[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Alveolar echinococcosis is a refractory disease caused by the metacestode stage of Echinococcus multilocularis. The life cycle of this parasite is maintained primarily between foxes and many species of rodents; thus, dogs are thought to be a minor definitive host except in some endemic areas. However, dogs are highly susceptible to E. multilocularis infection. Because of the close contact between dogs and humans, infection of dogs with this parasite can be an important risk to human health. Therefore, new measures and tools to control and prevent parasite transmission required. Using 2-dimensional electrophoresis followed by western blot (2D-WB) analysis, a large glycoprotein component of protoscoleces was identified based on reactivity to intestinal IgA in dogs experimentally infected with E. multilocularis. This component, designated SRf1, was purified by gel filtration using a Superose 6 column. Glycosylation analysis and immunostaining revealed that SRf1 could be distinguished from Em2, a major mucin-type antigen of E. multilocularis. Dogs (n = 6) were immunized intranasally with 500 µg of SRf1 with cholera toxin subunit B by using a spray syringe, and a booster was given orally using an enteric capsule containing 15 mg of the same antigen. As a result, dogs immunized with this antigen showed an 87.6% reduction in worm numbers compared to control dogs (n = 5) who received only PBS administration. A weak serum antibody response was observed in SRf1-immunized dogs, but there was no correlation between antibody response and worm number. We demonstrated for the first time that mucosal immunization using SRf1, a glycoprotein component newly isolated from E. multilocularis protoscoleces, induced a protection response to E. multilocularis infection in dogs. Thus, our data indicated that mucosal immunization using surface antigens will be an important tool to facilitate the development of practical vaccines for definitive hosts.
PLoS ONE 01/2013; 8(7):e69821. · 3.73 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Studies have shown that a bacterial fibronectin attachment protein (FAP) is able to stimulate strong systemic and mucosal antibody responses when it is used alone or co-administrated with other antigens (Ags). Thus, it has been suggested to be a promising adjuvant candidate for the development of efficient vaccines. However, the co-administered Ags and FAP were cloned, expressed and purified individually to date. In a recent study, we first evaluated the adjuvanticity of a fibronectin-binding peptide (FBP, 24 amino acids) of Mycobacterium avium FAP fused with Echinococcus multilocularis tetraspanin 3 (Em-TSP3) by detecting systemic and local antibody responses in intranasally (i.n.) immunized BALB/c mice.
Em-TSP3 and FBP fragments were linked with a GSGGSG linker and expressed as a single fusion protein (Em-TSP3-FBP) using the pBAD/Thio-TOPO expression vector. BALB/c mice were immunized i.n. with recombinant Em-TSP3-FBP (rEm-TSP3-FBP) and rEm-TSP3+CpG and the systemic and local antibody responses were detected by ELISA. The results showed that both rEm-TSP3-FBP and rEm-TSP3+CpG evoked strong serum IgG (p<0.001) and IgG1 responses (p<0.001), whereas only the latter induced a high level IgG2α production (p<0.001), compared to that of rEm-TSP3 alone without any adjuvant. There were no significant differences in IgG and IgG1 production between the groups. Low level of serum IgA and IgM were detected in both groups. The tendency of Th1 and Th2 cell immune responses were assessed via detecting the IgG1/IgG2α ratio after the second and third immunizations. The results indicated that i.n. immunization with rEm-TSP3-FBP resulted in an increased IgG1/IgG2α ratio (a Th2 tendency), while rEm-TSP3+CpG caused a rapid Th1 response that later shifted to a Th2 response. Immunization with rEm-TSP3-FBP provoked significantly stronger IgA antibody responses in intestine (p<0.05), lung (p<0.001) and spleen (p<0.001) compared to those by rEm-TSP3+CpG. Significantly high level IgA antibodies were detected in nasal cavity (p<0.05) and liver (p<0.05) samples from both groups when compared to rEm-TSP3 alone without any adjuvant, with no significant difference between them.
