non-Structural Proteins Affect Cytotoxicity

    PubMed Central

    Khasnatinov, Maxim A.; Tuplin, Andrew; Gritsun, Dmitri J.; Slovak, Mirko; Kazimirova, Maria; Lickova, Martina; Havlikova, Sabina; Klempa, Boris; Gould, Ernest A.

    2016-01-01

    Over 50 million humans live in areas of potential exposure to tick-borne encephalitis virus (TBEV). The disease exhibits an estimated 16,000 cases recorded annually over 30 European and Asian countries. Conventionally, TBEV transmission to Ixodes spp. ticks occurs whilst feeding on viraemic animals. However, an alternative mechanism of non-viraemic transmission (NVT) between infected and uninfected ticks co-feeding on the same transmission-competent host, has also been demonstrated. Here, using laboratory-bred I. ricinus ticks, we demonstrate low and high efficiency NVT for TBEV strains Vasilchenko (Vs) and Hypr, respectively. These virus strains share high sequence similarity but are classified as two TBEV subtypes. The Vs strain is a Siberian subtype, naturally associated with I. persulcatus ticks whilst the Hypr strain is a European subtype, transmitted by I. ricinus ticks. In mammalian cell culture (porcine kidney cell line PS), Vs and Hypr induce low and high cytopathic effects (cpe), respectively. Using reverse genetics, we engineered a range of viable Vs/Hypr chimaeric strains, with substituted genes. No significant differences in replication rate were detected between wild-type and chimaeric viruses in cell culture. However, the chimaeric strain Vs[Hypr str] (Hypr structural and Vs non-structural genomic regions) demonstrated high efficiency NVT in I. ricinus whereas the counterpart Hypr[Vs str] was not transmitted by NVT, indicating that the virion structural proteins largely determine TBEV NVT transmission efficiency between ticks. In contrast, in cell culture, the extent of cpe was largely determined by the non-structural region of the TBEV genome. Chimaeras with Hypr non-structural genes were more cytotoxic for PS cells when compared with Vs genome-based chimaeras. PMID:27341437

  14. Red Maasai x Dorper resistance to gastrointestestinal parasite infections associated to a panel of SNPs

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Gastrointestinal (GI) parasitic infection is a main health constraint that affects small ruminant production. Anthelmintic drugs are used to control parasites, however long-term use led to selection pressure, resulting in parasite resistance against all current chemical interventions available in th...

  15. Potential economic impact of parasites on the cattle industry of Mexico

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Parasitic diseases remain an important factor affecting the productivity of cattle in Mexico. Economic losses caused by cattle parasites in Mexico were estimated on an annual basis considering the total number of animals at risk and the potential detrimental effects of parasitism on milk production,...

  16. Spatial variation in gender-biased parasitism: host-related, parasite-related and environment-related effects.

    PubMed

    Krasnov, Boris R; Matthee, Sonja

    2010-09-01

    The gender-biased pattern of parasite infestation has been shown to be a complicated phenomenon that cannot be explained by a single mechanism but rather involves several different mechanisms. We asked what are the factors that affect the manifestation and extent of gender-biased parasitism and studied the relationship between parasite-related (mean abundance, mean species richness and total species richness of all parasites), host-related (rodent density and proportion of reproductive males and females both separately and together) and environment-related (mean daily maximal and minimal temperatures, rainfall and relative humidity) factors and the magnitude of gender-biased infestation of a South African rodent Rhabdomys pumilio by ixodid ticks, gamasid mites, lice and fleas. We found that spatial variation in gender differences in parasite infestation was affected by parasite-, host- and environment-related factors, although the set of factors affecting gender differences in infestation differed among higher taxa of ectoparasites. Gender differences in infestation by fleas and lice were affected mainly by parasite-related factors, whereas gender differences in infestation by ticks and, in part, by mites were affected mainly by host-related and environmental factors. In addition, spatial variation in most measures of gender difference in mite infestation remained unexplained. PMID:20550754

  17. A small mitochondrial protein present in myzozoans is essential for malaria transmission

    PubMed Central

    Klug, Dennis; Mair, Gunnar R.; Frischknecht, Friedrich; Douglas, Ross G.

    2016-01-01

    Myzozoans (which include dinoflagellates, chromerids and apicomplexans) display notable divergence from their ciliate sister group, including a reduced mitochondrial genome and divergent metabolic processes. The factors contributing to these divergent processes are still poorly understood and could serve as potential drug targets in disease-causing protists. Here, we report the identification and characterization of a small mitochondrial protein from the rodent-infecting apicomplexan parasite Plasmodium berghei that is essential for development in its mosquito host. Parasites lacking the gene mitochondrial protein ookinete developmental defect (mpodd) showed malformed parasites that were unable to transmit to mosquitoes. Knockout parasites displayed reduced mitochondrial mass without affecting organelle integrity, indicating no role of the protein in mitochondrial biogenesis or morphology maintenance but a likely role in mitochondrial import or metabolism. Using genetic complementation experiments, we identified a previously unrecognized Plasmodium falciparum homologue that can rescue the mpodd(−) phenotype, thereby showing that the gene is functionally conserved. As far as can be detected, mpodd is found in myzozoans, has homologues in the phylum Apicomplexa and appears to have arisen in free-living dinoflagellates. This suggests that the MPODD protein has a conserved mitochondrial role that is important for myzozoans. While previous studies identified a number of essential proteins which are generally highly conserved evolutionarily, our study identifies, for the first time, a non-canonical protein fulfilling a crucial function in the mitochondrion during parasite transmission. PMID:27053680

  18. A small mitochondrial protein present in myzozoans is essential for malaria transmission.

    PubMed

    Klug, Dennis; Mair, Gunnar R; Frischknecht, Friedrich; Douglas, Ross G

    2016-04-01

    Myzozoans (which include dinoflagellates, chromerids and apicomplexans) display notable divergence from their ciliate sister group, including a reduced mitochondrial genome and divergent metabolic processes. The factors contributing to these divergent processes are still poorly understood and could serve as potential drug targets in disease-causing protists. Here, we report the identification and characterization of a small mitochondrial protein from the rodent-infecting apicomplexan parasitePlasmodium bergheithat is essential for development in its mosquito host. Parasites lacking the gene mitochondrial protein ookinete developmental defect (mpodd) showed malformed parasites that were unable to transmit to mosquitoes. Knockout parasites displayed reduced mitochondrial mass without affecting organelle integrity, indicating no role of the protein in mitochondrial biogenesis or morphology maintenance but a likely role in mitochondrial import or metabolism. Using genetic complementation experiments, we identified a previously unrecognizedPlasmodium falciparumhomologue that can rescue thempodd(-)phenotype, thereby showing that the gene is functionally conserved. As far as can be detected,mpoddis found in myzozoans, has homologues in the phylumApicomplexaand appears to have arisen in free-living dinoflagellates. This suggests that the MPODD protein has a conserved mitochondrial role that is important for myzozoans. While previous studies identified a number of essential proteins which are generally highly conserved evolutionarily, our study identifies, for the first time, a non-canonical protein fulfilling a crucial function in the mitochondrion during parasite transmission. PMID:27053680

  19. Maduramicin Rapidly Eliminates Malaria Parasites and Potentiates the Gametocytocidal Activity of the Pyrazoleamide PA21A050

    PubMed Central

    Maron, Maxim I.; Magle, Crystal T.; Czesny, Beata; Turturice, Benjamin A.; Huang, Ruili; Zheng, Wei; Vaidya, Akhil B.

    2015-01-01

    New strategies targeting Plasmodium falciparum gametocytes, the sexual-stage parasites that are responsible for malaria transmission, are needed to eradicate this disease. Most commonly used antimalarials are ineffective against P. falciparum gametocytes, allowing patients to continue to be infectious for over a week after asexual parasite clearance. A recent screen for gametocytocidal compounds demonstrated that the carboxylic polyether ionophore maduramicin is active at low nanomolar concentrations against P. falciparum sexual stages. In this study, we showed that maduramicin has an EC50 (effective concentration that inhibits the signal by 50%) of 14.8 nM against late-stage gametocytes and significantly blocks in vivo transmission in a mouse model of malaria transmission. In contrast to other reported gametocytocidal agents, maduramicin acts rapidly in vitro, eliminating gametocytes and asexual schizonts in less than 12 h without affecting uninfected red blood cells (RBCs). Ring stage parasites are cleared by 24 h. Within an hour of drug treatment, 40% of the normally crescent-shaped gametocytes round up and become spherical. The number of round gametocytes increases to >60% by 2 h, even before a change in membrane potential as monitored by MitoProbe DiIC1 (5) is detectable. Maduramicin is not preferentially taken up by gametocyte-infected RBCs compared to uninfected RBCs, suggesting that gametocytes are more sensitive to alterations in cation concentration than RBCs. Moreover, the addition of 15.6 nM maduramicin enhanced the gametocytocidal activity of the pyrazoleamide PA21A050, which is a promising new antimalarial candidate associated with an increase in intracellular Na+ concentration that is proposed to be due to inhibition of PfATP4, a putative Na+ pump. These results underscore the importance of cation homeostasis in sexual as well as asexual intraerythrocytic-stage P. falciparum parasites and the potential of targeting this pathway for drug development

  20. Gray fox (Urocyon cinereoargenteus) parasite diversity in central Mexico.

    PubMed

    Hernández-Camacho, Norma; Pineda-López, Raúl Francisco; de Jesús Guerrero-Carrillo, María; Cantó-Alarcón, Germinal Jorge; Jones, Robert Wallace; Moreno-Pérez, Marco Antonio; Mosqueda-Gualito, Juan Joel; Zamora-Ledesma, Salvador; Camacho-Macías, Brenda

    2016-08-01

    Mexico has a long history of parasitological studies in communities of vertebrates. However, the mega diversity of the country makes fauna inventories an ongoing priority. Presently, there is little published on the parasite fauna of gray foxes (Urocyon cinereoargenteus Schereber, 1775) and this study provides new records of parasites for gray foxes in central Mexico. It is a continuation of a series of previous parasitological studies conducted with this carnivore in Mexico from 2003 to the present. A total of 24 foxes in the Parque Nacional El Cimatario (PANEC) were trapped, anaesthetized, and parasites recovered. The species found were Dirofilaria immitis, Ctenocephalides canis, C. felis, Euhoplopsillus glacialis affinis (first report for gray foxes in Mexico) Pulex simulants, and Ixodes sp. Three additional gray fox carcasses were necropsied and the parasites collected were adult nematodes Physaloptera praeputialis and Toxocara canis. The intensive study of the gray fox population selected for the 2013-2015 recent period allowed for a two-fold increase in the number of parasite species recorded for this carnivore since 2003 (nine to 18 parasite species), mainly recording parasitic arthropods, Dirofilaria immitis filariae and adult nematodes. The parasite species recorded are generalists that can survive in anthropic environments; which is characteristic of the present ecological scenario in central Mexico. The close proximity of the PANEC to the city of Santiago de Queretaro suggests possible parasite transmission between the foxes and domestic and feral dogs. Furthermore, packs of feral dogs in the PANEC might have altered habitat use by foxes, with possible impacts on transmission. PMID:27408801

  1. Niche metabolism in parasitic protozoa

    PubMed Central

    Ginger, Michael L

    2005-01-01

    Complete or partial genome sequences have recently become available for several medically and evolutionarily important parasitic protozoa. Through the application of bioinformatics complete metabolic repertoires for these parasites can be predicted. For experimentally intractable parasites insight provided by metabolic maps generated in silico has been startling. At its more extreme end, such bioinformatics reckoning facilitated the discovery in some parasites of mitochondria remodelled beyond previous recognition, and the identification of a non-photosynthetic chloroplast relic in malarial parasites. However, for experimentally tractable parasites, mapping of the general metabolic terrain is only a first step in understanding how the parasite modulates its streamlined, yet still often puzzlingly complex, metabolism in order to complete life cycles within host, vector, or environment. This review provides a comparative overview and discussion of metabolic strategies used by several different parasitic protozoa in order to subvert and survive host defences, and illustrates how genomic data contribute to the elucidation of parasite metabolism. PMID:16553311

  2. The path to host extinction can lead to loss of generalist parasites.

    PubMed

    Farrell, Maxwell J; Stephens, Patrick R; Berrang-Ford, Lea; Gittleman, John L; Davies, T Jonathan

    2015-07-01

    Host extinction can alter disease transmission dynamics, influence parasite extinction and ultimately change the nature of host-parasite systems. While theory predicts that single-host parasites are among the parasite species most susceptible to extinction following declines in their hosts, documented parasite extinctions are rare. Using a comparative approach, we investigate how the richness of single-host and multi-host parasites is influenced by extinction risk among ungulate and carnivore hosts. Host-parasite associations for free-living carnivores (order Carnivora) and terrestrial ungulates (orders Perissodactyla + Cetartiodactyla minus cetaceans) were merged with host trait data and IUCN Red List status to explore the distribution of single-host and multi-host parasites among threatened and non-threatened hosts. We find that threatened ungulates harbour a higher proportion of single-host parasites compared to non-threatened ungulates, which is explained by decreases in the richness of multi-host parasites. However, among carnivores threat status is not a significant predictor of the proportion of single-host parasites, or the richness of single-host or multi-host parasites. The loss of multi-host parasites from threatened ungulates may be explained by decreased cross-species contact as hosts decline and habitats become fragmented. Among carnivores, threat status may not be important in predicting patterns of parasite specificity because host decline results in equal losses of both single-host parasites and multi-host parasites through reduction in average population density and frequency of cross-species contact. Our results contrast with current models of parasite coextinction and highlight the need for updated theories that are applicable across host groups and account for both inter- and intraspecific contact. PMID:25640629

  3. Parasite Removal, but Not Herbivory, Deters Future Parasite Attachment on Tomato

    PubMed Central

    Tjiurutue, Muvari Connie; Palmer-Young, Evan C.; Adler, Lynn S.

