PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases (PLOS NEGLECT TROP D)

Publisher: Public Library of Science, Public Library of Science

Journal description

PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases is the first open-access journal devoted to the world's most neglected tropical diseases (NTDs), such as elephantiasis, river blindness, leprosy, hookworm, schistosomiasis, and African sleeping sickness. The journal publishes high-quality, peer-reviewed research on all scientific, medical, and public-health aspects of these forgotten diseases affecting the world's forgotten people.

Current impact factor: 4.45

Impact Factor Rankings

2016 Impact Factor Available summer 2017
2014 / 2015 Impact Factor 4.446
2013 Impact Factor 4.489
2012 Impact Factor 4.569
2011 Impact Factor 4.716
2010 Impact Factor 4.752
2009 Impact Factor 4.693
2008 Impact Factor 4.172

Impact factor over time

Impact factor

Additional details

5-year impact 4.93
Cited half-life 3.20
Immediacy index 0.71
Eigenfactor 0.05
Article influence 1.43
Website PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases website
Other titles PLoS neglected tropical diseases (Online), PLoS neglected tropical diseases
ISSN 1935-2735
OCLC 77500770
Material type Document, Periodical, Internet resource
Document type Internet Resource, Computer File, Journal / Magazine / Newspaper

Publisher details

Public Library of Science

  • Pre-print
    • Author can archive a pre-print version
  • Post-print
    • Author can archive a post-print version
  • Conditions
    • Creative Commons Attribution License
    • Eligible UK authors may deposit in OpenDepot
    • Publisher's version/PDF may be used
    • All titles are open access journals
  • Classification

