[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Trichinella spp. are zoonotic parasites transmitted to humans by the consumption of raw or insufficiently cooked meat of different animal species. The most common source of infection for humans is meat from pigs and wild boar (Sus scrofa). The aim of the present work was to evaluate the incidence of Trichinella spp. infections in wild boar hunted in Latvia over a 38 year interval (1976 to 2013).
A total 120,609 wild boars were individually tested for Trichinella spp. by trichinoscopy and, in case of negativity, by artificial digestion of 25 g muscles, in the 1976-2005 period, and by artificial digestion of 25-50 g muscles in the 2006-2013 period. Trichinella spp. larvae were identified at the species level by multiplex PCR.
In the study period, the overall prevalence of infected wild boar was 2.5%. Trichinella britovi was the predominant (90%) species. The incidence of Trichinella spp. infection in wild boar exhibited two different trends. From 1976 to 1987, the incidence of infected/hunted wild boar increased from 0.23% to 2.56%, then it decreased to 0.19 in 1994. Thereafter, the incidence fluctuated between 0.05% and 0.37%. A statistically significant (P < 0.05) correlation (r = 0.54; p = 0.0199) was found between the trend of Trichinella spp. incidence in hunted wild boar and the number of snow cover days from 1976 to 1993. From 1997 to 2013, the estimated wild boar population of Latvia increased by 4.9 times and the hunting bag by 9.7 times, with a stable incidence of Trichinella spp. in the population. It follows that the biomass of Trichinella spp. larvae and of T. britovi, in particular, increased.
The incidence trends of Trichinella spp. in wild boar could be related to the role played by the snow in reducing the thermal shock and muscle putrefaction which increases the survival of the larvae in muscle tissues of carrion in the 1976-1993 period; and, in the 1997-2013 period, to the increased biomass of Trichinella spp. due to the increased carnivore populations, which are the main reservoirs of these parasites.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Several species of protozoa cause acute or chronic gastroenteritis in humans, worldwide. The burden of disease is particularly high among children living in developing areas of the world, where transmission is favored by lower hygienic standards and scarce availability of safe water. However, asymptomatic infection and polyparasitism are also commonly observed in poor settings. Here, we investigated the prevalence of intestinal protozoa in two small fishing villages, Porto Said (PS) and Santa Maria da Serra (SM), situated along the river Tietê in the State of São Paolo, Brazil. The villages lack basic public infrastructure and services, such as roads, public water supply, electricity and public health services.
Multiple fecal samples were collected from 88 individuals in PS and from 38 individuals in SM, who were asymptomatic at the time of sampling and had no recent history of diarrheal disease. To gain insights into potential transmission routes, 49 dog fecal samples (38 from PS and 11 from SM) and 28 river water samples were also collected. All samples were tested by microscopy and PCR was used to genotype Giardia duodenalis, Blastocystis sp., Dientamoeba fragilis and Cryptosporidium spp.
By molecular methods, the most common human parasite was Blastocystis sp. (prevalence, 45% in PS and 71% in SM), followed by D. fragilis (13.6% in PS, and 18.4% in SM) and G. duodenalis (18.2% in PS and 7.9% in SM); Cryptosporidium spp. were not detected. Sequence analysis revealed large genetic variation among Blastocystis samples, with subtypes (STs) 1 and 3 being predominant, and with the notable absence of ST4. Among G. duodenalis samples, assemblages A and B were detected in humans, whereas assemblages A, C and D were found in dogs. Finally, all D. fragilis samples from humans were genotype 1. A single dog was found infected with Cryptosporidium canis. River water samples were negative for the investigated parasites.
This study showed a high carriage of intestinal parasites in asymptomatic individuals from two poor Brazilian villages, and highlighted a large genetic variability of Blastocystis spp. and G. duodenalis.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The flagellated protozoan Giardia duodenalis is a worldwide parasite causing giardiasis, an acute and chronic diarrheal disease. Metabolism in G. duodenalis has a limited complexity thus making metabolic enzymes ideal targets for drug development. However, only few metabolic pathways (i.e, carbohydrates) have been described so far. Recently, the parasite homolog of the mitochondrial-like glycerol-3-phosphate dehydrogenase (gG3PD) has been identified among the interactors of the g14-3-3 protein. G3PD is involved in glycolysis, electron transport, glycerophospholipids metabolism and hyperosmotic stress response, and is emerging as promising target in tumor treatment. In this work, we demonstrate that gG3PD is a functional flavoenzyme able to convert glycerol-3-phosphate into dihydroxyacetone phosphate and that its activity and the intracellular glycerol level increase during encystation. Taking advantage of co-immunoprecipitation assays and deletion mutants, we provide evidence that gG3PD and g14-3-3 interact at the trophozoite stage, the intracellular localization of gG3PD is stage dependent and it partially co-localizes with mitosomes during cyst development. Finally, we demonstrate that the gG3PD activity is affected by the antitumoral compound 6-(7-nitro-2,1,3-benzoxadiazol-4-ylthio)hexanol (NBDHEX), that results more effective in vitro at killing G. duodenalis trophozoites than the reference drug metronidazole. Overall, our results highlight the involvement of gG3PD in processes crucial for the parasite survival thus proposing this enzyme as target for novel anti-giardial interventions.