    2016-01-01

    Plants face many antagonistic interactions that occur sequentially. Often, plants employ defense strategies in response to the initial damage that are highly specific and can affect interactions with subsequent antagonists. In addition to herbivores and pathogens, plants face attacks by parasitic plants, but we know little about how prior herbivory compared to prior parasite attachment affects subsequent host interactions. If host plants can respond adaptively to these different damage types, we predict that prior parasitism would have a greater deterrent effect on subsequent parasites than would prior herbivory. To test the effects of prior parasitism and prior herbivory on subsequent parasitic dodder (Cuscuta spp.) preference, we conducted two separate greenhouse studies with tomato hosts (Solanum lycopersicum). In the first experiment, we tested the effects of previous dodder attachment on subsequent dodder preference on tomato hosts using three treatments: control plants that had no previous dodder attachment; dodder-removed plants that had an initial dodder seedling attached, removed and left in the same pot to simulate parasite death; and dodder-continuous plants with an initial dodder seedling that remained attached. In the second experiment, we tested the effects of previous caterpillar damage (Spodoptera exigua) and mechanical damage on future dodder attachment on tomato hosts. Dodder attached most slowly to tomato hosts that had dodder plants previously attached and then removed, compared to control plants or plants with continuous dodder attachment. In contrast, herbivory did not affect subsequent dodder attachment rate. These results indicate that dodder preference depended on the identity and the outcome of the initial attack, suggesting that early-season interactions have the potential for profound impacts on subsequent community dynamics. PMID:27529694

  4. Parasite Removal, but Not Herbivory, Deters Future Parasite Attachment on Tomato.

    PubMed

    Tjiurutue, Muvari Connie; Palmer-Young, Evan C; Adler, Lynn S

    2016-01-01

    Plants face many antagonistic interactions that occur sequentially. Often, plants employ defense strategies in response to the initial damage that are highly specific and can affect interactions with subsequent antagonists. In addition to herbivores and pathogens, plants face attacks by parasitic plants, but we know little about how prior herbivory compared to prior parasite attachment affects subsequent host interactions. If host plants can respond adaptively to these different damage types, we predict that prior parasitism would have a greater deterrent effect on subsequent parasites than would prior herbivory. To test the effects of prior parasitism and prior herbivory on subsequent parasitic dodder (Cuscuta spp.) preference, we conducted two separate greenhouse studies with tomato hosts (Solanum lycopersicum). In the first experiment, we tested the effects of previous dodder attachment on subsequent dodder preference on tomato hosts using three treatments: control plants that had no previous dodder attachment; dodder-removed plants that had an initial dodder seedling attached, removed and left in the same pot to simulate parasite death; and dodder-continuous plants with an initial dodder seedling that remained attached. In the second experiment, we tested the effects of previous caterpillar damage (Spodoptera exigua) and mechanical damage on future dodder attachment on tomato hosts. Dodder attached most slowly to tomato hosts that had dodder plants previously attached and then removed, compared to control plants or plants with continuous dodder attachment. In contrast, herbivory did not affect subsequent dodder attachment rate. These results indicate that dodder preference depended on the identity and the outcome of the initial attack, suggesting that early-season interactions have the potential for profound impacts on subsequent community dynamics. PMID:27529694

  5. Immunodiagnosis of parasitic diseases with synthetic peptides.

    PubMed

    Noya, O; Patarroyo, M E; Guzmán, F; Alarcón de Noya, B

    2003-08-01

    Parasitic diseases remain as a major public health problem worldwide, not only based on their historically high morbidity and mortality rates, but also because risk factors associated with their transmission are increasing. Laboratory diagnosis and particularly immunodiagnosis is a basic tool for the demonstration, clinical management and control of these infections. Classically, the serological tests for the detection of antibodies or antigens are based on the use of crude and purified antigens. Synthetic peptides have opened a new field and perspectives, as the source of pure epitopes and molecules for diagnosis of malaria, Chagas' disease, leishmaniasis, schistosomiasis, hidatidosis, cysticercosis and fasciolosis based on the detection of antibodies and circulating antigens. Herein, are critically reviewed the relevant advances and applications of the synthetic peptides on immunodiagnosis of parasitic diseases. A variety of sequences, constructs (monomers, polymers, MAPs), immunological methods and samples have been used, demonstrating their diagnostic potential. However, in most parasitic infections it is necessary to use more than a single peptide in order to avoid the genetic restriction against certain epitopes, as well as to test them in well characteized groups of patients, in order to confirm their sensitivity and specificity. The concept of multidiagnosis with synthetic peptides, using a novel multi-dot blot assay is introduced. Finally, the chemical imitation of antigens, offers a tremendous posibilities in the diagnosis of parasitic infections in developing countries since this strategy is cheaper, simpler, reproducible, useful for large scale testing and in most cases, specific and sensitive. PMID:14529537

  6. Prevalence and diversity patterns of avian blood parasites in degraded African rainforest habitats.

    PubMed

    Chasar, Anthony; Loiseau, Claire; Valkiūnas, Gediminas; Iezhova, Tatjana; Smith, Thomas B; Sehgal, Ravinder N M

    2009-10-01

    Land use changes including deforestation, road construction and agricultural encroachments have been linked to the increased prevalence of several infectious diseases. In order to better understand how deforestation affects the prevalence of vector-borne infectious diseases in wildlife, nine paired sites were sampled (disturbed vs. undisturbed habitats) in Southern Cameroon. We studied the diversity, prevalence and distribution of avian malaria parasites (Plasmodium spp.) and other related haemosporidians (species of Haemoproteus and Leucocytozoon) from these sites in two widespread species of African rainforest birds, the yellow-whiskered greenbul (Andropadus latirostris, Pycnonotidae) and the olive sunbird (Cyanomitra olivacea, Nectariniidae). Twenty-six mitochondrial cytochrome b lineages were identified: 20 Plasmodium lineages and 6 Haemoproteus lineages. These lineages showed no geographic specificity, nor significant differences in lineage diversity between habitat types. However, we found that the prevalence of Leucocytozoon and Haemoproteus infections were significantly higher in undisturbed than in deforested habitats (Leucocytozoon spp. 50.3% vs. 35.8%, Haemoproteus spp. 16.3% vs. 10.8%). We also found higher prevalence for all haemosporidian parasites in C. olivacea than in A. latirostris species (70.2% vs. 58.2%). Interestingly, we found one morphospecies of Plasmodium in C. olivacea, as represented by a clade of related lineages, showed increased prevalence at disturbed sites, while another showed a decrease, testifying to different patterns of transmission, even among closely related lineages of avian malaria, in relation to deforestation. Our work demonstrates that anthropogenic habitat change can affect host-parasite systems and result in opposing trends in prevalence of haemosporidian parasites in wild bird populations. PMID:19754513

  7. Parasite host range and the evolution of host resistance.

    PubMed

    Gorter, F A; Hall, A R; Buckling, A; Scanlan, P D

    2015-05-01

    Parasite host range plays a pivotal role in the evolution and ecology of hosts and the emergence of infectious disease. Although the factors that promote host range and the epidemiological consequences of variation in host range are relatively well characterized, the effect of parasite host range on host resistance evolution is less well understood. In this study, we tested the impact of parasite host range on host resistance evolution. To do so, we used the host bacterium Pseudomonas fluorescens SBW25 and a diverse suite of coevolved viral parasites (lytic bacteriophage Φ2) with variable host ranges (defined here as the number of host genotypes that can be infected) as our experimental model organisms. Our results show that resistance evolution to coevolved phages occurred at a much lower rate than to ancestral phage (approximately 50% vs. 100%), but the host range of coevolved phages did not influence the likelihood of resistance evolution. We also show that the host range of both single parasites and populations of parasites does not affect the breadth of the resulting resistance range in a naïve host but that hosts that evolve resistance to single parasites are more likely to resist other (genetically) more closely related parasites as a correlated response. These findings have important implications for our understanding of resistance evolution in natural populations of bacteria and viruses and other host-parasite combinations with similar underlying infection genetics, as well as the development of phage therapy. PMID:25851735

  8. Influence of climate on malaria transmission depends on daily temperature variation.

    PubMed

    Paaijmans, Krijn P; Blanford, Simon; Bell, Andrew S; Blanford, Justine I; Read, Andrew F; Thomas, Matthew B

    2010-08-24

    Malaria transmission is strongly influenced by environmental temperature, but the biological drivers remain poorly quantified. Most studies analyzing malaria-temperature relations, including those investigating malaria risk and the possible impacts of climate change, are based solely on mean temperatures and extrapolate from functions determined under unrealistic laboratory conditions. Here, we present empirical evidence to show that, in addition to mean temperatures, daily fluctuations in temperature affect parasite infection, the rate of parasite development, and the essential elements of mosquito biology that combine to determine malaria transmission intensity. In general, we find that, compared with rates at equivalent constant mean temperatures, temperature fluctuation around low mean temperatures acts to speed up rate processes, whereas fluctuation around high mean temperatures acts to slow processes down. At the extremes (conditions representative of the fringes of malaria transmission, where range expansions or contractions will occur), fluctuation makes transmission possible at lower mean temperatures than currently predicted and can potentially block transmission at higher mean temperatures. If we are to optimize control efforts and develop appropriate adaptation or mitigation strategies for future climates, we need to incorporate into predictive models the effects of daily temperature variation and how that variation is altered by climate change. PMID:20696913

  9. Internal parasites of reptiles.

    PubMed

    Raś-Noryńska, Małgorzata; Sokół, Rajmund

    2015-01-01

    Nowadays a growing number of exotic reptiles are kept as pets. The aim of this study was to determine the species of parasites found in reptile patients of veterinary practices in Poland. Fecal samples obtained from 76 lizards, 15 turtles and 10 snakes were examined by flotation method and direct smear stained with Lugol's iodine. In 63 samples (62.4%) the presence of parasite eggs and oocysts was revealed. Oocysts of Isospora spp. (from 33% to 100% of the samples, depending on the reptilian species) and Oxyurids eggs (10% to 75%) were predominant. In addition, isolated Eimeria spp. oocysts and Giardia intestinalis cysts were found, as well as Strongylus spp. and Hymenolepis spp. eggs. Pet reptiles are often infected with parasites, some of which are potentially dangerous to humans. A routine parasitological examination should be done in such animals. PMID:26342508

  10. Parasites, immunology of hosts, and host sexual selection.

    PubMed

    Møller, A P; Saino, N

    1994-12-01

    Parasite-mediated sexual selection is reviewed with special emphasis on the bird literature. Choosy females may benefit from choosing parasite-free mates if such males provide better parental care, do not transmit contagious parasites, or provide resistance genes to offspring. There is evidence in support of each of these mechanisms. The immunocompetence handicap hypothesis posits that secondary sexual characters reliably reveal the ability of males to resist parasites due to the immunosuppressive effects of testosterone and other biochemicals. Several aspects of these negative feedback mechanisms are supported by laboratory studies, but evidence from free-living animals is almost completely absent. Corticosterone rather than testosterone may potentially mediate the immunocompetence handicap mechanism. A simple version of the immunocompetence handicap is developed suggesting that body condition of male hosts is a sufficient mediator of the handicap mechanism of reliable sexual signaling. Sexual selection appears to be more intense in sexually dichromatic bird species, and comparative studies using pairwise comparisons of closely related taxa reveal that sexually dichromatic bird species have larger spleens, larger bursa of Fabricius, and higher concentrations of leukocytes than monochromatic species. Parasite-mediated sexual selection is proposed to affect parasite biology by increasing (1) the variance-to-mean ratio in parasite abundance, (2) variance in the intensity of natural selection affecting hosts, and (3) speciation rates among parasites exploiting hosts subject to intense sexual selection as compared to those subject to less intense selection. PMID:7799157

  11. Antagonism between two intestinal parasites in humans: the importance of co-infection for infection risk and recovery dynamics

    PubMed Central

    Blackwell, Aaron D.; Martin, Melanie; Kaplan, Hillard; Gurven, Michael

    2013-01-01

    Co-infection may affect transmission and recovery from infection, but remains an understudied element of disease ecology, particularly with regard to antagonism between parasites sharing a host. Helminth and giardia infections are often endemic in the same populations and both occupy the small intestine; yet few studies have examined interactions between these parasites. We report on helminth–giardia co-infections in a panel study of forager–horticulturalists in the Bolivian lowlands. Parasites were identified in faecal samples from 3275 participants, collected during 5235 medical exams over 6 years. Longitudinal co-infection patterns were examined using logistic mixed and multi-state Markov models. The most prevalent infections were hookworm (56%), Giardia lamblia (30%) and Ascaris lumbricoides (15%). Cross-sectionally, hookworm and A. lumbricoides were negatively associated with G. lamblia (OR = 0.60; OR = 0.65, respectively). Longitudinally, giardia infection was less likely in helminth-infected individuals (HR: 0.46). Infection with helminths was also less likely for individuals infected with giardia (HR: 0.71). Finally, treatment with mebendazole reduced subsequent hookworm infections, but resulted in a marginal increase in the odds of G. lamblia infection. Our results provide evidence for an antagonistic relationship between helminths and giardia, and suggest that co-infection should be considered in disease transmission models and treatment decisions. PMID:23986108

  12. Occurrence and seasonality of internal parasite infection in elephants, Loxodonta africana, in the Okavango Delta, Botswana.

    PubMed

    Baines, Lydia; Morgan, Eric R; Ofthile, Mphoeng; Evans, Kate

    2015-04-01

    It is known from studies in a wide range of wild and domestic animals, including elephants, that parasites can affect growth, reproduction and health. A total of 458 faecal samples from wild elephants were analysed using a combination of flotation and sedimentation methods. Coccidian oocysts (prevalence 51%), and nematode (77%) and trematode (24%) eggs were found. Species were not identified, though trematode egg morphology was consistent with that of the intestinal fluke Protofasciola robusta. The following factors were found to have a significant effect on parasite infection: month, year, sex, age, and group size and composition. There was some evidence of peak transmission of coccidia and nematodes during the rainy season, confirmed for coccidia in a parallel study of seven sympatric domesticated elephants over a three month period. Nematode eggs were more common in larger groups and nematode egg counts were significantly higher in elephants living in maternal groups (mean 1116 eggs per gram, standard deviation, sd 685) than in all-male groups (529, sd 468). Fluke egg prevalence increased with increasing elephant age. Preservation of samples in formalin progressively decreased the probability of detecting all types of parasite over a storage time of 1-15 months. Possible reasons for associations between other factors and infection levels are discussed. PMID:25830107

  13. Occurrence and seasonality of internal parasite infection in elephants, Loxodonta africana, in the Okavango Delta, Botswana

    PubMed Central

    Baines, Lydia; Morgan, Eric R.; Ofthile, Mphoeng; Evans, Kate

    2015-01-01

    It is known from studies in a wide range of wild and domestic animals, including elephants, that parasites can affect growth, reproduction and health. A total of 458 faecal samples from wild elephants were analysed using a combination of flotation and sedimentation methods. Coccidian oocysts (prevalence 51%), and nematode (77%) and trematode (24%) eggs were found. Species were not identified, though trematode egg morphology was consistent with that of the intestinal fluke Protofasciola robusta. The following factors were found to have a significant effect on parasite infection: month, year, sex, age, and group size and composition. There was some evidence of peak transmission of coccidia and nematodes during the rainy season, confirmed for coccidia in a parallel study of seven sympatric domesticated elephants over a three month period. Nematode eggs were more common in larger groups and nematode egg counts were significantly higher in elephants living in maternal groups (mean 1116 eggs per gram, standard deviation, sd 685) than in all-male groups (529, sd 468). Fluke egg prevalence increased with increasing elephant age. Preservation of samples in formalin progressively decreased the probability of detecting all types of parasite over a storage time of 1–15 months. Possible reasons for associations between other factors and infection levels are discussed. PMID:25830107

  14. Host-parasite relationships as determinants of heavy metal concentrations in perch (Perca fluviatilis) and its intestinal parasite infection.