Publications in this journal

  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Background Burkholderia pseudomallei (B. pseudomallei), the causative agent of melioidosis, is a deadly pathogen endemic across parts of tropical South East Asia and Northern Australia. B. pseudomallei can remain latent within the intracellular compartment of the host cell over prolonged periods of time, and cause persistent disease leading to treatment difficulties. Understanding the immunological mechanisms behind persistent infection can result in improved treatment strategies in clinical melioidosis. Methods Ten-day LD50 was determined for the small-colony variant (SCV) and its parental wild-type (WT) via intranasal route in experimental BALB/c mice. Persistent B. pseudomallei infection was generated by administrating sub-lethal dose of the two strains based on previously determined LD50. After two months, peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) and plasma were obtained to investigate host immune responses against persistent B. pseudomallei infection. Lungs, livers, and spleens were harvested and bacterial loads in these organs were determined. Results Based on the ten-day LD50, the SCV was ~20-fold less virulent than the WT. The SCV caused higher bacterial loads in spleens compared to its WT counterparts with persistent B. pseudomallei infection. We found that the CD4+ T-cell frequencies were decreased, and the expressions of PD-1, but not CTLA-4 were significantly increased on the CD4+ and CD8+ T cells of these mice. Notably, persistent infection with the SCV led to significantly higher levels of PD-1 than the WT B. pseudomallei. Plasma IFN-γ, IL-6, and IL-17A levels were elevated only in SCV-infected mice. In addition, skewed plasma Th1 and Th17 responses were observed in SCV-infected mice relative to WT-infected and uninfected mice. Conclusion B. pseudomallei appears to upregulate the expression of PD-1 on T cells to evade host immune responses, which likely facilitates bacterial persistence in the host. SCVs cause distinct pathology and immune responses in the host as compared to WT B. pseudomallei.
    No preview · Article · Mar 2016 · PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases
  • Ehtesham Mofiz · Torsten Seemann · Melanie Bahlo · Deborah Holt · Bart J Currie · Katja Fischer · Anthony T Papenfuss
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    ABSTRACT: The scabies mite, Sarcoptes scabiei, is an obligate parasite of the skin that infects humans and other animal species, causing scabies, a contagious disease characterized by extreme itching. Scabies infections are a major health problem, particularly in remote Indigenous communities in Australia, where co-infection of epidermal scabies lesions by Group A Streptococci or Staphylococcus aureus is thought to be responsible for the high rate of rheumatic heart disease and chronic kidney disease. We collected and separately sequenced mite DNA from several pools of thousands of whole mites from a porcine model of scabies (S. scabiei var. suis) and two human patients (S. scabiei var. hominis) living in different regions of northern Australia. Our sequencing samples the mite and its metagenome, including the mite gut flora and the wound micro-environment. Here, we describe the mitochondrial genome of the scabies mite. We developed a new de novo assembly pipeline based on a bait-and-reassemble strategy, which produced a 14 kilobase mitochondrial genome sequence assembly. We also annotated 35 genes and have compared these to other Acari mites. We identified single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) and used these to infer the presence of six haplogroups in our samples, Remarkably, these fall into two closely-related clades with one clade including both human and pig varieties. This supports earlier findings that only limited genetic differences may separate some human and animal varieties, and raises the possibility of cross-host infections. Finally, we used these mitochondrial haplotypes to show that the genetic diversity of individual infections is typically small with 1-3 distinct haplotypes per infestation.
    No preview · Article · Feb 2016 · PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases
  • Brecht Devleesschauwer · Arjun Aryal · Barun Kumar Sharma · Anita Ale · Anne Declercq · Stephanie Depraz · Tara Nath Gaire · Gyanendra Gongal · Surendra Karki · Basu Dev Pandey · Sher Bahadur Pun · Luc Duchateau · Pierre Dorny · Niko Speybroeck