Frontiers in Microbiology 06/2015; 06. DOI:10.3389/fmicb.2015.00544 · 3.99 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background
Parasites of the genus Trichinella are zoonotic nematodes common in carnivores throughout the world. We determined the prevalence and species of Trichinella infections in Florida panthers (Puma concolor coryi).Methods
Tongues from Florida panthers were collected at necropsy and examined by pepsin-HCl artificial digestion for infection with Trichinella spp. DNA was extracted from larvae and multiplex PCR using Trichinella species-specific primers was used to genotype the worms.Results Trichinella spp. larvae were detected in 24 of 112 (21.4%; 14.6%¿30.3%) panthers. Sixteen of the panthers (14.3%) were infected with T. pseudospiralis, 1 (0.9%) was infected with T. spiralis, and 2 (1.8%) had mixed infections of T. pseudospiralis and T. spiralis. Trichinella spp. larvae from 5 panthers were not identified at the species level due to degraded DNA.Conclusions
This is the highest prevalence of T. pseudospiralis detected in North America up to now and suggests the Florida panther is a key mammalian reservoir of this parasite in southern Florida. Trichinella pseudospiralis can infect both mammals and birds indicting the source of infection for Florida panthers could be broader than believed; however, birds represent a small percentage (0.01%) of the cat¿s diet. Since wild pigs (Sus scrofa) can be parasitized by both T. pseudospiralis and T. spiralis and that these swine can comprise a large portion (~40%) of a panther¿s diet in Florida, we believe that Florida panthers acquired these zoonotic parasites from feeding on wild pigs.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Serology to monitor Trichinella spp. infection in pigs reared in controlled system has been claimed as a possible diagnostic tool. However, no international biological standards or reference materials exist to validate in house tests or commercial kits, and to improve the inter-laboratory comparability for the serological detection of anti-Trichinella IgG in pigs. In this work, potential reference sera have been prepared from four experimentally infected pigs. Sera were tested, aliquot, lyophilized, and maintained at +4 °C. Since one of the prerequisites for the development of any reference material is to plan and execute stability studies, isochronous studies for short and long term stability testing were carried out to evaluate the possible degradation effects of transportation and storage. The stability of the lyophilized serum samples at +4 °C, was arbitrarily assumed. For the short term stability study, two units were stored at -20 °C, +4 °C, +20 °C, and +50 °C for 0, 1, 2 and 4 weeks, and then tested in duplicate. For the long term stability study, the same number of units and replicates per unit were stored at -80 °C, -20 °C, and +4 °C, for 0, 6, 12, 18 and 24 months. In both studies, unit samples were selected randomly and tested on the same day under repeatability conditions. The linear regression versus time for each serum at each studied temperature was analyzed and then slopes were tested for significance. Further, uncertainty of the short and long term stability was calculated for a shelf life period of one week and three years, respectively. For all sera but one, and for all the studied temperatures but +50 °C, the data from the short term stability study indicate the absence of a significant trend that would hint at degradation. The slopes of the regression lines did not significantly vary from zero. Even if the uncertainty of the short term stability was variable among serum samples, the rate of degradation was considered acceptable. For the long term stability, slopes of the regression lines of two serum samples significantly varied from zero, indicating a trend of possible degradation during storage. The percentage of degradation deducted from the uncertainty of the long term study varied; however, two serum samples showed the lower rate of degradation at all the assayed temperatures. The most suitable temperatures for dispatching serum samples are -20 °C, +4 °C and +20 °C; whereas, -20 °C and -80 °C are suitable temperatures for serum storage.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In the present study we sequenced or re-sequenced, assembled and annotated 15 mitochondrial (mt) genomes representing the 12 currently recognised taxa of Trichinella using a deep sequencing-coupled approach. We then defined and compared the gene order in individual mt genomes (∼ 14 to 17.7 kb), evaluated genetic differences among species/genotypes and re-assessed the relationships among these taxa using the mt nucleic acid or amino acid sequence data sets. In addition, a rich source of mt genetic markers was defined that could be used in future systematic, epidemiological and population genetic studies of Trichinella. The sequencing-bioinformatic approach employed herein should be applicable to a wide range of eukaryotic parasites.