    PubMed

    Brázová, Tímea; Hanzelová, Vladimíra; Miklisová, Dana; Šalamún, Peter; Vidal-Martínez, Víctor M

    2015-12-01

    The concentrations of As, Cd, Cr, Cu, Hg, Mn, Ni, Pb, and Zn and their bioconcentration factors (BCFs) were determined in two intestinal parasites, an acanthocephalan, Acanthocephalus lucii, a tapeworm, Proteocephalus percae, present in the same host, the European perch (Perca fluviatilis, L.), in the heavily polluted Ružín reservoir in eastern Slovakia. The bioaccumulation of heavy metals in the fish organs and parasites was studied for acanthocephalan and tapeworm monoinfections or mixed infections by the two parasites and for the size of their parasitic infrapopulations. Bioconcentration factors (c[parasite]/c[muscle tissue]) showed that the concentrations of As, Ni, Pb and Zn were higher in mixed infections than in monoinfections. Negative correlations between heavy metal concentrations in perch organs and the parasites were found. For example, higher concentrations of Ni and Zn in both parasite species corresponded with lower metal concentrations in perch and hard roe. Likewise, significant negative relationships between metal concentrations in fish organs and number of parasites were noticed with lower levels of Pb in fish harbouring higher numbers of tapeworms. Similarly, in both parasite species the concentrations of some essential elements (Cr, Mn) were lower at high infection intensities compared to low intensities. Our study revealed that the differential concentration of heavy metals in perch organs was affected by the type of infection (mono- or mixed-infection), and needs to be considered in field ecotoxicological and parasitological studies as a potentially important factor influencing the pollutant concentrations in fish. PMID:26432028

  15. [Oral transmission of Trypanosoma cruzi : a new epidemiological scenario for Chagas' disease in Colombia and other South American countries].

    PubMed

    Rueda, Karina; Trujillo, Jorge Eduardo; Carranza, Julio César; Vallejo, Gustavo Adolfo

    2014-01-01

    Many cases of infection caused by the oral transmission of Trypanosoma cruzi have been reported during the last decade. These have been due to the contamination of food by faeces from sylvatic triatomines or by leakage from reservoirs in areas where domiciliated vectors have been controlled or where there has been no prior background of domiciliation. The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the World Health Organization (WHO) have used epidemiological, clinical and socioeconomic criteria for ranking parasites transmitted by the contamination of food in different areas of the world; T. cruzi was placed tenth in importance amongst a group of 24 parasites in such ranking. Environmental changes such as deforestation and global warming have affected ecotopes and the behaviour of T. cruzi vectors and reservoirs so that these have become displaced to new areas, thereby leading to such new transmission scenario caused by the contamination of food, which requires evaluation in Colombia. The current review deals with the oral transmission of Chagas' disease, emphasising studies aimed at identifying the pertinent risk factors, the triatomine species involved, the physiopathology of oral infection, the parasite's genotypes implicated in this type of transmission in Colombia and other Latin American regions, as well as the need for ongoing epidemiological surveillance and control policies. PMID:25504253

  16. Genetic resistance to nematodes parasites in sheep: use of Box-Cox transformation in QTL mapping

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Fecal egg count (FEC) is used to identify and quantify gastrointestinal parasite infestations. However, FEC values are not distributed normally, and a small percentage of the herd is responsible for a majority of parasite transmission. Non-normality is a possible source of error when (co)variance co...

  17. Information and Guidelines for Identification of Children with Parasitic Intestinal Infections.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Doi, Lorraine

    This report presents (1) information on the incidence, causes, development, transmission, control and prevention of parasitic infections and (2) a report of how Hawaiian Follow Through Students infected by parasites were identified and provided with treatment. The students were enrolled in kindgergarten through third grade classes at three…

  18. A naked ape would have fewer parasites.

    PubMed

    Pagel, Mark; Bodmer, Walter

    2003-08-01

    Unusually among the mammals, humans lack an outer layer of protective fur or hair. We propose the hypothesis that humans evolved hairlessness to reduce parasite loads, especially ectoparasites that may carry disease. We suggest that hairlessness is maintained by these naturally selected benefits and by sexual selection operating on both sexes. Hairlessness is made possible in humans owing to their unique abilities to regulate their environment via fire, shelter and clothing. Clothes and shelters allow a more flexible response to the external environment than a permanent layer of fur and can be changed or cleaned if infested with parasites. Naked molerats, another hairless and non-aquatic mammal species, also inhabit environments in which ectoparasite transmission is expected to be high, but in which temperatures are closely regulated. Our hypothesis explains features of human hairlessness-such as the marked sex difference in body hair, and its retention in the pubic regions-that are not explained by other theories. PMID:12952654

  19. A review of factors that affect transmission and survival of verocytotoxigenic Escherichia coli in the European farm to fork beef chain.

    PubMed

    Duffy, Geraldine; Burgess, Catherine M; Bolton, Declan J

    2014-07-01

    Verocytotoxigenic Escherichia coli (VTEC) are a significant foodborne public health hazard in Europe, where most human infections are associated with six serogroups (O157, O26, O103, O145, O111 and O104). With the exception of O104, these serogroups are associated with bovine animals and beef products. This paper reviews our current knowledge of VTEC in the beef chain focusing on transmission and the factors which impact on survival from the farm through transport, lairage, slaughter, dressing, processing and distribution, in the context of the European beef industry. It provides new information on beef farm and animal hide prevalence, distribution and virulence factors as well as pre-chilled carcass and ground beef prevalence, generated by the recently completed EU Framework research project, ProSafeBeef. In the concluding section, emerging issues and data gaps are addressed with a view to increasing our understanding of this pathogen and developing new thinking on detection and control. PMID:24548772

  20. Angiostrongylus cantonensis infection in molluscs in the municipality of São Gonçalo, a metropolitan area of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil: role of the invasive species Achatina fulica in parasite transmission dynamics

    PubMed Central

    Oliveira, Ana PM; Gentile, Rosana; Maldonado, Arnaldo; Torres, Eduardo J Lopes; Thiengo, Silvana C

    2015-01-01

    The aim of this study was to analyse the infection dynamics ofAngiostrongylus cantonensis in its possible intermediate hosts over two years in an urban area in the state of Rio de Janeiro where the presence ofA. cantonensis had been previously recorded in molluscs. Four of the seven mollusc species found in the study were exotic.Bradybaena similaris was the most abundant, followed byAchatina fulica, Streptaxis sp., Subulina octona, Bulimulus tenuissimus, Sarasinula linguaeformis and Leptinaria unilamellata. Only A. fulica and B. similaris were parasitised by A. cantonensis and both presented co-infection with other helminths. The prevalence of A. cantonensisin A. fulica was more than 50% throughout the study. There was an inverse correlation between the population size ofA. fulica and the prevalence of A. cantonensis and abundance of the latter was negatively related to rainfall. The overall prevalence of A. cantonensis in B. similariswas 24.6%. A. fulica was the most important intermediary host of A. cantonensis in the studied area andB. similaris was secondary in importance for A. cantonensis transmission dynamics. PMID:26517652

  1. Angiostrongylus cantonensis infection in molluscs in the municipality of São Gonçalo, a metropolitan area of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil: role of the invasive species Achatina fulica in parasite transmission dynamics.

    PubMed

    Oliveira, Ana P M; Gentile, Rosana; Maldonado Júnior, Arnaldo; Lopes Torres, Eduardo J; Thiengo, Silvana C

    2015-09-01

    The aim of this study was to analyse the infection dynamics of Angiostrongylus cantonensisin its possible intermediate hosts over two years in an urban area in the state of Rio de Janeiro where the presence ofA. cantonensis had been previously recorded in molluscs. Four of the seven mollusc species found in the study were exotic.Bradybaena similaris was the most abundant, followed by Achatina fulica, Streptaxis sp., Subulina octona, Bulimulus tenuissimus, Sarasinula linguaeformis and Leptinaria unilamellata. Only A. fulica and B. similaris were parasitised by A. cantonensis and both presented co-infection with other helminths. The prevalence of A. cantonensis in A. fulica was more than 50% throughout the study. There was an inverse correlation between the population size ofA. fulica and the prevalence of A. cantonensis and abundance of the latter was negatively related to rainfall. The overall prevalence of A. cantonensis in B. similaris was 24.6%. A. fulica was the most important intermediary host of A. cantonensis in the studied area and B. similaris was secondary in importance for A. cantonensis transmission dynamics. PMID:26517652

  2. The Impact of Cultural Behaviours, Local Beliefs, and Practices on Emerging Parasitic Diseases in Tropical Africa

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Onwuliri, Celestine O. E.; Anosike, Jude C.; Oguoma, Chibuzor; Onwuliri, Viola A.; Nwoke, Betram E. B.; Dozie, Ikechukwu, N. S.; Iwuala, Moses O. E.

    2005-01-01

    The scourge of emerging parasitic diseases (e.g., urinary schistosomiasis, ascariasis, malaria, chagas disease, leishmaniasis, trachoma, trichiuriasis, taeniasis, dracunculiasis, sleeping sickness, filariasis) causes tremendous pain, suffering, and eventually death in tropical African communities. Patterns of transmission of these emerging…

  3. A stochastic model for transmission, extinction and outbreak of Escherichia coli O157:H7 in cattle as affected by ambient temperature and cleaning practices.

    PubMed

    Wang, Xueying; Gautam, Raju; Pinedo, Pablo J; Allen, Linda J S; Ivanek, Renata

    2014-08-01

    Many infectious agents transmitting through a contaminated environment are able to persist in the environment depending on the temperature and sanitation determined rates of their replication and clearance, respectively. There is a need to elucidate the effect of these factors on the infection transmission dynamics in terms of infection outbreaks and extinction while accounting for the random nature of the process. Also, it is important to distinguish between the true and apparent extinction, where the former means pathogen extinction in both the host and the environment while the latter means extinction only in the host population. This study proposes a stochastic-differential equation model as an approximation to a Markov jump process model, using Escherichia coli O157:H7 in cattle as a model system. In the model, the host population infection dynamics are described using the standard susceptible-infected-susceptible framework, and the E. coli O157:H7 population in the environment is represented by an additional variable. The backward Kolmogorov equations that determine the probability distribution and the expectation of the first passage time are provided in a general setting. The outbreak and apparent extinction of infection are investigated by numerically solving the Kolmogorov equations for the probability density function of the associated process and the expectation of the associated stopping time. The results provide insight into E. coli O157:H7 transmission and apparent extinction, and suggest ways for controlling the spread of infection in a cattle herd. Specifically, this study highlights the importance of ambient temperature and sanitation, especially during summer. PMID:23864122

  4. Ungulate malaria parasites.

    PubMed

    Templeton, Thomas J; Asada, Masahito; Jiratanh, Montakan; Ishikawa, Sohta A; Tiawsirisup, Sonthaya; Sivakumar, Thillaiampalam; Namangala, Boniface; Takeda, Mika; Mohkaew, Kingdao; Ngamjituea, Supawan; Inoue, Noboru; Sugimoto, Chihiro; Inagaki, Yuji; Suzuki, Yasuhiko; Yokoyama, Naoaki; Kaewthamasorn, Morakot; Kaneko, Osamu

    2016-01-01

    Haemosporida parasites of even-toed ungulates are diverse and globally distributed, but since their discovery in 1913 their characterization has relied exclusively on microscopy-based descriptions. In order to bring molecular approaches to bear on the identity and evolutionary relationships of ungulate malaria parasites, we conducted Plasmodium cytb-specific nested PCR surveys using blood from water buffalo in Vietnam and Thailand, and goats in Zambia. We found that Plasmodium is readily detectable from water buffalo in these countries, indicating that buffalo Plasmodium is distributed in a wider region than India, which is the only area in which buffalo Plasmodium has been reported. Two types (I and II) of Plasmodium sequences were identified from water buffalo and a third type (III) was isolated from goat. Morphology of the parasite was confirmed in Giemsa-reagent stained blood smears for the Type I sample. Complete mitochondrial DNA sequences were isolated and used to infer a phylogeny in which ungulate malaria parasites form a monophyletic clade within the Haemosporida, and branch prior to the clade containing bird, lizard and other mammalian Plasmodium. Thus it is likely that host switching of Plasmodium from birds to mammals occurred multiple times, with a switch to ungulates independently from other mammalian Plasmodium. PMID:26996979

  5. Parasitic Roundworm Diseases

    MedlinePlus

    ... The eggs or larvae also can enter the human body directly through the skin. With the exception of the parasitic roundworm that causes trichinosis, mature adult roundworms eventually end up or live in human intestines and cause infection and disease. In trichinosis, ...

  6. Parasite-related diarrhoeas*

    PubMed Central

    1980-01-01

    This article reviews available knowledge on the epidemiology, pathogenesis, clinical features, immunology, diagnosis, and therapy of parasite-related diarrhoeas of public health importance, primarily amoebiasis, giardiasis, trichuriasis, strongyloidiasis, balantidiasis, coccidioses, schistosomiasis, and capillariasis. Research priorities are recommended in each of these fields with the aim of developing better means of prevention and treatment. PMID:6971185

  7. Ungulate malaria parasites

    PubMed Central

    Templeton, Thomas J.; Asada, Masahito; Jiratanh, Montakan; Ishikawa, Sohta A.; Tiawsirisup, Sonthaya; Sivakumar, Thillaiampalam; Namangala, Boniface; Takeda, Mika; Mohkaew, Kingdao; Ngamjituea, Supawan; Inoue, Noboru; Sugimoto, Chihiro; Inagaki, Yuji; Suzuki, Yasuhiko; Yokoyama, Naoaki; Kaewthamasorn, Morakot; Kaneko, Osamu

    2016-01-01

    Haemosporida parasites of even-toed ungulates are diverse and globally distributed, but since their discovery in 1913 their characterization has relied exclusively on microscopy-based descriptions. In order to bring molecular approaches to bear on the identity and evolutionary relationships of ungulate malaria parasites, we conducted Plasmodium cytb-specific nested PCR surveys using blood from water buffalo in Vietnam and Thailand, and goats in Zambia. We found that Plasmodium is readily detectable from water buffalo in these countries, indicating that buffalo Plasmodium is distributed in a wider region than India, which is the only area in which buffalo Plasmodium has been reported. Two types (I and II) of Plasmodium sequences were identified from water buffalo and a third type (III) was isolated from goat. Morphology of the parasite was confirmed in Giemsa-reagent stained blood smears for the Type I sample. Complete mitochondrial DNA sequences were isolated and used to infer a phylogeny in which ungulate malaria parasites form a monophyletic clade within the Haemosporida, and branch prior to the clade containing bird, lizard and other mammalian Plasmodium. Thus it is likely that host switching of Plasmodium from birds to mammals occurred multiple times, with a switch to ungulates independently from other mammalian Plasmodium. PMID:26996979

  8. A Passion for Parasites

    PubMed Central

    Englund, Paul T.

    2014-01-01

    I knew nothing and had thought nothing about parasites until 1971. In fact, if you had asked me before then, I might have commented that parasites were rather disgusting. I had been at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine for three years, and I was on the lookout for a new project. In 1971, I came across a paper in the Journal of Molecular Biology by Larry Simpson, a classmate of mine in graduate school. Larry's paper described a remarkable DNA structure known as kinetoplast DNA (kDNA), isolated from a parasite. kDNA, the mitochondrial genome of trypanosomatids, is a DNA network composed of several thousand interlocked DNA rings. Almost nothing was known about it. I was looking for a project on DNA replication, and I wanted it to be both challenging and important. I had no doubt that working with kDNA would be a challenge, as I would be exploring uncharted territory. I was also sure that the project would be important when I learned that parasites with kDNA threaten huge populations in underdeveloped tropical countries. Looking again at Larry's paper, I found the electron micrographs of the kDNA networks to be rather beautiful. I decided to take a chance on kDNA. Little did I know then that I would devote the next forty years of my life to studying kDNA replication. PMID:25336639

  9. Parasitic suppressing circuit

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Fowler, J. T.; Raposa, F. L. (Inventor)

    1973-01-01

    A circuit for suppressing parasitic oscillations across an inductor operating in a resonant mode is described. The circuit includes a switch means and resistive means connected serially across the inductor. A unidirectional resistive-capacitive network is also connected across the inductor and to the switch means to automatically render the switch means conducting when inductive current through the inductor ceases to flow.

