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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. PMID:26210495

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  3. Taenia solium Cysticercosis in the Democratic Republic of Congo: How Does Pork Trade Affect the Transmission of the Parasite?

    PubMed Central

    Kabwe, Constantin; Maketa, Vivi; Lukanu, Philippe; Lutumba, Pascal; Polman, Katja; Matondo, Peter; Speybroeck, Niko; Dorny, Pierre; Sumbu, Julienne

    2010-01-01

    Background Taenia solium, a zoonotic parasite that is endemic in most developing countries where pork is consumed, is recognised as the main cause of acquired epilepsy in these regions. T. solium has been reported in almost all of the neighboring countries of Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) but data on the current prevalence of the disease in the country itself are lacking. This study, focusing on porcine cysticercosis (CC), makes part of a first initiative to assess whether cysticercosis is indeed actually present in DRC. Methods An epidemiological study on porcine CC was conducted (1) on urban markets of Kinshasa where pork is sold and (2) in villages in Bas-Congo province where pigs are traditionally reared. Tongue inspection and ELISA for the detection of circulating antigen of the larval stage of T. solium were used to assess the prevalence of active CC in both study sites. Findings The overall prevalence of pigs with active cysticercosis did not significantly differ between the market and the village study sites (38.8 [CI95%: 34–43] versus 41.2% [CI95%: 33–49], respectively). However, tongue cysticercosis was only found in the village study site together with a significantly higher intensity of infection (detected by ELISA). Interpretation Pigs reared at village level are sold for consumption on Kinshasa markets, but it seems that highly infected animals are excluded at a certain level in the pig trade chain. Indeed, preliminary informal surveys on common practices conducted in parallel revealed that pig farmers and/or buyers select the low infected animals and exclude those who are positive by tongue inspection at village level. This study provides the only recent evidence of CC presence in DRC and gives the first estimates to fill an important gap on the African taeniasis/cysticercosis distribution map. PMID:20838646

  4. 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.

  5. Apicomplexan parasites: environmental contamination and transmission.

    PubMed

    Siński, Edward; Behnke, Jerzy M

    2004-01-01

    The Apicomplexa are a diverse group of intracellular parasitic protists. The majority of species from the classes Coccidea, Haemosporea and Piroplasmea are responsible for widespread diseases of humans and domestic animals. Oocysts of these parasites can persist for long periods of time in the environment (i.e. in water, soil, on vegetation and other food resources), maintaining their infectivity even under harsh environmental conditions and therefore are important for dispersal and transmission to hosts. This review will address the biology, transmission patterns and survival in the environment of Cryptosporidium, Cyclospora and Toxoplasma species, the most common causes of human diseases.

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. Interactions between frequency-dependent and vertical transmission in host-parasite systems.

    PubMed Central

    Altizer, S M; Augustine, D J

    1997-01-01

    We investigate host-pathogen dynamics and conditions for coexistence in two models incorporating frequency-dependent horizontal transmission in conjunction with vertical transmission. The first model combines frequency-dependent and uniparental vertical transmission, while the second addresses parasites transmitted vertically via both parents. For the first model, we ask how the addition of vertical transmission changes the coexistence criteria for parasites transmitted by a frequency-dependent horizontal route, and show that vertical transmission significantly broadens the conditions for parasite invasion. Host-parasite coexistence is further affected by the form of density-dependent host regulation. Numerical analyses demonstrate that within a host population, a parasite strain with horizontal frequency-dependent transmission can be driven to extinction by a parasite strain that is additionally transmitted vertically for a wide range of parameters. Although models of asexual host populations predict that vertical transmission alone cannot maintain a parasite over time, analysis of our second model shows that vertical transmission via both male and female parents can maintain a parasite at a stable equilibrium. These results correspond with the frequent co-occurrence of vertical with sexual transmission in nature and suggest that these transmission modes can lead to host-pathogen coexistence for a wide range of systems involving hosts with high reproductive rates. PMID:9265188

  9. Should sex-ratio distorting parasites abandon horizontal transmission?

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Background Sex-ratio distorting parasites are of interest due to their effects upon host population dynamics and their potential to influence the evolution of host sex determination systems. In theory, the ability to distort host sex-ratios allows a parasite with efficient vertical (hereditary) transmission to dispense completely with horizontal (infectious) transmission. However, recent empirical studies indicate that some sex-ratio distorting parasites have retained the capability for horizontal transmission. Results Numerical simulations using biologically realistic parameters suggest that a feminising parasite is only likely to lose the capability for horizontal transmission if its host occurs at low density and/or has a male-biased primary sex ratio. It is also demonstrated that even a small amount of horizontal transmission can allow multiple feminising parasites to coexist within a single host population. Finally it is shown that, by boosting its host's rate of population growth, a feminising parasite can increase its own horizontal transmission and allow the invasion of other, more virulent parasites. Conclusions The prediction that sex-ratio distorting parasites are likely to retain a degree of horizontal transmission has important implications for the epidemiology and host-parasite interactions of these organisms. It may also explain the frequent co-occurrence of several sex-ratio distorting parasite species in nature. PMID:22188680

  10. Beyond immunity: quantifying the effects of host anti-parasite behavior on parasite transmission.

    PubMed

    Daly, Elizabeth W; Johnson, Pieter T J

    2011-04-01

    A host's first line of defense in response to the threat of parasitic infection is behavior, yet the efficacy of anti-parasite behaviors in reducing infection are rarely quantified relative to immunological defense mechanisms. Larval amphibians developing in aquatic habitats are at risk of infection from a diverse assemblage of pathogens, some of which cause substantial morbidity and mortality, suggesting that behavioral avoidance and resistance could be significant defensive strategies. To quantify the importance of anti-parasite behaviors in reducing infection, we exposed larval Pacific chorus frogs (Pseudacris regilla) to pathogenic trematodes (Ribeiroia and Echinostoma) in one of two experimental conditions: behaviorally active (unmanipulated) or behaviorally impaired (anesthetized). By quantifying both the number of successful and unsuccessful parasites, we show that host behavior reduces infection prevalence and intensity for both parasites. Anesthetized hosts were 20-39% more likely to become infected and, when infected, supported 2.8-fold more parasitic cysts. Echinostoma had a 60% lower infection success relative to the more deadly Ribeiroia and was also more vulnerable to behaviorally mediated reductions in transmission. For Ribeiroia, increases in host mass enhanced infection success, consistent with epidemiological theory, but this relationship was eroded among active hosts. Our results underscore the importance of host behavior in mitigating disease risk and suggest that, in some systems, anti-parasite behaviors can be as or more effective than immune-mediated defenses in reducing infection. Considering the severe pathologies induced by these and other pathogens of amphibians, we emphasize the value of a broader understanding of anti-parasite behaviors and how co-occurring stressors affect them.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2010-01-01

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

  12. Modelling parasite transmission in a grazing system: the importance of host behaviour and immunity.

    PubMed

    Fox, Naomi J; Marion, Glenn; Davidson, Ross S; White, Piran C L; Hutchings, Michael R

    2013-01-01

    Parasitic helminths present one of the most pervasive challenges to grazing herbivores. Many macro-parasite transmission models focus on host physiological defence strategies, omitting more complex interactions between hosts and their environments. This work represents the first model that integrates both the behavioural and physiological elements of gastro-intestinal nematode transmission dynamics in a managed grazing system. A spatially explicit, individual-based, stochastic model is developed, that incorporates both the hosts' immunological responses to parasitism, and key grazing behaviours including faecal avoidance. The results demonstrate that grazing behaviour affects both the timing and intensity of parasite outbreaks, through generating spatial heterogeneity in parasite risk and nutritional resources, and changing the timing of exposure to the parasites' free-living stages. The influence of grazing behaviour varies with the host-parasite combination, dependent on the development times of different parasite species and variations in host immune response. Our outputs include the counterintuitive finding that under certain conditions perceived parasite avoidance behaviours (faecal avoidance) can increase parasite risk, for certain host-parasite combinations. Through incorporating the two-way interaction between infection dynamics and grazing behaviour, the potential benefits of parasite-induced anorexia are also demonstrated. Hosts with phenotypic plasticity in grazing behaviour, that make grazing decisions dependent on current parasite burden, can reduce infection with minimal loss of intake over the grazing season. This paper explores how both host behaviours and immunity influence macro-parasite transmission in a spatially and temporally heterogeneous environment. The magnitude and timing of parasite outbreaks is influenced by host immunity and behaviour, and the interactions between them; the incorporation of both regulatory processes is required to

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-04-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-04-01

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

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  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. 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

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

    PubMed

    Roberts, K E; Hughes, W O H

    2015-02-01

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

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. Virulence and transmission success of the malarial parasite Plasmodium falciparum

    PubMed Central

    Hayward, Rhian E.; Tiwari, Bela; Piper, Karen P.; Baruch, Dror I.; Day, Karen P.

    1999-01-01

    Virulence of Plasmodium falciparum is associated with the expression of variant surface antigens designated PfEMP1 (P. falciparum erythrocyte membrane protein 1) that are encoded by a family of var genes. Data presented show that the transmission stages of P. falciparum also express PfEMP1 variants. Virulence in this host–parasite system can be considered a variable outcome of optimizing the production of sexual transmission stages from the population of disease-inducing asexual stages. Immunity to PfEMP1 will contribute to the regulation of this trade-off by controlling the parasite population with potential to produce mature transmission stages. PMID:10200302

  5. 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.

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

    PubMed

    Friesen, Olwyn C; Roth, James D

    2016-09-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

  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. 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.

  10. HOW WILL GLOBAL CLIMATE CHANGE AFFECT PARASITES?

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  11. 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.

  12. 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. PMID:25648648

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

  14. 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

  15. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-05-01

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

  17. 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.

  18. Parasites

    MedlinePlus

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-08-01

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

  20. 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

  1. Host immune constraints on malaria transmission: insights from population biology of within-host parasites

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Plasmodium infections trigger complex immune reactions from their hosts against several life stages of the parasite, including gametocytes. These immune responses are highly variable, depending on age, genetics, and exposure history of the host as well as species and strain of parasite. Although the effects of host antibodies that act against gamete stages in the mosquito (due to uptake in the blood meal) are well documented, the effects of host immunity upon within-host gametocytes are not as well understood. This report consists of a theoretical population biology-based analysis to determine constraints that host immunity impose upon gametocyte population growth. The details of the mathematical models used for the analysis were guided by published reports of clinical and animal studies, incorporated plausible modalities of immune reactions to parasites, and were tailored to the life cycl es of the two most widespread human malaria pathogens, Plasmodium falciparum and Plasmodium vivax. Results For the same ability to bind and clear a target, the model simulations suggest that an antibody attacking immature gametocytes would tend to lower the overall density of transmissible mature gametocytes more than an antibody attacking the mature forms directly. Transmission of P. falciparum would be especially vulnerable to complete blocking by antibodies to its immature forms since its gametocytes take much longer to reach maturity than those of P. vivax. On the other hand, antibodies attacking the mature gametocytes directly would reduce the time the mature forms can linger in the host. Simulation results also suggest that varying the standard deviation in the time necessary for individual asexual parasites to develop and produce schizonts can affect the efficiency of production of transmissible gametocytes. Conclusions If mature gametocyte density determines the probability of transmission, both Plasmodium species, but especially P. falciparum, could bolster

  2. 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.

  3. The honey bee parasite Nosema ceranae: transmissible via food exchange?

    PubMed

    Smith, Michael L

    2012-01-01

    Nosema ceranae, a newly introduced parasite of the honey bee, Apis mellifera, is contributing to worldwide colony losses. Other Nosema species, such as N. apis, tend to be associated with increased defecation and spread via a fecal-oral pathway, but because N. ceranae does not induce defecation, it may instead be spread via an oral-oral pathway. Cages that separated older infected bees from young uninfected bees were used to test whether N. ceranae can be spread during food exchange. When cages were separated by one screen, food could be passed between the older bees and the young bees, but when separated by two screens, food could not be passed between the two cages. Young uninfected bees were also kept isolated in cages, as a solitary control. After 4 days of exposure to the older bees, and 10 days to incubate infections, young bees were more likely to be infected in the 1-Screen Test treatment vs. the 2-Screen Test treatment (P=0.0097). Young bees fed by older bees showed a 13-fold increase in mean infection level relative to young bees not fed by older bees (1-Screen Test 40.8%; 2-Screen Test 3.4%; Solo Control 2.8%). Although fecal-oral transmission is still possible in this experimental design, oral-oral infectivity could help explain the rapid spread of N. ceranae worldwide.

  4. Conflict between parasites with different transmission strategies infecting an amphipod host.

    PubMed

    Haine, Eleanor R; Boucansaud, Karelle; Rigaud, Thierry

    2005-12-01

    Competition between parasites within a host can influence the evolution of parasite virulence and host resistance, but few studies examine the effects of unrelated parasites with conflicting transmission strategies infecting the same host. Vertically transmitted (VT) parasites, transmitted from mother to offspring, are in conflict with virulent, horizontally transmitted (HT) parasites, because healthy hosts are necessary to maximize VT parasite fitness. Resolution of the conflict between these parasites should lead to the evolution of one of two strategies: avoidance, or sabotage of HT parasite virulence by the VT parasite. We investigated two co-infecting parasites in the amphipod host, Gammarus roeseli: VT microsporidia have little effect on host fitness, but acanthocephala modify host behaviour, increasing the probability that the amphipod is predated by the acanthocephalan's definitive host. We found evidence for sabotage: the behavioural manipulation induced by the Acanthocephala Polymorphus minutus was weaker in hosts also infected by the microsporidia Dictyocoela sp. (roeselum) compared to hosts infected by P. minutus alone. Such conflicts may explain a significant portion of the variation generally observed in behavioural measures, and since VT parasites are ubiquitous in invertebrates, often passing undetected, conflict via transmission may be of great importance in the study of host-parasite relationships.

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

    PubMed

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

    2008-05-27

    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.

  6. Changing dietary habits in a changing world: emerging drivers for the transmission of foodborne parasitic zoonoses.

    PubMed

    Broglia, A; Kapel, C

    2011-11-24

    Changing eating habits, population growth and movements, global trade of foodstuff, changes in food production systems, climate change, increased awareness and better diagnostic tools are some of the main drivers affecting the emergence or re-emergence of many foodborne parasitic diseases in recent years. In particular, the increasing demand for exotic and raw food is one of the reasons why reports of foodborne infections, and especially waterborne parasitosis, have increased in the last years. Moreover increasing global demand for protein of animal origin has led to certain farming practices (e.g. aquaculture) increasing in emerging or developing countries, where health monitoring may not be sufficiently implemented. Therefore, high quality epidemiological data are needed which together with biological, economic, social and cultural variables should be taken into account when setting control programs for these increasingly popular production systems in emerging economies. This review focuses on the dietary, social, economic and environmental changes that may cause an increase in human exposure to foodborne parasites. Some examples illustrating these new epidemiological dynamics of transmission foodborne parasitic disease are presented.

  7. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-09-01

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

  9. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

  11. Disentangling the effects of exposure and susceptibility on transmission of the zoonotic parasite Schistosoma mansoni.

    PubMed

    Civitello, David J; Rohr, Jason R

    2014-11-01

    For all parasites, transmission is composed of two processes: host contact with parasites ('exposure') and risk of infection given such contact ('susceptibility'). Classic models, such as mass action (density-dependent) transmission, lump these processes together. However, separating these processes could enhance predictions for disease dynamics, especially for free-living parasites. Here, we outline three transmission models that partition exposure and susceptibility. Using data from a study of Schistosoma mansoni (trematode) infections in Biomphalaria glabrata snails, we competed these three models against four alternative models, including the mass action model (which lumps exposure and susceptibility). The models that separately accounted for exposure and susceptibility best predicted prevalence across the density gradients of hosts and parasites, outperforming all other models based on Akaike information criterion. When embedded into a dynamic epidemiological model, the exposure-explicit models all predicted lower equilibrium densities of infected snails and human-infectious cercariae. Thus, population-level epidemiological models that utilize the classic mass action transmission model might overestimate human risk of schistosomiasis. More generally, the presented approach for disentangling exposure and susceptibility can distinguish between behavioural and immunological resistance, identify mechanisms of 'disease dilution' and provide a more complete dissection of drivers of parasite transmission.

  12. Monkeys in the Middle: Parasite Transmission through the Social Network of a Wild Primate

    PubMed Central

    MacIntosh, Andrew J. J.; Jacobs, Armand; Garcia, Cécile; Shimizu, Keiko; Mouri, Keiko; Huffman, Michael A.; Hernandez, Alexander D.

    2012-01-01

    In wildlife populations, group-living is thought to increase the probability of parasite transmission because contact rates increase at high host densities. Physical contact, such as social grooming, is an important component of group structure, but it can also increase the risk of exposure to infection for individuals because it provides a mechanism for transmission of potentially pathogenic organisms. Living in groups can also create variation in susceptibility to infection among individuals because circulating levels of immunosuppressive hormones like glucocorticoids often depend on an individual’s position within the group’s social structure. Yet, little is known about the relative roles of socially mediated exposure versus susceptibility in parasite transmission among free-living animal groups. To address this issue, we investigate the relationship between host dominance hierarchy and nematode parasite transmission among females in a wild group of Japanese macaques (Macaca fuscata yakui). We use social network analysis to describe each individual female’s position within the grooming network in relation to dominance rank and relative levels of infection. Our results suggest that the number of directly-transmitted parasite species infecting each female, and the relative amount of transmission stages that one of these species sheds in faeces, both increase with dominance rank. Female centrality within the network, which shows positive associations with dominance hierarchy, is also positively associated with infection by certain parasite species, suggesting that the measured rank-bias in transmission may reflect variation in exposure rather than susceptibility. This is supported by the lack of a clear relationship between rank and faecal cortisol, as an indicator of stress, in a subset of these females. Thus, socially mediated exposure appears to be important for direct transmission of nematode parasites, lending support to the idea that a classical fitness

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. 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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

  19. 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.

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

    PubMed

    Haven, James; Park, Andrew William

    2013-12-01

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

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. 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 ...

  4. Parasite transmission in complex communities: predators and alternative hosts alter pathogenic infections in amphibians.

