[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Neospora caninum (Apicomplexa; Sarcocystidae) is a protozoan that causes abortion in cattle, horses, sheep, and dogs as well as neurological and dermatological diseases in dogs. In the central nervous system of dogs infected with N. caninum, cysts were detected that exhibited gliosis and meningitis. Flavonoids are polyphenolic compounds that exhibit antibacterial, antiparasitic, antifungal, and antiviral properties. In this study, we investigated the effects of flavonoids in a well-established in vitro model of N. caninum infection in glial cell cultures. Glial cells were treated individually with 10 different flavonoids, and a subset of cultures was also infected with the NC-1 strain of N. caninum. All of the flavonoids tested induced an increase in the metabolism of glial cells and many of them increased nitrite levels in cultures infected with NC-1 compared to controls and uninfected cultures. Among the flavonoids tested, 3',4'-dihydroxyflavone, 3',4',5,7-tetrahydroxyflavone (luteolin), and 3,3',4',5,6-pentahydroxyflavone (quercetin), also inhibited parasitophorous vacuole formation. Taken together, our findings show that flavonoids modulate glial cell responses, increase NO secretion, and interfere with N. caninum infection and proliferation.
The Korean Journal of Parasitology 12/2014; 52(6):613-9. · 0.88 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Neospora caninum causes cattle abortion and neurological symptoms in dogs. Although infection is usually asymptomatic, classical neurological symptoms of neosporosis may be associated with encephalitis. This parasite can grow in brain endothelial cells without markedly damages, but it can modulate the cellular environment to promote its survival in the brain. In previous studies, we described that IFN-γ decreased the parasite proliferation and down regulated nitric oxide (NO) production in astrocyte/microglia cultures. However, it remains unclear how glial cells respond to N. caninum in the presence of neurons. Therefore, we evaluated the effect of 300 IU/mL IFN-γ or 1.0 mg/mL of LPS on infected rat neuron/glial co-cultures. After 72 h of infection, LPS did not affect the mitochondrial dehydrogenase activity. However, IFN-γ decreased this parameter by 15.5 and 12.0% in uninfected and infected cells, respectively. The number of tachyzoites decreased 54.1 and 44.3% in cells stimulated with IFN-γ and LPS, respectively. Infection or LPS treatment did not change NO production. On the other hand, IFN-γ induced increased nitrite release in 55.7%, but the infection reverted this induction. IL-10 levels increased only in infected cultures (treated or not), meanwhile PGE2 release was improved in IFN-γ/infected or LPS/infected cells. Although IFN-γ significantly reduced the neurite length in uninfected cultures (42.64%; p < 0.001), this inflammatory cytokine reverted the impairment of neurite outgrowth induced by the infection (81.39%). The results suggest a neuroprotective potential response of glia to N. caninum infection under IFN-γ stimulus. This observation contributes to understand the immune mediated mechanisms of neosporosis in central nervous system (CNS).
Frontiers in Cellular Neuroscience 01/2014; 8:340. · 4.18 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Neospora caninum causes abortion in cattle and neurological disorders in dogs. The immunological response to this parasite has been described as predominantly of the Th1 type. However, infected primary glial cell cultures release IL-10 and IL-6 but not IFN-γ. This suggests a rather protective response of the glia to avoid inflammatory damage of the nervous tissue. In this study, we investigated the effects of pro-inflammatory cytokines in primary mixed cultures of rat astrocytes and microglia infected with N. caninum. The cells were treated with either IFN-γ, TNF-α, anti-IL-10 or anti-TGF-β antibodies and were infected with parasite tachyzoites 24 h later. Trypan Blue exclusion and MTT assays were performed to test cell viability. It was observed that cytokines, antibody treatment and in vitro infection did not reveal significant cell death in the various culture conditions. Treatment with 50, 150 and 300 IU/mL of either IFN-γ or TNF-α reduced tachyzoites numbers in cultures by 36.7%, 54.8% and 63.8% for IFN-γ and by 27.6%, 38.4% and 29.7% for TNF-α, respectively. In the absence of IL-10 and TGF-β, tachyzoite numbers were reduced by 52.8% and 41.5%, respectively. While IFN-γ (150 and 300 IU/mL) increased the nitrite levels in uninfected cells, parasite infection seemed to reduce the nitrite levels, and this reduction was more expressive in IFN-γ-infected cells, thereby suggesting an inhibitory effect on its production. However, TNF-α, IL-10 and TGF-β did not affect the nitrite levels. Basal PGE(2) levels also increased by 17% and 25%; 78% and 13% in uninfected and infected cells treated with IFN-γ or anti-TGF-β, respectively. Nevertheless, the antibody neutralization of IL-10 reduced PGE(2) release significantly. These results highlight the possibility of a combined effect between the IFN-γ and parasite evasion strategies and show that the IFN-γ, TNF-α, IL-10 and TGF-β cytokines participate in parasite proliferation control mechanisms.