[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Neospora caninum can cause fetal abortion and neonatal mortality in cattle, and is a cause of economic concern worldwide. This study aimed to determine the prevalence of Neospora caninum-specific antibodies in cattle from Western Java, Indonesia. Serum samples from 991 cattle from 21 locations were tested for antibodies to N. caninum by using an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) on the basis of recombinant NcSAG1. The overall seroprevalence was 16.6%, ranging from 0 to 87.5% in the sampled locations. The results of this study indicate latent infection rates of sampled animals were different in each location. Further studies are necessary to elucidate the relationship between N. caninum infection and abortion in cattle, and to identify risk factors for infection in high-prevalence environments.
Journal of Veterinary Medical Science 08/2015; DOI:10.1292/jvms.15-0382 · 0.88 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The M17 leucine aminopeptidase (M17LAP) enzymes of the other apicomplexan parasites have been characterized and shown to be inhibited by bestatin. Though Babesia bovis also belong to the apicomplexan group, it is not known whether its M17LAP could display a similar biochemical properties as well as inhibition profile. To unravel this uncertainty, a B. bovis M17LAP (BbM17LAP) gene was expressed in Escherichia coli, and activity of the recombinant enzyme as well as its inhibition by bestatin were evaluated. The inhibitory effect of the compound on growths of B. bovis and B. gibsoni in vitro was also determined. The expression of the gene fused with glutathione S-transferase (GST) yielded approximately 81-kDa recombinant BbM17LAP (rBbM17LAP). On probing with mouse anti-rBbM17LAP serum, a green fluorescence was observed on the parasite cytosol on confocal laser microscopy and specific band greater than predicted molecular mass was seen on Western blotting. The Km and Vmax values of the recombinant enzyme were 139.3 ± 30.25 and 64.83± 4.6 µM, respectively while the Ki was 2210 ± 358 μM after the inhibition. Bestatin was a more potent inhibitor of the growth of B. bovis [IC50 = 131.7 ± 51.43 μM] than B. gibsoni [IC50 = 460.8 ± 114.45 μM] in vitro. The modest inhibition of both the rBbM17LAP activity and Babesia parasites growths in vitro suggest that this inhibition may involve the endogenous enzyme in live parasite. Therefore, BbM17LAP may be a target of bestatin though more studies with other aminopeptidase inhibitors are required to confirm this.
Journal of Parasitology 06/2015; DOI:10.1645/15-745.1 · 1.26 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Cryptosporidium oocysts were found in 43 out of 77 calves from two farms in Iwate Prefecture and nine farms on Tanegashima Island, Kagoshima Prefecture, Japan. The DNA fragments of 18S ribosomal RNA (18S rRNA) gene were amplified by a nested PCR from 43 oocyst-positive as well as one oocyst-negative samples. All of them were precisely identified as C. parvum by analyzing the nucleotide sequences of the 18S rRNA gene. C. parvum oocyst-positive calves ranged in age from 6 to 13 days old and significantly have watery diarrhea (P<0.05). Sequences of the gene encoding the 60-kDa glycoprotein (GP60) in 43 Cryptosporidium oocyst-positive samples were identical to that of the zoonotic IIaA15G2R1 subtype. We therefore suggest that calves could be potential sources of C. parvum infections in humans.