  10. Effects of shortened host life span on the evolution of parasite life history and virulence in a microbial host-parasite system

    PubMed Central

    Nidelet, Thibault; Koella, Jacob C; Kaltz, Oliver

    2009-01-01

    Background Ecological factors play an important role in the evolution of parasite exploitation strategies. A common prediction is that, as shorter host life span reduces future opportunities of transmission, parasites compensate with an evolutionary shift towards earlier transmission. They may grow more rapidly within the host, have a shorter latency time and, consequently, be more virulent. Thus, increased extrinsic (i.e., not caused by the parasite) host mortality leads to the evolution of more virulent parasites. To test these predictions, we performed a serial transfer experiment, using the protozoan Paramecium caudatum and its bacterial parasite Holospora undulata. We simulated variation in host life span by killing hosts after 11 (early killing) or 14 (late killing) days post inoculation; after killing, parasite transmission stages were collected and used for a new infection cycle. Results After 13 cycles (≈ 300 generations), parasites from the early-killing treatment were less infectious, but had shorter latency time and higher virulence than those from the late-killing treatment. Overall, shorter latency time was associated with higher parasite loads and thus presumably with more rapid within-host replication. Conclusion The analysis of the means of the two treatments is thus consistent with theory, and suggests that evolution is constrained by trade-offs between virulence, transmission and within-host growth. In contrast, we found little evidence for such trade-offs across parasite selection lines within treatments; thus, to some extent, these traits may evolve independently. This study illustrates how environmental variation (experienced by the host) can lead to the evolution of distinct parasite strategies. PMID:19320981

  11. Parasite-augmented mate choice and reduction in innate fear in rats infected by Toxoplasma gondii.

    PubMed

    Vyas, Ajai

    2013-01-01

    Typically, female rats demonstrate clear mate choice. Mate preference is driven by the evolutionary need to choose males with heritable parasite resistance and to prevent the transmission of contagious diseases during mating. Thus, females detect and avoid parasitized males. Over evolutionary time scales, parasite-free males plausibly evolve to advertise their status. This arrangement between males and females is obviously detrimental to parasites, especially for sexually transmitted parasites. Yet Toxoplasma gondii, a sexually transmitted parasite, gets around this obstacle by manipulating mate choice of uninfected females. Males infected with this parasite become more attractive to uninfected females. The ability of T. gondii to not only advantageously alter the behavior and physiology of its host but also secondarily alter the behavior of uninfected females presents a striking example of the 'extended phenotype' of parasites. Toxoplasma gondii also abolishes the innate fear response of rats to cat odor; this likely increases parasite transmission through the trophic route. It is plausible that these two manipulations are not two distinct phenotypes, but are rather part of a single pattern built around testosterone-mediated interplay between mate choice, parasitism and predation. PMID:23225874

  12. Shingles Transmission

    MedlinePlus

    ... on Shingles Immunization Action Coalition Chickenpox Q&As Transmission Language: English Español (Spanish) Recommend on Facebook Tweet ... Prevention & Treatment Related Pages Preventing Varicella Zoster Virus Transmission in Healthcare Settings Related Links Medline Plus NIH ...

  13. Leishmania development in sand flies: parasite-vector interactions overview

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Leishmaniases are vector-borne parasitic diseases with 0.9 – 1.4 million new human cases each year worldwide. In the vectorial part of the life-cycle, Leishmania development is confined to the digestive tract. During the first few days after blood feeding, natural barriers to Leishmania development include secreted proteolytic enzymes, the peritrophic matrix surrounding the ingested blood meal and sand fly immune reactions. As the blood digestion proceeds, parasites need to bind to the midgut epithelium to avoid being excreted with the blood remnant. This binding is strictly stage-dependent as it is a property of nectomonad and leptomonad forms only. While the attachment in specific vectors (P. papatasi, P. duboscqi and P. sergenti) involves lipophosphoglycan (LPG), this Leishmania molecule is not required for parasite attachment in other sand fly species experimentally permissive for various Leishmania. During late-stage infections, large numbers of parasites accumulate in the anterior midgut and produce filamentous proteophosphoglycan creating a gel-like plug physically obstructing the gut. The parasites attached to the stomodeal valve cause damage to the chitin lining and epithelial cells of the valve, interfering with its function and facilitating reflux of parasites from the midgut. Transformation to metacyclic stages highly infective for the vertebrate host is the other prerequisite for effective transmission. Here, we review the current state of knowledge of molecular interactions occurring in all these distinct phases of parasite colonization of the sand fly gut, highlighting recent discoveries in the field. PMID:23206339

  14. Biodiversity inhibits parasites: Broad evidence for the dilution effect

    PubMed Central

    Civitello, David J.; Cohen, Jeremy; Fatima, Hiba; Halstead, Neal T.; Liriano, Josue; McMahon, Taegan A.; Ortega, C. Nicole; Sauer, Erin Louise; Sehgal, Tanya; Young, Suzanne; Rohr, Jason R.

    2015-01-01

    Infectious diseases of humans, wildlife, and domesticated species are increasing worldwide, driving the need to understand the mechanisms that shape outbreaks. Simultaneously, human activities are drastically reducing biodiversity. These concurrent patterns have prompted repeated suggestions that biodiversity and disease are linked. For example, the dilution effect hypothesis posits that these patterns are causally related; diverse host communities inhibit the spread of parasites via several mechanisms, such as by regulating populations of susceptible hosts or interfering with parasite transmission. However, the generality of the dilution effect hypothesis remains controversial, especially for zoonotic diseases of humans. Here we provide broad evidence that host diversity inhibits parasite abundance using a meta-analysis of 202 effect sizes on 61 parasite species. The magnitude of these effects was independent of host density, study design, and type and specialization of parasites, indicating that dilution was robust across all ecological contexts examined. However, the magnitude of dilution was more closely related to the frequency, rather than density, of focal host species. Importantly, observational studies overwhelmingly documented dilution effects, and there was also significant evidence for dilution effects of zoonotic parasites of humans. Thus, dilution effects occur commonly in nature, and they may modulate human disease risk. A second analysis identified similar effects of diversity in plant–herbivore systems. Thus, although there can be exceptions, our results indicate that biodiversity generally decreases parasitism and herbivory. Consequently, anthropogenic declines in biodiversity could increase human and wildlife diseases and decrease crop and forest production. PMID:26069208

  15. Host age modulates within-host parasite competition.

    PubMed

    Izhar, Rony; Routtu, Jarkko; Ben-Ami, Frida

    2015-05-01

    In many host populations, one of the most striking differences among hosts is their age. While parasite prevalence differences in relation to host age are well known, little is known on how host age impacts ecological and evolutionary dynamics of diseases. Using two clones of the water flea Daphnia magna and two clones of its bacterial parasite Pasteuria ramosa, we examined how host age at exposure influences within-host parasite competition and virulence. We found that multiply-exposed hosts were more susceptible to infection and suffered higher mortality than singly-exposed hosts. Hosts oldest at exposure were least often infected and vice versa. Furthermore, we found that in young multiply-exposed hosts competition was weak, allowing coexistence and transmission of both parasite clones, whereas in older multiply-exposed hosts competitive exclusion was observed. Thus, age-dependent parasite exposure and host demography (age structure) could together play an important role in mediating parasite evolution. At the individual level, our results demonstrate a previously unnoticed interaction of the host's immune system with host age, suggesting that the specificity of immune function changes as hosts mature. Therefore, evolutionary models of parasite virulence might benefit from incorporating age-dependent epidemiological parameters. PMID:25994010

  16. The interplay between drug resistance and fitness in malaria parasites

    PubMed Central

    Rosenthal, Philip J.

    2013-01-01

    Summary Controlling the spread of antimalarial drug resistance, especially resistance of Plasmodium falciparum to artemisinin-based combination therapies, is a high priority. Available data indicate that, as with other microorganisms, the spread of drug-resistant malaria parasites is limited by fitness costs that frequently accompany resistance. Resistance-mediating polymorphisms in malaria parasites have been identified in putative drug transporters and in target enzymes. The impacts of these polymorphisms on parasite fitness have been characterized in vitro and in animal models. Additional insights have come from analyses of samples from clinical studies, both evaluating parasites under different selective pressures and determining the clinical consequences of infection with different parasites. With some exceptions, resistance-mediating polymorphisms lead to malaria parasites that, compared to wild type, grow less well in culture and in animals, and are replaced by wild type when drug pressure diminishes in the clinical setting. In some cases, the fitness costs of resistance may be offset by compensatory mutations that increase virulence or changes that enhance malaria transmission. However, not enough is known about effects of resistance mediators on parasite fitness. A better appreciation of the costs of fitness-mediating mutations will facilitate the development of optimal guidelines for the treatment and prevention of malaria. PMID:23899091

  17. The Effect of Indoor Residual Spraying on the Prevalence of Malaria Parasite Infection, Clinical Malaria and Anemia in an Area of Perennial Transmission and Moderate Coverage of Insecticide Treated Nets in Western Kenya

    PubMed Central

    Gimnig, John E.; Otieno, Peter; Were, Vincent; Marwanga, Doris; Abong’o, Daisy; Wiegand, Ryan; Williamson, John; Wolkon, Adam; Zhou, Ying; Bayoh, M. Nabie; Lobo, Neil F.; Laserson, Kayla; Kariuki, Simon; Hamel, Mary J.

    2016-01-01

    Background Insecticide treated nets (ITNs) and indoor residual spraying (IRS) have been scaled up for malaria prevention in sub-Saharan Africa. However, there are few studies on the benefit of implementing IRS in areas with moderate to high coverage of ITNs. We evaluated the impact of an IRS program on malaria related outcomes in western Kenya, an area of intense perennial malaria transmission and moderate ITN coverage (55–65% use of any net the previous night). Methods The Kenya Division of Malaria Control, with support from the US President’s Malaria Initiative, conducted IRS in one lowland endemic district with moderate coverage of ITNs. Surveys were conducted in the IRS district and a neighboring district before IRS, after one round of IRS in July-Sept 2008 and after a second round of IRS in April-May 2009. IRS was conducted with pyrethroid insecticides. At each survey, 30 clusters were selected for sampling and within each cluster, 12 compounds were randomly selected. The primary outcomes measured in all residents of selected compounds included malaria parasitemia, clinical malaria (P. falciparum infection plus history of fever) and anemia (Hb<8) of all residents in randomly selected compounds. At each survey round, individuals from the IRS district were matched to those from the non-IRS district using propensity scores and multivariate logistic regression models were constructed based on the matched dataset. Results At baseline and after one round of IRS, there were no differences between the two districts in the prevalence of malaria parasitemia, clinical malaria or anemia. After two rounds of IRS, the prevalence of malaria parasitemia was 6.4% in the IRS district compared to 16.7% in the comparison district (OR = 0.36, 95% CI = 0.22–0.59, p<0.001). The prevalence of clinical malaria was also lower in the IRS district (1.8% vs. 4.9%, OR = 0.37, 95% CI = 0.20–0.68, p = 0.001). The prevalence of anemia was lower in the IRS district but only in children

  18. Myxosporean parasites in Australian frogs: Importance, implications and future directions

    PubMed Central

    Hartigan, Ashlie; Phalen, David N.; Šlapeta, Jan

    2013-01-01

    Myxosporean parasites have been identified in amphibians around the world yet very little is known about their diversity, biology and host impact. Several species of Australian frogs have recently been shown to be affected by myxosporidiosis caused by two new Cystodiscus species. In this manuscript, we review what is known about the myxosporean parasites Cystodiscus australis and Cystodiscus axonis that produce myxospores in gallbladders of Australian frogs and Myxobolus fallax and Myxobolus hylae that produce spores in gonads and the potential impact of these parasites on the conservation of Australian frogs. By doing so, we aim to highlight the importance of amphibian myxosporean parasites, suggest directions for future research and argue that the lessons learned about these parasites in Australia are directly transferable to amphibians around the world. PMID:24533318

  19. Malaria diseases and parasites.

    PubMed

    Ascenzi, A

    1999-09-01

    The milestones in the discovery of malaria parasites and their relationships with malaria diseases are presented and discussed with particular reference to the contribution of the Italian scientists. Laveran's discovery (1880) of the malaria parasite produced some schepticism among the Roman scientists who were under the influence of Tommasi-Crudeli, the discoverer of the supposed Bacillus malariae. However, Marchiafava and Celli confirmed soon Laveran's observations and, between 1883 and 1885, improved the description of the parasite adding important details. They described, then, the aestivo-autumnal tertian fever as a distinct disease from the 'primaverile' or benign tertian. This work influenced Golgi who went on to analyse the features that distinguish the benign tertian parasite from that of the quartan. The fact that in North Italy the aestivo-autumnal tertian fever was hardly ever found, whereas it was common in the Roman Campagna and the Pontin marshes, explains why it was Celli and Marchiafava and later Bignami and Bastianelli, and Marchiafava and Bignami--but not Golgi--who were committed to work on this pernicious form of malaria. By the early 1890s the Italian scientists came to define the three malaria parasites, presently known as Plasmodium vivax, P. malariae, and P. falciparum, and to associate them with precise anatomo-pathological and clinical features. By the middle 1890s the Italian school was prepared to contribute also to the discovery of the mosquito cycle in human malaria, clearly hypothesized by Bignami in 1896 and experimentally proved in 1898 by Bignami, Bastianelli and Grassi. PMID:10697831

  20. Foodborne and waterborne parasites.

    PubMed

    Pozio, Edoardo

    2003-01-01

    More than 72 species of protozoan and helminth parasites can reach humans by food and water, and most of these infections are zoonoses. Some parasites show a cosmopolitan distribution, others a more restricted distribution due to their complex life cycles, which need the presence of one or more intermediate hosts. Of this large number of pathogens, only Toxoplasma gondii can be transmitted to humans by two different ways, i.e., by cysts present in infected meat and by oocysts contaminating food and water. Eleven helminthic species (Taenia saginata, Taenia solium, Taenia asiatica, Trichinella spiralis, Tr. nativa, Tr. britovi, Tr. pseudospiralis, Tr. murrelli, Tr nelsoni, Tr. papuae and Tr. zimbabwensis) can grow in meat of different animal species and can be transmitted to humans by the consumption of raw meat or meat products. Twenty trematode species, four cestode species and seven nematode species can infect humans through the consumption of raw sea- and/or fresh-water food (fishes, molluscs, frogs, tadpoles, camarons, crayfishes). Six species of Cryptosporidium, Isospora belli, Cyclospora cayetanensis, Giardia duodenalis and Entamoeba histolytica/E. dispar can contaminate food and water. Among the helminths, seven trematode species, seven cestode species and five species of nematodes can reach humans by contaminated food and water. Diagnostic and detection methods that can be carried out routinely on food and water samples are available only for few parasites (Cryptosporidium sp., Giardia sp., Anisakidae, Trichinella sp., Taenia sp.), i.e., for parasites which represent a risk to human populations living in industrialised countries. The majority of food and waterborne infections of parasitic origin are related to poverty, low sanitation, and old food habits. PMID:15058817

  1. Stool ova and parasites exam

    MedlinePlus

    Parasites and stool ova exam ... order this test if you have signs of parasites, diarrhea that does not go away, or other ... There are no parasites or eggs in the stool sample. Talk to your health care provider about the meaning of your specific test ...