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Associations among parameters commonly used as markers of infection by Leishmania sp., or of susceptibility to visceral leishmaniasis, were investigated in 325 stray dogs from an area where this disease is endemic. Evidence of infection (presence of Leishmania in splenic cultures, positive leishmanin skin test (LST) or detection of anti-Leishmania antibody activity in the serum) was found in 57% of the animals. Both evidence of weight loss (chi(2)-test, P=0.0005) and presence of specific antibody activity in the serum (chi(2)-test, P<0.0001) were directly associated with positive splenic culture. The frequencies of animals with positive splenic culture were directly correlated with the intensities of antibody activity in the serum as measured by ELISA (relative risk of 3.4 for animals with moderate antibody levels and relative risk of 8.43 for animals with high-antibody levels). A negative association was observed between positive leishmanin skin test results and emaciation (chi(2), P=0.0089). Furthermore, animals with positive splenic cultures and negative leishmanin skin test results had higher levels of total serum IgG (Kruskal-Wallis test, P=0.001) and IgG2 (Kruskal-Wallis test, P=0.05) than animals with negative splenic cultures, and were more emaciated than animals with negative LST results and positive splenic cultures. The data presented herein suggest that associating these common parameters may improve their performance in predicting susceptibility to canine visceral leishmaniasis.
Veterinary Immunology and Immunopathology 06/2008; 123(3-4):251-9. · 1.75 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Neospora caninum infection provokes neurological disorders, recurrent abortion and death in dogs and cattle. Dogs are both intermediate and definitive host of N. caninum. Thus, the development of sensitive and specific immunoassays to diagnose canine neosporosis is essential to control this disease. This work investigated serum anti-neosporal IgG and IgE antibodies in 140 dogs represented by 30 healthy animals (group I), 11 dogs showing acute N. caninum infection (group II), 50 urban dogs with serological evidence of canine neosporosis in indirect fluorescent antibody test (IFAT) (group III) and 49 urban dogs without clinical and laboratory evidences of neosporosis (group IV). Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) and western immunoblotting, both using a soluble N. caninum tachyzoite antigen (SNA), investigated these two isotypes of antibodies, while a Urea-ELISA measured the avidity of the IgG antibodies. Anti-Toxoplasma gondii IgG antibodies were also investigated in the animals. Anti-neosporal IgG was found in all animals from groups II and III, whereas 32.7% (16/49) of dogs from group IV were reactive. IgG antibodies of low avidity were demonstrated in dogs from group II (median 35.3%), while animals from groups III and IV had IgG antibodies of high avidity (medians of 61.5% and 61.7% respectively). IgE antibodies were found in four (13.3%) and five (16.6%) dogs from groups III and IV respectively. Dogs presenting acute infection (group II) or chronic infection (group III) had IgG antibodies to several neosporal antigens, mainly of 29-30 and 35 kDa, while 13 of 16 dogs from group IV recognized antigens from 14 to 170 kDa. Antibodies to T. gondii were detected in 36 of 50 (72%) sera from group III and 25 of 49 (51%) sera from group IV. We concluded that IgG-ELISA and Urea-ELISA with SNA may substitute for IFAT in both laboratory routine and epidemiological studies of canine neosporosis.
Zoonoses and Public Health 02/2007; 54(9-10):387-92. · 2.07 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The proteinogram of six 12 month-old Alpine goats, intensively raised and naturally infected by gastrointestinal parasites, was evaluated. Blood and feces samples of each animal were monthly collected. Total serum protein and their fractions were determined by agarose gel eletrophoresis, using Tris buffer, pH 9.2. The identified protein fractions were albumin, alfa-globulin, beta1-globulin, beta2-globulin and gama-globulin, whose average and standard deviation (g/dl) were, respectively: 2.35±0.39, 0.69±0.36, 0.70±0.08, 0.48±0.08 and 1.52±0.41. It was not observed significative correlation (P>0.05), according to the Spearman non-parametric test, either between the Strongyloides eggs count per gram of feces or the Haemonchus spp. larval count per gram of feces and the fraction electrophorectly variable.