Journal of Veterinary Medical Science 03/2015; DOI:10.1292/jvms.15-0082 · 0.88 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The apical complex of Toxoplasma gondii enables it to invade virtually all nucleated cells in warm-blooded animals, including humans, making it a parasite of global importance. Anti-T. gondii cellular defense mechanisms depend largely on interferon (IFN)-γ production by immune cells. However, the molecular mechanism of IFN-β-mediated defense remains largely unclear. Here, mouse peritoneal macrophages and murine embryonic fibroblasts (MEFs) primed with recombinant IFN-β and IFN-γ showed different pathways of activation. Treatment of these cells with IFN-β or IFN-γ inhibited T. gondii (Type II PLK strain) growth. Priming macrophages with IFN-β had no effect on inflammatory cytokine expression, inducible nitric oxide synthase or indoleamine 2,3-dioxygenase, nor did it have an effect on their metabolites, nitric oxide and kynurenine, respectively. In contrast, IFN-γ stimulation was characterized by classical macrophage activation and T. gondii elimination. IFN-β activation recruited the immunity-related GTPase M1 (IRGM1) to the parasitophorous vacuole in the macrophages and MEFs. Anti-toxoplasma activities induced by IFN-β were significantly reduced after IRGM1 knockdown in murine macrophages and in IRGM1 deficient MEFs. Thus, this study unravels an alternative pathway of macrophage activation by IFN-β and provides a mechanistic explanation for the contribution of IRGM1 induced by IFN-β to the elimination of T. gondii.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The previous release of our Full-parasites database (http://fullmal.hgc.jp/) brought enhanced functionality, an expanded full-length cDNA content, and new RNA-Seq datasets from several important apicomplexan parasites. The 2015 update witnesses the major shift in the databases content with focus on diverse transcriptomes of the apicomplexan parasites. The content of the database was substantially enriched with transcriptome information for new apicomplexan parasites. The latest version covers a total of 17 species, with addition of our newly generated RNA-Seq data of a total of 909 150 388 tags. Moreover, we have generated and included two novel and unique datasets, which represent diverse nature of transcriptomes in individual parasites in vivo and in vitro. One is the data collected from 116 Indonesian patients infected with Plasmodium falciparum. The other is a series of transcriptome data collected from a total of 38 single cells of P. falciparum cultured in vitro. We believe that with the recent advances our database becomes an even better resource and a unique platform in the analysis of apicomplexan parasites and their interaction with their hosts. To adequately reflect the recent modifications and the current content we have changed the database name to DB-AT—DataBase of Apicomplexa Transcriptomes.
Nucleic Acids Research 01/2015; DOI:10.1093/nar/gku1240 · 9.11 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Neospora caninum is a protozoan parasite that causes neurological disorders in dogs and cattle. It can cause nonsuppurative meningoencephalitis and a variety of neuronal symptoms are observed, particularly in dogs. However, the pathogenic mechanism, including the relationship between the parasite distribution and the clinical signs, is unclear. In this study, to understand the pathogenic mechanism of neosporosis, parasite distribution and lesions were assessed in the brain of mice infected with N. caninum (strain Nc-1). Host gene expression was also analyzed with RNA sequencing (RNA-Seq). The histopathological lesions in the frontal lobe and the medulla oblongata were significantly more severe in symptomatic mice than in asymptomatic mice, although no association between the severity of the lesions and parasite numbers was found. In infected mice, the expression of 772 mouse brain genes was upregulated. A GOstat analysis predicted that the upregulated genes were involved in the host immune response. Genes whose expression correlated positively and negatively with parasite numbers were involved in the host immune response, and neuronal morphogenesis and lipid metabolic processes, respectively. These results suggest that changes in the gene expression profile associated with neuronal functions as well as immune responses can contribute to the pathogenesis in N. caninum-infected animals.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background Neospora caninum, a Toxoplasma gondii-like obligate intracellular parasite, causes abortion in cattle and neurological signs in canines. To understand neosporosis better, studies on host cell migration and host immune responses during the early phase of infection are important. Although the C-C chemokine receptor 5 (CCR5) plays a crucial role in immune cell migration, the role played by it in protective immunity against N. caninum is poorly understood.MethodsCCR5¿/¿ mice were used to investigate their sensitivity levels to N. caninum infection and their ability to activate immune cells against this parasite.ResultsIncreased mortality and neurological impairment were observed in the N. caninum-infected CCR5¿/¿ mice. In comparison with wild-type mice, CCR5¿/¿ mice experienced poor migration of dendritic cells and natural killer T cells to the site of infection. Dendritic cells in an in vitro culture from CCR5¿/¿ mice could not be activated upon infection with N. caninum. Furthermore, higher levels of IFN-¿ and CCL5 expression, which are associated with brain tissue damage, were observed in the brain tissue of CCR5¿/¿ mice during the acute phase of the infection, while there was no significant difference in the parasite load between the wild-type and CCR5¿/¿ animals. Additionally, a primary microglia culture from CCR5¿/¿ mice showed lower levels of IL-6 and IL-12 production against N. caninum parasites.Conclusions
Our findings show that migration and activation of immune cells via CCR5 is required for controlling N. caninum parasites during the early phase of the infection.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background
The design and development of an effective malaria vaccine against the pre-erythrocytic and erythrocytic-stages of infection present a great challenge.