  2. The neurotropic parasite Toxoplasma gondii increases dopamine metabolism

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The common parasite Toxoplasma gondii induces behavioral alterations in its hosts including phenotypes increasing the likelihood of its transmission in rodents and reports of psychobehavioral alterations in humans. We have found that elevated levels of dopamine are associated with the encysted stage...

  3. Inferring Plasmodium vivax Transmission Networks from Tempo-Spatial Surveillance Data

    PubMed Central

    Shi, Benyun; Liu, Jiming; Zhou, Xiao-Nong; Yang, Guo-Jing

    2014-01-01

    Background The transmission networks of Plasmodium vivax characterize how the parasite transmits from one location to another, which are informative and insightful for public health policy makers to accurately predict the patterns of its geographical spread. However, such networks are not apparent from surveillance data because P. vivax transmission can be affected by many factors, such as the biological characteristics of mosquitoes and the mobility of human beings. Here, we pay special attention to the problem of how to infer the underlying transmission networks of P. vivax based on available tempo-spatial patterns of reported cases. Methodology We first define a spatial transmission model, which involves representing both the heterogeneous transmission potential of P. vivax at individual locations and the mobility of infected populations among different locations. Based on the proposed transmission model, we further introduce a recurrent neural network model to infer the transmission networks from surveillance data. Specifically, in this model, we take into account multiple real-world factors, including the length of P. vivax incubation period, the impact of malaria control at different locations, and the total number of imported cases. Principal Findings We implement our proposed models by focusing on the P. vivax transmission among 62 towns in Yunnan province, People's Republic China, which have been experiencing high malaria transmission in the past years. By conducting scenario analysis with respect to different numbers of imported cases, we can (i) infer the underlying P. vivax transmission networks, (ii) estimate the number of imported cases for each individual town, and (iii) quantify the roles of individual towns in the geographical spread of P. vivax. Conclusion The demonstrated models have presented a general means for inferring the underlying transmission networks from surveillance data. The inferred networks will offer new insights into how to

  4. Plasmodium vivax Transmission in Africa

    PubMed Central

    Howes, Rosalind E.; Reiner Jr., Robert C.; Battle, Katherine E.; Longbottom, Joshua; Mappin, Bonnie; Ordanovich, Dariya; Tatem, Andrew J.; Drakeley, Chris; Gething, Peter W.; Zimmerman, Peter A.; Smith, David L.; Hay, Simon I.

    2015-01-01

    Malaria in sub-Saharan Africa has historically been almost exclusively attributed to Plasmodium falciparum (Pf). Current diagnostic and surveillance systems in much of sub-Saharan Africa are not designed to identify or report non-Pf human malaria infections accurately, resulting in a dearth of routine epidemiological data about their significance. The high prevalence of Duffy negativity provided a rationale for excluding the possibility of Plasmodium vivax (Pv) transmission. However, review of varied evidence sources including traveller infections, community prevalence surveys, local clinical case reports, entomological and serological studies contradicts this viewpoint. Here, these data reports are weighted in a unified framework to reflect the strength of evidence of indigenous Pv transmission in terms of diagnostic specificity, size of individual reports and corroboration between evidence sources. Direct evidence was reported from 21 of the 47 malaria-endemic countries studied, while 42 countries were attributed with infections of visiting travellers. Overall, moderate to conclusive evidence of transmission was available from 18 countries, distributed across all parts of the continent. Approximately 86.6 million Duffy positive hosts were at risk of infection in Africa in 2015. Analysis of the mechanisms sustaining Pv transmission across this continent of low frequency of susceptible hosts found that reports of Pv prevalence were consistent with transmission being potentially limited to Duffy positive populations. Finally, reports of apparent Duffy-independent transmission are discussed. While Pv is evidently not a major malaria parasite across most of sub-Saharan Africa, the evidence presented here highlights its widespread low-level endemicity. An increased awareness of Pv as a potential malaria parasite, coupled with policy shifts towards species-specific diagnostics and reporting, will allow a robust assessment of the public health significance of Pv, as well

  5. Plasmodium vivax Transmission in Africa.

    PubMed

    Howes, Rosalind E; Reiner, Robert C; Battle, Katherine E; Longbottom, Joshua; Mappin, Bonnie; Ordanovich, Dariya; Tatem, Andrew J; Drakeley, Chris; Gething, Peter W; Zimmerman, Peter A; Smith, David L; Hay, Simon I

    2015-11-01

    Malaria in sub-Saharan Africa has historically been almost exclusively attributed to Plasmodium falciparum (Pf). Current diagnostic and surveillance systems in much of sub-Saharan Africa are not designed to identify or report non-Pf human malaria infections accurately, resulting in a dearth of routine epidemiological data about their significance. The high prevalence of Duffy negativity provided a rationale for excluding the possibility of Plasmodium vivax (Pv) transmission. However, review of varied evidence sources including traveller infections, community prevalence surveys, local clinical case reports, entomological and serological studies contradicts this viewpoint. Here, these data reports are weighted in a unified framework to reflect the strength of evidence of indigenous Pv transmission in terms of diagnostic specificity, size of individual reports and corroboration between evidence sources. Direct evidence was reported from 21 of the 47 malaria-endemic countries studied, while 42 countries were attributed with infections of visiting travellers. Overall, moderate to conclusive evidence of transmission was available from 18 countries, distributed across all parts of the continent. Approximately 86.6 million Duffy positive hosts were at risk of infection in Africa in 2015. Analysis of the mechanisms sustaining Pv transmission across this continent of low frequency of susceptible hosts found that reports of Pv prevalence were consistent with transmission being potentially limited to Duffy positive populations. Finally, reports of apparent Duffy-independent transmission are discussed. While Pv is evidently not a major malaria parasite across most of sub-Saharan Africa, the evidence presented here highlights its widespread low-level endemicity. An increased awareness of Pv as a potential malaria parasite, coupled with policy shifts towards species-specific diagnostics and reporting, will allow a robust assessment of the public health significance of Pv, as well

  6. On the evolutionary ecology of host-parasite interactions: addressing the question with regard to bumblebees and their parasites

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schmid-Hempel, Paul

    2001-05-01

    Over the last decade, there has been a major shift in the study of adaptive patterns and processes towards including the role of host-parasite interactions, informed by concepts from evolutionary ecology. As a consequence, a number of major questions have emerged. For example, how genetics affects host-parasite interactions, whether parasitism selects for offspring diversification, whether parasite virulence is an adaptive trait, and what constrains the use of the host's immune defences. Using bumblebees, Bombus spp, and their parasites as a model system, answers to some of these questions have been found, while at the same time the complexity of the interaction has led expectations away from simple theoretical models. In addition, the results have also led to the unexpected discovery of novel phenomena concerning, for instance, female mating strategies.

  7. Density-dependence and within-host competition in a semelparous parasite of leaf-cutting ants

    PubMed Central

    Hughes, William OH; Petersen, Klaus S; Ugelvig, Line V; Pedersen, Dorthe; Thomsen, Lene; Poulsen, Michael; Boomsma, Jacobus J

    2004-01-01

    Background Parasite heterogeneity and within-host competition are thought to be important factors influencing the dynamics of host-parasite relationships. Yet, while there have been many theoretical investigations of how these factors may act, empirical data is more limited. We investigated the effects of parasite density and heterogeneity on parasite virulence and fitness using four strains of the entomopathogenic fungus, Metarhizium anisopliae var. anisopliae, and its leaf-cutting ant host Acromyrmex echinatior as the model system. Results The relationship between parasite density and infection was sigmoidal, with there being an invasion threshold for an infection to occur (an Allee effect). Although spore production was positively density-dependent, parasite fitness decreased with increasing parasite density, indicating within-host scramble competition. The dynamics differed little between the four strains tested. In mixed infections of three strains the infection-growth dynamics were unaffected by parasite heterogeneity. Conclusions The strength of within-host competition makes dispersal the best strategy for the parasite. Parasite heterogeneity may not have effected virulence or the infection dynamics either because the most virulent strain outcompeted the others, or because the interaction involved scramble competition that was impervious to parasite heterogeneity. The dynamics observed may be common for virulent parasites, such as Metarhizium, that produce aggregated transmission stages. Such parasites make useful models for investigating infection dynamics and the impact of parasite competition. PMID:15541185

  8. Coevolution is linked with phenotypic diversification but not speciation in avian brood parasites.

    PubMed

    Medina, Iliana; Langmore, Naomi E

    2015-12-22

    Coevolution is often invoked as an engine of biological diversity. Avian brood parasites and their hosts provide one of the best-known examples of coevolution. Brood parasites lay their eggs in the nests of other species, selecting for host defences and reciprocal counteradaptations in parasites. In theory, this arms race should promote increased rates of speciation and phenotypic evolution. Here, we use recently developed methods to test whether the three largest avian brood parasitic lineages show changes in rates of phenotypic diversity and speciation relative to non-parasitic lineages. Our results challenge the accepted paradigm, and show that there is little consistent evidence that lineages of brood parasites have higher speciation or extinction rates than non-parasitic species. However, we provide the first evidence that the evolution of brood parasitic behaviour may affect rates of evolution in morphological traits associated with parasitism. Specifically, egg size and the colour and pattern of plumage have evolved up to nine times faster in parasitic than in non-parasitic cuckoos. Moreover, cuckoo clades of parasitic species that are sympatric (and share similar host genera) exhibit higher rates of phenotypic evolution. This supports the idea that competition for hosts may be linked to the high phenotypic diversity found in parasitic cuckoos. PMID:26702044

  9. Parasite community interactions: Trypanosoma cruzi and intestinal helminths infecting wild golden lion tamarins Leontopithecus rosalia and golden-headed lion tamarins L. chrysomelas (Callitrichidae, L., 1766).

    PubMed

    Monteiro, Rafael V; Dietz, James M; Raboy, Becky; Beck, Benjamin; De Vleeschouwer, Kristel; Vleeschouwer, Kristel D; Baker, Andrew; Martins, Andréia; Jansen, Ana Maria

    2007-11-01

    The parasite prevalence and infection intensity in primate wild populations can be affected by many variables linked to host and/or parasite ecology or either to interparasite competition/mutualism. In this study, we tested how host sex, age, and place of origin, as well parasitic concomitant infections affect the structure of golden lion and golden-headed lion tamarins parasite community, considering Trypanosoma cruzi and intestinal helminths infection in these primates. A total of 206 tamarins from two Atlantic Coastal rain forest areas in Brazil were tested during 4 years for prevalence of T. cruzi infection and helminth prevalence. Three intestinal helminth groups showed high prevalences in both tamarin species: Prosthenorchis sp., Spiruridae, and Trichostrongylidae. An association between presence of T. cruzi infection and higher intestinal helminth prevalence was found in both tamarin species. Two explanations for this association seem to be plausible: (1) lower helminth-linked mortality rates in T. cruzi-infected tamarins and (2) lower elimination rates of helminths in such tamarins. A higher frequency of T. cruzi-positive blood cultures was significantly correlated to female tamarins and to the presence of Trichostrongylidae infection. The possibility of an increase in the transmissibility of T. cruzi and the three analyzed helminths in lion tamarins with concomitant infections is discussed. PMID:17676342

  10. Immune modulation by helminth parasites of ruminants: implications for vaccine development and host immune competence

    PubMed Central

    McNeilly, Tom N.; Nisbet, Alasdair J.

    2014-01-01

    Parasitic helminths reside in immunologically-exposed extracellular locations within their hosts, yet they are capable of surviving for extended periods. To enable this survival, these parasites have developed complex and multifaceted mechanisms to subvert or suppress host immunity. This review summarises current knowledge of immune modulation by helminth parasites of ruminants and the parasite-derived molecules involved in driving this modulation. Such immunomodulatory molecules have considerable promise as vaccine targets, as neutralisation of their function is predicted to enhance anti-parasite immunity and, as such, current knowledge in this area is presented herein. Furthermore, we summarise current evidence that, as well as affecting parasite-specific immunity, immune modulation by these parasites may also affect the ability of ruminant hosts to control concurrent diseases or mount effective responses to vaccination. PMID:25292481

  11. Parasitic castration by Xenos vesparum depends on host gender.

    PubMed

    Cappa, Federico; Manfredini, Fabio; Dallai, Romano; Gottardo, Marco; Beani, Laura

    2014-07-01

    Host castration represents a mechanism used by parasites to exploit energy resources from their hosts by interfering with their reproductive development or to extend host lifespan by removing risks associated with reproductive activity. One of the most intriguing groups of parasitic castrators is represented by the insects belonging to the order Strepsiptera. The macroparasite Xenos vesparum can produce dramatic phenotypic alterations in its host, the paper wasp Polistes dominula. Parasitized female wasps have undeveloped ovaries and desert the colony without performing any social task. However, very little attention has been given to the parasitic impact of X. vesparum on the male phenotype. Here, we investigated the effects of this parasite on the sexual behaviour and the morpho-physiology of P. dominula males. We found that, differently from female wasps, parasitized males are not heavily affected by Xenos: they maintain their sexual behaviour and ability to discriminate between female castes. Furthermore, the structure of their reproductive apparatus is not compromised by the parasite. We think that our results, demonstrating that the definition of X. vesparum as a parasitoid does not apply to infected males of P. dominula, provide a new perspective to discuss and maybe reconsider the traditional view of strepsipteran parasites. PMID:24776461

  12. Identifying Malaria Transmission Foci for Elimination Using Human Mobility Data.

    PubMed

    Ruktanonchai, Nick W; DeLeenheer, Patrick; Tatem, Andrew J; Alegana, Victor A; Caughlin, T Trevor; Zu Erbach-Schoenberg, Elisabeth; Lourenço, Christopher; Ruktanonchai, Corrine W; Smith, David L

    2016-04-01

    Humans move frequently and tend to carry parasites among areas with endemic malaria and into areas where local transmission is unsustainable. Human-mediated parasite mobility can thus sustain parasite populations in areas where they would otherwise be absent. Data describing human mobility and malaria epidemiology can help classify landscapes into parasite demographic sources and sinks, ecological concepts that have parallels in malaria control discussions of transmission foci. By linking transmission to parasite flow, it is possible to stratify landscapes for malaria control and elimination, as sources are disproportionately important to the regional persistence of malaria parasites. Here, we identify putative malaria sources and sinks for pre-elimination Namibia using malaria parasite rate (PR) maps and call data records from mobile phones, using a steady-state analysis of a malaria transmission model to infer where infections most likely occurred. We also examined how the landscape of transmission and burden changed from the pre-elimination setting by comparing the location and extent of predicted pre-elimination transmission foci with modeled incidence for 2009. This comparison suggests that while transmission was spatially focal pre-elimination, the spatial distribution of cases changed as burden declined. The changing spatial distribution of burden could be due to importation, with cases focused around importation hotspots, or due to heterogeneous application of elimination effort. While this framework is an important step towards understanding progressive changes in malaria distribution and the role of subnational transmission dynamics in a policy-relevant way, future work should account for international parasite movement, utilize real time surveillance data, and relax the steady state assumption required by the presented model. PMID:27043913

  13. Identifying Malaria Transmission Foci for Elimination Using Human Mobility Data

    PubMed Central

    Ruktanonchai, Nick W.; DeLeenheer, Patrick; Tatem, Andrew J.; Alegana, Victor A.; Caughlin, T. Trevor; zu Erbach-Schoenberg, Elisabeth; Lourenço, Christopher; Ruktanonchai, Corrine W.; Smith, David L.