International Journal for Parasitology 09/2014; 44(14). DOI:10.1016/j.ijpara.2014.08.010 · 3.87 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Trichinella spiralis and Trichinella pseudospiralis exhibit differences in the host-parasite relationship such as the inflammatory response in parasitized muscles. Several studies indicate that matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) represent a marker of inflammation since they regulate inflammation and immunity. The aim of this study was to evaluate the serum levels of gelatinases (MMP-9 and MMP-2) in mice experimentally infected with T. spiralis or T. pseudospiralis, to elucidate the involvement of these molecules during the inflammatory response to these parasites. Gelatin zymography on SDS polyacrilamide gels was used to assess the serum levels and in situ zymography on muscle histological sections to show the gelatinase-positive cells.In T. spiralis infected mice, the total MMP-9 serum level increased 6 days post infection whereas, the total MMP-2 serum level increased onward. A similar trend was observed in T. pseudospiralis infected mice but the MMP-9 level was lower than that detected in T. spiralis infected mice. Significant differences were also observed in MMP-2 levels between the two experimental groups. The number of gelatinase positive cells was higher in T. spiralis than in T. pseudospiralis infected muscles. We conclude that MMP-9 and MMP-2 are markers of the inflammatory response for both T. spiralis and T. pseudospiralis infections.This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The wild boar is an important source of trichinellosis for people in European countries as a large number of hunted animals escape veterinary control. In November 2012, uncooked sausages made with meat from wild boar were consumed by 38 persons in a village of the Lucca province (Tuscany region, Italy). Of them, 34 were serologically positive, 32 developed clinical signs and symptoms of trichinellosis, and two were asymptomatic. Trichinella britovi larvae were detected in vacuum-packed sausages made with the same batch of sausages consumed raw which had been prepared with meat from wild boar hunted in the Lucca province. As no case of trichinellosis had been reported in this region during the last 20 years, the regional public health authority considered the risk for this zoonosis to be negligible and put in place a surveillance programme on Trichinella spp. in indicator animals (mainly foxes and including wild boar for private consumption), by testing only a percentage of heads. The experience from this outbreak shows that the definition of a region with a negligible risk for Trichinella infection is not applicable to wild boar and stresses the need to test all Trichinella-susceptible wild animals intended for human consumption and to implement risk communication to consumers and hunters.
Zoonoses and Public Health 08/2014; 62(4). DOI:10.1111/zph.12148 · 2.37 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Abstract Trichinella spiralis and Trichinella britovi are the two most common species of the genus Trichinella persisting in the European wildlife. To investigate the spatial distribution of these Trichinella spp. and the factors influencing their circulation in Hungary, 3304 red foxes (Vulpes vulpes) and 0.29 million wild boars (Sus scrofa) were tested for Trichinella sp. infection in Hungary from 2006 to 2013. Trichinella spp. larvae from 68 (2.06%) foxes and 44 (0.015%) wild boars were identified by a multiplex PCR as T. britovi or T. spiralis. The locality of origin of foxes and wild boars were recorded in a geographic information system database. There was no correlation between environmental parameters in the home range of foxes and wild boars and the T. spiralis larval counts, but there was a positive correlation between the boundary zone of Hungary and T. spiralis infection (P < 0.0001; odds ratio: 24.1). These results indicate that the distribution of T. spiralis in the Hungarian wildlife is determined by the transborder transmission of the parasite from the surrounding endemic countries. Multiple regression analysis was performed with environmental parameter values and T. britovi larval counts. Based on the statistical analysis, non-agricultural areas (forests, scrubs, herbaceous vegetation and pastures) and the mean annual temperature (P < 0.0001; odds ratios: 9.53 and 0.61) were the major determinants of the spatial distribution of T. britovi in Hungary. The positive relationship with non-agricultural areas can be explained by the generalist feeding behaviour including scavenging of foxes in these areas. The negative relationship with the mean annual temperature can be attributed to the slower decomposition of wildlife carcasses favouring a longer survival of T. britovi larvae in the host carrion and to the increase of scavenging of foxes.