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Sample records for affect parasite transmission

  1. Parasite transmission through suspension feeding.

    PubMed

    Ben-Horin, Tal; Bidegain, Gorka; Huey, Lauren; Narvaez, Diego A; Bushek, David

    2015-10-01

    Suspension-feeding bivalve molluscs are confronted with a wide range of materials in the benthic marine environment. These materials include various sized plankton and the organic material derived from it, macroalgae, detritus and a diversity of microbial parasites that have adapted life stages to survive in the water column. For bivalve parasites to infect hosts though, they must first survive and remain infectious in the water column to make initial contact with hosts, and once in contact, enter and overcome elaborate pathways for particle sorting and selection. Even past these defenses, bivalve parasites are challenged with efficient systems of mechanical and chemical digestion and highly evolved systems of innate immunity. Here we review how bivalve parasites evade these hurdles to complete their life cycles and establish within bivalve hosts. We broadly cover significant viral, bacterial, and protozoan parasites of marine bivalve molluscs, and illustrate the emergent properties of these host-parasite systems where parasite transmission occurs through suspension feeding.

  2. Parasite transmission in a natural multihost-multiparasite community.

    PubMed

    Auld, Stuart K J R; Searle, Catherine L; Duffy, Meghan A

    2017-05-05

    Understanding the transmission and dynamics of infectious diseases in natural communities requires understanding the extent to which the ecology, evolution and epidemiology of those diseases are shaped by alternative hosts. We performed laboratory experiments to test how parasite spillover affected traits associated with transmission in two co-occurring parasites: the bacterium Pasteuria ramosa and the fungus Metschnikowia bicuspidata Both parasites were capable of transmission from the reservoir host (Daphnia dentifera) to the spillover host (Ceriodaphnia dubia), but this occurred at a much higher rate for the fungus than the bacterium. We quantified transmission potential by combining information on parasite transmission and growth rate, and used this to compare parasite fitness in the two host species. For both parasites, transmission potential was lower in the spillover host. For the bacterium, virulence was higher in the spillover host. Transmission back to the original host was high for both parasites, with spillover influencing transmission rate of the fungus but not the bacterium. Thus, while inferior, the spillover host is not a dead-end for either parasite. Overall, our results demonstrate that the presence of multiple hosts in a community can have important consequences for disease transmission, and host and parasite fitness.This article is part of the themed issue 'Opening the black box: re-examining the ecology and evolution of parasite transmission'.

  3. Global change, parasite transmission and disease control: lessons from ecology

    PubMed Central

    Boag, Brian; Ellison, Amy R.; Morgan, Eric R.; Murray, Kris; Pascoe, Emily L.; Sait, Steven M.; Booth, Mark

    2017-01-01

    Parasitic infections are ubiquitous in wildlife, livestock and human populations, and healthy ecosystems are often parasite rich. Yet, their negative impacts can be extreme. Understanding how both anticipated and cryptic changes in a system might affect parasite transmission at an individual, local and global level is critical for sustainable control in humans and livestock. Here we highlight and synthesize evidence regarding potential effects of ‘system changes’ (both climatic and anthropogenic) on parasite transmission from wild host–parasite systems. Such information could inform more efficient and sustainable parasite control programmes in domestic animals or humans. Many examples from diverse terrestrial and aquatic natural systems show how abiotic and biotic factors affected by system changes can interact additively, multiplicatively or antagonistically to influence parasite transmission, including through altered habitat structure, biodiversity, host demographics and evolution. Despite this, few studies of managed systems explicitly consider these higher-order interactions, or the subsequent effects of parasite evolution, which can conceal or exaggerate measured impacts of control actions. We call for a more integrated approach to investigating transmission dynamics, which recognizes these complexities and makes use of new technologies for data capture and monitoring, and to support robust predictions of altered parasite dynamics in a rapidly changing world. This article is part of the themed issue ‘Opening the black box: re-examining the ecology and evolution of parasite transmission’. PMID:28289256

  4. 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

  5. Breaking beta: deconstructing the parasite transmission function

    PubMed Central

    McCallum, Hamish; Fenton, Andy; Hudson, Peter J.; Lee, Brian; Levick, Beth; Norman, Rachel

    2017-01-01

    Transmission is a fundamental step in the life cycle of every parasite but it is also one of the most challenging processes to model and quantify. In most host–parasite models, the transmission process is encapsulated by a single parameter β. Many different biological processes and interactions, acting on both hosts and infectious organisms, are subsumed in this single term. There are, however, at least two undesirable consequences of this high level of abstraction. First, nonlinearities and heterogeneities that can be critical to the dynamic behaviour of infections are poorly represented; second, estimating the transmission coefficient β from field data is often very difficult. In this paper, we present a conceptual model, which breaks the transmission process into its component parts. This deconstruction enables us to identify circumstances that generate nonlinearities in transmission, with potential implications for emergent transmission behaviour at individual and population scales. Such behaviour cannot be explained by the traditional linear transmission frameworks. The deconstruction also provides a clearer link to the empirical estimation of key components of transmission and enables the construction of flexible models that produce a unified understanding of the spread of both micro- and macro-parasite infectious disease agents. This article is part of the themed issue ‘Opening the black box: re-examining the ecology and evolution of parasite transmission’. PMID:28289252

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. Feline lungworms unlock a novel mode of parasite transmission.

    PubMed

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

    2015-08-14

    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.

  11. 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

  12. Host-parasite genetic interactions and virulence-transmission relationships in natural populations of monarch butterflies.

    PubMed

    de Roode, Jacobus C; Altizer, Sonia

    2010-02-01

    Evolutionary models predict that parasite virulence (parasite-induced host mortality) can evolve as a consequence of natural selection operating on between-host parasite transmission. Two major assumptions are that virulence and transmission are genetically related and that the relative virulence and transmission of parasite genotypes remain similar across host genotypes. We conducted a cross-infection experiment using monarch butterflies and their protozoan parasites from two populations in eastern and western North America. We tested each of 10 host family lines against each of 18 parasite genotypes and measured virulence (host life span) and parasite transmission potential (spore load). Consistent with virulence evolution theory, we found a positive relationship between virulence and transmission across parasite genotypes. However, the absolute values of virulence and transmission differed among host family lines, as did the rank order of parasite clones along the virulence-transmission relationship. Population-level analyses showed that parasites from western North America caused higher infection levels and virulence, but there was no evidence of local adaptation of parasites on sympatric hosts. Collectively, our results suggest that host genotypes can affect the strength and direction of selection on virulence in natural populations, and that predicting virulence evolution may require building genotype-specific interactions into simpler trade-off models.

  13. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-08-22

    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.

  15. Alternative parasite development in transmission strategies: how time flies!

    PubMed

    Badets, M; Morrison, C; Verneau, O

    2010-10-01

    Among parasitic platyhelminths with complex life cycles, it has been well documented that transmission opportunities are the main forces shaping the diversity of life-history traits and parasite developmental strategies. While deviations in the development pathway usually involve shortening of life cycles, their extension may also occur following perception of remaining time by parasites. Polystoma gallieni, the monogenean parasite of Hyla meridionalis, is able to trigger two alternative developmental strategies depending on the physiological stage of the tadpoles upon which larvae attach. The distribution and reproductive outputs of both resulting phenotypes were surveyed to address questions about the dynamics of transmission in natural environments. Because modifications in the completion of life cycles can have drawbacks which may perturb the dynamic equilibrium of the resulting host-parasite systems, experimental infestations were also performed to assess parasite-parasite interactions. Our results suggest that the bladder adult phenotype, which involves transmission between frogs and tadpoles, is supplied secondarily by the branchial phenotype which involves transmission between tadpoles and metamorphs. They also support the occurrence of finely tuned trade-offs between hosts and parasites and highlight positive trends behind the extension of direct life cycles, in which host-derived signals account for the remaining time to achieve parasitic transmission.

  16. 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

  17. Evaluating parasite densities and estimation of parameters in transmission systems.

    PubMed

    Heinzmann, D; Torgerson, P R

    2008-09-01

    Mathematical modelling of parasite transmission systems can provide useful information about host parasite interactions and biology and parasite population dynamics. In addition good predictive models may assist in designing control programmes to reduce the burden of human and animal disease. Model building is only the first part of the process. These models then need to be confronted with data to obtain parameter estimates and the accuracy of these estimates has to be evaluated. Estimation of parasite densities is central to this. Parasite density estimates can include the proportion of hosts infected with parasites (prevalence) or estimates of the parasite biomass within the host population (abundance or intensity estimates). Parasite density estimation is often complicated by highly aggregated distributions of parasites within the hosts. This causes additional challenges when calculating transmission parameters. Using Echinococcus spp. as a model organism, this manuscript gives a brief overview of the types of descriptors of parasite densities, how to estimate them and on the use of these estimates in a transmission model.

  18. Predator diversity, intraguild predation, and indirect effects drive parasite transmission

    PubMed Central

    Rohr, Jason R.; Civitello, David J.; Crumrine, Patrick W.; Halstead, Neal T.; Miller, Andrew D.; Schotthoefer, Anna M.; Stenoien, Carl; Johnson, Lucinda B.; Beasley, Val R.

    2015-01-01

    Humans are altering biodiversity globally and infectious diseases are on the rise; thus, there is interest in understanding how changes to biodiversity affect disease. Here, we explore how predator diversity shapes parasite transmission. In a mesocosm experiment that manipulated predator (larval dragonflies and damselflies) density and diversity, non-intraguild (non-IG) predators that only consume free-living cercariae (parasitic trematodes) reduced metacercarial infections in tadpoles, whereas intraguild (IG) predators that consume both parasites and tadpole hosts did not. This likely occurred because IG predators reduced tadpole densities and anticercarial behaviors, increasing per capita exposure rates of the surviving tadpoles (i.e., via density- and trait-mediated effects) despite the consumption of parasites. A mathematical model demonstrated that non-IG predators reduce macroparasite infections, but IG predation weakens this “dilution effect” and can even amplify parasite burdens. Consistent with the experiment and model, a wetland survey revealed that the diversity of IG predators was unrelated to metacercarial burdens in amphibians, but the diversity of non-IG predators was negatively correlated with infections. These results are strikingly similar to generalities that have emerged from the predator diversity–pest biocontrol literature, suggesting that there may be general mechanisms for pest control and that biocontrol research might inform disease management and vice versa. In summary, we identified a general trait of predators—where they fall on an IG predation continuum—that predicts their ability to reduce infections and possibly pests in general. Consequently, managing assemblages of predators represents an underused tool for the management of human and wildlife diseases and pest populations. PMID:25713379

  19. Predator diversity, intraguild predation, and indirect effects drive parasite transmission.

    PubMed

    Rohr, Jason R; Civitello, David J; Crumrine, Patrick W; Halstead, Neal T; Miller, Andrew D; Schotthoefer, Anna M; Stenoien, Carl; Johnson, Lucinda B; Beasley, Val R

    2015-03-10

    Humans are altering biodiversity globally and infectious diseases are on the rise; thus, there is interest in understanding how changes to biodiversity affect disease. Here, we explore how predator diversity shapes parasite transmission. In a mesocosm experiment that manipulated predator (larval dragonflies and damselflies) density and diversity, non-intraguild (non-IG) predators that only consume free-living cercariae (parasitic trematodes) reduced metacercarial infections in tadpoles, whereas intraguild (IG) predators that consume both parasites and tadpole hosts did not. This likely occurred because IG predators reduced tadpole densities and anticercarial behaviors, increasing per capita exposure rates of the surviving tadpoles (i.e., via density- and trait-mediated effects) despite the consumption of parasites. A mathematical model demonstrated that non-IG predators reduce macroparasite infections, but IG predation weakens this "dilution effect" and can even amplify parasite burdens. Consistent with the experiment and model, a wetland survey revealed that the diversity of IG predators was unrelated to metacercarial burdens in amphibians, but the diversity of non-IG predators was negatively correlated with infections. These results are strikingly similar to generalities that have emerged from the predator diversity-pest biocontrol literature, suggesting that there may be general mechanisms for pest control and that biocontrol research might inform disease management and vice versa. In summary, we identified a general trait of predators--where they fall on an IG predation continuum--that predicts their ability to reduce infections and possibly pests in general. Consequently, managing assemblages of predators represents an underused tool for the management of human and wildlife diseases and pest populations.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. Host social organization and mating system shape parasite transmission opportunities in three European bat species.

    PubMed

    van Schaik, J; Kerth, G

    2017-02-01

    For non-mobile parasites living on social hosts, infection dynamics are strongly influenced by host life history and social system. We explore the impact of host social systems on parasite population dynamics by comparing the infection intensity and transmission opportunities of three mite species of the genus Spinturnix across their three European bat hosts (Myotis daubentonii, Myotis myotis, Myotis nattereri) during the bats' autumn mating season. Mites mainly reproduce in host maternity colonies in summer, but as these colonies are closed, opportunities for inter-colony transmission are limited to host interactions during the autumn mating season. The three investigated hosts differ considerably in their social system, most notably in maternity colony size, mating system, and degree of male summer aggregation. We observed marked differences in parasite infection during the autumn mating period between the species, closely mirroring the predictions made based on the social systems of the hosts. Increased host aggregation sizes in summer yielded higher overall parasite prevalence and intensity, both in male and female hosts. Moreover, parasite levels in male hosts differentially increased throughout the autumn mating season in concordance with the degree of contact with female hosts afforded by the different mating systems of the hosts. Critically, the observed host-specific differences have important consequences for parasite population structure and will thus affect the coevolutionary dynamics between the interacting species. Therefore, in order to accurately characterize host-parasite dynamics in hosts with complex social systems, a holistic approach that investigates parasite infection and transmission across all periods is warranted.

  3. Transmission of Microsporidian Parasites of Mosquitoes.

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1983-06-01

    Microsporidia of the family Thelohaniidae are common parasites of mos- quitoes and certain other invertebrates . They have complex life cycles and exhibit...sporonts in electron micrographs. Spores from larvae and adult males appear short pyriform with a sharp point at the anterior end when viewed in fresh ...and an assay Jar, each containing about 500 ml of aged tap water . The experimental Jar contained one to many individuals of a candidate intermediate

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. A parasitic selfish gene that affects host promiscuity.

    PubMed

    Giraldo-Perez, Paulina; Goddard, Matthew R

    2013-11-07

    Selfish genes demonstrate transmission bias and invade sexual populations despite conferring no benefit to their hosts. While the molecular genetics and evolutionary dynamics of selfish genes are reasonably well characterized, their effects on hosts are not. Homing endonuclease genes (HEGs) are one well-studied family of selfish genes that are assumed to be benign. However, we show that carrying HEGs is costly for Saccharomyces cerevisiae, demonstrating that these genetic elements are not necessarily benign but maybe parasitic. We estimate a selective load of approximately 1-2% in 'natural' niches. The second aspect we examine is the ability of HEGs to affect hosts' sexual behaviour. As all selfish genes critically rely on sex for spread, then any selfish gene correlated with increased host sexuality will enjoy a transmission advantage. While classic parasites are known to manipulate host behaviour, we are not aware of any evidence showing a selfish gene is capable of affecting host promiscuity. The data presented here show a selfish element may increase the propensity of its eukaryote host to undergo sex and along with increased rates of non-Mendelian inheritance, this may counterbalance mitotic selective load and promote spread. Demonstration that selfish genes are correlated with increased promiscuity in eukaryotes connects with ideas suggesting that selfish genes promoted the evolution of sex initially.

  7. The role of insects in mechanical transmission of zoonotic human parasites.

    PubMed

    El-Sherbini, Gehad T; Khalil, Hazem H M

    2010-12-01

    Arthropods can be found on human or animals as ecto-parasites as well as endo-parasites. The ecto-parasites or vectors can contaminate stored foods and transmit illness, or introduced diseases in new area. Pet species facilitating infestations, and different risk factors related to infestation were identified. Insect prevention and control is necessary to prevent the transmission of pathogens that could affect animal and human health and the maintenance of good hygiene. We conclude that although biological control looks promising, more research should be done concerning its side effects. Currently, optimal monitoring and prevention seem to offer the best solution.

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. Host plant species affects virulence in monarch butterfly parasites.

    PubMed

    de Roode, Jacobus C; Pedersen, Amy B; Hunter, Mark D; Altizer, Sonia

    2008-01-01

    1. Studies have considered how intrinsic host and parasite properties determine parasite virulence, but have largely ignored the role of extrinsic ecological factors in its expression. 2. We studied how parasite genotype and host plant species interact to determine virulence of the protozoan parasite Ophryocystis elektroscirrha (McLaughlin & Myers 1970) in the monarch butterfly Danaus plexippus L. We infected monarch larvae with one of four parasite genotypes and reared them on two milkweed species that differed in their levels of cardenolides: toxic chemicals involved in predator defence. 3. Parasite infection, replication and virulence were affected strongly by host plant species. While uninfected monarchs lived equally long on both plant species, infected monarchs suffered a greater reduction in their life spans (55% vs. 30%) on the low-cardenolide vs. the high-cardenolide host plant. These life span differences resulted from different levels of parasite replication in monarchs reared on the two plant species. 4. The virulence rank order of parasite genotypes was unaffected by host plant species, suggesting that host plant species affected parasite genotypes similarly, rather than through complex plant species-parasite genotype interactions. 5. Our results demonstrate that host ecology importantly affects parasite virulence, with implications for host-parasite dynamics in natural populations.

  11. Transmission of Babesia microti Parasites by Solid Organ Transplantation.

    PubMed

    Brennan, Meghan B; Herwaldt, Barbara L; Kazmierczak, James J; Weiss, John W; Klein, Christina L; Leith, Catherine P; He, Rong; Oberley, Matthew J; Tonnetti, Laura; Wilkins, Patricia P; Gauthier, Gregory M

    2016-11-01

    Babesia microti, an intraerythrocytic parasite, is tickborne in nature. In contrast to transmission by blood transfusion, which has been well documented, transmission associated with solid organ transplantation has not been reported. We describe parasitologically confirmed cases of babesiosis diagnosed ≈8 weeks posttransplantation in 2 recipients of renal allografts from an organ donor who was multiply transfused on the day he died from traumatic injuries. The organ donor and recipients had no identified risk factors for tickborne infection. Antibodies against B. microti parasites were not detected by serologic testing of archived pretransplant specimens. However, 1 of the organ donor's blood donors was seropositive when tested postdonation and had risk factors for tick exposure. The organ donor probably served as a conduit of Babesia parasites from the seropositive blood donor to both kidney recipients. Babesiosis should be included in the differential diagnosis of unexplained fever and hemolytic anemia after blood transfusion or organ transplantation.

  12. Transmission of Babesia microti Parasites by Solid Organ Transplantation

    PubMed Central

    Herwaldt, Barbara L.; Kazmierczak, James J.; Weiss, John W.; Klein, Christina L.; Leith, Catherine P.; He, Rong; Oberley, Matthew J.; Tonnetti, Laura; Wilkins, Patricia P.; Gauthier, Gregory M.

    2016-01-01

    Babesia microti, an intraerythrocytic parasite, is tickborne in nature. In contrast to transmission by blood transfusion, which has been well documented, transmission associated with solid organ transplantation has not been reported. We describe parasitologically confirmed cases of babesiosis diagnosed ≈8 weeks posttransplantation in 2 recipients of renal allografts from an organ donor who was multiply transfused on the day he died from traumatic injuries. The organ donor and recipients had no identified risk factors for tickborne infection. Antibodies against B. microti parasites were not detected by serologic testing of archived pretransplant specimens. However, 1 of the organ donor’s blood donors was seropositive when tested postdonation and had risk factors for tick exposure. The organ donor probably served as a conduit of Babesia parasites from the seropositive blood donor to both kidney recipients. Babesiosis should be included in the differential diagnosis of unexplained fever and hemolytic anemia after blood transfusion or organ transplantation. PMID:27767010

  13. Strength in numbers: high parasite burdens increase transmission of a protozoan parasite of monarch butterflies (Danaus plexippus).

    PubMed

    de Roode, Jacobus C; Chi, Jean; Rarick, Rachel M; Altizer, Sonia

    2009-08-01

    Parasites often produce large numbers of offspring within their hosts. High parasite burdens are thought to be important for parasite transmission, but can also lower host fitness. We studied the protozoan Ophryocystis elektroscirrha, a common parasite of monarch butterflies (Danaus plexippus), to quantify the benefits of high parasite burdens for parasite transmission. This parasite is transmitted vertically when females scatter spores onto eggs and host plant leaves during oviposition; spores can also be transmitted between mating adults. Monarch larvae were experimentally infected and emerging adult females were mated and monitored in individual outdoor field cages. We provided females with fresh host plant material daily and quantified their lifespan and lifetime fecundity. Parasite transmission was measured by counting the numbers of parasite spores transferred to eggs and host plant leaves. We also quantified spores transferred from infected females to their mating partners. Infected monarchs had shorter lifespans and lower lifetime fecundity than uninfected monarchs. Among infected females, those with higher parasite loads transmitted more parasite spores to their eggs and to host plant leaves. There was also a trend for females with greater parasite loads to transmit more spores to their mating partners. These results demonstrate that high parasite loads on infected butterflies confer a strong fitness advantage to the parasite by increasing between-host transmission.

  14. Symbiont transmission entails the risk of parasite infection

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

    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

  15. It's a predator-eat-parasite world: how characteristics of predator, parasite and environment affect consumption.

    PubMed

    Orlofske, Sarah A; Jadin, Robert C; Johnson, Pieter T J

    2015-06-01

    Understanding the effects of predation on disease dynamics is increasingly important in light of the role ecological communities can play in host-parasite interactions. Surprisingly, however, few studies have characterized direct predation of parasites. Here we used an experimental approach to show that consumption of free-living parasite stages is highly context dependent, with significant influences of parasite size, predator size and foraging mode, as well as environmental condition. Among the four species of larval trematodes and two types of predators (fish and larval damselflies) studied here, parasites with larger infective stages (size >1,000 μm) were most vulnerable to predation by fish, while small-bodied fish and damselflies (size <10 mm) consumed the most infectious stages. Small parasite species (size approx. 500 μm) were less frequently consumed by both fish and larval damselflies. However, these results depended strongly on light availability; trials conducted in the dark led to significantly fewer parasites consumed overall, especially those with a size of <1,000 μm, emphasizing the importance of circadian shedding times of parasite free-living stages for predation risk. Intriguingly, active predation functioned to help limit fishes' infection by directly penetrating parasite species. Our results are consistent with established theory developed for predation on zooplankton that emphasizes the roles of body size, visibility and predation modes and further suggest that consumer-resource theory may provide a predictive framework for when predators should significantly influence parasite transmission. These results contribute to our understanding of transmission in natural systems, the role of predator-parasite links in food webs and the evolution of parasite morphology and behavior.

  16. Alternative life-history and transmission strategies in a parasite: first come, first served?

    PubMed

    Poulin, R; Lefebvre, F

    2006-01-01

    Alternative transmission strategies are common in many parasitic organisms, often representing discrete phenotypes adopted in response to external cues. The facultative truncation of the normal 3-host life-cycle to a 2-host cycle in many trematodes provides an example: some individuals mature precociously, via progenesis, in their intermediate host and produce eggs without the need to reach a definitive host. The factors that determine how many and which individuals adopt the truncated life-cycle within a parasite population remain unknown. We investigated the occurrence of progenesis in the trematode Stegodexamene anguillae within its fish intermediate host. Location within the host was a key determinant of progenesis. Although the size and egg output of progenetic metacercariae encysted in host gonads did not differ from those of the few progenetic metacercariae in other host tissues, the likelihood of metacercariae becoming progenetic was much higher for those in the gonads than those elsewhere in the host. Progenetic parasites can only evacuate their eggs along with host eggs or sperm, providing a link between the parasite's transmission strategy and its location in the host. Host size and sex, and the presence of other parasite species in the host, did not affect the occurrence of progenesis in S. anguillae. However, the proportion of metacercariae in host gonads and the proportion of progenetic metacercariae both decreased with increasing numbers of S. anguillae per host. These results suggest that progenesis is adopted mostly by the parasites that successfully establish in host gonads. These are generally the first to infect a fish; subsequent arrivals settle in other tissues as the gonads quickly become saturated with parasites. In this system, the site of encystment within the fish host both promotes and constrains the adoption of a facultative, truncated life-cycle by the parasite.

  17. Mechanical transmission of human protozoan parasites by insects.

    PubMed

    Graczyk, Thaddeus K; Knight, Ronald; Tamang, Leena

    2005-01-01

    The filthy breeding habits, feeding mechanisms, and indiscriminate travel between filth and food make some groups of synanthropic insects such as nonbiting flies and cockroaches efficient vectors of human enteric protozoan parasites. Twenty-one species of filth flies have been listed by regulatory agencies concerned with sanitation and public health as causative agents of gastrointestinal diseases based on synanthropy, endophily, communicative behavior, and strong attraction to filth and human food. Outbreaks and cases of food-borne diarrheal diseases in urban and rural areas are closely related to the seasonal increase in abundance of filth flies, and enforced fly control is closely related to reductions in the occurrence of such diseases. Mechanical transmission of human parasites by nonbiting flies and epidemiological involvement of other synanthropic insects in human food-borne diseases have not received adequate scientific attention.

  18. Mechanical Transmission of Human Protozoan Parasites by Insects

    PubMed Central

    Graczyk, Thaddeus K.; Knight, Ronald; Tamang, Leena

    2005-01-01

    The filthy breeding habits, feeding mechanisms, and indiscriminate travel between filth and food make some groups of synanthropic insects such as nonbiting flies and cockroaches efficient vectors of human enteric protozoan parasites. Twenty-one species of filth flies have been listed by regulatory agencies concerned with sanitation and public health as causative agents of gastrointestinal diseases based on synanthropy, endophily, communicative behavior, and strong attraction to filth and human food. Outbreaks and cases of food-borne diarrheal diseases in urban and rural areas are closely related to the seasonal increase in abundance of filth flies, and enforced fly control is closely related to reductions in the occurrence of such diseases. Mechanical transmission of human parasites by nonbiting flies and epidemiological involvement of other synanthropic insects in human food-borne diseases have not received adequate scientific attention. PMID:15653822

  19. Food stoichiometry affects the outcome of Daphnia–parasite interaction

    PubMed Central

    Aalto, Sanni L; Pulkkinen, Katja

    2013-01-01

    Phosphorus (P) is an essential nutrient for growth in consumers. P-limitation and parasite infection comprise one of the most common stressor pairs consumers confront in nature. We conducted a life-table study using a Daphnia–microsporidian parasite model, feeding uninfected or infected Daphnia with either P-sufficient or P-limited algae, and assessed the impact of the two stressors on life-history traits of the host. Both infection and P-limitation negatively affected some life-history traits tested. However, under P-limitation, infected animals had higher juvenile growth rate as compared with uninfected animals. All P-limited individuals died before maturation, regardless of infection. The numbers of spore clusters of the microsporidian parasite did not differ in P-limited or P-sufficient hosts. P-limitation, but not infection, decreased body phosphorus content and ingestion rates of Daphnia tested in separate experiments. As parasite spore production did not suffer even under extreme P-limitation, our results suggest that parasite was less limited by P than the host. We discuss possible interpretations concerning the stoichiometrical demands of parasite and suggest that our results are explained by parasite-driven changes in carbon (C) allocation of the hosts. We conclude that the impact of nutrient starvation and parasite infection on consumers depends not only on the stoichiometric demands of host but also those of the parasite. PMID:23762513

  20. Can environmental change affect host/parasite-mediated speciation?

    PubMed

    Brunner, Franziska S; Eizaguirre, Christophe

    2016-08-01

    Parasitism can be a driver of species divergence and thereby significantly alter species formation processes. While we still need to better understand how parasite-mediated speciation functions, it is even less clear how this process is affected by environmental change. Both rapid and gradual changes of the environment can modify host immune responses, parasite virulence and the specificity of their interactions. They will thereby change host-parasite evolutionary trajectories and the potential for speciation in both hosts and parasites. Here, we summarise mechanisms of host-parasite interactions affecting speciation and subsequently consider their susceptibility to environmental changes. We mainly focus on the effects of temperature change and nutrient input to ecosystems as they are major environmental stressors. There is evidence for both disruptive and accelerating effects of those pressures on speciation that seem to be context-dependent. A prerequisite for parasite-driven host speciation is that parasites significantly alter the host's Darwinian fitness. This can rapidly lead to divergent selection and genetic adaptation; however, it is likely preceded by more short-term plastic and transgenerational effects. Here, we also consider how these first responses and their susceptibility to environmental changes could lead to alterations of the species formation process and may provide alternative pathways to speciation.

  1. Waterborne transmission of protozoan parasites: Review of worldwide outbreaks - An update 2011-2016.

    PubMed

    Efstratiou, Artemis; Ongerth, Jerry E; Karanis, Panagiotis

    2017-05-01

    This review provides a comprehensive update of worldwide waterborne parasitic protozoan outbreaks that occurred with reports published since previous reviews largely between January 2011 and December 2016. At least 381 outbreaks attributed to waterborne transmission of parasitic protozoa were documented during this time period. The nearly half (49%) of reports occurred in New Zealand, 41% of the outbreaks in North America and 9% in Europe. The most common etiological agent was Cryptosporidium spp., reported in 63% (239) of the outbreaks, while Giardia spp. was mentioned in 37% (142). No outbreaks attributed to other parasitic protozoa were reported. The distribution of reported outbreaks does not correspond to more broadly available epidemiological data or general knowledge of water and environmental conditions in the reporting countries. Noticeably, developing countries that are probably most affected by such waterborne disease outbreaks still lack reliable surveillance systems, and an international standardization of surveillance and reporting systems has yet to be established.

  2. Evolution of trophic transmission in parasites: Why add intermediate hosts?

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Choisy, Marc; Brown, Sam P.; Lafferty, Kevin D.; Thomas, Frédéric

    2003-01-01

    Although multihost complex life cycles (CLCs) are common in several distantly related groups of parasites, their evolution remains poorly understood. In this article, we argue that under particular circumstances, adding a second host to a single-host life cycle is likely to enhance transmission (i.e., reaching the target host). For instance, in several situations, the propagules of a parasite exploiting a predator species will achieve a higher host-finding success by encysting in a prey of the target predator than by other dispersal modes. In such a case, selection should favor the transition from a singleto a two-host life cycle that includes the prey species as an intermediate host. We use an optimality model to explore this idea, and we discuss it in relation to dispersal strategies known among free-living species, especially animal dispersal. The model found that selection favored a complex life cycle only if intermediate hosts were more abundant than definitive hosts. The selective value of a complex life cycle increased with predation rates by definitive hosts on intermediate hosts. In exploring trade-offs between transmission strategies, we found that more costly trade-offs made it more difficult to evolve a CLC while less costly trade-offs between traits could favor a mixed strategy.

  3. 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.

  4. Exploited and excreting: parasite type affects host nutrient recycling.

    PubMed

    Narr, Charlotte F; Frost, Paul C

    2016-08-01

    Parasite-induced changes in the nutrient balance of hosts could alter the availability of nutrients in ecosystems by changing consumer-driven nutrient recycling. While these effects on host nutrient use are mediated by host physiology, they likely depend on characteristics of the parasite and host diet quality. We examined this possibility by measuring nutrient release rates of uninfected Daphnia and conspecifics infected by two microparasites (the bacterium Pasteuria ramosa and the microsporidium Hamiltosporidium tvaerminnensis) from daphnid hosts fed food that varied in phosphorus content. We found that infection type and diet affected host nutrient release rates, but the strength of these effects varied among parasite treatments. To improve our understanding of these effects, we examined whether two separate aspects of host exploitation (parasite-induced reductions in host fecundity and parasite load) could account for variation in Daphnia nutrient release, ingestion, and elemental ratios caused by our infection and diet treatments. Regardless of whether we compared individuals across infection type or diet treatment, Daphnia fecundity described variation in multiple aspects of host nutrient use better than infection, diet, or spore load. Our results suggest that parasite-induced changes in host nutrient use are both parasite and diet specific, and that host fecundity could be a useful parameter for predicting the magnitude and direction of these changes.

  5. Temperature-dependent transmission and latency of Holospora undulata, a micronucleus-specific parasite of the ciliate Paramecium caudatum

    PubMed Central

    Fels, Daniel; Kaltz, Oliver

    2006-01-01

    Transmission of parasites to new hosts crucially depends on the timing of production of transmission stages and their capacity to start an infection. These parameters may be influenced by genetic factors, but also by the environment. We tested the effects of temperature and host genotype on infection probability and latency in experimental populations of the ciliate Paramecium caudatum, after exposure to infectious forms of its bacterial parasite Holospora undulata. Temperature had a significant effect on the expression of genetic variation for transmission and maintenance of infection. Overall, low temperature (10 °C) increased levels of (multiple) infection, but arrested parasite development; higher temperatures (23 and 30 °C) accelerated the onset of production of infectious forms, but limited transmission success. Viability of infectious forms declined rapidly at 23 and 30 °C, thereby narrowing the time window for transmission. Thus, environmental conditions can generate trade-offs between transmission relevant parameters and alter levels of multiple infection or parasite-mediated selection, which may affect evolutionary trajectories of parasite life history or virulence. PMID:16627290

  6. Chemical Factors in Development and Transmission of Human Parasites.

    DTIC Science & Technology

    PARASITES, *PREVENTIVE MEDICINE, *BIOCIDES, *REPELLENTS, HORMONES, TABLES(DATA), SCHISTOSOMA MANSONI , BRAZIL, PARASITIC DISEASES, DISEASE VECTORS, INSECT REPELLENTS, CHAGAS DISEASE, TRYPANOSOMA CRUZI.

  7. Larval nutritional stress affects vector life history traits and human malaria transmission

    PubMed Central

    Vantaux, Amélie; Lefèvre, Thierry; Cohuet, Anna; Dabiré, Kounbobr Roch; Roche, Benjamin; Roux, Olivier

    2016-01-01

    Exposure to stress during an insect’s larval development can have carry-over effects on adult life history traits and susceptibility to pathogens. We investigated the effects of larval nutritional stress for the first time using field mosquito vectors and malaria parasites. In contrast to previous studies, we show that larval nutritional stress may affect human to mosquito transmission antagonistically: nutritionally deprived larvae showed lower parasite prevalence for only one gametocyte carrier; they also had lower fecundity. However, they had greater survival rates that were even higher when infected. When combining these opposing effects into epidemiological models, we show that larval nutritional stress induced a decrease in malaria transmission at low mosquito densities and an increase in transmission at high mosquito densities, whereas transmission by mosquitoes from well-fed larvae was stable. Our work underscores the importance of including environmental stressors towards understanding host–parasite dynamics to improve disease transmission models and control. PMID:27827429

  8. Larval nutritional stress affects vector life history traits and human malaria transmission.

    PubMed

    Vantaux, Amélie; Lefèvre, Thierry; Cohuet, Anna; Dabiré, Kounbobr Roch; Roche, Benjamin; Roux, Olivier

    2016-11-09

    Exposure to stress during an insect's larval development can have carry-over effects on adult life history traits and susceptibility to pathogens. We investigated the effects of larval nutritional stress for the first time using field mosquito vectors and malaria parasites. In contrast to previous studies, we show that larval nutritional stress may affect human to mosquito transmission antagonistically: nutritionally deprived larvae showed lower parasite prevalence for only one gametocyte carrier; they also had lower fecundity. However, they had greater survival rates that were even higher when infected. When combining these opposing effects into epidemiological models, we show that larval nutritional stress induced a decrease in malaria transmission at low mosquito densities and an increase in transmission at high mosquito densities, whereas transmission by mosquitoes from well-fed larvae was stable. Our work underscores the importance of including environmental stressors towards understanding host-parasite dynamics to improve disease transmission models and control.

  9. Interspecific competition during transmission of two sympatric malaria parasite species to the mosquito vector.

    PubMed Central

    Paul, Rick E L; Nu, Van Anh Ton; Krettli, Antoniana U; Brey, Paul T

    2002-01-01

    The role of species interactions in structuring parasite communities remains controversial. Here, we show that interspecific competition between two avian malaria parasite species, Plasmodium gallinaceum and P. juxtanucleare, occurs as a result of interference during parasite fertilization within the bloodmeal of the mosquito. The significant reduction in the transmission success of P. gallinaceum to mosquitoes, due to the co-infecting P. juxtanucleare, is predicted to have compromised its colonization of regions occupied by P. juxtanucleare and, thus, may have contributed to the restricted global distribution of P. gallinaceum. Such interspecies interactions may occur between human malaria parasites and, thus, impact upon parasite species epidemiology, especially in regions of seasonal transmission. PMID:12573069

  10. 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

  11. Uncertain links in host–parasite networks: lessons for parasite transmission in a multi-host system

    PubMed Central

    2017-01-01

    For many parasites, the full set of hosts that are susceptible to infection is not known, and this could lead to a bias in estimates of transmission. We used counts of individual adult parasites from historical parasitology studies in southern Africa to map a bipartite network of the nematode parasites of herbivore hosts that occur in Botswana. Bipartite networks are used in community ecology to represent interactions across trophic levels. We used a Bayesian hierarchical model to predict the full set of host–parasite interactions from existing data on parasitic gastrointestinal nematodes of wild and domestic ungulates given assumptions about the distribution of parasite counts within hosts, while accounting for the relative uncertainty of less sampled species. We used network metrics to assess the difference between the observed and predicted networks, and to explore the connections between hosts via their shared parasites using a host–host unipartite network projected from the bipartite network. The model predicts a large number of missing links and identifies red hartebeest, giraffe and steenbok as the hosts that have the most uncertainty in parasite diversity. Further, the unipartite network reveals clusters of herbivores that have a high degree of parasite sharing, and these clusters correspond closely with phylogenetic distance rather than with the wild/domestic boundary. These results provide a basis for predicting the risk of cross-species transmission of nematode parasites in areas where livestock and wildlife share grazing land. This article is part of the themed issue ‘Opening the black box: re-examining the ecology and evolution of parasite transmission’. PMID:28289262

  12. Apparent vector-mediated parent-to-offspring transmission in an avian malaria-like parasite.

    PubMed

    Chakarov, Nayden; Linke, Burkhard; Boerner, Martina; Goesmann, Alexander; Krüger, Oliver; Hoffman, Joseph I

    2015-03-01

    Parasite transmission strategies strongly impact host-parasite co-evolution and virulence. However, studies of vector-borne parasites such as avian malaria have neglected the potential effects of host relatedness on the exchange of parasites. To test whether extended parental care in the presence of vectors increases the probability of transmission from parents to offspring, we used high-throughput sequencing to develop microsatellites for malaria-like Leucocytozoon parasites of a wild raptor population. We show that host siblings carry genetically more similar parasites than unrelated chicks both within and across years. Moreover, chicks of mothers of the same plumage morph carried more similar parasites than nestlings whose mothers were of different morphs, consistent with matrilineal transmission of morph-specific parasite strains. Ours is the first evidence of an association between host relatedness and parasite genetic similarity, consistent with vector-mediated parent-to-offspring transmission. The conditions for such 'quasi-vertical' transmission may be common and could suppress the evolution of pathogen virulence.