Arquivo Brasileiro de Medicina Veterinária e Zootecnia 04/2006; 58(2):279-282. · 0.20 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Visceral leishmaniasis (VL) presents vigorous Th2 immune response, which is mainly characterized in human by augmented expression of Il-4, polyclonal B cell activation, intense hypergammaglobulinemia and production of antileishmanial IgE antibodies. However, few aspects of this type of immune response have been demonstrated in studies of canine visceral leishmaniasis (CVL). This work investigated by ELISA and western immunoblotting the production of antileishmanial IgE antibodies (IgE Ab) in symptomatic and asymptomatic dogs naturally infected by Leishmania chagasi, and also compared this IgE immune response with those of IgG, IgG1 and IgG2 antibodies. Three groups of dogs were evaluated: 12 VL dogs with positive Leishmania biopsies (GI), 44 dogs with a positive leishmanial indirect fluorescent antibody test (IFAT), 30 of them presenting clinical signs of VL and 14 asymptomatic (GII) and 21 healthy dogs living in kennels located in leishmaniasis endemic areas (GIII), which were seronegative in the IFAT. Eighteen dogs from an area free of CVL were used as controls (GIV). Antileishmanial IgE antibodies were detected in 4 of 12 VL dogs from group I (33%) and 14 of 30 symptomatic dogs from group II (47%). While all asymptomatic dogs from group II (100%) were seronegative for antileishmanial IgE Ab, 7 of 21 healthy animals from group III (33%) had these immunoglobulins. A strong correlation was verified between antileishmanial IgG and IgG2 antibody titers in all symptomatic dogs, but only 15 of these 42 animals (36%) produced simultaneously IgE, IgG, IgG1 and IgG2 antibodies to Leishmania. IgE antibodies recognized leishmanial antigens of 12, 36, 61, 81 and 118 KDD, while a more complex pattern of immunoblotting was verified mainly for IgG and IgG2 antibodies from symptomatic animals. IgG1 and IgG2 antibodies shared the recognition of L. chagasi polypeptides of 118, 81, 61, 36, 18, 14 and 12 KDD, being more intense the immune reactions between IgG1 Ab and the leishmanial polypeptides of 61 and 36 KDD, and also between IgG2 antibodies and the antigens of 26, 21, 18, 14 and 12 KDD. Our results suggest that the polyclonal production of antileishmanial antibodies that includes IgE Ab could characterize a Th2 immune response in CVL and can help the laboratory diagnosis of this disease.
Veterinary Immunology and Immunopathology 07/2005; 106(1-2):151-8. · 1.75 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Human visceral leishmaniasis is endemic in the northeast of Brazil, where the domestic dog is an important parasite reservoir in the infectious cycle of Leishmania chagasi. In this study, we evaluated the clinical signs of canine visceral leishmaniasis (CVL), serum protein profile and the antileishmanial IgG antibody production in 86 dogs living in northeast endemic areas of leishmaniasis. Thirty dogs from a leishmaniasis-free area were used as a control group. The major clinical signs of CVL seen were emaciation and skin ulcers (80%), followed by onychogryphosis and conjunctivitis (73%). Depilation was observed in 60% of animals while lymphadenomegaly, splenomegaly, liver enlargement or kidney involvement was less frequent (< or =20%). VL seropositive dogs presented with serum hyperproteinemia, hypoalbuminemia, hypergammaglobulinemia and decreased albumin/globulin ratio. A lower sensitivity and higher specificity was observed for promastigote indirect fluorescent antibody test (IFAT) (83 and 100%, respectively) compared with enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) (94 and 90%), which uses a crude extract of Leishmania. There was a positive correlation between IFAT and ELISA titers of antileishmanial IgG antibodies (Spearman test, P < 0.05), which was augmented in CVL dogs. This study found that the determination of serum protein, A/G ratio and the use of two different leishmanial serological tests like IFAT and ELISA are essential in CVL screening.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Neospora caninum was isolated from the brain of an adult dog in Brazil. Cerebral tissue from the dog was inoculated into Mongolian gerbils. Gerbils were euthanized 3-4 months later and bradyzoite-containing tissue cysts were observed in their brains. N. caninum (designated NC-Bahia) was isolated in cell culture after inoculation with tissue cysts from the gerbils. The identity of the parasite was confirmed by immunohistochemical examination and polymerase chain reaction (PCR). Gerbils may be a useful alternative to immunosuppressed mice for isolation of N. caninum and for production of encysted bradyzoites.