    PubMed

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

    2012-06-01

    While often studied in isolation, host-parasite interactions are typically embedded within complex communities. Other community members, including predators and alternative hosts, can therefore alter parasite transmission (e.g., the dilution effect), yet few studies have experimentally evaluated more than one such mechanism. Here, we used data from natural wetlands to design experiments investigating how alternative hosts and predators of parasites mediate trematode (Ribeiroia ondatrae) infection in a focal amphibian host (Pseudacris regilla). In short-term predation bioassays involving mollusks, zooplankton, fish, larval insects, or newts, four of seven tested species removed 62-93% of infectious stages. In transmission experiments, damselfly nymphs (predators) and newt larvae (alternative hosts) reduced infection in P. regilla tadpoles by -50%, whereas mosquitofish (potential predators and alternative hosts) did not significantly influence transmission. Additional bioassays indicated that predators consumed parasites even in the presence of alternative prey. In natural wetlands, newts had similar infection intensities as P. regilla, suggesting that they commonly function as alternative hosts despite their unpalatability to downstream hosts, whereas mosquitofish had substantially lower infection intensities and are unlikely to function as hosts. These results underscore the importance of studying host-parasite interactions in complex communities and of broadly linking research on predation, biodiversity loss, and infectious diseases.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-10-01

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

  8. The influence of climatic conditions on long-term changes in the helminth fauna of terrestrial molluscs and the implications for parasite transmission in southern England.

    PubMed

    Morley, N J; Lewis, J W

    2008-12-01

    The influence of climatic conditions on the prevalence and transmission of helminth parasites in a terrestrial mollusc population was studied in a grassland site in southern England between 1974 and 1983. Molluscs were sampled in each September of 5 years over this period (1974, 1976, 1979, 1981, 1983). Climatic conditions had a variable effect on parasite prevalence. Trematode sporocyst infections increased after wet summer and warm winter conditions and declined in hot, dry periods. Cestode infections increased after combined wet spring and summer weather and low winter temperatures, although trematode metacercariae and nematode infections were less likely to be influenced by climate. The effects on parasite transmission were undertaken by comparing parasite prevalences in the principal definitive hosts, the common shrew (Sorex araneus) and the wood mouse (Apodemus sylvaticus) in the same habitat over the period 1973-1983. Changes in parasite prevalences in the molluscan population were rarely replicated by changes in the small mammal population, except for trematode parasites in small mammals during a period of severe drought in 1976. These results suggest that only long-term persistent modifications in climate are likely to affect host-parasite dynamics.

  9. Identifying host species driving transmission of schistosomiasis japonica, a multihost parasite system, in China.

    PubMed

    Rudge, James W; Webster, Joanne P; Lu, Da-Bing; Wang, Tian-Ping; Fang, Guo-Ren; Basáñez, María-Gloria

    2013-07-01

    Understanding disease transmission dynamics in multihost parasite systems is a research priority for control and potential elimination of many infectious diseases. In China, despite decades of multifaceted control efforts against schistosomiasis, the indirectly transmitted helminth Schistosoma japonicum remains endemic, partly because of the presence of zoonotic reservoirs. We used mathematical modeling and conceptual frameworks of multihost transmission ecology to assess the relative importance of various definitive host species for S. japonicum transmission in contrasting hilly and marshland areas of China. We examine whether directing control interventions against zoonotic reservoirs could further reduce incidence of infection in humans or even eliminate transmission. Results suggest that, under current control programs, infections in humans result from spillover of transmission among zoonotic reservoirs. Estimates of the basic reproduction number within each species suggest that bovines (water buffalo and cattle) maintained transmission in the marshland area and that the recent removal of bovines from this area could achieve local elimination of transmission. However, the sole use of antifecundity S. japonicum vaccines for bovines, at least at current efficacies, may not achieve elimination in areas of comparable endemicity where removal of bovines is not a feasible option. The results also suggest that rodents drive transmission in the hilly area. Therefore, although targeting bovines could further reduce and potentially interrupt transmission in marshland regions of China, elimination of S. japonicum could prove more challenging in areas where rodents might maintain transmission. In conclusion, we show how mathematical modeling can give important insights into multihost transmission of indirectly transmitted pathogens.

  10. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-06-16

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-06-16

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

  13. 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.

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

    PubMed

    Benesh, Daniel P; Kalbe, Martin

    2016-07-01

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

  15. Individual patterns of habitat and nest-site use by hosts promote transgenerational transmission of avian brood parasitism status.

    PubMed

    Hoover, Jeffrey P; Hauber, Mark E

    2007-11-01

    Brood parasitic birds impose variable fitness costs upon their hosts by causing the partial or complete loss of the hosts' own brood. Growing evidence from multiple avian host-parasite taxa indicates that exposure of individual hosts to parasitism is not necessarily random and varies with habitat use, nest-site selection, age or other phenotypic attributes. For instance, nonrandom patterns of brood parasitism had similar evolutionary consequences to those of limited horizontal transmission of parasites and pathogens across space and time and altered the dynamics of both population productivity and co-evolutionary interactions of hosts and parasites. We report that brood parasitism status of hosts of brown-headed cowbirds Molothrus ater is also transmitted across generations in individually colour-banded female prothonotary warblers Protonotaria citrea. Warbler daughters were more likely to share their mothers' parasitism status when showing natal philopatry at the scale of habitat patch. Females never bred in their natal nestboxes but daughters of parasitized mothers had shorter natal dispersal distances than daughters of nonparasitized mothers. Daughters of parasitized mothers were more likely to use nestboxes that had been parasitized by cowbirds in both the previous and current years. Although difficult to document in avian systems, different propensities of vertical transmission of parasitism status within host lineages will have critical implications both for the evolution of parasite tolerance in hosts and, if found to be mediated by lineages of parasites themselves, for the difference in virulence between such extremes as the nestmate-tolerant and nestmate-eliminator strategies of different avian brood parasite species.

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-10-01

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

  17. 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

  18. Man and his parasites: integration of biomedical and social approaches to transmission and control.

    PubMed

    Holland, C V

    1989-01-01

    The significance of sociocultural and behavioural factors in the transmission and control of parasitic infections has been underestimated. Explanations for this neglect include the failure of communication between biomedics and social scientists and reliance on control measures such as mass chemotherapeutic and anti-vector programmes which do not involve the participation of the community at risk. The need for an integrated approach to both the impact of parasitic infections and their control is now being recognised. Given their very high prevalence and the background socio-economic and other factors which exacerbate the problem, parasites of the subtropical and tropical countries will be the main emphasis of this discussion. The paper will illustrate a number of methodologies employed to look at the relationship between sociocultural and parasitic infections rather than provide a catalogue of interesting and yet isolated examples of human risk behaviours. These methodologies will include assessments of both individual risk factors and a broader framework to include larger social groupings including 'outsiders' involved in control programmes. Finally, the importance of this type of emphasis within control strategies will be discussed and a concluding section on research priorities and recommendations will be presented. PMID:2762866

  19. A hitchhiker's guide to parasite transmission: The phoretic behaviour of feather lice.

    PubMed

    Harbison, Christopher W; Jacobsen, Matthew V; Clayton, Dale H

    2009-04-01

    Transmission to new hosts is a fundamental challenge for parasites. Some species meet this challenge by hitchhiking on other, more mobile parasite species, a behaviour known as phoresis. For example, feather-feeding lice that parasitise birds disperse to new hosts by hitchhiking on parasitic louse flies, which fly between individual birds. Oddly, however, some species of feather lice do not engage in phoresis. For example, although Rock Pigeon (Columba livia) "wing" lice (Columbicola columbae) frequently move to new hosts phoretically on louse flies (Pseudolynchia canariensis), Rock Pigeon "body" lice (Campanulotes compar) do not. This difference in phoretic behaviour is puzzling because the two species of lice have very similar life cycles and are equally dependent on transmission to new hosts. We conducted a series of experiments designed to compare the orientation, locomotion and attachment capabilities of these two species of lice, in relation to louse flies. We show that wing lice use fly activity as a cue in orientation and locomotion, whereas body lice do not. We also show that wing lice are more capable of remaining attached to active flies that are walking, grooming or flying. The superior phoretic ability of wing lice may be related to morphological adaptations for life on wing feathers, compared to body feathers.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-06-28

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

  1. An ancient protein phosphatase, SHLP1, is critical to microneme development in Plasmodium ookinetes and parasite transmission.

    PubMed

    Patzewitz, Eva-Maria; Guttery, David S; Poulin, Benoit; Ramakrishnan, Chandra; Ferguson, David J P; Wall, Richard J; Brady, Declan; Holder, Anthony A; Szöőr, Balázs; Tewari, Rita

    2013-03-28

    Signaling pathways controlled by reversible protein phosphorylation (catalyzed by kinases and phosphatases) in the malaria parasite Plasmodium are of great interest, for both increased understanding of parasite biology and identification of novel drug targets. Here, we report a functional analysis in Plasmodium of an ancient bacterial Shewanella-like protein phosphatase (SHLP1) found only in bacteria, fungi, protists, and plants. SHLP1 is abundant in asexual blood stages and expressed at all stages of the parasite life cycle. shlp1 deletion results in a reduction in ookinete (zygote) development, microneme formation, and complete ablation of oocyst formation, thereby blocking parasite transmission. This defect is carried by the female gamete and can be rescued by direct injection of mutant ookinetes into the mosquito hemocoel, where oocysts develop. This study emphasizes the varied functions of SHLP1 in Plasmodium ookinete biology and suggests that it could be a novel drug target for blocking parasite transmission.

  2. Transmission-blocking activity of a chitinase inhibitor and activation of malarial parasite chitinase by mosquito protease.

    PubMed Central

    Shahabuddin, M; Toyoshima, T; Aikawa, M; Kaslow, D C

    1993-01-01

    During development in the mosquito midgut, malarial parasites must traverse a chitin-containing peritrophic matrix (PM) that forms around the food bolus. Previously Huber et al. [Huber, M., Cabib, E. & Miller, L. H. (1991) Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 88, 2807-2810] reported that the parasite secretes a protein with chitinase activity, and they suggested that parasite chitinase (EC 3.2.1.14) plays an important role in the parasite's egress from the blood meal. We found that allosamidin, a specific inhibitor of chitinase, completely blocked oocyst development in vivo and thus blocked malaria parasite transmission. Addition of exogenous chitinase to the blood meal prevented the PM from forming and reversed the transmission-blocking activity of allosamidin. Using exogenous chitinase, we also found that the PM does not limit the number of parasites that develop into oocysts, suggesting that the parasite produces sufficient quantities of chitinase to penetrate this potential barrier. In addition, we found that treatment of parasite chitinase with a diisopropyl fluorophosphate-sensitive trypsinlike protease from the mosquito midgut or endoproteinase Lys-C increased its enzymatic activity. These results suggest that malaria parasite has evolved an intricate mechanism to adapt to the PM and the protease-rich environment of the mosquito midgut. Images Fig. 2 PMID:8483942

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    1996-03-01

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

  8. How does spatial dispersal network affect the evolution of parasite local adaptation?

    PubMed

    Vogwill, Tom; Fenton, Andy; Brockhurst, Michael A

    2010-06-01

    Studying patterns of parasite local adaptation can provide insights into the spatiotemporal dynamics of host-parasite coevolution. Many factors, both biotic and abiotic, have been identified that influence parasite local adaptation. In particular, dispersal and population structuring are considered important determinants of local adaptation. We investigated how the shape of the spatial dispersal network within experimental landscapes affected local adaptation of a bacteriophage parasite to its bacterial host. Regardless of landscape topology, dispersal always led to the evolution of phages with broader infectivity range. However, when the spatial dispersal network resulted in spatial variation in the breadth of phage infectivity range, significant levels of parasite local adaptation and local maladaptation were detected within the same landscape using the local versus foreign definition of local adaptation. By contrast, local adaptation was not detected using the home versus away or local versus global definitions of local adaptation. This suggests that spatial dispersal networks may play an important role in driving parasite local adaptation, particularly when the shape of the dispersal network generates nonuniform levels of host resistance or parasite infectivity throughout a species' range. PMID:20050909

  9. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-08-31

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

  11. Immune characterization of Plasmodium falciparum parasites with a shared genetic signature in a region of decreasing transmission.

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. Negative fitness consequences and transmission dynamics of a heritable fungal symbiont of a parasitic wasp.

    PubMed

    Gibson, Cara M; Hunter, Martha S

    2009-05-01

    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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. 9 CFR 311.25 - Parasites not transmissible to man; tapeworm cysts in sheep; hydatid cysts; flukes; gid bladder...

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-01-01

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

  19. 9 CFR 311.25 - Parasites not transmissible to man; tapeworm cysts in sheep; hydatid cysts; flukes; gid bladder...

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-01-01

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

  20. 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

    ... 9 Animals and Animal Products 2 2012-01-01 2012-01-01 false Parasites not transmissible to man; tapeworm cysts in sheep; hydatid cysts; flukes; gid bladder-worms. 311.25 Section 311.25 Animals and Animal Products FOOD SAFETY AND INSPECTION SERVICE, DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE AGENCY ORGANIZATION AND TERMINOLOGY; MANDATORY MEAT AND POULTRY...

  1. 9 CFR 311.25 - Parasites not transmissible to man; tapeworm cysts in sheep; hydatid cysts; flukes; gid bladder...

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-01-01

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

  2. 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

    ... 9 Animals and Animal Products 2 2014-01-01 2014-01-01 false Parasites not transmissible to man; tapeworm cysts in sheep; hydatid cysts; flukes; gid bladder-worms. 311.25 Section 311.25 Animals and Animal Products FOOD SAFETY AND INSPECTION SERVICE, DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE AGENCY ORGANIZATION AND TERMINOLOGY; MANDATORY MEAT AND POULTRY...

  3. Modeling the Effects of Relapse in the Transmission Dynamics of Malaria Parasites

    PubMed Central

    Águas, 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. PMID:21966590

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. Host age, sex, and reproductive seasonality affect nematode parasitism in wild Japanese macaques.

    PubMed

    MacIntosh, Andrew J J; Hernandez, Alexander D; Huffman, Michael A

    2010-10-01

    Parasites are characteristically aggregated within hosts, but identifying the mechanisms underlying such aggregation can be difficult in wildlife populations. We examined the influence of host age and sex over an annual cycle on the eggs per gram of feces (EPG) of nematode parasites infecting wild Japanese macaques (Macaca fuscata yakui) on Yakushima Island. Five species of nematode were recorded from 434 fecal samples collected from an age-structured group of 50 individually recognizable macaques. All parasites exhibited aggregated EPG distributions. The age-infection profiles of all three directly transmitted species (Oesophagostomum aculeatum, Strongyloides fuelleborni, and Trichuris trichiura) exhibited convex curves, but concavity better characterized the age-infection curves of the two trophically transmitted species (Streptopharagus pigmentatus and Gongylonema pulchrum). There was a male bias in EPG and prevalence of infection with directly transmitted species, except in the prevalence of O. aculeatum, and no sex bias in the other parasites. Infection with O. aculeatum showed a female bias in prevalence among young adults, and additional interactions with sex and seasonality show higher EPG values in males during the mating season (fall) but in females during the birth season (spring). These patterns suggest that an immunosuppressive role by reproductive hormones may be regulating direct, but not indirect, life-cycle parasites. Exposure at an early age may trigger an immune response that affects all nematodes, but trophically transmitted species appear to accumulate thereafter. Although it is difficult to discern clear mechanistic explanations for parasite distributions in wildlife populations, it is critical to begin examining these patterns in host species that are increasingly endangered by anthropogenic threats.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-03-01

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

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. 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

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

    PubMed

    Loaiza, Jose R; Miller, Matthew J

    2013-11-01

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

  12. Waterborne transmission of protozoan parasites: a worldwide review of outbreaks and lessons learnt.

    PubMed

    Karanis, Panagiotis; Kourenti, Christina; Smith, Huw

    2007-03-01

    At least 325 water-associated outbreaks of parasitic protozoan disease have been reported. North American and European outbreaks accounted for 93% of all reports and nearly two-thirds of outbreaks occurred in North America. Over 30% of all outbreaks were documented from Europe, with the UK accounting for 24% of outbreaks, worldwide. Giardia duodenalis and Cryptosporidium parvum account for the majority of outbreaks (132; 40.6% and 165; 50.8%, respectively), Entamoeba histolytica and Cyclospora cayetanensis have been the aetiological agents in nine (2.8%) and six (1.8%) outbreaks, respectively, while Toxoplasma gondii and Isospora belli have been responsible for three outbreaks each (0.9%) and Blastocystis hominis for two outbreaks (0.6%). Balantidium coli, the microsporidia, Acanthamoeba and Naegleria fowleri were responsible for one outbreak, each (0.3%). Their presence in aquatic ecosystems makes it imperative to develop prevention strategies for water and food safety. Human incidence and prevalence-based studies provide baseline data against which risk factors associated with waterborne and foodborne transmission can be identified. Standardized methods are required to maximize public health surveillance, while reporting lessons learned from outbreaks will provide better insight into the public health impact of waterborne pathogenic protozoa. PMID:17402277

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

    PubMed

    Stapp, Paul; Salkeld, Daniel J

    2009-11-01

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

  14. The role of dogs in transmission of gastrointestinal parasites in a remote tea-growing community in northeastern India.

    PubMed

    Traub, Rebecca J; Robertson, Ian D; Irwin, Peter; Mencke, Norbert; Thompson, R C Andrew

    2002-11-01

    The prevalence and risk factors associated with canine gastrointestinal parasitic zoonoses and the role of dogs in the mechanical transmission of human Ascaris infection was examined in three tea estates in Assam, India. Nearly all (99%) dogs harbored one or more zoonotic species of gastrointestinal parasites, with hookworm infection being most common (94%). Parasitic stages presumed to be host-specific for humans such as Ascaris spp. (31%), Trichuris trichiura (25%), and Isospora belli (2%) were also recovered from dog feces. A polymerase chain reaction-linked restriction fragment length polymorphism technique was used to differentiate the species of Ascaris eggs in dog feces. The results of this study demonstrate the role of the dog as a significant disseminator and environmental contaminator of Ascaris lumbricoides in communities where promiscuous defecation by humans occurs. PMID:12479559

  15. 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

    2016-01-01

    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

  16. 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

  17. 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

    2016-01-01

    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.

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

    PubMed

    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

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-03-01

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

  3. 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

  4. Parasitoid-specific induction of plant responses to parasitized herbivores affects colonization by subsequent herbivores.