In the present study, protective efficacy of oligomannose-coated liposome (OML)-entrapped merozoite and sporozoite antigens against Plasmodium berghei challenge infection in BALB/c mice was evaluated.
Subcutaneous immunization with truncated merozoite surface protein 1 entrapped with OML (OML-PbMSP1) prolonged survival, but failed to protect the mice from erythrocytic-stage infection, despite the antigen-specific antibody responses induced by the immunization regimen. In contrast, immunization with circumsporozoite protein entrapped with OML (OML-PbCSP) elicited antigen-specific humoral and cellular responses, which correlated with substantial protection against sporozoite challenge infections.
The current results represent the use of an oligomannose-coated liposome-based vaccine against pre-erythrocytic and erythrocytic stages malaria infection. This approach may offer a new vaccination strategy against malaria infection.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In the present study, we examined the contributions of macrophages to the outcome of infection with Babesia microti, the etiological agent of human and rodent babesiosis, in BALB/c mice. Mice were treated with clodronate liposome at different
times during the course of B. microti infection in order to deplete the macrophages. Notably, a depletion of host macrophages at the early and acute phases of
infection caused a significant elevation of parasitemia associated with remarkable mortality in the mice. The depletion of
macrophages at the resolving and latent phases of infection resulted in an immediate and temporal exacerbation of parasitemia
coupled with mortality in mice. Reconstituting clodronate liposome-treated mice at the acute phase of infection with macrophages
from naive mice resulted in a slight reduction in parasitemia with improved survival compared to that of mice that received
the drug alone. These results indicate that macrophages play a crucial role in the control of and resistance to B. microti infection in mice. Moreover, analyses of host immune responses revealed that macrophage-depleted mice diminished their production
of Th1 cell cytokines, including gamma interferon (IFN-γ) and tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α). Furthermore, depletion
of macrophages at different times exaggerated the pathogenesis of the infection in deficient IFN-γ−/− and severe combined immunodeficiency (SCID) mice. Collectively, our data provide important clues about the role of macrophages
in the resistance and control of B. microti and imply that the severity of the infection in immunocompromised patients might be due to impairment of macrophage function.
Infection and Immunity 10/2014; 83(1). DOI:10.1128/IAI.02128-14 · 4.16 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Estimates of the zoonotic diseases are helpful for monitoring and improving public health. Laboratory-based surveillance provides crucial information for assessing zoonotic disease trends and developments. Toxoplasmosis is considered as a zoonotic disease and has both medical and veterinary importance since it leads to abortion in humans and several animal species. In view of the worldwide importance of T. gondii, this study aimed to estimate the prevalence of T. gondii in chickens from the Delta of Egypt. A total of 304 blood and brain samples were collected from Egyptian chickens from Gharbiya, Qalyoubiya, Minufiya, Beheira, Kafr EL-Shaykh and Dakahlia Provinces. In order to determine the serological and histopathological prevalence of T. gondii, the samples were examined by ELISA, histopathology and immunohistochemistry (IHC). The prevalence of T. gondii was 11.18, 6.91, 6.91 % by ELISA, histopathology and IHC, respectively. Statistically significant differences in the prevalence of T. gondii were observed on the basis of season, sex and habitat. These data provide valuable information regarding the epidemiology of T. gondii infections in Egyptian chickens, which can be employed in developing efficient strategies for disease management and control.
