[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The potential of various quantitative lateral flow (LF) based assays utilizing up-converting phosphor (UCP) reporters for the diagnosis of schistosomiasis is reviewed including recent developments. Active infections are demonstrated by screening for the presence of regurgitated worm antigens (genus specific polysaccharides), whereas anti-Schistosoma antibodies may indicate ongoing as well as past infections. The circulating anodic antigen (CAA) in serum or urine (and potentially also saliva) is identified as the marker that may allow detection of single-worm infections. Quantitation of antigen levels is a reliable method to study effects of drug administration, worm burden and anti-fecundity mechanisms. Moreover, the ratio of CAA and circulating cathodic antigen (CCA) is postulated to facilitate identification of either Schistosoma mansoni or
Schistosoma haematobium infections. The UCP-LF assays allow simultaneous detection of multiple targets on a single strip, a valuable feature for antibody detection assays. Although antibody detection in endemic regions is not a useful tool to diagnose active infections, it gains potential when the ratio of different classes of antibody specific for the parasite/disease can be determined. The UCP-LF antibody assay format allows this type of multiplexing, including testing a linear array of up to 20 different targets. Multiple test spots would allow detection of specific antibodies, e.g. against different Schistosoma species or other pathogens as soil-transmitted helminths. Concluding, the different UCP-LF based assays for diagnosis of schistosomiasis
provide a collection of tests with relatively low complexity and high sensitivity, covering the full range of
diagnostics needed in control programmes for mapping, screening and monitoring.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Plasmodium falciparum Pfs25 antigen, expressed on the surface of zygotes and ookinetes, is one of the leading targets for the development of a malaria transmission-blocking vaccine (TBV). Our laboratory has been evaluating DNA plasmid based Pfs25 vaccine in mice and non-human primates. Previously, we established that in vivo electroporation (EP) delivery is an effective method to improve the immunogenicity of DNA vaccine encoding Pfs25 in mice. In order to optimize the in vivo EP procedure and test for its efficacy in more clinically relevant larger animal models, we employed in vivo EP to evaluate the immune response and protective efficacy of Pfs25 encoding DNA vaccine in nonhuman primates (olive baboons, Papio anubis). The results showed that at a dose of 2.5mg DNA vaccine, antibody responses were significantly enhanced with EP as compared to without EP resulting in effective transmission blocking efficiency. Similar immunogenicity enhancing effect of EP was also observed with lower doses (0.5mg and 1mg) of DNA plasmids. Further, final boosting with a single dose of recombinant Pfs25 protein resulted in dramatically enhanced antibody titers and significantly increased functional transmission blocking efficiency. Our study suggests priming with DNA vaccine via EP along with protein boost regimen as an effective method to elicit potent immunogenicity of malaria DNA vaccines in nonhuman primates and provides the basis for further evaluation in human volunteers.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: Drug resistance against first-line antimalarials warrants search for new lead compounds and repurposing of drugs such as methotrexate. Animal models are required for preclinical drug development before clinical testing. This study aimed to develop a preclinical drug development system in baboons infected with Plasmodium knowlesi. METHODS: Protocols for drug administration, pharmacokinetics, clinical chemistry and haematology were developed in the baboon model. Baboons were infected with P. knowlesi and methotrexate administered orally for 5 days. Clinical signs, parasitaemia, gross and histopathology examinations were conducted to determine effect of methotrexate in baboons. RESULTS: No major clinical chemistry, haematology and pathological changes attributable to methotrexate were observed. Parasitaemia suppression of 77.67% was achieved at a methotrexate dose of 3.0 mg/kg. CONCLUSIONS: A protocol for preclinical drug development in the baboon was optimized. Methotrexate suppressed P. knowlesi malaria in baboons. These findings warrant further characterization of methotrexate for use in combination therapy.