    PubMed

    Poelman, Erik H; Zheng, Si-Jun; Zhang, Zhao; Heemskerk, Nanda M; Cortesero, Anne-Marie; Dicke, Marcel

    2011-12-01

    Plants are exposed to a suite of herbivorous attackers that often arrive sequentially. Herbivory affects interactions between the host plants and subsequently attacking herbivores. Moreover, plants may respond to herbivory by emitting volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that attract carnivorous natural enemies of the herbivores. However, information borne by VOCs is ubiquitous and may attract carnivores, such as parasitoids, that differ in their effectiveness at releasing the plant from its herbivorous attackers. Furthermore, the development of parasitoids within their herbivorous hosts, attacking a given host plant, may influence the elicitation of defensive reactions in the host plant. This may, in turn, affect the behavior of subsequent herbivores attacking the host plant. Here, we show that the species identity of a parasitoid had a more significant effect on defense responses of Brassica oleracea plants than the species identity of the herbivorous hosts of the parasitoids. Consequently, B. oleracea plants that were damaged by caterpillars (Pieris spp.) parasitized by different parasitoid species varied in the degree to which diamondback moths (Plutella xylostella) selected the plants for oviposition. Attracting parasitoids in general benefitted the plants by reducing diamondback moth colonization. However, the species of parasitoid that parasitized the herbivore significantly affected the magnitude of this benefit by its species-specific effect on herbivore-plant interactions mediated by caterpillar regurgitant. Our findings show that information-mediated indirect defense may lead to unpredictable consequences for plants when considering trait-mediated effects of parasitized caterpillars on the host plant and their consequences because of community-wide responses to induced plants. PMID:22084113

  5. Parasitoid-specific induction of plant responses to parasitized herbivores affects colonization by subsequent herbivores.

    PubMed

    Poelman, Erik H; Zheng, Si-Jun; Zhang, Zhao; Heemskerk, Nanda M; Cortesero, Anne-Marie; Dicke, Marcel

    2011-12-01

    Plants are exposed to a suite of herbivorous attackers that often arrive sequentially. Herbivory affects interactions between the host plants and subsequently attacking herbivores. Moreover, plants may respond to herbivory by emitting volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that attract carnivorous natural enemies of the herbivores. However, information borne by VOCs is ubiquitous and may attract carnivores, such as parasitoids, that differ in their effectiveness at releasing the plant from its herbivorous attackers. Furthermore, the development of parasitoids within their herbivorous hosts, attacking a given host plant, may influence the elicitation of defensive reactions in the host plant. This may, in turn, affect the behavior of subsequent herbivores attacking the host plant. Here, we show that the species identity of a parasitoid had a more significant effect on defense responses of Brassica oleracea plants than the species identity of the herbivorous hosts of the parasitoids. Consequently, B. oleracea plants that were damaged by caterpillars (Pieris spp.) parasitized by different parasitoid species varied in the degree to which diamondback moths (Plutella xylostella) selected the plants for oviposition. Attracting parasitoids in general benefitted the plants by reducing diamondback moth colonization. However, the species of parasitoid that parasitized the herbivore significantly affected the magnitude of this benefit by its species-specific effect on herbivore-plant interactions mediated by caterpillar regurgitant. Our findings show that information-mediated indirect defense may lead to unpredictable consequences for plants when considering trait-mediated effects of parasitized caterpillars on the host plant and their consequences because of community-wide responses to induced plants.

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. The role of the invasive polychaete Ficopomatus enigmaticus (Fauvel, 1923) (Serpulidae) as facilitator of parasite transmission in Mar Chiquita coastal lagoon (Buenos Aires, Argentina).

    PubMed

    Etchegoin, J A; Merlo, M J; Parietti, M

    2012-09-01

    In Mar Chiquita coastal lagoon (Argentina), the reefs of the invasive polychaete Ficopomatus enigmaticus (Serpulidae) serve as concentration areas for invertebrates and vertebrates and as potential foci of parasite transmission (mainly digeneans). To analyse the role of F. enigmaticus as facilitator of parasite transmission, and to evaluate the influence of the habitats selected by 2 species of cochliopid snails (Heleobia conexa and Heleobia australis), on the richness and on the prevalence of the digenean assemblages that parasitize them, 1945 snails were collected from 2 sampling sites. The comparisons between larval digenean communities parasitizing both snail hosts revealed significant differences related to the overall prevalence and the prevalence contributed by birds in the snails collected from reefs. These results support the idea that the reefs may increase the number of links between intermediate and definitive hosts of digeneans, facilitating parasite transmission only when the aggregates of F. enigmaticus become the unique habitat of the snail host. This first report of an exotic species acting as facilitator of parasite transmission in an estuarine area highlights the importance of analysing the effects of the assimilation process of exotic species by recently colonized environments (including the possible effects on parasite transmission).

  9. [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

  10. [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

  11. 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.

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

    PubMed

    Mackenstedt, Ute; Jenkins, David; Romig, Thomas

    2015-04-01

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

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. Aquatic molluscs as auxiliary hosts for terrestrial nematode parasites: implications for pathogen transmission in a changing climate.

    PubMed

    Morley, N J

    2010-06-01

    Nematodes are common parasites of molluscs but are often overlooked. Both metastrongyloid and rhabditoid species dominate the fauna within land snail and slug populations. Nevertheless, a key characteristic of many laboratory studies is the ability of these terrestrial nematodes to utilize aquatic molluscs as auxiliary hosts. The significance of this to the ecology of the parasite has never been evaluated. There is increasing concern as to the impact of climate change on the epidemiology of many parasitic diseases. In particular, it has been suggested that host switching may increase under the pressure of extreme climatic conditions. It is therefore timely to assess the role that aquatic molluscs may play in transmitting terrestrial nematodes, which include species of medical and veterinary importance such as Angiostrongylus cantonensis, A. vasorum, and Muellerius capillaris. The present review assesses the mechanisms of terrestrial nematode transmission through aquatic molluscs focusing on metastrongyloid and rhabditoid species, the importance of variable susceptibility of molluscan hosts, field studies on natural occurrence within aquatic habitats, and the impact of extreme climatic events (floods and droughts) that may increase in frequency under climate change.

  16. 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.

  17. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

  19. Predators and patterns of within-host growth can mediate both among-host competition and evolution of transmission potential of parasites.

    PubMed

    Auld, Stuart K J R; Hall, Spencer R; Housley Ochs, Jessica; Sebastian, Mathew; Duffy, Meghan A

    2014-08-01

    Parasite prevalence shows tremendous spatiotemporal variation. Theory indicates that this variation might stem from life-history characteristics of parasites and key ecological factors. Here, we illustrate how the interaction of an important predator and the schedule of transmission potential of two parasites can explain parasite abundance. A field survey showed that a noncastrating fungus (Metschnikowia bicuspidata) commonly infected a dominant zooplankton host (Daphnia dentifera), while a castrating bacterial parasite (Pasteuria ramosa) was rare. This result seemed surprising given that the bacterium produces many more infectious propagules (spores) than the fungus upon host death. The fungus's dominance can be explained by the schedule of within-host growth of parasites (i.e., how transmission potential changes over the course of infection) and the release of spores from "sloppy" predators (Chaoborus spp., who consume Daphnia prey whole and then later regurgitate the carapace and parasite spores). In essence, sloppy predators create a niche that the faster-schedule fungus currently occupies. However, a selection experiment showed that the slower-schedule bacterium can evolve into this faster-schedule, predator-mediated niche (but pays a cost in maximal spore yield to do so). Hence, our study shows how parasite life history can interact with predation to strongly influence the ecology, epidemiology, and evolution of infectious disease.

  20. Triethylcholine compared with other substances affecting neuromuscular transmission

    PubMed Central

    Bowman, W. C.; Hemsworth, B. A.; Rand, M. J.

    1962-01-01

    Triethylcholine (triethyl-2-hydroxyethyl ammonium) has been compared, in its actions on neuromuscular transmission, with the motor end-plate blocking drugs tubocurarine and decamethonium, with the anticholinesterase neostigmine, and with the closely related drug tetraethylammonium. The experiments were carried out on conscious rabbits and mice, on the tibialis anterior muscle of cats under chloralose anaesthesia and on the isolated phrenic nerve-diaphragm preparation of the rat. Anticholinesterase activity was determined manometrically using the Warburg apparatus. Triethylcholine possessed a slight curare-like action, but this effect was shown to be too weak and transient to contribute to the slowly developing and long-lasting transmission failure which occurs selectively in frequently excited nervemuscle preparations and in exercised conscious animals. It was confirmed that the site of the blocking action of triethylcholine was pre-junctional. Triethylcholine often produced a slight potentiation of the contractions before blocking them. This effect was not due to a depolarizing or an anticholinesterase action, and it was concluded that the slight initial facilitating action of triethylcholine on neuromuscular transmission was due to an increase in the quantity of acetylcholine released by the nerve impulse. Tetraethylammonium was much more powerful than triethylcholine in this respect. The pre-junctional transmission failure produced by triethylcholine could not be explained simply on the basis that an initial excessive release led to exhaustion of transmitter. ImagesFig. 7 PMID:13872106

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-11-01

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

  3. 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).

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-06-15

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-06-15

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

  6. 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.

  7. Factors Affecting Population Trends of Plant-Parasitic Nematodes on Rangeland Grasses

    PubMed Central

    Griffin, G. D.; Asay, K. H.; Horton, W. H.

    1996-01-01

    The effects of environmental conditions on population trends of plant-parasitic nematodes were studied in experimental plots of five wheatgrasses in the western Utah desert. In a 3-year (1984-86) field study, soil water and temperature affected the population trends of the ectoparasites, Tylenchorhynchus acutoides and Xiphinema americanum, and the migratory endoparasite, Pratylenchus neglectus, on Fairway crested wheatgrass, Agropyron cristatum; 'Hycrest' crested wheatgrass, A. cristatum X A. desertorura; 'Rosana' western wheatgrass, Pascopyrum smithii; 'Oahe' intermediate wheatgrass, Thinopyrum intermedium; and RS-1 hybrid (Elytrigia repens X Pseudoroegneria spicata). The largest soil populations of these nematode species were collected in 1984 under good plant-growth conditions. A reduction in nematode populations occurred in 1985 and 1986, possibly because of low soil-water conditions. There was a positive relationship between high soil water and maximum population densities of T. acutoides in the spring and fall of 1984, and between low soil water and minimum population densities of the nematode in 1985 and 1986. Pratylenchus neglectus populations were affected by soil water, although to a lesser degree than the ectoparasitic nematodes. Population densities of the three nematode species were significantly lower in the drier years of 1985 and 1986 than in 1984. Nematode populations were greater at the lower soil depths in the fall than in the spring or summer. PMID:19277352

  8. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-02-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-02-01

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

  11. Do invasive cane toads affect the parasite burdens of native Australian frogs?☆

    PubMed Central

    Lettoof, Damian C.; Greenlees, Matthew J.; Stockwell, Michelle; Shine, Richard

    2013-01-01

    One of the most devastating impacts of an invasive species is the introduction of novel parasites or diseases to native fauna. Invasive cane toads (Rhinella marina) in Australia contain several types of parasites, raising concern that the toads may increase rates of parasitism in local anuran species. We sampled cane toads and sympatric native frogs (Limnodynastes peronii, Litoria latopalmata, and Litoria nasuta) at the southern invasion front of cane toads in north-eastern New South Wales (NSW). We dissected and swabbed these anurans to score the presence and abundance of nematodes (Rhabdias lungworms, and gastric encysting nematodes), myxozoans, and chytrid fungus. To determine if cane toad invasion influences rates of parasitism in native frogs, we compared the prevalence and intensity of parasites in frogs from areas with toads, to frogs from areas without toads. Contrary to the situation on the (rapidly-expanding) tropical invasion front, cane toads on the slowly-expanding southern front were heavily infected with rhabditoid lungworms. Toads also contained gastric-encysting nematodes, and one toad was infected by chytrid fungus, but we did not find myxozoans in any toads. All parasite groups were recorded in native frogs, but were less common in areas invaded by toads than in nearby yet to be invaded areas. Contrary to our predictions, toad invasion was associated with a reduced parasite burden in native frogs. Thus, cane toads do not appear to transfer novel parasites to native frog populations, or act as a reservoir for native parasites to ‘spill-back’ into native frogs. Instead, cane toads may reduce frog-parasite numbers by taking up native parasites that are then killed by the toad’s immune defences. PMID:24533330

  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. STANDARDS OF TELEVISION TRANSMISSION, FACTORS AFFECTING MICROWAVE RELAY AND CLOSED-CIRCUIT TRANSMISSION OF EDUCATIONAL MATERIALS.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    BRONSON, VERNON; AND OTHERS

    TECHNICAL STANDARDS FOR EDUCATIONAL TELEVISION TRANSMISSION WERE DISCUSSED. SUBJECTS COVERED WERE (1) THE LIMITATIONS AND POTENTIAL OF PRESENT TELEVISION EQUIPMENT, (2) AN INTERCONNECTION NETWORK FOR EDUCATIONAL INSTITUTIONS, (3) TECHNICAL FLEXIBILITY AND VARIOUS EDUCATIONAL NEEDS, (4) FREQUENCY BANDS AVAILABLE FOR THE INTERCONNECTION OF…

  14. Family Transmission of Work Affectivity and Experiences to Children

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2008-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Vardo, A M; Schall, J J

    2007-07-01

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

  16. Human Immunodeficiency Virus Co-Infection Increases Placental Parasite Density and Transplacental Malaria Transmission in Western Kenya

    PubMed Central

    Perrault, Steven D.; Hajek, Jan; Zhong, Kathleen; Owino, Simon O.; Sichangi, Moses; Smith, Geoffrey; Shi, Ya Ping; Moore, Julie M.; Kain, Kevin C.

    2009-01-01

    Plasmodium falciparum malaria and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-1 adversely interact in the context of pregnancy, however little is known regarding the influence of co-infection on the risk of congenital malaria. We aimed to determine the prevalence of placental and congenital malaria and impact of HIV co-infection on transplacental malaria transmission in 157 parturient women and their infants by microscopy and by quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) in western Kenya. The prevalence of placental and cord blood infections were 17.2% and 0% by microscopy, and 33.1% and 10.8% by PCR. HIV co-infection w as associated with a significant increase in placental parasite density (P < 0.05). Cord blood malaria prevalence was increased in co-infected women (odds ratio [OR] = 5.42; 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.90–15.47) and correlated with placental parasite density (OR = 2.57; 95% CI = 1.80–3.67). A 1-log increase in placental monocyte count was associated with increased risk of congenital infection (P = 0.001) (OR = 48.15; 95% CI = 4.59–505.50). The HIV co-infected women have a significantly increased burden of placental malaria that increases the risk of congenital infection. PMID:19141849

  17. Locally adapted social parasite affects density, social structure, and life history of its ant hosts.

    PubMed

    Foitzik, Susanne; Achenbach, Alexandra; Brandt, Miriam

    2009-05-01

    Selection and adaptation are important processes in the coevolution between parasites and their hosts. The slave-making ant Protomognathus americanus, an obligate ant social parasite, has previously been shown to evolve morphological, behavioral, and chemical adaptations in the coevolutionary arms race with its Temnothorax hosts. Yet empirical studies have given variable results on the strength of the selection pressure this parasite exerts on its host populations. In this study, we directly investigated the pressure exerted by P. americanus and the reactions of the main host species, T. longispinosus, in two ant communities by manipulating parasite density in the field over several years. In addition, a cross-fostering design with the exchange of parasites between host populations allowed us to investigate local adaptation of parasite or host. We demonstrate a severe impact of the social parasite on the two host populations in West Virginia and New York, but also variation in host reactions between sites, as expected by the geographic mosaic theory of coevolution. Host density decreased at the West Virginia site with the presence of local slave-makers, whereas at the ecologically favorable New York site, density was unaffected. Nevertheless, social organization, colony size, and investment patterns of these host colonies at this site changed in response to our parasite manipulation. The release of P. americanus colonies led to a reduction in the number of resident queens and workers, an increase in intranest relatedness, and lower productivity, but also a higher investment in reproductives. In West Virginia, colony demography did not change, but raiding activity by New York slave-makers caused different investment patterns of host colonies. In addition, the cross-fostering element revealed local adaptation of the parasite P. americanus: slave-making colonies fared better in their sympatric host population, as they contained more slave-making ant workers and slaves

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2010-06-01

    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.

  2. Molecular identification and transmission studies of X-cell parasites from Atlantic cod Gadus morhua (Gadiformes: Gadidae) and the northern black flounder Pseudopleuronectes obscurus (Pleuronectiformes: Pleuronectidae)

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Background Epidermal pseudotumours from Hippoglossoides dubius and Acanthogobius flavimanus in Japan and gill lesions in Limanda limanda from the UK have been shown to be caused by phylogenetically related protozoan parasites, known collectively as X-cells. However, the phylogenetic position of the X-cell group is not well supported within any of the existing protozoan phyla and they are currently thought to be members of the Alveolata. Ultrastructural features of X-cells in fish pseudotumours are somewhat limited and no typical environmental stages, such as spores or flagellated cells, have been observed. The life cycles for these parasites have not been demonstrated and it remains unknown how transmission to a new host occurs. In the present study, pseudobranchial pseudotumours from Atlantic cod, Gadus morhua, in Iceland and epidermal pseudotumours from the northern black flounder, Pseudopleuronectes obscurus, in Japan were used in experimental transmission studies to establish whether direct transmission of the parasite is achievable. In addition, X-cells from Atlantic cod were sequenced to confirm whether they are phylogenetically related to other X-cells and epidermal pseudotumours from the northern black flounder were analysed to establish whether the same parasite is responsible for infecting different flatfish species in Japan. Results Phylogenetic analyses of small subunit ribosomal DNA (SSU rDNA) sequence data from Atlantic cod X-cells show that they are a related parasite that occupies a basal position to the clade containing other X-cell parasites. The X-cell parasite causing epidermal pseudotumours in P. obscurus is the same parasite that causes pseudotumours in H. dubius. Direct, fish to fish, transmission of the X-cell parasites used in this study, via oral feeding or injection, was not achieved. Non-amoeboid X-cells are contained within discrete sac-like structures that are loosely attached to epidermal pseudotumours in flatfish; these X-cells are

  3. Parasites and marine invasions: Ecological and evolutionary perspectives

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-07-01

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

  4. Electrochemical impedance spectroscopy to study physiological changes affecting the red blood cell after invasion by malaria parasites.