Journal of parasitic diseases 08/2014; DOI:10.1007/s12639-014-0530-7
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Babesia microti is an emerging zoonotic protozoan organism that causes "malaria-like" symptoms that can be fatal in immunocompromised people. Owing to lack of specific therapeutic regiment against the disease, we cloned and characterized B. microti lactate dehydrogenase (BmLDH) as a potential molecular drug receptor. The in vitro kinetic properties of BmLDH enzyme was evaluated using nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD(+)) as a co-factor and lactate as a substrate. Inhibitory assay was also done using gossypol as BmLDH inhibitor to determine the inhibitory concentration 50 (IC50). The result showed that the 0.99 kbp BmLDH gene codes for a barely soluble 36 kDa protein (332 amino acids) localized in both the cytoplasm and nucleus of the parasite. In vitro enzyme kinetic studies further revealed that BmLDH is an active enzyme with a high catalytic efficiency at optimal pH of 10.2. The K m values of NAD(+) and lactate were 8.7 ± 0.57 mM and 99.9 ± 22.33 mM, respectively. The IC50 value for gossypol was 0.345 μM, while at 2.5 μM, gossypol caused 100% inhibition of BmLDH catalytic activity. These findings, therefore, provide initial evidence that BmLDH could be a potential drug target, although further in vivo studies are needed to validate the practical application of lactate dehydrogenase inhibitors against B. microti infection.
Drug Target Insights 07/2014; 8:31-8. DOI:10.4137/DTI.S16504
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background
Lacking enzymes for sterol synthesis, the intracellular protozoan Toxoplasma gondii scavenges cholesterol from host cells to multiply. T. gondii has a complex life cycle consisting of two asexual stages; the proliferative stage (tachyzoite), and the latent stage characterized by tissue cysts (bradyzoite). In vitro, bradyzoite development can be induced by mimicking host immune response stressors through treatment with IFN-γ, heat shock, nitric oxide, and high pH. However, the extent to which host nutrients contribute to stage conversion in T. gondii is unknown. In this study, we examined the impact of host cholesterol levels on stage conversion in this parasite.
Growth of T. gondii tachyzoites (ME49 strain) was investigated in Chinese hamster ovary (CHO) cells using various concentrations of low-density lipoprotein (LDL), oleic acid, or glucose. Squalestatin, which is an inhibitor of squalene synthase and is, therefore, an inhibitor of sterol synthesis, was used to treat the CHO cells. Tachyzoite to bradyzoite conversion rates were analyzed by indirect fluorescent antibody tests.
Parasite growth was significantly enhanced by addition of exogenous LDL, whereas no such enhancement occurred with oleic acids or glucose. In ME49, growth inhibition from squalestatin treatment was not obvious. Although growth of the RH strain was unaffected by squalestatin in the presence of lipoprotein, in its absence growth of this strain was suppressed. The frequency of BAG1-positive vacuoles in ME49 increased under lipoprotein-free conditions. However, addition of exogenous LDL did not increase tachyzoite to bradyzoite conversion in this strain. Furthermore, treatment with squalestatin did not enhance stage conversion.
Our results suggest that LDL-derived cholesterol levels play a crucial role in bradyzoite conversion in T. gondii.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Upon Neospora caninum infection, we observed that murine macrophages showed greater activation and increased IL-6, IL-12p40 and IFN-γ production. Many macrophages migrated to the site of infection. Furthermore, macrophage-depleted mice exhibited increased sensitivity to N. caninum infection. This study indicates that macrophages are required for achieving protective immunity against N. caninum.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Toxoplasma gondii hijacks host cells to allow it to disseminate throughout a host animal; however, the migratory machinery involved in this process has not been well characterized. We examined the functional role of T. gondii cyclophilin 18 (TgCyp18) in host cell recruitment using recombinant parasites transfected with TgCyp18.