Journal of Medical Primatology 01/2013; · 1.11 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Babesia microti-like parasites have been reported to infect captive non-human primates (NHPs). However, studies on the prevalence of Babesia spp. in free-ranging NHPs are lacking. This investigation aimed at determining the prevalence of B. microti in wild-caught Kenyan NHPs. In total, 125 animals were studied, including 65 olive baboons (Papio cynocephalus anubis) and 60 African green monkeys ([AGMs] Chlorocebus aethiops). Nested polymerase chain reaction targeting Babesia β-tubulin genes was used to diagnose infection prevalence. Results indicated a prevalence of 22% (27/125) B. microti infection in free-ranging NHPs in Kenya. There was no statistically significant difference in B. microti infection prevalence between baboons and AGMs or male and female animals. This is the first report of the presence and prevalence of B. microti in free-ranging Kenyan NHPs.
Journal of Parasitology 02/2011; 97(1):63-7. · 1.32 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Malaria caused by Plasmodium falciparum is responsible for nearly 1 million deaths annually. Although much progress has been made in the recent past, the development of a safe, effective and affordable malaria vaccine has remained a challenge. A vaccine targeting sexual stages of the parasite will not only reduce malaria transmission by female Anopheles mosquitoes, but also reduce the spread of parasites able to evade immunity elicited by vaccines targeting pre-erythrocytic and erythrocytic asexual stages. We focused our studies on Pfs48/45, a protein expressed in the sexual stages developing within an infected person and one of the most promising transmission-blocking vaccine targets. Functional immunogenicity of Pfs48/45 protein requires proper disulfide bond formation, consequently evaluation of the immunogenicity of recombinant full-length Pfs48/45 has been hampered by difficulties in expressing properly folded protein to date. Here we present a strategy involving harmonization of codons for successful recombinant expression of full length Pfs48/45 in Escherichia coli. The purified protein, designated CH-rPfs48/45, was recognized by monoclonal antibodies directed against reduction-sensitive conformational epitopes in the native protein. Immunogenicity evaluation in mice revealed potent transmission blocking activity in membrane feeding assays of antisera elicited by CH-rPfs48/45 formulated in three different adjuvants, i.e. Alum, Montanide ISA-51 and complete Freund's adjuvant. More importantly, CH-rPfs48/45 formulated with Montanide ISA-51 when administered to nonhuman primates (Olive baboons, Papio anubis) resulted in uniformly high antibody responses (ELISA titers >2 million) in all five animals. Sera from these animals displayed greater than 93% blocking activity in membrane feeding assays after a single immunization, reaching nearly complete blocking after a booster dose of the vaccine. The relative ease of expression and induction of potent transmission blocking antibodies in mice and nonhuman primates provide a compelling rationale and basis for development of a CH-rPfs48/45 based malaria transmission blocking vaccine.
PLoS ONE 02/2009; 4(7):e6352. · 3.53 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The glycoproteins secreted by Schistosoma mansoni cercariae and eggs play a key role in parasite transmission to and from the mammalian host. We used secreted preparations from these two life cycle stages to characterize the reactivity of sera from baboons exposed to normal and/or attenuated cercariae, in comparison with somatic antigen preparations and defined glycan epitopes. Periodate treatment of native antigens revealed that responses to the two secreted preparations were overwhelmingly directed against glycans rather than peptides. Considerable immunological cross-reactivity between glycans in the two preparations was inferred from a comparison of sera from infected-only and vaccinated-only animals, predominantly exposed to egg and cercarial secretions, respectively. In contrast, when somatic antigen preparations derived from adult worms or eggs were used to probe sera, a stronger antipeptide response was seen that accounted for up to 66% of maximum reactivity. Probing of sera with defined glycan structures confirmed the time course of responses and the presence of cross-reactive epitopes. In spite of the intense antiglycan response elicited in mice by administration of live eggs, no protection against a cercarial challenge was observed. Our data further support the hypothesis that antiglycan responses are a smokescreen with negligible protective potential.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In human schistosomiasis mansoni, it is impossible to directly determine worm burden and hence infection intensity, so surrogates must be used. Studies on non-human primates revealed a linear relationship between worm burden and three surrogates, faecal egg output, circulating anodic and circulating cathodic antigens. By regression, the thresholds of detection were determined as 40, 24 and 47 worms, respectively. These observations provide a quantitative basis for the contention that low intensity infections in humans are being missed. The significance for estimates of disease prevalence, evaluation of the effects of chemotherapy and the implementation of vaccine trials is emphasised.