I.n. administration of rEm-TSP3-FBP can induce strong systemic and mucosal antibody responses in immunized BALB/c mice, suggesting that fusion of Em-TSP3 with FBP is a novel, prospective strategy for developing safe and efficient human mucosal vaccines against alveolar echinococcosis (AE).
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background
We have previously evaluated the vaccine efficacies of seven tetraspanins of Echinococcus multilocularis (Em-TSP1–7) against alveolar echinococcosis (AE) by subcutaneous (s.c.) administration with Freund's adjuvant. Over 85% of liver cyst lesion number reductions (CLNR) were achieved by recombinant Em-TSP1 (rEm-TSP1) and -TSP3 (rEm-TSP3). However, to develop an efficient and safe human vaccine, the efficacy of TSP mucosal vaccines must be thoroughly evaluated.
rEm-TSP1 and -TSP3 along with nontoxic CpG ODN (CpG oligodeoxynucleotides) adjuvant were intranasally (i.n.) immunized to BALB/c mice and their vaccine efficacies were evaluated by counting liver CLNR (experiment I). 37.1% (p
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We have previously evaluated the vaccine efficacies of seven tetraspanins of Echinococcus multilocularis (Em-TSP1-7) against alveolar echinococcosis (AE) by subcutaneous (s.c.) administration with Freund's adjuvant. Over 85% of liver cyst lesion number reductions (CLNR) were achieved by recombinant Em-TSP1 (rEm-TSP1) and -TSP3 (rEm-TSP3). However, to develop an efficient and safe human vaccine, the efficacy of TSP mucosal vaccines must be thoroughly evaluated.
rEm-TSP1 and -TSP3 along with nontoxic CpG ODN (CpG oligodeoxynucleotides) adjuvant were intranasally (i.n.) immunized to BALB/c mice and their vaccine efficacies were evaluated by counting liver CLNR (experiment I). 37.1% (p < 0.05) and 62.1% (p < 0.001) of CLNR were achieved by these two proteins, respectively. To study the protection-associated immune responses induced by rEm-TSP3 via different immunization routes (i.n. administration with CpG or s.c. immunization with Freund's adjuvant), the systemic and mucosal antibody responses were detected by ELISA (experiment II). S.c. and i.n. administration of rEm-TSP3 achieved 81.9% (p < 0.001) and 62.8% (p < 0.01) CLNR in the liver, respectively. Both the immunization routes evoked strong serum IgG, IgG1 and IgG2α responses; i.n. immunization induced significantly higher IgA responses in nasal cavity and intestine compared with s.c. immunization (p < 0.001). Both immunization routes induced extremely strong liver IgA antibody responses (p < 0.001). The Th1 and Th2 cell responses were assessed by examining the IgG1/IgG2α ratio at two and three weeks post-immunization. S.c. immunization resulted in a reduction in the IgG1/IgG2α ratio (Th1 tendency), whereas i.n. immunization caused a shift from Th1 to Th2. Moreover, immunohistochemistry showed that Em-TSP1 and -TSP3 were extensively located on the surface of E. multilocularis cysts, protoscoleces and adult worms with additional expression of Em-TSP3 in the inner part of protoscoleces and oncospheres.
Our study indicated that i.n. administration of rEm-TSP3 with CpG is able to induce both systemic and local immune responses and thus provides significant protection against AE.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Alveolar echinococcosis (AE) is a severe hepatic disorder caused by larval infection by the fox tapeworm Echinococcus multilocularis. The course of parasitic development and host reactions are known to vary significantly among host species, and even among different inbred strains of mice. As reported previously, after oral administration of parasite eggs, DBA/2 (D2) mice showed a higher rate of cyst establishment and more advanced protoscolex development in the liver than C57BL/6 (B6) mice. These findings strongly suggest that the outcome of AE is affected by host genetic factor(s). In the present study, the genetic basis of such strain-specific differences in susceptibility/resistance to AE in murine models was studied by whole-genome scanning for quantitative trait loci (QTLs) using a backcross of (B6×D2)F(1) and D2 mice with varying susceptibility to E. multilocularis infection. For cyst establishment, genome linkage analysis identified one suggestive and one significant QTL on chromosomes (Chrs.) 9 and 6, respectively, whereas for protoscolex development, two suggestive and one highly significant QTLs were detected on Chrs. 6, 17 and 1, respectively. Our QTL analyses using murine AE models revealed that multiple genetic factors regulated host susceptibility/resistance to E. multilocularis infection. Moreover, our findings show that establishment of the parasite cysts in the liver is affected by QTLs that are distinct from those associated with the subsequent protoscolex development of the parasite, indicating that different host factors are involved in the host-parasite interplay at each developmental stage of the larval parasite. Further identification of responsible genes located on the identified QTLs could lead to the development of effective disease prevention and control strategies, including an intensive screening and clinical follow-up of genetically high-risk groups for AE infection.