    2016-01-01

    Humans move frequently and tend to carry parasites among areas with endemic malaria and into areas where local transmission is unsustainable. Human-mediated parasite mobility can thus sustain parasite populations in areas where they would otherwise be absent. Data describing human mobility and malaria epidemiology can help classify landscapes into parasite demographic sources and sinks, ecological concepts that have parallels in malaria control discussions of transmission foci. By linking transmission to parasite flow, it is possible to stratify landscapes for malaria control and elimination, as sources are disproportionately important to the regional persistence of malaria parasites. Here, we identify putative malaria sources and sinks for pre-elimination Namibia using malaria parasite rate (PR) maps and call data records from mobile phones, using a steady-state analysis of a malaria transmission model to infer where infections most likely occurred. We also examined how the landscape of transmission and burden changed from the pre-elimination setting by comparing the location and extent of predicted pre-elimination transmission foci with modeled incidence for 2009. This comparison suggests that while transmission was spatially focal pre-elimination, the spatial distribution of cases changed as burden declined. The changing spatial distribution of burden could be due to importation, with cases focused around importation hotspots, or due to heterogeneous application of elimination effort. While this framework is an important step towards understanding progressive changes in malaria distribution and the role of subnational transmission dynamics in a policy-relevant way, future work should account for international parasite movement, utilize real time surveillance data, and relax the steady state assumption required by the presented model. PMID:27043913

  14. Cystatins from filarial parasites: evolution, adaptation and function in the host-parasite relationship.

    PubMed

    Gregory, William F; Maizels, Rick M

    2008-01-01

    Cystatins, together with stefins and kininogens, are members of the cystatin superfamily of cysteine protease inhibitors (CPI) present across the animal and plant kingdoms. Their role in parasitic organisms may encompass both essential developmental processes and specific interactions with the parasite's vector and/or final host. We summarise information gathered on three cystatins from the human filarial nematode Brugia malayi (Bm-CPI-1, -2 and -3), and contrast them those expressed by other parasites and by the free-living nematode Caenorhabditis elegans. Bm-CPI-2 differs from C. elegans cystatin, having acquired the additional function of inhibiting asparaginyl endopeptidase (AEP), in a manner similar to some human cystatins. Thus, we propose that Bm-CPI-2 and orthologues from related filarial parasites represent a new subset of nematode cystatins. Bm-CPI-1 and CPI-3 share only 25% amino acid identity with Bm-CPI-2, and lack an evolutionarily conserved glycine residue in the N-terminal region. These sequences group distantly from the other nematode cystatins, and represent a second novel subset of filarial cystatin-like genes. Expression analyses also show important differences between the CPI-2 and CPI-1/-3 groups. Bm-cpi-2 is expressed at all time points of the parasite life cycle, while Bm-cpi-1 and -3 expression is confined to the late stages of development in the mosquito vector, terminating within 48h of infection of the mammalian host. Hence, we hypothesise that CPI-2 has evolved to block mammalian proteases (including the antigen-processing enzyme AEP) while CPI-1 and -3 function in the milieu of the mosquito vector necessary for transmission of the parasite. PMID:18249028

  15. Analysis of bending wave transmission using beam tracing with advanced statistical energy analysis for periodic box-like structures affected by spatial filtering

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wilson, D.; Hopkins, C.

    2015-04-01

    For bending wave transmission across periodic box-like arrangements of plates, the effects of spatial filtering can be significant and this needs to be considered in the choice of prediction model. This paper investigates the errors that can occur with Statistical Energy Analysis (SEA) and the potential of using Advanced SEA (ASEA) to improve predictions. The focus is on the low- and mid-frequency range where plates only support local modes with low mode counts and the in situ modal overlap is relatively high. To increase the computational efficiency when using ASEA on large systems, a beam tracing method is introduced which groups together all rays with the same heading into a single beam. Based on a diffuse field on the source plate, numerical experiments are used to determine the angular distribution of incident power on receiver plate edges on linear and cuboid box-like structures. These show that on receiver plates which do not share a boundary with the source plate, the angular distribution on the receiver plate boundaries differs significantly from a diffuse field. SEA and ASEA predictions are assessed through comparison with finite element models. With rain-on-the-roof excitation on the source plate, the results show that compared to SEA, ASEA provides significantly better estimates of the receiver plate energy, but only where there are at least one or two bending modes in each one-third octave band. Whilst ASEA provides better accuracy than SEA, discrepancies still exist which become more apparent when the direct propagation path crosses more than three nominally identical structural junctions.

  16. Anopheles gambiae immune responses to human and rodent Plasmodium parasite species.

    PubMed

    Dong, Yuemei; Aguilar, Ruth; Xi, Zhiyong; Warr, Emma; Mongin, Emmanuel; Dimopoulos, George

    2006-06-01

    Transmission of malaria is dependent on the successful completion of the Plasmodium lifecycle in the Anopheles vector. Major obstacles are encountered in the midgut tissue, where most parasites are killed by the mosquito's immune system. In the present study, DNA microarray analyses have been used to compare Anopheles gambiae responses to invasion of the midgut epithelium by the ookinete stage of the human pathogen Plasmodium falciparum and the rodent experimental model pathogen P. berghei. Invasion by P. berghei had a more profound impact on the mosquito transcriptome, including a variety of functional gene classes, while P. falciparum elicited a broader immune response at the gene transcript level. Ingestion of human malaria-infected blood lacking invasive ookinetes also induced a variety of immune genes, including several anti-Plasmodium factors. Twelve selected genes were assessed for effect on infection with both parasite species and bacteria using RNAi gene silencing assays, and seven of these genes were found to influence mosquito resistance to both parasite species. An MD2-like receptor, AgMDL1, and an immunolectin, FBN39, showed specificity in regulating only resistance to P. falciparum, while the antimicrobial peptide gambicin and a novel putative short secreted peptide, IRSP5, were more specific for defense against the rodent parasite P. berghei. While all the genes that affected Plasmodium development also influenced mosquito resistance to bacterial infection, four of the antimicrobial genes had no effect on Plasmodium development. Our study shows that the impact of P. falciparum and P. berghei infection on A. gambiae biology at the gene transcript level is quite diverse, and the defense against the two Plasmodium species is mediated by antimicrobial factors with both universal and Plasmodium-species specific activities. Furthermore, our data indicate that the mosquito is capable of sensing infected blood constituents in the absence of invading

  17. Effects of wetland vs. landscape variables on parasite communities of Rana pipiens: links to anthropogenic factors

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Schotthoefer, Anna M.; Rohr, Jason R.; Cole, Rebecca A.; Koehler, Anson V.; Johnson, Catherine M.; Johnson, Lucinda B.; Beasley, Val R.

    2011-01-01

    The emergence of several diseases affecting amphibian populations worldwide has prompted investigations into determinants of the occurrence and abundance of parasites in frogs. To understand the spatial scales and identify specific environmental factors that determine risks of parasitism in frogs, helminth communities in metamorphic frogs of the northern leopard frog (Rana pipiens) were examined in relation to wetland and landscape factors at local (1 km) and regional (10 km) spatial extents in an agricultural region of Minnesota (USA) using regression analyses, ordination, and variance partitioning techniques. Greater amounts of forested and woody wetland habitats, shorter distances between woody wetlands, and smaller-sized open water patches in surrounding landscapes were the most consistently positive correlates with the abundances, richness, and diversity of helminths found in the frogs. Wetland and local landscape variables were suggested as most important for larval trematode abundances, whereas local and regional landscape variables appeared most important for adult helminths. As previously reported, the sum concentration of atrazine and its metabolite desethylatrazine, was the strongest predictor of larval trematode communities. In this report, we highlight the additional influences of landscape factors. In particular, our data suggest that anthropogenic activities that have resulted in the loss of the availability and connectivity of suitable habitats in the surrounding landscapes of wetlands are associated with declines in helminth richness and abundance, but that alteration of wetland water quality through eutrophication or pesticide contamination may facilitate the transmission of certain parasite taxa when they are present at wetlands. Although additional research is needed to quantify the negative effects of parasitism on frog populations, efforts to reduce inputs of agrochemicals into wetlands to limit larval trematode infections may be warranted

  18. Anopheles gambiae Immune Responses to Human and Rodent Plasmodium Parasite Species

    PubMed Central

    Dong, Yuemei; Aguilar, Ruth; Xi, Zhiyong; Warr, Emma; Mongin, Emmanuel; Dimopoulos, George

    2006-01-01

    Transmission of malaria is dependent on the successful completion of the Plasmodium lifecycle in the Anopheles vector. Major obstacles are encountered in the midgut tissue, where most parasites are killed by the mosquito's immune system. In the present study, DNA microarray analyses have been used to compare Anopheles gambiae responses to invasion of the midgut epithelium by the ookinete stage of the human pathogen Plasmodium falciparum and the rodent experimental model pathogen P. berghei. Invasion by P. berghei had a more profound impact on the mosquito transcriptome, including a variety of functional gene classes, while P. falciparum elicited a broader immune response at the gene transcript level. Ingestion of human malaria-infected blood lacking invasive ookinetes also induced a variety of immune genes, including several anti-Plasmodium factors. Twelve selected genes were assessed for effect on infection with both parasite species and bacteria using RNAi gene silencing assays, and seven of these genes were found to influence mosquito resistance to both parasite species. An MD2-like receptor, AgMDL1, and an immunolectin, FBN39, showed specificity in regulating only resistance to P. falciparum, while the antimicrobial peptide gambicin and a novel putative short secreted peptide, IRSP5, were more specific for defense against the rodent parasite P. berghei. While all the genes that affected Plasmodium development also influenced mosquito resistance to bacterial infection, four of the antimicrobial genes had no effect on Plasmodium development. Our study shows that the impact of P. falciparum and P. berghei infection on A. gambiae biology at the gene transcript level is quite diverse, and the defense against the two Plasmodium species is mediated by antimicrobial factors with both universal and Plasmodium-species specific activities. Furthermore, our data indicate that the mosquito is capable of sensing infected blood constituents in the absence of invading

  19. Evolutionary Origins of Rhizarian Parasites.

    PubMed

    Sierra, Roberto; Cañas-Duarte, Silvia J; Burki, Fabien; Schwelm, Arne; Fogelqvist, Johan; Dixelius, Christina; González-García, Laura N; Gile, Gillian H; Slamovits, Claudio H; Klopp, Christophe; Restrepo, Silvia; Arzul, Isabelle; Pawlowski, Jan

    2016-04-01

    The SAR group (Stramenopila, Alveolata, Rhizaria) is one of the largest clades in the tree of eukaryotes and includes a great number of parasitic lineages. Rhizarian parasites are obligate and have devastating effects on commercially important plants and animals but despite this fact, our knowledge of their biology and evolution is limited. Here, we present rhizarian transcriptomes from all major parasitic lineages in order to elucidate their evolutionary relationships using a phylogenomic approach. Our results suggest that Ascetosporea, parasites of marine invertebrates, are sister to the novel clade Apofilosa. The phytomyxean plant parasites branch sister to the vampyrellid algal ectoparasites in the novel clade Phytorhiza. They also show that Ascetosporea + Apofilosa + Retaria + Filosa + Phytorhiza form a monophyletic clade, although the branching pattern within this clade is difficult to resolve and appears to be model-dependent. Our study does not support the monophyly of the rhizarian parasitic lineages (Endomyxa), suggesting independent origins for rhizarian animal and plant parasites. PMID:26681153

  20. Tracking transmission of the zoonosis Toxoplasma gondii.

    PubMed

    Smith, Judith E

    2009-01-01

    Toxoplasma gondii is a highly successful parasite that infects many host species and has colonised a wide range of habitats. Review of the parasite's life cycle demonstrates that it has become adapted to exploit multiple routes of transmission through a sexual cycle in the definitive host and asexually, through carnivory, and by vertical transmission. These alternative routes may operate synergistically to enhance transmission, but they might also provide a vehicle for selection leading to partitioning of strains in the environment. Genetic analysis has shown that parasite population structure varies globally. In South America, there is high strain diversity while in North America, Europe and Africa three clonal strain types predominate. This may imply a shift from sexual to asexual transmission. Mapping of the parasite genome has provided a wealth of markers for strain characterisation. Close genotyping of isolates gives evidence of multiple infection and recombination in natural populations and reveals differences in both the distribution and the phenotype of strains. More intensive epidemiological studies are now required to unravel the networks of transmission operating within defined habitats. PMID:19289193

  1. The coevolutionary dynamics of obligate ant social parasite systems--between prudence and antagonism.

    PubMed

    Brandt, Miriam; Foitzik, Susanne; Fischer-Blass, Birgit; Heinze, Jürgen

    2005-05-01

    In this synthesis we apply coevolutionary models to the interactions between socially parasitic ants and their hosts. Obligate social parasite systems are ideal models for coevolution, because the close phylogenetic relationship between these parasites and their hosts results in similar evolutionary potentials, thus making mutual adaptations in a stepwise fashion especially likely to occur. The evolutionary dynamics of host-parasite interactions are influenced by a number of parameters, for example the parasite's transmission mode and rate, the genetic structure of host and parasite populations, the antagonists' migration rates, and the degree of mutual specialisation. For the three types of obligate ant social parasites, queen-tolerant and queen-intolerant inquilines and slavemakers, several of these parameters, and thus the evolutionary trajectory, are likely to differ. Because of the fundamental differences in lifestyle between these social parasite systems, coevolution should further select for different traits in the parasites and their hosts. Queen-tolerant inquilines are true parasites that exert a low selection pressure on their host, because of their rarity and the fact that they do not conduct slave raids to replenish their labour force. Due to their high degree of specialisation and the potential for vertical transmission, coevolutionary theory would predict interactions between these workerless parasites and their hosts to become even more benign over time. Queen-intolerant inquilines that kill the host queen during colony take-over are best described as parasitoids, and their reproductive success is limited by the existing worker force of the invaded host nest. These parasites should therefore evolve strategies to best exploit this fixed resource. Slavemaking ants, by contrast, act as parasites only during colony foundation, while their frequent slave raids follow a predator prey dynamic. They often exploit a number of host species at a given site, and

  2. Host-Parasite Interactions in Some Fish Species

    PubMed Central

    Khan, R. A.