International Journal for Parasitology 11/2006; 36(12):1241-4. · 3.64 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The high level of protection elicited in rodents and primates by the radiation-attenuated schistosome vaccine gives hope that a human vaccine relying on equivalent mechanisms is feasible. In humans, a vaccine would be undoubtedly administered to previously or currently infected individuals. We have therefore used the olive baboon to investigate whether vaccine-induced immunity is compromised by a schistosome infection. We showed that neither a preceding infection, terminated by chemotherapy, nor an ongoing chronic infection affected the level of protection. Whilst IgM responses to vaccination or infection were short-lived, IgG responses rose with each successive exposure to the vaccine. Such a rise was obscured by responses to egg deposition in already-infected animals. In human trials it would be necessary to use indirect estimates of infection intensity to determine vaccine efficacy. Using worm burden as the definitive criterion, we demonstrated that the surrogate measures, fecal eggs, and circulating antigens, consistently overestimated protection. Regression analysis of the surrogate parameters on worm burden revealed that the principal reason for overestimation was the threshold sensitivity of the assays. If we extrapolate our findings to human schistosomiasis mansoni, it is clear that more sensitive indirect measures of infection intensity are required for future vaccine trials.
Memórias do Instituto Oswaldo Cruz 10/2006; 101 Suppl 1:369-72. · 1.36 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A current or previous schistosome infection might compromise the efficacy of a schistosome vaccine administered to humans. We have therefore investigated the influence of infection on vaccination, using the baboon as the model host and irradiated Schistosoma mansoni cercariae as the vaccine. Protection, determined from worm burdens in test and controls, was not diminished when vaccination was superimposed on a chronic infection, nor was it diminished when it followed a primary infection terminated by chemotherapy. Protection was also assessed indirectly based on fecal egg output and circulating antigen levels, as would be the case in human vaccine trials. In almost all instances, these methods overestimated protection, sometimes with discrepancies of >20%. The overwhelming immune response to egg deposition in infected animals made it difficult to discern a contribution from vaccination. Nevertheless, the well-documented immunomodulation of immune responses that follows egg deposition did not appear to impede the protective mechanisms elicited by vaccination with attenuated cercariae.
Infection and Immunity 08/2006; 74(7):3979-86. · 4.07 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The baboon model of schistosomiasis has been used extensively to study parasite biology, immune responses and pathological manifestations after natural and experimental infections. The body of knowledge accumulated so far has placed this animal model at the pinnacle in the continuing search for new interventions and might hold the key to the development of new anti-schistosome vaccines. In this review paper, we highlight previous and recent studies that have elevated the baboon to be the model of choice for schistosomiasis research. In particular, the long-term studies of re-infection after chemotherapy as well as the interaction between vaccination, chemotherapy and infection are highlighted.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Five exposures of baboons to the attenuated schistosome vaccine gave greater protection than three exposures, but this attenuation was not sustained when challenge was delayed. Within the scope of the data collected, fecal egg counts and circulating antigen levels did not accurately predict the observed worm burdens. Levels of immunoglobulin G at challenge correlated best with protection, but there was little evidence of a recall response.
Infection and Immunity 10/2004; 72(9):5526-9. · 4.07 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The morbidity and immunological response to naturally acquired Schistosoma mansoni infection in a population of wild baboons ( n=28) was investigated. Serum obtained from the baboons was assayed for adult worm (SWAP) and schistosome egg (SEA)-specific immunoglobulin (Ig)G and IgM antibodies. The animals were euthanised, perfused to recover adult schistosome worms and schistosome-related pathology was assessed. Nineteen animals (68%) had high serum levels of SWAP-specific IgG antibodies and 15 (54%) had high levels of SEA-specific IgG antibodies. Nine animals (32%) had high levels of SWAP-specific IgM antibodies and six (21%) had high levels of SEA-specific IgM antibodies. Mild schistosome-related pathology was noted in 18 animals (64%). However, adult schistosome worms were recovered from only three animals (10%). The results indicate a high exposure to schistosomiasis for free-ranging baboons inhabiting an endemic area, as evidenced by the high prevalence of parasite-specific humoral antibody response. However, this high exposure is associated with low worm recovery and mild pathology. In addition, parasite-specific IgM antibodies provided a good indicator of an active schistosome infection.