    PubMed

    Ribaut, Clotilde; Reybier, Karine; Reynes, Olivier; Launay, Jérôme; Valentin, Alexis; Fabre, Paul Louis; Nepveu, Françoise

    2009-04-15

    The malaria parasite, Plasmodium falciparum, invades human erythrocytes and induces dramatic changes in the host cell. The idea of this work was to use RBC modified electrode to perform electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS) with the aim of monitoring physiological changes affecting the erythrocyte after invasion by the malaria parasite. Impedance cell-based devices are potentially useful to give insight into cellular behavior and to detect morphological changes. The modelling of impedance plots (Nyquist diagram) in equivalent circuit taking into account the presence of the cellular layer, allowed us pointing out specific events associated with the development of the parasite such as (i) strong changes in the host cell cytoplasm illustrated by changes in the film capacity, (ii) perturbation of the ionic composition of the host cell illustrated by changes in the film resistance, (iii) releasing of reducer (lactic acid or heme) and an enhanced oxygen consumption characterized by changes in the charge transfer resistance and in the Warburg coefficient characteristic of the redox species diffusion. These results show that the RBC-based device may help to analyze strategic events in the malaria parasite development constituting a new tool in antimalarial research.

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-09-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-09-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-05-26

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

  8. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  10. 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

  11. Experimental shifts in intraclutch egg color variation do not affect egg rejection in a host of a non-egg-mimetic avian brood parasite.

    PubMed

    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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. The impact of host starvation on parasite development and population dynamics in an intestinal trypanosome parasite of bumble bees.

    PubMed

    Logan, A; Ruiz-González, M X; Brown, M J F

    2005-06-01

    Host nutrition plays an important role in determining the development and success of parasitic infections. While studies of vertebrate hosts are accumulating, little is known about how host nutrition affects parasites of invertebrate hosts. Crithidia bombi is a gut trypanosome parasite of the bumble bee, Bombus terrestris and here we use it as a model system to determine the impact of host nutrition on the population dynamics and development of micro-parasites in invertebrates. Pollen-starved bees supported significantly smaller populations of the parasite. In pollen-fed bees the parasite showed a temporal pattern in development, with promastigote transmission stages appearing at the start of the infection and gradually being replaced by choanomastigote and amastigote forms. In pollen-starved bees this developmental process was disrupted, and there was no pattern in the appearance of these three forms. We discuss the implications of these results for parasite transmission, and speculate about the mechanisms behind these changes.

  16. 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

  17. Do climatic conditions affect host and parasite phenotypes differentially? A case study of magpies and great spotted cuckoos.

    PubMed

    Soler, Juan J; De Neve, Liesbeth; Martín-Gálvez, David; Molina-Morales, Mercedes; Pérez-Contreras, Tomás; Ruiz-Rodríguez, Magdalena

    2014-02-01

    Climatic conditions, through their effects on resource availability, may affect important life history strategies and trade-offs in animals, as well as their interactions with other organisms such as parasites. This impact may depend on species-specific pathways of development that differ even among species with similar resource requirements (e.g., avian brood parasites and their hosts). Here we explore the degree of covariation between environmental-climatic conditions and nestling phenotypes (i.e., tarsus length, body mass, immune response to phytohemagglutinin injection) and ectoparasite loads of great spotted cuckoos (Clamator glandarius) and those of their magpie (Pica pica) hosts, both within and among 11 study years (1997-2011). Our main results were that (1) nestling phenotypes differed among years, but differently for great spotted cuckoos and magpies; (2) nestling phenotypes showed significant among-year covariation with breeding climatic conditions (temperature and precipitation); and (3) these associations differed for cuckoos and magpies for some phenotypic traits. As the average temperature at the beginning of the breeding season (April) increased, body mass and tarsus length increased only for cuckoos, but not for magpie hosts, while immune response decreased in both species. Finally, (4) the strength of the within-year relationships between the probability of ectoparasitism by Carnus hemapterus flies and laying date (used as an estimate of the within-year variation in climatic conditions) was negatively affected by the annual accumulated precipitation in April. These results strongly suggest that variation in climatic conditions would result in asymmetric effects on different species with respect to the probability of ectoparasitism, immunity and body size. Such asymmetric effects may affect animal interactions in general and those of brood parasites and their hosts in particular.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-11-30

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-11-30

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

  2. 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. PMID:25356657

  3. Manipulation of the vertebrate host's testosterone does not affect gametocyte sex ratio of a malaria parasite.

    PubMed

    Osgood, Sarah M; Eisen, Rebecca J; Wargo, Andrew R; Schall, Jos J

    2003-02-01

    Gametocyte sex ratio of the malaria parasite Plasmodium mexicanum is variable in its host, the western fence lizard (Sceloporus occidentalis), both among infections and within infections over time. We sought to determine the effect of host physiological quality on the gametocyte sex ratio in experimentally induced infections of P. mexicanum. Adult male lizards were assigned to 4 treatment groups: castrated, castrated + testosterone implant, sham implant, and unmanipulated control. No significant difference in gametocyte sex ratio was found among the 4 treatment groups. Two other analyses were performed. A surgery stress analysis compared infection sex ratio of castrated, castrated + testosterone implant, and sham implant groups with the unmanipulated control group. A testosterone alteration analysis compared infection sex ratio of the castrated and castrated + testosterone implant groups with the sham implant and unmanipulated control groups. Again, no significant difference was observed for these 2 comparisons. Thus, physiological changes expected for experimentally induced variation in host testosterone and the stress of surgery were not associated with any change in the gametocyte sex ratio. Also, theex-periment suggests testosterone is not a cue for shaping the sex ratio of gametocytes in P. mexicanum. These results are related to the evolutionary theory of sex ratios as applied to malaria parasites. PMID:12659329

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

    PubMed

    Piiroinen, Saija; Goulson, Dave

    2016-04-13

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

  5. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-06-01

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

  7. Genetic diversity of Plasmodium falciparum parasites from Kenya is not affected by antifolate drug selection.

    PubMed

    Nzila, A M; Mberu, E K; Nduati, E; Ross, A; Watkins, W M; Sibley, C H

    2002-11-01

    The genotypes of merozoite surface protein-1, merozoite surface protein-2 and glutamine rich protein are frequently used to distinguish recrudescence from reinfection when parasitaemia reappears after antimalarial drug treatment. However, none of the previous reports has clearly assessed the change of genetic diversity following drug treatment. In the present study, we have assessed the impact of pyrimethamine/sulfadoxine and chlorproguanil/dapsone on the genetic diversity of isolates and the multiplicity of infection in patient isolates from Kilifi, Kenya. We have analysed the length polymorphism of merozoite surface protein-1, merozoite surface protein-2 and glutamine rich protein and the data clearly show that treatment with pyrimethamine/sulfadoxine and chlorproguanil/dapsone did not change the multiplicity of infection found in patients, in contrast to the selection that these drugs exert on the genes encoded by the target enzymes. In addition, we report that children of less than 2 years tend to have fewer numbers of clones per isolate when compared with older children. Overall, this study shows that the selection for genes that confer drug resistance is not a factor in reducing the genetic diversity of parasite clones in a patient. PMID:12392912

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-06-27

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

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. Histone H3K9 acetylation level modulates gene expression and may affect parasite growth in human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum.

    PubMed

    Srivastava, Sandeep; Bhowmick, Krishanu; Chatterjee, Snehajyoti; Basha, Jeelan; Kundu, Tapas K; Dhar, Suman K

    2014-12-01

    Three-dimensional positioning of the nuclear genome plays an important role in the epigenetic regulation of genes. Although nucleographic domain compartmentalization in the regulation of epigenetic state and gene expression is well established in higher organisms, it remains poorly understood in the pathogenic parasite Plasmodium falciparum. In the present study, we report that two histone tail modifications, H3K9Ac and H3K14Ac, are differentially distributed in the parasite nucleus. We find colocalization of active gene promoters such as Tu1 (tubulin-1 expressed in the asexual stages) with H3K9Ac marks at the nuclear periphery. By contrast, asexual stage inactive gene promoters such as Pfg27 (gametocyte marker) and Pfs28 (ookinete marker) occupy H3K9Ac devoid zones at the nuclear periphery. The histone H3K9 is predominantly acetylated by the PCAF/GCN5 class of lysine acetyltransferases, which is well characterized in the parasite. Interestingly, embelin, a specific inhibitor of PCAF/GCN5 family histone acetyltransferase, selectively decreases total H3K9Ac acetylation levels (but not H3K14Ac levels) around the var gene promoters, leading to the downregulation of var gene expression, suggesting interplay among histone acetylation status, as well as subnuclear compartmentalization of different genes and their activation in the parasites. Finally, we found that embelin inhibited parasitic growth at the low micromolar range, raising the possibility of using histone acetyltransferases as a target for antimalarial therapy.

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

    PubMed

    Mahagnah, M; Gavriely, N

    1995-03-01

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

  14. The implications of immunopathology for parasite evolution.

    PubMed

    Best, Alex; Long, Gráinne; White, Andy; Boots, Mike

    2012-08-22

    By definition, parasites harm their hosts, but in many infections much of the pathology is driven by the host immune response rather than through direct damage inflicted by parasites. While these immunopathological effects are often well studied and understood mechanistically in individual disease interactions, there remains relatively little understanding of their broader impact on the evolution of parasites and their hosts. Here, we theoretically investigate the implications of immunopathology, broadly defined as additional mortality associated with the host's immune response, on parasite evolution. In particular, we examine how immunopathology acting on different epidemiological traits (namely transmission, virulence and recovery) affects the evolution of disease severity. When immunopathology is costly to parasites, such that it reduces their fitness, for example by decreasing transmission, there is always selection for increased disease severity. However, we highlight a number of host-parasite interactions where the parasite may benefit from immunopathology, and highlight scenarios that may lead to the evolution of slower growing parasites and potentially reduced disease severity. Importantly, we find that conclusions on disease severity are highly dependent on how severity is measured. Finally, we discuss the effect of treatments used to combat disease symptoms caused by immunopathology.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-10-01

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

  16. 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.

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

    PubMed

    El-Sherbini, Gehad T; Gneidy, Morsy Rateb

    2012-04-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-04-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-07-30

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

  20. Parasitic colitides.

    PubMed

    Goldberg, Joel E

    2007-02-01

    Parasitic infections are a major worldwide health problem, and they account for millions of infections and deaths each year. Most of the infections as well as the morbidity and mortality from these diseases occur in the developing world in rural regions. However, these diseases have become more common in Western countries and in big cities over the past 25 years. These changing disease patterns can be attributed to emigration from the third world to developed countries and migration of rural populations to the big cities in developing nations. These parasitic infections have protean manifestations and consequences. The medical problems range from chronic asymptomatic carrier to fulminant infections and even death. Several factors such as the host immune status, the infecting organism, and the availability of treatment all play key roles in the outcomes of parasitic colitides. The two major classes of parasites causing these infections are the helminthes (ascariasis, strongyloidiasis, enterobiasis, trichuriasis, and schistosomiasis) and the protozoa (Isospora, Cryptosporidium, Cyclospora, Trypanosoma cruzi, Giardia lamblia, and Balantidium coli). This article summarizes the salient features of each parasite with respect to epidemiology, transmission, pathogenesis, clinical features, diagnosis, and treatment. The vast majority of these infections have a self-limited clinical course or are easily treated with medical management, and surgery is rarely needed. PMID:20011360

  1. 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. PMID:24516398

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-06-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-06-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-06-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yang, Jun; Zhang, Wenjia

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

  7. Viral kinetics and exhaled droplet size affect indoor transmission dynamics of influenza infection.

    PubMed

    Chen, S C; Chio, C P; Jou, L J; Liao, C M

    2009-10-01

    The purpose of this paper was to investigate the effects of viral kinetics and exhaled droplet size on indoor transmission dynamics of influenza infection. The target cell-limited model with delayed virus production was adopted to strengthen the inner mechanisms of virus infection on human epithelial cell. The particle number and volume involved in the viral kinetics were linked with Wells-Riley mathematical equation to quantify the infection risk. We investigated population dynamics in a specific elementary school by using the seasonal susceptible - exposed - infected - recovery (SEIR) model. We found that exhaled pulmonary bioaerosol of sneeze (particle diameter <10 microm) have 10(2)-fold estimate higher than that of cough. Sneeze and cough caused risk probabilities range from 0.075 to 0.30 and 0.076, respectively; whereas basic reproduction numbers (R(0)) estimates range from 4 to 17 for sneeze and nearly 4 for cough, indicating sneeze-posed higher infection risk. The viral kinetics and exhaled droplet size for sneeze affect indoor transmission dynamics of influenza infection since date post-infection 1-7. This study provides direct mechanistic support that indoor influenza virus transmission can be characterized by viral kinetics in human upper respiratory tracts that are modulated by exhaled droplet size. Practical Implications This paper provides a predictive model that can integrate the influenza viral kinetics (target cell-limited model), indoor aerosol transmission potential (Wells-Riley mathematical equation), and population dynamic model [susceptible - exposed - infected - recovery (SEIR) model] in a proposed susceptible population. Viral kinetics expresses the competed results of human immunity ability with influenza virus generation. By linking the viral kinetics and different exposure parameters and environmental factors in a proposed school setting with five age groups, the influenza infection risk can be estimated. On the other hand, we implicated

  8. Viral kinetics and exhaled droplet size affect indoor transmission dynamics of influenza infection.

    PubMed

    Chen, S C; Chio, C P; Jou, L J; Liao, C M

    2009-10-01

    The purpose of this paper was to investigate the effects of viral kinetics and exhaled droplet size on indoor transmission dynamics of influenza infection. The target cell-limited model with delayed virus production was adopted to strengthen the inner mechanisms of virus infection on human epithelial cell. The particle number and volume involved in the viral kinetics were linked with Wells-Riley mathematical equation to quantify the infection risk. We investigated population dynamics in a specific elementary school by using the seasonal susceptible - exposed - infected - recovery (SEIR) model. We found that exhaled pulmonary bioaerosol of sneeze (particle diameter <10 microm) have 10(2)-fold estimate higher than that of cough. Sneeze and cough caused risk probabilities range from 0.075 to 0.30 and 0.076, respectively; whereas basic reproduction numbers (R(0)) estimates range from 4 to 17 for sneeze and nearly 4 for cough, indicating sneeze-posed higher infection risk. The viral kinetics and exhaled droplet size for sneeze affect indoor transmission dynamics of influenza infection since date post-infection 1-7. This study provides direct mechanistic support that indoor influenza virus transmission can be characterized by viral kinetics in human upper respiratory tracts that are modulated by exhaled droplet size. Practical Implications This paper provides a predictive model that can integrate the influenza viral kinetics (target cell-limited model), indoor aerosol transmission potential (Wells-Riley mathematical equation), and population dynamic model [susceptible - exposed - infected - recovery (SEIR) model] in a proposed susceptible population. Viral kinetics expresses the competed results of human immunity ability with influenza virus generation. By linking the viral kinetics and different exposure parameters and environmental factors in a proposed school setting with five age groups, the influenza infection risk can be estimated. On the other hand, we implicated

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-02-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-05-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-05-01

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

  12. 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

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  14. 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

  15. A Novel Statistical Model to Estimate Host Genetic Effects Affecting Disease Transmission

    PubMed Central

    Anacleto, Osvaldo; Garcia-Cortés, Luis Alberto; Lipschutz-Powell, Debby; Woolliams, John A.; Doeschl-Wilson, Andrea B.

    2015-01-01

    There is increasing recognition that genetic diversity can affect the spread of diseases, potentially affecting plant and livestock disease control as well as the emergence of human disease outbreaks. Nevertheless, even though computational tools can guide the control of infectious diseases, few epidemiological models can simultaneously accommodate the inherent individual heterogeneity in multiple infectious disease traits influencing disease transmission, such as the frequently modeled propensity to become infected and infectivity, which describes the host ability to transmit the infection to susceptible individuals. Furthermore, current quantitative genetic models fail to fully capture the heritable variation in host infectivity, mainly because they cannot accommodate the nonlinear infection dynamics underlying epidemiological data. We present in this article a novel statistical model and an inference method to estimate genetic parameters associated with both host susceptibility and infectivity. Our methodology combines quantitative genetic models of social interactions with stochastic processes to model the random, nonlinear, and dynamic nature of infections and uses adaptive Bayesian computational techniques to estimate the model parameters. Results using simulated epidemic data show that our model can accurately estimate heritabilities and genetic risks not only of susceptibility but also of infectivity, therefore exploring a trait whose heritable variation is currently ignored in disease genetics and can greatly influence the spread of infectious diseases. Our proposed methodology offers potential impacts in areas such as livestock disease control through selective breeding and also in predicting and controlling the emergence of disease outbreaks in human populations. PMID:26405030

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-06-01

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

  17. 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.

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

    PubMed

    Tinsley, R C

    1999-01-01

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

  19. Higher temperature and urbanization affect the spatial patterns of dengue fever transmission in subtropical Taiwan.

    PubMed

    Wu, Pei-Chih; Lay, Jinn-Guey; Guo, How-Ran; Lin, Chuan-Yao; Lung, Shih-Chun; Su, Huey-Jen

    2009-03-15

    Our study conducted spatial analysis to examine how temperature and other environmental factors might affect dengue fever distributions, and to forecast areas with potential risk for dengue fever endemics with predicted climatic change in Taiwan. Geographic information system (GIS) was used to demonstrate the spatial patterns of all studied variables across 356 townships. Relationships between cumulative incidence of dengue fever, climatic and non-climatic factors were explored. Numbers of months with average temperature higher than 18 degrees C per year and degree of urbanization were found to be associated with increasing risk of dengue fever incidence at township level. With every 1 degrees C increase of monthly average temperature, the total population at risk for dengue fever transmission would increase by 1.95 times (from 3,966,173 to 7,748,267). A highly-suggested warmer trend, with a statistical model, across the Taiwan Island is predicted to result in a sizable increase in population and geographical areas at higher risk for dengue fever epidemics.

  20. 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...

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. Genes encoding homologous antigens in taeniid cestode parasites

    PubMed Central

    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. PMID:23090389

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-10-15

    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.