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

    PubMed

    Greenspoon, Philip B; M'Gonigle, Leithen K

    2013-06-22

    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.

  14. Enhanced transmission of drug-resistant parasites to mosquitoes following drug treatment in rodent malaria.

    PubMed

    Bell, Andrew S; Huijben, Silvie; Paaijmans, Krijn P; Sim, Derek G; Chan, Brian H K; Nelson, William A; Read, Andrew F

    2012-01-01

    The evolution of drug resistant Plasmodium parasites is a major challenge to effective malaria control. In theory, competitive interactions between sensitive parasites and resistant parasites within infections are a major determinant of the rate at which parasite evolution undermines drug efficacy. Competitive suppression of resistant parasites in untreated hosts slows the spread of resistance; competitive release following treatment enhances it. Here we report that for the murine model Plasmodium chabaudi, co-infection with drug-sensitive parasites can prevent the transmission of initially rare resistant parasites to mosquitoes. Removal of drug-sensitive parasites following chemotherapy enabled resistant parasites to transmit to mosquitoes as successfully as sensitive parasites in the absence of treatment. We also show that the genetic composition of gametocyte populations in host venous blood accurately reflects the genetic composition of gametocytes taken up by mosquitoes. Our data demonstrate that, at least for this mouse model, aggressive chemotherapy leads to very effective transmission of highly resistant parasites that are present in an infection, the very parasites which undermine the long term efficacy of front-line drugs.

  15. 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.

  16. Local mate competition and transmission bottlenecks: a new model for understanding malaria parasite and other sex ratios.

    PubMed

    Neal, Allison T; Taylor, Peter D

    2014-12-21

    The local mate competition model from sex ratio theory predicts female-biased sex ratios in populations that are highly subdivided during mating, and is thought to accord well with the population structure of malaria parasites. However, the selective advantage of female-biased sex ratios comes from the resulting increase in total reproductive output, an advantage the transmission biology of malaria parasite likely reduces. We develop a mathematical model to determine how bottlenecks in transmission that cause diminishing fitness returns from female production affect sex ratio evolution. We develop four variations of this model that incorporate whether or not parasite clones have the ability to detect others that occupy the same host and whether or not the number of clones affects the total mating population size. Our model indicates that transmission bottlenecks favor less female-biased sex ratios than those predicted under LMC. This effect is particularly pronounced if clones have no information about the presence of coexisting clones and the number of mating individuals per patch is fixed. The model could extend our understanding of malaria parasite sex ratios in three main ways. First, it identifies inconsistencies between the theoretical predictions and the data presented in a previous study, and proposes revised predictions that are more consistent with underlying biology of the parasite. Second, it may account for the positive association between parasite density and sex ratio observed within and between some species. Third, it predicts a relationship between mortality rates in the vector and sex ratios, which appears to be supported by the little existing data we have. While the inspiration for this model came from malaria parasites, it should apply to any system in which per capita dispersal success diminishes with increasing numbers of females in a patch.

  17. Virulence-transmission trade-offs and population divergence in virulence in a naturally occurring butterfly parasite

    PubMed Central

    de Roode, Jacobus C.; Yates, Andrew J.; Altizer, Sonia

    2008-01-01

    Why do parasites harm their hosts? Conventional wisdom holds that because parasites depend on their hosts for survival and transmission, they should evolve to become benign, yet many parasites cause harm. Theory predicts that parasites could evolve virulence (i.e., parasite-induced reductions in host fitness) by balancing the transmission benefits of parasite replication with the costs of host death. This idea has led researchers to predict how human interventions—such as vaccines—may alter virulence evolution, yet empirical support is critically lacking. We studied a protozoan parasite of monarch butterflies and found that higher levels of within-host replication resulted in both higher virulence and greater transmission, thus lending support to the idea that selection for parasite transmission can favor parasite genotypes that cause substantial harm. Parasite fitness was maximized at an intermediate level of parasite replication, beyond which the cost of increased host mortality outweighed the benefit of increased transmission. A separate experiment confirmed genetic relationships between parasite replication and virulence, and showed that parasite genotypes from two monarch populations caused different virulence. These results show that selection on parasite transmission can explain why parasites harm their hosts, and suggest that constraints imposed by host ecology can lead to population divergence in parasite virulence. PMID:18492806

  18. Disease transmission in an extreme environment: nematode parasites infect reindeer during the Arctic winter.

    PubMed

    Carlsson, Anja M; Justin Irvine, R; Wilson, Kenneth; Piertney, Stuart B; Halvorsen, Odd; Coulson, Stephen J; Stien, Audun; Albon, Steve D

    2012-07-01

    Parasitic nematodes are found in almost all wild vertebrate populations but few studies have investigated these host-parasite relationships in the wild. For parasites with free-living stages, the external environment has a major influence on life-history traits, and development and survival is generally low at sub-zero temperatures. For reindeer that inhabit the high Arctic archipelago of Svalbard, parasite transmission is expected to occur in the summer, due to the extreme environmental conditions and the reduced food intake by the host in winter. Here we show experimentally that, contrary to most parasitic nematodes, Marshallagia marshalli of Svalbard reindeer is transmitted during the Arctic winter. Winter transmission was demonstrated by removing parasites in the autumn, using a novel delayed-release anthelmintic bolus, and estimating re-infection rates in reindeer sampled in October, February and April. Larval stages of nematodes were identified using molecular tools, whereas adult stages were identified using microscopy. The abundance of M. marshalli adult worms and L4s increased significantly from October to April, indicating that reindeer were being infected with L3s from the pasture throughout the winter. To our knowledge, this study is the first to experimentally demonstrate over-winter transmission of a gastro-intestinal nematode parasite in a wild animal. Potential mechanisms associated with this unusual transmission strategy are discussed in light of our knowledge of the life-history traits of this parasite.

  19. Natural parasite infection affects the tolerance but not the response to a simulated secondary parasite infection.

    PubMed

    Lutermann, Heike; Bodenstein, Chimoné; Bennett, Nigel C

    2012-01-01

    Parasites deplete the resources of their host and can consequently affect the investment in competing traits (e.g. reproduction and immune defence). The immunocompetence handicap hypothesis posits that testosterone (T) mediates trade-offs between parasite defence and reproductive investment by suppressing immune function in male vertebrates while more recently a role for glucocorticoids (e.g. cortisol (C)) in resource allocation has been suggested. These hypotheses however, have not always found support in wild animals, possibly because most studies focus on a single parasite species, whereas infections with multiple parasites are the rule in nature. We measured body mass, T- and C-levels of wild male highveld mole-rats (Cryptomys hottentotus pretoriae) naturally uninfected or infected with a cestode (Mathevotaenia sp.) right after capture. Subsequently, we injected animals subcutaneously with a lipopolysaccharide (LPS) to simulate a bacterial infection and recorded changes in body mass, food intake, haematological parameters and hormone levels. As a control, animals were injected with saline. Natural infection neither affected initial body mass nor C-levels, whereas infected males had significantly reduced T-levels. We observed significant reductions in food intake, body mass and T in response to LPS but not saline while C increased. However, this response did not vary with infection status. In contrast, final body mass and some haematological parameters were significantly lowered in infected males. Our results suggest that naturally infected males are able to compensate for resource depletion by physiological adjustments. However, this leaves them less tolerant to the challenges of a secondary infection.

  20. Parasites

    MedlinePlus

    ... Where to Find Further Information on Parasitic Diseases Public Health Image Library Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) Explore Parasites A-Z Index Parasites Glossary Education and Training Healthy Water Travelers Health Laboratory ... Science Parasites About Parasites Animals ...

  1. 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.

  2. A class of tricyclic compounds blocking malaria parasite oocyst development and transmission.

    PubMed

    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; Su, Xin-Zhuan

    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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. Network transmission inference: host behavior and parasite life cycle make social networks meaningful in disease ecology.

    PubMed

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

    2013-12-01

    The process of disease transmission is determined by the interaction of host susceptibility and exposure to parasite infectious stages. Host behavior is an important determinant of the likelihood of exposure to infectious stages but is difficult to measure and often assumed to be homogenous in models of disease spread. We evaluated the importance of precisely defining host contact when using networks that estimate exposure and predict infection prevalence in a replicated, empirical system. In particular, we hypothesized that infection patterns would be predicted only by a contact network that is defined according to host behavior and parasite life cycle. Two competing host contact criteria were used to construct networks defined by parasite life cycle and social contacts. First, parasite-defined contacts were based on shared space with a time delay corresponding to the environmental development time of nematode parasites with a direct fecal-oral life cycle. Second, social contacts were defined by shared space in the same time period. To quantify the competing networks of exposure and infection, we sampled natural populations of the eastern chipmunk (Tamias striatus) and infection of their gastrointestinal helminth community using replicated longitudinal capture-mark-recapture techniques. We predicted that (1) infection with parasites with direct fecal-oral life cycles would be explained by the time delay contact network, but not the social contact network; (2) infection with parasites with trophic life cycles (via a mobile intermediate host; thus, spatially decoupling transmission from host contact) would not be explained by either contact network. The prevalence of fecal-oral life cycle nematode parasites was strongly correlated to the number and strength of network connections from the parasite-defined network (including the time delay), while the prevalence of trophic life cycle parasites was not correlated with any network metrics. We concluded that

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. 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 ...

  12. 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.

  13. Transmission of fish parasites into grouper mariculture (Serranidae: Epinephelus coioides (Hamilton, 1822)) in Lampung Bay, Indonesia.

    PubMed

    Rückert, Sonja; Klimpel, Sven; Al-Quraishy, Saleh; Mehlhorn, Heinz; Palm, Harry W

    2009-02-01

    Differently fed groupers Epinephelus coioides from an Indonesian finfish mariculture farm were studied for ecto- and endohelminth parasites. Pellet-fed E. coioides were infested with 13 parasite species/taxa of which six had a monoxenous and seven a heteroxenous life cycle. A total of 14 parasite species/taxa were found in the fish that were fed with different trash fish species, four of them with a monoxenous and ten with a heteroxenous life cycle. The use of pellet food significantly reduced the transfer of endohelminths and the number of parasites with a heteroxenous life cycle. Out of ten studied trash fish species, 62 parasite species were isolated (39% ectoparasitic and 61% endoparasitic), four of them also occurring in the cultured E. coioides and 14 in different groupers from Balai Budidaya Laut Lampung. The trash fish is held responsible for the transmission of these parasites into the mariculture fish. Endohelminth infestation of pellet fed fish demonstrates that parasite transfer also occurs via organisms that naturally live in, on, and in the surroundings of the net cages. Seventeen recorded invertebrates from the net cages might play an important role as intermediate hosts and hence parasite transmitters. The risk of parasite transfer can be considerably reduced by feeding selected trash fish species with a lower parasite burden, using only trash fish musculature or minimizing the abundance of invertebrates (fouling) on the net cages. These methods can control the endoparasite burden of cultivated fish without medication. The control of ectoparasites requires more elaborate techniques. Once they have succeeded in entering a mariculture farm, it is almost impossible to eliminate them from the system.

  14. 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

  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.

  16. Tetracycline treatment targeting Wolbachia affects expression of an array of proteins in Brugia malayi parasite.

    PubMed

    Dangi, Anil; Vedi, Satish; Nag, Jeetendra Kumar; Paithankar, Sameer; Singh, Mahendra Pratap; Kar, Santosh Kumar; Dube, Anuradha; Misra-Bhattacharya, Shailja

    2009-09-01

    Wolbachia is an intracellular endosymbiont of Brugia malayi parasite whose presence is essential for the survival of the parasite. Treatment of B. malayi-infected jirds with tetracycline eliminates Wolbachia, which affects parasite survival and fitness. In the present study we have tried to identify parasite proteins that are affected when Wolbachia is targeted by tetracycline. For this Wolbachia depleted parasites (B. malayi) were obtained by tetracycline treatment of infected Mongolian jirds (Meriones unguiculatus) and their protein profile after 2-DE separation was compared with that of untreated parasites harboring Wolbachia. Approximately 100 protein spots could be visualized followed by CBB staining of 2-D gel and included for comparative analysis. Of these, 54 showed differential expressions, while two new protein spots emerged (of 90.3 and 64.4 kDa). These proteins were subjected to further analysis by MALDI-TOF for their identification using Brugia coding sequence database composed of both genomic and EST sequences. Our study unravels two crucial findings: (i) the parasite or Wolbachia proteins, which disappeared/down-regulated appear be essential for parasite survival and may be used as drug targets and (ii) tetracycline treatment interferes with the regulatory machinery vital for parasites cellular integrity and defense and thus could possibly be a molecular mechanism for the killing of filarial parasite. This is the first proteomic study substantiating the wolbachial genome integrity with its nematode host and providing functional genomic data of human lymphatic filarial parasite B. malayi.

  17. Leishmania infections damage the feeding mechanism of the sandfly vector and implement parasite transmission by bite.

    PubMed Central

    Schlein, Y; Jacobson, R L; Messer, G

    1992-01-01

    Leishmania parasites are transmitted by the bites of infected female sandflies by a mechanism that has not been clarified. Leishmania infections in the vector develop only in the gut, and the parasites' exit is through the food channel in the proboscis. The problem is how during the bite, when blood flows in, parasites are emitted through the same channel in the opposite direction. It is well documented that infected sandflies maintained on sugar diets are potent vectors, whereas transmission fails after constant feeding on blood. Hence to study the mechanism of transmission, we fed these diets to Phlebotomus papatasi infected with L. major. Histological examination demonstrated that only in the sugar-fed flies did the cuticle lining of the cardiac valve detach and other valve tissues degenerate gradually. The injury of the main valve of the food pumps hindered gorging of most flies when force-fed from capillaries, and they regurgitated the gut contents with fluids from the capillaries. We suggest that infections are caused by parasites regurgitated from the stomach that are deposited in the host tissue. We found that secretion of chitinolytic enzymes by cultured L. major parasites is inhibited by blood or hemoglobin, and hence these enzymes are apparently absent from the blood-fed infected flies, where the cardiac valve appears undamaged. We therefore presume that lysis of the chitin in the cuticle lining of the valve leads to exposure and degeneration of the underlying tissues. Images PMID:1409724

  18. 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

  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. Does interspecies hybridization affect the host specificity of parasites in cyprinid fish?

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Host specificity varies among parasite species. Some parasites are strictly host-specific, others show a specificity for congeneric or non-congeneric phylogenetically related host species, whilst some others are non-specific (generalists). Two cyprinids, Cyprinus carpio and Carassius gibelio, plus their respective hybrids were investigated for metazoan parasites. The aim of this study was to analyze whether interspecies hybridization affects host specificity. The different degrees of host specificity within a phylogenetic framework were taken into consideration (i.e. strict specialist, intermediate specialist, and intermediate generalist). Methods Fish were collected during harvesting the pond and identified using meristic traits and molecular markers. Metazoan parasite species were collected. Host specificity of parasites was determined using the following classification: strict specialist, intermediate specialist, intermediate generalist and generalist. Parasite species richness was compared between parental species and their hybrids. The effect of host species on abundance of parasites differing in host specificity was tested. Results Hybrids harbored more different parasite species but their total parasite abundance was lower in comparison with parental species. Interspecies hybridization affected the host specificity of ecto- and endoparasites. Parasite species exhibiting different degrees of host specificity for C. carpio and C. gibelio were also present in hybrids. The abundance of strict specialists of C. carpio was significantly higher in parental species than in hybrids. Intermediate generalists parasitizing C. carpio and C. gibelio as two phylogenetically closely related host species preferentially infected C. gibelio when compared to C. carpio, based on prevalence and maximum intensity of infection. Hybrids were less infected by intermediate generalists when compared to C. gibelio. Conclusions This finding does not support strict co

  1. 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

  2. New discoveries in the transmission biology of sleeping sickness parasites: applying the basics.

    PubMed

    MacGregor, Paula; Matthews, Keith R

    2010-09-01

    The sleeping sickness parasite, Trypanosoma brucei, must differentiate in response to the changing environments that it encounters during its complex life cycle. One developmental form, the bloodstream stumpy stage, plays an important role in infection dynamics and transmission of the parasite. Recent advances have shed light on the molecular mechanisms by which these stumpy forms differentiate as they are transmitted from the mammalian host to the insect vector of sleeping sickness, tsetse flies. These molecular advances now provide improved experimental tools for the study of stumpy formation and function within the mammalian bloodstream. They also offer new routes to therapy via high-throughput screens for agents that accelerate parasite development. Here, we shall discuss the recent advances that have been made and the prospects for future research now available.

  3. Sex, horizontal transmission, and multiple hosts prevent local adaptation of Crithidia bombi, a parasite of bumblebees (Bombus spp.).

    PubMed

    Erler, Silvio; Popp, Mario; Wolf, Stephan; Lattorff, H Michael G

    2012-05-01

    Local adaptation within host-parasite systems can evolve by several non-exclusive drivers (e.g., host species-genetic adaptation; ecological conditions-ecological adaptation, and time-temporal adaptation). Social insects, especially bumblebees, with an annual colony life history not only provide an ideal system to test parasite transmission within and between different host colonies, but also parasite adaptation to specific host species and environments. Here, we study local adaptation in a multiple-host parasite characterized by high levels of horizontal transmission. Crithidia bombi occurs as a gut parasite in several bumblebee species. Parasites were sampled from five different host species in two subsequent years. Population genetic tools were used to test for the several types of adaptation. Although we found no evidence for local adaptation of the parasite toward host species, there was a slight temporal differentiation of the parasite populations, which might have resulted from severe bottlenecks during queen hibernation. Parasite populations were in Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium and showed no signs of linkage disequilibrium suggesting that sexual reproduction is an alternative strategy in this otherwise clonal parasite. Moreover, high levels of multiple infections were found, which might facilitate sexual genetic exchange. The detection of identical clones in different host species suggested that horizontal transmission occurs between host species and underpins the lack of host-specific adaptation.

  4. Inbreeding in stochastic subdivided mating systems: the genetic consequences of host spatial structure, aggregated transmission dynamics and life history characteristics in parasite populations.

    PubMed

    Dharmarajan, Guha

    2015-03-01

    Inbreeding in parasite populations can have important epidemiological and evolutionary implications. However, theoretical models have predominantly focussed on the evolution of parasite populations under strong selection or in epidemic situations, and our understanding of neutral gene dynamics in parasite populations at equilibrium has been limited to verbal arguments or conceptual models. This study focusses on how host-parasite population dynamics affects observed levels of inbreeding in a random sample of parasites from an infinite population of hosts by bridging traditional genetic and parasitological processes utilizing a backward-forward branching Markov process embedded within a flexible statistical framework, the logarithmic-poisson mixture model. My results indicate that levels of inbreeding in parasites are impacted by demographic and/or transmission dynamics (subdivided mating, aggregated transmission dynamics and host spatial structure), and that this inbreeding is poorly estimated by 'equilibrium' levels of inbreeding calculated assuming regular systems of mating. Specifically, the model reveals that at low levels of inbreeding (F ≤ 0.1), equilibrium levels of inbreeding are lower than those observed, while at high levels of inbreeding the opposite pattern occurs. The model also indicates that inbreeding could have important epidemiological implications (e.g., the spread of recessive drug resistance genes) by directly impacting the observed frequency of rare homozygotes in parasite populations. My results indicate that frequencies of rare homozygotes are affected by aggregated transmission dynamics and host spatial structure, and also that an increase in the frequency of rare homozygotes can be caused by a decrease in effective population size solely due to the presence of a subdivided breeding system.

  5. Body size, trophic level, and the use of fish as transmission routes by parasites.

    PubMed

    Poulin, R; Leung, T L F

    2011-07-01

    Within food webs, trophically transmitted helminth parasites use predator-prey links for their own transfer from intermediate prey hosts, in which they occur as larval or juvenile stages, to predatory definitive hosts, in which they reach maturity. In large taxa that can be used as intermediate and/or definitive hosts, such as fish, a host species' position within a trophic network should determine whether its parasite fauna consists mostly of adult or larval helminths, since vulnerability to predation determines an animal's role in predator-prey links. Using a large database on the helminth parasites of 303 fish species, we tested whether the proportion of parasite species in a host that occur as larval or juvenile stages is best explained by their trophic level or by their body size. Independent of fish phylogeny or habitat, only fish body length emerged as a significant predictor of the proportion of parasites in a host that occur as larval stages from our multivariate analyses. On average, the proportion of larval helminth taxa in fish shorter than 20 cm was twice as high as that for fish over 100 cm in length. This is consistent with the prediction that small fishes, being more vulnerable to predation, make better hosts for larval parasites. However, trophic level and body length are strongly correlated among fish species, and they may have separate though confounded effects on the parasite fauna exploiting a given species. Helminths show varying levels of host specificity toward their intermediate host when the latter is the downstream host involved in trophic transmission toward an upstream definitive host. Given this broad physiological compatibility of many helminths with fish hosts, our results indicate that fish body length, as a proxy for vulnerability to predators, is a better predictor of their use by helminth larvae than their trophic level based on diet content.

  6. cAMP-Signalling Regulates Gametocyte-Infected Erythrocyte Deformability Required for Malaria Parasite Transmission

    PubMed Central

    Thompson, Eloise; Breil, Florence; Lorthiois, Audrey; Dupuy, Florian; Cummings, Ross; Duffier, Yoann; Corbett, Yolanda; Mercereau-Puijalon, Odile; Vernick, Kenneth; Taramelli, Donatella; Baker, David A.; Langsley, Gordon; Lavazec, Catherine

    2015-01-01

    Blocking Plasmodium falciparum transmission to mosquitoes has been designated a strategic objective in the global agenda of malaria elimination. Transmission is ensured by gametocyte-infected erythrocytes (GIE) that sequester in the bone marrow and at maturation are released into peripheral blood from where they are taken up during a mosquito blood meal. Release into the blood circulation is accompanied by an increase in GIE deformability that allows them to pass through the spleen. Here, we used a microsphere matrix to mimic splenic filtration and investigated the role of cAMP-signalling in regulating GIE deformability. We demonstrated that mature GIE deformability is dependent on reduced cAMP-signalling and on increased phosphodiesterase expression in stage V gametocytes, and that parasite cAMP-dependent kinase activity contributes to the stiffness of immature gametocytes. Importantly, pharmacological agents that raise cAMP levels in transmissible stage V gametocytes render them less deformable and hence less likely to circulate through the spleen. Therefore, phosphodiesterase inhibitors that raise cAMP levels in P. falciparum infected erythrocytes, such as sildenafil, represent new candidate drugs to block transmission of malaria parasites. PMID:25951195

  7. Potential for parasite and bacteria transmission by paper currency in Nigeria.

    PubMed

    Uneke, C J; Ogbu, O

    2007-05-01

    The authors assessed the potential of Nigerian currency notes to act as environmental vehicles for the transmission of pathogenic parasites and bacteria. Currency notes obtained from four major cities in Nigeria were evaluated according to standard techniques. Fifty-four (21.6 percent [95 percent CI: 16.50-26.70]) of the first batch of 250 notes, which underwent parasitological analysis, were contaminated with enteric parasites; 133 (53.2 percent [95 percent CI: 47.02-59.39]) of the second batch of 250 notes, which underwent bacteriological analysis, were found to be contaminated with bacteria. Parasites that were isolated from the notes included Ascaris lumbricoides (8.0 percent), Enterobius vermicularis (6.8 percent), Trichuris trichiura (2.8 percent), and Taenia species (4.0 percent). Bacteria that were isolated were Streptococcus species (21.6 percent), Staphylococcus species (12.8 percent), Escherichia coli (13.2 percent), and Bacillus species (5.6 percent). Among dirty/mutilated currency notes, parasite contamination and bacterial contamination were both significantly (p < .05) more pervasive (30.6 percent and 73.8 percent, respectively) than they were among clean and mint currency notes. Lower-denomination notes were more likely to be contaminated than were higher-denomination notes, although the difference was not statistically significant (p > .05). Parasite contamination and bacteria contamination were both most frequent in notes obtained from butchers and beggars. These results suggest that currency notes may be contaminated, especially with bacteria and enteric parasites, and may serve as sources of infection. Personal hygiene to reduce risk of infection is recommended.

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

    PubMed Central

    Duarte, Neuza; 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.

    2016-01-01

    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

  9. Reciprocal Trophic Interactions and Transmission of Blood Parasites between Mosquitoes and Frogs

    PubMed Central

    Ferguson, Laura V.; Smith, Todd G.

    2012-01-01

    The relationship between mosquitoes and their amphibian hosts is a unique, reciprocal trophic interaction. Instead of a one-way, predator-prey relationship, there is a cyclical dance of avoidance and attraction. This has prompted spatial and temporal synchrony between organisms, reflected in emergence time of mosquitoes in the spring and choice of habitat for oviposition. Frog-feeding mosquitoes also possess different sensory apparatuses than do their mammal-feeding counterparts. The reciprocal nature of this relationship is exploited by various blood parasites that use mechanical, salivary or trophic transmission to pass from mosquitoes to frogs. It is important to investigate the involvement of mosquitoes, frogs and parasites in this interaction in order to understand the consequences of anthropogenic actions, such as implementing biocontrol efforts against mosquitoes, and to determine potential causes of the global decline of amphibian species. PMID:26466534

  10. 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

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

    PubMed

    Forfert, Nadège; Natsopoulou, Myrsini E; 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.

  12. 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

    ...; tapeworm cysts in sheep; hydatid cysts; flukes; gid bladder-worms. 311.25 Section 311.25 Animals and Animal... DISEASED OR OTHERWISE ADULTERATED CARCASSES AND PARTS § 311.25 Parasites not transmissible to man; tapeworm... tapeworm cysts (Cysticercus ovis, so-called sheep measles, not transmissible to man), such carcasses may...

  13. 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

    ...; tapeworm cysts in sheep; hydatid cysts; flukes; gid bladder-worms. 311.25 Section 311.25 Animals and Animal... DISEASED OR OTHERWISE ADULTERATED CARCASSES AND PARTS § 311.25 Parasites not transmissible to man; tapeworm... tapeworm cysts (Cysticercus ovis, so-called sheep measles, not transmissible to man), such carcasses may...

  14. 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

    ...; tapeworm cysts in sheep; hydatid cysts; flukes; gid bladder-worms. 311.25 Section 311.25 Animals and Animal... DISEASED OR OTHERWISE ADULTERATED CARCASSES AND PARTS § 311.25 Parasites not transmissible to man; tapeworm... tapeworm cysts (Cysticercus ovis, so-called sheep measles, not transmissible to man), such carcasses may...

  15. 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

    ...; tapeworm cysts in sheep; hydatid cysts; flukes; gid bladder-worms. 311.25 Section 311.25 Animals and Animal... DISEASED OR OTHERWISE ADULTERATED CARCASSES AND PARTS § 311.25 Parasites not transmissible to man; tapeworm... tapeworm cysts (Cysticercus ovis, so-called sheep measles, not transmissible to man), such carcasses may...

  16. 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

    ...; tapeworm cysts in sheep; hydatid cysts; flukes; gid bladder-worms. 311.25 Section 311.25 Animals and Animal... DISEASED OR OTHERWISE ADULTERATED CARCASSES AND PARTS § 311.25 Parasites not transmissible to man; tapeworm... tapeworm cysts (Cysticercus ovis, so-called sheep measles, not transmissible to man), such carcasses may...

  17. 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.

  18. Cryptic microsporidian parasites differentially affect invasive and native Artemia spp.

    PubMed

    Rode, Nicolas O; Lievens, Eva J P; Segard, Adeline; Flaven, Elodie; Jabbour-Zahab, Roula; Lenormand, Thomas

    2013-09-01

    We investigated the host specificity of two cryptic microsporidian species (Anostracospora rigaudi and Enterocytospora artemiae) infecting invasive (Artemia franciscana) and native (Artemia parthenogenetica) hosts in sympatry. Anostracospora rigaudi was on average four times more prevalent in the native host, whereas E. artemiae was three times more prevalent in the invasive host. Infection with An. rigaudi strongly reduced female reproduction in both host species, whereas infection with E. artemiae had weaker effects on female reproduction. We contrasted microsporidian prevalence in native A. franciscana populations (New World) and in both invaded and non-invaded Artemia populations (Old World). At a community level, microsporidian prevalence was twice as high in native compared with invasive hosts, due to the contrasting host-specificity of An. rigaudi and E. artemiae. At a higher biogeographical level, microsporidian prevalence in A. franciscana did not differ between the invaded populations and the native populations used for the introduction. Although E. artemiae was the only species found both in New and Old World populations, no evidence of its co-introduction with the invasive host was found in our experimental and phylogeographic tests. These results suggest that the success of A. franciscana invasion is probably due to a lower susceptibility to virulent microsporidian parasites rather than to decreased microsporidian prevalence compared with A. parthenogenetica or to lower microsporidian virulence in introduced areas.

  19. 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.

  20. Phylogeny affects host's weight, immune response and parasitism in damselflies and dragonflies

    PubMed Central

    Suhonen, Jukka

    2016-01-01

    Host–parasite interactions are an intriguing part of ecology, and understanding how hosts are able to withstand parasitic attacks, e.g. by allocating resources to immune defence, is important. Damselflies and dragonflies show a variety of parasitism patterns, but large-scale comparative immune defence studies are rare, and it is difficult to say what the interplay is between their immune defence and parasitism. The aim of this study was to find whether there are differences in immune response between different damselfly and dragonfly species and whether these could explain their levels of gregarine and water mite parasitism. Using an artificial pathogen, a piece of nylon filament, we measured the encapsulation response of 22 different damselfly and dragonfly species and found that (i) there are significant encapsulation differences between species, (ii) body mass has a strong association with encapsulation and parasite prevalences, (iii) body mass shows a strong phylogenetic signal, whereas encapsulation response and gregarine and water mite prevalences show weak signals, and (iv) associations between the traits are affected by phylogeny. We do not know what the relationship is between these four traits, but it seems clear that phylogeny plays a role in determining parasitism levels of damselflies and dragonflies. PMID:28018621

  1. Phylogeny affects host's weight, immune response and parasitism in damselflies and dragonflies.

    PubMed

    Ilvonen, Jaakko J; Suhonen, Jukka

    2016-11-01

    Host-parasite interactions are an intriguing part of ecology, and understanding how hosts are able to withstand parasitic attacks, e.g. by allocating resources to immune defence, is important. Damselflies and dragonflies show a variety of parasitism patterns, but large-scale comparative immune defence studies are rare, and it is difficult to say what the interplay is between their immune defence and parasitism. The aim of this study was to find whether there are differences in immune response between different damselfly and dragonfly species and whether these could explain their levels of gregarine and water mite parasitism. Using an artificial pathogen, a piece of nylon filament, we measured the encapsulation response of 22 different damselfly and dragonfly species and found that (i) there are significant encapsulation differences between species, (ii) body mass has a strong association with encapsulation and parasite prevalences, (iii) body mass shows a strong phylogenetic signal, whereas encapsulation response and gregarine and water mite prevalences show weak signals, and (iv) associations between the traits are affected by phylogeny. We do not know what the relationship is between these four traits, but it seems clear that phylogeny plays a role in determining parasitism levels of damselflies and dragonflies.

  2. 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.

  3. Endangered light-footed clapper rail affects parasite community structure in coastal wetlands.

    PubMed

    Whitney, Kathleen L; Hechinger, Ryan F; Kuris, Armand M; Lafferty, Kevin D

    2007-09-01

    An extinction necessarily affects community members that have obligate relationships with the extinct species. Indirect or cascading effects can lead to even broader changes at the community or ecosystem level. However, it is not clear whether generalist parasites should be affected by the extinction of one of their hosts. We tested the prediction that loss of a host species could affect the structure of a generalist parasite community by investigating the role of endangered Light-footed Clapper Rails (Rallus longirostris levipes) in structuring trematode communities in four tidal wetlands in southern California, U.S.A. (Carpinteria Salt Marsh, Mugu Lagoon) and Mexico (Estero de Punta Banda, Bahia Falsa-San Quintin). We used larval trematode parasites in first intermediate host snails (Cerithidea californica) as windows into the adult trematodes that parasitize Clapper Rails. Within and among wetlands, we found positive associations between Clapper Rails and four trematode species, particularly in the vegetated marsh habitat where Clapper Rails typically occur. This suggests that further loss of Clapper Rails is likely to affect the abundance of several competitively dominant trematode species in wetlands with California horn snails, with possible indirect effects on the trematode community and changes in the impacts of these parasites on fishes and invertebrates.

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. Patterns of maternal transmission in bipolar affective disorder.

    PubMed

    McMahon, F J; Stine, O C; Meyers, D A; Simpson, S G; DePaulo, J R

    1995-06-01

    The mode of inheritance of bipolar affective disorder (BPAD) appears complex, and non-Mendelian models of inheritance have been postulated. Two non-Mendelian phenomena, genomic imprinting and mitochondrial inheritance, may contribute to the complex inheritance pattern seen in BPAD. Both imprinting and mitochondrial inheritance share the feature of differential expression of the phenotype, depending on the parent of origin. In this study we tested the hypothesis of a parent-of-origin effect on the transmission of BPAD. We examined the frequency and risk of affective disorder among relatives in a sample of 31 families ascertained through treated probands with BPAD and selected for the presence of affected phenotypes in only one parental lineage. Three specific comparisons were performed: (1) the observed frequency of transmitting mothers versus transmitting fathers; (2) the observed frequency and lifetime risk of BPAD among the maternal versus the paternal relatives of probands; and (3) the observed frequency and lifetime risk of BPAD for the offspring of affected mothers compared with the offspring of affected fathers. We observed a higher than expected frequency of affected mothers (P < .04), a 2.3-2.8-fold increased risk of illness for maternal relatives (P < .006), and a 1.3- 2.5-fold increased risk of illness for the offspring of affected mothers (P < .017). In seven enlarged pedigrees, fathers repeatedly failed to transmit the affected phenotype to daughters or sons. Taken together, these findings indicate a maternal effect in the transmission of BPAD susceptibility and suggest that molecular studies of mtDNA and imprinted DNA are warranted in patients with BPAD.

  9. Negative Fitness Consequences and Transmission Dynamics of a Heritable Fungal Symbiont of a Parasitic Wasp▿

    PubMed Central

    Gibson, Cara M.; Hunter, Martha S.

    2009-01-01

    Heritable bacterial symbionts are widespread in insects and can have many important effects on host ecology and fitness. Fungal symbionts are also important in shaping their hosts' behavior, interactions, and evolution, but they have been largely overlooked. Experimental tests to determine the relevance of fungal symbionts to their insect hosts are currently extremely rare, and to our knowledge, there have been no such tests for strictly predacious insects. We investigated the fitness consequences for a parasitic wasp (Comperia merceti) of an inherited fungal symbiont in the Saccharomycotina (Ascomycota) that was long presumed to be a mutualist. In comparisons of wasp lines with and without this symbiont, we found no evidence of mutualism. Instead, there were significant fitness costs to the wasps in the presence of the yeast; infected wasps attacked fewer hosts and had longer development times. We also examined the relative competitive abilities of the larval progeny of infected and uninfected mothers, as well as horizontal transmission of the fungal symbiont among larval wasps that shared a single host cockroach egg case. We found no difference in larval competitive ability when larvae whose infection status differed shared a single host. We did find high rates of horizontal transmission of the fungus, and we suggest that this transmission is likely responsible for the maintenance of this infection in wasp populations. PMID:19286783

  10. Transmission dynamics of parasitic sea lice from farm to wild salmon.

    PubMed

    Krkosek, Martin; Lewis, Mark A; Volpe, John P

    2005-04-07

    Marine salmon farming has been correlated with parasitic sea lice infestations and concurrent declines of wild salmonids. Here, we report a quantitative analysis of how a single salmon farm altered the natural transmission dynamics of sea lice to juvenile Pacific salmon. We studied infections of sea lice (Lepeophtheirus salmonis and Caligus clemensi) on juvenile pink salmon (Oncorhynchus gorbuscha) and chum salmon (Oncorhynchus keta) as they passed an isolated salmon farm during their seaward migration down two long and narrow corridors. Our calculations suggest the infection pressure imposed by the farm was four orders of magnitude greater than ambient levels, resulting in a maximum infection pressure near the farm that was 73 times greater than ambient levels and exceeded ambient levels for 30 km along the two wild salmon migration corridors. The farm-produced cohort of lice parasitizing the wild juvenile hosts reached reproductive maturity and produced a second generation of lice that re-infected the juvenile salmon. This raises the infection pressure from the farm by an additional order of magnitude, with a composite infection pressure that exceeds ambient levels for 75 km of the two migration routes. Amplified sea lice infestations due to salmon farms are a potential limiting factor to wild salmonid conservation.