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    ABSTRACT: Background: Rabies is a vaccine-preventable viral zoonosis belonging to the group of neglected tropical diseases. Exposure to a rabid animal may result in a fatal acute encephalitis if effective post-exposure prophylaxis is not provided. Rabies occurs worldwide, but its burden is disproportionately high in developing countries, including Nepal. We aimed to summarize current knowledge on the epidemiology, impact and control of rabies in Nepal. Methods: We performed a systematic review of international and national scientific literature and searched grey literature through the World Health Organization Digital Library and the library of the National Zoonoses and Food Hygiene Research Centre, Nepal, and through searching Google and Google Scholar. Further data on animal and human rabies were obtained from the relevant Nepalese government agencies. Finally, we surveyed the archives of a Nepalese daily to obtain qualitative information on rabies in Nepal. Findings: So far, only little original research has been conducted on the epidemiology and impact of rabies in Nepal. Per year, rabies is reported to kill about 100 livestock and 10-100 humans, while about 1,000 livestock and 35,000 humans are reported to receive rabies post-exposure prophylaxis. However, these estimates are very likely to be serious underestimations of the true rabies burden. Significant progress has been made in the production of cell culture-based anti-rabies vaccine and rabies immunoglobulin, but availability and supply remain a matter of concern, especially in remote areas. Different state and non-state actors have initiated rabies control activities over the years, but efforts typically remained focalized, of short duration and not harmonized. Communication and coordination between veterinary and human health authorities is limited at present, further complicating rabies control in Nepal. Important research gaps include the reporting biases for both human and animal rabies, the ecology of stray dog populations and the true contribution of the sylvatic cycle. Interpretation: Better data are needed to unravel the true burden of animal and human rabies. More collaboration, both within the country and within the region, is needed to control rabies. To achieve these goals, high level political commitment is essential. We therefore propose to make rabies the model zoonosis for successful control in Nepal.
    No preview · Article · Feb 2016 · PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases
  • Barry W Alto · Cynthia C Lord
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    ABSTRACT: Most mosquito control efforts are primarily focused on reducing the adult population size mediated by reductions in the larval population, which should lower risk of disease transmission. Although the aim of larviciding is to reduce larval abundance and thus recruitment of adults, nonlethal effects on adults are possible, including transstadial effects on phenotypes of adults such as survival and pathogen infection and transmission. In addition, the mortality induced by control efforts may act in conjunction with other sources of mosquito mortality in nature. The consequences of these effects and interactions may alter the potential of the population to transmit pathogens. We tested experimentally the combined effects of a larvicide (Bacillus thuringiensis ssp. israelensis, Bti) and competition during the larval stages on subsequent Aedes aegypti (Linnaeus) traits, population performance, and susceptibility to dengue-1 virus infection. Ae. aegypti that survived exposure to Bti experienced accelerated development, were larger, and produced more eggs with increasing amounts of Bti, consistent with competitive release among surviving mosquitoes. Changing larval density had no significant interactive effect with Bti treatment on development and growth to adulthood. Larval density, but not Bti or treatment interaction, had a strong effect on survival of adult Ae. aegypti females. There were sharper declines in cumulative daily survival of adults from crowded than uncrowded larval conditions, suggesting that high competition conditions of larvae may be an impediment to transmission of dengue viruses. Rates of infection and dengue-1 virus disseminated infections were found to be 87±13% and 88±12%, respectively. There were no significant treatment effects on infection measurements. Our findings suggest that larvicide campaigns using Bti may reduce the number of emerged adults, but survivors will have a fitness advantage (growth, development, enhanced production of eggs) relative to conspecifics that are not under larvicide pressure. However, under most circumstances, these transstadial effects are unlikely to outweigh reductions in the adult population by Bti and altered risk of disease transmission.
    No preview · Article · Feb 2016 · PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases
  • Sumudu Britton · Qin Cheng · Matthew J Grigg · Catherine B Poole · Cielo Pasay · Timothy William · Kimberley Fornace · Nicholas M Anstey · Colin J Sutherland · Chris Drakeley · James S McCarthy