Parasitology Research 11/2003; 91(4):344-8. · 2.85 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The complex nature of the schistosome parasite and its interaction with the mammalian host necessitates the continued use of live intact animal models in schistosomiasis research. This review acknowledges this necessity and highlights some of the important insights into the pathogenesis of the disease that have been gained from using various animal models. The use of non-human primates as more relevant models of human schistosomiasis is stated. In addition, the importance of animal welfare consideration when using primates for research is emphasized. Finally, some guidelines for the refined capture, handling and early humane endpoints for non-human primates to be used in experimental schistosomiasis are suggested.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Recently, we observed that repeated Schistosoma mansoni infection and treatment boost Th2-associated cytokines and TGF-beta production in baboons. Other studies have shown that some chronically infected baboons develop hepatic fibrosis. Because TGF-beta, IL-2, and IL-4 have been shown to participate in development of fibrosis in murine schistosomiasis, the present study examined whether repeated exposure stimulates hepatic fibrosis in olive baboons. To test this hypothesis, animals were exposed to similar numbers of S. mansoni cercariae given once or repeatedly. After 19 wk of infection, animals were cured with praziquantel and reinfected once or multiple times. Hepatic granulomatous inflammation and fibrosis were assessed from serial liver biopsies taken at weeks 6, 9, and 16 after reinfection and egg Ag (schistosome egg Ag)-specific cytokine production by PBMC were measured simultaneously. Periportal fibroblast infiltration and extracellular matrix deposition (fibrosis), angiogenesis, and biliary duct hyperplasia developed in some animals. The presence and amount of fibrosis directly correlated with the frequency of exposure. Fibrosis was not associated with adult worm or tissue egg burden. The amount of fibrosis correlated with increased schistosome egg Ag-driven TGF-beta at 6, 9, and 16 wk postinfection (rs = 0.9, 0.8, and 0.54, respectively, all p < 0.01) and IL-4 production (p = 0.02) at 16 wk postinfection and not IFN-gamma, IL-2, IL-5, or IL-10. These data suggest that repeated exposure is a risk factor for periportal fibrosis by a mechanism that primes lymphocytes to produce increased levels of profibrotic molecules that include TGF-beta and IL-4.
The Journal of Immunology 05/2000; 164(10):5337-43. · 5.52 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Variations in exposure and treatment may contribute to heterogeneity in immunity and granuloma-induced pathology in human schistosomiasis. To examine this hypothesis, olive baboons were either repeatedly infected with Schistosoma mansoni cercariae or received an equivalent dose in a single infection. They were then cured with praziquantel and reinfected with a single exposure. Serial liver biopsies were obtained throughout the course of the experiment, and cytokine responses by peripheral blood mononuclear cells were measured every 2 to 3 weeks. Reinfection after treatment resulted in a twofold-smaller granuloma size at 6 and 9 weeks after infection compared to the size for the same period after primary infection (P < 0.001) but had no effect at 16 or 19 weeks postinfection. The pattern of exposure did not influence granuloma size. During primary infection schistosome-soluble egg antigen (SEA)-induced cytokine production correlated with granulomatous inflammation. Cytokine levels peaked during the acute infection, declined with chronic infection, and became undetectable after treatment. Reinfection after treatment stimulated a two- to three-fold increase in SEA-specific interleukin-4 (IL-4), IL-5, IL-10, IL-2, and transforming growth factor beta (TGF-beta) production and a marked rise in SEA-specific immunoglobulin E (IgE) and IgG regardless of the type of exposure. Cytokine production was significantly greater in repeatedly exposed animals (P < 0.001). SEA-induced gamma interferon production, however, did not increase with reinfection after treatment. SEA-induced TGF-beta was the only cytokine that remained elevated as the infection become chronic and correlated with diminished hepatic granuloma size, implying its participation in down-modulation. These studies demonstrate that baboons partially retain their ability to down-modulate the granulomatous response after treatment.