  5. Parasitic diseases and urban development.

    PubMed Central

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

    1990-01-01

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

  6. 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

  7. Early experience affects the intergenerational transmission of infant abuse in rhesus monkeys

    PubMed Central

    Maestripieri, Dario

    2005-01-01

    Maternal abuse of offspring in macaque monkeys shares some similarities with child maltreatment in humans, including its transmission across generations. This study used a longitudinal design and a cross-fostering experiment to investigate whether abusive parenting in rhesus macaques is transmitted from mothers to daughters and whether transmission occurs through genetic or experiential factors. Nine of 16 females who were abused by their mothers in their first month of life, regardless of whether they were reared by their biological mothers or by foster mothers, exhibited abusive parenting with their firstborn offspring, whereas none of the females reared by nonabusive mothers did. These results suggest that the intergenerational transmission of infant abuse in rhesus monkeys is the result of early experience and not genetic inheritance. The extent to which the effects of early experience on the intergenerational transmission of abusive parenting are mediated by social learning or experience-induced physiological alterations remains to be established. PMID:15983367

  8. Early experience affects the intergenerational transmission of infant abuse in rhesus monkeys.

    PubMed

    Maestripieri, Dario

    2005-07-01

    Maternal abuse of offspring in macaque monkeys shares some similarities with child maltreatment in humans, including its transmission across generations. This study used a longitudinal design and a cross-fostering experiment to investigate whether abusive parenting in rhesus macaques is transmitted from mothers to daughters and whether transmission occurs through genetic or experiential factors. Nine of 16 females who were abused by their mothers in their first month of life, regardless of whether they were reared by their biological mothers or by foster mothers, exhibited abusive parenting with their firstborn offspring, whereas none of the females reared by nonabusive mothers did. These results suggest that the intergenerational transmission of infant abuse in rhesus monkeys is the result of early experience and not genetic inheritance. The extent to which the effects of early experience on the intergenerational transmission of abusive parenting are mediated by social learning or experience-induced physiological alterations remains to be established.

  9. Parasitic Diseases

    MedlinePlus

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

  10. 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.

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

    PubMed

    Sehgal, Ravinder N M

    2015-12-01

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

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. Ageing in a variable habitat: environmental stress affects senescence in parasite resistance in St Kilda Soay sheep

    PubMed Central

    Hayward, Adam D.; Wilson, Alastair J.; Pilkington, Jill G.; Pemberton, Josephine M.; Kruuk, Loeske E. B.

    2009-01-01

    Despite widespread empirical evidence for a general deterioration in the majority of traits with advancing age, it is unclear whether the progress of senescence is chronologically determined, or whether factors such as environmental conditions experienced over the lifespan are more important. We explored the relative importance of ‘chronological’ and ‘environmental’ measures of age to changes in parasite resistance across the lifespan of free-living Soay sheep. Our results show that individuals experience an increase in parasite burden, as indicated by gastrointestinal helminth faecal egg count (FEC) with chronological age. However, chronological age fails to fully explain changes in FEC because a measure of environmental age, cumulative environmental stress, predicts an additional increase in FEC once chronological age has been accounted for. Additionally, we show that in females age-specific changes are dependent upon the environmental conditions experienced across individuals' life histories: increases in FEC with age were greatest among individuals that had experienced the highest degree of stress. Our results illustrate that chronological age alone may not always correspond to biological age, particularly in variable environments. In these circumstances, measures of age that capture the cumulative stresses experienced by an individual may be useful for understanding the process of senescence. PMID:19586947

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. [Drinking water and parasites].

    PubMed

    Karanis, P; Schoenen, D; Maier, W A; Seitz, H M

    1993-10-01

    Entamoeba histolytica, Giardia lamblia, Cryptosporidium parvum, Isospora belli, Balantidium coli, and Microsporidia spp. are cosmopolitan parasites. They often cause diarrheal diseases. The waterborn transmission of all these parasites is possible (41). Surface water supplies used for drinking water are potential sources of contamination. Giardia lamblia and Cryptosporidium spp. have received great attention in industrialized countries during the last years because they are the etiological agents of waterborne diseases. The life cycles of Giardia lamblia and Cryptosporidium are described with a special reference to drinking water technologies aimed at removing these parasites. PMID:8253478

  18. 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.

  19. Avian brood parasitism and ectoparasite richness-scale-dependent diversity interactions in a three-level host-parasite system.

    PubMed

    Vas, Zoltán; Fuisz, Tibor I; Fehérvári, Péter; Reiczigel, Jenő; Rózsa, Lajos

    2013-04-01

    Brood parasitic birds, their foster species and their ectoparasites form a complex coevolving system composed of three hierarchical levels. However, effects of hosts' brood parasitic life-style on the evolution of their louse (Phthiraptera: Amblycera, Ischnocera) lineages have never been tested. We present two phylogenetic analyses of ectoparasite richness of brood parasitic clades. Our hypothesis was that brood parasitic life-style affects louse richness negatively across all avian clades due to the lack of vertical transmission routes. Then, narrowing our scope to brood parasitic cuckoos, we explored macroevolutionary factors responsible for the variability of their louse richness. Our results show that taxonomic richness of lice is lower on brood parasitic clades than on their nonparasitic sister clades. However, we found a positive covariation between the richness of cuckoos' Ischnoceran lice and the number of their foster species, possibly due to the complex and dynamic subpopulation structure of cuckoo species that utilize several host species. We documented diversity interactions across a three-level host parasite system and we found evidence that brood parasitism has opposing effects on louse richness at two slightly differing macroevolutionary scales, namely the species richness and the genera richness.

  20. 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.

  1. 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

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

    PubMed

    Cheke, Robert A; Garms, Rolf

    2013-01-01

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

  3. 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.

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

    PubMed

    Cheke, Robert A; Garms, Rolf

    2013-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

  6. 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

  7. Copper-transporting ATPase is important for malaria parasite fertility.

    PubMed

    Kenthirapalan, Sanketha; Waters, Andrew P; Matuschewski, Kai; Kooij, Taco W A

    2014-01-01

    Homeostasis of the trace element copper is essential to all eukaryotic life. Copper serves as a cofactor in metalloenzymes and catalyses electron transfer reactions as well as the generation of potentially toxic reactive oxygen species. Here, we describe the functional characterization of an evolutionarily highly conserved, predicted copper-transporting P-type ATPase (CuTP) in the murine malaria model parasite Plasmodium berghei. Live imaging of a parasite line expressing a fluorescently tagged CuTP demonstrated that CuTP is predominantly located in vesicular bodies of the parasite. A P. berghei loss-of-function mutant line was readily obtained and showed no apparent defect in in vivo blood stage growth. Parasite transmission through the mosquito vector was severely affected, but not entirely abolished. We show that male and female gametocytes are abundant in cutp(-) parasites, but activation of male microgametes and exflagellation were strongly impaired. This specific defect could be mimicked by addition of the copper chelator neocuproine to wild-type gametocytes. A cross-fertilization assay demonstrated that female fertility was also severely abrogated. In conclusion, we provide experimental genetic and pharmacological evidence that a healthy copper homeostasis is critical to malaria parasite fertility of both genders of gametocyte and, hence, to transmission to the mosquito vector.

  8. Parasites: Water

    MedlinePlus

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

  9. Factors affecting breastfeeding cessation after discontinuation of antiretroviral therapy to prevent mother-to-child transmission of HIV.

    PubMed

    Morgan, Melissa C; Masaba, Rose O; Nyikuri, Mary; Thomas, Timothy K

    2010-07-01

    In the Kisumu Breastfeeding Study (KiBS), prevention of mother-to-child HIV transmission study, highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) is provided from 34 weeks gestation, through delivery to six months postpartum. The study recommends that women practice exclusive breastfeeding for six months, then wean abruptly. We sought to explore factors such as, education, family support, cultural norms, and sources of information about perinatal HIV transmission, which may influence a mother's decision to comply or not comply with the study's recommendation to stop breastfeeding when HAART is discontinued. We used semi-structured interviews of a purposive sample of 18 mothers participating in the KiBS. By interviewing 10 mothers who stopped breastfeeding and eight mothers who continued, it was possible to examine how different factors may have affected the groups of participants. All participants stated that it was not traditional to stop breastfeeding at six months. Participants who stopped breastfeeding reported more family support, were more educated, and were more likely to disclose their HIV status. Participants who continued breastfeeding more often expressed concern about stigma. Participants learned about mother-to-child transmission from clinics, churches, community groups, and other HIV-positive mothers. This substudy suggests that family support, education, and cultural norms are important factors that may influence a mother's decision regarding breastfeeding cessation. Thus, counseling and family support may play integral roles in the promotion of early breastfeeding cessation.

  10. 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

  11. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-11-22

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

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. An agent-based epidemic simulation of social behaviors affecting HIV transmission among Taiwanese homosexuals.

    PubMed

    Huang, Chung-Yuan

    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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  17. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-07-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

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

  20. Ecology of marine parasites

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rohde, K.

    1984-03-01

    Important ecological aspects of marine parasites are discussed. Whereas effects of parasites on host individuals sometimes leading to death are known from many groups of parasites, effects on host populations have been studied much less. Mass mortalities have been observed mainly among hosts occurring in abnormally dense populations or after introduction of parasites by man. As a result of large-scale human activities, it becomes more and more difficult to observe effects of parasites on host populations under “natural” conditions. Particular emphasis is laid on ecological characteristics of parasites, such as host range and specificity, microhabitats, macrohabitats, food, life span, aggregated distribution, numbers and kinds of parasites, pathogenicity and mechanisms of reproduction and infection and on how such characteristics are affected by environment and hosts. It is stressed that host specificity indices which take frequency and/or intensity of infection into account, are a better measure of restriction of parasites to certain hosts than “host range” which simply is the number of host species found to be infected.

  1. 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

  2. Host density and the evolution of parasite virulence.

    PubMed

    Knolle, H

    1989-01-23

    Social and cultural habits of human populations affect the biological evolution of the agents of infectious diseases. Measles and similar diseases have evolved in the Old World and cannot have existed in their present form before the rise of the great river valley civilizations. It is suggested that increased virulence of measles in white and indigenous communities in America 1500-1800 may be due to a rare strain of the virus, which was selected during transfer from Europe. The release of viruses for biological pest control has provided new material for the study of the co-evolution of host-parasite systems, which has upset the dogma "evolution tends to avirulence". It is pointed out that this issue is closely related to the group selection debate among ethologists, i.e. to the problem: how can group selection overcome individual selection? A model is proposed in which differential growth of two strains of a parasite within the host and their transmission to new hosts is considered. It is supposed that transmission stages excreted by infectious hosts enter a common pool where they are mixed before infecting new hosts. Under these conditions, selection of the slower strain is possible only if the mean size of parasite inoculum is very small, i.e. if the density of transmission stages in the environment is low. The impact of this result on host pathology depends on the relation between virulence and transmission efficiency of the parasite. PMID:2779267

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-02-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-10-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Turner, Wendy C; Getz, Wayne M

    2010-10-01

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

  7. The languages of parasite communication.

    PubMed

    Roditi, Isabel

    2016-07-01

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

  8. 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.

  9. Determinants of distribution and prevalence of avian malaria in blue tit populations across Europe: separating host and parasite effects.

    PubMed

    Szöllosi, E; Cichoń, M; Eens, M; Hasselquist, D; Kempenaers, B; Merino, S; Nilsson, J-Å; Rosivall, B; Rytkönen, S; Török, J; Wood, M J; Garamszegi, L Z

    2011-09-01

    Although avian malarial parasites are globally distributed, the factors that affect the geographical distribution and local prevalence of different parasite lineages across host populations or species are still poorly understood. Based on the intense screening of avian malarial parasites in nine European blue tit populations, we studied whether distribution ranges as well as local adaptation, host specialization and phylogenetic relationships can determine the observed prevalences within populations. We found that prevalence differed consistently between parasite lineages and host populations, indicating that the transmission success of parasites is lineage specific but is partly shaped by locality-specific effects. We also found that the lineage-specific estimate of prevalence was related to the distribution range of parasites: lineages found in more host populations were generally more prevalent within these populations. Additionally, parasites with high prevalence that were also widely distributed among blue tit populations were also found to infect more host species. These findings suggest that parasites reaching high local prevalence can also realize wide distribution at a global scale that can have further consequences for host specialization. Although phylogenetic relationships among parasites did not predict prevalence, we detected a close match between a tree based on the geographic distance of the host populations and the parasite phylogenetic tree, implying that neighbouring host populations shared a related parasite fauna. PMID:21726328

  10. 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.

  11. Resource limitation alters the consequences of co-infection for both hosts and parasites.

    PubMed

    Budischak, Sarah A; Sakamoto, Kaori; Megow, Lindsey C; Cummings, Kelly R; Urban, Joseph F; Ezenwa, Vanessa O

    2015-06-01

    Most animals are concurrently infected with multiple parasite species and live in environments with fluctuating resource availability. Resource limitation can influence host immune responses and the degree of competition between co-infecting parasites, yet its effects on individual health and pathogen transmission have not been studied for co-infected hosts. To test how resource limitation affects immune trade-offs and co-infection outcomes, we conducted a factorial experiment using laboratory mice. Mice were given a standard or low protein diet, dosed with two species of helminths (alone and in combination), and then challenged with a microparasite. Using a community ecology trophic framework, we found that co-infection influenced parasite survival and reproduction via host immunity, but the magnitude and direction of responses depended on resources and the combination of co-infecting parasites. Our findings highlight that resources and their consequence for host defenses are a key context that shapes the magnitude and direction of parasite interactions.

  12. Landscape Genetics Reveals Focal Transmission of a Human Macroparasite

    PubMed Central

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

    2010-01-01

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

  13. Parasites dominate food web links.

    PubMed

    Lafferty, Kevin D; Dobson, Andrew P; Kuris, Armand M

    2006-07-25

    Parasitism is the most common animal lifestyle, yet food webs rarely include parasites. The few earlier studies have indicated that including parasites leads to obvious increases in species richness, number of links, and food chain length. A less obvious result was that adding parasites slightly reduced connectance, a key metric considered to affect food web stability. However, reported reductions in connectance after the addition of parasites resulted from an inappropriate calculation. Two alternative corrective approaches applied to four published studies yield an opposite result: parasites increase connectance, sometimes dramatically. In addition, we find that parasites can greatly affect other food web statistics, such as nestedness (asymmetry of interactions), chain length, and linkage density. Furthermore, whereas most food webs find that top trophic levels are least vulnerable to natural enemies, the inclusion of parasites revealed that mid-trophic levels, not low trophic levels, suffered the highest vulnerability to natural enemies. These results show that food webs are very incomplete without parasites. Most notably, recognition of parasite links may have important consequences for ecosystem stability because they can increase connectance and nestedness.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

  15. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    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.

  20. 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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  2. 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. PMID:21367909

  3. Parasites alter community structure.

    PubMed

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

    2007-05-29

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  5. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-10-01

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

  7. Allee effect from parasite spill-back.

    PubMed

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

    2013-11-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-03-01

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

  9. 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

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

    PubMed Central

    Lafferty, Kevin D

    2006-01-01

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

  11. [Parasitic zoonotic disease agents in human and animal drinking water].

    PubMed

    Karanis, P

    2000-08-01

    Human- and veterinary important parasites of the subkingdom of protozoans and helminths infect humans and animals by ingestion of parasites in contaminated water. The parasites are excreted from the body of infected humans, livestock, zoo animals, companion animals or wild animals in the feces. Recreational waters, agricultural practices and wild animals serve as vehicles of transmission of the parasites in the water supplies. The following topics are addressed: a) the life cycles of parasitic diseases-causing agents with proven or potential transmission via water b) the development and the current research status of the analytical techniques for the detection of parasitic diseases-causing agents from water c) the occurrence of Cryptosporidium and Giardia in surface water supplies and in treated water d) the possible water sources and transmission ways of the parasites into the water supplies e) the behaviour and the possibilities for the removal or elimination of the parasites by water treatment.

  12. Emerging food-borne parasites.

    PubMed

    Dorny, P; Praet, N; Deckers, N; Gabriel, S

    2009-08-01

    Parasitic food-borne diseases are generally underrecognised, however they are becoming more common. Globalization of the food supply, increased international travel, increase of the population of highly susceptible persons, change in culinary habits, but also improved diagnostic tools and communication are some factors associated with the increased diagnosis of food-borne parasitic diseases worldwide. This paper reviews the most important emerging food-borne parasites, with emphasis on transmission routes. In a first part, waterborne parasites transmitted by contaminated food such as Cyclospora cayetanensis, Cryptosporidium and Giardia are discussed. Also human fasciolosis, of which the importance has only been recognised in the last decades, with total numbers of reported cases increasing from less than 3000 to 17 million, is looked at. Furthermore, fasciolopsiosis, an intestinal trematode of humans and pigs belongs to the waterborne parasites as well. A few parasites that may be transmitted through faecal contamination of foods and that have received renewed attention, such as Toxoplasma gondii, or that are (re-)emerging, such as Trypanosoma cruzi and Echinococcus spp., are briefly reviewed. In a second part, meat-borne parasite infections are reviewed. Humans get infected by eating raw or undercooked meat infected with cyst stages of these parasites. Meat inspection is the principal method applied in the control of Taenia spp. and Trichinella spp. However, it is often not very sensitive, frequently not practised, and not done for T. gondii and Sarcocystis spp. Meat of reptiles, amphibians and fish can be infected with a variety of parasites, including trematodes (Opisthorchis spp., Clonorchis sinensis, minute intestinal flukes), cestodes (Diphyllobothrium spp., Spirometra), nematodes (Gnathostoma, spp., anisakine parasites), and pentastomids that can cause zoonotic infections in humans when consumed raw or not properly cooked. Another important zoonotic food

  13. 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

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

    PubMed

    Smith Darr, Jordan; Conn, David Bruce

    2015-01-01

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

  15. Parasites on parasites: Coupled fluctuations in stacked contact processes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Court, Steven J.; Blythe, Richard A.; Allen, Rosalind J.

    2013-03-01

    We present a model for host-parasite dynamics which incorporates both vertical and horizontal transmission as well as spatial structure. Our model consists of stacked contact processes (CP), where the dynamics of the host is a simple CP on a lattice while the dynamics of the parasite is a secondary CP which sits on top of the host-occupied sites. In the simplest case, where infection does not incur any cost, we uncover a novel effect: a non-monotonic dependence of parasite prevalence on host turnover. Inspired by natural examples of hyperparasitism, we extend our model to multiple levels of parasites and identify a transition between the maintenance of a finite and infinite number of levels, which we conjecture is connected to a roughening transition in models of surface growth.

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. Travel/Travelers and Parasitic Diseases

    MedlinePlus

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

  19. 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.