  11. Cytochemical techniques and energy-filtering transmission electron microscopy applied to the study of parasitic protozoa

    PubMed Central

    Lins, Ulysses

    2001-01-01

    The study of parasitic protozoa plays a major role in cell biology, biochemistry and molecular biology. Numerous cytochemical techniques have been developed in order to unequivocally identify the nature of subcellular compartments. Enzyme and immuno-cytochemistry allow the detection of, respectively, enzymatic activity products and antigens in particular sites within the cell. Energy-filtering transmission electron microscopy permits the detection of specific elements within such compartments. These approaches are particularly useful for studies employing antimicrobial agents where cellular compartments may be destroyed or remarkably altered and thus hardly identified by standard methods of observation. In this regard cytochemical and spectroscopic techniques provide valuable data allowing the determination of the mechanisms of action of such compounds. PMID:12734583

  12. Using contact networks to explore mechanisms of parasite transmission in wildlife.

    PubMed

    White, Lauren A; Forester, James D; Craft, Meggan E

    2017-02-01

    A hallmark assumption of traditional approaches to disease modelling is that individuals within a given population mix uniformly and at random. However, this assumption does not always hold true; contact heterogeneity or preferential associations can have a substantial impact on the duration, size, and dynamics of epidemics. Contact heterogeneity has been readily adopted in epidemiological studies of humans, but has been less studied in wildlife. While contact network studies are becoming more common for wildlife, their methodologies, fundamental assumptions, host species, and parasites vary widely. The goal of this article is to review how contact networks have been used to study macro- and microparasite transmission in wildlife. The review will: (i) explain why contact heterogeneity is relevant for wildlife populations; (ii) explore theoretical and applied questions that contact networks have been used to answer; (iii) give an overview of unresolved methodological issues; and (iv) suggest improvements and future directions for contact network studies in wildlife.

  13. 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

  14. Fighting while Parasitized: Can Nematode Infections Affect the Outcome of Staged Combat in Beetles?

    PubMed Central

    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

  15. Nosocomial transmission and infection control aspects of parasitic and ectoparasitic diseases. Part III. Ectoparasites/summary and conclusions.

    PubMed

    Lettau, L A

    1991-03-01

    As a rule, both the standard of hygiene and sanitation prevalent in hospitals in the United States and the rarity of parasitic diseases compared to viral, bacterial, and fungal infections, reduce the hazard of nosocomial acquisition of parasites to relatively trivial levels. However, abetted by the resultant low index of suspicion on the part of clinical staff, certain parasitic microorganisms may at times cause significant morbidity and even mortality in both normal and immunocompromised patients, as summarized in this review. Also, the nosocomial acquisition of parasites may be somewhat underappreciated because the incubation period for clinical illness may be days to weeks and thus a hospital-acquired infection may not be recognized as such, particularly if the parasite is endemic locally. Parasitic diseases have been a much more significant problem in certain special facilities, such as custodial institutions for the mentally ill or retarded, where crowding, poor environmental sanitation, and low levels of personal hygiene have in the past allowed the rapid dissemination and endemic occurrence of a large variety of parasitic infections. It is likely that nosocomial transmission of parasites may be an even greater problem in some hospitals in the tropics, where strict hygienic standards are costly or otherwise more difficult to maintain, and where often an increased proportion of the patient population harbors one or more parasites. However, the exact magnitude of the problem in tropical hospitals is also more difficult to determine because nosocomial acquisition of a parasitic infection may not be distinguished easily versus exogenous infection or reactivation of latent infection.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

  16. Modeling the effects of relapse in the transmission dynamics of malaria parasites.

    PubMed

    Aguas, Ricardo; Ferreira, Marcelo U; Gomes, M Gabriela M

    2012-01-01

    Often regarded as "benign," Plasmodium vivax infections lay in the shadows of the much more virulent P. falciparum infections. However, about 1.98 billion people are at risk of both parasites worldwide, stressing the need to understand the epidemiology of Plasmodium vivax, particularly under the scope of decreasing P. falciparum prevalence and ecological interactions between both species. Two epidemiological observations put the dynamics of both species into perspective: (1) ACT campaigns have had a greater impact on P. falciparum prevalence. (2) Complete clinical immunity is attained at younger ages for P. vivax, under similar infection rates. We systematically compared two mathematical models of transmission for both Plasmodium species. Simulations suggest that an ACT therapy combined with a hypnozoite killing drug would eliminate both species. However, P. vivax elimination is predicted to be unstable. Differences in age profiles of clinical malaria can be explained solely by P. vivax's ability to relapse, which accelerates the acquisition of clinical immunity and serves as an immunity boosting mechanism. P. vivax transmission can subsist in areas of low mosquito abundance and is robust to drug administration initiatives due to relapse, making it an inconvenient and cumbersome, yet less lethal alternative to P. falciparum.

  17. An optimised multi-host trematode life cycle: fishery discards enhance trophic parasite transmission to scavenging birds.

    PubMed

    Born-Torrijos, Ana; Poulin, Robert; Pérez-Del-Olmo, Ana; Culurgioni, Jacopo; Raga, Juan Antonio; Holzer, Astrid Sibylle

    2016-10-01

    Overlapping distributions of hosts and parasites are critical for successful completion of multi-host parasite life cycles and even small environmental changes can impact on the parasite's presence in a host or habitat. The generalist Cardiocephaloides longicollis was used as a model for multi-host trematode life cycles in marine habitats. This parasite was studied to quantify parasite dispersion and transmission dynamics, effects of biological changes and anthropogenic impacts on life cycle completion. We compiled the largest host dataset to date, by analysing 3351 molluscs (24 species), 2108 fish (25 species) and 154 birds (17 species) and analysed the resultant data based on a number of statistical models. We uncovered extremely low host specificity at the second intermediate host level and a preference of the free-swimming larvae for predominantly demersal but also benthic fish. The accumulation of encysted larvae in the brain with increasing fish size demonstrates that parasite numbers level off in fish larger than 140mm, consistent with parasite-induced mortality at these levels. The highest infection rates were detected in host species and sizes representing the largest fraction of Mediterranean fishery discards (up to 67% of the total catch), which are frequently consumed by seabirds. Significantly higher parasite densities were found in areas with extensive fishing activity than in those with medium and low activity, and in fish from shallow lagoons than in fish from other coastal areas. For the first time, C. longicollis was also detected in farmed fish in netpens. Fishing generally drives declines in parasite abundance, however, our study suggests an enhanced transmission of generalist parasites such as C. longicollis, an effect that is further amplified by the parasite's efficient host-finding mechanisms and its alteration of fish host behaviour by larvae encysted in the brain. The anthropogenic impact on the distribution of trophically

  18. Leishmania HASP and SHERP Genes Are Required for In Vivo Differentiation, Parasite Transmission and Virulence Attenuation in the Host

    PubMed Central

    Doehl, Johannes S. P.; Sádlová, Jovana; Aslan, Hamide; Pružinová, Kateřina; Votýpka, Jan; Kamhawi, Shaden; Volf, Petr

    2017-01-01

    Differentiation of extracellular Leishmania promastigotes within their sand fly vector, termed metacyclogenesis, is considered to be essential for parasites to regain mammalian host infectivity. Metacyclogenesis is accompanied by changes in the local parasite environment, including secretion of complex glycoconjugates within the promastigote secretory gel and colonization and degradation of the sand fly stomodeal valve. Deletion of the stage-regulated HASP and SHERP genes on chromosome 23 of Leishmania major is known to stall metacyclogenesis in the sand fly but not in in vitro culture. Here, parasite mutants deficient in specific genes within the HASP/SHERP chromosomal region have been used to investigate their role in metacyclogenesis, parasite transmission and establishment of infection. Metacyclogenesis was stalled in HASP/SHERP mutants in vivo and, although still capable of osmotaxis, these mutants failed to secrete promastigote secretory gel, correlating with a lack of parasite accumulation in the thoracic midgut and failure to colonise the stomodeal valve. These defects prevented parasite transmission to a new mammalian host. Sand fly midgut homogenates modulated parasite behaviour in vitro, suggesting a role for molecular interactions between parasite and vector in Leishmania development within the sand fly. For the first time, stage-regulated expression of the small HASPA proteins in Leishmania (Leishmania) has been demonstrated: HASPA2 is expressed only in extracellular promastigotes and HASPA1 only in intracellular amastigotes. Despite its lack of expression in amastigotes, replacement of HASPA2 into the null locus background delays onset of pathology in BALB/c mice. This HASPA2-dependent effect is reversed by HASPA1 gene addition, suggesting that the HASPAs may have a role in host immunomodulation. PMID:28095465

  19. Are fish immune systems really affected by parasites? an immunoecological study of common carp (Cyprinus carpio)

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Background The basic function of the immune system is to protect an organism against infection in order to minimize the fitness costs of being infected. According to life-history theory, energy resources are in a trade-off between the costly demands of immunity and other physiological demands. Concerning fish, both physiology and immunity are influenced by seasonal changes (i.e. temporal variation) associated to the changes of abiotic factors (such as primarily water temperature) and interactions with pathogens and parasites. In this study, we investigated the potential associations between the physiology and immunocompetence of common carp (Cyprinus carpio) collected during five different periods of a given year. Our sampling included the periods with temporal variability and thus, it presented a different level in exposure to parasites. We analyzed which of two factors, seasonality or parasitism, had the strongest impact on changes in fish physiology and immunity. Results We found that seasonal changes play a key role in affecting the analyzed measurements of physiology, immunity and parasitism. The correlation analysis revealed the relationships between the measures of overall host physiology, immunity and parasite load when temporal variability effect was removed. When analyzing separately parasite groups with different life-strategies, we found that fish with a worse condition status were infected more by monogeneans, representing the most abundant parasite group. The high infection by cestodes seems to activate the phagocytes. A weak relationship was found between spleen size and abundance of trematodes when taking into account seasonal changes. Conclusions Even if no direct trade-off between the measures of host immunity and physiology was confirmed when taking into account the seasonality, it seems that seasonal variability affects host immunity and physiology through energy allocation in a trade-off between life important functions, especially reproduction

  20. Artesunate-tafenoquine combination therapy promotes clearance and abrogates transmission of the avian malaria parasite Plasmodium gallinaceum.

    PubMed

    Tasai, Suchada; Saiwichai, Tawee; Kaewthamasorn, Morakot; Tiawsirisup, Sonthaya; Buddhirakkul, Prayute; Chaichalotornkul, Sirintip; Pattaradilokrat, Sittiporn

    2017-01-15

    Clinical manifestations of malaria infection in vertebrate hosts arise from the multiplication of the asexual stage parasites in the blood, while the gametocytes are responsible for the transmission of the disease. Antimalarial drugs that target the blood stage parasites and transmissible gametocytes are rare, but are essentially needed for the effective control of malaria and for limiting the spread of resistance. Artemisinin and its derivatives are the current first-line antimalarials that are effective against the blood stage parasites and gametocytes, but resistance to artemisinin has now emerged and spread in various malaria endemic areas. Therefore, a novel antimalarial drug, or a new drug combination, is critically needed to overcome this problem. The objectives of this study were to evaluate the efficacy of a relatively new antimalarial compound, tafenoquine (TQ), and a combination of TQ and a low dose of artesunate (ATN) on the in vivo blood stage multiplication, gametocyte development and transmission of the avian malaria parasite Plasmodium gallinaceum to the vector Aedes aegypti. The results showed that a 5-d treatment with TQ alone was unable to clear the blood stage parasites, but was capable of reducing the mortality rate, while TQ monotherapy at a high dose of 30mg/kg was highly effective against the gametocytes and completely blocked the transmission of P. gallinaceum. In addition, the combination therapy of TQ+ATN completely cleared P. gallinaceum blood stages and sped up the gametocyte clearance from chickens, suggesting the synergistic effect of the two drugs. In conclusion, TQ is demonstrated to be effective for limiting avian malaria transmission and may be used in combination with a low dose of ATN for safe and effective treatment.

  1. Tick vitellogenin receptor reveals critical role in oocyte development and transovarial transmission of Babesia parasite.

    PubMed

    Boldbaatar, Damdinsuren; Battsetseg, Badgar; Matsuo, Tomohide; Hatta, Takeshi; Umemiya-Shirafuji, Rika; Xuan, Xuenan; Fujisaki, Kozo

    2008-08-01

    A cDNA encoding the vitellogenin receptor of the ixodid tick, Haemaphysalis longicornis Neumann (HlVgR) was cloned and characterized. The full-length cDNA is 5631 bp, including an intact ORF encoding an expected protein with 1782 amino acids. The deduced amino acid sequence of the HlVgR cDNA revealed two ligand-binding domains with four class A cysteine-rich repeats in the first domain and eight in the second domain similar to those of insect VgRs. The immunoblot analysis detected approximately 197 kDa protein in both tick ovary and egg. The developmental expression profile demonstrated that HlVgR mRNA exists throughout the ovarian development, and the transcriptional level is especially high in the previtellogenic period. Immuno electron microscopy analysis demonstrated that the localization of HlVgR is detected on the external surface of oocyte plasma membrane. RNAi showed that eggs of HlVgR dsRNA-injected adult ticks had not developed into fully mature oocytes and laid abnormal eggs. The Babesia parasite DNA was not detected in the eggs of HlVgR dsRNA-injected tick that fed on Babesia gibsoni infected dog, whereas it was detected in the eggs of PBS-injected ticks and noninjected ticks. Expression of HlVgR was increased by the vitellogenic hormone 20-hydroxyecdysone. These results indicate that HlVgR, which is produced by the developing oocytes, is essential for Vg uptake, egg development in the H. longicornis tick, and transovarial transmission of Babesia parasites.

  2. Ecosystem consequences of fish parasites

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Lafferty, Kevin D.

    2008-01-01

    In most aquatic ecosystems, fishes are hosts to parasites and, sometimes, these parasites can affect fish biology. Some of the most dramatic cases occur when fishes are intermediate hosts for larval parasites. For example, fishes in southern California estuaries are host to many parasites. The most common of these parasites, Euhaplorchis californiensis, infects the brain of the killifish Fundulus parvipinnis and alters its behaviour, making the fish 10–30 times more susceptible to predation by the birds that serve as its definitive host. Parasites like E. californiensis are embedded in food webs because they require trophic transmission. In the Carpinteria Salt Marsh estuarine food web, parasites dominate the links and comprise substantial amount of biomass. Adding parasites to food webs alters important network statistics such as connectance and nestedness. Furthermore, some free-living stages of parasites are food items for free-living species. For instance, fishes feed on trematode cercariae. Being embedded in food webs makes parasites sensitive to changes in the environment. In particular, fishing and environmental disturbance, by reducing fish populations, may reduce parasite populations. Indirect evidence suggests a decrease in parasites in commercially fished species over the past three decades. In addition, environmental degradation can affect fish parasites. For these reasons, parasites in fishes may serve as indicators of environmental impacts.

  3. 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.

  4. Heterogeneous hosts: how variation in host size, behaviour and immunity affects parasite aggregation.

    PubMed

    Johnson, Pieter T J; Hoverman, Jason T

    2014-09-01

    Infection heterogeneity is one of the most fundamental patterns in disease ecology, yet surprisingly few studies have experimentally explored its underlying drivers. Here, we used large-scale field assessments to evaluate the degree of parasite aggregation within amphibian host populations followed by a novel experimental approach to assess the potential influence of host size, behaviour and immunity in reproducing such heterogeneity. Among 227 wetlands, 2468 hosts and seven parasite species, infections were consistently aggregated among host individuals within populations of the Pacific chorus frog (Pseudacris regilla). For each parasite species, the relationship between the log-mean and log-variance of infection load was strongly linear (R(2): 0·91-0·98) with a slope between 1·37 and 1·67, indicative of aggregation relative to the expected Poisson slope of unity. In laboratory trials with P. regilla and the most virulent trematode (Ribeiroia ondatrae), experimental reductions in either host immunity (through corticosterone exposure) or antiparasite behaviours (through anaesthesia exposure) increased parasite infection loads in isolated hosts by 62-102% relative to unmanipulated individuals. In a second experiment designed to test how variation in host immunity, behaviour and body size affected variation in infection load within small groups (dyads), a reduction in immune function or behaviour of one host significantly amplified infection heterogeneity within the group, effectively doubling the variance-to-mean ratio. However, immunity affected aggregation only in the absence of behavioural manipulation, and changing the size distribution of hosts did not appreciably affect aggregation. Using Taylor's Power Law to integrate field and laboratory data, we found that only treatments involving behavioural reductions achieved aggregation levels comparable to natural host populations. Thus, despite their short duration, our treatments generated heterogeneity in

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. Genetic Characterization of Plasmodium Putative Pantothenate Kinase Genes Reveals Their Essential Role in Malaria Parasite Transmission to the Mosquito.

    PubMed

    Hart, Robert J; Cornillot, Emmanuel; Abraham, Amanah; Molina, Emily; Nation, Catherine S; Ben Mamoun, Choukri; Aly, Ahmed S I

    2016-09-20

    The metabolic machinery for the biosynthesis of Coenzyme A (CoA) from exogenous pantothenic acid (Vitamin B5) has long been considered as an excellent target for the development of selective antimicrobials. Earlier studies in the human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum have shown that pantothenate analogs interfere with pantothenate phosphorylation and block asexual blood stage development. Although two eukaryotic-type putative pantothenate kinase genes (PanK1 and PanK2) have been identified in all malaria parasite species, their role in the development of Plasmodium life cycle stages remains unknown. Here we report on the genetic characterization of PanK1 and PanK2 in P. yoelii. We show that P. yoelii parasites lacking either PanK1 or PanK2 undergo normal asexual stages development and sexual stages differentiation, however they are severely deficient in ookinete, oocyst and sporozoite formation inside the mosquito vector. Quantitative transcriptional analyses in wild-type and knockout parasites demonstrate an important role for these genes in the regulation of expression of other CoA biosynthesis genes. Together, our data provide the first genetic evidence for the importance of the early steps of pantothenate utilization in the regulation of CoA biosynthesis and malaria parasite transmission to Anopheles mosquitoes.

  9. Genetic Characterization of Plasmodium Putative Pantothenate Kinase Genes Reveals Their Essential Role in Malaria Parasite Transmission to the Mosquito

    PubMed Central

    Hart, Robert J.; Cornillot, Emmanuel; Abraham, Amanah; Molina, Emily; Nation, Catherine S.; Ben Mamoun, Choukri; Aly, Ahmed S. I.

    2016-01-01

    The metabolic machinery for the biosynthesis of Coenzyme A (CoA) from exogenous pantothenic acid (Vitamin B5) has long been considered as an excellent target for the development of selective antimicrobials. Earlier studies in the human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum have shown that pantothenate analogs interfere with pantothenate phosphorylation and block asexual blood stage development. Although two eukaryotic-type putative pantothenate kinase genes (PanK1 and PanK2) have been identified in all malaria parasite species, their role in the development of Plasmodium life cycle stages remains unknown. Here we report on the genetic characterization of PanK1 and PanK2 in P. yoelii. We show that P. yoelii parasites lacking either PanK1 or PanK2 undergo normal asexual stages development and sexual stages differentiation, however they are severely deficient in ookinete, oocyst and sporozoite formation inside the mosquito vector. Quantitative transcriptional analyses in wild-type and knockout parasites demonstrate an important role for these genes in the regulation of expression of other CoA biosynthesis genes. Together, our data provide the first genetic evidence for the importance of the early steps of pantothenate utilization in the regulation of CoA biosynthesis and malaria parasite transmission to Anopheles mosquitoes. PMID:27644319

  10. Does habitat disturbance affect stress, body condition and parasitism in two sympatric lemurs?

    PubMed Central

    Rakotoniaina, Josué H.; Kappeler, Peter M.; Ravoniarimbinina, Pascaline; Pechouskova, Eva; Hämäläinen, Anni M.; Grass, Juliane; Kirschbaum, Clemens; Kraus, Cornelia

    2016-01-01

    Understanding how animals react to human-induced changes in their environment is a key question in conservation biology. Owing to their potential correlation with fitness, several physiological parameters are commonly used to assess the effect of habitat disturbance on animals’ general health status. Here, we studied how two lemur species, the fat-tailed dwarf lemur (Cheirogaleus medius) and the grey mouse lemur (Microcebus murinus), respond to changing environmental conditions by comparing their stress levels (measured as hair cortisol concentration), parasitism and general body condition across four habitats ordered along a gradient of human disturbance at Kirindy Forest, Western Madagascar. These two species previously revealed contrasting responses to human disturbance; whereas M. murinus is known as a resilient species, C. medius is rarely encountered in highly disturbed habitats. However, neither hair cortisol concentrations nor parasitism patterns (prevalence, parasite species richness and rate of multiple infections) and body condition varied across the gradient of anthropogenic disturbance. Our results indicate that the effect of anthropogenic activities at Kirindy Forest is not reflected in the general health status of both species, which may have developed a range of behavioural adaptations to deal with suboptimal conditions. Nonetheless, a difference in relative density among sites suggests that the carrying capacity of disturbed habitat is lower, and both species respond differently to environmental changes, with C. medius being more negatively affected. Thus, even for behaviourally flexible species, extended habitat deterioration could hamper long-term viability of populations. PMID:27656285

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. Cationic amino acid transporters play key roles in the survival and transmission of apicomplexan parasites

    PubMed Central

    Rajendran, Esther; Hapuarachchi, Sanduni V.; Miller, Catherine M.; Fairweather, Stephen J.; Cai, Yeping; Smith, Nicholas C.; Cockburn, Ian A.; Bröer, Stefan; Kirk, Kiaran; van Dooren, Giel G.

    2017-01-01

    Apicomplexans are obligate intracellular parasites that scavenge essential nutrients from their hosts via transporter proteins on their plasma membrane. The identities of the transporters that mediate amino acid uptake into apicomplexans are unknown. Here we demonstrate that members of an apicomplexan-specific protein family—the Novel Putative Transporters (NPTs)—play key roles in the uptake of cationic amino acids. We show that an NPT from Toxoplasma gondii (TgNPT1) is a selective arginine transporter that is essential for parasite survival and virulence. We also demonstrate that a homologue of TgNPT1 from the malaria parasite Plasmodium berghei (PbNPT1), shown previously to be essential for the sexual gametocyte stage of the parasite, is a cationic amino acid transporter. This reveals a role for cationic amino acid scavenging in gametocyte biology. Our study demonstrates a critical role for amino acid transporters in the survival, virulence and life cycle progression of these parasites. PMID:28205520

  16. Cationic amino acid transporters play key roles in the survival and transmission of apicomplexan parasites.

    PubMed

    Rajendran, Esther; Hapuarachchi, Sanduni V; Miller, Catherine M; Fairweather, Stephen J; Cai, Yeping; Smith, Nicholas C; Cockburn, Ian A; Bröer, Stefan; Kirk, Kiaran; van Dooren, Giel G

    2017-02-16

    Apicomplexans are obligate intracellular parasites that scavenge essential nutrients from their hosts via transporter proteins on their plasma membrane. The identities of the transporters that mediate amino acid uptake into apicomplexans are unknown. Here we demonstrate that members of an apicomplexan-specific protein family-the Novel Putative Transporters (NPTs)-play key roles in the uptake of cationic amino acids. We show that an NPT from Toxoplasma gondii (TgNPT1) is a selective arginine transporter that is essential for parasite survival and virulence. We also demonstrate that a homologue of TgNPT1 from the malaria parasite Plasmodium berghei (PbNPT1), shown previously to be essential for the sexual gametocyte stage of the parasite, is a cationic amino acid transporter. This reveals a role for cationic amino acid scavenging in gametocyte biology. Our study demonstrates a critical role for amino acid transporters in the survival, virulence and life cycle progression of these parasites.

  17. 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

  18. [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

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. Is the continental life of the European eel Anguilla anguilla affected by the parasitic invader Anguillicoloides crassus?

    PubMed Central

    Lefebvre, François; Fazio, Géraldine; Mounaix, Béatrice; Crivelli, Alain J.

    2013-01-01

    Quantifying the fitness cost that parasites impose on wild hosts is a challenging task, because the epidemiological history of field-sampled hosts is often unknown. In this study, we used an internal marker of the parasite pressure on individual hosts to evaluate the costs of parasitism with respect to host body condition, size increase and reproductive potential of field-collected animals for which we also determined individual age. In our investigated system, the European eel Anguilla anguilla and the parasitic invader Anguillicoloides crassus, high virulence and severe impacts are expected because the host lacks an adaptive immune response. We demonstrated a nonlinear relationship between the severity of damage to the affected organ (i.e. the swimbladder, our internal marker) and parasite abundance and biomass, thus showing that the use of classical epidemiological parameters was not relevant here. Surprisingly, we found that the most severely affected eels (with damaged swimbladder) had greater body length and mass (+11% and +41%, respectively), than unaffected eels of same age. We discuss mechanisms that could explain this finding and other counterintuitive results in this host–parasite system, and highlight the likely importance of host panmixia in generating great inter-individual variability in growth potential and infection risk. Under that scenario, the most active foragers would not only have the greatest size increase, but also the highest probability of becoming repeatedly infected—via trophic parasite transmission—during their continental life. PMID:23325776

  2. Current concepts on the transmission of bacteria and parasites by blood components.

    PubMed

    Wendel Neto, S

    1995-01-01

    Several bacterial and parasite transfusion-transmitted diseases have been described in the medical literature. This review deals with the main bacterial (Syphilis, Lyme disease, Gram positive and Gram negative agents), parasite (Chagas disease, malaria, leishmaniasis, toxoplasmosis and babesiosis) and rickettsial diseases that are carried by blood products. Preventional aspects (e.g. storage, screening tests, use of leukocyte-depleted components), diagnosis, geographical distribution and the incidence of these transfusional hazards are also discussed.

  3. 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.

  4. Experimental infection and transmission of Leishmania by Lutzomyia cruzi (Diptera: Psychodidae): Aspects of the ecology of parasite-vector interactions.

    PubMed

    Falcão de Oliveira, Everton; Oshiro, Elisa Teruya; Fernandes, Wagner de Souza; Murat, Paula Guerra; Medeiros, Márcio José de; Souza, Alda Izabel; Oliveira, Alessandra Gutierrez de; Galati, Eunice Aparecida Bianchi

    2017-02-01

    Several parameters should be addressed before incriminating a vector for Leishmania transmission. Those may include its ability to become infected by the same Leishmania species found in humans, the degree of attractiveness for reservoirs and humans and capacity to sustain parasite infection under laboratory conditions. This study evaluated the vectorial capacity of Lutzomyia cruzi for Leishmania infantum and gathered information on its ability to harbor L. amazonensis. Laboratory-reared Lu. cruzi were infected experimentally by feeding them on dogs infected naturally with L. infantum and hamsters infected with L. amazonensis. Sand fly attractiveness to dogs and humans was determined using wild caught insects. The expected daily survival of infected Lu. cruzi, the duration of the gonotrophic cycle, and the extrinsic incubation period were also investigated for both parasites. Vector competence was investigated for both Leishmania species. The mean proportion of female sand flies that fed on hosts was 0.40. For L. infantum and L. amazonensis, Lu. cruzi had experimental infection rates of 10.55% and 41.56%, respectively. The extrinsic incubation period was 3 days for both Leishmania species, regardless of the host. Survival expectancy of females infected with L. infantum and L. amazonensis after completing the gonotrophic cycle was 1.32 and 0.43, respectively. There was no association between L. infantum infection and sand fly longevity, but L. amazonensis-infected flies had significantly greater survival probabilities. Furthermore, egg-laying was significantly detrimental to survival. Lu. cruzi was found to be highly attracted to both dogs and humans. After a bloodmeal on experimentally infected hosts, both parasites were able to survive and develop late-stage infections in Lu. cruzi. However, transmission was demonstrated only for L. amazonensis-infected sand flies. In conclusion, Lu. cruzi fulfilled several of the requirements of vectorial capacity for L. infantum

  5. Experimental infection and transmission of Leishmania by Lutzomyia cruzi (Diptera: Psychodidae): Aspects of the ecology of parasite-vector interactions

    PubMed Central

    Murat, Paula Guerra; de Medeiros, Márcio José; Souza, Alda Izabel; de Oliveira, Alessandra Gutierrez

    2017-01-01

    Several parameters should be addressed before incriminating a vector for Leishmania transmission. Those may include its ability to become infected by the same Leishmania species found in humans, the degree of attractiveness for reservoirs and humans and capacity to sustain parasite infection under laboratory conditions. This study evaluated the vectorial capacity of Lutzomyia cruzi for Leishmania infantum and gathered information on its ability to harbor L. amazonensis. Laboratory-reared Lu. cruzi were infected experimentally by feeding them on dogs infected naturally with L. infantum and hamsters infected with L. amazonensis. Sand fly attractiveness to dogs and humans was determined using wild caught insects. The expected daily survival of infected Lu. cruzi, the duration of the gonotrophic cycle, and the extrinsic incubation period were also investigated for both parasites. Vector competence was investigated for both Leishmania species. The mean proportion of female sand flies that fed on hosts was 0.40. For L. infantum and L. amazonensis, Lu. cruzi had experimental infection rates of 10.55% and 41.56%, respectively. The extrinsic incubation period was 3 days for both Leishmania species, regardless of the host. Survival expectancy of females infected with L. infantum and L. amazonensis after completing the gonotrophic cycle was 1.32 and 0.43, respectively. There was no association between L. infantum infection and sand fly longevity, but L. amazonensis–infected flies had significantly greater survival probabilities. Furthermore, egg-laying was significantly detrimental to survival. Lu. cruzi was found to be highly attracted to both dogs and humans. After a bloodmeal on experimentally infected hosts, both parasites were able to survive and develop late-stage infections in Lu. cruzi. However, transmission was demonstrated only for L. amazonensis–infected sand flies. In conclusion, Lu. cruzi fulfilled several of the requirements of vectorial capacity for L

  6. 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.

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

    PubMed

    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 organization

  9. 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.

  10. 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).

  11. 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

  12. Foodborne parasites from wildlife: how wild are they?

    PubMed

    Kapel, Christian M O; Fredensborg, Brian L

    2015-04-01

    The majority of wild foods consumed by humans are sourced from intensively managed or semi-farmed populations. Management practices inevitably affect wildlife density and habitat characteristics, which are key elements in the transmission of parasites. We consider the risk of transmission of foodborne parasites to humans from wildlife maintained under natural or semi-natural conditions. A deeper understanding will be useful in counteracting foodborne parasites arising from the growing industry of novel and exotic foods.

  13. Immunoepidemiology of Wuchereria bancrofti Infection: Parasite Transmission Intensity, Filaria-Specific Antibodies, and Host Immunity in Two East African Communities▿

    PubMed Central

    Jaoko, Walter G.; Michael, Edwin; Meyrowitsch, Dan W.; Estambale, Benson B. A.; Malecela, Mwele N.; Simonsen, Paul E.

    2007-01-01

    We compared the age profiles of infection and specific antibody intensities in two communities with different transmission levels in East Africa to examine the contribution of humoral responses to human immunity to the vector-borne helminth Wuchereria bancrofti. The worm intensities were higher and exhibited a nonlinear age pattern in a high-transmission community, Masaika, in contrast to the low but linearly increasing age infection profile observed for a low-transmission community, Kingwede. The mean levels of specific immunoglobulin G1 (IgG1), IgG2, IgG4, and IgE were also higher in Masaika, but intriguingly, the IgG3 response was higher in Kingwede. The age-antibody patterns differed in the two communities but in a manner apparently contrary to a role in acquired immunity when the data were assessed using simple correlation methods. By contrast, multivariate analyses showed that the antibody response to infection may be classified into three types and that two of these types, a IgG3-type response and a response measuring a trade-off in host production of IgG4 and IgG3 versus production of IgG1, IgG2, and IgE, had a negative effect on Wuchereria circulating antigen levels in a manner that supported a role for these responses in the generation of acquired immunity to infection. Mathematical modeling supported the conclusions drawn from empirical data analyses that variations in both transmission and worm intensity can explain community differences in the age profiles and impacts of these antibody response types. This study showed that parasite-specific antibody responses may be associated with the generation of acquired immunity to human filarial infection but in a form which is dependent on worm transmission intensity and interactions between immune components. PMID:17908811

  14. Naloxonazine, an Amastigote-Specific Compound, Affects Leishmania Parasites through Modulation of Host-Encoded Functions

    PubMed Central

    Vanhollebeke, Benoit; Caljon, Guy; Wolfe, Alan R.; McKerrow, James; Dujardin, Jean-Claude

    2016-01-01

    Host-directed therapies (HDTs) constitute promising alternatives to traditional therapy that directly targets the pathogen but is often hampered by pathogen resistance. HDT could represent a new treatment strategy for leishmaniasis, a neglected tropical disease caused by the obligate intracellular parasite Leishmania. This protozoan develops exclusively within phagocytic cells, where infection relies on a complex molecular interplay potentially exploitable for drug targets. We previously identified naloxonazine, a compound specifically active against intracellular but not axenic Leishmania donovani. We evaluated here whether this compound could present a host cell-dependent mechanism of action. Microarray profiling of THP-1 macrophages treated with naloxonazine showed upregulation of vATPases, which was further linked to an increased volume of intracellular acidic vacuoles. Treatment of Leishmania-infected macrophages with the vATPase inhibitor concanamycin A abolished naloxonazine effects, functionally demonstrating that naloxonazine affects Leishmania amastigotes indirectly, through host cell vacuolar remodeling. These results validate amastigote-specific screening approaches as a powerful way to identify alternative host-encoded targets. Although the therapeutic value of naloxonazine itself is unproven, our results further demonstrate the importance of intracellular acidic compartments for host defense against Leishmania, highlighting the possibility of targeting this host cell compartment for anti-leishmanial therapy. PMID:28036391

  15. Coexistence of two species of haplosporidian parasites in a population of the marine amphipod Parhyale hawaiensis with evidence for parasite phagocytosis and transmission mode.

    PubMed

    Ismail, Tarek Gad El-Kareem

    2011-04-01

    The amphipod Parhyale hawaiensis live hiding underneath stones and shingles along the shore line in supra-littoral zone of Sharm El-Nagha site, Hurghada city, Red Sea. The collected specimens of P. hawaiensis are infected with two protozoan parasites, Urosporidium sp. and Haplosporidium sp. which invade many organs of both females and males. The life cycle of the parasites was described in addition to their histopathological effects on host's tissues. The study showed some evidence for the defense reaction of the host as engulfing and degraded stages of parasites by granulocytes. The two parasite species coexist at different prevalence's in one host population and bi-infected individuals were few.

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

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2014-07-28

    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...are a diverse group of infectious diseases including STH infections , lymphatic filariasis (LF), schistosomiasis, onchocerciasis, and at least 13

  17. Dynamic vs. static social networks in models of parasite transmission: predicting Cryptosporidium spread in wild lemurs.

    PubMed

    Springer, Andrea; Kappeler, Peter M; Nunn, Charles L

    2016-12-14

    Social networks provide an established tool to implement heterogeneous contact structures in epidemiological models. Dynamic temporal changes in contact structure and ranging behaviour of wildlife may impact disease dynamics. A consensus has yet to emerge, however, concerning the conditions in which network dynamics impact model outcomes, as compared to static approximations that average contact rates over longer time periods. Furthermore, as many pathogens can be transmitted both environmentally and via close contact, it is important to investigate the relative influence of both transmission routes in real-world populations. Here, we use empirically derived networks from a population of wild primates, Verreaux's sifakas (Propithecus verreauxi), and simulated networks to investigate pathogen spread in dynamic vs. static social networks. First, we constructed a susceptible-exposed-infected-recovered model of Cryptosporidium spread in wild Verreaux's sifakas. We incorporated social and environmental transmission routes and parameterized the model for two different climatic seasons. Second, we used simulated networks and greater variation in epidemiological parameters to investigate the conditions in which dynamic networks produce larger outbreak sizes than static networks. We found that average outbreak size of Cryptosporidium infections in sifakas was larger when the disease was introduced in the dry season than in the wet season, driven by an increase in home range overlap towards the end of the dry season. Regardless of season, dynamic networks always produced larger average outbreak sizes than static networks. Larger outbreaks in dynamic models based on simulated networks occurred especially when the probability of transmission and recovery were low. Variation in tie strength in the dynamic networks also had a major impact on outbreak size, while network modularity had a weaker influence than epidemiological parameters that determine transmission and recovery

  18. Probability of Transmission of Malaria from Mosquito to Human Is Regulated by Mosquito Parasite Density in Naïve and Vaccinated Hosts

    PubMed Central

    Sinden, Robert E.; Poulton, Ian D.; Griffin, Jamie T.; Upton, Leanna M.; Sala, Katarzyna A.; Angrisano, Fiona; Hill, Adrian V. S.; Blagborough, Andrew M.

