[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A vaccine against schistosomiasis would contribute significantly to reducing the 3-70 million disability-adjusted life years lost annually to the disease. Towards this end, inoculation with the large extracellular loop (EC-2) of Schistosoma mansoni tetraspanin-2 protein (Sm-TSP-2) has proved effective in reducing worm and egg burdens in S. mansoni-infected mice. The EC-2 loop of Schistosoma japonicum TSP-2, however, has been found to be highly polymorphic, perhaps diminishing the likelihood that this antigen can be used for vaccination against this species. Here, we examine polymorphism of the EC-2 of Sm-TSP-2 in genetically unique worms derived from six individuals from Kisumu, Kenya.
International journal for parasitology 08/2011; 41(12):1249-52. · 3.39 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Recent schistosomiasis control efforts in sub-Saharan Africa have focused nearly exclusively on treatment of humans with praziquantel. However, the extent to which wild mammals act as reservoirs for Schistosoma mansoni and therefore as sources of renewed transmission following control efforts is poorly understood. With the objective to study the role of small mammals as reservoir hosts, 480 animals belonging to 9 rodent and 1 insectivore species were examined for infection with schistosomes in Kisumu, in the Lake Victoria Basin, Kenya. Animals were collected from 2 sites: near the lakeshore and from Nyabera Marsh draining into the lake. A total of 6.0% of the animals captured, including 5 murid rodent species and 1 species of shrew (Crocidura olivieri) were infected with schistosomes. Four schistosome species were recovered and identified using cox1 DNA barcoding: S. mansoni, S. bovis, S. rodhaini and S. kisumuensis, the latter of which was recently described from Nyabera Marsh. Schistosoma mansoni and S. rodhaini were found infecting the same host individual (Lophuromys flavopunctatus), suggesting that this host species could be responsible for the production of hybrid schistosomes found in the area. Although the prevalence of S. mansoni infection in these reservoir populations was low (1.5%), given their potentially vast population size, their impact on transmission needs further study. Reservoir hosts could perpetuate snail infections and favour renewed transmission to humans once control programmes have ceased.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Schistosoma kisumuensis n. sp. is described based on 6 adult males and 2 adult females collected from the circulatory system of 3 murid rodent species, Pelomys isseli, Mastomys natalensis, and Dasymys incomtus. Specimens were collected from a single location, Nyabera Swamp, in Kisumu, Kenya in the Lake Victoria Basin. This new species is morphologically similar to members of the S. haematobium group, currently represented by 8 species parasitizing artiodactyls and primates, including humans. Schistosoma kisumuensis differs from these species by producing relatively small Schistosoma intercalatum-like eggs (135.2 x 52.9 microm) with a relatively small length to width ratio (2.55). Comparison of approximately 3000-base-pair sequences of nuclear rDNA (partial 28S) and mtDNA (partial cox1, nad6, 12S) strongly supports the status of S. kisumuensis as a new species and as a sister species of S. intercalatum. The cox1 genetic distance between these two species (6.3%) is comparable to other pairwise comparisons within the S. haematobium group. Separation of the Congo River and Lake Victoria drainage basins is discussed as a possible factor favoring the origin of this species.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We examined the spatial structure of Schistosoma mansoni, a parasite of humans, from natural infections at two levels: across the Lake Victoria basin of Kenya and among snail hosts. Using 20 microsatellite markers we examined geographic patterns of relatedness and population structure of cercariae and found weak, but significant structure detected by some, but not all analyses. We hypothesise structure created by aggregations of clonal individuals or adherence of hosts to local transmission sites is eroded by high amounts of gene flow in the region. This finding also supports previous hypotheses concerning the evolution of drug resistance in the region. Intrasnail dynamics were investigated in the context of aggregation and kin selection theory to determine how relatedness and also sex influence host sharing and host exploitation. Cercarial production did not differ significantly between snails with one or two genotypes suggesting that mixed infections resulted in decreased individual fitness and provides a framework for reproductive competition. Coinfection patterns in snails were independent of parasite relatedness indicating that schistosomes were not aggregated according to their relatedness and that kin selection was not influencing host sharing. Additionally, host exploitation in coinfections (measured by cercarial production) was not negatively correlated with relatedness, as predicted by classical models due to increased competition and thus exploitation when parasites are unrelated. Because of the low levels of relatedness within the population, schistosomes may rarely encounter close relatives and kin selection mechanisms that influence the distribution of individuals within snails or the virulence mode of the parasites may simply have not evolved.
International journal for parasitology 06/2009; 39(12):1353-62. · 3.39 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A recently developed high-throughput technique that allows multi-locus microsatellite analysis of individual miracidia of Schistosoma mansoni was used to assess the levels of genetic diversity and population structure in 12 infrapopulations of the parasite, each infrapopulation derived from an infected school child from the Mwea area, central Kenya. The mean number of alleles per locus was in the range 8.22-10.22, expected heterozygosity in Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium was 0.68-0.70, and pairwise F(ST) values ranged from 0.16% to 3.98% for the 12 infrapopulations. Although the genetic diversity within each infrapopulation of S. mansoni in this area was generally high, low levels of genetic structure were observed, suggestive of high levels of gene flow among infrapopulations. Private alleles were found in 8 of the 12 infrapopulation, the highest number of private alleles recorded per infrapopulation was 3. Our data suggest that the level of gene flow among infrapopulations of S. mansoni in Mwea is extremely high, thus providing opportunity for spread of rare alleles, including those that may confer character traits such as drug resistance and virulence.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To develop and assess a microsatellite technique to characterize populations of Schistosoma mansoni from humans.
For each of five patients, we calculated the allele count and frequency at 11 loci for several pools of miracidia (50 and 100), and compared these to population values, determined by amplifying microsatellites from 186 to 200 individual miracidia per patient.
We were able to detect up to 94.5% of alleles in pools. Allele count and frequency strongly and significantly correlated between singles and pools; marginally significant differences (P < 0.05) were detected for one patient (pools of 50) for allele frequencies and for two patients (pools of 100) for allele counts. Kato-Katz egg counts and number of alleles per pool did not co-vary, indicating that further direct comparisons of the results from these two techniques are needed.
Allele counts and frequency profiles from pooling provide important information about infection intensity and complexity, beyond that obtained from traditional methods. Although we are not advocating use of pooling to replace individual genotyping studies, it can potentially be useful in certain applications as a rapid and cost effective screening method for studies of S. mansoni population genetics, or as a more informative way to quantify and characterize human worm populations.
Tropical Medicine & International Health 01/2009; 14(3):322-31. · 2.94 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Genetic diversity and population structure of seven populations of Schistosoma mansoni sampled in Kenya were assessed using five microsatellite markers. The mean number of alleles per locus, expected heterozygosity in Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium and pairwise F(ST) values ranged from 5.2 to 10.7, 0.5-0.8 and 3.6-27.3%, respectively. These data reveal that S. mansoni populations in Kenyan have relatively high levels of genetic diversity and is significantly differentiated. Our data combined with information on biogeography support the hypothesis that the strong genetic structure in Kenyan schistosomes is as a result of limited gene flow and large population sizes. Resistance to anthelminthics has not been reported among the Kenyan schistosomes, we hypothesize that this is probably due to the very little gene flow among populations, thereby limiting opportunities for the spread of rare alleles that might confer resistance to the drugs.
Infection Genetics and Evolution 12/2006; 6(6):484-90. · 2.77 Impact Factor