[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Cancer is a disease that affects the majority of metazoan species and, before directly causing host death, is likely to influence the competitive abilities of individuals, their susceptibility to pathogens, their vulnerability to predators, and their ability to disperse. Despite the potential importance of these ecological impacts, cancer is rarely incorporated into model ecosystems. We describe here the diversity of ways in which oncogenic phenomena, from precancerous lesions to generalized metastatic cancers, may affect ecological processes that govern biotic interactions. We argue that oncogenic phenomena, despite their complexity, can have significant and sometimes predictable ecological consequences. Our aim is to provide a new perspective on the ecological and evolutionary significance of cancer in wildlife, and to stimulate research on this topic.
Trends in Ecology & Evolution 08/2013; · 15.39 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Rift Valley fever (RVF) is a severe mosquito-borne disease affecting humans and domestic ruminants. Mosquito saliva contains compounds that counteract the hemostatic, inflammatory, and immune responses of the host. Modulation of these defensive responses may facilitate virus infection. Indeed, Aedes mosquito saliva played a crucial role in the vector's capacity to effectively transfer arboviruses such as the Cache Valley and West Nile viruses. The role of mosquito saliva in the transmission of Rift Valley fever virus (RVFV) has not been investigated.
Using a murine model, we explored the potential for mosquitoes to impact the course of RVF disease by determining whether differences in pathogenesis occurred in the presence or absence of mosquito saliva and salivary gland extract.
C57BL/6NRJ male mice were infected with the ZH548 strain of RVFV via intraperitoneal or intradermal route, or via bites from RVFV-exposed mosquitoes. The virus titers in mosquitoes and mouse organs were determined by plaque assays.
After intraperitoneal injection, RVFV infection primarily resulted in liver damage. In contrast, RVFV infection via intradermal injection caused both liver and neurological symptoms and this route best mimicked the natural infection by mosquitoes. Co-injections of RVFV with salivary gland extract or saliva via intradermal route increased the mortality rates of mice, as well as the virus titers measured in several organs and in the blood. Furthermore, the blood cell counts of infected mice were altered compared to those of uninfected mice.
Different routes of infection determine the pattern in which the virus spreads and the organs it targets. Aedes saliva significantly increases the pathogenicity of RVFV.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Mosquitoes-borne viruses are a major threat for human populations. Among them, chikungunya virus (CHIKV) and dengue virus (DENV) cause thousands of cases worldwide. The recent propagation of mosquito vectors competent to transmit these viruses to temperate areas increases their potential impact on susceptible human populations. The development of sensitive methods allowing the detection and isolation of infectious viruses is of crucial interest for determination of virus contamination in humans and in competent mosquito vectors. However, simple and rapid method allowing the capture of infectious CHIKV and DENV from samples with low viral titers useful for further genetic and functional characterization of circulating strains is lacking. The present study reports a fast and sensitive isolation technique based on viral particles adsorption on magnetic beads coated with anionic polymer, poly(methyl vinyl ether-maleic anhydrate) and suitable for isolation of infectious CHIKV and DENV from the four serotypes. Starting from quite reduced biological material, this method was accurate to combine with conventional detection techniques, including qRT-PCR and immunoblotting and allowed isolation of infectious particles without resorting to a step of cultivation. The use of polymer-coated magnetic beads is therefore of high interest for rapid detection and isolation of CHIKV and DENV from samples with reduced viral loads and represents an accurate approach for the surveillance of mosquito vector in area at risk for arbovirus outbreaks.