    2012-01-01

    Host-parasite interactions are complex, compounded by factors that are capable of shifting the balance in either direction. The host's age, behaviour, immunological status, and environmental change can affect the association that is beneficial to the host whereas evasion of the host's immune response favours the parasite. In fish, some infections that induce mortality are age and temperature dependent. Environmental change, especially habitat degradation by anthropogenic pollutants and oceanographic alterations induced by climatic, can influence parasitic-host interaction. The outcome of these associations will hinge on susceptibility and resistance. PMID:22900144

  3. MARveling at parasite invasion.

    PubMed

    Hager, Kristin M; Carruthers, Vern B

    2008-02-01

    Micronemal proteins (MICs) are key mediators of cytoadherence and invasion for Toxoplasma gondii. Emerging evidence indicates that carbohydrate binding facilitates Toxoplasma entry into host cells. The recently solved Toxoplasma MIC1s (TgMIC1s) structure reveals the presence of novel specialized domains that can discriminate between glycan residues. Comparison with Plasmodium erythrocyte-binding antigen 175 reveals that terminal sialic acid residues might represent a shared but tailored invasion pathway among apicomplexan parasites. PMID:18203663

  4. Same day HIV diagnosis and antiretroviral therapy initiation affects retention in Option B+ prevention of mother-to-child transmission services at antenatal care in Zomba District, Malawi

    PubMed Central

    Chan, Adrienne K; Kanike, Emmanuel; Bedell, Richard; Mayuni, Isabel; Manyera, Ruth; Mlotha, William; Harries, Anthony D; van Oosterhout, Joep J; van Lettow, Monique

    2016-01-01

    Introduction Data from the Option B+ prevention of mother-to-child transmission (PMTCT) program in Malawi show considerable variation between health facilities in retention on antiretroviral therapy (ART). In a programmatic setting, we studied whether the “model of care,” based on the degree of integration of antenatal care (ANC), HIV testing and counselling (HTC) and ART service provision–influenced uptake of and retention on ART. Methods We conducted a retrospective cohort study of pregnant women seeking ANC at rural primary health facilities in Zomba District, Malawi. Data were extracted from standardized national ANC registers, ART registers and ART master cards. The “model of care” of Option B+ service delivery was determined at each health facility, based on the degree of integration of ANC, HTC and ART. Full integration (Model 1) of HTC and ART initiation at ANC was compared with integration of HTC only into ANC services (Model 2) with subsequent referral to an existing ART clinic for treatment initiation. Results and discussion A total of 10,528 women were newly registered at ANC between October 2011 and March 2012 in 23 rural health facilities (12 were Model 1 and 11 Model 2). HIV status was ascertained in 8,572 (81%) women. Among 914/8,572 (9%) HIV-positive women enrolling at ANC, 101/914 (11%) were already on ART; of those not on treatment, 456/813 (56%) were started on ART. There was significantly higher ART uptake in Model 1 compared with Model 2 sites (63% vs. 51%; p=0.001), but significantly lower ART retention in Model 1 compared with Model 2 sites (79% vs. 87%; p=0.02). Multivariable analysis showed that initiation of ART on the same day as HIV diagnosis, but not model of care, was independently associated with reduced retention in the first six months (adjusted odds ratio 2.27; 95% CI: 1.34–3.85; p=0.002). Conclusions HIV diagnosis and treatment on the same day was associated with reduced retention on ART, independent of the level of

  5. A lack of parasitic reduction in the obligate parasitic green alga Helicosporidium.

    PubMed

    Pombert, Jean-François; Blouin, Nicolas Achille; Lane, Chris; Boucias, Drion; Keeling, Patrick J

    2014-05-01

    The evolution of an obligate parasitic lifestyle is often associated with genomic reduction, in particular with the loss of functions associated with increasing host-dependence. This is evident in many parasites, but perhaps the most extreme transitions are from free-living autotrophic algae to obligate parasites. The best-known examples of this are the apicomplexans such as Plasmodium, which evolved from algae with red secondary plastids. However, an analogous transition also took place independently in the Helicosporidia, where an obligate parasite of animals with an intracellular infection mechanism evolved from algae with green primary plastids. We characterised the nuclear genome of Helicosporidium to compare its transition to parasitism with that of apicomplexans. The Helicosporidium genome is small and compact, even by comparison with the relatively small genomes of the closely related green algae Chlorella and Coccomyxa, but at the functional level we find almost no evidence for reduction. Nearly all ancestral metabolic functions are retained, with the single major exception of photosynthesis, and even here reduction is not complete. The great majority of genes for light-harvesting complexes, photosystems, and pigment biosynthesis have been lost, but those for other photosynthesis-related functions, such as Calvin cycle, are retained. Rather than loss of whole function categories, the predominant reductive force in the Helicosporidium genome is a contraction of gene family complexity, but even here most losses affect families associated with genome maintenance and expression, not functions associated with host-dependence. Other gene families appear to have expanded in response to parasitism, in particular chitinases, including those predicted to digest the chitinous barriers of the insect host or remodel the cell wall of Helicosporidium. Overall, the Helicosporidium genome presents a fascinating picture of the early stages of a transition from free

  6. Parasite Stress Predicts Offspring Sex Ratio

    PubMed Central

    Dama, Madhukar Shivajirao

    2012-01-01

    In this study, I predict that the global variation of offspring sex ratio might be influenced in part by the level of parasite stress. From an energetic standpoint, higher gestational costs of producing a male offspring could decrease male births in a population with limited resources. This implies that, any factor that limits the parental resources could be expected to favor female offspring production. Human sex ratio at birth (SRB) is believed to be influenced by numerous socioeconomic, biological, and environmental factors. Here, I test a prediction that parasite stress, by virtue of its effects on the general health condition, may limit the parental investment ability and therefore could influence the SRB at the population level. The statistical analysis supports this prediction, and show that the level of parasite stress has a significant inverse relation with population SRB across the world. Further, this relation is many-folds stronger than the association of SRB with other factors, like; polygyny, fertility, latitude, and son-preference. Hence, I propose that condition affecting ability of parasites (but not adaptive significance) could be a likely causal basis for the striking variation of SRB across populations. PMID:23049967

  7. The potential of canine sentinels for reemerging Trypanosoma cruzi transmission

    PubMed Central

    Neyra, Ricardo Castillo; Chu, Lily Chou; Quispe-Machaca, Victor; Ancca-Juarez, Jenny; Malaga Chavez, Fernando S.; Mazuelos, Milagros Bastos; Naquira, Cesar; Bern, Caryn; Gilman, Robert H.; Levy, Michael Z.

    2015-01-01

    Background Chagas disease, a vector-borne disease transmitted by triatomine bugs and caused by the parasite Trypanosoma cruzi, affects millions of people in the Americas. In Arequipa, Peru, indoor residual insecticide spraying campaigns are routinely conducted to eliminate Triatoma infestans, the only vector in this area. Following insecticide spraying, there is risk of vector return and reinitiation of parasite transmission. Dogs are important reservoirs of T. cruzi and may play a role in reinitiating transmission in previously sprayed areas. Dogs may also serve as indicators of reemerging transmission. Methods We conducted a cross-sectional serological screening to detect T. cruzi antibodies in dogs, in conjunction with an entomological vector collection survey at the household level, in a disease endemic area that had been treated with insecticide 13 years prior. Spatial clustering of infected animals and vectors was assessed using Ripley’s K statistic, and the odds of being seropositive for dogs proximate to infected colonies was estimated with multivariate logistic regression. Results There were 106 triatomine-infested houses (41.1%), and 45 houses infested with T. cruzi-infected triatomine insects (17.4%). Canine seroprevalence in the area was 12.3% (n=154); all seropositive dogs were 9 months old or older. We observed clustering of vectors carrying the parasite, but no clustering of seropositive dogs. The age- and sex-adjusted odds ratio between seropositivity to T. cruzi and proximity to an infected triatomine (≤50m) was 5.67 (95% CI: 1.12 – 28.74; p=0.036). Conclusions Targeted control of reemerging transmission can be achieved by improved understanding of T. cruzi in canine populations. Our results suggest that dogs may be useful sentinels to detect re-initiation of transmission following insecticide treatment. Integration of canine T. cruzi blood sampling into existing interventions for zoonotic disease control (e.g. rabies vaccination programs

  8. Heterogeneities in Leishmania infantum Infection: Using Skin Parasite Burdens to Identify Highly Infectious Dogs

    PubMed Central

    Calvo-Bado, Leo; Garcez, Lourdes M.; Quinnell, Rupert J.

    2014-01-01

    Background The relationships between heterogeneities in host infection and infectiousness (transmission to arthropod vectors) can provide important insights for disease management. Here, we quantify heterogeneities in Leishmania infantum parasite numbers in reservoir and non-reservoir host populations, and relate this to their infectiousness during natural infection. Tissue parasite number was evaluated as a potential surrogate marker of host transmission potential. Methods Parasite numbers were measured by qPCR in bone marrow and ear skin biopsies of 82 dogs and 34 crab-eating foxes collected during a longitudinal study in Amazon Brazil, for which previous data was available on infectiousness (by xenodiagnosis) and severity of infection. Results Parasite numbers were highly aggregated both between samples and between individuals. In dogs, total parasite abundance and relative numbers in ear skin compared to bone marrow increased with the duration and severity of infection. Infectiousness to the sandfly vector was associated with high parasite numbers; parasite number in skin was the best predictor of being infectious. Crab-eating foxes, which typically present asymptomatic infection and are non-infectious, had parasite numbers comparable to those of non-infectious dogs. Conclusions Skin parasite number provides an indirect marker of infectiousness, and could allow targeted control particularly of highly infectious dogs. PMID:24416460

  9. When Parasites Are Good for Health: Cestode Parasitism Increases Resistance to Arsenic in Brine Shrimps.

    PubMed

    Sánchez, Marta I; Pons, Inès; Martínez-Haro, Mónica; Taggart, Mark A; Lenormand, Thomas; Green, Andy J

    2016-03-01

    Parasites and pollutants can both affect any living organism, and their interactions can be very important. To date, repeated studies have found that parasites and heavy metals or metalloids both have important negative effects on the health of animals, often in a synergistic manner. Here, we show for the first time that parasites can increase host resistance to metalloid arsenic, focusing on a clonal population of brine shrimp from the contaminated Odiel and Tinto estuary in SW Spain. We studied the effect of cestodes on the response of Artemia to arsenic (acute toxicity tests, 24h LC50) and found that infection consistently reduced mortality across a range of arsenic concentrations. An increase from 25°C to 29°C, simulating the change in mean temperature expected under climate change, increased arsenic toxicity, but the benefits of infection persisted. Infected individuals showed higher levels of catalase and glutathione reductase activity, antioxidant enzymes with a very important role in the protection against oxidative stress. Levels of TBARS were unaffected by parasites, suggesting that infection is not associated with oxidative damage. Moreover, infected Artemia had a higher number of carotenoid-rich lipid droplets which may also protect the host through the "survival of the fattest" principle and the antioxidant potential of carotenoids. This study illustrates the need to consider the multi-stress context (contaminants and temperature increase) in which host-parasite interactions occur. PMID:26938743

  10. When Parasites Are Good for Health: Cestode Parasitism Increases Resistance to Arsenic in Brine Shrimps

    PubMed Central

    Martínez-Haro, Mónica; Taggart, Mark A.; Lenormand, Thomas; Green, Andy J.

    2016-01-01

    Parasites and pollutants can both affect any living organism, and their interactions can be very important. To date, repeated studies have found that parasites and heavy metals or metalloids both have important negative effects on the health of animals, often in a synergistic manner. Here, we show for the first time that parasites can increase host resistance to metalloid arsenic, focusing on a clonal population of brine shrimp from the contaminated Odiel and Tinto estuary in SW Spain. We studied the effect of cestodes on the response of Artemia to arsenic (acute toxicity tests, 24h LC50) and found that infection consistently reduced mortality across a range of arsenic concentrations. An increase from 25°C to 29°C, simulating the change in mean temperature expected under climate change, increased arsenic toxicity, but the benefits of infection persisted. Infected individuals showed higher levels of catalase and glutathione reductase activity, antioxidant enzymes with a very important role in the protection against oxidative stress. Levels of TBARS were unaffected by parasites, suggesting that infection is not associated with oxidative damage. Moreover, infected Artemia had a higher number of carotenoid-rich lipid droplets which may also protect the host through the “survival of the fattest” principle and the antioxidant potential of carotenoids. This study illustrates the need to consider the multi-stress context (contaminants and temperature increase) in which host-parasite interactions occur. PMID:26938743

  11. Polymorphisms in Plasmodium falciparum Chloroquine Resistance Transporter and Multidrug Resistance 1 Genes: Parasite Risk Factors that Affect Treatment Outcomes for P. falciparum Malaria after Artemether-Lumefantrine and Artesunate-Amodiaquine

    PubMed Central

    Venkatesan, Meera; Gadalla, Nahla B.; Stepniewska, Kasia; Dahal, Prabin; Nsanzabana, Christian; Moriera, Clarissa; Price, Ric N.; Mårtensson, Andreas; Rosenthal, Philip J.; Dorsey, Grant; Sutherland, Colin J.; Guérin, Philippe; Davis, Timothy M. E.; Ménard, Didier; Adam, Ishag; Ademowo, George; Arze, Cesar; Baliraine, Frederick N.; Berens-Riha, Nicole; Björkman, Anders; Borrmann, Steffen; Checchi, Francesco; Desai, Meghna; Dhorda, Mehul; Djimdé, Abdoulaye A.; El-Sayed, Badria B.; Eshetu, Teferi; Eyase, Frederick; Falade, Catherine; Faucher, Jean-François; Fröberg, Gabrielle; Grivoyannis, Anastasia; Hamour, Sally; Houzé, Sandrine; Johnson, Jacob; Kamugisha, Erasmus; Kariuki, Simon; Kiechel, Jean-René; Kironde, Fred; Kofoed, Poul-Erik; LeBras, Jacques; Malmberg, Maja; Mwai, Leah; Ngasala, Billy; Nosten, Francois; Nsobya, Samuel L.; Nzila, Alexis; Oguike, Mary; Otienoburu, Sabina Dahlström; Ogutu, Bernhards; Ouédraogo, Jean-Bosco; Piola, Patrice; Rombo, Lars; Schramm, Birgit; Somé, A. Fabrice; Thwing, Julie; Ursing, Johan; Wong, Rina P. M.; Zeynudin, Ahmed; Zongo, Issaka; Plowe, Christopher V.; Sibley, Carol Hopkins

    2014-01-01

    Adequate clinical and parasitologic cure by artemisinin combination therapies relies on the artemisinin component and the partner drug. Polymorphisms in the Plasmodium falciparum chloroquine resistance transporter (pfcrt) and P. falciparum multidrug resistance 1 (pfmdr1) genes are associated with decreased sensitivity to amodiaquine and lumefantrine, but effects of these polymorphisms on therapeutic responses to artesunate-amodiaquine (ASAQ) and artemether-lumefantrine (AL) have not been clearly defined. Individual patient data from 31 clinical trials were harmonized and pooled by using standardized methods from the WorldWide Antimalarial Resistance Network. Data for more than 7,000 patients were analyzed to assess relationships between parasite polymorphisms in pfcrt and pfmdr1 and clinically relevant outcomes after treatment with AL or ASAQ. Presence of the pfmdr1 gene N86 (adjusted hazards ratio = 4.74, 95% confidence interval = 2.29 – 9.78, P < 0.001) and increased pfmdr1 copy number (adjusted hazards ratio = 6.52, 95% confidence interval = 2.36–17.97, P < 0.001) were significant independent risk factors for recrudescence in patients treated with AL. AL and ASAQ exerted opposing selective effects on single-nucleotide polymorphisms in pfcrt and pfmdr1. Monitoring selection and responding to emerging signs of drug resistance are critical tools for preserving efficacy of artemisinin combination therapies; determination of the prevalence of at least pfcrt K76T and pfmdr1 N86Y should now be routine. PMID:25048375

  12. Polymorphisms in Plasmodium falciparum chloroquine resistance transporter and multidrug resistance 1 genes: parasite risk factors that affect treatment outcomes for P. falciparum malaria after artemether-lumefantrine and artesunate-amodiaquine.