  20. Parasitism and phenotypic change in colonial hosts.

    PubMed

    Hartikainen, Hanna; Fontes, Inês; Okamura, Beth

    2013-09-01

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

  1. 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

  2. Control of parasites in cultured marine finfishes in Southeast Asia--an overview.

    PubMed

    Seng, L T

    1997-10-01

    Mariculture in Southeast Asia began in the 1970s and expanded rapidly during the 1980s, with the commercial hatchery production of the seabass Lates calcarifer. Other important cultured species were Epinephelus coioides, Epinephelus malabaricus, Lutjanus johni, and Lutjanus argentimaculatus. Intensification in the polyculture of these species and the large-scale international movement of fingerlings or juveniles, as well as the rapid expansion and concentration of fish farms, have caused severe problems resulting from parasitic infections. Infections in maricultured fish are predominantly caused by monoxenous parasites, in particular the capsalid and diplectanid monogeneans. Heteroxenous blood parasites also successfully maintained transmission in the culture system despite their requirement for an intermediate host. Prophylactic chemical treatments helped to reduce parasitic infection but did not eliminate them and once introduced into the floating netcage culture system, these parasites managed to maintain their transmission successfully. Despite the current lack of information regarding the biology of many parasites affecting cultured marine fishes, it nevertheless is possible to develop methodologies to produce an integrated health management system specifically designed to the needs of the mariculture practiced in the Southeast Asian region. This system is important and should include a sequence of prophylaxes, adequate nutrition, sanitation, immunization and an effective system of marketing for farmed fishes.

  3. 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…

  4. 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 ...

  5. Nature limits filarial transmission

    PubMed Central

    Chandra, Goutam

    2008-01-01

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

  6. Specificity of Familial Transmission of Schizophrenia Psychosis Spectrum and Affective Psychoses in the New England Family Study’s High-Risk Design

    PubMed Central

    Goldstein, Jill M.; Buka, Stephen L.; Seidman, Larry J.; Tsuang, Ming T.

    2011-01-01

    Context There is a long history of research on the familial transmission of schizophrenia and other psychoses. However, few studies have investigated the specificity of the transmission of schizophrenia-psychosis spectrum (SPS) disorders and affective psychoses (APs) or observed high-risk offspring into mid-adulthood. Objectives To investigate the transmission of psychoses from parents to their offspring and the specificity of transmission across psychosis subtypes. Design High-risk follow-up study. Setting New England Family Study’s High-Risk Study, with population-based community sampling from Boston, Massachusetts, and Providence, Rhode Island. Participants A total of 203 high-risk offspring of 159 parents with diagnoses of psychoses (SPS and AP) and 147 control offspring of 114 control parents. Main Outcome Measures Systematically assessed research DSM-IV psychiatric diagnoses for adult offspring. Results Compared with those of control parents, offspring of parents with SPS had a significant, almost 6-fold elevated risk of SPS disorders and a nonsignificant doubling of risk for AP. Offspring of parents with AP had a significant 14-fold elevated risk for AP compared with offspring of controls; for SPS disorders, the risk doubled but was not significant. Conclusion Having a parent with psychosis significantly increased the risk for psychosis among offspring and demonstrated specificity for the transmission of SPS disorders and APs within families. PMID:20439827

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. Minimal selfing, few clones, and no among-host genetic structure in a hermaphroditic parasite with asexual larval propagation.

    PubMed

    Criscione, Charles D; Blouin, Michael S

    2006-03-01

    Little is known about actual mating systems in natural populations of parasites or about what constitutes the limits of a parasite deme. These parameters are interesting because they affect levels of genetic diversity, opportunities for local adaptation, and other evolutionary processes. We expect that transmission dynamics and the distribution of parasites among hosts should have a large effect on mating systems and demic structure, but currently we have mostly speculation and very few data. For example, infrapopulations (all the parasites in a single host) should behave as demes if parasite offspring are transmitted as a clump from host to host over several generations. However, if offspring are well mixed, then the parasite component population (all the parasites among a host population) would function as the deme. Similarly, low mean intensities or a high proportion of worms in single infections should increase the selfing rate. For species having an asexual amplification stage, transmission between intermediate and definitive (final) hosts will control the variance in clonal reproductive success, which in turn could have a large influence on effective sizes and rates of inbreeding. We examined demic structure, selfing rates, and the variance in clonal reproductive success in natural populations of Plagioporus shawi, a hermaphroditic trematode that parasitizes salmon. Overall levels of genetic diversity were very high. An a posteriori inference of population structure overwhelmingly supports the component population as the deme, rather than individual infrapopulations. Only a single pair of 597 adult individuals was identified as clones. Thus, the variance in clonal reproductive success was almost zero. Despite being hermaphroditic, P. shawi appears to be almost entirely outcrossing. Genetic estimates of selfing (<5%) were in accordance with the proportion of parasites from single infections. Thus, it appears that individual flukes outcross whenever possible

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

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

    PubMed

    Poulin, Robert

    2011-01-01

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

  15. 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.

  16. Bold, Sedentary Fathead Minnows Have More Parasites.

    PubMed

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

    2016-08-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Poulin, Robert; Randhawa, Haseeb S

    2015-02-01

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

  20. Plasmodium dipeptidyl aminopeptidases as malaria transmission-blocking drug targets.

    PubMed

    Tanaka, Takeshi Q; Deu, Edgar; Molina-Cruz, Alvaro; Ashburne, Michael J; Ali, Omar; Suri, Amreena; Kortagere, Sandhya; Bogyo, Matthew; Williamson, Kim C

    2013-10-01

    The Plasmodium falciparum and P. berghei genomes each contain three dipeptidyl aminopeptidase (dpap) homologs. dpap1 and -3 are critical for asexual growth, but the role of dpap2, the gametocyte-specific homolog, has not been tested. If DPAPs are essential for transmission as well as asexual growth, then a DPAP inhibitor could be used for treatment and to block transmission. To directly analyze the role of DPAP2, a dpap2-minus P. berghei (Pbdpap2Δ) line was generated. The Pbdpap2Δ parasites grew normally, differentiated into gametocytes, and generated sporozoites that were infectious to mice when fed to a mosquito. However, Pbdpap1 transcription was >2-fold upregulated in the Pbdpap2Δ clonal lines, possibly compensating for the loss of Pbdpap2. The role of DPAP1 and -3 in the dpap2Δ parasites was then evaluated using a DPAP inhibitor, ML4118S. When ML4118S was added to the Pbdpap2Δ parasites just before a mosquito membrane feed, mosquito infectivity was not affected. To assess longer exposures to ML4118S and further evaluate the role of DPAPs during gametocyte development in a parasite that causes human malaria, the dpap2 deletion was repeated in P. falciparum. Viable P. falciparum dpap2 (Pfdpap2)-minus parasites were obtained that produced morphologically normal gametocytes. Both wild-type and Pfdpap2-negative parasites were sensitive to ML4118S, indicating that, unlike many antimalarials, ML4118S has activity against parasites at both the asexual and sexual stages and that DPAP1 and -3 may be targets for a dual-stage drug that can treat patients and block malaria transmission.

  1. Transmission-ratio distortion and allele sharing in affected sib pairs: a new linkage statistic with reduced bias, with application to chromosome 6q25.3.

    PubMed

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

    2004-10-01

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

  2. Consistent pattern of local adaptation during an experimental heat wave in a pipefish-trematode host-parasite system.

    PubMed

    Landis, Susanne H; Kalbe, Martin; Reusch, Thorsten B H; Roth, Olivia

    2012-01-01

    Extreme climate events such as heat waves are expected to increase in frequency under global change. As one indirect effect, they can alter magnitude and direction of species interactions, for example those between hosts and parasites. We simulated a summer heat wave to investigate how a changing environment affects the interaction between the broad-nosed pipefish (Syngnathus typhle) as a host and its digenean trematode parasite (Cryptocotyle lingua). In a fully reciprocal laboratory infection experiment, pipefish from three different coastal locations were exposed to sympatric and allopatric trematode cercariae. In order to examine whether an extreme climatic event disrupts patterns of locally adapted host-parasite combinations we measured the parasite's transmission success as well as the host's adaptive and innate immune defence under control and heat wave conditions. Independent of temperature, sympatric cercariae were always more successful than allopatric ones, indicating that parasites are locally adapted to their hosts. Hosts suffered from heat stress as suggested by fewer cells of the adaptive immune system (lymphocytes) compared to the same groups that were kept at 18°C. However, the proportion of the innate immune cells (monocytes) was higher in the 18°C water. Contrary to our expectations, no interaction between host immune defence, parasite infectivity and temperature stress were found, nor did the pattern of local adaptation change due to increased water temperature. Thus, in this host-parasite interaction, the sympatric parasite keeps ahead of the coevolutionary dynamics across sites, even under increasing temperatures as expected under marine global warming.

  3. Sexually transmitted parasitic diseases.

    PubMed

    Levine, G I

    1991-03-01

    Sexual activity is the primary method of transmission for several important parasitic diseases and has resulted in a significant prevalence of enteric parasitic infection among male homosexuals. The majority of parasitic sexually transmitted diseases involve protozoan pathogens; however, nematode and arthropod illnesses are also included in this group. Trichomoniasis, caused by Trichomonas vaginalis, is the most common parasitic STD. Infection with this organism typically results in the signs and symptoms of vaginitis. Trichomoniasis can be diagnosed in the office setting by performing a microscopic evaluation of infected vaginal secretions and can be successfully treated with metronidazole. Both pediculosis pubis, caused by the crab louse Pthirus pubis, and scabies, caused by the itch mite Sarcoptes scabiei, present with severe pruritus. A papular or vesicular rash and linear burrows seen in the finger webs and genital area are characteristic of scabies. Pediculosis pubis is diagnosed by observing adult lice or their nits in areas that bear coarse hair. The diagnosis of scabies is confirmed by scraping suspicious burrows and viewing the mite or its byproducts under the microscope. Lindane, 1% used in treating scabies, is also very effective for treating pediculosis pubis. Synthetic pyrethrins, also applied as a cream or lotion, are less toxic alternatives for the treatment of either condition. Oral-anal and oral-genital sexual practices predispose male homosexuals to infection with many enteric pathogens, including parasitic protozoans and helminths. The most common of these parasitic infections are amebiasis, caused by Entamoeba histolytica, and giardiasis caused by Giardia lamblia. Both entities may cause acute or chronic diarrhea, as well as other abdominal symptoms. Most gay men with amebiasis are asymptomatic, and invasive disease in this group is extremely rare. Both amebiasis and giardiasis can be diagnosed on the basis of microscopic examination of stool

  4. On the use of the transmission disequilibrium test to detect pseudo-autosomal variants affecting traits with sex-limited expression.

    PubMed

    Elansary, Mahmoud; Stinckens, Anneleen; Ahariz, Naima; Cambisano, Nadine; Coppieters, Wouter; Grindflek, Eli; van Son, Maren; Buys, Nadine; Georges, Michel

    2015-08-01

    We herein describe the realization of a genome-wide association study for scrotal hernia and cryptorchidism in Norwegian and Belgian commercial pig populations. We have used the transmission disequilibrium test to avoid spurious associations due to population stratification. By doing so, we obtained genome-wide significant signals for both diseases with SNPs located in the pseudo-autosomal region in the vicinity of the pseudo-autosomal boundary. By further analyzing these signals, we demonstrate that the observed transmission disequilibria are artifactual. We determine that transmission bias at pseudo-autosomal markers will occur (i) when analyzing traits with sex-limited expression and (ii) when the allelic frequencies at the marker locus differ between X and Y chromosomes. We show that the bias is due to the fact that (i) sires will preferentially transmit the allele enriched on the Y (respectively X) chromosome to affected sons (respectively daughters) and (ii) dams will appear to preferentially transmit the allele enriched on the Y (respectively X) to affected sons (respectively daughters), as offspring inheriting the other allele are more likely to be non-informative. We define the conditions to mitigate these issues, namely by (i) extracting information from maternal meiosis only and (ii) ignoring trios for which sire and dam have the same heterozygous genotype. We show that by applying these rules to scrotal hernia and cryptorchidism, the pseudo-autosomal signals disappear, confirming their spurious nature. PMID:25996251

  5. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-12-01

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

  7. Glutamate and Dopamine Transmission from Midbrain Dopamine Neurons Share Similar Release Properties But Are Differentially Affected by Cocaine

    PubMed Central

    Adrover, Martín F.; Shin, Jung Hoon

    2014-01-01

    Synaptic transmission between ventral tegmental area and nucleus accumbens (NAc) is critically involved in reward-motivated behaviors and thought to be altered in addiction. In addition to dopamine (DA), glutamate is packaged and released by a subset of mesolimbic DA neurons, eliciting EPSCs onto medium spiny neurons in NAc. Little is known about the properties and modulation of glutamate release from DA midbrain terminals and the effect of cocaine. Using an optogenetic approach to selectively activate midbrain DA fibers, we compared the properties and modulation of DA transients and EPSCs measured using fast-scan cyclic voltammetry and whole-cell recordings in mouse brain slices. DA transients and EPSCs were inhibited by DA receptor D2R agonist and showed a marked paired-pulse depression that required 2 min for full recovery. Cocaine depressed EPSCs amplitude by 50% but enhanced the overall DA transmission from midbrain DA neurons. AMPA and NMDA receptor-mediated EPSCs were equally inhibited by cocaine, suggesting a presynaptic mechanism of action. Pharmacological blockage and genetic deletion of D2R in DA neurons prevented the cocaine-induced inhibition of EPSCs and caused a larger increase in DA transient peak, confirming the involvement of presynaptic D2R. These findings demonstrate that acute cocaine inhibits DA and glutamate release from midbrain DA neurons via presynaptic D2R but has differential overall effects on their transmissions in the NAc. We postulate that cocaine, by blocking DA reuptake, prolongs DA transients and facilitates the feedback inhibition of DA and glutamate release from these terminals. PMID:24573277

  8. Development of novel associations between MHC alleles and susceptibility to parasitic infections in an isolated population of an endangered mammal.

    PubMed

    Biedrzycka, Aleksandra; Kloch, Agnieszka

    2016-10-01

    The role of pathogens in dynamics of endangered species is not fully understood, and the effect of infection often interacts with other processes affecting those species, such as fragmentation and isolation or loss of genetic variation. Small, isolated populations are prone to losing functional alleles due to demographic processes and genetic drift, which may diminish their ability to resist infection if immune genes are affected. Demographic processes may also alter the selective pressure exerted by a parasite, as they influence the rate of parasite transmission between individuals. In the present paper we studied changes in parasite infection levels and genetic variability in an isolated population of spotted suslik (Spermophillus suslicus). Over a three-year period (approx. three generations), when the population size remained relatively stable, we observed a considerable increase in parasite prevalence and infection intensity, followed by the development of novel associations between MHC DRB alleles and parasite burden. Contrary to expectations, the change in MHC allele frequency over time was not consistent with the effect of the allele - for instance, Spsu-DRB*07, associated with higher intensity of infection with a nematode Capillaria sp., increased in frequency from 11.8 to 20.2%. Yet, we found no signatures of selection in the studied loci. Our results show that an isolated, stable population may experience a sudden increase in parasitic infections, resulting in a development of novel associations between MHC alleles and parasite susceptibility/resistance, even though no signatures of selection can be found.

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. Transmission at the squid giant synapse was blocked by tetanus toxin by affecting synaptobrevin, a vesicle-bound protein.

    PubMed Central

    Llinás, R; Sugimori, M; Chu, D; Morita, M; Blasi, J; Herreros, J; Jahn, R; Marsal, J

    1994-01-01

    1. The effect of whole tetanus toxin (TeTX) and of its light chain (TeTX L-chain) on transmitter release was determined by presynaptic pressure-injection in the squid giant synapse. 2. The results indicate that whole TeTX does not modify transmission while the L-chain blocks transmission within 20-30 min. This block does not involve changes in the sodium or potassium conductances responsible for spike generation or the voltage-dependent presynaptic calcium current responsible for transmitter release. 3. Western blotting of protein fractions from the squid optic lobe demonstrated the presence of a protein which reacted with specific antibodies against mammalian synaptobrevin, a vesicular protein. In addition, this protein was enzymatically cleaved by the L-chain component of the toxin in a similar fashion to its mammalian counterpart. 4. These results demonstrate that TeTX L-chain toxin acts directly on a squid synaptobrevin and prevents synaptic release probably by interfering with the docking-fusion synaptic vesicles at the active zone. Images Figure 2 PMID:8071879

  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. 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

  14. Intestinal parasitic infections and micronutrient deficiency: a review.

    PubMed

    Hesham, M S; Edariah, A B; Norhayati, M

    2004-06-01

    Malnutrition including vitamin A and iron deficiency and parasitic diseases have a strikingly similar geographical distribution with the same people experiencing both insults together for much of their lives. Parasitic infections are thought to contribute to child malnutrition and micronutrient deficiency through subtle reduction in digestion and absorption, chronic inflammation and loss of nutrients. Parasites may affect the intake of food; it's subsequent digestion and absorption, metabolism and the maintenance of nutrient pools. The most important parasites related to nutritional status are intestinal parasites especially soil transmitted helminthes, Giardia duodenalis, Entamoeba histolytica, followed by other parasites such as the coccidia, Schistosoma sp. and malarial parasites.

  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. Parasitic pneumonia and lung involvement.

    PubMed

    Cheepsattayakorn, Attapon; 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2010-02-17

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

  18. Agricultural effects on amphibian parasitism: importance of general habitat perturbations and parasite life cycles.

    PubMed

    Koprivnikar, Janet; Redfern, Julia C

    2012-10-01

    Agricultural activity can alter host-parasite interactions through associated contaminants and habitat perturbations. It is critical to determine whether agricultural effects are widespread or limited to specific types of agriculture. We examined influences of soybean agriculture on trematode parasitism of larval amphibians (grey tree frogs; Hyla versicolor) to assess the potential effects of a commonly applied pesticide (glyphosate) and landscape factors relative to previous field studies focusing on the herbicide atrazine. Overall, trematode parasite infection did not differ between soybean-adjacent and nonagricultural ponds (87.7% and 72.6% mean infection, respectively). However, host-generalist echinostome species were more common in tadpoles from soybean-associated ponds (86.3% mean infection versus 36.2% in nonagricultural ponds) as well as sites with large or short average distances to forest cover and roads, respectively. In contrast, the occurrence of a host-specialist (Alaria sp.) group was greater in nonagricultural ponds (50.3% mean infection versus 9.8% in soybean-associated ponds) and increased with shorter distances to the closest forest patch and smaller average forest distance. Because glyphosate was not detected at any site and landscape influences were parasite-specific, we suggest that agriculture may have broad effects on wildlife diseases through habitat alterations that affect pathogen transmission via host habitat suitability. Notably, nonagricultural ponds had a lower mean distance to the nearest forest patch and lower mean forest distance compared with soybean-adjacent ponds. As a result, we emphasize the need for wider investigations of habitat perturbations generally associated with agriculture for host-pathogen interactions, and consequently, wildlife conservation and management strategies.