    2017-01-01

    Over a century since Ronald Ross discovered that malaria is caused by the bite of an infectious mosquito it is still unclear how the number of parasites injected influences disease transmission. Currently it is assumed that all mosquitoes with salivary gland sporozoites are equally infectious irrespective of the number of parasites they harbour, though this has never been rigorously tested. Here we analyse >1000 experimental infections of humans and mice and demonstrate a dose-dependency for probability of infection and the length of the host pre-patent period. Mosquitoes with a higher numbers of sporozoites in their salivary glands following blood-feeding are more likely to have caused infection (and have done so quicker) than mosquitoes with fewer parasites. A similar dose response for the probability of infection was seen for humans given a pre-erythrocytic vaccine candidate targeting circumsporozoite protein (CSP), and in mice with and without transfusion of anti-CSP antibodies. These interventions prevented infection more efficiently from bites made by mosquitoes with fewer parasites. The importance of parasite number has widespread implications across malariology, ranging from our basic understanding of the parasite, how vaccines are evaluated and the way in which transmission should be measured in the field. It also provides direct evidence for why the only registered malaria vaccine RTS,S was partially effective in recent clinical trials. PMID:28081253

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

    PubMed

    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

    2015-12-21

    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.

  20. 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

  1. Low genetic variation in the salmon and trout parasite Loma salmonae (Microsporidia) supports marine transmission and clarifies species boundaries.

    PubMed

    Brown, Amanda M V; Kent, Michael L; Adamson, Martin L

    2010-07-26

    Loma salmonae is a microsporidian parasite prevalent in wild and farmed salmon species of the genus Oncorhynchus. This study compared ribosomal RNA (rDNA) and elongation factor-1 alpha (EF-1alpha) gene sequences to look for variation that may provide a basis for distinguishing populations. Specimens were collected from laboratory, captive (sea netpen farm and freshwater hatchery) and wild populations of fish. The host range included rainbow trout O. mykiss, Pacific salmon Oncorhynchus spp. and brook trout Salvelinus fontinalis from British Columbia, Prince Edward Island, Canada, from California, Colorado, Idaho, U.S.A. and from Chile. Both loci suggested that a variant in S. fontinalis (named 'SV') was a separate species. This was supported by the absence of similar variants in the source material (isolated from laboratory-held O. tshawytscha) and high divergence (1.4 to 2.3% in the rDNA and EF-1alpha) from L. salmonae in the type host and locality (0. mykiss in California). L. salmonae from freshwater and anadromous Oncorhynchus spp. were distinguished, providing a basis on which to evaluate possible sources of infection and suggesting geographic boundaries are important. Higher genetic variation occurred among samples of freshwater origin and from a sea netpen farm in Chile, suggesting these environments may present greater population diversity. Invariance in rDNA sequence across 17 samples from anadromous salmon in rivers, lakes, ocean, farms and hatcheries supports the hypothesis that marine transmission occurs and effectively prevents population substructuring caused by freshwater transmission.

  2. 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

  3. When parasites become prey: ecological and epidemiological significance of eating parasites

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Johnson, Pieter T.J.; Dobson, Andrew P.; Lafferty, Kevin D.; Marcogliese, David J.; Memmott, Jane; Orlofske, Sarah A.; Poulin, Robert; Thieltges, David W.

    2010-01-01

    Recent efforts to include parasites in food webs have drawn attention to a previously ignored facet of foraging ecology: parasites commonly function as prey within ecosystems. Because of the high productivity of parasites, their unique nutritional composition and their pathogenicity in hosts, their consumption affects both food-web topology and disease risk in humans and wildlife. Here, we evaluate the ecological, evolutionary and epidemiological significance of feeding on parasites, including concomitant predation, grooming, predation on free-living stages and intraguild predation. Combining empirical data and theoretical models, we show that consumption of parasites is neither rare nor accidental, and that it can sharply affect parasite transmission and food web properties. Broader consideration of predation on parasites will enhance our understanding of disease control, food web structure and energy transfer, and the evolution of complex life cycles.

  4. Experimental transmission of malacosporean parasites from bryozoans to common carp ( Cyprinus carpio) and minnow ( Phoxinus phoxinus).

    PubMed

    Grabner, D S; El-Matbouli, M

    2010-04-01

    To address whether a fish host is involved in the life cycles of malacosporeans of the genus Buddenbrockia, cohabitation experiments with different bryozoan and fish species were conducted. Samples were analysed by malacosporean-specific PCR, partial sequencing of the 18S rDNA, and light and electron microscopy. Co-habitation challenges with bryozoans resulted in malacosporean infections detected mainly in the kidney of common carp (Cyprinus carpio) and minnow (Phoxinus phoxinus). Sequences of the minnow parasite and of worm-like Buddenbrockia stages in Plumatella repens were identical and showed 99.5% similarity to Buddenbrockia plumatellae and 96.3% similarity to the sequence obtained from carp. One sample, comprising 4-5 zooids of statoblast-raised bryozoans cohabitated with infected carp was PCR-positive, but no overt infection could be observed in the remaining colony. Light and electron-microscopy of kidney samples of infected minnows revealed single cells within kidney tubules, whereas in carp, sporogonic stages were found in kidney tubules. Phylogenetic analysis of the Buddenbrockia spp. known to date placed the carp-infecting species at the base of the B. plumatellae clade, but low posterior probability makes this node questionable. The present study showed that Buddenbrockia spp. were able to infect cyprinid fish, showing stages in kidney-tubules strikingly similar to those of T. bryosalmonae.

  5. Infection dynamics of endemic malaria in a wild bird population: parasite species-dependent drivers of spatial and temporal variation in transmission rates.

    PubMed

    Lachish, Shelly; Knowles, Sarah C L; Alves, Ricardo; Wood, Matthew J; Sheldon, Ben C

    2011-11-01

    1. Investigating the ecological context in which host-parasite interactions occur and the roles of biotic and abiotic factors in forcing infection dynamics is essential to understanding disease transmission, spread and maintenance. 2. Despite their prominence as model host-pathogen systems, the relative influence of environmental heterogeneity and host characteristics in influencing the infection dynamics of avian blood parasites has rarely been assessed in the wild, particularly at a within-population scale. 3. We used a novel multievent modelling framework (an extension of multistate mark-recapture modelling) that allows for uncertainty in disease state, to estimate transmission parameters and assess variation in the infection dynamics of avian malaria in a large, longitudinally sampled data set of breeding blue tits infected with two divergent species of Plasmodium parasites. 4. We found striking temporal and spatial heterogeneity in the disease incidence rate and the likelihood of recovery within this single population and demonstrate marked differences in the relative influence of environmental and host factors in forcing the infection dynamics of the two Plasmodium species. 5. Proximity to a permanent water source greatly influenced the transmission rates of P. circumflexum, but not of P. relictum, suggesting that these parasites are transmitted by different vectors. 6. Host characteristics (age/sex) were found to influence infection rates but not recovery rates, and their influence on infection rates was also dependent on parasite species: P. relictum infection rates varied with host age, whilst P. circumflexum infection rates varied with host sex. 7. Our analyses reveal that transmission of endemic avian malaria is a result of complex interactions between biotic and abiotic components that can operate on small spatial scales and demonstrate that knowledge of the drivers of spatial and temporal heterogeneity in disease transmission will be

  6. 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

  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.

  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. The transmission potential of malaria-infected mosquitoes (An.gambiae-Keele, An.arabiensis-Ifakara) is altered by the vertebrate blood type they consume during parasite development.

    PubMed

    Emami, S Noushin; Ranford-Cartwright, Lisa C; Ferguson, Heather M

    2017-01-17

    The efficiency of malaria parasite development within mosquito vectors (sporogony) is a critical determinant of transmission. Sporogony is thought to be controlled by environmental conditions and mosquito/parasite genetic factors, with minimal contribution from mosquito behaviour during the period of parasite development. We tested this assumption by investigating whether successful sporogony of Plasmodium falciparum parasites through to human-infectious transmission stages is influenced by the host species upon which infected mosquitoes feed. Studies were conducted on two major African vector species that generally are found to differ in their innate host preferences: Anopheles arabiensis and An. gambiae sensu stricto. We show that the proportion of vectors developing transmissible infections (sporozoites) was influenced by the source of host blood consumed during sporogony. The direction of this effect was associated with the innate host preference of vectors: higher sporozoite prevalences were generated in the usually human-specialist An. gambiae s.s. feeding on human compared to cow blood, whereas the more zoophilic An. arabiensis had significantly higher prevalences after feeding on cow blood. The potential epidemiological implications of these results are discussed.

  10. Quantifying anuran microhabitat use to infer the potential for parasite transmission between invasive cane toads and two species of Australian native frogs.

    PubMed

    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.

  11. 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

  12. The transmission potential of malaria-infected mosquitoes (An.gambiae-Keele, An.arabiensis-Ifakara) is altered by the vertebrate blood type they consume during parasite development

    PubMed Central

    Emami, S. Noushin; Ranford-Cartwright, Lisa C.; Ferguson, Heather M.

    2017-01-01

    The efficiency of malaria parasite development within mosquito vectors (sporogony) is a critical determinant of transmission. Sporogony is thought to be controlled by environmental conditions and mosquito/parasite genetic factors, with minimal contribution from mosquito behaviour during the period of parasite development. We tested this assumption by investigating whether successful sporogony of Plasmodium falciparum parasites through to human-infectious transmission stages is influenced by the host species upon which infected mosquitoes feed. Studies were conducted on two major African vector species that generally are found to differ in their innate host preferences: Anopheles arabiensis and An. gambiae sensu stricto. We show that the proportion of vectors developing transmissible infections (sporozoites) was influenced by the source of host blood consumed during sporogony. The direction of this effect was associated with the innate host preference of vectors: higher sporozoite prevalences were generated in the usually human-specialist An. gambiae s.s. feeding on human compared to cow blood, whereas the more zoophilic An. arabiensis had significantly higher prevalences after feeding on cow blood. The potential epidemiological implications of these results are discussed. PMID:28094293

  13. Can the parasitic fauna on Nile tilapias be affected by different production systems?

    PubMed

    Martins, Maurício L; Azevedo, Tatiana M P; Ghiraldelli, Luciana; Bernardi, Neuza

    2010-06-01

    This study compared the parasitic fauna on Nile tilapias kept with swine dejects and tilapia from fee fishing fed commercial ration. A total of 360 fish were analyzed from August 2003 to July 2004 in a facility situated in Nova Trento, Santa Catarina, Brazil. No significant difference was observed in both systems. The parasite fauna in both systems were slightly similar, with the presence of the following parasites: Trichodina magna and T compacta (Ciliophora); Cichlidogyrus sclerosus and Cichlidogyrus sp. (Monogenoidea); and Lamproglena sp. (Lernaeidae). Parasitological analyzes did not differ among fishes kept with swine dejects and in fee fishing with commercial diet (P >0.05). The total prevalence of trichodinids in the gills of fish kept with swine dejects was 1.7% as compared to the one kept in fee fishing with commercial diet (0.6%). The Monogenoidea prevalence and mean intensity in the gills and body of fish from fee fishing was 16.5% and 2.6, and compared to other system was 13.2% and 0.8, respectively. This study showed that low stocking density and low water temperature in that region were responsible for the maintenance of good health and lower parasitism rate.

  14. MHC-I affects infection intensity but not infection status with a frequent avian malaria parasite in blue tits.

    PubMed

    Westerdahl, Helena; Stjernman, Martin; Råberg, Lars; Lannefors, Mimi; Nilsson, Jan-Åke

    2013-01-01

    Host resistance against parasites depends on three aspects: the ability to prevent, control and clear infections. In vertebrates the immune system consists of innate and adaptive immunity. Innate immunity is particularly important for preventing infection and eradicating established infections at an early stage while adaptive immunity is slow, but powerful, and essential for controlling infection intensities and eventually clearing infections. Major Histocompatibility Complex (MHC) molecules are central in adaptive immunity, and studies on parasite resistance and MHC in wild animals have found effects on both infection intensity (parasite load) and infection status (infected or not). It seems MHC can affect both the ability to control infection intensities and the ability to clear infections. However, these two aspects have rarely been considered simultaneously, and their relative importance in natural populations is therefore unclear. Here we investigate if MHC class I genotype affects infection intensity and infection status with a frequent avian malaria infection Haemoproteus majoris in a natural population of blue tits Cyanistes caeruleus. We found a significant negative association between a single MHC allele and infection intensity but no association with infection status. Blue tits that carry a specific MHC allele seem able to suppress H. majoris infection intensity, while we have no evidence that this allele also has an effect on clearance of the H. majoris infection, a result that is in contrast with some previous studies of MHC and avian malaria. A likely explanation could be that the clearance rate of avian malaria parasites differs between avian malaria lineages and/or between avian hosts.

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. Counter-insurgents of the blue revolution? Parasites and diseases affecting aquaculture and science.

    PubMed

    Blaylock, Reginald B; Bullard, Stephen A

    2014-12-01

    Aquaculture is the fastest-growing segment of food production and is expected to supply a growing portion of animal protein for consumption by humans. Because industrial aquaculture developed only recently compared to industrial agriculture, its development occurred within the context of a growing environmental awareness and acknowledgment of environmental issues associated with industrial farming. As such, parasites and diseases have become central criticisms of commercial aquaculture. This focus on parasites and diseases, however, has created a nexus of opportunities for research that has facilitated considerable scientific advances in the fields of parasitology and aquaculture. This paper reviews Myxobolus cerebralis , Lepeophtheirus salmonis , white spot syndrome virus, and assorted flatworms as select marquee aquaculture pathogens, summarizes the status of the diseases caused by each and their impacts on aquaculture, and highlights some of the significant contributions these pathogens have made to the science of parasitology and aquaculture.

  18. Factors affecting the distribution of haemosporidian parasites within an oceanic island.

    PubMed

    Padilla, David P; Illera, Juan Carlos; Gonzalez-Quevedo, Catalina; Villalba, Miry; Richardson, David S

    2017-03-01

    Understanding how different ecological and evolutionary processes influence the distribution of pathogens within the environment is important from many perspectives including wildlife epidemiology, evolutionary ecology and conservation. The simultaneous use of ecological and evolutionary frameworks can enhance our conceptual understanding of host-parasite interactions, however such studies are rare in the wild. Using samples from 12 bird species caught across all habitats existing on an oceanic island, we evaluated how environmental variables, parasite host specificity and parasite phylogenetic relationships determine the distribution and prevalence of haemosporidians (Haemoproteus, Plasmodium and Leucocytozoon) in the wild living avifauna. Differences were found in the prevalence of Plasmodium, but not Leucocytozoon, strains between habitats. The warmest temperature best predicted Plasmodium prevalence in the low altitude habitats, which had the highest incidence of Plasmodium. The prevalence of Leucocytozoon lineages was associated with natural factors, i.e. rainfall, temperature and habitat, but the two most important predictors (from model averaging) for models of Leucocytozoon were anthropogenic: poultry farms and distance to a water reservoir. We found no relationship between local (Tenerife, Canary Islands) versus global host range indices (which assess the diversity of hosts that a parasite is observed to infect), thus global generalist lineages do not behave in the same way on Tenerife (i.e. they infected less avian hosts than was expected). Phylogenetic analysis revealed that the most abundant haemosporidians on Tenerife grouped with lineages found in African host species. Our data indicate that climatic and anthropogenic factors, plus proximity to the African mainland, are the main factors influencing the presence and distribution of avian haemosporidians on Tenerife. Future climate projections for the archipelago foresee significant temperature

  19. North Carolina Hispanic farmworkers and intestinal parasitism: a pilot study of prevalence and health-related practices, and potential means of foodborne transmission.

    PubMed

    Russell, Mindi D; Correa, Maria T; Stauber, Christine E; Kase, Julie A

    2010-05-01

    Migrant and seasonal farmworkers provide much of the necessary labor to harvest and process agricultural commodities desired by consumers. Little is known about the health status (especially the parasitic burden) of farm laborers, who handpick agricultural items such as fruits and vegetables, despite being implicated as a means of foodborne pathogen transmission. The goal of this research was to develop a framework to investigate enteric parasitic infections among Hispanic farmworkers in Eastern North Carolina. Seventy-one interviews were conducted, 16 stool samples were collected, and two parasite-positive workers were found. In addition, some potentially harmful health practices (e.g., self-medication) were identified. Further research is necessary to fully understand the scope of farmworker health issues and the potential risk of disseminating foodborne pathogens to humans. The study model presented provides a geographically expandable format to allow for various types of health investigations including the prevalence of other pathogens.

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. Detecting differential transmissibilities that affect the size of self-limited outbreaks.

    PubMed

    Blumberg, Seth; Funk, Sebastian; Pulliam, Juliet R C

    2014-10-01

    studies lay the foundation for future investigations regarding how infection source, vaccination status or other putative transmissibility traits may affect self-limited transmission.

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. Perturbations of Plasmodium Puf2 Expression and RNA-seq of Puf2-Deficient Sporozoites Reveal a Critical Role in Maintaining RNA Homeostasis and Parasite Transmissibility

    PubMed Central

    Lindner, Scott E.; Mikolajczak, Sebastian A.; Vaughan, Ashley M.; Moon, Wonjong; Joyce, Brad R.; Sullivan, William J.; Kappe, Stefan H. I.

    2013-01-01

    Summary Malaria's cycle of infection requires parasite transmission between a mosquito vector and a mammalian host. We here demonstrate that the Plasmodium yoelii Pumilio-FBF family member Puf2 allows the sporozoite to remain infectious in the mosquito salivary glands while awaiting transmission. Puf2 mediates this solely through its RNA-Binding Domain (RBD) likely by stabilizing or hastening the degradation of specific mRNAs. Puf2 traffics to sporozoite cytosolic granules, which are negative for several markers of stress granules and P-bodies, and disappear rapidly after infection of hepatocytes. In contrast to previously described Plasmodium berghei pbpuf2− parasites, pypuf2− sporozoites have no apparent defect in host infection when tested early in salivary gland residence, but become progressively noninfectious and prematurely transform into EEFs during prolonged salivary gland residence. The premature overexpression of Puf2 in oocysts causes striking deregulation of sporozoite maturation and infectivity while extension of Puf2 expression in liver stages causes no defect, suggesting that the presence of Puf2 alone is not sufficient for its functions. Finally, by conducting the first comparative RNA-seq analysis of Plasmodium sporozoites, we find that Puf2 may play a role in directly or indirectly maintaining the homeostasis of specific transcripts. These findings uncover requirements for maintaining a window of opportunity for the malaria parasite to accommodate the unpredictable moment of transmission from mosquito to mammalian host. PMID:23356439

  7. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

    2016-01-01

    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

  9. Summary of typical parameters that affect sound transmission through general aviation aircraft structures

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Grosveld, F.; Navaneethan, R.; Roskam, J.

    1981-01-01

    This paper presents results of a systematic experimental investigation of parameters which affect sound transmission through general aviation structures. Parameters studied include angle of sound incidence, panel curvature, panel stresses, and edge conditions for bare panels; pane thickness, spacing, inclination of window panes, and depressurization for dual pane windows; densities of hard foam and sound absorption materials, air gaps, and trim panel thickness for multilayered panels. Based on the study, some promising methods for reducing interior noise in general aviation airplanes are discussed.

  10. Malaria parasite development in mosquitoes.

    PubMed

    Beier, J C

    1998-01-01

    Mosquitoes of the genus Anopheles transmit malaria parasites to humans. Anopheles mosquito species vary in their vector potential because of environmental conditions and factors affecting their abundance, blood-feeding behavior, survival, and ability to support malaria parasite development. In the complex life cycle of the parasite in female mosquitoes, a process termed sporogony, mosquitoes acquire gametocyte-stage parasites from blood-feeding on an infected host. The parasites carry out fertilization in the midgut, transform to ookinetes, then oocysts, which produce sporozoites. Sporozoites invade the salivary glands and are transmitted when the mosquito feeds on another host. Most individual mosquitoes that ingest gametocytes do not support development to the sporozoite stage. Bottle-necks occur at every stage of the cycle in the mosquito. Powerful new techniques and approaches exist for evaluating malaria parasite development and for identifying mechanisms regulating malaria parasite-vector interactions. This review focuses on those interactions that are important for the development of new approaches for evaluating and blocking transmission in nature.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. Factors that affect parasitism of black-tailed prairie dogs by fleas

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Eads, David; Hoogland, John L.

    2016-01-01

    Fleas (Insecta: Siphonaptera) are hematophagous ectoparasites that feed on vertebrate hosts. Fleas can reduce the fitness of hosts by interfering with immune responses, disrupting adaptive behaviors, and transmitting pathogens. The negative effects of fleas on hosts are usually most pronounced when fleas attain high densities. In lab studies, fleas desiccate and die under dry conditions, suggesting that populations of fleas will tend to decline when precipitation is scarce under natural conditions. To test this hypothesis, we compared precipitation vs. parasitism of black-tailed prairie dogs (Cynomys ludovicianus) by fleas at a single colony during May and June of 13 consecutive years (1976–1988) at Wind Cave National Park, South Dakota, USA. The number of fleas on prairie dogs decreased with increasing precipitation during both the prior growing season (April through August of the prior year) and the just-completed winter–spring (January through April of current year). Due to the reduction in available moisture and palatable forage in dry years, herbivorous prairie dogs might have been food-limited, with weakened behavioral and immunological defenses against fleas. In support of this hypothesis, adult prairie dogs of low mass harbored more fleas than heavier adults. Our results have implications for the spread of plague, an introduced bacterial disease, transmitted by fleas, that devastates prairie dog colonies and, in doing so, can transform grassland ecosystems.

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

    PubMed

    Williams, Livy; Roane, Timberley M

    2007-12-01

    The success of biological control is partly mediated by the longevity and reproductive success of beneficial insects. Availability of nectar and honeydew can improve the nutrition of parasitic insects, and thereby increase their longevity and realized fecundity. The egg parasitoid, Anaphes iole, showed strong gustatory perception of trehalulose, a carbohydrate found in homopteran honeydew. Chromatographic analysis demonstrated that enzymatic hydrolysis of sucrose, a common nectar sugar, proceeded at a faster rate than that of melezitose, a sugar common in aphid honeydew. A long-term bioassay showed that longevity was greater at 20 degrees C than at 27 degrees C, and at both temperatures survival was generally greatest for wasps provisioned with the three major nectar sugars, sucrose, glucose, and fructose. Patterns of food acceptance and utilization showed that A. iole accepted and utilized a broad range of sugars found in nature, including those found in nectar as well as honeydew. Glucose, fructose, and several oligosaccharides composed of these monosaccharide units appear to be more suitable for A. iole than other sugars tested. Evidence suggests that individual fitness benefits afforded by food sources are important for a time-limited parasitoid, and that continued investigations on the interface between nutrition and biological control are warranted for A. iole.

  15. Multifunctional Thioredoxin-Like Protein from the Gastrointestinal Parasitic Nematodes Strongyloides ratti and Trichuris suis Affects Mucosal Homeostasis

    PubMed Central

    Hansmann, Jan; Winter, Dominic; Schramm, Guido; Erttmann, Klaus D.; Liebau, Eva

    2016-01-01

    The cellular redox state is important for the regulation of multiple functions and is essential for the maintenance of cellular homeostasis and antioxidant defense. In the excretory/secretory (E/S) products of Strongyloides ratti and Trichuris suis sequences for thioredoxin (Trx) and Trx-like protein (Trx-lp) were identified. To characterize the antioxidant Trx-lp and its interaction with the parasite's mucosal habitat, S. ratti and T. suis Trx-lps were cloned and recombinantly expressed. The primary antioxidative activity was assured by reduction of insulin and IgM. Further analysis applying an in vitro mucosal 3D-cell culture model revealed that the secreted Trx-lps were able to bind to monocytic and intestinal epithelial cells and induce the time-dependent release of cytokines such as TNF-α, IL-22, and TSLP. In addition, the redox proteins also possessed chemotactic activity for monocytic THP-1 cells and fostered epithelial wound healing activity. These results confirm that the parasite-secreted Trx-lps are multifunctional proteins that can affect the host intestinal mucosa. PMID:27872753

  16. 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

  17. Viruses of parasites as actors in the parasite-host relationship: A "ménage à trois".

    PubMed

    Gómez-Arreaza, Amaranta; Haenni, Anne-Lise; Dunia, Irene; Avilán, Luisana

    2017-02-01

    The complex parasite-host relationship involves multiple mechanisms. Moreover, parasites infected by viruses modify this relationship adding more complexity to the system that now comprises three partners. Viruses infecting parasites were described several decades ago. However, until recently little was known about the viruses involved and their impact on the resulting disease caused to the hosts. To clarify this situation, we have concentrated on parasitic diseases caused to humans and on how virus-infected parasites could alter the symptoms inflicted on the human host. It is clear that the effect caused to the human host depends on the virus and on the parasite it has infected. Consequently, the review is divided as follows: Viruses with a possible effect on the virulence of the parasite. This section reviews pertinent articles showing that infection of parasites by viruses might increase the detrimental effect of the tandem virus-parasite on the human host (hypervirulence) or decrease virulence of the parasite (hypovirulence). Parasites as vectors affecting the transmission of viruses. In some cases, the virus-infected parasite might facilitate the transfer of the virus to the human host. Parasites harboring viruses with unidentified effects on their host. In spite of recently renewed interest in parasites in connection with their viruses, there still remains a number of cases in which the effect of the virus of a given parasite on the human host remains ambiguous. The triangular relationship between the virus, the parasite and the host, and the modulation of the pathogenicity and virulence of the parasites by viruses should be taken into account in the rationale of fighting against parasites.

  18. Low temperature affects cattle tick reproduction but does not lead to transovarial transmission of Anaplasma marginale.

    PubMed

    Esteves, E; Pohl, P C; Klafke, G M; Reck, J; Fogaça, A C; Martins, J R; Daffre, S

    2015-12-15

    Anaplasma marginale is an obligate intracellular pathogen that infects the erythrocytes of calves, causing bovine anaplasmosis. This rickettsia is biologically transmitted by several species of ticks. In tropical and subtropical regions of the world, Rhipicephalus microplus is the main vector. Due to their mobility and longevity, the adult males play an important role in the transmission of A. marginale to calves. Some studies have demonstrated that A. marginale can be intrastadially and interstadially transmitted in R. microplus, but the transovarial transmission has not been demonstrated so far. In the present study, we investigated the effects of low temperature on both the A. marginale migration from infected females to their offspring and reproductive parameters of the tick R. microplus. The larvae of R. microplus fed on a calf infected with the strain Jaboticabal of A. marginale. At the end of the parasitic phase, fully engorged females were incubated at either 18°C or 28°C for oviposition. Although A. marginale was detected in the salivary glands of the females, demonstrating that the ticks were successfully infected, the presence of rickettsia was not detected in the offspring. However, the preoviposition period of the non-infected females maintained at 18°C was longer than that of those maintained at 28°C. In addition, the average weight of the mass of eggs as well as the egg production efficiency (ratio of the egg mass weight to the female weight) of the females maintained at 18°C were significantly lower than those of the females incubated at 28°C. There was no larval hatching from the eggs maintained exclusively at 18°C, even at 65 days after female detachment. Hatching occurred only when the eggs maintained at 18°C were transferred to 28°C at 20 days after female detachment (18°C/28°C). We also verified a significantly higher larvae conversion efficiency (ratio of the larvae mass weight to the egg mass weight) in the group of females

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. Longitudinal Modeling of the Association Between Transmissible Risk, Affect During Drug Use and Development of Substance Use Disorder

    PubMed Central

    Tarter, Ralph E.; Kirisci, Levent; Reynolds, Maureen; Horner, Michelle; Zhai, ZuWei; Gathuru, Irene; Vanyukov, Michael

    2015-01-01

    Objective This longitudinal investigation examined the hypothesis that subjective experience during consumption of preferred drugs mediates the association of transmissible risk for substance use disorder (SUD) measured in childhood and adolescence and SUD diagnosis in adulthood. Transmissible risk denotes the psychological characteristics having intergenerational continuity between parents and their biological children. Methods The transmissible liability index (TLI) was administered to 483 10–12 year old boys (baseline). Follow-up evaluations were conducted when the boys attained 12–14, 16, 19 and 22 years of age using age-specific versions of the TLI. Frequency of consumption of the participant’s three most preferred drugs, affect on an ordinary day, affect while under influence of the preferred substances and presence/absence of current SUD were assessed at 22 years of age. Results Consumption frequency of preferred drugs among boys mediates the association of transmissible risk during childhood and adolescence and SUD diagnosis in adulthood. Severity of negative affect on a drug-free day predicts frequency of consumption of preferred drugs which, in turn, predicts severity of negative affect during the drug use event. Neither affect on a drug-free day nor affect during the drug use event mediates the association of transmissible risk and SUD. Conclusions Affect on drug-free days, and while under influence of preferred substances covary with consumption frequency; however, affect is not related to transmissible SUD risk or SUD outcome. PMID:26441401

  2. Antipredator behaviour of Myzus persicae affects transmission efficiency of Broad bean wilt virus 1.

    PubMed

    Belliure, Belén; Amorós-Jiménez, Rocco; Fereres, Alberto; Marcos-García, M Ángeles

    2011-08-01

    Biological control has the potential to limit the population growth of arthropod vectors and consequently may be expected to reduce plant virus spread in a crop. However, reduction of vector abundance is not the only effect of biological control. Natural enemies might induce antipredator behaviour that affects feeding and dispersal of vectors, and therefore virus spread. Here we test the effect of two natural enemies on dispersal of the aphid vector Myzus persicae and transmission of Broad bean wilt virus 1 (BBWV-1), genus Fabavirus, which is non-persistently transmitted by aphids. One of the predators tested, the syrphid Sphaerophoria rueppellii, is considered to induce low disturbance in aphid colonies, whereas the other, the coccinellid Adalia bipunctata, is assumed to induce high disturbance. Natural enemies enhanced aphid dispersal, but not virus transmission as compared to the control treatment without predators. However, transmission efficiency of BBWV-1 was higher in the presence of coccinellid adults than with syrphids. The behavioural observations of predators and the reactions of aphids to their presence indicate that a stronger antipredator behaviour is induced by coccinellid adults than by syrphids. The different antipredator behaviour displayed by aphids towards coccinellid adults and syrphids might explain the differences found in the rate of virus spread in their presence.

  3. Transmission distortion affecting human noncrossover but not crossover recombination: a hidden source of meiotic drive.

    PubMed

    Odenthal-Hesse, Linda; Berg, Ingrid L; Veselis, Amelia; Jeffreys, Alec J; May, Celia A

    2014-02-01

    Meiotic recombination ensures the correct segregation of homologous chromosomes during gamete formation and contributes to DNA diversity through both large-scale reciprocal crossovers and very localised gene conversion events, also known as noncrossovers. Considerable progress has been made in understanding factors such as PRDM9 and SNP variants that influence the initiation of recombination at human hotspots but very little is known about factors acting downstream. To address this, we simultaneously analysed both types of recombinant molecule in sperm DNA at six highly active hotspots, and looked for disparity in the transmission of allelic variants indicative of any cis-acting influences. At two of the hotspots we identified a novel form of biased transmission that was exclusive to the noncrossover class of recombinant, and which presumably arises through differences between crossovers and noncrossovers in heteroduplex formation and biased mismatch repair. This form of biased gene conversion is not predicted to influence hotspot activity as previously noted for SNPs that affect recombination initiation, but does constitute a powerful and previously undetected source of recombination-driven meiotic drive that by extrapolation may affect thousands of recombination hotspots throughout the human genome. Intriguingly, at both of the hotspots described here, this drive favours strong (G/C) over weak (A/T) base pairs as might be predicted from the well-established correlations between high GC content and recombination activity in mammalian genomes.

  4. Handling missing data in transmission disequilibrium test in nuclear families with one affected offspring.

    PubMed

    Bourget, Gulhan

    2012-01-01

    The Transmission Disequilibrium Test (TDT) compares frequencies of transmission of two alleles from heterozygote parents to an affected offspring. This test requires all genotypes to be known from all members of the nuclear families. However, obtaining all genotypes in a study might not be possible for some families, in which case, a data set results in missing genotypes. There are many techniques of handling missing genotypes in parents but only a few in offspring. The robust TDT (rTDT) is one of the methods that handles missing genotypes for all members of nuclear families [with one affected offspring]. Even though all family members can be imputed, the rTDT is a conservative test with low power. We propose a new method, Mendelian Inheritance TDT (MITDT-ONE), that controls type I error and has high power. The MITDT-ONE uses Mendelian Inheritance properties, and takes population frequencies of the disease allele and marker allele into account in the rTDT method. One of the advantages of using the MITDT-ONE is that the MITDT-ONE can identify additional significant genes that are not found by the rTDT. We demonstrate the performances of both tests along with Sib-TDT (S-TDT) in Monte Carlo simulation studies. Moreover, we apply our method to the type 1 diabetes data from the Warren families in the United Kingdom to identify significant genes that are related to type 1 diabetes.

  5. The transmission of light affect the color reproduction of plastic print

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chen, Jie; Zhang, Yi-xin; Shi, Gongcheng

    2011-01-01

    By analyzing the different paths that the incident light traverses in the printing, the paper aims to study the effect the transmission of light produces on the color reproduction of the plastic printing. The article also analyzes object characteristics about the three color properties and the color density, so as to make an accurate prediction on the color reproduction of the printing where ink is printed on the end of the plastic base directly. In the research, the incident light on the plastic print are divided into two parts: the reflection of diffuse light in the ink and the optical multi-layer internal reflection of the light through ink layer onto the plastic substrate. In this paper, we use kubelka-munk theory to analyze the transmission of the incident light on the surface of the printing product and Clapper-Yule theory to analyze the incident light which through the ink to the plastic film surface. When the incident light through the ink to the film surface, we have a series of mutually parallel reflected beam and refracted beam, and then obtain the synthesis of the reflected light complex amplitude, using the similar methods to obtain the total reflected and refraction light intensity. Combining the total reflection light intensity through the plastic substrate and the overall reflectivity through a plastic print surface by the kubelka-munk theory, color density and light transmission factor of the plastic substrate can be drawn in the formula: D ∞ f (δ,d,i1 ). From the above equation, we can find that optical phase retardation δ, the thickness of plastic d and the angle of incidence on the plastic surface i1 affect the color reproduction of plastic print.

  6. 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

  7. Food webs and fishing affect parasitism of the sea urchin Eucidaris galapagensis in the Galápagos.

    PubMed

    Sonnenholzner, Jorge I; Lafferty, Kevin D; Ladah, Lydia B

    2011-12-01

    In the Galápagos Islands, two eulimid snails parasitize the common pencil sea urchin, Eucidaris galapagensis. Past work in the Galápagos suggests that fishing reduces lobster and fish densities and, due to this relaxation of predation pressure, indirectly increases urchin densities, creating the potential for complex indirect interactions between fishing and parasitic snails. To measure indirect effects of fishing on these parasitic snails, we investigated the spatial relationships among urchins, parasitic snails, commensal crabs, and large urchin predators (hogfish and lobsters). Parasitic snails had higher densities at sites where urchins were abundant, probably due to increased resource availability. Commensal crabs that shelter under urchin spines, particularly the endemic Mithrax nodosus, preyed on the parasitic snails in aquaria, and snails were less abundant at field sites where these crabs were common. In aquaria, hogfish and lobsters readily ate crabs, but crabs were protected from predation under urchin spines, leading to a facultative mutualism between commensal crabs and urchins. In the field, fishing appeared to indirectly increase the abundance of urchins and their commensal crabs by reducing predation pressure from fish and lobsters. Fished sites had fewer snails per urchin, probably due to increased predation from commensal crabs. However, because fished sites also tended to have more urchins, there was no significant net effect of fishing on the number of snails per square meter. These results suggest that fishing can have complex indirect effects on parasites by altering food webs.

  8. Host specificity in Metamera sillasenorum, n. sp., a gregarine parasite of the leech Helobdella triserialis with notes on transmission dynamics.

    PubMed

    Wise, M R; Janovy, J; Wise, J C

    2000-06-01

    Eugregarines of the suborder Septatorina are apicomplexan parasites that are found mainly in arthropods. Some exceptions are species in the Metameridae that contains the only 5 septate gregarines recorded from annelids. The type genus is Metamera Duke, 1910 with 2 species, Metamera schubergi Duke, 1910, in European Glossiphonia complanata, and Metamera reynoldsi Jones, 1943, from North American G. complanata. Over the summers of 1995-1998, in Keith County, Nebraska, septate gregarines were found in the glossiphoniid leech Helobdella triserialis. The gregarines were determined to be a new species of Metamera, herein named Metamera sillasenorum. Measurements of size and body proportions of over 600 gregarines and 50 oocysts showed differences from measurements of M. schubergi and M. reynoldsi, and secondary septa in the deutomerite were rarely observed. Field observations indicated that M. sillasenorum is probably host specific. In the laboratory, leeches also exhibited strong feeding preferences; e.g., H. triserialis and G. complanata consumed only snails, whereas Helobdella stagnalis consumed only oligochaetes. Infection experiments demonstrated that freshwater snails ingest the oocysts and are required as mechanical vectors. Oocysts were passed unaltered through the snails' intestines. Glossiphonia complanata did not become infected regardless of heavy exposure to oocysts, although only 5 G. complanata were used in the experiments. The results show that host specificity of M. sillasenorum is most likely due to a combination of host-feeding habits and host-parasite compatibility.

  9. Zschokkella helmii n. sp. (Myxozoa: Myxosporea), a new parasite of marbled spinefoot Siganus rivulatus (Forsskal 1775), Red Sea, Egypt: light and transmission electron microscopy.