International journal for parasitology 07/2011; 41(11):1121-8. · 3.39 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We show that a conventionally purified glycoprotein component of Echinococcus multilocularis protoscolex, designated as Emgp-89, may be useful as a serodiagnostic antigen for detecting E. multilocularis infection in dogs domesticated in endemic areas. Emgp-89 was obtained from the parasite material by a simple procedure using Con A-agarose and subsequent gel filtration chromatography. The purified fraction showed a molecular weight of >4000kDa upon gel filtration and reacted with a series of lectins that specifically bind to mannose, galactose, N-acetylglucosamine, and N-acetylgalactosamine. Subsequently, serodiagnostic performance of Emgp-89 was evaluated through enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays (ELISAs) by using sera from normal, domestic dogs and dogs infected with other helminths. Emgp-89 positively reacted with all 16 serum samples from E. multilocularis-infected dogs, thus showing that this antigen is highly sensitive. On the other hand, the specificity of Emgp-89-based ELISA, determined using 41 serum samples from dogs infected with other helminths, was relatively low (83%). As an attempt to improve the specificity of Emgp-89-based ELISA, we pretreated Emgp-89 with proteinase K or sodium periodate, expecting that these treatments would enable discrimination of true positives from false positives. The ELISA value increased after treatment with sodium periodate in most false-positive samples, whereas significant decreases were observed in sera from all dogs infected with E. multilocularis. Further evaluation of this antigen should be performed using sera from dogs infected with closely-related parasites, including taeniid cestodes, which are expected to prove that this serodiagnostic system is sufficiently specific for clinical and field applications.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We investigated the potential of gene silencing in Echinococcus multilocularis protoscoleces using RNA interference (RNAi). For the introduction of siRNA, soaking and electroporation were first examined for their effects on the viability of protoscoleces and their efficacy for siRNA introduction. Consequently, electroporation using 100 V and 800 μF showed the optimal results. This electroporation procedure was then evaluated for its ability to induce RNAi in protoscoleces using siRNAs targeting the 14-3-3 and elp genes. It was found that the levels of 14-3-3 and elp mRNA in 14-3-3 siRNA- and elp siRNA-treated protoscoleces were reduced to 21.8 ± 2.6 and 35.5 ± 0.4% of those of the untreated control by day 3, respectively. Moreover, the target proteins significantly decreased in the siRNA-treated samples by day 15. In the analysis of viability, the untreated control, electroporation control, 14-3-3 siRNA-treated, and elp siRNA-treated samples displayed 98.4 ± 1.4, 83.0 ± 2.5, 58.0 ± 23.0, and 55.1 ± 14.6% viability, respectively, on day 15. In conclusion, we successfully demonstrated that RNAi mediated the knock-down of target gene expression in E. multilocularis protoscoleces at both the transcriptional and translational levels.