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

    PubMed

    Marcogliese, D J

    2008-08-01

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

  20. 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.

  1. Bilateral periventricular heterotopias in an X-linked dominant transmission in a family with two affected males.

    PubMed

    Gérard-Blanluet, Marion; Sheen, Volney; Machinis, Kalotina; Neal, Jason; Apse, Kira; Danan, Claude; Sinico, Martine; Brugières, Pierre; Mage, Katia; Ratsimbazafy, Lanto; Elbez, Annie; Janaud, Jean-Claude; Amselem, Serge; Walsh, Christopher; Encha-Razavi, Férechté

    2006-05-15

    We report on the case of dizygotic twin boys, born prematurely to an asymptomatic mother. Bilateral periventricular heterotopias with enlarged ventricles were discovered at birth in both twins. One of the twins died prematurely of bronchopulmonary complications, and was shown to have several neuropathological anomalies (microgyria, thin corpus callosum, and reduced white matter). The surviving twin had mental retardation, without epilepsy. MRI of the mother showed asymptomatic periventricular heterotopias without ventricular enlargement. She had two affected daughters also with asymptomatic periventricular heterotopias. A point mutation in the last coding exon 48 of the Filamin A (FLNA) gene (7922c > t) was discovered on sequencing and segregated with the affected individuals. This family has a classical X-linked dominant BPNH pathology, with greater severity in males than females. The location of the FLNA mutation is discussed in light of the neuropathological anomalies and mental retardation in male patients.

  2. Parasite Zoonoses and Wildlife: Emerging Issues

    PubMed Central

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

    2009-01-01

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

  3. 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.

  4. Pathology of CNS parasitic infections.

    PubMed

    Pittella, José Eymard Homem

    2013-01-01

    Parasitic infections of the central nervous system (CNS) include two broad categories of infectious organisms: single-celled protozoa and multicellular metazoa. The protozoal infections include malaria, American trypanosomiasis, human African trypanosomiasis, toxoplasmosis, amebiasis, microsporidiasis, and leishmaniasis. The metazoal infections are grouped into flatworms, which include trematoda and cestoda, and roundworms or nematoda. Trematoda infections include schistosomiasis and paragonimiasis. Cestoda infections include cysticercosis, coenurosis, hydatidosis, and sparganosis. Nematoda infections include gnathostomiasis, angiostrongyliasis, toxocariasis, strongyloidiasis, filariasis, baylisascariasis, dracunculiasis, micronemiasis, and lagochilascariasis. The most common route of CNS invasion is through the blood. In some cases, the parasite invades the olfactory neuroepithelium in the nasal mucosa and penetrates the brain via the subarachnoid space or reaches the CNS through neural foramina of the skull base around the cranial nerves or vessels. The neuropathological changes vary greatly, depending on the type and size of the parasite, geographical strain variations in parasitic virulence, immune evasion by the parasite, and differences in host immune response. Congestion of the leptomeninges, cerebral edema, hemorrhage, thrombosis, vasculitis, necrosis, calcification, abscesses, meningeal and perivascular polymorphonuclear and mononuclear inflammatory infiltrate, microglial nodules, gliosis, granulomas, and fibrosis can be found affecting isolated or multiple regions of the CNS, or even diffusely spread. Some infections may be present as an expanding mass lesion. The parasites can be identified by conventional histology, immunohistochemistry, in situ hybridization, and PCR.

  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. Mansonelliasis, a neglected parasitic disease in Haiti.

    PubMed

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

    2014-09-01

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

  7. Mansonelliasis, a neglected parasitic disease in Haiti

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  8. Mansonelliasis, a neglected parasitic disease in Haiti.

    PubMed

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

    2014-09-01

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

  9. Malaria Parasites Produce Volatile Mosquito Attractants

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  10. 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

  11. Effects of a hurricane on fish parasites.

    PubMed

    Overstreet, R M

    2007-09-01

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

  12. 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.

  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. 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…

  15. 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 ...

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

    PubMed

    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.

  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. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-05-01

    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.

  2. 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

  3. 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. PMID:26430236

  4. 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.

  5. Coevolution of parasite virulence and host mating strategies

    PubMed Central

    Ashby, Ben; Boots, Michael

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  7. Differential precocious sexual development of Proctoeces lintoni (Digenea: Fellodistomidae) in three sympatric species of keyhole limpets Fissurella spp. may affect transmission to the final host.

    PubMed

    Balboa, L; George-Nascimento, M; Ojeda, F P

    2001-10-01

    The prevalence, abundance, and developmental status of the digenetic trematode Proctoeces lintoni Siddiqui et Cable 1960 were compared in 3 species of keyhole limpets Fissurella. A total of 197 limpets was collected at Caleta Chome, south-central Chile. Fissurella picta and F. costata had the highest prevalence of infection, whereas F. picta showed the greatest abundance of parasites, which increased with host shell length. However, the frequency of P. lintoni specimens with eggs in the uterus was greatest in F. costata. These results suggest that an increased rate of development of a parasite in the intermediate host may shorten the residence time necessary for maturation in the final host. Thus, faster development of the parasite in F. costata suggests the possibility that the parasites transmitted through this host species have shorter maturation times in clingfishes than individuals transmitted via other limpet species.

  8. Transovarial transmission in the microsporidia.

    PubMed

    Dunn, A M; Terry, R S; Smith, J E

    2001-01-01

    The microsporidia are an ancient and diverse group of protists which have many unusual characteristics. These include prokaryotic-like 70s ribosomes, enclosed nuclear division, a lack of mitochondria and complex life cycles which frequently involve vertical transmission. This use of vertical transmission is unparalleled by other protists and is seen only among bacterial endosymbionts and sex ratio distorters and in host cell organelles. Transovarially transmitted microsporidia can have unusual and profound effects on host population sex ratios. We here consider the mechanisms of transovarial transmission and its implications for parasite evolution. We review parasite/host relationships and the evolution of virulence under transovarial transmission and consider the implications of these parasites for host ecology and evolution.

  9. Parasitic infestations requiring surgical interventions.

    PubMed

    Hesse, Afua A J; Nouri, Abdellatif; Hassan, Hussam S; Hashish, Amel A

    2012-05-01

    Parasitic infestation is common in developing countries especially in Africa. Children are often more vulnerable to these infections. Many health problems result from these infestations, including malnutrition, iron-deficiency anemia, surgical morbidities, and even impaired cognitive function and educational achievement. Surgical intervention may be needed to treat serious complications caused by some of these parasites. Amoebic colitis and liver abscess caused by protozoan infections; intestinal obstruction, biliary infestation with cholangitis and liver abscess, and pancreatitis caused by Ascaris lumbricoides; biliary obstruction caused by Faschiola; hepatic and pulmonary hydatid cysts caused by Echinococcus granulosus and multilocularis are examples. Expenditure of medical care of affected children may cause a great burden on many African governments, which are already suffering from economic instability. The clinical presentation, investigation, and management of some parasitic infestations of surgical relevance in African children are discussed in this article.

  10. Fish Parasites: A Growing Concern During Pregnancy.

    PubMed

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

    2016-04-01

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

  11. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-03-01

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

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. Transfusion-transmitted parasitic infections.

    PubMed

    Singh, Gagandeep; Sehgal, Rakesh

    2010-07-01

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

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. Vaccination against cestode parasites.

    PubMed

    Lightowlers, M W; Rickard, M D

    1993-10-01

    Cestodes are tapeworm parasites. Infection in the intermediate host with larval (metacestode) parasites causes medically and economically important diseases known as hydatidosis and cysticercosis. Immunization against experimental infection with metacestode parasites has been highly successful, in marked contrast with the relative ineffectiveness of vaccines against infection with most parasitic organisms. High levels of immunity against a challenge infection with taeniid cestode eggs can be stimulated by immunization with extracts of the parasites, particularly with extracts of the oncosphere life-cycle stage. This led to the production of a recombinant antigen vaccine against infection in sheep with the parasite Taenia ovis, the first highly effective, non-living vaccine against a parasitic infection in animals or humans. This paper reviews immunity to the adult and metacestode life-cycle stages of cestode parasites, development and application of the T. ovis vaccine, and prospects for vaccines against other cestode infections.

  2. 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.

  3. The rediscovery of malaria parasites of ungulates.

    PubMed

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

    2016-10-01

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

  4. The rediscovery of malaria parasites of ungulates.

    PubMed

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

    2016-10-01

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

  5. Where are the parasites in food webs?

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

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

  6. Where are the parasites in food webs?

    PubMed

    Sukhdeo, Michael V K

    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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. Parasites, Plants, and People.

    PubMed

    Johnson, Marion; Moore, Tony

    2016-06-01

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

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-03-01

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

  14. 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?

  15. 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.

  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. 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

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. 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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  2. Diversity and the maintenance of sex by parasites.

    PubMed

    Ashby, B; King, K C

    2015-03-01

    The Red Queen hypothesis (RQH) predicts that parasite-mediated selection will maintain sexual individuals in the face of competition from asexual lineages. The prediction is that sexual individuals will be difficult targets for coevolving parasites if they give rise to more genetically diverse offspring than asexual lineages. However, increasing host genetic diversity is known to suppress parasite spread, which could provide a short-term advantage to clonal lineages and lead to the extinction of sex. We test these ideas using a stochastic individual-based model. We find that if parasites are readily transmissible, then sex is most likely to be maintained when host diversity is high, in agreement with the RQH. If transmission rates are lower, however, we find that sexual populations are most likely to persist for intermediate levels of diversity. Our findings thus highlight the importance of genetic diversity and its impact on epidemiological dynamics for the maintenance of sex by parasites.

  3. 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.

  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. PMID:26523344

  5. Inbreeding and parasite sex ratios.

    PubMed

    Nee, Sean; West, Stuart A; Read, Andrew F

    2002-04-01

    The breeding system of parasitic protozoa affects the evolution of drug resistance and virulence, and is relevant to disease diagnosis and the development of chemo- and immunotherapy. A major group of protozoan parasites, the phylum Apicomplexa, that includes the aetiological agents of malaria, toxoplasmosis and coccidiosis, all have dimorphic sexual stages. The sex ratio (proportion of males produced by parasites) is predicted to depend upon the inbreeding rate, and it has been suggested that sex-ratio data offer a relatively cheap and easy method for indirectly estimating inbreeding rates. Here, we exploit a new theoretical machinery to show that there are generally valid relationships between f, Wright's coefficient of inbreeding, and sex ratio, z(*), the generality being with respect to population structure. To focus the discussion, we concentrate on malaria and show that the previously derived result, f = 1 - 2z(*), does not depend on the artificial assumptions about population structure that were previously made. Not only does this justify the use of sex ratio as an indirect measure of f, but also we argue that it may actually be preferable to measure f by measuring sex ratios, rather than by measuring departures from Hardy-Weinberg genotypic proportions both in malaria and parasites more generally. PMID:11934369

  6. 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.

  7. Castrating parasites and colonial hosts.

    PubMed

    Hartikainen, H; Okamura, B

    2012-04-01

    Trajectories of life-history traits such as growth and reproduction generally level off with age and increasing size. However, colonial animals may exhibit indefinite, exponential growth via modular iteration thus providing a long-lived host source for parasite exploitation. In addition, modular iteration entails a lack of germ line sequestration. Castration of such hosts by parasites may therefore be impermanent or precluded, unlike the general case for unitary animal hosts. Despite these intriguing correlates of coloniality, patterns of colonial host exploitation have not been well studied. We examined these patterns by characterizing the responses of a myxozoan endoparasite, Tetracapsuloides bryosalmonae, and its colonial bryozoan host, Fredericella sultana, to 3 different resource levels. We show that (1) the development of infectious stages nearly always castrates colonies regardless of host condition, (2) castration reduces partial mortality and (3) development of transmission stages is resource-mediated. Unlike familiar castrator-host systems, this system appears to be characterized by periodic rather than permanent castration. Periodic castration may be permitted by 2 key life history traits: developmental cycling of the parasite between quiescent (covert infections) and virulent infectious stages (overt infections) and the absence of germ line sequestration which allows host reproduction in between bouts of castration.

  8. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. 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.

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

    PubMed

    Able, D J

    1996-03-01

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

  14. Measuring changes in Plasmodium falciparum transmission: precision, accuracy and costs of metrics.

    PubMed

    Tusting, Lucy S; Bousema, Teun; Smith, David L; Drakeley, Chris

    2014-01-01

    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 11 metrics of malaria transmission, discussing their accuracy, precision, collection methods and costs and presenting an overall critique. We also review the nonlinear 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 chapter 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, seroconversion 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.

  15. Cystatins of parasitic organisms.

    PubMed

    Klotz, Christian; Ziegler, Thomas; Daniłowicz-Luebert, Emilia; Hartmann, Susanne

    2011-01-01

    The cystatin superfamily comprises several groups of protease inhibitors. In this chapter we will focus on I25 family members, which consist predominantly of the type 2 cystatins. Recently, a wealth of information on these molecules and their activities has been described. Parasite cystatins are shown to have dual functions via interaction with both parasite and host proteases. Thereby, parasite cystatins are not only essentially involved in the regulation of physiological processes during parasite development, but also represent important pathogenicity factors. Interestingly, some studies indicate that parasite cystatins evolved exceptional immuno-modulatory properties. these capacities could be exploited to interfere with unwanted immune responses in unrelated human inflammatory diseases. We highlight the different biological roles of parasite cystatins and the anticipated future developments.

  16. Cross-talk between apoptosis and cytokines in the regulation of parasitic infection.

    PubMed

    DosReis, George A; Ribeiro-Gomes, Flavia L; Guillermo, Landi V C; Lopes, Marcela F

    2007-01-01

    Parasitic diseases have worldwide medical and economical impact. Host T lymphocytes and the cytokines they produce determine the outcome of parasitic infections. Programmed cell death by apoptosis is induced in the course of parasitic infections, and affects cytokine production by removing activated effector T and B cells. In addition, engulfment of apoptotic cells promotes the secretion of cytokines that regulate intracellular replication of protozoan parasites. In this review, we discuss how the cross-talk between apoptosis and cytokines regulates parasitic infection.

  17. 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.

  18. Parasites of urological importance.

    PubMed

    Kehinde, Elijah O; Anim, Jehoram T; Hira, Parsotam R

    2008-01-01

    With the world increasingly becoming a global village, transnational and transcontinental migration has become the order of the day. It is expected that migrants will take with them some diseases (including parasites) which are normally endemic in their countries of origin, to their host countries. Similarly, environmental changes that result from development of water resources, global warming, growth and migration of population can facilitate the spread of parasites. In this review we describe the epidemiology, presentation, diagnosis and treatment options of parasites that urologists may encounter. Notably among these parasites are Schistosoma haematobium, Echinococcus granulosus, Wuchereria bancrofti and Onchocerca volvulus.

  19. 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.

  20. Do Antenatal Parasite Infections Devalue Childhood Vaccination?

    PubMed Central

    King, Maria J.; King, Christopher L.; King, Charles H.

    2009-01-01

    On a global basis, both potent vaccine efficacy and high vaccine coverage are necessary to control and eliminate vaccine-preventable diseases. Emerging evidence from animal and human studies suggest that neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) significantly impair response to standard childhood immunizations. A review of efficacy and effectiveness studies of vaccination among individuals with chronic parasitic infections was conducted, using PUBMED database searches and analysis of data from the authors' published and unpublished studies. Both animal models and human studies suggest that chronic trematode, nematode, and protozoan infections can result in decreased vaccine efficacy. Among pregnant women, who in developing countries are often infected with multiple parasites, soluble parasite antigens have been shown to cross the placenta and prime or tolerize fetal immune responses. As a result, antenatal infections can have a significant impact on later vaccine responses. Acquired childhood parasitic infections, most commonly malaria, can also affect subsequent immune response to vaccination. Additional data suggest that antiparasite therapy can improve the effectiveness of several human vaccines. Emerging evidence demonstrates that both antenatal and childhood parasitic infections alter levels of protective immune response to routine vaccinations. Successful antiparasite treatment may prevent immunomodulation caused by parasitic antigens during pregnancy and early childhood and may improve vaccine efficacy. Future research should highlight the varied effects that different parasites (alone and in combination) can have on human vaccine-related immunity. To optimize vaccine effectiveness in developing countries, better control of chronic NTDs may prove imperative. PMID:19478847

  1. Helminth Parasites Alter Protection against Plasmodium Infection

    PubMed Central

    Salazar-Castañon, Víctor H.; Legorreta-Herrera, Martha

    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. PMID:25276830

  2. 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.

  3. Infection with schistosome parasites in snails leads to increased predation by prawns: implications for human schistosomiasis control.