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    ABSTRACT: Introduction: Plasmodium vivax malaria has a wide geographic distribution and poses challenges to malaria elimination that are likely to be greater than those of P. falciparum. Diagnostic tools for P. vivax infection in non-reference laboratory settings are limited to microscopy and rapid diagnostic tests but these are unreliable at low parasitemia. The development and validation of a high-throughput and sensitive assay for P. vivax is a priority. Methods: A high-throughput LAMP assay targeting a P. vivax mitochondrial gene and deploying colorimetric detection in a 96-well plate format was developed and evaluated in the laboratory. Diagnostic accuracy was compared against microscopy, antigen detection tests and PCR and validated in samples from malaria patients and community controls in a district hospital setting in Sabah, Malaysia. Results: The high throughput LAMP-P. vivax assay (HtLAMP-Pv) performed with an estimated limit of detection of 1.4 parasites/ μL. Assay primers demonstrated cross-reactivity with P. knowlesi but not with other Plasmodium spp. Field testing of HtLAMP-Pv was conducted using 149 samples from symptomatic malaria patients (64 P. vivax, 17 P. falciparum, 56 P. knowlesi, 7 P. malariae, 1 mixed P. knowlesi/P. vivax, with 4 excluded). When compared against multiplex PCR, HtLAMP-Pv demonstrated a sensitivity for P. vivax of 95% (95% CI 87-99%); 61/64), and specificity of 100% (95% CI 86-100%); 25/25) when P. knowlesi samples were excluded. HtLAMP-Pv testing of 112 samples from asymptomatic community controls, 7 of which had submicroscopic P. vivax infections by PCR, showed a sensitivity of 71% (95% CI 29-96%; 5/7) and specificity of 93% (95% CI87-97%; 98/105). Conclusion: This novel HtLAMP-P. vivax assay has the potential to be a useful field applicable molecular diagnostic test for P. vivax infection in elimination settings.
    No preview · Article · Feb 2016 · PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases
  • Germán Añez · Daniel A R Heisey · Caren Chancey · Rafaelle C G Fares · Luz M Espina · Kátia P R Souza · Andréa Teixeira-Carvalho · David E Krysztof · Gregory A Foster · Susan L Stramer · Maria Rios
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    ABSTRACT: Background: Dengue is a mosquito-borne viral disease caused by the four dengue viruses (DENV-1 to 4) that can also be transmitted by blood transfusion and organ transplantation. The distribution of DENV in the components of blood from infected donors is poorly understood. Methods: We used an in-house TaqMan qRT-PCR assay to test residual samples of plasma, cellular components of whole blood (CCWB), serum and clot specimens from the same collection from blood donors who were DENV-RNA-reactive in a parallel blood safety study. To assess whether DENV RNA detected by TaqMan was associated with infectious virus, DENV infectivity in available samples was determined by culture in mosquito cells. Results: DENV RNA was detected by TaqMan in all tested blood components, albeit more consistently in the cellular components; 78.8% of CCWB, 73.3% of clots, 86.7% of sera and 41.8% of plasma samples. DENV-1 was detected in 48 plasma and 97 CCWB samples while DENV-4 was detected in 21 plasma and 31 CCWB samples. In mosquito cell cultures, 29/111 (26.1%) plasma and 32/97 (32.7%) CCWB samples were infectious. A subset of samples from 29 donors was separately analyzed to compare DENV viral loads in the available blood components. DENV viral loads did not differ significantly between components and ranged from 3-8 log10 PCR-detectable units/ml. Conclusions: DENV was present in all tested components from most donors, and viral RNA was not preferentially distributed in any of the tested components. Infectious DENV was also present in similar proportions in cultured plasma, clot and CCWB samples, indicating that these components may serve as a resource when sample sizes are limited. However, these results suggest that the sensitivity of the nucleic acid tests (NAT) for these viruses would not be improved by testing whole blood or components other than plasma.
    No preview · Article · Feb 2016 · PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases
  • Rebecca J Faleiro · Rajiv Kumar · Patrick T Bunn · Neetu Singh · Shashi Bhushan Chauhan · Meru Sheel · Fiona H Amante · Marcela Montes de Oca · Chelsea L Edwards · Susanna S Ng · Shannon E Best · Ashraful Haque · Lynette Beattie · Louise M Hafner · David Sacks · Susanne Nylen · Shyam Sundar · Christian R Engwerda