Journal of virological methods 05/2013; · 2.13 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: If the occurrence of cancer is the result of a random lottery among cells, then body mass, a surrogate for cells number, should predict cancer incidence. Despite some support in humans, this assertion does not hold over the range of different natural animal species where cancer incidence is known. Explaining the so-called 'Peto's paradox' is likely to increase our understanding of how cancer defense mechanisms are shaped by natural selection. Here, we study how body mass may affect the evolutionary dynamics of tumor suppressor gene (TSG) inactivation and oncogene activation in natural animal species. We show that the rate of TSG inactivation should evolve to lower values along a gradient of body mass in a nonlinear manner, having a threshold beyond which benefits to adaptive traits cannot overcome their costs. We also show that oncogenes may be frequently activated within populations of large organisms. We then propose experimental settings that can be employed to identify protection mechanisms against cancer. We finally highlight fundamental species traits that natural selection should favor against carcinogenesis. We conclude on the necessity of comparing genomes between populations of a single species or genomes between species to better understand how evolution has molded protective mechanisms against cancer development and associated mortality.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Mosquito salivary glands (SG) play an essential role in food digestion and pathogen transmission. The function of the salivary components during infection is poorly understood. In this study, female Aedes aegypti mosquitoes were infected with dengue virus serotype 2 (DENV-2) via an artificial membrane feeding apparatus. The mosquito SGs were examined for DENV-2 infection for 14 days post-infection (dpi). The amount of dengue virus increased throughout the 14 dpi. Three different meals were provided for the Ae. aegypti mosquitoes. SG protein expression was compared among sugar-fed (SF), blood-fed (BF), and dengue-infected blood-fed (DF) mosquitoes using SDS-PAGE coupled with densitometric analysis. The SG of SF mosquitoes had fewer protein bands than those of BF and DF mosquitoes. The major SG proteins seen among BF and DF mosquitoes had molecular weights of 12-15, 25-30, 35-40, 45-50, 55-60 kDa and 61-67 kDa. We compared the SG protein band expression profiles in BF and DF mosquitoes. Two bands (35-40 and 61-67 kDa) were expressed more by DF mosquitoes and 3 different bands (25-30, 45-50, and 55-60 kDa) were expressed more by BF mosquitoes. These SG proteins may have some role in facilitating blood-feeding and dengue infection. We speculate these specific SG proteins in dengue-infected mosquitoes may increase the chance of blood-feeding and virus transmission by infected mosquitoes. These results may be useful for designing additional tools to investigate the interaction between Ae. aegypti SG and the dengue virus.
The Southeast Asian journal of tropical medicine and public health 11/2012; 43(6):1346-57. · 0.61 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Vector-borne diseases (VBD) are defined as infectious diseases of humans and animals caused by pathogenic agents such as viruses, protists, bacteria, and helminths transmitted by the bite of blood-feeding arthropod (BFA) vectors. VBD represent a major public health threat in endemic areas, generally subtropical zones, and many are considered to be neglected diseases. Genome sequencing of some arthropod vectors as well as modern proteomic and genomic technologies are expanding our knowledge of arthropod-pathogen interactions. This review describes the proteomic approaches that have been used to investigate diverse biological questions about arthropod vectors, including the interplay between vectors and pathogens. Proteomic studies have identified proteins and biochemical pathways that may be involved in molecular crosstalk in BFA-pathogen associations. Future work can build upon this promising start and functional analyses coupled with interactome bioassays will be carried out to investigate the role of candidate peptides and proteins in BFA-human pathogen associations. Dissection of the host-pathogen interactome will be key to understanding the strategies and biochemical pathways used by BFAs to cope with pathogens.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: Peto's paradox stipulates that there is no association between body mass (a surrogate of number of cells and longevity) and cancer prevalence in wildlife species. Resolving this paradox is a very promising research direction to understand mechanisms of cancer resistance. As of present, research has been focused on the consequences of these evolutionary pressures rather than of their causes. DISCUSSION: Here, we argue that evolution through natural selection may have shaped mechanisms of cancer resistance in wildlife species and that this can result in a threshold in body mass above which oncogenic and tumor suppressive mechanisms should be increasingly purified and positively selected, respectively. SUMMARY: We conclude that assessing wildlife species in their natural ecosystems, especially through theoretical modeling, is the most promising way to understand how evolutionary processes can favor one or the other pathway and then resolving Peto's paradox. This will provide important insights into mechanisms of cancer resistance.
BMC Cancer 09/2012; 12(1):387. · 3.33 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The incidence of adult brain cancer was previously shown to be higher in countries where the parasite Toxoplasma gondii is common, suggesting that this brain protozoan could potentially increase the risk of tumor formation. Using countries as replicates has, however, several potential confounding factors, particularly because detection rates vary with country wealth. Using an independent dataset entirely within France, we further establish the significance of the association between T. gondii and brain cancer and find additional demographic resolution. In adult age classes 55 years and older, regional mortality rates due to brain cancer correlated positively with the local seroprevalence of T. gondii. This effect was particularly strong for men. While this novel evidence of a significant statistical association between T. gondii infection and brain cancer does not demonstrate causation, these results suggest that investigations at the scale of the individual are merited.
Infection, genetics and evolution: journal of molecular epidemiology and evolutionary genetics in infectious diseases 03/2012; 12(2):496-8. · 3.22 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We explored associations between the common protozoan parasite Toxoplasma gondii and brain cancers in human populations. We predicted that T. gondii could increase the risk of brain cancer because it is a long-lived parasite that encysts in the brain, where it provokes inflammation and inhibits apoptosis. We used a medical geography approach based on the national incidence of brain cancers and seroprevalence of T. gondii. We corrected reports of incidence for national gross domestic product because wealth probably increases the ability to detect cancer. We also included gender, cell phone use and latitude as variables in our initial models. Prevalence of T. gondii explained 19 per cent of the residual variance in brain cancer incidence after controlling for the positive effects of gross domestic product and latitude among nations. Infection with T. gondii was associated with a 1.8-fold increase in the risk of brain cancers across the range of T. gondii prevalence in our dataset (4-67%). These results, though correlational, suggest that T. gondii should be investigated further as a possible oncogenic pathogen of humans.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Dengue virus (DENV) infection is the most prevalent mosquito-borne viral diseases in the world. Vector-mediated transmission of DENV is initiated when a blood-feeding female Aedes mosquito injects saliva, together with the virus, into the skin of its mammalian host. Understanding the role of skin immune cells in the activation of innate immunity to DENV at the early times of infection is a critical issue that remains to be investigated. The purpose of our study was to assess the contribution of human keratinocytes as potential host cells to DENV in the activation of immune responses at the anatomical site of mosquito bite. We show that primary keratinocytes support DENV replication with the production of negative-stranded viral RNAs inside the infected cells. In the course of DENV life cycle, we observed the activation of host genes involved in the antiviral immune responses such as intracellular RNA virus sensors Toll-Like Receptor-3, Retinoic Acid Inducible Gene-I, Melanoma Differentiation Associated gene-5 and the RNA-dependent protein kinase R. DENV infection of primary keratinocytes also resulted in up-regulation of the expression of the antiviral Ribonuclease L gene, which subsequently led to enhanced production of IFN-β and IFN-γ. Depending on stages of viral replication, we observed the activation of host genes encoding the antimicrobial proteins β-defensin and RNase 7 in infected keratinocytes. Our data demonstrate for the first time the permissiveness of human epidermal keratinocytes to DENV infection. Remarkably, DENV replication in keratinocytes contributes to the establishment of antiviral innate immunity that might occur in the early times after the bite of mosquito.
Infection, genetics and evolution: journal of molecular epidemiology and evolutionary genetics in infectious diseases 06/2011; 11(7):1664-73. · 3.22 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Herpes simplex virus type-2 (HSV-2) has been identified as a possible aetiological agent of cancer in humans, especially prostate cancer, but results remain controversial. Here, we have addressed this question using a medical geography approach based on the national incidence of various cancers and seroprevalence of HSV-2 in 64 countries worldwide. We corrected reports of cancer incidence for national gross domestic product (GDP) because living in a wealthy nation likely increases the probability of having a cancer detected. Data were also corrected for latitude and diet. Our analysis not only confirms that prostate cancer and HSV-2 seroprevalence are positively associated, but it also reveals the existence of a positive relationship between HSV-2 and melanoma incidence in both men and women. These results, though correlational, suggest that HSV-2 should continue to be investigated as a possible oncogenic pathogen of humans.
Infection, genetics and evolution: journal of molecular epidemiology and evolutionary genetics in infectious diseases 04/2011; 11(6):1239-42. · 3.22 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The ultimate stage of the transmission of Dengue Virus (DENV) to man is strongly dependent on crosstalk between the virus and the immune system of its vector Aedes aegypti (Ae. aegypti). Infection of the mosquito's salivary glands by DENV is the final step prior to viral transmission. Therefore, in the present study, we have determined the modulatory effects of DENV infection on the immune response in this organ by carrying out a functional genomic analysis of uninfected salivary glands and salivary glands of female Ae. aegypti mosquitoes infected with DENV. We have shown that DENV infection of salivary glands strongly up-regulates the expression of genes that encode proteins involved in the vector's innate immune response, including the immune deficiency (IMD) and Toll signalling pathways, and that it induces the expression of the gene encoding a putative anti-bacterial, cecropin-like, peptide (AAEL000598). Both the chemically synthesized non-cleaved, signal peptide-containing gene product of AAEL000598, and the cleaved, mature form, were found to exert, in addition to antibacterial activity, anti-DENV and anti-Chikungunya viral activity. However, in contrast to the mature form, the immature cecropin peptide was far more effective against Chikungunya virus (CHIKV) and, furthermore, had strong anti-parasite activity as shown by its ability to kill Leishmania spp. Results from circular dichroism analysis showed that the immature form more readily adopts a helical conformation which would help it to cause membrane permeabilization, thus permitting its transfer across hydrophobic cell surfaces, which may explain the difference in the anti-pathogenic activity between the two forms. The present study underscores not only the importance of DENV-induced cecropin in the innate immune response of Ae. aegypti, but also emphasizes the broad-spectrum anti-pathogenic activity of the immature, signal peptide-containing form of this peptide.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Proteomic analysis was performed to identify proteins regulated during infection by Dengue serotypes 1 and 3 in an Aedes albopictus cell line. The potential of these viruses to cause severe disease at primary infection is of interest although few studies have been performed with these two Dengue serotypes.
The most relevant observation of our study is the significant overexpression of proteins involved in the cellular stress response and the glycolysis pathway after 48 hours of infection. Viral infection activates the translation of some host genes, which may result in stress due to responses involving unfolded proteins.
Therefore, the oxidation reduction and glycolytic mechanisms could participate in the antiviral response against Dengue virus. The results of our study should help to improve our knowledge of the virus-mosquito interaction at a cellular level with the aim of designing efficient strategies for the control of Dengue virus.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Mosquito-transmitted pathogens pass through the insect's midgut (MG) and salivary gland (SG). What occurs in these organs in response to a blood meal is poorly understood, but identifying the physiological differences between sugar-fed and blood-fed (BF) mosquitoes could shed light on factors important in pathogens transmission. We compared differential protein expression in the MGs and SGs of female Aedes aegypti mosquitoes after a sugar- or blood-based diet. No difference was observed in the MG protein expression levels but certain SG proteins were highly expressed only in BF mosquitoes. In sugar-fed mosquitoes, housekeeping proteins were highly expressed (especially those related to energy metabolism) and actin was up-regulated. The immunofluorescence assay shows that there is no disruption of the SG cytoskeletal after the blood meal. We have generated for the first time the 2-DE profiles of immunogenic Ae. aegypti SG BF-related proteins. These new data could contribute to the understanding of the physiological processes that appear during the blood meal.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Infections are often followed by a change in body odours. For a long time, these changes were considered as non-specific (with no adaptive value) but recent evidences suggest that this may not always be true. Odour modifications due to an infection may either be of adaptive value for the parasite or the host. Here, we describe the observations in support of this idea, discuss the potential roles these modifications may play for the parasite and the host and propose a set of future directions that we think should allow to better understand the mechanisms at the origin of these modifications and how they may be used by both parasites and their human hosts.
Infection, genetics and evolution: journal of molecular epidemiology and evolutionary genetics in infectious diseases 06/2009; 9(5):1006-9. · 3.22 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Parasite-induced alteration of host behaviour is a widespread transmission strategy among pathogens. Understanding how it works is an exciting challenge from both a mechanistic and an evolutionary perspective. In this review, we use key examples to examine the proximate mechanisms by which parasites are known to control the behaviour of their hosts. Special attention is given to the recent developments of post-genomic tools, such as proteomics, for determining the genetic basis of parasitic manipulation. We then discuss two novel perspectives on host manipulation (mafia-like strategy and exploitation of host compensatory responses), arguing that parasite-manipulated behaviours could be the result of compromises between host and parasite strategies. Such compromises may occur when collaborating with the parasite is less costly for the host in terms of fitness than is resisting parasite-induced changes. Therefore, even when changes in host behaviour benefit the parasite, the host may still play some role in the switch in host behaviour. In other words, the host does not always become part of the parasite's extended phenotype. For example, parasites that alter host behaviour appear to induce widely disseminated changes in the hosts' central nervous system, as opposed to targeted attacks on specific neural circuits. In some host-parasite systems, the change in host behaviour appears to require the active participation of the host (e.g., via host immune-neural connections). Even when the change in host behaviour results in clear fitness benefits for the parasite, these behavioural changes may sometimes be produced by the host. Changes in host behaviour that decrease the fitness costs of infection could be selected for, even if these changes also benefit the parasite.
Advances in Parasitology 02/2009; 68:45-83. · 3.78 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Parasite‐induced alteration of host behaviour is a widespread transmission strategy among pathogens. Understanding how it works is an exciting challenge from both a mechanistic and an evolutionary perspective. In this review, we use key examples to examine the proximate mechanisms by which parasites are known to control the behaviour of their hosts. Special attention is given to the recent developments of post‐genomic tools, such as proteomics, for determining the genetic basis of parasitic manipulation. We then discuss two novel perspectives on host manipulation (mafia‐like strategy and exploitation of host compensatory responses), arguing that parasite‐manipulated behaviours could be the result of compromises between host and parasite strategies. Such compromises may occur when collaborating with the parasite is less costly for the host in terms of fitness than is resisting parasite‐induced changes. Therefore, even when changes in host behaviour benefit the parasite, the host may still play some role in the switch in host behaviour. In other words, the host does not always become part of the parasite's extended phenotype. For example, parasites that alter host behaviour appear to induce widely disseminated changes in the hosts' central nervous system, as opposed to targeted attacks on specific neural circuits. In some host–parasite systems, the change in host behaviour appears to require the active participation of the host (e.g., via host immune‐neural connections). Even when the change in host behaviour results in clear fitness benefits for the parasite, these behavioural changes may sometimes be produced by the host. Changes in host behaviour that decrease the fitness costs of infection could be selected for, even if these changes also benefit the parasite.
Advances in Parasitology - ADVAN PARASITOL. 01/2009; 68:45-83.