    PubMed

    Abdel-Ghaffar, F; Ali, M A; Al Quraishy, S; Entzeroth, R; Abdel-Baki, A S; Al Farraj, S; Bashtar, A-R

    2008-01-01

    Zschokkella helmii n. sp., a new parasite of Siganus rivulatus from the Red Sea, Egypt, was described using light and transmission electron microscopy. However, the infection was severe; single "histozoic" plasmodium was encountered in the gallbladder wall. Spores are ellipsoid with 9-11 valvar striations. Spore mean length is 10.8 microm (10.0-11.0), while the spore mean width is 7.5 microm (7.0-8.0). Polar capsules are nearly round with a diameter of 2.2 microm (2.0-3.0) and have five filaments. Ultrastructure of the plasmodial wall and sporogenesis of the present species followed the usual pattern valid for most studied myxosporean species.

  10. 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

  11. A New Pathogen Transmission Mechanism in the Ocean: The Case of Sea Otter Exposure to the Land-Parasite Toxoplasma gondii

    PubMed Central

    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

  12. 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

  13. Migrant Workers in Malaysia: Current Implications of Sociodemographic and Environmental Characteristics in the Transmission of Intestinal Parasitic Infections.

    PubMed

    Sahimin, Norhidayu; Lim, Yvonne A L; Ariffin, Farnaza; Behnke, Jerzy M; Lewis, John W; Mohd Zain, Siti Nursheena

    2016-11-01

    A cross-sectional study of intestinal parasitic infections amongst migrant workers in Malaysia was conducted. A total of 388 workers were recruited from five sectors including manufacturing, construction, plantation, domestic and food services. The majority were recruited from Indonesia (n = 167, 43.3%), followed by Nepal (n = 81, 20.9%), Bangladesh (n = 70, 18%), India (n = 47, 12.1%) and Myanmar (n = 23, 5.9.2%). A total of four nematode species (Ascaris lumbricoides, Trichuris trichiura, Enterobius vermicularis and hookworms), one cestode (Hymenolepis nana) and three protozoan species (Entamoeba histolytica/dispar, Giardia sp. and Cryptosporidium spp.) were identified. High prevalence of infections with A. lumbricoides (43.3%) was recorded followed by hookworms (13.1%), E. histolytica/dispar (11.6%), Giardia sp. (10.8%), T. trichura (9.5%), Cryptosporodium spp. (3.1%), H. nana (1.8%) and E. vermicularis (0.5%). Infections were significantly influenced by socio-demographic (nationality), and environmental characteristics (length of working years in the country, employment sector and educational level). Up to 84.0% of migrant workers from Nepal and 83.0% from India were infected with intestinal parasites, with the ascarid nematode A. lumbricoides occurring in 72.8% of the Nepalese and 68.1% of the Indian population. In addition, workers with an employment history of less than a year or newly arrived in Malaysia were most likely to show high levels of infection as prevalence of workers infected with A. lumbricoides was reduced from 58.2% to 35.4% following a year's residence. These findings suggest that improvement is warranted in public health and should include mandatory medical screening upon entry into the country.

  14. Migrant Workers in Malaysia: Current Implications of Sociodemographic and Environmental Characteristics in the Transmission of Intestinal Parasitic Infections

    PubMed Central

    Sahimin, Norhidayu; Lim, Yvonne A. L.; Ariffin, Farnaza; Behnke, Jerzy M.; Lewis, John W.

    2016-01-01

    A cross-sectional study of intestinal parasitic infections amongst migrant workers in Malaysia was conducted. A total of 388 workers were recruited from five sectors including manufacturing, construction, plantation, domestic and food services. The majority were recruited from Indonesia (n = 167, 43.3%), followed by Nepal (n = 81, 20.9%), Bangladesh (n = 70, 18%), India (n = 47, 12.1%) and Myanmar (n = 23, 5.9.2%). A total of four nematode species (Ascaris lumbricoides, Trichuris trichiura, Enterobius vermicularis and hookworms), one cestode (Hymenolepis nana) and three protozoan species (Entamoeba histolytica/dispar, Giardia sp. and Cryptosporidium spp.) were identified. High prevalence of infections with A. lumbricoides (43.3%) was recorded followed by hookworms (13.1%), E. histolytica/dispar (11.6%), Giardia sp. (10.8%), T. trichura (9.5%), Cryptosporodium spp. (3.1%), H. nana (1.8%) and E. vermicularis (0.5%). Infections were significantly influenced by socio-demographic (nationality), and environmental characteristics (length of working years in the country, employment sector and educational level). Up to 84.0% of migrant workers from Nepal and 83.0% from India were infected with intestinal parasites, with the ascarid nematode A. lumbricoides occurring in 72.8% of the Nepalese and 68.1% of the Indian population. In addition, workers with an employment history of less than a year or newly arrived in Malaysia were most likely to show high levels of infection as prevalence of workers infected with A. lumbricoides was reduced from 58.2% to 35.4% following a year’s residence. These findings suggest that improvement is warranted in public health and should include mandatory medical screening upon entry into the country. PMID:27806046

  15. 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.

  16. Transmission

    SciTech Connect

    Sugano, K.

    1988-12-27

    A transmission is described which consists of: an input shaft; an output shaft; a first planetary gear set including a first sun gear selectively connectable by a first clutch to the input shaft, a first carrier selectively connectable by a second clutch to the input shaft and a first ring gear connected to the output shaft. The first sun gear selectively held stationary by a first brake, the first carrier is allowed to rotate in the same forward direction as the input shaft when the second clutch is engaged, but prevented from rotating in a reverse direction opposite to the forward direction by a first one-way clutch, the first carrier being selectively held stationary by a second brake; a second planetary gear set including a second sun gear connected to the input shaft, a second carrier connected to the first ring gear and also the the output shaft, and a second ring gear.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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...

  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.

  1. 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

  2. The role of host traits, season and group size on parasite burdens in a cooperative mammal.

    PubMed

    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.

  3. A new species of Henneguya, a gill parasite of a freshwater fish Anabas testudineus (Bloch) affected with ulcerative disease syndrome from Manipur, India.

    PubMed

    Hemanand, Th; Meitei, N Mohilal; Bandyopadhyay, Probir K; Mitra, Amlan K

    2008-01-01

    A new species of Henneguya parasitizing tissues affected by the ulcerative disease syndrome of a freshwater fish Anabas testudineus (Bloch) from Khiodum and Pumlen lakes of Manipur state is described. Of the fishes examined 75% were found to be infested with this myxozoan parasite. Mature spores of the new species are elongated, biconvex, and oval with bluntly rounded anterior end and gradually tapering posterior end with a caudal prolongation, measuring 12.6-15.4 (14.0+/- 1.1) microm in length. Length of the caudal prolongation is 11.2-12.6 (11.7+/- 0.6) microm. The width of the spores is 5.6-7.0 (6.3+/- 0.5) microm. The length of the polar capsules is 5.6-6.3 (5.5+/- 0.3) microm.

  4. Host and parasite diversity jointly control disease risk in complex communities

    PubMed Central

    Johnson, Pieter T. J.; Preston, Daniel L.; Hoverman, Jason T.; LaFonte, Bryan E.

    2013-01-01

    Host–parasite interactions are embedded within complex communities composed of multiple host species and a cryptic assemblage of other parasites. To date, however, surprisingly few studies have explored the joint effects of host and parasite richness on disease risk, despite growing interest in the diversity–disease relationship. Here, we combined field surveys and mechanistic experiments to test how transmission of the virulent trematode Ribeiroia ondatrae was affected by the diversity of both amphibian hosts and coinfecting parasites. Within natural wetlands, host and parasite species richness correlated positively, consistent with theoretical predictions. Among sites that supported Ribeiroia, however, host and parasite richness interacted to negatively affect Ribeiroia transmission between its snail and amphibian hosts, particularly in species-poor assemblages. In laboratory and outdoor experiments designed to decouple the relative contributions of host and parasite diversity, increases in host richness decreased Ribeiroia infection by 11–65%. Host richness also tended to decrease total infections by other parasite species (four of six instances), such that more diverse host assemblages exhibited ∼40% fewer infections overall. Importantly, parasite richness further reduced both per capita and total Ribeiroia infection by 15–20%, possibly owing to intrahost competition among coinfecting species. These findings provide evidence that parasitic and free-living diversity jointly regulate disease risk, help to resolve apparent contradictions in the diversity–disease relationship, and emphasize the challenges of integrating research on coinfection and host heterogeneity to develop a community ecology-based approach to infectious diseases. PMID:24082092

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. Factors affecting the strength of Cardinium-induced cytoplasmic incompatibility in the parasitic wasp Encarsia pergandiella (Hymenoptera: Aphelinidae).

    PubMed

    Perlman, Steve J; Dowdy, Nicolas J; Harris, Leanne R; Khalid, Mahwish; Kelly, Suzanne E; Hunter, Martha S

    2014-04-01

    Bacteria that cause cytoplasmic incompatibility (CI) are among the most common maternally transmitted parasites of insects. In CI, uninfected females produce few or no offspring when they mate with infected males and, as a result, are often at a reproductive disadvantage relative to infected females. Two different bacteria are known to cause CI, Wolbachia and Cardinium. CI Cardinium was discovered more recently and has been little studied. Here, factors that could influence the reduction in reproductive output in a CI cross, or CI "strength," were explored in the parasitic wasp Encarsia pergandiella. Cardinium in this wasp exhibits variable CI strength. Experiments tested the effect of male age, male size, male host species, Cardinium density, and male development time on CI strength. We found a striking effect of male development time, with males that took longer to develop exhibiting stronger CI when mated to uninfected females. Male age had little effect; although in one experiment, the oldest males exhibited stronger CI. Male size, host species, and bacterial density had no effect on the strength of CI. Identifying the factors that control CI are crucial for understanding the dynamics of infection, as well as the success of strategies that aim to use CI microbes to control insect pests and disease vectors.

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. Genetic risk transmission in a family affected by familial breast cancer.

    PubMed

    Pilato, Brunella; De Summa, Simona; Danza, Katia; Lacalamita, Rosanna; Lambo, Rossana; Sambiasi, Domenico; Paradiso, Angelo; Tommasi, Stefania

    2014-01-01

    Breast Cancer is the most common malignancy among women. Family history is the strongest single predictor of breast cancer risk, and thus great attention has been focused on BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes whose mutations lead to a high risk of developing this disease. Today, only 25% of high- and moderate-risk genes are known, suggesting the importance of the discovery of new risk modifiers. Therefore, the investigation of new polygenic alterations is of great importance, especially if considered high- and moderate-risk variants. In this study, the transmission of BRCA1-2 polymorphisms in association with the transmission of polymorphisms in the genes NUMA1, CCND1, COX11, FGFR2, TNRC9 and SLC4A7 were examined in all members of a family with the BRCA2 c.6447_6448dup mutation. This is the first study about the transmission of high-risk polygenic variants in all members of a family with a strong history of breast cancer. The results about the possible polygenic variant associations that could increase and modify the risk suggested the importance to search new variants to better manage patients and their family members.

  14. Parasites: evolution's neurobiologists.

    PubMed

    Adamo, Shelley Anne

    2013-01-01

    For millions of years, parasites have altered the behaviour of their hosts. Parasites can affect host behaviour by: (1) interfering with the host's normal immune-neural communication, (2) secreting substances that directly alter neuronal activity via non-genomic mechanisms and (3) inducing genomic- and/or proteomic-based changes in the brain of the host. Changes in host behaviour are often restricted to particular behaviours, with many other behaviours remaining unaffected. Neuroscientists can produce this degree of selectivity by targeting specific brain areas. Parasites, however, do not selectively attack discrete brain areas. Parasites typically induce a variety of effects in several parts of the brain. Parasitic manipulation of host behaviour evolved within the context of the manipulation of other host physiological systems (especially the immune system) that was required for a parasite's survival. This starting point, coupled with the fortuitous nature of evolutionary innovation and evolutionary pressures to minimize the costs of parasitic manipulation, likely contributed to the complex and indirect nature of the mechanisms involved in host behavioural control. Because parasites and neuroscientists use different tactics to control behaviour, studying the methods used by parasites can provide novel insights into how nervous systems generate and regulate behaviour. Studying how parasites influence host behaviour will also help us integrate genomic, proteomic and neurophysiological perspectives on behaviour.

  15. Bioactive Volatiles from an Endophytic Daldinia cf. concentrica Isolate Affect the Viability of the Plant Parasitic Nematode Meloidogyne javanica

    PubMed Central

    Braun Miyara, Sigal; Ezra, David

    2016-01-01

    Plant-parasitic nematodes form one of the largest sources of biotic stress imposed on plants, and are very difficult to control; among them are the obligate parasites, the sedentary root-knot nematodes (RKNs)–Meloidogyne spp.–which are extremely polyphagous and exploit a very wide range of hosts. Endophytic fungi are organisms that spend most of their life cycle within plant tissue without causing visible damage to the host plant. Many endophytes secrete specialized metabolites and/or emit volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that exhibit biological activity. Recently, we demonstrated that the endophytic fungus Daldinia cf. concentrica secrets biologically active VOCs. Here we examined the ability of the fungus and its VOCs to control the RKN M. javanica both in vitro and greenhouse experiments. The D. cf. concentrica VOCs showed bionematicidal activity against the second-stage juveniles (J2s) of M. javanica. We found that exposure of J2s to fungal volatiles caused 67% reduction in viability, and that application of a synthetic volatile mixture (SVM), comprising 3-methyl-1-butanol, (±)-2-methyl-1-butanol, 4-heptanone, and isoamyl acetate, in volumetric ratio of 1:1:2:1 further reduced J2s viability by 99%. We demonstrated that, although each of the four VOCs significantly reduced the viability of J2s relative to the control, only 4-heptanone elicited the same effect as the whole mixture, with nematicidal activity of 90% reduction in viability of the J2s. Study of the effect of the SVM on egg hatching demonstrated that it decreased eggs hatching by 87%. Finally, application of the SVM to soil inoculated with M. javanica eggs or J2s prior to planting susceptible tomato plants resulted in a significantly reduced galling index and fewer eggs produced on each root system, with no effect on root weight. Thus, D. cf. concentrica and/or SVM based on fungal VOCs may be considered as a novel alternative approach to controlling the RKN M. javanica. PMID:27997626

  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.

  17. 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

  18. Host allometry influences the evolution of parasite host-generalism: theory and meta-analysis.

    PubMed

    Walker, Josephine G; Hurford, Amy; Cable, Jo; Ellison, Amy R; Price, Stephen J; Cressler, Clayton E

    2017-05-05

    Parasites vary widely in the diversity of hosts they infect: some parasite species are specialists-infecting just a single host species, while others are generalists, capable of infecting many. Understanding the factors that drive parasite host-generalism is of basic biological interest, but also directly relevant to predicting disease emergence in new host species, identifying parasites that are likely to have unidentified additional hosts, and assessing transmission risk. Here, we use mathematical models to investigate how variation in host body size and environmental temperature affect the evolution of parasite host-generalism. We predict that parasites are more likely to evolve a generalist strategy when hosts are large-bodied, when variation in host body size is large, and in cooler environments. We then explore these predictions using a newly updated database of over 20 000 fish-macroparasite associations. Within the database we see some evidence supporting these predictions, but also highlight mismatches between theory and data. By combining these two approaches, we establish a theoretical basis for interpreting empirical data on parasites' host specificity and identify key areas for future work that will help untangle the drivers of parasite host-generalism.This article is part of the themed issue 'Opening the black box: re-examining the ecology and evolution of parasite transmission'.

  19. 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

  20. A spatial individual-based model predicting a great impact of copious sugar sources and resting sites on survival of Anopheles gambiae and malaria parasite transmission

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Zhu, Lin; Qualls, Whitney A.; Marshall, John M; Arheart, Kris L.; DeAngelis, Don; McManus, John W.; Traore, Sekou F.; Doumbia, Seydou; Schlein, Yosef; Muller, Gunter C.; Beier, John C.

    2015-01-01

    distributed in the whole village compared to clustering around outdoor resting sites or houses.ConclusionsIncreases in densities of sugar sources or outdoor resting sites significantly increase the survival and human biting rates of An. gambiae mosquitoes. Survival of An. gambiae is more supported by random distribution of sugar sources than clustering of sugar sources around resting sites or houses. Density and spatial distribution of natural sugar sources and outdoor resting sites modulate vector populations and human biting rates, and thus malaria parasite transmission.

  1. 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.

  2. Factors affecting frequency and orbit utilization by high power transmission satellite systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kuhns, P. W.; Miller, E. F.; Malley, T. A.

    1972-01-01

    The factors affecting the sharing of the geostationary orbit by high power (primarily television) satellite systems having the same or adjacent coverage areas and by satellites occupying the same orbit segment are examined and examples using the results of computer computations are given. The factors considered include: required protection ratio, receiver antenna patterns, relative transmitter power, transmitter antenna patterns, satellite grouping, and coverage pattern overlap. The results presented indicated the limits of system characteristics and orbit deployment which can result from mixing systems.

  3. An Agent-Based Epidemic Simulation of Social Behaviors Affecting HIV Transmission among Taiwanese Homosexuals

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

    Computational simulations are currently used to identify epidemic dynamics, to test potential prevention and intervention strategies, and to study the effects of social behaviors on HIV transmission. The author describes an agent-based epidemic simulation model of a network of individuals who participate in high-risk sexual practices, using number of partners, condom usage, and relationship length to distinguish between high- and low-risk populations. Two new concepts—free links and fixed links—are used to indicate tendencies among individuals who either have large numbers of short-term partners or stay in long-term monogamous relationships. An attempt was made to reproduce epidemic curves of reported HIV cases among male homosexuals in Taiwan prior to using the agent-based model to determine the effects of various policies on epidemic dynamics. Results suggest that when suitable adjustments are made based on available social survey statistics, the model accurately simulates real-world behaviors on a large scale. PMID:25815047

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. Parasites: Water

    MedlinePlus

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

    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

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. Congenital parasitic infections: a review.

    PubMed

    Carlier, Yves; Truyens, Carine; Deloron, Philippe; Peyron, François

    2012-02-01

    This review defines the concepts of maternal-fetal (congenital) and vertical transmissions (mother-to-child) of pathogens and specifies the human parasites susceptible to be congenitally transferred. It highlights the epidemiological features of this transmission mode for the three main congenital parasitic infections due to Toxoplasma gondii, Trypanosoma cruzi and Plasmodium sp. Information on the possible maternal-fetal routes of transmission, the placental responses to infection and timing of parasite transmission are synthesized and compared. The factors susceptible to be involved in parasite transmission and development of congenital parasitic diseases, such as the parasite genotypes, the maternal co-infections and parasitic load, the immunological features of pregnant women and the capacity of some fetuses/neonates to overcome their immunological immaturity to mount an immune response against the transmitted parasites are also discussed and compared. Analysis of clinical data indicates that parasitic congenital infections are often asymptomatic, whereas symptomatic newborns generally display non-specific symptoms. The long-term consequences of congenital infections are also mentioned, such as the imprinting of neonatal immune system and the possible trans-generational transmission. The detection of infection in pregnant women is mainly based on standard serological or parasitological investigations. Amniocentesis and cordocentesis can be used for the detection of some fetal infections. The neonatal infection can be assessed using parasitological, molecular or immunological methods; the place of PCR in such neonatal diagnosis is discussed. When such laboratory diagnosis is not possible at birth or in the first weeks of life, standard serological investigations can also be performed 8-10 months after birth, to avoid detection of maternal transmitted antibodies. The specific aspects of treatment of T. gondii, T. cruzi and Plasmodium congenital infections are

  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. High levels of Trypanosoma cruzi DNA determined by qPCR and infectiousness to Triatoma infestans support dogs and cats are major sources of parasites for domestic transmission.

    PubMed

    Enriquez, G F; Bua, J; Orozco, M M; Wirth, S; Schijman, A G; Gürtler, R E; Cardinal, M V

    2014-07-01

    The competence of reservoir hosts of vector-borne pathogens is directly linked to its capacity to infect the vector. Domestic dogs and cats are major domestic reservoir hosts of Trypanosoma cruzi, and exhibit a much higher infectiousness to triatomines than seropositive humans. We quantified the concentration of T. cruzi DNA in the peripheral blood of naturally-infected dogs and cats (a surrogate of intensity of parasitemia), and evaluated its association with infectiousness to the vector in a high-risk area of the Argentinean Chaco. To measure infectiousness, 44 infected dogs and 15 infected cats were each exposed to xenodiagnosis with 10-20 uninfected, laboratory-reared Triatoma infestans that blood-fed to repletion and were later individually examined for infection by optical microscopy. Parasite DNA concentration (expressed as equivalent amounts of parasite DNA per mL, Pe/mL) was estimated by real-time PCR amplification of the nuclear satellite DNA. Infectiousness increased steeply with parasite DNA concentration both in dogs and cats. Neither the median parasite load nor the mean infectiousness differed significantly between dogs (8.1Pe/mL and 48%) and cats (9.7Pe/mL and 44%), respectively. The infectiousness of dogs was positively and significantly associated with parasite load and an index of the host's body condition, but not with dog's age, parasite discrete typing unit and exposure to infected bugs in a random-effects multiple logistic regression model. Real-time PCR was more sensitive and less time-consuming than xenodiagnosis, and in conjunction with the body condition index, may be used to identify highly infectious hosts and implement novel control strategies.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-10-05

    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.

  14. 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

  15. The expression of virulence for a mixed-mode transmitted parasite in a diapausing host.

    PubMed

    Sheikh-Jabbari, Elham; Hall, Matthew D; Ben-Ami, Frida; Ebert, Dieter

    2014-07-01

    Many parasites survive harsh periods together with their hosts. Without the possibility of horizontal transmission during host diapause, parasite persistence depends entirely on host survival. We therefore hypothesize that a parasite should be avirulent during its host's diapausing stage. In contrast, the parasite may express higher virulence, i.e. parasite-induced fitness reduction of the host, during host life stages with good opportunities for horizontal transmission. Here we study the effects of a vertically and horizontally transmitted microsporidium parasite, Hamiltosporidium tvaerminnensis, on the quantity and survival of resting eggs of its host Daphnia magna. We find that the parasite did not affect egg volume, hatching success and time to hatching of the Daphnia's resting eggs, although it did strongly reduce the number of resting eggs produced by infected females, revealing high virulence during the non-diapause phase of the host's life cycle. These results also explain another aspect of this system - namely the strong decline in natural population prevalence across diapause. This decline is not caused by mortality in infected resting stages, as was previously hypothesized, but because infected female hosts produce lower rates of resting eggs. Together, these results help explain the epidemiological dynamics of a microsporidian disease and highlight the adaptive nature of life stage-dependent parasite virulence.

  16. Control by Preynaptic Correlation: a mechanism affecting information transmission from Ia fibers to motoneurons.

    PubMed

    Rudomin, P; Burke, R E; Núñez, R; Madrid, J; Dutton, H

    1975-03-01

    1. In the unanesthetized spinal cord of the cat, simultaneous intracellular recordings were made from two motoneurons belonging to the gastronemius motor nucleus. 2. Supramaximal iterative stimulation of small branches of the gastrocnemius nerve produced monosynaptic EPSPs (Ia EPSPs) of varying amplitude superimposed on a fluctuating base line. 3. In most cases the variance of the motoneuron membrane potential was increased above base-line levels with a time course approximately matching the Ia EPSP. This suggests that Ia EPSP fluctuations are greater than can be accounted for by the base-line fluctuations alone. 4. For a given series of Ia EPSPs, the smaller responses in the series had about the same decay phase as the larger EPSPs, suggesting that most of the Ia EPSP fluctuations were not due to systematic changes in postsynaptic conductances produced by ongoing activity, but rather to a presynaptic mechanism. 5. Simultaneous recording from two motoneurons showed that base-line fluctuations were positively correlated. In most cases, however, there was an additional increased correlation above base-line levels resembling the time course of the Ia EPSPs, indicating positive correlation between EPSP fluctuations which is attributed to a presynaptic mechanism. 6. Conditioning volleys to group I muscle afferents or to low-threshold cutaneous afferents reduced the variance of the Ia EPSPs and also their correlation in motoneuron pairs, often without changing the mean Ia EPSPs. 7. It is concluded that, in the unanesthetized spinal cord, in addition to the random process which governs transmitter release intrinsic to a given synaptic terminal, there is another stochastic process affecting, in a correlated manner, transmitter release in large sets of Ia synaptic terminals. Most likely, the correlation in transmitter release is achieved by membrane potential fluctuations imposed on the Ia terminal arborizations by ongoing activity of the segmental mechanism mediating

  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. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. Parasite identification, succession and infection pathways in perch fry (Perca fluviatilis): new insights through a combined morphological and genetic approach.

    PubMed

    Behrmann-Godel, Jasminca

    2013-04-01

    Identification of parasite species is particularly challenging in larval and juvenile hosts, and this hampers the understanding of parasite acquisition in early life. The work described here employs a new combination of methods to identify parasite species and study parasite succession in fry of perch (Perca fluviatilis) from Lake Constance, Germany. Classical morphological diagnostics are combined with sequence comparisons between parasite life-stages collected from various hosts within the same ecosystem. In perch fry at different stages of development, 13 different parasite species were found. Incomplete morphological identifications of cestodes of the order Proteocephalidea, and trematodes of the family Diplostomatidae were complemented with sequences of mitochondrial DNA (cytochrome oxidase 1) and/or nuclear (28 s rDNA) genes. Sequences were compared to published data and used to link the parasites in perch to stages from molluscs, arthropods and more easily identifiable developmental stages from other fishes collected in Lake Constance, which both aided parasite identification and clarified transmission pathways. There were distinct changes in parasite community composition and abundance associated with perch fry age and habitat shifts. Some parasites became more abundant in older fish, whereas the composition of parasite communities was more strongly affected by the ontogenetic shifts from the pelagic to the littoral zone.

  1. Apparent mortality as a result of an elevated parasite infection in Presbytis rubicunda.

    PubMed

    Hilser, Harry; Ehlers Smith, Yvette C; Ehlers Smith, David A

    2014-01-01

    We provide the first parasite assessment of wild red langurs (Presbytis rubicunda). Seven helminth taxa and 4 protozoa were recovered from faecal samples. We report the details of the death of an adult female red langur with potential association of an elevated parasite infection. There is a paucity of published literature on red langurs and nothing is known of the factors affecting interspecific parasite transmission and disease spread between other primate species. Parasites may be substantial determinants of host health and may present a significant influence on the survival and reproduction of individuals and the subsequent fecundity of populations. Further research into the connection of parasite burden with individual deaths and potential population declines is recommended for monitoring population health.

  2. A parasite's modification of host behavior reduces predation on its host.

    PubMed

    Soghigian, John; Valsdottir, Linda R; Livdahl, Todd P

    2017-03-01

    Parasite modification of host behavior is common, and the literature is dominated by demonstrations of enhanced predation on parasitized prey resulting in transmission of parasites to their next host. We present a case in which predation on parasitized prey is reduced. Despite theoretical modeling suggesting that this phenomenon should be common, it has been reported in only a few host-parasite-predator systems. Using a system of gregarine endosymbionts in host mosquitoes, we designed experiments to compare the vulnerability of parasitized and unparasitized mosquito larvae to predation by obligate predatory mosquito larvae and then compared behavioral features known to change in the presence of predatory cues. We exposed Aedes triseriatus larvae to the parasite Ascogregarina barretti and the predator Toxohrynchites rutilus and assessed larval mortality rate under each treatment condition. Further, we assessed behavioral differences in larvae due to infection and predation stimuli by recording larvae and scoring behaviors and positions within microcosms. Infection with gregarines reduced cohort mortality in the presence of the predator, but the parasite did not affect mortality alone. Further, infection by parasites altered behavior such that infected hosts thrashed less frequently than uninfected hosts and were found more frequently on or in a refuge within the microcosm. By reducing predation on their host, gregarines may be acting as mutualists in the presence of predation on their hosts. These results illustrate a higher-order interaction, in which a relationship between a species pair (host-endosymbiont or predator-prey) is altered by the presence of a third species.

  3. Host allometry influences the evolution of parasite host-generalism: theory and meta-analysis

    PubMed Central

    Hurford, Amy; Ellison, Amy R.

    2017-01-01

    Parasites vary widely in the diversity of hosts they infect: some parasite species are specialists—infecting just a single host species, while others are generalists, capable of infecting many. Understanding the factors that drive parasite host-generalism is of basic biological interest, but also directly relevant to predicting disease emergence in new host species, identifying parasites that are likely to have unidentified additional hosts, and assessing transmission risk. Here, we use mathematical models to investigate how variation in host body size and environmental temperature affect the evolution of parasite host-generalism. We predict that parasites are more likely to evolve a generalist strategy when hosts are large-bodied, when variation in host body size is large, and in cooler environments. We then explore these predictions using a newly updated database of over 20 000 fish–macroparasite associations. Within the database we see some evidence supporting these predictions, but also highlight mismatches between theory and data. By combining these two approaches, we establish a theoretical basis for interpreting empirical data on parasites' host specificity and identify key areas for future work that will help untangle the drivers of parasite host-generalism. This article is part of the themed issue ‘Opening the black box: re-examining the ecology and evolution of parasite transmission’. PMID:28289257

  4. 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.

  5. Parasitic Diseases

    MedlinePlus

    ... You can get them from contaminated food or water, a bug bite, or sexual contact. Some parasitic diseases are easily treated and some are not. Parasites range in size from tiny, ... Contaminated water supplies can lead to Giardia infections. Cats can ...

  6. Making New Connections: Insights from Primate-Parasite Networks.

    PubMed

    Rushmore, Julie; Bisanzio, Donal; Gillespie, Thomas R

    2017-03-06

    Social interactions are important in everyday life for primates and many other group-living animals; however, these essential exchanges also provide opportunities for parasites to spread through social groups. Network analysis is a unique toolkit for studying pathogen transmission in a social context, and recent primate-parasite network studies shed light on linkages between behavior and infectious disease dynamics, providing insights for conservation and public health. We review existing literature on primate-parasite networks, examining determinants of infection risk, issues of network scale and temporal dynamics, and applications for disease control. We also discuss analytical and conceptual gaps that should be addressed to improve our understanding of how individual and group-level factors affect infection risk, while highlighting interesting areas for future research.

  7. Adaptations in cholinergic transmission in the ventral tegmental area associated with the affective signs of nicotine withdrawal in rats.

    PubMed

    Bruijnzeel, Adrie W; Markou, Athina

    2004-09-01

    Chronic administration of nicotine induces adaptations in the brain reward circuit to counteract the acute drug effects; when nicotine administration ceases, these adaptations remain unopposed and lead to drug withdrawal. The present studies were conducted to assess the effects of chronic nicotine administration on nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) activity in the ventral tegmental area (VTA) and the nucleus accumbens (Nacc) shell. A discrete-trial intracranial self-stimulation procedure that provides current-intensity thresholds as measures of brain reward function was used in rats. Previous studies have shown that withdrawal from nicotine-induced elevations in brain reward thresholds that are indicative of a decrease in brain reward function. We show here that injections of the nAChR antagonist dihydro-beta-erythroidine (DHbetaE; 0.6-20 microg total bilateral dose) into the VTA, but not outside the VTA, resulted in significant elevations in brain reward thresholds in nicotine dependent rats (9 mg/kg/day nicotine hydrogen tartrate) while having no effect in saline-treated controls. By contrast, DHbetaE (0.6-20 microg total bilateral dose) injected into the Nacc shell had no effect on brain reward thresholds of nicotine- or saline-treated rats. The adaptations in cholinergic transmission in the VTA are likely to mediate, at least partly, the affective signs of nicotine withdrawal in humans.

  8. Fishing drives declines in fish parasite diversity and has variable effects on parasite abundance.

    PubMed

    Wood, Chelsea L; Sandin, Stuart A; Zgliczynski, Brian; Guerra, Ana Sofía; Micheli, Fiorenza

    2014-07-01

    Despite the ubiquity and ecological importance of parasites, relatively few studies have assessed their response to anthropogenic environmental change. Heuristic models have predicted both increases and decreases in parasite abundance in response to human disturbance, with empirical support for both. However, most studies focus on one or a few selected parasite species. Here, we assess the abundance of parasites of seven species of coral reef fishes collected from three fished and three unfished islands of the Line Islands archipelago in the central equatorial Pacific. Because we chose fish hosts that spanned different trophic levels, taxonomic groups, and body sizes, we were able to compare parasite responses across a broad cross section of the total parasite community in the presence and absence of fishing, a major human impact on marine ecosystems. We found that overall parasite species richness was substantially depressed on fished islands, but that the response of parasite abundance varied among parasite taxa: directly transmitted parasites were significantly more abundant on fished than on unfished islands, while the reverse was true for trophically transmitted parasites. This probably arises because trophically transmitted parasites require multiple host species, some of which are the top predators most sensitive to fishing impacts. The increase in directly transmitted parasites appeared to be due to fishing-driven compensatory increases in the abundance of their hosts. Together, these results provide support for the predictions of both heuristic models, and indicate that the direction of fishing's impact on parasite abundance is mediated by parasite traits, notably parasite transmission strategies.

  9. 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

  10. Body Condition Peaks at Intermediate Parasite Loads in the Common Bully Gobiomorphus cotidianus.

    PubMed

    Maceda-Veiga, Alberto; Green, Andy J; Poulin, Robert; Lagrue, Clément

    2016-01-01

    Most ecologists and conservationists perceive parasitic infections as deleterious for the hosts. Their effects, however, depend on many factors including host body condition, parasite load and the life cycle of the parasite. More research into how multiple parasite taxa affect host body condition is required and will help us to better understand host-parasite coevolution. We used body condition indices, based on mass-length relationships, to test the effects that abundances and biomasses of six parasite taxa (five trematodes, Apatemon sp., Tylodelphys sp., Stegodexamene anguillae, Telogaster opisthorchis, Coitocaecum parvum, and the nematode Eustrongylides sp.) with different modes of transmission have on the body condition of their intermediate or final fish host, the common bully Gobiomorphus cotidianus in New Zealand. We used two alternative body condition methods, the Scaled Mass Index (SMI) and Fulton's condition factor. General linear and hierarchical partitioning models consistently showed that fish body condition varied strongly across three lakes and seasons, and that most parasites did not have an effect on the two body condition indices. However, fish body condition showed a highly significant humpbacked relationship with the total abundance of all six parasite taxa, mostly driven by Apatemon sp. and S. anguillae, indicating that the effects of these parasites can range from positive to negative as abundance increases. Such a response was also evident in models including total parasite biomass. Our methodological comparison supports the SMI as the most robust mass-length method to examine the effects of parasitic infections on fish body condition, and suggests that linear, negative relationships between host condition and parasite load should not be assumed.

  11. Body Condition Peaks at Intermediate Parasite Loads in the Common Bully Gobiomorphus cotidianus

    PubMed Central

    Maceda-Veiga, Alberto; Green, Andy J.; Poulin, Robert; Lagrue, Clément

    2016-01-01

    Most ecologists and conservationists perceive parasitic infections as deleterious for the hosts. Their effects, however, depend on many factors including host body condition, parasite load and the life cycle of the parasite. More research into how multiple parasite taxa affect host body condition is required and will help us to better understand host-parasite coevolution. We used body condition indices, based on mass-length relationships, to test the effects that abundances and biomasses of six parasite taxa (five trematodes, Apatemon sp., Tylodelphys sp., Stegodexamene anguillae, Telogaster opisthorchis, Coitocaecum parvum, and the nematode Eustrongylides sp.) with different modes of transmission have on the body condition of their intermediate or final fish host, the common bully Gobiomorphus cotidianus in New Zealand. We used two alternative body condition methods, the Scaled Mass Index (SMI) and Fulton’s condition factor. General linear and hierarchical partitioning models consistently showed that fish body condition varied strongly across three lakes and seasons, and that most parasites did not have an effect on the two body condition indices. However, fish body condition showed a highly significant humpbacked relationship with the total abundance of all six parasite taxa, mostly driven by Apatemon sp. and S. anguillae, indicating that the effects of these parasites can range from positive to negative as abundance increases. Such a response was also evident in models including total parasite biomass. Our methodological comparison supports the SMI as the most robust mass-length method to examine the effects of parasitic infections on fish body condition, and suggests that linear, negative relationships between host condition and parasite load should not be assumed. PMID:28030606

  12. Contact transmission of Tobacco mosaic virus: a quantitative analysis of parameters relevant for virus evolution.

    PubMed

    Sacristán, Soledad; Díaz, Maira; Fraile, Aurora; García-Arenal, Fernando

    2011-05-01

    Transmission between hosts is required for the maintenance of parasites in the host population and determines their ultimate evolutionary success. The transmission ability of parasites conditions their evolution in two ways: on one side, it affects the genetic structure of founded populations in new hosts. On the other side, parasite traits that increase transmission efficiency will be selected for. Therefore, knowledge of the factors and parameters that determine transmission efficiency is critical to predict the evolution of parasites. For plant viruses, little is known about the parameters of contact transmission, a major way of transmission of important virus genera and species. Here, we analyze the factors determining the efficiency of contact transmission of Tobacco mosaic virus (TMV) that may affect virus evolution. As it has been reported for other modes of transmission, the rate of TMV transmission by contact depended on the contact opportunities between an infected and a noninfected host. However, TMV contact transmission differed from other modes of transmission, in that a positive correlation between the virus titer in the source leaf and the rate of transmission was not found within the range of our experimental conditions. Other factors associated with the nature of the source leaf, such as leaf age and the way in which it was infected, had an effect on the rate of transmission. Importantly, contact transmission resulted in severe bottlenecks, which did not depend on the host susceptibility to infection. Interestingly, the effective number of founders initiating the infection of a new host was highly similar to that reported for aphid-transmitted plant viruses, suggesting that this trait has evolved to an optimum value.

  13. Experimental infection by Trypanosoma evansi in sheep: Occurrence of transplacental transmission and mice infection by parasite present in the colostrum and milk of infected ewes.

    PubMed

    Campigotto, Gabriela; Da Silva, Aleksandro S; Volpato, Andreia; Balzan, Alexandre; Radavelli, Willian M; Soldá, Natan M; Grosskopf, Hyolanda M; Stefani, Lenita M; Bianchi, Anderson E; Monteiro, Silvia G; Tonin, Alexandre A; Weiss, Paulo H E; Miletti, Luiz C; Lopes, Sonia T A

    2015-09-15

    The aims of this study were to evaluate vertical transmission of Trypanosoma evansi in sheep experimentally infected, in addition to the mammary transmission by colostrum or milk of these infected sheep to mice. Three pregnant sheep were used: one uninfected, four months pregnant (Sheep A); and two (Sheep B and C) infected intravenously by T. evansi trypomastigotes (4.6×10(6) per animal) on the third (Sheep C) and fourth (Sheep B) month of pregnancy. Both infected sheep developed low and oscillating parasitemia measured by blood smears. Hemogram was performed at seven day intervals, showing anemia, leukocytosis, and lymphocytosis on sheep B and C. Three sheep had twins, where sheep A delivered healthy lambs and both infected sheep had delivered at least one stillborn. Additionally, lambs from sheep B and C died 24 and 72 h post-partum, respectively. Before colostrum intake, four lambs from infected sheep were positives for T. evansi according to blood smear evaluation, serology (CATT/T. evansi), and PCR. Sheep colostrum and milk samples collected from the first four days post-partum were positives for T. evansi on PCR, and these samples were able to infect seven mice (out of 10) orally (n=4/5) and intraperitoneally (n=3/5). Therefore, we conclude that the vertical transmission of T. evansi occurs in pregnant sheep, in addition to a strong possibility of the transmission by colostrum and milk.

  14. The Plasmodium bottleneck: malaria parasite losses in the mosquito vector

    PubMed Central

    Smith, Ryan C; Vega-Rodríguez, Joel; Jacobs-Lorena, Marcelo

    2014-01-01

    Nearly one million people are killed every year by the malaria parasite Plasmodium. Although the disease-causing forms of the parasite exist only in the human blood, mosquitoes of the genus Anopheles are the obligate vector for transmission. Here, we review the parasite life cycle in the vector and highlight the human and mosquito contributions that limit malaria parasite development in the mosquito host. We address parasite killing in its mosquito host and bottlenecks in parasite numbers that might guide intervention strategies to prevent transmission. PMID:25185005

  15. Genes encoding homologous antigens in taeniid cestode parasites: Implications for development of recombinant vaccines produced in Escherichia coli.

    PubMed

    Gauci, Charles; Lightowlers, Marshall W

    2013-01-01

    Recombinant vaccine antigens are being evaluated for their ability to protect livestock animals against cysticercosis and related parasitic infections. Practical use of some of these vaccines is expected to reduce parasite transmission, leading to a reduction in the incidence of neurocysticercosis and hydatid disease in humans. We recently showed that an antigen (TSOL16), expressed in Escherichia coli, confers high levels of protection against Taenia solium cysticercosis in pigs, which provides a strategy for control of T. solium parasite transmission. Here, we discuss the characteristics of this antigen that may affect the utility of TSOL16 and related antigens for development as recombinant vaccines. We also report that genes encoding antigens closely related to TSOL16 from T. solium also occur in other related species of parasites. These highly homologous antigens have the potential to be used as vaccines and may provide protection against related species of Taenia that cause infection in other hosts.

  16. A survey of the parasitic effects and degradation mechanisms affecting the GaAs FET-based IC's: The first step for a technological evaluation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dumas, J. M.

    1991-03-01

    Several parasitic effects which influence GaAs IC performance are reviewed. The main concerns include in bulk trap dependent parasitics such as back (side) gating, and surface induced parasitics such as gate-lag. How the basic understanding of these effects is taken into account in the design rules provided to designers is discussed. Major degradation mechanisms are briefly reviewed. Failure modes observed from high temperature lifetesting conditions are demonstrated to give optimistic median life values when compared with those obtained from low temperatures. Failure criteria are reviewed. In order to assess the effects penalizing the integration and lifetime for both analog and digital IC's, a first step qualification procedure is proposed. It is based on specific test vehicles, issued from Process Control Monitors (PCM) or from specially designed Technology Characterization Vehicles (TCV).

  17. 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

  18. Transmission blocking activity of a standardized neem (Azadirachta indica) seed extract on the rodent malaria parasite Plasmodium berghei in its vector Anopheles stephensi

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    Background The wide use of gametocytocidal artemisinin-based combination therapy (ACT) lead to a reduction of Plasmodium falciparum transmission in several African endemic settings. An increased impact on malaria burden may be achieved through the development of improved transmission-blocking formulations, including molecules complementing the gametocytocidal effects of artemisinin derivatives and/or acting on Plasmodium stages developing in the vector. Azadirachtin, a limonoid (tetranortriterpenoid) abundant in neem (Azadirachta indica, Meliaceae) seeds, is a promising candidate, inhibiting Plasmodium exflagellation in vitro at low concentrations. This work aimed at assessing the transmission-blocking potential of NeemAzal®, an azadirachtin-enriched extract of neem seeds, using the rodent malaria in vivo model Plasmodium berghei/Anopheles stephensi. Methods Anopheles stephensi females were offered a blood-meal on P. berghei infected, gametocytaemic BALB/c mice, treated intraperitoneally with NeemAzal, one hour before feeding. The transmission-blocking activity of the product was evaluated by assessing oocyst prevalence, oocyst density and capacity to infect healthy mice. To characterize the anti-plasmodial effects of NeemAzal® on early midgut stages, i.e. zygotes and ookinetes, Giemsa-stained mosquito midgut smears were examined. Results NeemAzal® completely blocked P. berghei development in the vector, at an azadirachtin dose of 50 mg/kg mouse body weight. The totally 138 examined, treated mosquitoes (three experimental replications) did not reveal any oocyst and none of the healthy mice exposed to their bites developed parasitaemia. The examination of midgut content smears revealed a reduced number of zygotes and post-zygotic forms and the absence of mature ookinetes in treated mosquitoes. Post-zygotic forms showed several morphological alterations, compatible with the hypothesis of an azadirachtin interference with the functionality of the microtubule

  19. 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

    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

  20. Narrow Bottlenecks Affect Pea Seedborne Mosaic Virus Populations during Vertical Seed Transmission but not during Leaf Colonization

    PubMed Central

    Johansen, Elisabeth Ida; Simon, Vincent; Jacquemond, Mireille; Senoussi, Rachid

    2014-01-01

    The effective size of populations (Ne) determines whether selection or genetic drift is the predominant force shaping their genetic structure and evolution. Populations having high Ne adapt faster, as selection acts more intensely, than populations having low Ne, where random effects of genetic drift dominate. Estimating Ne for various steps of plant virus life cycle has been the focus of several studies in the last decade, but no estimates are available for the vertical transmission of plant viruses, although virus seed transmission is economically significant in at least 18% of plant viruses in at least one plant species. Here we study the co-dynamics of two variants of Pea seedborne mosaic virus (PSbMV) colonizing leaves of pea plants (Pisum sativum L.) during the whole flowering period, and their subsequent transmission to plant progeny through seeds. Whereas classical estimators of Ne could be used for leaf infection at the systemic level, as virus variants were equally competitive, dedicated stochastic models were needed to estimate Ne during vertical transmission. Very little genetic drift was observed during the infection of apical leaves, with Ne values ranging from 59 to 216. In contrast, a very drastic genetic drift was observed during vertical transmission, with an average number of infectious virus particles contributing to the infection of a seedling from an infected mother plant close to one. A simple model of vertical transmission, assuming a cumulative action of virus infectious particles and a virus density threshold required for vertical transmission to occur fitted the experimental data very satisfactorily. This study reveals that vertically-transmitted viruses endure bottlenecks as narrow as those imposed by horizontal transmission. These bottlenecks are likely to slow down virus adaptation and could decrease virus fitness and virulence. PMID:24415934

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. Transmission dynamics of two strains of Schistosoma mansoni utilizing novel intermediate and definitive hosts.

    PubMed

    Jones-Nelson, Omari; Thiele, Elizabeth A; Minchella, Dennis J

    2011-09-01

    The intimate host-parasite relationship mandates adaptation to the genetic and phenotypic variability of their counterparts. Here, inbred and outcrossed strains of Schistosoma mansoni were challenged with "local" and "novel" intermediate and definitive hosts to examine effects of genetic variability and novelty on infection success and dynamics. Genetically distinct lines of Biomphalaria glabrata intermediate hosts exposed to inbred and outcrossed S. mansoni larvae were assessed for differences in both snail and parasite life-history parameters. Cercariae from each parasite-snail treatment were used to infect "local" and "novel" Mus musculus definitive hosts to assess parasite infectivity and fitness. Outcrossed parasites significantly reduced snail growth, were more productive, and induced greater host mortality than inbred parasites. Mouse strain did not influence parasite infectivity or reproduction, but parasite and snail host genetic background did, affecting both sex-specific infectivity and parasite productivity. Overall, genetic background of S. mansoni and its intermediate snail host altered life history traits and transmission dynamics of the parasite throughout its life cycle.

  4. Infectious diseases and parasites of ratites.

    PubMed

    Shane, S M

    1998-11-01

    This article discusses infectious and parasitic disease conditions in the three ratite species. Diseases and parasitic conditions are reviewed in relation to etiology, transmission, pathology, diagnosis, treatment, and prevention. To ensure optimum reproduction and growth of birds on large production units, a veterinarian must understand management in relation to biosecurity and disease problems.

  5. Zoonotic Parasites of Bobcats around Human Landscapes

    PubMed Central

    Scorza, Andrea V.; Bevins, Sarah N.; Riley, Seth P. D.; Crooks, Kevin R.; VandeWoude, Sue; Lappin, Michael R.

    2012-01-01

    We analyzed Lynx rufus fecal parasites from California and Colorado, hypothesizing that bobcats shed zoonotic parasites around human landscapes. Giardia duodenalis, Cryptosporidium, Ancylostoma, Uncinaria, and Toxocara cati were shed. Toxoplasma gondii serology demonstrated exposure. Giardia and Cryptosporidium shedding increased near large human populations. Genotyped Giardia may indicate indirect transmission with humans. PMID:22718941

  6. Do captive conditions favor shedding of parasites in the reared Atlantic bluefin tuna (Thunnus thynnus)?

    PubMed

    Mladineo, I; Segvić, T; Petrić, M

    2011-01-01

    Tuna (Thunnus spp.) has been characterized by long distance migrations, highly predatory behavior and longevity, all of which in turn, enable infections with a wide spectrum of different parasitic groups, reflecting in a remarkable diversity of tuna parasite communities. Since 2003, we have been monitoring parasite communities of Atlantic bluefin tuna (Thunnus thynnus) that are caught from the wild and transferred into cages during spring-summer months, as well as assemblages in fish that exit rearing cycle during the winter harvest period after 1.5 years. Interestingly in reared tuna, parasitic populations exhibit a significant decreasing trend at the end of the rearing cycle, rarely observed in other intensive productions that represent a suitable environment for the emergence, establishment and transmission of pathogens. In order to assess epizootiological behavior of tuna parasites assemblages at the beginning (B group) and at the end (A group) of 1.5 year rearing cycle, we examined data on parasite prevalence and abundance over 4 years. The aim was to evaluate parasite diversity indices and emerging differences between newly caught and harvested fish, as well as community compositions and their nestedness in respect to the event in the rearing cycle (capture or harvest time). In order to be able to predict classification of tuna in two categories (newly caught or heavily infected and harvested or less infected fish), based on empirical didymozoids abundances and year of sampling, we built a decision tree model. Results suggest that specificities of parasite assemblages and their dynamics in tuna before and after farming have no similar precedents in aquaculture. A trend of parasitic pauperization repeating in each rearing cycle over four-years time, in once diverse and species rich parasite communities is observed, however, structures of both B and A group rearing assemblages remain nested, with the same species being core parasites (Didymosulcus katsuwonicola

  7. Fossils of parasites: what can the fossil record tell us about the evolution of parasitism?

    PubMed

    Leung, Tommy L F

    2017-02-01

    specific life cycles and transmission modes which reflect certain aspects of the host's ecology. The study of fossil parasites can be conducted using existing techniques in palaeontology and palaeoecology, and microscopic examination of potential material such as coprolites may uncover more fossil evidence of parasitism. However, I also urge caution when interpreting fossils as examples of parasites or parasitism-induced traces. I point out a number of cases where parasitism has been spuriously attributed to some fossil specimens which, upon re-examination, display traits which are just as (if not more) likely to be found in free-living taxa. The study of parasite fossils can provide a more complete picture of the ecosystems and evolution of life throughout Earth's history.

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. Mutations in the helper component protease gene of zucchini yellow mosaic virus affect its ability to mediate aphid transmissibility.

    PubMed

    Huet, H; Gal-On, A; Meir, E; Lecoq, H; Raccah, B

    1994-06-01

    The nucleotide sequence of the helper component protease (HC-Pro) genes of three zucchini yellow mosaic virus (ZYMV) strains has been compared with that of a helper-deficient strain of ZYMV-HC. The comparisons revealed three unique deduced amino acid differences. Two of these mutations were located in regions which are conserved in other potyviruses. The role of these mutations in aphid transmissibility was examined by exchanging DNA fragments of part of the deficient HC-Pro gene with the respective section within the gene of the infectious full-length clone of the aphid-transmissible ZYMV. The first exchange included two of the three mutations, the first coding for a change from Asp to Gly (in a non-conserved region) and the second coding for a change from Arg to Ile [within the Phe-Arg-Asp-Lys (FRNK) conserved box]. This exchange resulted in a reduced transmission (20.6% for the mutated virus compared with 57.4% in the normal ZYMV when acquired from plants and 37.2% compared with 83.1%, respectively, when acquired from membranes). The second exchange incorporated a single mutation [conferring a change from Thr to Ala within the Pro-Thr-Lys (PTK) conserved box]. This single mutation resulted in almost total loss of HC activity in aphid transmission both from plants and from membranes. The Lys residue in the conserved Lys-Ile-Thr-Cys (KITC) box, which is related to loss of HC activity in potato virus Y, tobacco vein mottling virus and in the Michigan strain of ZYMV, is unchanged in the helper-deficient ZYMV. It is therefore proposed that more than one site in HC-Pro may be functionally related to aphid transmissibility. The possible reasons for the role of these mutations in helper activity in aphid transmission of ZYMV are discussed.

  12. 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 ...

  13. 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…

  14. 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

  15. When parasites disagree: Evidence for parasite-induced sabotage of host manipulation

    PubMed Central

    Hafer, Nina; Milinski, Manfred

    2015-01-01

    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

  16. 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.

  17. Differential tolerances to ocean acidification by parasites that share the same host.

    PubMed

    MacLeod, C D; Poulin, R

    2015-06-01

    Ocean acidification is predicted to cause major changes in marine ecosystem structure and function over the next century, as species-specific tolerances to acidified seawater may alter previously stable relationships between coexisting organisms. Such differential tolerances could affect marine host-parasite associations, as either host or parasite may prove more susceptible to the stressors associated with ocean acidification. Despite their important role in many ecological processes, parasites have not been studied in the context of ocean acidification. We tested the effects of low pH seawater on the cercariae and, where possible, the metacercariae of four species of marine trematode parasite. Acidified seawater (pH 7.6 and 7.4, 12.5 °C) caused a 40-60% reduction in cercarial longevity and a 0-78% reduction in metacercarial survival. However, the reduction in longevity and survival varied distinctly between parasite taxa, indicating that the effects of reduced pH may be species-specific. These results suggest that ocean acidification has the potential to reduce the transmission success of many trematode species, decrease parasite abundance and alter the fundamental regulatory role of multi-host parasites in marine ecosystems.

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. Disrupting Glutamate Co-transmission Does Not Affect Acquisition of Conditioned Behavior Reinforced by Dopamine Neuron Activation.

    PubMed

    Wang, Dong V; Viereckel, Thomas; Zell, Vivien; Konradsson-Geuken, Åsa; Broker, Carl J; Talishinsky, Aleksandr; Yoo, Ji Hoon; Galinato, Melissa H; Arvidsson, Emma; Kesner, Andrew J; Hnasko, Thomas S; Wallén-Mackenzie, Åsa; Ikemoto, Satoshi

    2017-03-14

    Dopamine neurons in the ventral tegmental area (VTA) were previously found to express vesicular glutamate transporter 2 (VGLUT2) and to co-transmit glutamate in the ventral striatum (VStr). This capacity may play an important role in reinforcement learning. Although it is known that activation of the VTA-VStr dopamine system readily reinforces behavior, little is known about the role of glutamate co-transmission in such reinforcement. By combining electrode recording and optogenetics, we found that stimulation of VTA dopamine neurons in vivo evoked fast excitatory responses in many VStr neurons of adult mice. Whereas conditional knockout of the gene encoding VGLUT2 in dopamine neurons largely eliminated fast excitatory responses, it had little effect on the acquisition of conditioned responses reinforced by dopamine neuron activation. Therefore, glutamate co-transmission appears dispensable for acquisition of conditioned responding reinforced by DA neuron activation.

  2. Tropical parasitic diseases and women.

    PubMed

    Okwa, O O

    2007-12-01

    Tropical parasitic diseases constitute the greatest threat to the health and socio-economic status of women as a gender and social group. There are some gender specific ways in which parasitic diseases affect women in contrast to men due to differences in exposure, occupational risk, sociocultural behavior, gender roles and practices. These parasitic diseases confer some social stigma, which affects the health seeking behavior of women. Women are therefore important in the control of these parasitic diseases and they are key agents of change, if they are included in community control programs. Women need more attention in endemic areas as a group that had been neglected. This deprived and excluded group have got vital role to play, as discussed in this review.

  3. Longitudinal analysis of antibody responses in symptomatic malaria cases do not mirror parasite transmission in peri-urban area of Cote d’Ivoire between 2010 and 2013

    PubMed Central

    Loucoubar, Cheikh; Beourou, Sylvain; Vigan-Womas, Inès; Touré, Aissatou; Djaman, Joseph Allico

    2017-01-01

    decrease of transmission. However, when immunity is substantially boosted despite observable clinical decline, a larger cohort including asymptomatic recruitment is needed to monitor the impact of control measures on level of immunity. PMID:28245264

  4. Parasitic diseases in the abdomen: imaging findings.

    PubMed

    Lim, Jae Hoon

    2008-01-01

    Parasitic diseases of the liver and biliary tract include echinococcosis, schistosomiasis, toxocariasis, clonorchiasis, and opisthorchiasis, affecting millions people in some endemic areas. Amebiasis and ascariasis are believed to be the most common bowel lumen indwelling parasitic diseases, affecting billions people worldwide, but sometimes these parasites migrate inadvertently to the liver and biliary tract, resulting in liver abscess or obstructive jaundice. Imaging findings of these parasitic diseases are fairly characteristic and easy to recognize if radiologists are aware of the findings, especially in endemic areas. Because of increased immigration and frequent travelling, some patients with "exotic" parasitic diseases may be encountered in non-endemic areas, and the diagnosis may be delayed or difficult, and it is often made only after operation. This feature section was designed to provide the detailed imaging features of common parasitic diseases affecting the abdominal organs and peritoneal cavity, based on pathology-image correlation.

  5. Low concentrations of sodium hypochlorite affect population dynamics in Gyrodactylus salaris (Malmberg, 1957): practical guidelines for the treatment of the Atlantic salmon, Salmo salar L. parasite.

    PubMed

    Hagen, A G; Hytterød, S; Olstad, K

    2014-12-01

    Atlantic salmon, Salmo salar L. parr (age 1+), infected by the monogenean ectoparasite Gyrodactylus salaris (Malmberg, 1957), were exposed to chlorine (Cl)-enriched water at three different concentrations: Cllow (0-5 μg Cl L(-1) ), Clmedium (18 μg Cl L(-1) ) and Clhigh (50 μg Cl L(-1) ). There was a negative correlation between G. salaris infections and the hypochlorite concentrations added. The parasite infection was eliminated by day 6-8 and day 2-4 in the groups Clmedium and Clhigh , respectively, while inhibition of G. salaris population growth was observed in the Cllow group. An important note to this matter, however, is that the G. salaris specimens observed at day 6 in Clmedium and at day 2 in Clhigh were all considered dead by subjective judgement. No mortality in the salmon parr was observed during the first 8 days of the experiment, demonstrating that Cl has a stronger effect on G. salaris than on the salmonid host. The differences in sensitivity between the parasite and the Atlantic salmon indicate that hypochlorite has a potential use as a parasiticide with a therapeutic margin. The low-dose sensitivity may imply that Cl pollution in urban areas may pose a greater risk towards biodiversity than previously assumed.

  6. 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

  7. Small deletions in the potato leafroll virus readthrough protein affect particle morphology, aphid transmission, virus movement and accumulation.

    PubMed

    Peter, Kari A; Liang, Delin; Palukaitis, Peter; Gray, Stewart M

    2008-08-01

    Potato leafroll virus (PLRV) capsid comprises 180 coat protein (CP) subunits, with some percentage containing a readthrough domain (RTD) extension located on the particle's surface. The RTD N terminus is highly conserved in luteovirids and this study sought to identify biologically active sites within this region of the PLRV RTD. Fourteen three-amino-acid-deletion mutants were generated from a cloned infectious PLRV cDNA and delivered to plants by Agrobacterium inoculations. All mutant viruses accumulated locally in infiltrated tissues and expressed the readthrough protein (RTP) containing the CP and RTD sequences in plant tissues; however, when purified, only three mutant viruses incorporated the RTP into the virion. None of the mutant viruses were aphid transmissible, but the viruses persisted in aphids for a period sufficient to allow for virus transmission. Several mutant viruses were examined further for systemic infection in four host species. All mutant viruses, regardless of RTP incorporation, moved systemically in each host, although they accumulated at different rates in systemically infected tissues. The biological properties of the RTP are sensitive to modifications in both the RTD conserved and variable regions.

  8. Cleaning symbioses from the parasites' perspective.

    PubMed

    Grutter, A S

    2002-01-01

    Cleaning behaviour has generally been viewed from the cleaner or client's point of view. Few studies, however, have examined cleaning behaviour from the parasites' perspective, yet they are the equally-important third players in such associations. All three players are likely to have had their evolution affected by the association. As cleaner organisms are important predators of parasites, cleaners are likely to have an important effect on their prey. Little, however, is known of how parasites are affected by cleaning associations and the strategies that parasites use in response to cleaners. I examine here what parasites are involved in cleaning interactions, the effect cleaners have on parasites, the potential counteradaptations that parasites have evolved against the predatory activities of cleaner organisms, the potential influence of cleaners on the life history traits of parasites, and other factors affected by cleaners. I have found that a wide range of ectoparasites from diverse habitats have been reported to interact with a wide range of cleaner organisms. Some of the life history traits of parasites are consistent with the idea that they are in response to cleaner predation. It is clear, however, that although many cleaning systems exist their ecological role is largely unexplored. This has likely been hindered by our lack of information on the parasites involved in cleaning interactions.

  9. Parasites, pets, and people.

    PubMed

    Marx, M B

    1991-03-01

    It is important for the family physician to understand that patients' relationships with their pets play an important role in helping maintain mental and physical health yet provide the potential for causing illness in the patient. Toxocara canis (dog roundworm) and Toxocara cati (cat roundworm) are the ascarids most commonly responsible for VLM and ocular larva migrans in humans. These roundworms live in their adult stage in the small intestine of the dog and cat where their eggs are passed in the feces. The eggs containing the infective larva are very sticky, thus an infant crawling around on the floor can easily pick these up on fingers that almost invariably end up in the mouth. Infections are usually mild and asymptomatic but with a persistent eosinophilia. Ocular larva migrans is the form usually occurring in older children and adults. Some public health veterinarians recommend that a puppy or kitten should not be obtained as a companion for a child who is not old enough to read, thus bypassing the crawling and toddler stages. Hookworm eggs, shed in the feces of infected dogs or cats, develop into the infective second stage within a week. Humans are usually infected when bare areas of skin such as bare feet or the torso come in contact with soil contaminated with the larvae. The second-stage larvae are able to penetrate the intact skin of humans and the foot pads of dogs and cats. In the United States, the common dog hookworm, A. caninum, is a widespread parasite. Human intestinal ancylostomiasis caused by this species is rare, with only six cases recorded in the literature. Infection in humans or animals by the common tapeworm of dogs and cats (Dipylidium caninum) requires ingestion of the intermediate host, the dog or cat flea containing the larva (cysticercoids) of the agent. Many cases in humans are asymptomatic. Dipylidiasis affects mainly infants and young children who may swallow a flea that hops up while the infant is crawling on the floor or fondling

  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.

  12. Can host ecology and kin selection predict parasite virulence?

    PubMed

    Gleichsner, Alyssa M; Minchella, Dennis J

    2014-07-01

    Parasite virulence, or the damage a parasite does to its host, is measured in terms of both host costs (reductions in host growth, reproduction and survival) and parasite benefits (increased transmission and parasite numbers) in the literature. Much work has shown that ecological and genetic factors can be strong selective forces in virulence evolution. This review uses kin selection theory to explore how variations in host ecological parameters impact the genetic relatedness of parasite populations and thus virulence. We provide a broad overview of virulence and population genetics studies and then draw connections to existing knowledge about natural parasite populations. The impact of host movement (transporting parasites) and host resistance (filtering parasites) on the genetic structure and virulence of parasite populations is explored, and empirical studies of these factors using Plasmodium and trematode systems are proposed.

  13. 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

  14. Relationship of parasites and pathologies to contaminant body burden in sentinel bivalves: NOAA Status and Trends 'Mussel Watch' Program.

    PubMed

    Kim, Yungkul; Powell, Eric N; Wade, Terry L; Presley, Bobby J

    2008-03-01

    The 1995-1998 database from NOAA's National Status and Trends 'Mussel Watch' Program was used to compare the distributional patterns of parasites and pathologies with contaminant body burdens. Principal components analysis (PCA) resolved five groups of contaminants in both mussels and oysters: one dominated by polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), one dominated by pesticides, and three dominated by metals. Metals produced a much more complex picture of spatial trends in body burden than did either the pesticides or PAHs. Contrasted to the relative simplicity of the contaminant groupings, PCA exposed a suite of parasite/pathology groups with few similarities between the sentinel bivalve taxa. Thus, the relationship between parasites/pathologies and contaminants differs significantly between taxa despite the similarity in contaminant pattern. Moreover, the combined effects of many contaminants and parasites may be important, leading to complex biological-contaminant interactions with synergies both of biological and chemical origin. Overall, correlations between parasites/pathologies and contaminants were more frequent with metals, frequent with pesticides, and less frequent with PAHs in mussels. In oysters, correlations with pesticides and metals were about equally frequent, but correlations with PAHs were still rare. In mytilids, correlations with metals predominated. Negative and positive correlations with metals occurred with about the same frequency in both taxa. The majority of correlations with pesticides were negative in oysters; not so for mytilids. Of the many significant correlations involving parasites, few involved single-celled eukaryotes or prokaryotes. The vast majority involved multi-cellular eukaryotes and nearly all of them either cestodes, trematode sporocysts, or trematode metacercariae. The few correlations for single-celled parasites all involved proliferating protozoa or protozoa reaching high body burdens through transmission. The tendency

  15. 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

  16. Tick Thioester-Containing Proteins and Phagocytosis Do Not Affect Transmission of Borrelia afzelii from the Competent Vector Ixodes ricinus

    PubMed Central

    Urbanová, Veronika; Hajdušek, Ondřej; Hönig Mondeková, Helena; Šíma, Radek; Kopáček, Petr

    2017-01-01

    The present concept of the transmission of Lyme disease from Borrelia-infected Ixodes sp. ticks to the naïve host assumes that a low number of spirochetes that manage to penetrate the midgut epithelium migrate through the hemocoel to the salivary glands and subsequently infect the host with the aid of immunomodulatory compounds present in tick saliva. Therefore, humoral and/or cellular immune reactions within the tick hemocoel may play an important role in tick competence to act as a vector for borreliosis. To test this hypothesis we have examined complement-like reactions in the hemolymph of the hard tick Ixodes ricinus against Borrelia afzelii (the most common vector and causative agent of Lyme disease in Europe). We demonstrate that I. ricinus hemolymph does not exhibit borreliacidal effects comparable to complement-mediated lysis of bovine sera. However, after injection of B. afzelii into the tick hemocoel, the spirochetes were efficiently phagocytosed by tick hemocytes and this cellular defense was completely eliminated by pre-injection of latex beads. As tick thioester-containing proteins (T-TEPs) are components of the tick complement system, we performed RNAi-mediated silencing of all nine genes encoding individual T-TEPs followed by in vitro phagocytosis assays. Silencing of two molecules related to the C3 complement component (IrC3-2 and IrC3-3) significantly suppressed phagocytosis of B. afzelii, while knockdown of IrTep (insect type TEP) led to its stimulation. However, RNAi-mediated silencing of T-TEPs or elimination of phagocytosis by injection of latex beads in B. afzelii-infected I. ricinus nymphs had no obvious impact on the transmission of spirochetes to naïve mice, as determined by B. afzelii infection of murine tissues following tick infestation. This result supports the concept that Borrelia spirochetes are capable of avoiding complement-related reactions within the hemocoel of ticks competent to transmit Lyme disease. PMID:28361038

  17. Pollution and parasitism in aquatic animals: a meta-analysis of effect size.

    PubMed

    Blanar, Christopher A; Munkittrick, Kelly R; Houlahan, Jeff; Maclatchy, Deborah L; Marcogliese, David J

    2009-06-04

    Numerous studies have indicated that aquatic pollution affects parasite populations and communities. However, the responses of individual taxa and functional groups to specific contaminants, and their effect sizes, have yet to be assessed quantitatively. We began by summarizing general trends in the literature, and found that reports of significant changes in parasitism were most commonly observed in response to eutrophication and metal contamination. Among parasite taxa, significant changes were most commonly reported for acanthocephalans, digeneans and microparasites. We then conducted a quantitative meta-analysis of the effects of pollution on parasitism in aquatic animals. We calculated signed standardized effect sizes (as Cohen's d) for all published studies that provided the necessary descriptive statistics, and compared them among major contaminant types (pesticides, hydrocarbons, polychlorinated biphenyls, pulp mill effluent, metals, sewage, eutrophication, and acidification) and parasite taxa (Acanthocephala, Cestoda, Digenea, Monogenea, Nematoda and microparasites). Effect sizes were not significantly different from zero for many parasite/contaminant interactions, and tended to be highly variable within individual taxa. However, consistently strong, significant negative effects were noted in Digenea and Monogenea, especially in response to metal pollution. Significant effect sizes were typically negative, indicating that pollutants have negative effects on parasite populations. Contaminants also had a slightly negative effect on community richness. When parasites were grouped into heteroxenous (with >1 obligatory host in life cycle) vs. monoxenous (1 obligatory host in life cycle) taxa, the latter were more susceptible to a wide range of pollutants. Similarly, directly exposed (external parasites and the free-living transmission stages of internal parasites) and freshwater taxa were more susceptible to a wider range of pollutants than indirectly exposed

  18. Fishing out marine parasites? Impacts of fishing on rates of parasitism in the ocean

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Wood, Chelsea L.; Lafferty, Kevin D.; Micheli, Fiorenza

    2010-01-01

    Among anthropogenic effects on the ocean, fishing is one of the most pervasive and extends deepest into the past. Because fishing reduces the density of fish (reducing transmission efficiency of directly transmitted parasites), selectively removes large fish (which tend to carry more parasites than small fish), and reduces food web complexity (reducing transmission efficiency of trophically transmitted parasites), the removal of fish from the world’s oceans over the course of hundreds of years may be driving a long-term, global decline in fish parasites. There has been growing recognition in recent years that parasites are a critical part of biodiversity and that their loss could substantially alter ecosystem function. Such a loss may be among the last major ecological effects of industrial fishing to be recognized by scientists.

  19. Factors affecting the psychophysical image quality evaluation of mobile phone displays: the case of transmissive liquid-crystal displays.

    PubMed

    Kim, Youn Jin; Luo, M Ronnier; Choe, Wonhee; Kim, Hong Suk; Park, Seung Ok; Baek, Yeseul; Rhodes, Peter; Lee, Seongdeok; Kim, Chang Yeong

    2008-09-01

    Display manufacturers require new data and computational models that consider the effect of ambient illumination in order to develop higher-quality displays. In this study, typical variations of small-sized mobile LCDs that exist in the real world were first simulated using a device characterization technique. In addition, psychophysical attributes (e.g., naturalness, clearness, sharpness, contrast, colorfulness, and preference) affecting the image quality evaluation process were analyzed. Consequently, naturalness and clearness were found to be the most statistically significant psychophysical attributes for modeling image quality. As the ambient-illumination level was increased, the image quality was exponentially impaired and the contribution of clearness increased.

  20. Pentylenetetrazol-Induced Epileptiform Activity Affects Basal Synaptic Transmission and Short-Term Plasticity in Monosynaptic Connections

    PubMed Central

    Giachello, Carlo Natale Giuseppe; Premoselli, Federica; Montarolo, Pier Giorgio; Ghirardi, Mirella

    2013-01-01

    Epileptic activity is generally induced in experimental models by local application of epileptogenic drugs, including pentylenetetrazol (PTZ), widely used on both vertebrate and invertebrate neurons. Despite the high prevalence of this neurological disorder and the extensive research on it, the cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying epileptogenesis still remain unclear. In this work, we examined PTZ-induced neuronal changes in Helix monosynaptic circuits formed in vitro, as a simpler experimental model to investigate the effects of epileptiform activity on both basal release and post-tetanic potentiation (PTP), a form of short-term plasticity. We observed a significant enhancement of basal synaptic strength, with kinetics resembling those of previously described use-dependent forms of plasticity, determined by changes in estimated quantal parameters, such as the readily releasable pool and the release probability. Moreover, these neurons exhibited a strong reduction in PTP expression and in its decay time constant, suggesting an impairment in the dynamic reorganization of synaptic vesicle pools following prolonged stimulation of synaptic transmission. In order to explain this imbalance, we determined whether epileptic activity is related to the phosphorylation level of synapsin, which is known to modulate synaptic plasticity. Using western blot and immunocytochemical staining we found a PTZ-dependent increase in synapsin phosphorylation at both PKA/CaMKI/IV and MAPK/Erk sites, both of which are important for modulating synaptic plasticity. Taken together, our findings suggest that prolonged epileptiform activity leads to an increase in the synapsin phosphorylation status, thereby contributing to an alteration of synaptic strength in both basal condition and tetanus-induced potentiation. PMID:23437283

  1. Transmission of Microsporidian Parasites of Mosquitoes.

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1982-01-01

    adults that emerged, 12 females showed no sign of infection, but all 4 males contained numerous spores. The second infected egg batch was hatched in two...lots. The first lot was reared to the adult stage and found to contain one infected male . Smears were made with the female that laid the eggs and with...spores in the adult female and uninucleate, short pyriform spores, having fringed exo- spores, in the last instar larvae, pupae, and adult males . Type

  2. Transmission of Microsporidian Parasites of Mosquitoes.

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1983-03-01

    34 REPORT DOCUMENTATION PAGE BEFORE COMPLETING I REPORT NUMBER 2 G~T ACCESSION NO. 3 RECIPIENT’S CATALOG NU Annual Report No. 3 D A( 4 r’ITLE (and...any of these animals DD ,J AN73 14 EDITION OF I NOV 45 IS OBSOLETE N 0.4 014- T 4 0 3 CURITY CLASSIFICATION OF THIS PAGE (W. Data .n..rd, OFFICE OF...E-40 C ’-4H 4 - Ct 0 Q) R : CI)- 4 -P (n -4C 0 0 4 - WC C o 00 u~C 0 . - 3 - Intermediate Host Studies I. Spore Feeding Experiments To survey possible

  3. Transmission of Microsporidian Parasites of Mosquitoes.

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1981-01-12

    Station Durham, NC 27706 ( 1 ) National Environmental Research Center Edison Water Quality Research Division Edison, NJ 08817 ( 1 ) Agricultural & Marine ... Pollution Control Branch Environmental Protection Agency 1901 Fort Myers Drive Arlington, VA 22209 (1 ) Technical Advisory Division National Marine

  4. Accumulation of persistent organic pollutants in parasites.

    PubMed

    Yen Le, T T; Rijsdijk, Laurie; Sures, Bern; Hendriks, A Jan

    2014-08-01

    Organisms are simultaneously exposed to various stressors, including parasites and pollutants, that may interact with each other. Research on the accumulation of organic compounds in host-parasite systems is scant compared to studies on parasite-metal interactions and mainly focuses on intestinal endoparasites. We reviewed factors that determine the accumulation of persistent organic pollutants (POPs) in host-parasite systems. The wet/dry weight-based concentration of POPs in these parasites is usually lower than that in host tissues because of lower lipid contents in the parasites. However, the fractionation of the pollutants into parasites and their hosts may vary, depending on developmental stages in the life cycle of the parasites. Developmental stages determine the trophic relationship and the taxon of the parasite in the host-parasite systems because of different feeding strategies between the stages. Lipid-corrected concentrations of organic chemicals in the host are usually higher than those in the endoparasites studied. This phenomenon is attributed to a number of physiological and behavioural processes, such as feeding selectivity and strategy and excretion. Moreover, no significant relationship was found between the accumulation factor (i.e. the ratio between the lipid-corrected concentrations in parasites and in their hosts) for polychlorinated biphenyls and either hydrophobicity or molecular size. At the intermediate hydrophobicity, larger and more lipophilic compounds are accumulated at higher levels in both parasites and the host than smaller and less lipophilic compounds. The bioaccumulation of POPs in parasites is affected by some other abiotic, e.g. temperature, and biotic factors, e.g. the number of host species infected by parasites.