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    ABSTRACT: Chronic disease caused by infections, cancer or autoimmunity can result in profound immune suppression. Immunoregulatory networks are established to prevent tissue damage caused by inflammation. Although these immune checkpoints preserve tissue function, they allow pathogens and tumors to persist, and even expand. Immune checkpoint blockade has recently been successfully employed to treat cancer. This strategy modulates immunoregulatory mechanisms to allow host immune cells to kill or control tumors. However, the utility of this approach for controlling established infections has not been extensively investigated. Here, we examined the potential of modulating glucocorticoid-induced TNF receptor-related protein (GITR) on T cells to improve anti-parasitic immunity in blood and spleen tissue from visceral leishmaniasis (VL) patients infected with Leishmania donovani. We found little effect on parasite growth or parasite-specific IFNγ production. However, this treatment reversed the improved anti-parasitic immunity achieved by IL-10 signaling blockade. Further investigations using an experimental VL model caused by infection of C57BL/6 mice with L. donovani revealed that this negative effect was prominent in the liver, dependent on parasite burden and associated with an accumulation of Th1 cells expressing high levels of KLRG-1. Nevertheless, combined anti-IL-10 and anti-GITR mAb treatment could improve anti-parasitic immunity when used with sub-optimal doses of anti-parasitic drug. However, additional studies with VL patient samples indicated that targeting GITR had no overall benefit over IL-10 signaling blockade alone at improving anti-parasitic immune responses, even with drug treatment cover. These findings identify several important factors that influence the effectiveness of immune modulation, including parasite burden, target tissue and the use of anti-parasitic drug. Critically, these results also highlight potential negative effects of combining different immune modulation strategies.
    No preview · Article · Feb 2016 · PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases
  • Herman Kosasih · Bachti Alisjahbana · Nurhayati · Quirijn de Mast · Irani F Rudiman · Susana Widjaja · Ungke Antonjaya · Harli Novriani · Nugroho H Susanto · Hadi Jusuf · Andre van der Ven · Charmagne G Beckett · Patrick J Blair · Timothy H Burgess · Maya Williams · Kevin R Porter
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    ABSTRACT: Background: Dengue has emerged as one of the most important infectious diseases in the last five decades. Evidence indicates the expansion of dengue virus endemic areas and consequently the exponential increase of dengue virus infections across the subtropics. The clinical manifestations of dengue virus infection include sudden fever, rash, headache, myalgia and in more serious cases, spontaneous bleeding. These manifestations occur in children as well as in adults. Defining the epidemiology of dengue in a given area is critical to understanding the disease and devising effective public health strategies. Methodology/principal findings: Here, we report the results from a prospective cohort study of 4380 adults in West Java, Indonesia, from 2000-2004 and 2006-2009. A total of 2167 febrile episodes were documented and dengue virus infections were confirmed by RT-PCR or serology in 268 cases (12.4%). The proportion ranged from 7.6 to 41.8% each year. The overall incidence rate of symptomatic dengue virus infections was 17.3 cases/1,000 person years and between September 2006 and April 2008 asymptomatic infections were 2.6 times more frequent than symptomatic infections. According to the 1997 WHO classification guidelines, there were 210 dengue fever cases, 53 dengue hemorrhagic fever cases (including one dengue shock syndrome case) and five unclassified cases. Evidence for sequential dengue virus infections was seen in six subjects. All four dengue virus serotypes circulated most years. Inapparent dengue virus infections were predominantly associated with DENV-4 infections. Conclusions/significance: Dengue virus was responsible for a significant percentage of febrile illnesses in an adult population in West Java, Indonesia, and this percentage varied from year to year. The observed incidence rate during the study period was 43 times higher than the reported national or provincial rates during the same time period. A wide range of clinical severity was observed with most infections resulting in asymptomatic disease. The circulation of all four serotypes of dengue virus was observed in most years of the study.
    No preview · Article · Feb 2016 · PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases
  • Francesca Tamarozzi · Ilaria Covini · Mara Mariconti · Roberta Narra · Carmine Tinelli · Annalisa De Silvestri · Federica Manzoni · Adriano Casulli · Akira Ito · Andreas Neumayr · Enrico Brunetti