Parasitology International 12/2010; 59(4):647-52. · 2.30 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The Rio Grande do Sul state, in Southern Brazil, is one of the foci of human cystic echinococcosis (CE). The sheep strain (G1) of Echinococcus granulosus and Echinococcus ortleppi (also known as cattle strain G5) have been reported before to infect livestock. However, up to the present, no molecular data are available on isolates of the E. granulosus complex from humans and dogs. The present study analyzed hydatid cysts from 6 CE patients and adult worms from 12 dogs. Sequencing of the mitochondrial cox1 and 12S rRNA genes detected the E. granulosus G1 genotype from four human cases, the G3 genotype (or buffalo strain) from one human case and E. ortleppi from another human case, respectively. Ten of the twelve dogs were found infected with the G1 genotype, and one dog each harbored worms of the G3 genotype and E. ortleppi. Obvious morphological differences were recognized between the G1 and E. ortleppi adult worms from dogs in this region. The buffalo strain (G3) is for the first time reported from South America.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We investigated parasite establishment, subsequent larval development and antibody responses in gerbils, cotton rats and 4 inbred mouse strains until 16 weeks post inoculation (p.i.) with 200 eggs of Echinococcus multilocularis. The rate of parasite establishment in the liver determined at 4 weeks p.i. was highest in DBA/2, followed by AKR/N, C57BL/10 and C57BL/6 mice, whereas gerbils harboured few parasite foci. The accurate number of liver lesions in cotton rats could not be determined due to rapid growth and advanced multivesiculation of the parasite observed at 2 weeks p.i. The course of larval development was most advanced in DBA/2 mice with mature protoscolex formation at 16 weeks p.i., followed by AKR/N harbouring metacestodes with sparsely distributed immature protoscoleces. On the other hand, C57BL/6 and C57BL/10 mice had infertile metacestodes without any protoscolex formation. The parasite growth in mice was totally slower than those in gerbils and cotton rats. Specific IgG and IgM responses against 3 types of native crude antigens of larval E. multilocularis were evaluated using somatic extracts of and vesicle fluid of metacestode, and somatic extracts from purified protoscoleces. The 4 mouse strains demonstrated basically similar kinetics with apparent IgG and IgM increases at 9 weeks p.i. and thereafter, except C57BL/10, exhibited higher levels of IgM against crude antigens at some time point of infection. On the other hand, a follow-up determination of specific IgG and IgM levels against recombinant antigens from larval E. multilocularis revealed that each mouse strain showed different antibody-level kinetics. The findings in the present study demonstrate that the course of host-parasite interactions in primary alveolar echinococcosis, caused by larval E. multilocularis, clearly varies among intermediate host rodents with different genetic backgrounds.
Parasitology International 09/2010; 59(3):435-44. · 2.30 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Echinococcus multilocularis causes an important zoonotic cestode disease. The metacestode stage proliferates in the liver of intermediate hosts including human and rodents and forms multiple cysts. Recently, members of a transmembrane protein tetraspanin (TSP) family have been used as vaccines against schistosomosis, or as diagnostic antigens for cysticercosis. In this study, seven tetraspanins of E. multilocularis, designated as TSP1 to TSP7, were evaluated for their protective potential against primary alveolar echinococcosis. The large extracellular loop (LEL) region of these tetraspanins was cloned from a full-length enriched cDNA library of E. multilocularis metacestodes and expressed in Escherichia coli as a fusion protein with thioredoxin. Recombinant TSPs were applied as vaccines against an E. multilocularis primary experimental infection in BALB/c mice. Cyst lesions in the livers of vaccinated and non-vaccinated mice were counted. The cyst lesion reduction rates induced by the seven tetraspanins in vaccinated vis-à-vis non-vaccinated mice were: 87.9%, 65.8%, 85.1%, 66.9%, 73.7%, 72.9% and 37.6%. Vaccination conferred protective rates to mice ranging from 0% (TSP5, 6, 7) to maximally 33% (TSP1, 3). The results indicated that recombinant tetraspanins have varying protective effects against primary alveolar echinococcosis and could be used in vaccine development.