High levels of TgCyp18 enhanced IL-12 production in cysteine-cysteine chemokine receptor 5 (CCR5) knockout mice (CCR5-/-) that had been infected peritoneally with T. gondii. Recruitment of CD11b+ cells to the infection site was enhanced in a CCR5-independent manner. T. gondii spread to several organs, particularly the liver, in a TgCyp18-dependent and CCR5-independent manner. Additionally, CCL5 levels were upregulated in macrophages treated with recombinant protein TgCyp18 and in the peritoneal fluids of the infected CCR5-/- mice. Furthermore, the chemokines involved in macrophage migration, CCL2 and CXCL10, were upregulated in the livers of CCR5-/- mice infected with recombinant parasites that had been transfected with TgCyp18.
TgCyp18 may play a crucial role in macrophage migration, and in assisting with transport of T. gondii via CCR5-independent mechanisms. TgCyp18 may also play a role with CCL5 in the migration of macrophages to the site of infection, and with CCL2 and CXCL10 in the transport of T. gondii-infected cells to the liver.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Abstract The resistance of Babesia parasites to current anti-babesiosis drugs is an issue of major concern. The inosine 5'-monophosphate dehydrogenase (IMPDH) of Babesia gibsoni has been identified and characterized as a molecular drug target in our previous studies. In the present study, inhibitory effects of IMPDH inhibitors (mycophenolate mofetil, mizoribine, ribavirin, 7-nitroindole, and mycophenolic acid) were evaluated in vitro or in vivo. In an inhibition assay of recombinant B. gibsoni IMPDH (BgIMPDH) activity, mycophenolate mofetil was the most potent inhibitor (IC50 = 2.58 ± 1.32 μM) while ribavirin was the least potent. The inhibitory effects of mycophenolate mofetil, mizoribine, ribavirin, and 7-nitroindole on the in vitro growths of B. gibsoni and Babesia bovis were also assessed. The results revealed that mycophenolate mofetil was the most potent inhibitor of the multiplications of both B. gibsoni (IC50 = 0.13 ± 0.05 μM) and B. bovis (IC50 = 0.97 ± 0.49 μM). Ribavirin was also the least potent for both B. gibsoni and B. bovis in vitro. Mycophenolic acid, a metabolite of mycophenolate mofetil, caused an inhibition of Babesia microti in mice with noticeable improvement in hematological parameters of the infected mice (ED50 = 44.15 ± 12.53 mg/kg). Although the report here provide a non-exhaustive view of potential treatment strategy without addressing the potential adverse effect of immune suppression on infections, these results indicated that the IMPDH might be a molecular target of MPA for B. microti. Altogether, we provide a basis for development of antibabesia prodrugs by targeting IMPDH of the parasites in treatment of babesiosis.
Journal of Parasitology 02/2014; 100(4). DOI:10.1645/13-278.1 · 1.26 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Toxoplasma gondii is an obligate intracellular parasite that can infect a variety of mammals and birds, causing toxoplasmosis. Several types of vaccines against T. gondii have been developed, but these have limitations in terms of their safety and inadequate efficacy. T. gondii profilin (TgPF) is a potential immunodominant antigen for a candidate vaccine. In this study, we encapsulated TgPF in oligomannose-coated liposomes (OMLs) to evaluate the immune response induced by this vaccine. C57BL/6 mice were immunized with TgPF-OML three times at 14-day intervals and challenged with T. gondii. TgPF-OML increased the survival of the mice and reduced the parasite burden in their brains after T. gondii infection. Immunization with TgPF-OML also induced TgPF-specific interferon-γ production and IgG antibodies in mice. Our results demonstrate that OML-encapsulated TgPF triggers strong humoral and cellular responses against T. gondii, and that TgPF-OML is a candidate vaccine that warrants further development.