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    ABSTRACT: Background: The diagnosis of cystic echinococcosis (CE) is based primarily on imaging, in particular with ultrasound for abdominal CE, complemented by serology when imaging results are unclear. In rural endemic areas, where expertise in ultrasound may be scant and conventional serology techniques are unavailable due to lack of laboratory equipment, Rapid Diagnostic Tests (RDTs) are appealing. Methodology/principal findings: We evaluated the diagnostic accuracy of 3 commercial RDTs for the diagnosis of hepatic CE. Sera from 59 patients with single hepatic CE cysts in well-defined ultrasound stages (gold standard) and 25 patients with non-parasitic cysts were analyzed by RDTs VIRapid HYDATIDOSIS (Vircell, Spain), Echinococcus DIGFA (Unibiotest, China), ADAMU-CE (ICST, Japan), and by RIDASCREEN Echinococcus IgG ELISA (R-Biopharm, Germany). Sensitivity, specificity and ROC curves were compared with McNemar and t-test. For VIRapid and DIGFA, correlation between semiquantitative results and ELISA OD values were evaluated by Spearman's coefficient. Reproducibility was assessed on 16 randomly selected sera with Cohen's Kappa coefficient. Sensitivity and Specificity of VIRapid (74%, 96%) and ADAMU-CE (57%, 100%) did not differ from ELISA (69%, 96%) while DIGFA (72%, 72%) did (p = 0.045). ADAMU-CE was significantly less sensitive in the diagnosis of active cysts (p = 0.019) while DIGFA was significantly less specific (p = 0.014) compared to ELISA. All tests were poorly sensitive in diagnosing inactive cysts (33.3% ELISA and ADAMU-CE, 42.8% DIGFA, 47.6% VIRapid). The reproducibility of all RDTs was good-very good. Band intensity of VIRapid and DIGFA correlated with ELISA OD values (r = 0.76 and r = 0.79 respectively, p<0.001). Conclusions/significance: RDTs may be useful in resource-poor settings to complement ultrasound diagnosis of CE in uncertain cases. VIRapid test appears to perform best among the examined kits, but all tests are poorly sensitive in the presence of inactive cysts, which may pose problems with accurate diagnosis.
    No preview · Article · Feb 2016 · PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases
  • Bidya Prasad Pant · Ramesh C Bhatta · J S P Chaudhary · Suresh Awasthi · Sailesh Mishra · Shekhar Sharma · Puja A Cuddapah · Sarah E Gwyn · Nicole E Stoller · Diana L Martin · Jeremy D Keenan · Thomas M Lietman · Bruce D Gaynor
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    ABSTRACT: Background: The WHO seeks to control trachoma as a public health problem in endemic areas. Achham District in western Nepal was found to have TF (trachoma follicular) above 20% in a 2006 government survey, triggering 3 annual mass drug administrations finishing in 2010. Here we assess the level of control that has been achieved using surveillance for clinical disease, ocular chlamydia trachomatis infection, and serology for antibodies against chlamydia trachomatis protein antigens. Methods: We conducted a cross-sectional survey of children aged 1-9 years in communities in Achham District in early 2014 including clinical examination validated with photographs, conjunctival samples for Chlamydia trachomatis (Amplicor PCR), and serological testing for antibodies against chlamydia trachomatis protein antigens pgp3 and CT694 using the Luminex platform. Findings: In 24 randomly selected communities, the prevalence of trachoma (TF and/or TI) in 1-9 year olds was 3/1124 (0.3%, 95% CI 0.1 to 0.8%), and the prevalence of ocular chlamydia trachomatis infection was 0/1124 (0%, 95% CI 0 to 0.3%). In 18 communities selected because they had the highest prevalence of trachoma in a previous survey, the prevalence of TF and/or TI was 7/716 (1.0%, 95% CI 0.4 to 2.0%) and the prevalence of ocular chlamydia trachomatis infection was 0/716 (0%, 95% CI 0 to 0.5%). In 3 communities selected for serological testing, the prevalence of trachoma was 0/68 (0%, 95% CI 0 to 5.3%), the prevalence of ocular chlamydia trachomatis infection was 0/68 (0%, 95% CI 0 to 0.5%), the prevalence of antibodies against chlamydia trachomatis protein antigen pgp3 was 1/68 (1.5%, 95% CI 0.04% to 7.9%), and the prevalence of antibodies against chlamydia trachomatis protein antigen CT694 was 0/68 (0%, 95% CI 0 to 5.3%). Conclusion/significance: This previously highly endemic district in Nepal has little evidence of recent clinical disease, chlamydia trachomatis infection, or serological evidence of trachoma, suggesting that epidemiological control has been achieved.
    No preview · Article · Feb 2016 · PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases
  • Laurel B. Respicio-Kingry · Brook M. Yockey · Sarah Acayo · John Kaggwa · Titus Apangu · Kiersten J. Kugeler · Rebecca J. Eisen · Kevin S. Griffith · Paul S. Mead · Martin E. Schriefer · Jeannine M. Petersen