    PubMed

    Swartz, Scott J; De Leo, Giulio A; Wood, Chelsea L; Sokolow, Susanne H

    2015-12-01

    Schistosomiasis - a parasitic disease that affects over 200 million people across the globe - is primarily transmitted between human definitive hosts and snail intermediate hosts. To reduce schistosomiasis transmission, some have advocated disrupting the schistosome life cycle through biological control of snails, achieved by boosting the abundance of snails' natural predators. But little is known about the effect of parasitic infection on predator-prey interactions, especially in the case of schistosomiasis. Here, we present the results of laboratory experiments performed on Bulinus truncatus and Biomphalaria glabrata snails to investigate: (i) rates of predation on schistosome-infected versus uninfected snails by a sympatric native river prawn, Macrobrachium vollenhovenii, and (ii) differences in snail behavior (including movement, refuge-seeking and anti-predator behavior) between infected and uninfected snails. In predation trials, prawns showed a preference for consuming snails infected with schistosome larvae. In behavioral trials, infected snails moved less quickly and less often than uninfected snails, and were less likely to avoid predation by exiting the water or hiding under substrate. Although the mechanism by which the parasite alters snail behavior remains unknown, these results provide insight into the effects of parasitic infection on predator-prey dynamics and suggest that boosting natural rates of predation on snails may be a useful strategy for reducing transmission in schistosomiasis hotspots. PMID:26677260

  4. Rice ragged stunt virus-induced apoptosis affects virus transmission from its insect vector, the brown planthopper to the rice plant

    PubMed Central

    Huang, Hai-Jian; Bao, Yan-Yuan; Lao, Shu-Hua; Huang, Xiao-Hui; Ye, Yi-Zhou; Wu, Jian-Xiang; Xu, Hai-Jun; Zhou, Xue-Ping; Zhang, Chuan-Xi

    2015-01-01

    Most plant viruses that seriously damage agricultural crops are transmitted by insects. However, the mechanisms enabling virus transmission by insect vectors are poorly understood. The brown planthopper (Nilaparvata lugens) is one of the most serious rice pests, causing extensive damage to rice plants by sucking the phloem sap and transmitting viruses, including Rice ragged stunt virus (RRSV). In this study, we investigated the mechanisms of RRSV transmission from its insect vector to the rice plant in vivo using the terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase dUTP nick-end labeling assay and RNA interference technology. RRSV induced apoptosis in the salivary gland cells of its insect vector, N. lugens. The RRSV-induced apoptosis was regulated through a caspase-dependent manner, and inhibition of the expression of N. lugens caspase-1 genes significantly interfered with virus transmission. Our findings establish a link between virus-associated apoptosis and virus transmission from the insect vector to the host plant. PMID:26073458

  5. Amino acid substitutions in the neuraminidase protein of an H9N2 avian influenza virus affect its airborne transmission in chickens.

    PubMed

    Lv, Jing; Wei, Liangmeng; Yang, Yan; Wang, Bingxiao; Liang, Wei; Gao, Yuwei; Xia, Xianzhu; Gao, Lili; Cai, Yumei; Hou, Peiqiang; Yang, Huili; Wang, Airong; Huang, Rong; Gao, Jing; Chai, Tongjie

    2015-01-01

    Cases of H9N2 avian influenza virus (AIV) in poultry are increasing throughout many Eurasian countries, and co-infections with other pathogens have resulted in high morbidity and mortality in poultry. Few studies have investigated the genetic factors of virus airborne transmission which determine the scope of this epidemic. In this study, we used specific-pathogen-free chickens housed in isolators to investigate the airborne transmissibility of five recombinant H9N2 AIV rescued by reverse genetic technology. The results show that airborne transmission of A/Chicken/Shandong/01/2008 (SD01) virus was related to the neuraminidase (NA) gene, and four amino acid mutations (D368E, S370L, E313K and G381D) within the head region of the SD01 NA, reduced virus replication in the respiratory tract of chickens, reduced virus NA activity, and resulted in a loss of airborne transmission ability in chickens. Similarly, reverse mutations of these four amino acids in the NA protein of r01/NASS virus, conferred an airborne transmission ability to the recombinant virus. We conclude that these four NA residues may be significant genetic markers for evaluating potential disease outbreak of H9N2 AIV, and propose that immediate attention should be paid to the airborne transmission of this virus. PMID:25928577

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. Solar radiation decreases parasitism in Daphnia.

    PubMed

    Overholt, Erin P; Hall, Spencer R; Williamson, Craig E; Meikle, Claire K; Duffy, Meghan A; Cáceres, Carla E

    2012-01-01

    Climate change and variation in atmospheric ozone are influencing the intensity of ultraviolet radiation (UVR) reaching ecosystems. Changing UVR regimes, in turn, may alter epidemics of infectious disease. This possibility hinges on the sensitivity of epidemiologically relevant traits of host and parasite to UVR. We address this issue using a planktonic system (a zooplankton host, Daphnia dentifera, and its virulent fungal parasite, Metschnikowia bicuspidata). Controlled laboratory experiments, coupled with in situ field incubations of spores, revealed that quite low levels of UVR (as well as longer wavelength light) sharply reduced the infectivity of fungal spores but did not affect host susceptibility to infection. The parasite's sensitivity to solar radiation may underlie patterns in a lake survey: higher penetration of solar radiation into lakes correlated with smaller epidemics that started later in autumn (as incident sunlight declined). Thus, solar radiation, by diminishing infectivity of the parasite, may potently reduce disease. PMID:22034950

  9. 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.

  10. A New Role for an Old Antimicrobial: Lysozyme c-1 Can Function to Protect Malaria Parasites in Anopheles Mosquitoes

    PubMed Central

    Li, Bin; Luckhart, Shirley; Li, Jianyong; Paskewitz, Susan M.

    2011-01-01

    Background Plasmodium requires an obligatory life stage in its mosquito host. The parasites encounter a number of insults while journeying through this host and have developed mechanisms to avoid host defenses. Lysozymes are a family of important antimicrobial immune effectors produced by mosquitoes in response to microbial challenge. Methodology/Principal Findings A mosquito lysozyme was identified as a protective agonist for Plasmodium. Immunohistochemical analyses demonstrated that Anopheles gambiae lysozyme c-1 binds to oocysts of Plasmodium berghei and Plasmodium falciparum at 2 and 5 days after infection. Similar results were observed with Anopheles stephensi and P. falciparum, suggesting wide occurrence of this phenomenon across parasite and vector species. Lysozyme c-1 did not bind to cultured ookinetes nor did recombinant lysozyme c-1 affect ookinete viability. dsRNA-mediated silencing of LYSC-1 in Anopheles gambiae significantly reduced the intensity and the prevalence of Plasmodium berghei infection. We conclude that this host antibacterial protein directly interacts with and facilitates development of Plasmodium oocysts within the mosquito. Conclusions/Significance This work identifies mosquito lysozyme c-1 as a positive mediator of Plasmodium development as its reduction reduces parasite load in the mosquito host. These findings improve our understanding of parasite development and provide a novel target to interrupt parasite transmission to human hosts. PMID:21573077

  11. 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...

  12. Where are the parasites?

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The Review by E. Post et al. (“Ecological dynamics across the Arctic associated with recent climate change,” 11 September, p. 1355) paid little heed to parasites and other pathogens. The rapidly growing literature on parasites in arctic and subarctic ecosystems provides empirical and observational e...

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. Stool ova and parasites exam

    MedlinePlus

    ... stool sample. The parasites are associated with intestinal infections. ... An abnormal result means parasites or eggs are present in the stool. This is a sign of a parasitic infection, such as: Amebiasis Giardiasis Strongyloidiasis Taeniasis

  16. 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.

  17. Cranberry Resistance to Dodder Parasitism: Induced Chemical Defenses and Behavior of a Parasitic Plant.

    PubMed

    Tjiurutue, Muvari Connie; Sandler, Hilary A; Kersch-Becker, Monica F; Theis, Nina; Adler, Lynn A

    2016-02-01

    Parasitic plants are common in many ecosystems, where they can structure community interactions and cause major economic damage. For example, parasitic dodder (Cuscuta spp.) can cause up to 80-100 % yield loss in heavily infested cranberry (Vaccinium macrocarpon) patches. Despite their ecological and economic importance, remarkably little is known about how parasitic plants affect, or are affected by, host chemistry. To examine chemically-mediated interactions between dodder and its cranberry host, we conducted a greenhouse experiment asking whether: (1) dodder performance varies with cranberry cultivar; (2) cultivars differ in levels of phytohormones, volatiles, or phenolics, and whether such variation correlates with dodder parasitism; (3) dodder parasitism induced changes in phytohormones, volatiles, or phenolics, and whether the level of inducible response varied among cultivars. We used five cranberry cultivars to assess host attractiveness to dodder and dodder performance. Dodder performance did not differ across cultivars, but there were marginally significant differences in host attractiveness to dodder, with fewer dodder attaching to Early Black than to any other cultivar. Dodder parasitism induced higher levels of salicylic acid (SA) across cultivars. Cultivars differed in overall levels of flavonols and volatile profiles, but not phenolic acids or proanthocyanidins, and dodder attachment induced changes in several flavonols and volatiles. While cultivars differed slightly in resistance to dodder attachment, we did not find evidence of chemical defenses that mediate these interactions. However, induction of several defenses indicates that parasitism alters traits that could influence subsequent interactions with other species, thus shaping community dynamics. PMID:26905738

  18. 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

  19. Naturally acquired immunity to sexual stage P. falciparum parasites.

    PubMed

    Stone, Will J R; Dantzler, Kathleen W; Nilsson, Sandra K; Drakeley, Chris J; Marti, Matthias; Bousema, Teun; Rijpma, Sanna R

    2016-02-01

    Gametocytes are the specialized form of Plasmodium parasites that are responsible for human-to-mosquito transmission of malaria. Transmission of gametocytes is highly effective, but represents a biomass bottleneck for the parasite that has stimulated interest in strategies targeting the transmission stages separately from those responsible for clinical disease. Studying targets of naturally acquired immunity against transmission-stage parasites may reveal opportunities for novel transmission reducing interventions, particularly the development of a transmission blocking vaccine (TBV). In this review, we summarize the current knowledge on immunity against the transmission stages of Plasmodium. This includes immune responses against epitopes on the gametocyte-infected erythrocyte surface during gametocyte development, as well as epitopes present upon gametocyte activation in the mosquito midgut. We present an analysis of historical data on transmission reducing immunity (TRI), as analysed in mosquito feeding assays, and its correlation with natural recognition of sexual stage specific proteins Pfs48/45 and Pfs230. Although high antibody titres towards either one of these proteins is associated with TRI, the presence of additional, novel targets is anticipated. In conclusion, the identification of novel gametocyte-specific targets of naturally acquired immunity against different gametocyte stages could aid in the development of potential TBV targets and ultimately an effective transmission blocking approach.

  20. Parasitic food-borne and water-borne zoonoses.

    PubMed

    Macpherson, C N; Gottstein, B; Geerts, S

    2000-04-01

    Estimates suggest that almost half of the population of the world is affected by water-borne and food-borne infections. Parasitic food-borne and water-borne zoonoses contribute to this statistic by inflicting a heavy toll on human health and causing serious direct and indirect losses to the agricultural industry. The inability of non-industrialised countries to keep pace with population growth, migration from rural to urban areas and the demand for clean, safe drinking water and proper sanitation means that water-borne zoonoses will continue to exact an increasing burden of ill health in these countries. The consumption of raw or undercooked meat, crustaceans, and fresh-water fish and vegetables facilitates transmission of large numbers of zoonotic infections. The burgeoning tourist industry, emigration and the importation of food from endemic regions has resulted in increasing diagnosis of these infections in non-endemic countries. The authors examine the epidemiology, medical and veterinary public health importance and recent developments in diagnosis, treatment and control of the most important parasitic food-borne and water-borne infections.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. Malaria parasite epigenetics: when virulence and romance collide.

    PubMed

    Flueck, Christian; Baker, David A

    2014-08-13

    Blood-stage malaria parasites evade the immune system by switching the protein exposed at the surface of the infected erythrocyte. A small proportion of these parasites commits to sexual development to mediate mosquito transmission. Two studies in this issue (Brancucci et al., 2014; Coleman et al., 2014) shed light on shared epigenetic machinery underlying both of these events. PMID:25121742

  6. Epigenetic Regulation of Virulence Gene Expression in Parasitic Protozoa.

    PubMed

    Duraisingh, Manoj T; Horn, David

    2016-05-11

    Protozoan parasites colonize numerous metazoan hosts and insect vectors through their life cycles, with the need to respond quickly and reversibly while encountering diverse and often hostile ecological niches. To succeed, parasites must also persist within individuals until transmission between hosts is achieved. Several parasitic protozoa cause a huge burden of disease in humans and livestock, and here we focus on the parasites that cause malaria and African trypanosomiasis. Efforts to understand how these pathogens adapt to survive in varied host environments, cause disease, and transmit between hosts have revealed a wealth of epigenetic phenomena. Epigenetic switching mechanisms appear to be ideally suited for the regulation of clonal antigenic variation underlying successful parasitism. We review the molecular players and complex mechanistic layers that mediate the epigenetic regulation of virulence gene expression. Understanding epigenetic processes will aid the development of antiparasitic therapeutics. PMID:27173931

  7. The influence of biological rhythms on host-parasite interactions.

    PubMed

    Martinez-Bakker, Micaela; Helm, Barbara

    2015-06-01

    Biological rhythms, from circadian control of cellular processes to annual cycles in life history, are a main structural element of biology. Biological rhythms are considered adaptive because they enable organisms to partition activities to cope with, and take advantage of, predictable fluctuations in environmental conditions. A flourishing area of immunology is uncovering rhythms in the immune system of animals, including humans. Given the temporal structure of immunity, and rhythms in parasite activity and disease incidence, we propose that the intersection of chronobiology, disease ecology, and evolutionary biology holds the key to understanding host-parasite interactions. Here, we review host-parasite interactions while explicitly considering biological rhythms, and propose that rhythms: influence within-host infection dynamics and transmission between hosts, might account for diel and annual periodicity in host-parasite systems, and can lead to a host-parasite arms race in the temporal domain.

  8. Sexual reproduction and genetic exchange in parasitic protists.

    PubMed

    Weedall, Gareth D; Hall, Neil

    2015-02-01

    A key part of the life cycle of an organism is reproduction. For a number of important protist parasites that cause human and animal disease, their sexuality has been a topic of debate for many years. Traditionally, protists were considered to be primitive relatives of the 'higher' eukaryotes, which may have diverged prior to the evolution of sex and to reproduce by binary fission. More recent views of eukaryotic evolution suggest that sex, and meiosis, evolved early, possibly in the common ancestor of all eukaryotes. However, detecting sex in these parasites is not straightforward. Recent advances, particularly in genome sequencing technology, have allowed new insights into parasite reproduction. Here, we review the evidence on reproduction in parasitic protists. We discuss protist reproduction in the light of parasitic life cycles and routes of transmission among hosts.

  9. Sexual reproduction and genetic exchange in parasitic protists.

    PubMed

    Weedall, Gareth D; Hall, Neil

    2015-02-01

    A key part of the life cycle of an organism is reproduction. For a number of important protist parasites that cause human and animal disease, their sexuality has been a topic of debate for many years. Traditionally, protists were considered to be primitive relatives of the 'higher' eukaryotes, which may have diverged prior to the evolution of sex and to reproduce by binary fission. More recent views of eukaryotic evolution suggest that sex, and meiosis, evolved early, possibly in the common ancestor of all eukaryotes. However, detecting sex in these parasites is not straightforward. Recent advances, particularly in genome sequencing technology, have allowed new insights into parasite reproduction. Here, we review the evidence on reproduction in parasitic protists. We discuss protist reproduction in the light of parasitic life cycles and routes of transmission among hosts. PMID:25529755

  10. [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.

  11. Tropical parasitic lung diseases.

    PubMed

    Vijayan, V K

    2008-01-01

    Though parasitic lung diseases are frequently seen in tropical countries, these are being increasingly reported from many parts of the world due to globalisation and travel across the continents. In addition, the emergence of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection/acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS), the frequent use of immunosuppressive drugs in many diseases and the increasing numbers of organ transplantations have resulted in a renewed interest in many tropical parasitic lung diseases. This review outlines the recent developments in the pathogenesis, diagnosis and management of common and rare parasitic lung diseases.

  12. Eaten alive: cannibalism is enhanced by parasites.

    PubMed

    Bunke, Mandy; Alexander, Mhairi E; Dick, Jaimie T A; Hatcher, Melanie J; Paterson, Rachel; Dunn, Alison M

    2015-03-01

    Cannibalism is ubiquitous in nature and especially pervasive in consumers with stage-specific resource utilization in resource-limited environments. Cannibalism is thus influential in the structure and functioning of biological communities. Parasites are also pervasive in nature and, we hypothesize, might affect cannibalism since infection can alter host foraging behaviour. We investigated the effects of a common parasite, the microsporidian Pleistophora mulleri, on the cannibalism rate of its host, the freshwater amphipod Gammarus duebeni celticus. Parasitic infection increased the rate of cannibalism by adults towards uninfected juvenile conspecifics, as measured by adult functional responses, that is, the rate of resource uptake as a function of resource density. This may reflect the increased metabolic requirements of the host as driven by the parasite. Furthermore, when presented with a choice, uninfected adults preferred to cannibalize uninfected rather than infected juvenile conspecifics, probably reflecting selection pressure to avoid the risk of parasite acquisition. By contrast, infected adults were indiscriminate with respect to infection status of their victims, probably owing to metabolic costs of infection and the lack of risk as the cannibals were already infected. Thus parasitism, by enhancing cannibalism rates, may have previously unrecognized effects on stage structure and population dynamics for cannibalistic species and may also act as a selective pressure leading to changes in resource use. PMID:26064614

  13. 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

  14. Parasitic fauna of a yellow-legged gull colony in the island of Escombreras (South-eastern Mediterranean) in close proximity to a landfill site: potential effects on cohabiting species.

    PubMed

    Parejo, Sandra Hervías; Martínez-Carrasco, Carlos; Diaz, Julia I; Chitimia, Lidia; Ortiz, Juana; Mayo, Elvira; Ybáñez, Rocío Ruiz de

    2015-06-01

    We identified the ectoparasites and helminth fauna of yellow-legged gulls (Larus michahellis michahellis), breeding near to a solid waste landfill, and compared infection levels with those of other yellow-legged gull colonies. Moreover, we analysed correlations between parasites and sex and body condition of yellow-legged gulls, co-infections and the helminth community structure in order to propose the role of this species as reservoir of certain parasites. We also discuss the potential transmission of parasites between the yellow-legged gull and the endangered Audouin's gull, because interactions between these two species, such as kleptoparasitism and predation, occur frequently around colonies. The following species were recorded: Ornithodorus capensis (Arthropoda); Cosmocephalus obvelatus, Paracuaria adunca, Eucoleus contortus, Tetrameres skrjabini and Contracaecum sp. (Nematoda); Tetrabothrius cylindraceus (Cestoda); Acanthotrema armata, Cardiocephaloides longicollis and Ornithobilharzia intermedia (Digenea). Tetrabothrius cylindraceus, A. armata and O. capensis are new parasite records for this host. The dependence of yellow-legged-gulls on fishery discards is supported by the dominance of parasites transmitted through marine intermediate hosts with interest to fisheries in the study area. However, the shift in diet from natural resources to food derived from human activities seems not to affect the parasitic fauna of yellow-legged gull. Besides of direct physical contact between individuals in nesting and resting habitats, the high availability of fishery discards could increase the risk of Audouin's gulls to be infected by common parasites of yellow-legged gull. PMID:26203998

  15. 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