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Domesticated dogs are an important potential source of Echinococcus multilocularis infection in humans; therefore, new molecular approaches for the prevention of the parasite infection in dogs need to be developed. Here, we identified and characterized an immunogenic protein of the parasite by using a proteome-based approach. The total protein extracted from protoscoleces was subjected to two-dimensional Western blotting with sera from dogs experimentally infected with E. multilocularis. Two protein spots showed major reactivity to the sera from infected dogs. The N-terminal amino acid sequences of these spots were identical to the deduced amino acid sequence of the product of the putative hsp20 gene. RT-PCR and Western blot analyses revealed that the putative hsp20 gene and its products were expressed in almost all stages of the parasite life cycle. Furthermore, recombinant hsp20 showed specific reactivity to the sera from infected dogs, suggesting that this molecule may facilitate the development of a practical vaccine.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: One tetraspanin, designated as E24, was cloned from a full-length enriched vector-capping cDNA library of Echinococcus multilocularis metacestode. The amino acid sequence and phylogenetic analysis suggested that E24 is a T24-like protein. The crucial, functional large extracellular loop (LEL) domain of E24 was expressed and characterized using a polyclonal antiserum by Western blot and immunohistochemistry. The results showed that anti-recombinant-E24 (anti-recE24) antibody can specifically recognize approximately 25 kDa recombinant protein and 25 kDa cyst-extracted antigen; the germinal layer of both the protoscolex-free and protoscolex-formed cysts were intensely labeled by immunofluorescent antibody. This study revealed that E24 is an antigenic, germinal layer-located protein of E. multilocularis metacestode, implying for its potential in diagnostic and vaccine development.
Molecular and Biochemical Parasitology 08/2009; 168(1):117-9. · 2.73 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A survey of Echinococcus multilocularis infections in pet dogs in Japan from 1997 to 2007 was conducted by testing for coproantigen reactivity, fecal taeniid eggs, and egg DNA. In Hokkaido, the only island where E. multilocularis is endemic in Japan, 18 of 4768 dogs (0.4%) excreted taeniid eggs that were positive for E. multilocularis DNA by polymerase chain reaction (PCR). Most of the dogs testing positive for egg DNA were kept free-range, but three dogs had been kept inside their owners' houses. In addition, 15 dogs were suspected to be infected based on the results of a coproantigen test. One dog, which was transported from Hokkaido to Honshu, the main island of Japan, was excreting taeniid eggs that were positive for E. multilocularis DNA by PCR. These results suggest the importance of proper pet management in disease prevention, even for dogs kept indoors, and they point out a possible means by which the parasite may be introduced into non-endemic areas through transport of infected dogs.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Alveolar echinococcosis (AE), caused by the active growth of larval Echinococcus multilocularis mostly in the liver, is usually fatal zoonotic disease if not adequately treated. Humans become infected via oral ingestion of the parasite eggs, which are thus biohazardous to humans and should be handled under restricted conditions. In this review, we present findings in experimental studies mainly performed at a safety facility in Japan, examining the biohazadous stages of the parasite (Hokkaido isolate) including its egg and adult worm stages. This article deals mainly with the parasite development in various experimental and wild animals, environmental factors affecting viability of the parasite eggs, and molecular biological studies on adult worms. The findings shown herein have provided a basis to better understand basic biology and natural transmission of E. multilocularis in Hokkaido, a highly endemic area of AE in northern Japan, and also to establish effective preventive measures against the disease.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A cDNA library based on mRNA from adult worms of Echinococcus multilocularis was constructed. One cDNA clone, emY162, was isolated from this cDNA library. The putative protein from emY162 cDNA consists of 153 amino acids and has a predicted molecular weight of 17.0 kDa. The amino acid sequences of EMY162 are predicted to be a hydrophobic N-terminus conserving a secretory signal, and a hydrophobic C-terminus encoding a transmembrane domain or glycosyl-phosphatylinositol membrane anchor, and to have single fibronectin type III-like domain. In addition, it was shown that the emY162 gene (1738 bp) in the E. multilocularis genome DNA consists of three exons and two introns, and that emY162 is expressed in all four stages (protoscoleces, cultured metacestodes, immature adult worms and mature adult worms). Moreover, immunity to recombinant EMY162, which comprises the fibronectin type III-like domain on the EMY162 protein, was examined. Immune responses to the recombinant EMY162 were studied by using serum from dogs infected with E. multilocularis. Strong IgG immune responses were detected in Western blots.