Infection and Immunity 12/1999; 67(12):6565-71. · 4.07 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Allergic-type immune responses, particularly immunoglobulin E (IgE), correlate with protective immunity in human schistosomiasis. To better understand the mechanisms of parasite elimination we examined the immune correlates of protection in baboons (Papio cynocephalus anubis), which are natural hosts for Schistosoma mansoni and also develop allergic-type immunity with infection. In one experiment, animals were exposed to a single infection (1,000 cercariae) or were exposed multiple times (100 cercariae per week for 10 weeks) and subsequently were cured with praziquantel prior to challenge with 1, 000 cercariae. Singly and multiply infected animals mounted 59 and 80% reductions in worm burden, respectively (P < 0.01). In a second experiment, animals were inoculated with S. mansoni ova and recombinant human interleukin 12 (IL-12). This produced a 37 to 39% reduction in adult worm burden after challenge (P < 0.05). Parasite-specific IgG, IgE, IgM, and peripheral blood cytokine production were evaluated. The only immune correlate of protection in both experiments was levels of soluble adult worm antigen (SWAP)-specific IgE in serum at the time of challenge infection and/or 6 weeks later. Baboons repeatedly infected with cercariae or immunized with ova and IL-12 developed two- to sixfold-greater levels of SWAP-specific IgE in serum than did controls, and this correlated with reductions in worm burden (r2, -0.40 to -0.64; P, <0. 01). Thus, in baboons and unlike mice, adult worm-specific IgE is uniquely associated with acquired immunity to S. mansoni infection. This similar association of parasite-specific IgE and protection among primates infected with schistosomiasis, along with similar pathology, anatomy, and genetic make-up, indicates that baboons provide an excellent permissive experimental model for better understanding the mechanisms of innate and acquired immunity to schistosomiasis in humans.
Infection and Immunity 03/1999; 67(2):636-42. · 4.07 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The ability of the host to modulate the granulomatous response around ova trapped in tissues determines the severity of disease to schistosome infections. Multiple factors may affect this modulation such as age, prior sensitization, history of treatment, and exposure. The present study examines the effect of different patterns of exposure on the sequential development and modulation of granuloma in juvenile Kenyan baboons (Papio cynocephalus anubis) after receiving either a single infection (SI) of 1500 Schistosoma mansoni cercariae or multiple infections (MI) of 150 cercariae, once a week for 10 weeks. Prior to sacrifice at 17 weeks postinfection (p.i.), liver biopsies were obtained at Weeks 0, 6, 9, and 13. SI animals experienced more prolonged dysentery and greater weight loss compared to MI animals. Peak hepatic granuloma size (mean 355 +/- 65.5 microns diameter), the maximum percentage of eosinophils in the granuloma (61%), and severity of disease occurred at 6 weeks in SI animals. Peak granuloma size and pathology did not appear until Week 9 in the MI animals (mean 317.7 +/- 67.3 microns diameter). Granuloma size, tissue eosinophilia, and gross pathology diminished by Week 13 p.i. and were virtually absent in both groups by Week 17. The decrease in granuloma size, pathology, and clinical illness resolved more rapidly in the MI baboons. Singly infected baboons were more susceptible to infection (83 +/- 12% of cercariae developed into adult worms) compared to MI baboons (67 +/- 7%, P < 0.01). Eggs recovered from tissues at necropsy were primarily confined to the large intestine (85% of total egg recovered), followed by liver (10%) and small intestine (5%). Significantly more eggs were recovered from MI compared to SI animals, indicating a higher fecundity of female worms in the MI baboons. These date demonstrate that granulomatous responses develop more slowly and modulate more rapidly with repeated infection compared to a single heavy infection and suggest the type of exposure may affect the pathologic response to infection.