    PubMed

    Venkatesan, Meera; Gadalla, Nahla B; Stepniewska, Kasia; Dahal, Prabin; Nsanzabana, Christian; Moriera, Clarissa; Price, Ric N; Mårtensson, Andreas; Rosenthal, Philip J; Dorsey, Grant; Sutherland, Colin J; Guérin, Philippe; Davis, Timothy M E; Ménard, Didier; Adam, Ishag; Ademowo, George; Arze, Cesar; Baliraine, Frederick N; Berens-Riha, Nicole; Björkman, Anders; Borrmann, Steffen; Checchi, Francesco; Desai, Meghna; Dhorda, Mehul; Djimdé, Abdoulaye A; El-Sayed, Badria B; Eshetu, Teferi; Eyase, Frederick; Falade, Catherine; Faucher, Jean-François; Fröberg, Gabrielle; Grivoyannis, Anastasia; Hamour, Sally; Houzé, Sandrine; Johnson, Jacob; Kamugisha, Erasmus; Kariuki, Simon; Kiechel, Jean-René; Kironde, Fred; Kofoed, Poul-Erik; LeBras, Jacques; Malmberg, Maja; Mwai, Leah; Ngasala, Billy; Nosten, Francois; Nsobya, Samuel L; Nzila, Alexis; Oguike, Mary; Otienoburu, Sabina Dahlström; Ogutu, Bernhards; Ouédraogo, Jean-Bosco; Piola, Patrice; Rombo, Lars; Schramm, Birgit; Somé, A Fabrice; Thwing, Julie; Ursing, Johan; Wong, Rina P M; Zeynudin, Ahmed; Zongo, Issaka; Plowe, Christopher V; Sibley, Carol Hopkins

    2014-10-01

    Adequate clinical and parasitologic cure by artemisinin combination therapies relies on the artemisinin component and the partner drug. Polymorphisms in the Plasmodium falciparum chloroquine resistance transporter (pfcrt) and P. falciparum multidrug resistance 1 (pfmdr1) genes are associated with decreased sensitivity to amodiaquine and lumefantrine, but effects of these polymorphisms on therapeutic responses to artesunate-amodiaquine (ASAQ) and artemether-lumefantrine (AL) have not been clearly defined. Individual patient data from 31 clinical trials were harmonized and pooled by using standardized methods from the WorldWide Antimalarial Resistance Network. Data for more than 7,000 patients were analyzed to assess relationships between parasite polymorphisms in pfcrt and pfmdr1 and clinically relevant outcomes after treatment with AL or ASAQ. Presence of the pfmdr1 gene N86 (adjusted hazards ratio = 4.74, 95% confidence interval = 2.29 - 9.78, P < 0.001) and increased pfmdr1 copy number (adjusted hazards ratio = 6.52, 95% confidence interval = 2.36-17.97, P < 0.001 : were significant independent risk factors for recrudescence in patients treated with AL. AL and ASAQ exerted opposing selective effects on single-nucleotide polymorphisms in pfcrt and pfmdr1. Monitoring selection and responding to emerging signs of drug resistance are critical tools for preserving efficacy of artemisinin combination therapies; determination of the prevalence of at least pfcrt K76T and pfmdr1 N86Y should now be routine. PMID:25048375

  13. Malaria transmission blocking immunity and sexual stage vaccines for interrupting malaria transmission in Latin America.

    PubMed

    Arévalo-Herrera, Myriam; Solarte, Yezid; Marin, Catherin; Santos, Mariana; Castellanos, Jenniffer; Beier, John C; Valencia, Sócrates Herrera

    2011-08-01

    Malaria is a vector-borne disease that is considered to be one of the most serious public health problems due to its high global mortality and morbidity rates. Although multiple strategies for controlling malaria have been used, many have had limited impact due to the appearance and rapid dissemination of mosquito resistance to insecticides, parasite resistance to multiple antimalarial drug, and the lack of sustainability. Individuals in endemic areas that have been permanently exposed to the parasite develop specific immune responses capable of diminishing parasite burden and the clinical manifestations of the disease, including blocking of parasite transmission to the mosquito vector. This is referred to as transmission blocking (TB) immunity (TBI) and is mediated by specific antibodies and other factors ingested during the blood meal that inhibit parasite development in the mosquito. These antibodies recognize proteins expressed on either gametocytes or parasite stages that develop in the mosquito midgut and are considered to be potential malaria vaccine candidates. Although these candidates, collectively called TB vaccines (TBV), would not directly stop malaria from infecting individuals, but would stop transmission from infected person to non-infected person. Here, we review the progress that has been achieved in TBI studies and the development of TBV and we highlight their potential usefulness in areas of low endemicity such as Latin America. PMID:21881775

  14. Within-host Competition Does Not Select for Virulence in Malaria Parasites; Studies with Plasmodium yoelii

    PubMed Central

    Abkallo, Hussein M.; Tangena, Julie-Anne; Tang, Jianxia; Kobayashi, Nobuyuki; Inoue, Megumi; Zoungrana, Augustin; Colegrave, Nick; Culleton, Richard

    2015-01-01

    In endemic areas with high transmission intensities, malaria infections are very often composed of multiple genetically distinct strains of malaria parasites. It has been hypothesised that this leads to intra-host competition, in which parasite strains compete for resources such as space and nutrients. This competition may have repercussions for the host, the parasite, and the vector in terms of disease severity, vector fitness, and parasite transmission potential and fitness. It has also been argued that within-host competition could lead to selection for more virulent parasites. Here we use the rodent malaria parasite Plasmodium yoelii to assess the consequences of mixed strain infections on disease severity and parasite fitness. Three isogenic strains with dramatically different growth rates (and hence virulence) were maintained in mice in single infections or in mixed strain infections with a genetically distinct strain. We compared the virulence (defined as harm to the mammalian host) of mixed strain infections with that of single infections, and assessed whether competition impacted on parasite fitness, assessed by transmission potential. We found that mixed infections were associated with a higher degree of disease severity and a prolonged infection time. In the mixed infections, the strain with the slower growth rate was often responsible for the competitive exclusion of the faster growing strain, presumably through host immune-mediated mechanisms. Importantly, and in contrast to previous work conducted with Plasmodium chabaudi, we found no correlation between parasite virulence and transmission potential to mosquitoes, suggesting that within-host competition would not drive the evolution of parasite virulence in P. yoelii. PMID:25658331

  15. A shift to parasitism in the jellyfish symbiont Symbiodinium microadriaticum

    PubMed Central

    Sachs, Joel L; Wilcox, Thomas P

    2005-01-01

    One of the outstanding and poorly understood examples of cooperation between species is found in corals, hydras and jellyfish that form symbioses with algae. These mutualistic algae are mostly acquired infectiously from the seawater and, according to models of virulence evolution, should be selected to parasitize their hosts. We altered algal transmission between jellyfish hosts in the laboratory to examine the potential for virulence evolution in this widespread symbiosis. In one experimental treatment, vertical transmission of algae (parent to offspring) selected for symbiont cooperation, because symbiont fitness was tied to host reproduction. In the other treatment, horizontal transmission (infectious spread) decoupled symbiont fitness from the host, potentially allowing parasitic symbionts to spread. Fitness estimates revealed a striking shift to parasitism in the horizontal treatment. The horizontally transmitted algae proliferated faster within hosts and had higher dispersal rates from hosts compared to the vertical treatment, while reducing host reproduction and growth. However, a trade-off was detected between harm caused to hosts and symbiont fitness. Virulence trade-offs have been modelled for pathogens and may be critical in stabilising ‘infectious’ symbioses. Our results demonstrate the dynamic nature of this symbiosis and illustrate the potential ease with which beneficial symbionts can evolve into parasites. PMID:16615208

  16. Impact of anthropogenic and natural environmental changes on Echinococcus transmission in Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region, the People's Republic of China.

    PubMed

    Yang, Yu Rong; Clements, Archie C A; Gray, Darren J; Atkinson, Jo-An M; Williams, Gail M; Barnes, Tamsin S; McManus, Donald P

    2012-01-01

    Echinococcus transmission is known to be affected by various environmental factors, which may be modified by human influence or natural events including global warming. Considerable population growth in the last fifty years in Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region (NHAR), the People's Republic of China (PRC), has led to dramatic increases in deforestation and modified agricultural practices. In turn, this has resulted in many changes in the habitats for the definitive and intermediate hosts of both Echinococcus granulosus and E. multilocularis, which have increased the risks for transmission of both parasites, affecting echinococcosis prevalence and human disease. Ecological environmental changes due to anthropogenic activities and natural events drive Echinococcus transmission and NHAR provides a notable example illustrating how human activity can impact on a parasitic infection of major public health significance. It is very important to continually monitor these environmental (including climatic) factors that drive the distribution of Echinococcus spp. and their impact on transmission to humans because such information is necessary to formulate reliable future public health policy for echinococcosis control programs and to prevent disease spread. PMID:22827890

  17. Parasites resistant to the antimalarial atovaquone fail to transmit by mosquitoes.

    PubMed

    Goodman, Christopher D; Siregar, Josephine E; Mollard, Vanessa; Vega-Rodríguez, Joel; Syafruddin, Din; Matsuoka, Hiroyuki; Matsuzaki, Motomichi; Toyama, Tomoko; Sturm, Angelika; Cozijnsen, Anton; Jacobs-Lorena, Marcelo; Kita, Kiyoshi; Marzuki, Sangkot; McFadden, Geoffrey I

    2016-04-15

    Drug resistance compromises control of malaria. Here, we show that resistance to a commonly used antimalarial medication, atovaquone, is apparently unable to spread. Atovaquone pressure selects parasites with mutations in cytochrome b, a respiratory protein with low but essential activity in the mammalian blood phase of the parasite life cycle. Resistance mutations rescue parasites from the drug but later prove lethal in the mosquito phase, where parasites require full respiration. Unable to respire efficiently, resistant parasites fail to complete mosquito development, arresting their life cycle. Because cytochrome b is encoded by the maternally inherited parasite mitochondrion, even outcrossing with wild-type strains cannot facilitate spread of resistance. Lack of transmission suggests that resistance will be unable to spread in the field, greatly enhancing the utility of atovaquone in malaria control. PMID:27081071

  18. Identification of single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs)associated to Red Maasai x Dorper resistance to gastrointestinal parasite infections

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Gastrointestinal (GI) parasitic infection is a main health constraint that affects small ruminant production. Anthelmintic drugs are used to control parasites, however long-term use led to selection pressure, resulting in parasite resistance against all current chemical interventions available in th...

  19. Secondary metabolites in floral nectar reduce parasite infections in bumblebees.

    PubMed

    Richardson, Leif L; Adler, Lynn S; Leonard, Anne S; Andicoechea, Jonathan; Regan, Karly H; Anthony, Winston E; Manson, Jessamyn S; Irwin, Rebecca E

    2015-03-22

    The synthesis of secondary metabolites is a hallmark of plant defence against herbivores. These compounds may be detrimental to consumers, but can also protect herbivores against parasites. Floral nectar commonly contains secondary metabolites, but little is known about the impacts of nectar chemistry on pollinators, including bees. We hypothesized that nectar secondary metabolites could reduce bee parasite infection. We inoculated individual bumblebees with Crithidia bombi, an intestinal parasite, and tested effects of eight naturally occurring nectar chemicals on parasite population growth. Secondary metabolites strongly reduced parasite load, with significant effects of alkaloids, terpenoids and iridoid glycosides ranging from 61 to 81%. Using microcolonies, we also investigated costs and benefits of consuming anabasine, the compound with the strongest effect on parasites, in infected and uninfected bees. Anabasine increased time to egg laying, and Crithidia reduced bee survival. However, anabasine consumption did not mitigate the negative effects of Crithidia, and Crithidia infection did not alter anabasine consumption. Our novel results highlight that although secondary metabolites may not rescue survival in infected bees, they may play a vital role in mediating Crithidia transmission within and between colonies by reducing Crithidia infection intensities. PMID:25694627

  20. [Importation of parasites by tourism and animal trading].

    PubMed

    Daugschies, A

    2001-08-01

    International transport of animals is associated with an enhanced risk of import of a number of parasite species that are not endemic in Germany. Pets accompany tourists on journeys all over the world, but in particular to southern Europe, and dogs are increasingly imported from (sub-)tropical countries for reasons of animal welfare. Veterinary practitioners are thus confronted with parasites that are unusual in their patients. The specific transmission routes determine whether an imported parasite is able to become endemic. Although parasites eradicated in Germany such as Trypanosoma equiperdum and Tritrichomonas foetus may be principally imported they are unlikely to re-establish due to the current epidemiological conditions. Imported animals that harbour parasites which may occur naturally but are currently rare in Germany are a potential source of increased infection risk. Certain areas in Germany have probably become endemic for Babesia canis and the respective vector tick Dermacentor reticulatus has been found. Whether other vector borne parasitic diseases such as leishmaniosis or heartworm disease have the potential to spread into Germany is still a matter of debate. PMID:11560118

  1. Secondary metabolites in floral nectar reduce parasite infections in bumblebees

    PubMed Central

    Richardson, Leif L.; Adler, Lynn S.; Leonard, Anne S.; Andicoechea, Jonathan; Regan, Karly H.; Anthony, Winston E.; Manson, Jessamyn S.; Irwin, Rebecca E.

    2015-01-01

    The synthesis of secondary metabolites is a hallmark of plant defence against herbivores. These compounds may be detrimental to consumers, but can also protect herbivores against parasites. Floral nectar commonly contains secondary metabolites, but little is known about the impacts of nectar chemistry on pollinators, including bees. We hypothesized that nectar secondary metabolites could reduce bee parasite infection. We inoculated individual bumblebees with Crithidia bombi, an intestinal parasite, and tested effects of eight naturally occurring nectar chemicals on parasite population growth. Secondary metabolites strongly reduced parasite load, with significant effects of alkaloids, terpenoids and iridoid glycosides ranging from 61 to 81%. Using microcolonies, we also investigated costs and benefits of consuming anabasine, the compound with the strongest effect on parasites, in infected and uninfected bees. Anabasine increased time to egg laying, and Crithidia reduced bee survival. However, anabasine consumption did not mitigate the negative effects of Crithidia, and Crithidia infection did not alter anabasine consumption. Our novel results highlight that although secondary metabolites may not rescue survival in infected bees, they may play a vital role in mediating Crithidia transmission