Biochimica et Biophysica Acta 02/2008; 1780(1):1-6. · 4.66 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Alveolar echinococcosis, which is due to the massive growth of larval Echinococcus multilocularis, is a life-threatening parasitic zoonosis distributed widely across the northern hemisphere. Commercially available chemotherapeutic compounds have parasitostatic but not parasitocidal effects. Parasitic organisms use various energy metabolic pathways that differ greatly from those of their hosts and therefore could be promising targets for chemotherapy. The aim of this study was to characterize the mitochondrial respiratory chain of E. multilocularis, with the eventual goal of developing novel antiechinococcal compounds. Enzymatic analyses using enriched mitochondrial fractions from E. multilocularis protoscoleces revealed that the mitochondria exhibited NADH-fumarate reductase activity as the predominant enzyme activity, suggesting that the mitochondrial respiratory system of the parasite is highly adapted to anaerobic environments. High-performance liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry revealed that the primary quinone of the parasite mitochondria was rhodoquinone-10, which is commonly used as an electron mediator in anaerobic respiration by the NADH-fumarate reductase system of other eukaryotes. This also suggests that the mitochondria of E. multilocularis protoscoleces possess an anaerobic respiratory chain in which complex II of the parasite functions as a rhodoquinol-fumarate reductase. Furthermore, in vitro treatment assays using respiratory chain inhibitors against the NADH-quinone reductase activity of mitochondrial complex I demonstrated that they had a potent ability to kill protoscoleces. These results suggest that the mitochondrial respiratory chain of the parasite is a promising target for chemotherapy of alveolar echinococcosis.
Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy 02/2008; 52(1):164-70. · 4.57 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Alveolar echinococcosis is caused by infection with the larval stage of Echinococcus multilocularis. We recently identified a cDNA clone, designated as emy162, that encodes a putative secreted protein. EMY162 shares structural features with the EM95 antigen, which is a host-protective antigen. The amino acid sequence of EMY162 shows 31.4% identity to EM95 whereas these antigens are distinguishable with respect to their predicted secondary structure and antigenicity on Western blot analysis. RT-PCR analysis revealed that the gene expression of emy162 was significantly higher than that of em95 at each life-cycle stage. Recombinant EMY162 antigen induced a significant level of host-protection (74.3%) in experimental infection with E. multilocularis eggs in mice. Notably, recombinant EMY162 antigen showed significant reactivity to the sera from alveolar echinococcosis patients. These results may help in the development of a practical vaccine to reduce the level of alveolar echinococcosis in humans.
Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications 12/2007; 363(4):915-20. · 2.41 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The prevalences of Trichinella T9 in trapped raccoons (Procyon lotor) and several other potential mammalian reservoirs in Hokkaido, Wakayama, and Nagasaki Prefectures were investigated. Muscle samples were collected from 2003 to 2006 from 1,080 raccoons, 113 raccoon dogs including 2 species (Nyctereutes procyonoides albus and N. p. viverrinus), 41 wild boars (Sus scrofa leucomystax), 14 martens (Martes melampus), 10 badgers (Meles meles), 5 Siberian weasels (Martes sibirica coreana), 7 mink (Mustela vison), and 1 red fox (Vulpes vulpes japonica). The samples were digested, and the prevalence and mean intensity of infection with the Trichinella muscle larvae were determined. The prevalence and intensity of the muscle larvae were 0.9% and 93.3 larvae/g (range 0.4-201.8) in raccoons, and 1.6% and 61.6 larvae/g in raccoon dogs, respectively. The infected animals were captured in different areas in Hokkaido Prefecture. These results confirmed that raccoons, which have been introduced from North America since the 1970s, are involved in the sylvatic cycle of Trichinella in Japan. In raccoons, the muscle density of Trichinella T9 larvae was highest in the tongue, and larvae were not found in the heart muscle or diaphragm. This is the first report of Trichinella T9 infection of feral raccoons in Japan.
Parasitology Research 06/2007; 100(6):1287-91. · 2.85 Impact Factor