  5. Vaccination with a genetically modified Brugia malayi cysteine protease inhibitor-2 reduces adult parasite numbers and affects the fertility of female worms following a subcutaneous challenge of Mongolian gerbils (Meriones unguiculatus) with B. malayi infective larvae.

    PubMed

    Arumugam, Sridhar; Wei, Junfei; Ward, Danielle; Abraham, David; Lustigman, Sara; Zhan, Bin; Klei, Thomas R

    2014-09-01

    Vaccination of Mongolian gerbils with Brugia malayi cysteine protease inhibitor-2 in which the amino acid Asn66 was mutated to Lys66 (Bm-CPI-2M) resulted in reduced parasite numbers of 48.6% and 48.0% at 42 and 90 days p.i. with B. malayi L3s. Fertility of female worms was also affected at 90 days p.i. In vitro killing of L3s observed in the presence of gerbil peritoneal exudate cells and anti-Bm-CPI-2M sera suggests antibody-dependent cell-mediated cytotoxicity as a putative protective mechanism. These observations suggest that Bm-CPI-2M is a promising prophylactic and anti-fecundity vaccine candidate.

  6. Stochastic extinction and the selection of the transmission mode in microparasites.

    PubMed

    Bahi-Jaber, Narges; Fouchet, David; Pontier, Dominique

    2008-09-06

    Stochastic fluctuations in the transmission process of microparasites generate a risk of parasite extinction that cannot be assessed by deterministic models, especially in host populations of small size. While this risk of extinction represents a strong selection pressure for microparasites, it is usually not clearly separated from the deterministic ones. We suggest here that this stochastic selection pressure can affect the selection of the transmission mode of microparasites. To avoid extinction, parasites should maximize their inter-population transmission to ensure frequent reintroductions. Since the types of contacts may differ if congeners belong to the same or distinct populations, strains that are mainly transmitted through inter-population contacts might be selected. To examine this assumption, we analyse the issue of the competition between two strains differing in their transmission mode using a stochastic metapopulation model in which hosts may display different behaviours inside and outside their populations. We show that stochastic selection pressures may drive parasite evolution towards a transmission mode that maximizes the persistence of the parasite. We study the conditions under which stochastic selection pressures may surpass the deterministic ones. Our results are illustrated by the cases of feline immunodeficiency virus in cats and of sexually transmitted diseases in mammals.

  7. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-06-21

    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.

  9. 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 ...

  10. 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…

  11. Environmental change and infectious disease: how new roads affect the transmission of diarrheal pathogens in rural Ecuador.

    PubMed

    Eisenberg, Joseph N S; Cevallos, William; Ponce, Karina; Levy, Karen; Bates, Sarah J; Scott, James C; Hubbard, Alan; Vieira, Nadia; Endara, Pablo; Espinel, Mauricio; Trueba, Gabriel; Riley, Lee W; Trostle, James

    2006-12-19

    Environmental change plays a large role in the emergence of infectious disease. The construction of a new road in a previously roadless area of northern coastal Ecuador provides a valuable natural experiment to examine how changes in the social and natural environment, mediated by road construction, affect the epidemiology of diarrheal diseases. Twenty-one villages were randomly selected to capture the full distribution of village population size and distance from a main road (remoteness), and these were compared with the major population center of the region, Borbón, that lies on the road. Estimates of enteric pathogen infection rates were obtained from case-control studies at the village level. Higher rates of infection were found in nonremote vs. remote villages [pathogenic Escherichia coli: odds ratio (OR) = 8.4, confidence interval (CI) 1.6, 43.5; rotavirus: OR = 4.0, CI 1.3, 12.1; and Giardia: OR = 1.9, CI 1.3, 2.7]. Higher rates of all-cause diarrhea were found in Borbón compared with the 21 villages (RR = 2.0, CI 1.5, 2.8), as well as when comparing nonremote and remote villages (OR = 2.7, CI 1.5, 4.8). Social network data collected in parallel offered a causal link between remoteness and disease. The significant and consistent trends across viral, bacterial, and protozoan pathogens suggest the importance of considering a broad range of pathogens with differing epidemiological patterns when assessing the environmental impact of new roads. This study provides insight into the initial health impacts that roads have on communities and into the social and environmental processes that create these impacts.

  12. Environmental change and infectious disease: How new roads affect the transmission of diarrheal pathogens in rural Ecuador

    PubMed Central

    Eisenberg, Joseph N. S.; Cevallos, William; Ponce, Karina; Levy, Karen; Bates, Sarah J.; Scott, James C.; Hubbard, Alan; Vieira, Nadia; Endara, Pablo; Espinel, Mauricio; Trueba, Gabriel; Riley, Lee W.; Trostle, James

    2006-01-01

    Environmental change plays a large role in the emergence of infectious disease. The construction of a new road in a previously roadless area of northern coastal Ecuador provides a valuable natural experiment to examine how changes in the social and natural environment, mediated by road construction, affect the epidemiology of diarrheal diseases. Twenty-one villages were randomly selected to capture the full distribution of village population size and distance from a main road (remoteness), and these were compared with the major population center of the region, Borbón, that lies on the road. Estimates of enteric pathogen infection rates were obtained from case-control studies at the village level. Higher rates of infection were found in nonremote vs. remote villages [pathogenic Escherichia coli: odds ratio (OR) = 8.4, confidence interval (CI) 1.6, 43.5; rotavirus: OR = 4.0, CI 1.3, 12.1; and Giardia: OR = 1.9, CI 1.3, 2.7]. Higher rates of all-cause diarrhea were found in Borbón compared with the 21 villages (RR = 2.0, CI 1.5, 2.8), as well as when comparing nonremote and remote villages (OR = 2.7, CI 1.5, 4.8). Social network data collected in parallel offered a causal link between remoteness and disease. The significant and consistent trends across viral, bacterial, and protozoan pathogens suggest the importance of considering a broad range of pathogens with differing epidemiological patterns when assessing the environmental impact of new roads. This study provides insight into the initial health impacts that roads have on communities and into the social and environmental processes that create these impacts. PMID:17158216

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. Manipulative parasites in the world of veterinary science: implications for epidemiology and pathology.

    PubMed

    Lagrue, Clément; Poulin, Robert

    2010-04-01

    One of the most complex and least understood transmission strategies displayed by pathogenic parasites is that of manipulation of host behaviour. A wide variety of parasites alter their host's behaviour, including species of medical and veterinary importance, such as Diplostomum spathaceum, Echinococcus spp. and Toxoplasma gondii. The manipulative ability of these parasites has implications for pathology and transmission dynamics. Domestic animals are hosts for manipulative pathogens, either by being the target host and acquiring the parasite as a result of vector-host manipulation, or by having their behaviour changed by manipulative parasites. This review uses several well-known pathogens to demonstrate how host manipulation by parasites is potentially important in epidemiology.

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. Malaria Parasite Liver Infection and Exoerythrocytic Biology.

    PubMed

    Vaughan, Ashley M; Kappe, Stefan H I

    2017-02-27

    In their infection cycle, malaria parasites undergo replication and population expansions within the vertebrate host and the mosquito vector. Host infection initiates with sporozoite invasion of hepatocytes, followed by a dramatic parasite amplification event during liver stage parasite growth and replication within hepatocytes. Each liver stage forms up to 90,000 exoerythrocytic merozoites, which are in turn capable of initiating a blood stage infection. Liver stages not only exploit host hepatocyte resources for nutritional needs but also endeavor to prevent hepatocyte cell death and detection by the host's immune system. Research over the past decade has identified numerous parasite factors that play a critical role during liver infection and has started to delineate a complex web of parasite-host interactions that sustain successful parasite colonization of the mammalian host. Targeting the parasites' obligatory infection of the liver as a gateway to the blood, with drugs and vaccines, constitutes the most effective strategy for malaria eradication, as it would prevent clinical disease and onward transmission of the parasite.

  1. Coevolution of parasite virulence and host mating strategies.

    PubMed

    Ashby, Ben; Boots, Michael

    2015-10-27

    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.

  2. Primate reinfection with gastrointestinal parasites: behavioural and physiological predictors of parasite acquisition.

    PubMed

    Friant, Sagan; Ziegler, Toni E; Goldberg, Tony L

    2016-07-01

    Infectious disease transmission is a cost of sociality in humans and other animals. Nevertheless, the mechanisms linking social behaviour to infection risk are poorly known. We conducted a field experiment to examine how host intrinsic traits, behaviour and physiology affect infection of nonhuman primates with gastrointestinal parasites. We measured rate to reinfection in a social group of red-capped mangabeys, Cercocebus torquatus, following chemotherapeutic treatment for parasite infections. By measuring behaviour, infection and glucocorticoid levels, we compared the relative effects of space sharing, directional contact and physiological stress on risk of acquiring new infections. We found that, within proximity networks, individuals that were central and well connected and that had a tendency to switch groups were at increased risk of infection with helminths. Protozoan infections, however, were acquired more uniformly across the population. In general, position in the social network and, in particular, space sharing appears to be more important than the immunosuppressive effects of physiological stress or host traits in determining risk of infection. Our results suggest that future studies of disease ecology within wildlife populations should focus on measures of network association in addition to individual host traits.

  3. Leptin, a tool of parasites?

    PubMed Central

    Lõhmus, Mare; Moalem, Sharon; Björklund, Mats

    2012-01-01

    One common physiological phenomenon that is involved both in infectious and in malignant processes is the reduction in appetite: disease anorexia. An increase in plasma levels of leptin with inflammation is thought to be involved in this process. However, from an evolutionary perspective, in certain cases, it would be more adaptive for an internal parasite to stimulate the appetite of the host instead of causing its suppression. We tested whether a parasitic infection with the larvae of the helminth parasite Taenia taeniaformis affects the levels of appetite-regulating proteins, such as leptin, ghrelin and neuropeptide-Y (NPY) in wild yellow-necked mouse (Apodemus flavicollis). We found that infected mice had lower plasma levels of leptin and increased levels of NPY than the uninfected subjects. Ghrelin levels were not associated with the occurrence of the parasites; however, these levels strongly correlated with the levels of NPY. This study suggests a possible manipulation by parasitic larvae of appetite regulation in infected subjects. PMID:22740641

  4. Nutrition and parasite interaction.

    PubMed

    Coop, R L; Holmes, P H

    1996-01-01

    This overview focuses on the interaction between nutritional status and gastrointestinal nematode infection in ruminants and considers: (i) the influence of the parasite on host metabolism; and (ii) the effect of host nutrition on the establishment and survival of parasite populations, the development of the host-immune response and the pathophysiology of infection. Gastrointestinal nematodes reduce voluntary feed intake and efficiency of feed utilisation, a key feature being an increased endogenous loss of protein into the gastrointestinal tract. Overall there is movement of protein from productive processes into repair of the gastrointestinal tract, synthesis of plasma proteins and mucoprotein production. Although reduction in feed intake is a major factor contributing to the reduced performance of parasitised ruminants, the underlying mechanisms of the anorexia are poorly understood. Supplementation of the diet with additional protein does not appear to affect initial establishment of nematode infections but the pathophysiological consequences are generally more severe on lower planes of protein nutrition. The main effect of protein supplementation is to increase the rate of acquisition of immunity and increase resistance to reinfection and this has been associated with an enhanced cellular immune response in the gastrointestinal mucosa. The unresponsiveness of the young lamb can be improved by dietary protein supplementation. Recent trials have shown that growing sheep offered a free choice between a low and a high protein ration are able to modify their diet selection in order to alleviate the increase in protein requirements which result from gastrointestinal nematode infection. Studies on the influence of nutrition on the expression of genotype have shown that the benefits of a superior genotype are not lost on a low protein diet whereas a high protein diet can partially emeliorate the disadvantages of an inferior genotype. In addition to dietary protein

  5. Modeling the ecology of symbiont-mediated protection against parasites.

    PubMed

    Kwiatkowski, Marek; Vorburger, Christoph

    2012-05-01

    There is increasing evidence that many maternally transmitted symbionts protect their hosts against parasites, thus ensuring their own persistence. Despite the protection they provide, such symbionts are typically found in only a fraction of the host population. This suggests that symbiont-conferred resistance is costly or that the maternal inheritance of symbionts is not perfect. To investigate these hypotheses and other properties of this complex ecological system, we develop a mathematical model based on the example of bacterial endosymbionts that protect aphids against parasitoid wasps. Simulations show that in the absence of more complex effects, a very fine balance between the costs of harboring symbionts and the strength of protection they provide is required to maintain coexistence of protected and unprotected hosts. These constraints are significantly relaxed and coexistence becomes a common outcome if deployment of symbiont-provided defenses upon a parasite attack entails an additional (induced) cost. Transmission rates of symbionts also affect coexistence, which is more frequently observed under high (but not perfect) fidelity of vertical transfer and low rates of horizontal transfer. Finally, we show that the prevalence of defensive symbionts has a strong influence on the population dynamics of hosts and parasites: population sizes are stable if and only if protected hosts dominate.

  6. 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

  7. Immune Escape Strategies of Malaria Parasites

    PubMed Central

    Gomes, Pollyanna S.; Bhardwaj, Jyoti; Rivera-Correa, Juan; Freire-De-Lima, Celio G.; Morrot, Alexandre

    2016-01-01

    Malaria is one of the most life-threatening infectious diseases worldwide. Immunity to malaria is slow and short-lived despite the repeated parasite exposure in endemic areas. Malaria parasites have evolved refined machinery to evade the immune system based on a range of genetic changes that include allelic variation, biomolecular exposure of proteins, and intracellular replication. All of these features increase the probability of survival in both mosquitoes and the vertebrate host. Plasmodium species escape from the first immunological trap in its invertebrate vector host, the Anopheles mosquitoes. The parasites have to pass through various immunological barriers within the mosquito such as anti-microbial molecules and the mosquito microbiota in order to achieve successful transmission to the vertebrate host. Within these hosts, Plasmodium species employ various immune evasion strategies during different life cycle stages. Parasite persistence against the vertebrate immune response depends on the balance among virulence factors, pathology, metabolic cost of the host immune response, and the parasites ability to evade the immune response. In this review we discuss the strategies that Plasmodium parasites use to avoid the vertebrate host immune system and how they promote successful infection and transmission. PMID:27799922

  8. Immune Escape Strategies of Malaria Parasites.

    PubMed

    Gomes, Pollyanna S; Bhardwaj, Jyoti; Rivera-Correa, Juan; Freire-De-Lima, Celio G; Morrot, Alexandre

    2016-01-01

    Malaria is one of the most life-threatening infectious diseases worldwide. Immunity to malaria is slow and short-lived despite the repeated parasite exposure in endemic areas. Malaria parasites have evolved refined machinery to evade the immune system based on a range of genetic changes that include allelic variation, biomolecular exposure of proteins, and intracellular replication. All of these features increase the probability of survival in both mosquitoes and the vertebrate host. Plasmodium species escape from the first immunological trap in its invertebrate vector host, the Anopheles mosquitoes. The parasites have to pass through various immunological barriers within the mosquito such as anti-microbial molecules and the mosquito microbiota in order to achieve successful transmission to the vertebrate host. Within these hosts, Plasmodium species employ various immune evasion strategies during different life cycle stages. Parasite persistence against the vertebrate immune response depends on the balance among virulence factors, pathology, metabolic cost of the host immune response, and the parasites ability to evade the immune response. In this review we discuss the strategies that Plasmodium parasites use to avoid the vertebrate host immune system and how they promote successful infection and transmission.

  9. Parasitic mites of medical and veterinary importance--is there a common research agenda?

    PubMed

    Fischer, Katja; Walton, Shelley

    2014-10-15

    There are an estimated 0.5-1 million mite species on earth. Among the many mites that are known to affect humans and animals, only a subset are parasitic but these can cause significant disease. We aim here to provide an overview of the most recent work in this field in order to identify common biological features of these parasites and to inform common strategies for future research. There is a critical need for diagnostic tools to allow for better surveillance and for drugs tailored specifically to the respective parasites. Multi-'omics' approaches represent a logical and timely strategy to identify the appropriate mite molecules. Recent advances in sequencing technology enable us to generate de novo genome sequence data, even from limited DNA resources. Consequently, the field of mite genomics has recently emerged and will now rapidly expand, which is a particular advantage for parasitic mites that cannot be cultured in vitro. Investigations of the microbiota associated with mites will elucidate the link between parasites and pathogens, and define the role of the mite in transmission and pathogenesis. The databases generated will provide the crucial knowledge essential to design novel diagnostic tools, control measures, prophylaxes, drugs and immunotherapies against the mites and associated secondary infections.

  10. Parasites and invasions: changes in gastrointestinal helminth assemblages in invasive and native rodents in Senegal.

    PubMed

    Diagne, Christophe; Ribas, Alexis; Charbonnel, Nathalie; Dalecky, Ambroise; Tatard, Caroline; Gauthier, Philippe; Haukisalmi, Voitto; Fossati-Gaschignard, Odile; Bâ, Khalilou; Kane, Mamadou; Niang, Youssoupha; Diallo, Mamoudou; Sow, Aliou; Piry, Sylvain; Sembène, Mbacké; Brouat, Carine

    2016-12-01

    Understanding why some exotic species become widespread and abundant in their colonised range is a fundamental issue that still needs to be addressed. Among many hypotheses, newly established host populations may benefit from a parasite loss ("enemy release" hypothesis) through impoverishment of their original parasite communities or reduced infection levels. Moreover, the fitness of competing native hosts may be negatively affected by the acquisition of exotic taxa from invaders ("parasite spillover") and/or by an increased transmission risk of native parasites due to their amplification by invaders ("parasite spillback"). We focused on gastrointestinal helminth communities to determine whether these predictions could explain the ongoing invasion success of the commensal house mouse (Mus musculus domesticus) and black rat (Rattus rattus), as well as the associated decrease in native Mastomys spp., in Senegal. For both invasive species, our results were consistent with the predictions of the enemy release hypothesis. A decrease in overall gastrointestinal helminth prevalence and infracommunity species richness was observed along the invasion gradients as well as lower specific prevalence/abundance (Aspiculuris tetraptera in Mus musculus domesticus, Hymenolepis diminuta in Rattus rattus) on the invasion fronts. Conversely, we did not find strong evidence of GIH spillover or spillback in invasion fronts, where native and invasive rodents co-occurred. Further experimental research is needed to determine whether and how the loss of gastrointestinal helminths and reduced infection levels along invasion routes may result in any advantageous effects on invader fitness and competitive advantage.

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. Climate influences parasite-mediated competitive release.

    PubMed

    Larsen, Martin H; Jensen, K Thomas; Mouritsen, Kim N

    2011-09-01

    Parasitism is believed to play an important role in maintaining species diversity, for instance by facilitating coexistence between competing host species. However, the possibility that environmental factors may govern the outcome of parasite-mediated competition has rarely been considered. The closely related amphipods Corophium volutator and Corophium arenarium both serve as second intermediate host for detrimental trematodes. Corophium volutator is the superior competitor of the two, but also suffers from higher mortality when exposed to infective trematode stages. Here, we report parasite-mediated competitive release of C. arenarium in an intertidal habitat, in part triggered by unusually high temperatures linked to the North Atlantic climate oscillation (NAO). The elevated temperatures accelerated the transmission of cercariae from sympatric first intermediate hosts (mud snails) to amphipods, causing a local collapse of the parasite-sensitive C. volutator population and concordant increase in the abundance of the competitively inferior C. arenarium.

  16. Regulation of Gene Expression in Protozoa Parasites

    PubMed Central

    Gomez, Consuelo; Esther Ramirez, M.; Calixto-Galvez, Mercedes; Medel, Olivia; Rodríguez, Mario A.

    2010-01-01

    Infections with protozoa parasites are associated with high burdens of morbidity and mortality across the developing world. Despite extensive efforts to control the transmission of these parasites, the spread of populations resistant to drugs and the lack of effective vaccines against them contribute to their persistence as major public health problems. Parasites should perform a strict control on the expression of genes involved in their pathogenicity, differentiation, immune evasion, or drug resistance, and the comprehension of the mechanisms implicated in that control could help to develop novel therapeutic strategies. However, until now these mechanisms are poorly understood in protozoa. Recent investigations into gene expression in protozoa parasites suggest that they possess many of the canonical machineries employed by higher eukaryotes for the control of gene expression at transcriptional, posttranscriptional, and epigenetic levels, but they also contain exclusive mechanisms. Here, we review the current understanding about the regulation of gene expression in Plasmodium sp., Trypanosomatids, Entamoeba histolytica and Trichomonas vaginalis. PMID:20204171

  17. Malaria transmission rates estimated from serological data.

    PubMed Central

    Burattini, M. N.; Massad, E.; Coutinho, F. A.

    1993-01-01

    A mathematical model was used to estimate malaria transmission rates based on serological data. The model is minimally stochastic and assumes an age-dependent force of infection for malaria. The transmission rates estimated were applied to a simple compartmental model in order to mimic the malaria transmission. The model has shown a good retrieving capacity for serological and parasite prevalence data. PMID:8270011

  18. The effect of a nematode parasite on feeding and dung-burying behavior of an ecosystem engineer.

    PubMed

    Boze, Broox G V; Moore, Janice

    2014-07-01

    Dung beetles (genus Phanaeus) consume feces in both their larval and adults forms and because of their unique dietary niche, and behaviors associated with the burial of feces, are considered ecosystem engineers. In addition, because these insects subsist on a diet composed exclusively of feces, it is likely they encounter parasitic propagules more frequently than other animals do. Parasites often alter their host's behavior, so we set out to test whether Physocephalus sexalatus (a cosmopolitan nematode parasite of ungulates) does so in ways that affect the dung beetle's role as an ecosystem engineer and/or its predator-prey relationships (transmission of the parasite). Classic tests of anti-predator behavior did not reveal behavioral differences based on the beetles' infection status. However, this parasite did alter the beetles' behaviors in ways that could be critical for its role in fecal processing and therefore ecosystem engineering. Infected beetles exhibited anorexic behavior and consumed only half the amount of feces ingested by similar uninfected beetles. Infected beetles also buried less feces and did so in tunnels that were significantly shorter than those created by uninfected beetles. Fecal burial is naturally beneficial because it aerates the soil, incorporates nitrogenous compounds, and increases the flow of water thereby making soil and pastureland more productive. We showed that the nematode parasite P. sexalatus itself becomes an ecosystem engineer as it modifies the behavior of its already influential intermediate host.

  19. Equine immunity to parasites.

    PubMed

    Klei, T R

    2000-04-01

    Helminths are among the most significant parasites of horses in developed countries. This article examines immune responses against helminth parasites and the implications that immunologic investigations have on vaccine development, improvement of diagnostic procedures, and disease eradication.

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. Intestinal parasitic infection.

    PubMed

    Park, Mi-Suk; Kim, Ki Whang; Ha, Hyun Kwon; Lee, Dong Ho

    2008-01-01

    In general, gastrointestinal tract is the primary involvement site of parasites during their life cycle. In this article, we will describe amebiasis, ascariasis, and anisakiasis among the many common intestinal parasitic diseases. We will review the epidemiology, life cycles, clinical manifestations and complications, and illustrate detailed imaging findings of intestinal parasites. Recognizing features of parasitic infection is important to establish an early diagnosis that leads to prompt treatment and helps avoid unnecessary surgery.

  4. Parasite infracommunities of a specialized marine fish species in a compound community dominated by generalist parasites.

    PubMed

    Lanfranchi, A L; Rossin, M A; Timi, J T

    2009-12-01

    The structure and composition of parasite communities of Mullus argentinae were analysed under two alternative hypotheses in a sample of 75 specimens caught off Mar del Plata, Argentina (38 degrees 27'S, 57 degrees 90'W). The first, based on the dominance of trophically transmitted larval parasites of low host-specificity among fish species in the region, predicts that infracommunities will be random subsets of regionally available species. The second, based on previous studies on other mullids, predicts that infracommunities will be dominated by adult digeneans. The parasite fauna of goatfishes was mainly composed of endoparasites, with metacercariae of Prosorhynchus australis accounting for most individual parasites and greatly affecting infracommunity descriptors. Its importance was reinforced by the low number of trophically transmitted larval parasites. Both hypotheses were refuted; parasite communities were not dominated either by trophically transmitted larval parasites of low host-specificity or by adult digeneans. Prosorhynchus australis was the only species displaying any degree of phylogenetic specificity. Therefore, the influence of phylogenetic factors seems to exceed that of ecological ones in determining the observed structure of infracommunities. However, it is precisely host ecology that allows P. australis to become the determinant of infracommunity structure by constraining the acquisition of other parasites. Studies aiming to determine the relative importance of evolutionary and ecological processes as structuring forces of parasite communities should take into account not only the identity and specificity of their component parasites, but also their availability in the compound community.

  5. Geographical information system and access to HIV testing, treatment and prevention of mother-to-child transmission in conflict affected Northern Uganda

    PubMed Central

    Chamla, Dick D; Olu, Olushayo; Wanyana, Jennifer; Natseri, Nasan; Mukooyo, Eddie; Okware, Sam; Alisalad, Abdikamal; George, Melville

    2007-01-01

    Objectives Using Geographical Information System (GIS) as a tool to determine access to and gaps in providing HIV counselling and testing (VCT), treatment (ART) and mother-to-child transmission (PMTCT) services in conflict affected northern Uganda. Methods Cross-sectional data on availability and utilization, and geo-coordinates of health facilities providing VCT, PMTCT, and ART were collected in order to determine access. ArcView software produced maps showing locations of facilities and Internally Displaced Population(IDP) camps. Findings There were 167 health facilities located inside and outside 132 IDP camps with VCT, PMTCT and ART services provided in 32 (19.2%), 15 (9%) and 10 (6%) facilities respectively. There was uneven availability and utilization of services and resources among districts, camps and health facilities. Inadequate staff and stock-out of essential commodities were found in lower health facility levels. Provision of VCT was 100% of the HSSP II target at health centres IV and hospitals but 28% at HC III. For PMTCT and ART, only 42.9% and 20% of the respective targets were reached at the health centres IV. Conclusion Access to VCT, PMTCT and ART services was geographically limited due to inadequacy and heterogeneous dispersion of these services among districts and camps. GIS mapping can be effective in identifying service delivery gaps and presenting complex data into simplistic results hence can be recommended in need assessments in conflict settings. PMID:18053189

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. A world without parasites: exploring the hidden ecology of infection

    PubMed Central

    Johnson, Pieter TJ

    2016-01-01

    Parasites have historically been considered a scourge, deserving of annihilation. Although parasite eradications rank among humanity's greatest achievements, new research is shedding light on the collateral effects of parasite loss. Here, we explore a “world without parasites”: a thought experiment for illuminating the ecological roles that parasites play in ecosystems. While there is robust evidence for the effects of parasites on host individuals (eg affecting host vital rates), this exercise highlights how little we know about the influence of parasites on communities and ecosystems (eg altering energy flow through food webs). We present hypotheses for novel, interesting, and general effects of parasites. These hypotheses are largely untested, and should be considered a springboard for future research. While many uncertainties exist, the available evidence suggests that a world without parasites would be very different from the world we know, with effects extending from host individuals to populations, communities, and even ecosystems. PMID:28077932

  9. The evolution of trophic transmission

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Lafferty, Kevin D.

    1999-01-01

    Parasite increased trophic transmission (PITT) is one of the more fascinating tales of parasite evolution. The implications of this go beyond cocktail party anecdotes and science fiction plots as the phenomenon is pervasive and likely to be ecologically and evolutionarily important. Although the subject has already received substantial review, Kevin Lafferty here focuses on evolutionary aspects that have not been fully explored, specifically: (1) How strong should PITT be? (2) How might sexual selection and limb autotomy facilitate PITT? (3) How might infrapopulation regulation in final hosts be important in determining avoidance of infected prey? And (4) what happens when more than one species of parasite is in the same intermediate host?

  10. Ecosystem energetic implications of parasite and free-living biomass in three estuaries

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Kuris, Armand M.; Hechinger, Ryan F.; Shaw, Jenny C.; Whitney, Kathleen L.; Aguirre-Macedo, Leopoldina; Boch, Charlie A.; Dobson, Andrew P.; Dunham, Eleca J.; Fredensborg, Brian L.; Huspeni, Todd C.; Lorda, Julio; Mababa, Luzviminda; Mancini, Frank T.; Mora, Adrienne B.; Pickering, Maria; Talhouk, Nadia L.; Torchin, Mark E.; Lafferty, Kevin D.

    2008-01-01

    Parasites can have strong impacts but are thought to contribute little biomass to ecosystems. We quantified the biomass of free-living and parasitic species in three estuaries on the Pacific coast of California and Baja California. Here we show that parasites have substantial biomass in these ecosystems. We found that parasite biomass exceeded that of top predators. The biomass of trematodes was particularly high, being comparable to that of the abundant birds, fishes, burrowing shrimps and polychaetes. Trophically transmitted parasites and parasitic castrators subsumed more biomass than did other parasitic functional groups. The extended phenotype biomass controlled by parasitic castrators sometimes exceeded that of their uninfected hosts. The annual production of free-swimming trematode transmission stages was greater than the combined biomass of all quantified parasites and was also greater than bird biomass. This biomass and productivity of parasites implies a profound role for infectious processes in these estuaries.

  11. BTX-A administration to the target muscle affects forces of all muscles within an intact compartment and epimuscular myofascial force transmission.

    PubMed

    Yucesoy, Can A; Emre Arıkan, Önder; Ateş, Filiz

    2012-11-01

    Measurement of forces of mono- and bi-articular muscles of an entire intact muscle compartment can allow for a comprehensive assessment of the effects of Botulinum toxin type A (BTX-A) both at and beyond the injection site, and in conditions close to those in vivo. The goal was to test the hypotheses that BTX-A affects (1) the forces of not only the injected but also the noninjected muscles of the compartment, and (2) epimuscular myofascial force transmission (EMFT). Two groups of Wistar rats were tested: Control (no BTX-A injected) and BTX (0.1 units of BTX-A were injected exclusively to the mid-belly of TA). Isometric forces were measured simultaneously at the distal tendons of the tibialis anterior (TA) at different lengths, the restrained extensor digitorum longus (EDL) and the extensor hallucis longus (EHL) muscles and at the proximal tendon of EDL. Five days post-injection, BTX-A did affect the total forces of all muscles significantly: (1) The TA force decreased differentially (by 46.6%-55.9%) for most lengths such that a significant negative correlation was found between force reductions and increased muscle length. The maximum TA force decreased by 47.3%. However, the muscle's length range of force production did not change significantly. (2) Distal and proximal EDL forces decreased (on average by 67.8% and 62.9%, respectively). (3) The EHL force also decreased (on average by 9.2%). The passive forces of only the TA showed a significant increase at higher lengths. EMFT effects were shown for the control group: (1) at the shortest TA lengths, the EDL proximo-distal force differences were in favor of the distal force, which was reversed at higher lengths. (2) the EHL force measured at the shortest TA length decreased (by 34%) as a function of TA lengthening. After BTX-A exposure, such EMFT effects disappeared for the EDL, whereas they remained as profound for the EHL. Exposure to BTX-A does affect forces of all muscles operating in an intact compartment. For

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. Parasites in food webs: the ultimate missing links

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Lafferty, Kevin D.; Allesina, Stefano; Arim, Matias; Briggs, Cherie J.; De Leo, Giulio A.; 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, Eerin 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.

  15. Update on pathology of ocular parasitic disease

    PubMed Central

    Das, Dipankar; Ramachandra, Varsha; Islam, Saidul; Bhattacharjee, Harsha; Biswas, Jyotirmay; Koul, Akanksha; Deka, Panna; Deka, Apurba

    2016-01-01

    Parasites are a group of eukaryotic organisms that may be free-living or form a symbiotic or parasitic relationship with the hosts. Consisting of over 800,000 recognized species, parasites may be unicellular (Protozoa) or multicellular (helminths and arthropods). The association of parasites with human population started long before the emergence of civilization. Parasitic zoonotic diseases are prevalent worldwide including India. Appropriate epidemiological data are lacking on existing zoonotic parasitic diseases, and newer diseases are emerging in our scenario. Systemic diseases such as cysticercosis, paragonimiasis, hydatidosis, and toxoplasmosis are fairly common. Acquired Toxoplasma infections are rising in immune-deficient individuals. Amongst the ocular parasitic diseases, various protozoas such as Cystoidea, trematodes, tissue flagellates, sporozoas etc. affect humans in general and eyes in particular, in different parts of the world. These zoonoses seem to be a real health related problem globally. Recent intensification of research throughout the world has led to specialization in biological fields, creating a conducive situation for researchers interested in this subject. The basics of parasitology lie in morphology, pathology, and with recent updates in molecular parasitology, the scope has extended further. The current review is to address the recent update in ophthalmic parasites with special reference to pathology and give a glimpse of further research in this field. PMID:27958200

  16. Childhood parasitic infections endemic to the United States.

    PubMed

    Barry, Meagan A; Weatherhead, Jill E; Hotez, Peter J; Woc-Colburn, Laila

    2013-04-01

    Endemic parasitic infections in the United States are more frequent than is commonly perceived. Intestinal parasitic infection with Cryptosporidium, Dientamoeba, and Giardia occurs most often in children in northern states during the summer months. Zoonotic Toxocara and Toxoplasma parasitic infections are more frequent in southern states, in African Americans, and in populations with lower socioeconomic status. Approximately 300, 000 people in the United States have Trypanosoma cruzi infection. Local, vector-borne transmission of T cruzi and Leishmania infections has been documented in southern states. Parasitic diseases endemic to the United States are not uncommon but are understudied.

  17. The evolution of host protection by vertically transmitted parasites

    PubMed Central

    Jones, Edward O.; White, Andrew; Boots, Michael

    2011-01-01

    Hosts are often infected by a variety of different parasites, leading to competition for hosts and coevolution between parasite species. There is increasing evidence that some vertically transmitted parasitic symbionts may protect their hosts from further infection and that this protection may be an important reason for their persistence in nature. Here, we examine theoretically when protection is likely to evolve and its selective effects on other parasites. Our key result is that protection is most likely to evolve in response to horizontally transmitted parasites that cause a significant reduction in host fecundity. The preponderance of sterilizing horizontally transmitted parasites found in arthropods may therefore explain the evolution of protection seen by their symbionts. We also find that protection is more likely to evolve in response to highly transmissible parasites that cause intermediate, rather than high, virulence (increased death rate when infected). Furthermore, intermediate levels of protection select for faster, more virulent horizontally transmitted parasites, suggesting that protective symbionts may lead to the evolution of more virulent parasites in nature. When we allow for coevolution between the symbiont and the parasite, more protection is likely to evolve in the vertically transmitted symbionts of longer lived hosts. Therefore, if protection is found to be common in nature, it has the potential to be a major selective force on host–parasite interactions. PMID:20861052

  18. Parasites and supernormal manipulation.

    PubMed Central

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

    2001-01-01

    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

  19. Gastrointestinal parasite infestation.

    PubMed

    Abd El Bagi, Mohamed E; Sammak, Bassam M; Mohamed, Abdulrahman E; Al Karawi, Mohamed A; Al Shahed, Mona; Al Thagafi, Mohamed A

    2004-03-01

    Twenty-five percent of the world's population could be suffering parasitic infestation. Highest prevalence is in underdeveloped agricultural and rural areas in the tropical and subtropical regions. In some areas incidence may reach 90% of the population. In contrast, some major economic projects intended to promote local development have, paradoxically, caused parasitic proliferation, e.g. bilharziasis in Egypt and Sudan and Chagas disease in Brazil. The commonest cosmopolitan gastrointestinal parasite is Entamoeba histolytica. Some intestinal parasite are endemic in temperate climates, e.g. Entrobius vermicularis. The AIDS epidemic has increased the prevalence and severity of parasitic disease, particularly Strongyloides stercolaris. Tropical parasites are seen in Western people who travel to tropical countries. Radiology has acquired a major role in diagnosis and management of gastrointestinal parasite infestations and their complications.

  20. Impacts of parasitic plants on natural communities.

    PubMed

    Press, Malcolm C; Phoenix, Gareth K

    2005-06-01

    Parasitic plants have profound effects on the ecosystems in which they occur. They are represented by some 4000 species and can be found in most major biomes. They acquire some or all of their water, carbon and nutrients via the vascular tissue of the host's roots or shoots. Parasitism has major impacts on host growth, allometry and reproduction, which lead to changes in competitive balances between host and nonhost species and therefore affect community structure, vegetation zonation and population dynamics. Impacts on hosts may further affect herbivores, pollinators and seed vectors, and the behaviour and diversity of these is often closely linked to the presence and abundance of parasitic plants. Parasitic plants can therefore be considered as keystone species. Community impacts are mediated by the host range of the parasite (the diversity of species that can potentially act as hosts) and by their preference and selection of particular host species. Parasitic plants can also alter the physical environment around them--including soil water and nutrients, atmospheric CO2 and temperature--and so may also be considered as ecosystem engineers. Such impacts can have further consequences in altering the resource supply to and behaviour of other organisms within parasitic plant communities.

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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 ...