    No preview · Article · Feb 2016 · PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases
  • Edith Roset Bahmanyar · William Cairns Smith · Patrick Brennan · Ray Cummings · Malcolm Duthie · Jan Hendrik Richardus · Paul Saunderson · Tin Shwe · Steven Rosen · Annemieke Geluk

    No preview · Article · Feb 2016 · PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases
  • Qifang Bi · Andrew S. Azman · Syed Moinuddin Satter · Azharul Islam Khan · Dilruba Ahmed · Altaf Ahmed Riaj · Emily S. Gurley · Justin Lessler

    No preview · Article · Feb 2016 · PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases
  • Carine Makendi · Andrew J. Page · Brendan W. Wren · Tu Le Thi Phuong · Simon Clare · Christine Hale · David Goulding · Elizabeth J. Klemm · Derek Pickard · Chinyere Okoro · Martin Hunt · Corinne N. Thompson · Nguyen Phu Huong Lan · Nhu Tran Do Hoang · Guy E. Thwaites · Simon Le Hello · Anne Brisabois · François-Xavier Weill · Stephen Baker · Gordon Dougan

    No preview · Article · Feb 2016 · PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases
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    ABSTRACT: Buruli ulcer (BU), caused by infection with Mycobacterium ulcerans, is a chronic necrotizing human skin disease associated with the production of the cytotoxic macrolide exotoxin mycolactone. Despite extensive research, the type of immune responses elicited against this pathogen and the effector functions conferring protection against BU are not yet fully understood. While histopathological analyses of advanced BU lesions have demonstrated a mainly extracellular localization of the toxin producing acid fast bacilli, there is growing evidence for an early intra-macrophage growth phase of M. ulcerans. This has led us to investigate whether interferon-γ might play an important role in containing M. ulcerans infections. In an experimental Buruli ulcer mouse model we found that interferon-γ is indeed a critical regulator of early host immune defense against M. ulcerans infections. Interferon-γ knockout mice displayed a faster progression of the infection compared to wild-type mice. This accelerated progression was reflected in faster and more extensive tissue necrosis and oedema formation, as well as in a significantly higher bacterial burden after five weeks of infection, indicating that mice lacking interferon-γ have a reduced capacity to kill intracellular bacilli during the early intra-macrophage growth phase of M. ulcerans. This data demonstrates a prominent role of interferon-γ in early defense against M. ulcerans infection and supports the view that concepts for vaccine development against tuberculosis may also be valid for BU.
    No preview · Article · Feb 2016 · PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases
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    ABSTRACT: To date, most molecular investigations of schistosomatids have focused principally on blood flukes (schistosomes) of humans. Despite the clinical importance of cercarial dermatitis in humans caused by Trichobilharzia regenti and the serious neuropathologic disease that this parasite causes in its permissive avian hosts and accidental mammalian hosts, almost nothing is known about the molecular aspects of how this fluke invades its hosts, migrates in host tissues and how it interacts with its hosts' immune system. Here, we explored selected aspects using a transcriptomic-bioinformatic approach. To do this, we sequenced, assembled and annotated the transcriptome representing two consecutive life stages (cercariae and schistosomula) of T. regenti involved in the first phases of infection of the avian host. We identified key biological and metabolic pathways specific to each of these two developmental stages and also undertook comparative analyses using data available for taxonomically related blood flukes of the genus Schistosoma. Detailed comparative analyses revealed the unique involvement of carbohydrate metabolism, translation and amino acid metabolism, and calcium in T. regenti cercariae during their invasion and in growth and development, as well as the roles of cell adhesion molecules, microaerobic metabolism (citrate cycle and oxidative phosphorylation), peptidases (cathepsins) and other histolytic and lysozomal proteins in schistosomula during their particular migration in neural tissues of the avian host. In conclusion, the present transcriptomic exploration provides new and significant insights into the molecular biology of T. regenti, which should underpin future genomic and proteomic investigations of T. regenti and, importantly, provides a useful starting point for a range of comparative studies of schistosomatids and other trematodes.
    No preview · Article · Feb 2016 · PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases
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    ABSTRACT: Background: The treatment for leishmaniasis is currently based on pentavalent antimonials and amphotericin B; however, these drugs result in numerous adverse side effects. The lack of affordable therapy has necessitated the urgent development of new drugs that are efficacious, safe, and more accessible to patients. Natural products are a major source for the discovery of new and selective molecules for neglected diseases. In this paper, we evaluated the effect of apigenin on Leishmania amazonensis in vitro and in vivo and described the mechanism of action against intracellular amastigotes of L. amazonensis. Methodology/principal finding: Apigenin reduced the infection index in a dose-dependent manner, with IC50 values of 4.3 μM and a selectivity index of 18.2. Apigenin induced ROS production in the L. amazonensis-infected macrophage, and the effects were reversed by NAC and GSH. Additionally, apigenin induced an increase in the number of macrophages autophagosomes after the infection, surrounding the parasitophorous vacuole, suggestive of the involvement of host autophagy probably due to ROS generation induced by apigenin. Furthermore, apigenin treatment was also effective in vivo, demonstrating oral bioavailability and reduced parasitic loads without altering serological toxicity markers. Conclusions/significance: In conclusion, our study suggests that apigenin exhibits leishmanicidal effects against L. amazonensis-infected macrophages. ROS production, as part of the mechanism of action, could occur through the increase in host autophagy and thereby promoting parasite death. Furthermore, our data suggest that apigenin is effective in the treatment of L. amazonensis-infected BALB/c mice by oral administration, without altering serological toxicity markers. The selective in vitro activity of apigenin, together with excellent theoretical predictions of oral availability, clear decreases in parasite load and lesion size, and no observed compromises to the overall health of the infected mice encourage us to supports further studies of apigenin as a candidate for the chemotherapeutic treatment of leishmaniasis.
    No preview · Article · Feb 2016 · PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases