[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Human infection by Schistosoma mansoni affects more than 100 million people worldwide, most often in populations of developing countries of Africa, Asia, and Latin America. The transmission of S. mansoni in human populations depends on the presence of some species of Biomphalaria that act as an intermediate host. The compatibility between S. mansoni and its intermediate host is influenced by behavioral, physiological, and genetical factors of the mollusc and the parasite. The susceptibility level of the mollusc has been attributed to the capacity of internal defense system (IDS)-hemocytes and soluble components of the hemolymph-to recognize and destroy the parasite, and this will be the center of interest of this paper. The schistosome-resistant Biomphalaria can be an alternative strategy for the control of schistosomiasis.
Journal of Parasitology Research 01/2012; 2012:743920.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Fasciola hepatica is a parasitic helminth that predominantly infects the liver and bile ducts of cattle and causes great losses of cattle production in the southern and southeastern regions of Brazil. The generation of liver lesions and the consequent inflammatory responses are intimately related to the migration of this parasite. The CC-group of chemokines plays a crucial role in the attraction of several cell types and in the recruitment of additional macrophages to an inflammatory focus in numerous diseases. In order to evaluate the role of CCL3 in the development of F. hepatica, we compared parasitological and pathological parameters in C57Bl/6J mice that were assigned to one of two experimental groups: the first group contained CCL3-producing mice (CCL3(+/+) mice) and the other group contained mice that were genetically deficient in CCL3 production (CCL3(-/-) mice). The mortality rate in the CCL3 non-deficient group was higher than of the deficient animals. In most animals from both experimental groups, the necropsied animals contained hemorrhages in their abdominal cavities. In the genetically modified animals, the lesioned liver areas were less extensive and presented focal and sub-capsular lesions. This work demonstrates that the development of F. hepatica is not affected by the absence of CCL3.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Ageing is associated with several alterations in the immune system. Our aim in this study was to compare the development of immunity to Schistosoma mansoni infection in young versus aged C57Bl/6 mice using the liver as the main organ to evaluate pathological alterations and immune responses. In the acute phase, young mice had large liver granulomas with fibrosis and inflammatory cells. Chronic phase in young animals was associated with immunomodulation of granulomas that became reduced in size and cellular infiltrate. On the other hand, aged animals presented granulomas of smaller sizes already in the acute phase. Chronic infection in these mice was followed by no alteration in any of the inflammatory parameters in the liver. In concert with this finding, there was an increase in activated CD4+ T, CD19+ B and NK liver cells in young mice after infection whereas old mice had already higher frequencies of activated B, NK and CD4+ T liver cells and infection does not change these frequencies. After infection, liver production of inflammatory and regulatory cytokines such as IFN-gamma, IL-4 and IL-10 increased in young but not in old mice that had high levels of IL-4 and IL-10 regardless of their infection status. Our data suggest that the unspecific activation status of the immune system in aged mice impairs inflammatory as well as regulatory immune responses to S. mansoni infection in the liver, where major pathological alterations and immunity are at stage. This poor immune reactivity may have a beneficial impact on disease development.
Scandinavian Journal of Immunology 04/2010; 71(4):240-8. · 2.20 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Nematode infections are generally followed by high rates of reinfection, leading to elevated prevalence in endemic areas. Therefore, the effective control of nematode infections depends on understanding the induction and regulation of protective mechanisms. However, most experimental models for protective immune response against nematodes use high parasite exposure, not always reflecting what occurs naturally in human populations. In this study, we tested whether infecting mice with different Strongyloides venezuelensis larvae loads would affect protective responses against reinfection. Interestingly, we found that a previous infection with 10-500 larvae conferred high rate of protection against reinfection with S. venezuelensis in mice, by destroying large numbers of migrating larvae. However, low-dose priming did not abolish adult worm maturation, as detected in high-dose primed group. Results also indicated that a previous low-dose infection delayed the development of cellular infiltrate, while a high inoculum rapidly induced these inflammatory features. Cytokine production by splenocyte cultures of challenge infected mice demonstrated that low-dose priming had increased production of IL-4 and IFN-gamma, while high-dose induced IL-4 production but not IFN-gamma. Our data support the hypothesis that low-dose nematode infection does not induce a polarized type-2 immune response, allowing adult worm survival.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: An estimated quarter of the world's population possesses an infection caused by gastrointestinal nematodes, which induce a Th2 type immune response. Concomitant infection of nematodes with Mycobacterium tuberculosis, which induces a predominantly Th1 type response, is very frequent in tropical and subtropical regions. This study examined immune responses of BALB/c mice infected with Strongyloides venezuelensis and then co-infected with Mycobacterium bovis. The number of worms in the intestine, eggs in feces, cytokine production in lungs and intestine and the expression of CD80, CD86, CTLA-4 and CD28 cell markers on pulmonary cells were analysed. Our results indicate that co-infected mice had an increased parasite burden, which correlates with elevated IFN-gamma and IL-10 cytokine production and decreased IL-4 and IL-13. Moreover, decreased expression of CD80 and increased expression of CTLA-4 were observed in co-infected mice. Our data point out that susceptibility to Strongyloides venezuelensis infection is increased by Mycobacterium bovis co-infection, resulting in higher parasite survival.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Aiming to further characterize the haemocyte subsets in Biomphalaria snails, we have performed a detailed flow cytometric analysis of whole haemolymph cellular components using a multiparametric dual colour labelling procedure. Ethidium bromide/acridine orange fluorescence features were used to first select viable haemocytes followed by flow cytometric morphometric analysis based on the laser scatter properties (forward scatter-FSC and side scatter-SSC). Our findings demonstrated that B. glabrata (BG-BH, highly susceptible to S. mansoni) and 2 strains of B. tenagophila (BT-CF, moderately susceptible and BT-Taim, resistant to S. mansoni) have 3 major circulating haemocyte subsets, referred to as small, medium and large haemocytes. The frequency of small haemocytes was higher in BG-BH, while medium haemocytes were the most abundant cell-type in both B. tenagophila strains. Schistosoma mansoni infection resulted in early reduction of large and medium circulating haemocytes followed by an increase of small haemocytes. Although parasite infection induced haemocyte alterations in all Biomphalaria strains, the response was particularly intense in BT-Taim, the parasite-resistant snail. Interestingly, the trematode infection induces changes in haemocytes with less granular rather than in those with more granular profile. The results indicated that, in B. tenagophila of Taim strain, circulating haemocytes, especially the medium and high subset with less granular profile, are very reactive cells upon S. mansoni infection, suggesting that this cell subset would participate in the early parasite destruction observed in this snail strain.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) is a procedure that retrieves cells and other elements from the lungs for evaluation, which helps in the diagnosis of many pulmonary diseases. The aims of this work were to perform this procedure in dogs in the acute and chronic phases of an Angiostrongylus vasorum infection for cytological analysis and to evaluate the potential of this technique as a diagnostic method for this lung-heart worm. The BAL procedure was performed through the use of an endotracheal tube on seven A. vasorum infected dogs and on five non-infected dogs lined as a control group. Sixty days post-infection (dpi) active and live larvae were retrieved from the bronchoalveolar fluid (BALF) of all infected dogs. Furthermore, in one animal it was possible to retrieve larvae in its BALF before the pre-patent period. This work reports that the A. vasorum infection resulted in an increase of relative neutrophils and eosinophils counts. In contrast, there was a significant decrease in the alveolar macrophage relative count in infected animals from 60 to 330 dpi. This study shows that the BAL is an accurate technique for the diagnosis of canine angiostrongylosis. Moreover, the technique allows us to retrieve cells and other elements that line the lung surface for cytological evaluation, which provides information about inflammatory diseases, and the diagnosis and prognosis of pulmonary parasites such as A. vasorum.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The present study was carried out to investigate the immune response against Strongyloides venezuelensis infection in Balb/c mice previously immunized with larva-antigens or primed with live-larvae. Our results indicate that all primed mice developed a strong protection against challenge infection that remained active for 45 days. In mice primed with live-larvae the challenge infection resulted in great reduction of migrating larvae and the worms were completely eliminated from the small intestine before maturation. The protection pattern did not alter when the primary infection was aborted by drug treatment. In these experimental groups, the challenge infection was accompanied by a type-2 predominant immune response, intense IgE and reactive IgG1 production, and granulocyte infiltration in skin, lungs and intestine. The challenge infection in antigen-immunized mice also resulted in great reduction of migrating larvae. However, the worms that reached the host intestine matured, produced eggs and were eliminated similarly to the ones from nonimmunized mice. Protective mechanisms after immunization with larva antigen were migrating larva-specific and associated with a strong and mixed Th1 and Th2 response, without tissue granulocyte infiltration. In conclusion, protective immunity induced by a previous infection or antigen-immunization are stage-specific and operate through different effector mechanisms.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Biomphalaria tenagophila of Taim strain is able to completely destroy Schistosoma mansoni sporocyst few hours after parasite penetration, although the mechanism is still not well known. In this experimental work we show that passive transference of cell-free haemolymph, especially from B. tenagophila Taim, resulted in higher resistance of B. tenagophila Cabo Frio to S. mansoni infection. This effect was demonstrated in vivo, by the reduction in the infection rate, and the significantly lower production of sporocysts and cercariae of the parasite in snails treated with Taim cell-free haemolymph compared to CBSS-inoculated snails. The protective effect of Taim cell-free haemolymph was also observed during the in vitro interaction between haemocytes and sporocysts. In this system, addition of B. tenagophila cell-free haemolymph, especially from Taim strain, was responsible for significant increase in sporocyst mortality compared to B. glabrata cell-free haemolymph or culture medium. Moreover, the combination of Taim cell-free haemolymph and Cabo Frio haemocytes increased significantly the mortality of sporocysts. The results show that Taim cell-free haemolymph would act direct and indirectly on destruction of S. mansoni sporocysts. The results also suggest that cell-free haemolymph indirectly increases parasite recognition by the circulating granulocytes and it is species specific.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Lectins/carbohydrate binding can be involved in the Schistosoma mansoni recognition and activation of the Biomphalaria hemocytes. Therefore, expression of lectin ligands on Biomphalaria hemocytes would be associated with snail resistance against S. mansoni infection. To test this hypothesis, circulating hemocytes were isolated from B. glabrata BH (snail strain highy susceptible to S. mansoni), B. tenagophila Cabo Frio (moderate susceptibility), and B. tenagophila Taim (completely resistant strains), labelled with FITC conjugated lectins (ConA, PNA, SBA, and WGA) and analyzed under fluorescence microscopy. The results demonstrated that although lectin-labelled hemocytes were detected in hemolymph of all snail species tested, circulating hemocytes from both strains of B. tenagophila showed a larger number of lectin-labelled cells than B. glabrata. Moreover, most of circulating hemocytes of B. tenagophila were intensively labelled by lectins PNA-FITC and WGA-FITC, while in B. glabrata small hemocytes were labeled mainly by ConA. Upon S. mansoni infection, lectin-labelled hemocytes almost disappeared from the hemolymph of Taim and accumulated in B. glabrata BH. The role of lectins/carbohydrate binding in resistance of B. tengophila infection to S. mansoni is still not fully understood, but the data suggest that there may be a correlation to its presence with susceptibility or resistance to the parasite.
Memórias do Instituto Oswaldo Cruz 10/2006; 101 Suppl 1:185-92. · 1.36 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Concomitant infection with different parasites may be a helpful laboratorial strategy leading to the better understanding of the mechanisms used by the internal defense system (IDS) of Gastropoda to deal with helminth infection, such as Schistosoma mansoni. This work reports the effect of co-infection of Angiostrongylus vasorum and S. mansoni in hemocyte activity and in the outcome of infection. The simultaneous infection resulted in an increase of snail susceptibility to S. mansoni. In contrast, snails infected with both parasites, 15 days apart, did not show differences in the susceptibility compared to a single parasite infection. The increased susceptibility was measured by the significantly higher number of migrating sporocysts, higher percentage of snails shedding cercariae, higher number of cercariae shed and higher mortality in the experimental group that were simultaneously infected with A. vasorum and S. mansoni, when compared to snails infected only with S. mansoni. Snails simultaneously infected with A. vasorum and S. mansoni showed lower hemocyte activation during the first few days of infection, compared to activation induced only by A. vasorum infection. Between 5 and 15 days post-infection (dpi), granulocyte number and nitric oxide (NO) contents of simultaneously infected snails were lower than the S. mansoni-infected snails. Based on the results, we suggest that differences in the level of hemocyte response could explain the increased S. mansoni susceptibility observed in snails simultaneously infected with both parasites. However, when S. mansoni infection occurred after A. vasorum larvae are completely encapsulated, the response against S. mansoni was not altered, and therefore there were no differences in the susceptibility level.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Biomphalaria tenagophila is very important for schistosomiasis transmission in Brazil. However its mechanisms of interaction with Schistosoma mansoni are still scantly studied. Since this snail displays strains highly susceptible or completely resistant to the parasite infection, the knowledge of that would be a useful tool to understand the mechanism of snail resistance. Particularly, the Taim strain consistently shows absolute resistance against the trematode, and this resistance is a dominant character. A multidisciplinary research group was created aiming at studying B. tenagophila/S. mansoni interaction. The possibility for applying the knowledge acquired to obtain a biological model for the control of S. mansoni transmission in endemic areas is discussed.
Memórias do Instituto Oswaldo Cruz 02/2004; 99(5 Suppl 1):109-11. · 1.36 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The present work demonstrates that silica treatment represents a suitable in vivo method to evaluate the role of host phagocytic hemocytes in the mechanisms of resistance to parasitic infection. Silica inoculation into Biomphalaria tenagophila snail induced a significant reduction in the circulating hemolymph granulocytes in both strains tested (Taim and Cabo Frio). The granulocyte reduction was accompanied by a significant increase in the number of circulating dead cells. In B. tenagophila Cabo Frio, silica treatment enhanced snail susceptibility to Schistosoma mansoni, shortening the intramolluskan phase of the parasite and increasing the number of sporocysts and cercariae produced. In B. tenagophila Taim, the same treatment did not abrogate natural resistance to S. mansoni reported for this snail strain. These in vivo results demonstrate that macrophage-like granulocytes are involved in the mechanism of S. mansoni sporocyst destruction in Cabo Frio snails and suggest that another, different mechanism may be responsible to the natural resistance of B. tenagophila Taim.
Parasitology Research 01/2004; 91(6):500-7. · 2.85 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: An improved method to obtain a large number of axenic larvae of Angiostrongylus vasorum from fecal samples was developed in the present study. The procedure here in reported consisted of obtaining larvae using a modified Baermann technique, followed by an additional filtration step. This isolation technique recovered almost 90% of the living larvae in a clean preparation. Isolated larvae were submitted to decontamination treatments with either sodium hypochlorite or antibiotic cocktail solutions. The axenic status, as confirmed by oral inoculation of decontaminated larvae into germ-free mice, was only achieved using larvae treated with 0.5% sodium hypochlorite solution for 10 min. The isolation and decontamination treatment did not affect larval viability. Treated larvae remained viable and infective to the invertebrate host.
Parasitology Research 02/2003; 89(2):89-93. · 2.85 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The anesthetic effect of some water-soluble anesthesic or narcotic drugs currently used in mice was tested in molluscs of the Biomphalaria genus. Sodium thiopental was very toxic to the snails resulting in high rates of mortality in all the treatment schedules tested. Cetamine base, at concentration of 0.25 mg/ml of water, resulted in partial snail anesthesia (40% of snails were anesthetized) only after 20 h of exposition. The association of Cetamine base with Tiazine chloridrate did not improve the anesthesic effect, and higher concentrations of these drugs were toxic to the snails. Sodium pentobarbital at 0.4 mg/ml in water for 8 h was the best treatment schedule to anesthetize Biomphalaria snails. In this schedule, the snails were anesthetized without any toxic effect. The procedure provides a powerful tool for in vivo studies that demande a complete state of snail anesthesia.
Memórias do Instituto Oswaldo Cruz 05/2001; 96(3):391-2. · 1.36 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: This review discusses experimental evidences that indicate the IgE participation on the effector mechanisms that leads to gastrointestinal nematode elimination. Data discussed here showed that, for most experimental models, the immune response involved in nematode elimination is regulated by Th-2 type cytokines (especially IL-4). However, the mechanism(s) that result in worm elimination is not clear and might be distinct in different nematode species. Parasite specific IgE production, especially the IgE produced by the intestinal mucosae or associated lymphoid organs could participate in the intestinal elimination of Trichinella spiralis from infected rats. Intestinal IgE may also be important to the protective mechanism developed against other gastrointestinal nematodes that penetrate the murine duodenum mucosa tissue, such as Strongyloides venezuelensis and Heligmosomoides polygyrus. At least in Trichinella spiralis infected rats, the results indicated that intestinal IgE might work independently from mast cell degranulation for worm elimination.
Revista do Instituto de Medicina Tropical de São Paulo 01/2001; 43(5):291-9. · 0.96 Impact Factor