  4. Flagellar motility in eukaryotic human parasites.

    PubMed

    Krüger, Timothy; Engstler, Markus

    2015-10-01

    A huge variety of protists rely on one or more motile flagella to either move themselves or move fluids and substances around them. Many of these flagellates have evolved a symbiotic or parasitic lifestyle. Several of the parasites have adapted to human hosts, and include agents of prevalent and serious diseases. These unicellular parasites have become specialised in colonising a wide range of biological niches within humans. They usually have diverse transmission cycles, and frequently manifest a variety of distinct morphological stages. The motility of the single or multiple flagella plays important but understudied roles in parasite transmission, host invasion, dispersal, survival, proliferation and pathology. In this review we provide an overview of the important human pathogens that possess a motile flagellum for at least part of their life cycle. We highlight recently published studies that aim to elucidate motility mechanisms, and their relevance for human disease. We then bring the physics of swimming at the microscale into context, emphasising the importance of interdisciplinary approaches for a full understanding of flagellate motility - especially in light of the parasites' microenvironments and population dynamics. Finally, we summarise some important technological aspects, describing challenges for the field and possibilities for motility analyses in the future.

  5. 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.

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

    PubMed

    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.

  7. Host partitioning by parasites in an intertidal crustacean community.

    PubMed

    Koehler, Anson V; Poulin, Robert

    2010-10-01

    Patterns of host use by parasites throughout a guild community of intermediate hosts can depend on several biological and ecological factors, including physiology, morphology, immunology, and behavior. We looked at parasite transmission in the intertidal crustacean community of Lower Portobello Bay, Dunedin, New Zealand, with the intent of: (1) mapping the flow of parasites throughout the major crustacean species, (2) identifying hosts that play the most important transmission role for each parasite, and (3) assessing the impact of parasitism on host populations. The most prevalent parasites found in 14 species of crustaceans (635 specimens) examined were the trematodes Maritrema novaezealandensis and Microphallus sp., the acanthocephalans Profilicollis spp., the nematode Ascarophis sp., and an acuariid nematode. Decapods were compatible hosts for M. novaezealandensis, while other crustaceans demonstrated lower host suitability as shown by high levels of melanized and immature parasite stages. Carapace thickness, gill morphology, and breathing style may contribute to the differential infection success of M. novaezealandensis and Microphallus sp. in the decapod species. Parasite-induced host mortality appears likely with M. novaezealandensis in the crabs Austrohelice crassa, Halicarcinus varius, Hemigrapsus sexdentatus, and Macrophthalmus hirtipes, and also with Microphallus sp. in A. crassa. Overall, the different parasite species make different use of available crustacean intermediate hosts and possibly contribute to intertidal community structure.

  8. 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

  9. Mitochondria in the midgut epithelial cells of sugarcane borer parasitized by Cotesia flavipes (Cameron, 1891).

    PubMed

    Pinheiro, D O; Silva, M D; Gregório, E A

    2010-02-01

    The sugarcane borer Diatraea saccharalis (Lepidoptera: Crambidae) has been controlled by Cotesia flavipes (Hymenoptera: Braconidae); however, very little is known about the effect of the parasitism in the host organs, including the midgut. This work aims to verify mitochondrial alteration in the different midgut epithelial cells of D. saccharalis parasitized by C. flavipes. Midgut fragments (anterior and posterior region) of both non-parasitized and parasitized larvae were processed for transmission electron microscopy. The mitochondria of midgut epithelial cell in the parasitized larvae exhibit morphological alteration, represented by matrix rarefaction and vacuolisation. These mitochondrial alterations are more pronounced in the anterior midgut region during the parasitism process, mainly in the columnar cell.

  10. Malaria parasite clearance.

    PubMed

    White, Nicholas J

    2017-02-23

    Following anti-malarial drug treatment asexual malaria parasite killing and clearance appear to be first order processes. Damaged malaria parasites in circulating erythrocytes are removed from the circulation mainly by the spleen. Splenic clearance functions increase markedly in acute malaria. Either the entire infected erythrocytes are removed because of their reduced deformability or increased antibody binding or, for the artemisinins which act on young ring stage parasites, splenic pitting of drug-damaged parasites is an important mechanism of clearance. The once-infected erythrocytes returned to the circulation have shortened survival. This contributes to post-artesunate haemolysis that may follow recovery in non-immune hyperparasitaemic patients. As the parasites mature Plasmodium vivax-infected erythrocytes become more deformable, whereas Plasmodium falciparum-infected erythrocytes become less deformable, but they escape splenic filtration by sequestering in venules and capillaries. Sequestered parasites are killed in situ by anti-malarial drugs and then disintegrate to be cleared by phagocytic leukocytes. After treatment with artemisinin derivatives some asexual parasites become temporarily dormant within their infected erythrocytes, and these may regrow after anti-malarial drug concentrations decline. Artemisinin resistance in P. falciparum reflects reduced ring stage susceptibility and manifests as slow parasite clearance. This is best assessed from the slope of the log-linear phase of parasitaemia reduction and is commonly measured as a parasite clearance half-life. Pharmacokinetic-pharmacodynamic modelling of anti-malarial drug effects on parasite clearance has proved useful in predicting therapeutic responses and in dose-optimization.

  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. 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

  13. 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.

  14. Host species exploitation and discrimination by animal parasites.

    PubMed

    Forbes, Mark R; Morrill, André; Schellinck, Jennifer

    2017-05-05

    Parasite species often show differential fitness on different host species. We developed an equation-based model to explore conditions favouring host species exploitation and discrimination. In our model, diploid infective stages randomly encountered hosts of two species; the parasite's relative fitness in exploiting each host species, and its ability to discriminate between them, was determined by the parasite's genotype at two independent diallelic loci. Relative host species frequency determined allele frequencies at the exploitation locus, whereas differential fitness and combined host density determined frequency of discrimination alleles. The model predicts instances where populations contain mixes of discriminatory and non-discriminatory infective stages. Also, non-discriminatory parasites should evolve when differential fitness is low to moderate and when combined host densities are low, but not so low as to cause parasite extinction. A corollary is that parasite discrimination (and host-specificity) increases with higher combined host densities. Instances in nature where parasites fail to discriminate when differential fitness is extreme could be explained by one host species evolving resistance, following from earlier selection for parasite non-discrimination. Similar results overall were obtained for haploid extensions of the model. Our model emulates multi-host associations and has implications for understanding broadening of host species ranges by parasites.This article is part of the themed issue 'Opening the black box: re-examining the ecology and evolution of parasite transmission'.

  15. Infracommunity structure of parasites of Hemigymnus melapterus (Pisces: Labridae) from Lizard Island, Australia: the importance of habitat and parasite body size.

    PubMed

    Muñoz, Gabriela; Cribb, Thomas H

    2005-02-01

    This study describes the community of all metazoan parasites from 14 individuals of thicklip wrasse, Hemigymnus melapterus, from Lizard Island, Australia. All fish were parasitized, and 4,649 parasite individuals were found. Twenty-six parasite species were identified although only 6 species were abundant and prevalent: gnathiid isopods, the copepod Hatschekia hemigymni, the digenean Callohelmis pichelinae, and 3 morphotypes of tetraphyllidean cestode larvae. We analyzed whether the body size and microhabitat of the parasites and size of the host affected understanding of the structure of the parasite community. We related the abundance, biovolume, and density of parasites with the host body size and analyzed the abundances and volumetric densities of some parasite species within microhabitats. Although the 2 most abundant species comprised 75% of all parasite individuals, 4 species, each in similar proportion, comprised 85% of the total biovolume. Although larger host individuals had higher richness, abundance, and biovolume of parasites than smaller individuals, overall parasite volumetric density actually decreased with the host body size. Moreover, parasites exhibited abundances and densities significantly different among microhabitats; some parasite species depended on the area available, whereas others selected a specific microhabitat. Parasite and habitat size exhibited interesting relationships that should be considered more frequently. Considerations of these parameters improve understanding of parasite community structure and how the parasites use their habitats.

  16. 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

    2015-04-18

    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.

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. Helminth parasites alter protection against Plasmodium infection.

    PubMed

    Salazar-Castañon, Víctor H; Legorreta-Herrera, Martha; Rodriguez-Sosa, Miriam

    2014-01-01

    More than one-third of the world's population is infected with one or more helminthic parasites. Helminth infections are prevalent throughout tropical and subtropical regions where malaria pathogens are transmitted. Malaria is the most widespread and deadliest parasitic disease. The severity of the disease is strongly related to parasite density and the host's immune responses. Furthermore, coinfections between both parasites occur frequently. However, little is known regarding how concomitant infection with helminths and Plasmodium affects the host's immune response. Helminthic infections are frequently massive, chronic, and strong inductors of a Th2-type response. This implies that infection by such parasites could alter the host's susceptibility to subsequent infections by Plasmodium. There are a number of reports on the interactions between helminths and Plasmodium; in some, the burden of Plasmodium parasites increased, but others reported a reduction in the parasite. This review focuses on explaining many of these discrepancies regarding helminth-Plasmodium coinfections in terms of the effects that helminths have on the immune system. In particular, it focuses on helminth-induced immunosuppression and the effects of cytokines controlling polarization toward the Th1 or Th2 arms of the immune response.

  20. Mechanisms of cellular invasion by intracellular parasites.

    PubMed

    Walker, Dawn M; Oghumu, Steve; Gupta, Gaurav; McGwire, Bradford S; Drew, Mark E; Satoskar, Abhay R

    2014-04-01

    Numerous disease-causing parasites must invade host cells in order to prosper. Collectively, such pathogens are responsible for a staggering amount of human sickness and death throughout the world. Leishmaniasis, Chagas disease, toxoplasmosis, and malaria are neglected diseases and therefore are linked to socio-economical and geographical factors, affecting well-over half the world's population. Such obligate intracellular parasites have co-evolved with humans to establish a complexity of specific molecular parasite-host cell interactions, forming the basis of the parasite's cellular tropism. They make use of such interactions to invade host cells as a means to migrate through various tissues, to evade the host immune system, and to undergo intracellular replication. These cellular migration and invasion events are absolutely essential for the completion of the lifecycles of these parasites and lead to their for disease pathogenesis. This review is an overview of the molecular mechanisms of protozoan parasite invasion of host cells and discussion of therapeutic strategies, which could be developed by targeting these invasion pathways. Specifically, we focus on four species of protozoan parasites Leishmania, Trypanosoma cruzi, Plasmodium, and Toxoplasma, which are responsible for significant morbidity and mortality.

  1. The effect of grazing management on livestock exposure to parasites via the faecal-oral route.

    PubMed

    Smith, L A; Marion, G; Swain, D L; White, P C L; Hutchings, M R

    2009-10-01

    In grazing systems, heterogeneous distributions of forage resources and faeces result in localised accumulations of nutrients and parasites (both macroparasites and microparasites), creating trade-offs between the costs of exposure to infestation or infection and the benefits of nutrient intake. Each contact between livestock and faeces in the environment is a potential parasite/pathogen transmission event. Thus, herbivores must make foraging decisions in complex environments which will affect their intake of both nutrients and parasites. However, the pattern of forage and faecal resources in agricultural environments will also be affected by the grazing management system in place. The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of grazing management on the risk of infection/infestation to livestock. We used a spatially explicit individual based stochastic foraging model to simulate livestock contact (both grazing and investigative) with faeces in the environment. The model was parameterised to simulate cattle grazing under three types of grazing management: set stock (i.e. where sward growth and cattle intake are in equilibrium in a single field); a two pasture rotation grazing system with increasing number of rotations; and a rotational grazing system with two rotations and increasing subdivisions of the pasture. Overall the amount of cattle contact with faecal-contaminated patches was similar in both set stocking and rotational grazing scenarios, suggesting no difference in the risk of infection or infestation between the different systems. However, the timing and absolute amounts of peak contact varied greatly indicating that different grazing management systems expose livestock to risks of different types of parasites at different times of the grazing season. Intensive rotational systems with small pasture blocks (especially the first grazing period) maximised livestock contact with fresh faeces, and thus exposure to microparasites (e.g. bacterial

  2. Parasite infection and host group size: a meta-analytical review.

    PubMed

    Patterson, Jesse E H; Ruckstuhl, Kathreen E

    2013-06-01

    Many studies have identified various host behavioural and ecological traits that are associated with parasite infection, including host gregariousness. By use of meta-analyses, we investigated to what degree parasite prevalence, intensity and species richness are correlated with group size in gregarious species. We predicted that larger groups would have more parasites and higher parasite species richness. We analysed a total of 70 correlations on parasite prevalence, intensity and species richness across different host group sizes. Parasite intensity and prevalence both increased positively with group size, as expected. No significant relationships were found between host group size and parasite species richness, suggesting that larger groups do not harbour more rare or novel parasite species than smaller groups. We further predicted that the mobility of the host (mobile, sedentary) and the mode of parasite transmission (direct, indirect, mobile) would be important predictors of the effects of group sizes on parasite infection. It was found that group size was positively correlated with the prevalence and intensity of directly and indirectly transmitted parasites. However, a negative relationship was observed between group size and mobile parasite intensity, with larger groups having lower parasite intensities. Further, intensities of parasites did not increase with group size of mobile hosts, suggesting that host mobility may negate parasite infection risk. The implications for the evolution and maintenance of sociality in host species are discussed, and future research directions are highlighted.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. Quantification of parasite load in clinical samples of leishmaniasis patients: IL-10 level correlates with parasite load in visceral leishmaniasis.

    PubMed

    Verma, Sandeep; Kumar, Rajesh; Katara, Gajendra Kumar; Singh, Laishram Chandreshwor; Negi, Narender Singh; Ramesh, V; Salotra, Poonam

    2010-04-09

    A rapid and accurate method to detect and quantify Leishmania parasite is urgently needed to facilitate early diagnosis of leishmaniasis and monitoring of antileishmania therapy. In this study, real-time assay was applied to estimate parasite load in clinical samples of visceral leishmaniasis (VL) and post kala-azar dermal leishmaniasis (PKDL) patients. The mean parasite load in blood of VL patients (n = 31) was 8,372 parasites/ml, while the mean parasite load in bone marrow aspirate (BMA) was 194,962 parasites/million nucleated cells (n = 12). Parasite load was undetectable after treatment with amphotericin B (n = 9) in VL, while a residual parasite burden was detected in 2 of 6 patients following treatment with sodium antimony gluconate. Further, circulating levels of IFN-gamma, TNF-alpha, IL-10, IL-6, IL-4 and IL-2 were analysed in VL patients (n = 29) by Cytometric Bead Array to evaluate correlation with parasitic load. Interestingly, IL-10 levels correlated significantly with parasite load (r = 0.82, P<0.0001). The mean parasite load in dermal lesions of PKDL patients was 9,502 parasites/microg tissue DNA at pre-treatment stage (n = 25), with no detectable parasites after therapy (n = 5). Parasite burden was distinctly higher (P<0.0001) in nodular lesions (n = 12) (19,586 parasites/microg tissue DNA) compared to papular/macular lesions (n = 13, 193 parasites/microg tissue DNA). Further, chronic PKDL lesions showed significantly (P = 0.0166) higher parasite load in comparison with acute lesions. Results indicate that chronic, nodular cases constitute the major parasite reservoir for anthroponotic transmission. Our results establish that the high parasite load in VL is strongly correlated with a high level of IL-10, implicating IL-10 as a marker of disease severity. The assay is applicable for diagnosis as well as prognosis of both VL and PKDL, providing a simple molecular tool to monitor the efficacy of antileishmanial drugs or vaccines.

  6. 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...

  7. Parasites and marine invasions

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Torchin, M.E.; Lafferty, K.D.; Kuris, A.M.

    2002-01-01

    Introduced marine species are a major environmental and economic problem. The rate of these biological invasions has substantially increased in recent years due to the globalization of the world's economies. The damage caused by invasive species is often a result of the higher densities and larger sizes they attain compared to where they are native. A prominent hypothesis explaining the success of introduced species is that they are relatively free of the effects of natural enemies. Most notably, they may encounter fewer parasites in their introduced range compared to their native range. Parasites are ubiquitous and pervasive in marine systems, yet their role in marine invasions is relatively unexplored. Although data on parasites of marine organisms exist, the extent to which parasites can mediate marine invasions, or the extent to which invasive parasites and pathogens are responsible for infecting or potentially decimating native marine species have not been examined. In this review, we present a theoretical framework to model invasion success and examine the evidence for a relationship between parasite presence and the success of introduced marine species. For this, we compare the prevalence and species richness of parasites in several introduced populations of marine species with populations where they are native. We also discuss the potential impacts of introduced marine parasites on native ecosystems.

  8. Host-Parasite Interaction: Parasite-Derived and -Induced Proteases That Degrade Human Extracellular Matrix

    PubMed Central

    Piña-Vázquez, Carolina; Reyes-López, Magda; Ortíz-Estrada, Guillermo; de la Garza, Mireya; Serrano-Luna, Jesús

    2012-01-01

    Parasitic protozoa are among the most important pathogens worldwide. Diseases such as malaria, leishmaniasis, amoebiasis, giardiasis, trichomoniasis, and trypanosomiasis affect millions of people. Humans are constantly threatened by infections caused by these pathogens. Parasites engage a plethora of surface and secreted molecules to attach to and enter mammalian cells. The secretion of lytic enzymes by parasites into host organs mediates critical interactions because of the invasion and destruction of interstitial tissues, enabling parasite migration to other sites within the hosts. Extracellular matrix is a complex, cross-linked structure that holds cells together in an organized assembly and that forms the basement membrane lining (basal lamina). The extracellular matrix represents a major barrier to parasites. Therefore, the evolution of mechanisms for connective-tissue degradation may be of great importance for parasite survival. Recent advances have been achieved in our understanding of the biochemistry and molecular biology of proteases from parasitic protozoa. The focus of this paper is to discuss the role of protozoan parasitic proteases in the degradation of host ECM proteins and the participation of these molecules as virulence factors. We divide the paper into two sections, extracellular and intracellular protozoa. PMID:22792442

  9. 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.

  10. The evolution of reduced antagonism--A role for host-parasite coevolution.

    PubMed

    Gibson, A K; Stoy, K S; Gelarden, I A; Penley, M J; Lively, C M; Morran, L T

    2015-11-01

    Why do some host-parasite interactions become less antagonistic over evolutionary time? Vertical transmission can select for reduced antagonism. Vertical transmission also promotes coevolution between hosts and parasites. Therefore, we hypothesized that coevolution itself may underlie transitions to reduced antagonism. To test the coevolution hypothesis, we selected for reduced antagonism between the host Caenorhabditis elegans and its parasite Serratia marcescens. This parasite is horizontally transmitted, which allowed us to study coevolution independently of vertical transmission. After 20 generations, we observed a response to selection when coevolution was possible: reduced antagonism evolved in the copassaged treatment. Reduced antagonism, however, did not evolve when hosts or parasites were independently selected without coevolution. In addition, we found strong local adaptation for reduced antagonism between replicate host/parasite lines in the copassaged treatment. Taken together, these results strongly suggest that coevolution was critical to the rapid evolution of reduced antagonism.

  11. 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.

  12. Synanthropic birds and parasites.

    PubMed

    Dipineto, Ludovico; Borrelli, Luca; Pepe, Paola; Fioretti, Alessandro; Caputo, Vincenzo; Cringoli, Giuseppe; Rinaldi, Laura

    2013-12-01

    This paper describes the parasitologic findings for 60 synanthropic bird carcasses recovered in the Campania region of southern Italy. Birds consisted of 20 yellow-legged gulls (Larus michahellis), 15 rock pigeons (Columba livia), 15 common kestrels (Falco tinnunculus), and 10 carrion crows (Corvus corone). Each carcass was examined to detect the presence of ectoparasites and then necropsied to detect helminths. Ectoparasites occurred in 100% of the birds examined. In particular, chewing lice were recovered with a prevalence of 100%, whereas Pseudolynchia canariensis (Hippoboscidae) were found only in pigeons with a prevalence of 80%. Regarding endoparasites, a total of seven helminth species were identified: three nematodes (Ascaridia columbae, Capillaria columbae, Physaloptera alata), one cestoda (Raillietina tetragona), one trematoda (Cardiocephalus longicollis), and two acanthocephalans (Centrorhynchus globocaudatus and Centrorhynchus buteonis). The findings of the present study add data to the parasitologic scenario of synanthropic birds. This is important because parasitic infection can lead to serious health problems when combined with other factors and may affect flying performance and predatory effectiveness.

  13. Effects of a novel β-lapachone derivative on Trypanosoma cruzi: Parasite death involving apoptosis, autophagy and necrosis.

    PubMed

    Dos Anjos, Danielle Oliveira; Sobral Alves, Eliomara Sousa; Gonçalves, Vinicius Tomaz; Fontes, Sheila Suarez; Nogueira, Mateus Lima; Suarez-Fontes, Ana Márcia; Neves da Costa, João Batista; Rios-Santos, Fabricio; Vannier-Santos, Marcos André

    2016-12-01

    Natural products comprise valuable sources for new antiparasitic drugs. Here we tested the effects of a novel β-lapachone derivative on Trypanosoma cruzi parasite survival and proliferation and used microscopy and cytometry techniques to approach the mechanism(s) underlying parasite death. The selectivity index determination indicate that the compound trypanocidal activity was over ten-fold more cytotoxic to epimastigotes than to macrophages or splenocytes. Scanning electron microscopy analysis revealed that the R72 β-lapachone derivative affected the T. cruzi morphology and surface topography. General plasma membrane waving and blebbing particularly on the cytostome region were observed in the R72-treated parasites. Transmission electron microscopy observations confirmed the surface damage at the cytostome opening vicinity. We also observed ultrastructural evidence of the autophagic mechanism termed macroautophagy. Some of the autophagosomes involved large portions of the parasite cytoplasm and their fusion/confluence may lead to necrotic parasite death. The remarkably enhanced frequency of autophagy triggering was confirmed by quantitating monodansylcadaverine labeling. Some cells displayed evidence of chromatin pycnosis and nuclear fragmentation were detected. This latter phenomenon was also indicated by DAPI staining of R72-treated cells. The apoptotis induction was suggested to take place in circa one-third of the parasites assessed by annexin V labeling measured by flow cytometry. TUNEL staining corroborated the apoptosis induction. Propidium iodide labeling indicate that at least 10% of the R72-treated parasites suffered necrosis within 24 h. The present data indicate that the β-lapachone derivative R72 selectively triggers T. cruzi cell death, involving both apoptosis and autophagy-induced necrosis.

  14. 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

  15. A Model for Chagas Disease with Oral and Congenital Transmission

    PubMed Central

    Coffield, Daniel J.; Spagnuolo, Anna Maria; Shillor, Meir; Mema, Ensela; Pell, Bruce; Pruzinsky, Amanda; Zetye, Alexandra

    2013-01-01

    This work presents a new mathematical model for the domestic transmission of Chagas disease, a parasitic disease affecting humans and other mammals throughout Central and South America. The model takes into account congenital transmission in both humans and domestic mammals as well as oral transmission in domestic mammals. The model has time-dependent coefficients to account for seasonality and consists of four nonlinear differential equations, one of which has a delay, for the populations of vectors, infected vectors, infected humans, and infected mammals in the domestic setting. Computer simulations show that congenital transmission has a modest effect on infection while oral transmission in domestic mammals substantially contributes to the spread of the disease. In particular, oral transmission provides an alternative to vector biting as an infection route for the domestic mammals, who are key to the infection cycle. This may lead to high infection rates in domestic mammals even when the vectors have a low preference for biting them, and ultimately results in high infection levels in humans. PMID:23840647

  16. 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...

  17. The immunological balance between host and parasite in malaria.

    PubMed

    Deroost, Katrien; Pham, Thao-Thy; Opdenakker, Ghislain; Van den Steen, Philippe E

    2016-03-01

    Coevolution of humans and malaria parasites has generated an intricate balance between the immune system of the host and virulence factors of the parasite, equilibrating maximal parasite transmission with limited host damage. Focusing on the blood stage of the disease, we discuss how the balance between anti-parasite immunity versus immunomodulatory and evasion mechanisms of the parasite may result in parasite clearance or chronic infection without major symptoms, whereas imbalances characterized by excessive parasite growth, exaggerated immune reactions or a combination of both cause severe pathology and death, which is detrimental for both parasite and host. A thorough understanding of the immunological balance of malaria and its relation to other physiological balances in the body is of crucial importance for developing effective interventions to reduce malaria-related morbidity and to diminish fatal outcomes due to severe complications. Therefore, we discuss in this review the detailed mechanisms of anti-malarial immunity, parasite virulence factors including immune evasion mechanisms and pathogenesis. Furthermore, we propose a comprehensive classification of malaria complications according to the different types of imbalances.

  18. Cardiac manifestations of parasitic diseases.

    PubMed

    Nunes, Maria Carmo P; Guimarães Júnior, Milton Henriques; Diamantino, Adriana Costa; Gelape, Claudio Leo; Ferrari, Teresa Cristina Abreu

    2017-03-11

    The heart may be affected directly or indirectly by a variety of protozoa and helminths. This involvement may manifest in different ways, but the syndromes resulting from impairment of the myocardium and pericardium are the most frequent. The myocardium may be invaded by parasites that trigger local inflammatory response with subsequent myocarditis or cardiomyopathy, as occurs in Chagas disease, African trypanosomiasis, toxoplasmosis, trichinellosis and infection with free-living amoebae. In amoebiasis and echinococcosis, the pericardium is the structure most frequently involved with consequent pericardial effusion, acute pericarditis, cardiac tamponade or constrictive pericarditis. Chronic hypereosinophilia due to helminth infections, especially filarial infections, has been associated with the development of tropical endomyocardial fibrosis, a severe form of restrictive cardiomyopathy. Schistosomiasis-associated lung vasculature involvement may cause pulmonary hypertension (PH) and cor pulmonale Tropical pulmonary eosinophilia, which is characterised by progressive interstitial fibrosis and restrictive lung disease, may lead to PH and its consequences may occur in the course of filarial infections. Intracardiac rupture of an Echinococcus cyst can cause membrane or secondary cysts embolisation to the lungs or organs supplied by the systemic circulation. Although unusual causes of cardiac disease outside the endemic areas, heart involvement by parasites should be considered in the differential diagnosis especially of myocardial and/or pericardial diseases of unknown aetiology in both immunocompetent and immunocompromised individuals. In this review, we updated and summarised the current knowledge on the major heart diseases caused by protozoan and metazoan parasites, which either involve the heart directly or otherwise influence the heart adversely.

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. Fundamental factors determining the nature of parasite aggregation in hosts.

    PubMed

    Gourbière, Sébastien; Morand, Serge; Waxman, David

    2015-01-01

    The distribution of parasites in hosts is typically aggregated: a few hosts harbour many parasites, while the remainder of hosts are virtually parasite free. The origin of this almost universal pattern is central to our understanding of host-parasite interactions; it affects many facets of their ecology and evolution. Despite this, the standard statistical framework used to characterize parasite aggregation does not describe the processes generating such a pattern. In this work, we have developed a mathematical framework for the distribution of parasites in hosts, starting from a simple statistical description in terms of two fundamental processes: the exposure of hosts to parasites and the infection success of parasites. This description allows the level of aggregation of parasites in hosts to be related to the random variation in these two processes and to true host heterogeneity. We show that random variation can generate an aggregated distribution and that the common view, that encounters and success are two equivalent filters, applies to the average parasite burden under neutral assumptions but it does not apply to the variance of the parasite burden, and it is not true when heterogeneity between hosts is incorporated in the model. We find that aggregation decreases linearly with the number of encounters, but it depends non-linearly on parasite success. We also find additional terms in the variance of the parasite burden which contribute to the actual level of aggregation in specific biological systems. We have derived the formal expressions of these contributions, and these provide new opportunities to analyse empirical data and tackle the complexity of the origin of aggregation in various host-parasite associations.

  2. 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.

  3. Bird brood parasitism.

    PubMed

    Stevens, Martin

    2013-10-21

    For many animals, the effort to rear their young is considerable. In birds, this often includes building nests, incubating eggs, feeding the chicks, and protecting them from predators. Perhaps for this reason, about 1% of birds (around 100 species) save themselves the effort and cheat instead. They are obligate brood parasites, laying their eggs in the nests of other species and leaving the hosts or foster parents to rear the foreign chicks for them. Some birds also cheat on individuals of the same species (intraspecific brood parasitism). Intraspecific brood parasitism has been reported in around 200 species, but is likely to be higher, as it can often only be detected by genetic analyses.

  4. [Parasitism and ecological parasitology].

    PubMed

    Balashov, Iu S

    2011-01-01

    Parasitism as one of the life modes is a general biological phenomenon and is a characteristic of all viruses, many taxa of bacteria, fungi, protists, metaphytes, and metazoans. Zooparasitology is focused on studies of parasitic animals, particularly, on their taxonomy, anatomy, life cycles, host-parasite relations, biocoenotic connections, and evolution. Ecological parasitology is a component of ecology, as the scientific study of the relation of living organisms with each other and their surroundings. In the present paper, critical analysis of the problems, main postulates, and terminology of the modern ecological parasitology is given.

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. Human intestinal parasites in primary school children in Kampala, Uganda.

    PubMed

    Kabatereine, N B; Kemijumbi, J; Kazibwe, F; Onapa, A W

    1997-05-01

    A cross sectional survey on intestinal parasite infections was carried out in 5,313 pupils between the ages of ten and fifteen years in 98 primary schools in Kampala. The aim was to identify the types and distribution of intestinal parasites and to estimate the prevalence in school children. Trichuris trichiura (28%), Ascaris lumbricoides (17%) and hookworms (12.9%) were common infections among the children. Other less commonly found parasites were S.mansoni, Strongyloides stercolaris, Taenia sp, Enterobius vermicularis, Giardia lamblia, Entamoeba coli and E. histolytica. Refuse dumps are probably a significant source of transmission of intestinal helminthic infections in Kampala.

  10. 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

  11. Why join groups? Lessons from parasite-manipulated Artemia.

    PubMed

    Rode, Nicolas O; Lievens, Eva J P; Flaven, Elodie; Segard, Adeline; Jabbour-Zahab, Roula; Sanchez, Marta I; Lenormand, Thomas

    2013-04-01

    Grouping behaviours (e.g. schooling, shoaling and swarming) are commonly explicated through adaptive hypotheses such as protection against predation, access to mates or improved foraging. However, the hypothesis that aggregation can result from manipulation by parasites to increase their transmission has never been demonstrated. We investigated this hypothesis using natural populations of two crustacean hosts (Artemia franciscana and Artemia parthenogenetica) infected with one cestode and two microsporidian parasites. We found that swarming propensity increased in cestode-infected hosts and that red colour intensity was higher in swarming compared with non-swarming infected hosts. These effects likely result in increased cestode transmission to its final avian host. Furthermore, we found that microsporidian-infected hosts had both increased swarming propensity and surfacing behaviour. Finally, we demonstrated using experimental infections that these concurrent manipulations result in increased spore transmission to new hosts. Hence, this study suggests that parasites can play a prominent role in host grouping behaviours.

  12. The evolution of transmission mode

    PubMed Central

    Forbes, Mark R.; Hauffe, Heidi C.; Kallio, Eva R.; Okamura, Beth; Sait, Steven M.

    2017-01-01

    This article reviews research on the evolutionary mechanisms leading to different transmission modes. Such modes are often under genetic control of the host or the pathogen, and often in conflict with each other via trade-offs. Transmission modes may vary among pathogen strains and among host populations. Evolutionary changes in transmission mode have been inferred through experimental and phylogenetic studies, including changes in transmission associated with host shifts and with evolution of the unusually complex life cycles of many parasites. Understanding the forces that determine the evolution of particular transmission modes presents a fascinating medley of problems for which there is a lack of good data and often a lack of conceptual understanding or appropriate methodologies. Our best information comes from studies that have been focused on the vertical versus horizontal transmission dichotomy. With other kinds of transitions, theoretical approaches combining epidemiology and population genetics are providing guidelines for determining when and how rapidly new transmission modes may evolve, but these are still in need of empirical investigation and application to particular cases. Obtaining such knowledge is a matter of urgency in relation to extant disease threats. This article is part of the themed issue ‘Opening the black box: re-examining the ecology and evolution of parasite transmission’. PMID:28289251

  13. Linking parasite populations in hosts to parasite populations in space through Taylor's law and the negative binomial distribution.

    PubMed

    Cohen, Joel E; Poulin, Robert; Lagrue, Clément

    2017-01-03

    The spatial distribution of individuals of any species is a basic concern of ecology. The spatial distribution of parasites matters to control and conservation of parasites that affect human and nonhuman populations. This paper develops a quantitative theory to predict the spatial distribution of parasites based on the distribution of parasites in hosts and the spatial distribution of hosts. Four models are tested against observations of metazoan hosts and their parasites in littoral zones of four lakes in Otago, New Zealand. These models differ in two dichotomous assumptions, constituting a 2 × 2 theoretical design. One assumption specifies whether the variance function of the number of parasites per host individual is described by Taylor's law (TL) or the negative binomial distribution (NBD). The other assumption specifies whether the numbers of parasite individuals within each host in a square meter of habitat are independent or perfectly correlated among host individuals. We find empirically that the variance-mean relationship of the numbers of parasites per square meter is very well described by TL but is not well described by NBD. Two models that posit perfect correlation of the parasite loads of hosts in a square meter of habitat approximate observations much better than two models that posit independence of parasite loads of hosts in a square meter, regardless of whether the variance-mean relationship of parasites per host individual obeys TL or NBD. We infer that high local interhost correlations in parasite load strongly influence the spatial distribution of parasites. Local hotspots could influence control and conservation of parasites.

  14. Metabolomics and protozoan parasites.

    PubMed

    Paget, Timothy; Haroune, Nicolas; Bagchi, Sushmita; Jarroll, Edward

    2013-06-01

    In this review, we examine the state-of-the-art technologies (gas and liquid chromatography, mass spectroscopy and nuclear magnetic resonance, etc.) in the well-established area of metabolomics especially as they relate to protozoan parasites.

  15. Parasitic Diseases: Glossary

    MedlinePlus

    ... make it easier to diagnose certain infections/diseases. Protozoa: Single-celled, microscopic organisms that can perform all necessary functions of metabolism and reproduction. Some protozoa are free-living, while others parasitize other organisms ...

  16. Women and Parasitic Diseases

    MedlinePlus

    ... Travelers Women Health Professionals Public Health Departments Laboratory Science ... Infection with Toxoplasma gondii , a parasite found in undercooked meat, cat feces, soil, and untreated water can lead to severe brain ...

  17. Cytoskeleton of Apicomplexan Parasites

    PubMed Central

    Morrissette, Naomi S.; Sibley, L. David

    2002-01-01

    The Apicomplexa are a phylum of diverse obligate intracellular parasites including Plasmodium spp., the cause of malaria; Toxoplasma gondii and Cryptosporidium parvum, opportunistic pathogens of immunocompromised individuals; and Eimeria spp. and Theileria spp., parasites of considerable agricultural importance. These protozoan parasites share distinctive morphological features, cytoskeletal organization, and modes of replication, motility, and invasion. This review summarizes our current understanding of the cytoskeletal elements, the properties of cytoskeletal proteins, and the role of the cytoskeleton in polarity, motility, invasion, and replication. We discuss the unusual properties of actin and myosin in the Apicomplexa, the highly stereotyped microtubule populations in apicomplexans, and a network of recently discovered novel intermediate filament-like elements in these parasites. PMID:11875126

  18. Parasite-mediated predation between native and invasive amphipods.

    PubMed Central

    MacNeil, Calum; Dick, Jaimie T A; Hatcher, Melanie J; Terry, Rebecca S; Smith, Judith E; Dunn, Alison M

    2003-01-01

    Parasites can structure biological communities directly through population regulation and indirectly by processes such as apparent competition. However, the role of parasites in the process of biological invasion is less well understood and mechanisms of parasite mediation of predation among hosts are unclear. Mutual predation between native and invading species is an important factor in determining the outcome of invasions in freshwater amphipod communities. Here, we show that parasites mediate mutual intraguild predation among native and invading species and may thereby facilitate the invasion process. We find that the native amphipod Gammarus duebeni celticus is host to a microsporidian parasite, Pleistophora sp. (new species), with a frequency of infection of 0-90%. However, the parasite does not infect three invading species, G. tigrinus, G. pulex and Crangonyx pseudogracilis. In field and laboratory manipulations, we show that the parasite exhibits cryptic virulence: the parasite does not affect host fitness in single-species populations, but virulence becomes apparent when the native and invading species interact. That is, infection has no direct effect on G. d. celticus survivorship, size or fecundity; however, in mixed-species experiments, parasitized natives show a reduced capacity to prey on the smaller invading species and are more likely to be preyed upon by the largest invading species. Thus, by altering dominance relationships and hierarchies of mutual predation, parasitism strongly influences, and has the potential to change, the outcome of biological invasions. PMID:12816645

  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. 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...

  1. Parasites and human evolution.

    PubMed

    Perry, George H

    2014-01-01

    Our understanding of human evolutionary and population history can be advanced by ecological and evolutionary studies of our parasites. Many parasites flourish only in the presence of very specific human behaviors and in specific habitats, are wholly dependent on us, and have evolved with us for thousands or millions of years. Therefore, by asking when and how we first acquired those parasites, under which environmental and cultural conditions we are the most susceptible, and how the parasites have evolved and adapted to us and we in response to them, we can gain considerable insight into our own evolutionary history. As examples, the tapeworm life cycle is dependent on our consumption of meat, the divergence of body and head lice may have been subsequent to the development of clothing, and malaria hyperendemicity may be associated with agriculture. Thus, the evolutionary and population histories of these parasites are likely intertwined with critical aspects of human biology and culture. Here I review the mechanics of these and multiple other parasite proxies for human evolutionary history and discuss how they currently complement our fossil, archeological, molecular, linguistic, historical, and ethnographic records. I also highlight potential future applications of this promising model for the field of evolutionary anthropology.

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. 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.