Ultrastructural changes to the tegumental system and the gastrodermal cells in adult Fasciola hepatica following in vivo treatment with the experimental fasciolicide, compound alpha

Parasite Proteomics and Therapeutics Research Group, Queens University Belfast, Northern Ireland.
Parasitology (Impact Factor: 2.56). 05/2009; 136(6):665-80. DOI: 10.1017/S0031182009005678
Source: PubMed


Sheep infected with the triclabendazole-susceptible, Cullompton isolate of Fasciola hepatica were dosed with 15 mg/kg of compound alpha at 12 weeks post-infection. Adult flukes were recovered from the bile ducts at 24, 48 and 72 h post-treatment (p.t.). Ultrastructural changes to the flukes were assessed using transmission electron microscopy (TEM), with a view to gathering information on the mechanism(s) of action for compound alpha and on the possible route of its entry into F. hepatica. The tegumental syncytium was more severely affected than the gut at all time-points p.t. with compound alpha, suggesting a predominantly trans-tegumental route of uptake. Disruption to the tegumental system became increasingly severe over time. A stress response was observed at 24 h p.t. and took the form of blebbing and increases in the production and transport of secretory bodies. By 72 h p.t., extensive tegumental loss and degeneration of the tegumental cell bodies had occurred. Degeneration of subtegumental tissues and internal flooding were also observed. Changes in the gastrodermal cells were slow to develop: reduced secretory activity was evident at 72 h p.t.. There was progressive disruption to the somatic muscle layers, with disorganization of the muscle blocks and loss of muscle fibres.

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    • "A sheep trial involving one of defined triclabendazole-susceptible isolates confirmed the high efficacy of 'compound alpha' against mature adult flukes (McConville et al., 2009a), causing a gradual build-up of surface disruption to F. hepatica that reflects a reduction in their activity and, by 72 h posttreatment , the changes are sufficiently severe to lead to fluke elimination and account for the high level of efficacy reported. Combined with the TEM data (McConville et al., 2009b), the SEM results provide an insight as to why the flukes are eliminated, but further clarification of the drug target is required. The semi-synthetic artemisinin derivatives artemether and artesunate, have a broad spectrum of activity against trematodes and have recently been used for the treatment of fasciolosis (Hien et al., 2008; Duthaler et al., 2011). "
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    ABSTRACT: Trematode parasites live in the liver, fore stomachs or blood vessels of a wide range of animals and humans. Most of them have a special economic and veterinary significance. Liver fluke disease of sheep and other animal species is caused by the common liver fluke Fasciola hepatica. Hepatic fasciolosis occurs throughout the world, where climatic conditions are suitable for the survival of aquatic intermediate host snails. Also of importance for ruminants, in some parts of the world, are Fasciola gigantica and Fascioloides magna. Other trematodes infecting ruminants include Dicrocoelium dendriticum; Eurytrema pancreaticum and Eurytrema coelomaticum. Among the Paramphistomidae, some species can infect sheep and other ruminants. Finally, Schistosoma spp. are found in the blood vessels of ruminants and are of minor importance in temperate regions. The manuscript concentrates on trematode species of veterinary importance for domestic sheep.
    Full-text · Article · Mar 2012 · Veterinary Parasitology

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    ABSTRACT: Seventy indoor-reared sheep were divided into 10 groups to test the efficacy of the experimental fasciolicide, compound alpha (15mg/kg) against triclabendazole (TCBZ)-resistant and TCBZ-susceptible F. hepatica infections. Activity against the Sligo TCBZ-resistant isolate was tested at three time points post-infection (p.i.): 3 days, 4 weeks and 12 weeks (Groups 1-3, respectively). A parallel trial was carried out using TCBZ (10mg/kg) (Groups 5-7): this provided a direct comparison between the efficacies of the two drugs. Group 4 served as an untreated Sligo control. Groups 8 and 9 were setup to test the efficacy of TCBZ and compound alpha against 12-week-old and 4-week-old TCBZ-susceptible, Cullompton infections, respectively. Group 10 served as an untreated Cullompton control. Sheep were sacrificed at 16 weeks p.i. and efficacies were determined. All remaining flukes were collected and measured, before being processed for whole-mount staining to assess the condition of their reproductive structures (testis, vitellaria, ovary and uterus). A second study was carried out to test the activity of compound alpha (15mg/kg) against mature 12-week-old TCBZ-susceptible F. hepatica infections in sheep. Eighteen sheep were divided into two groups, A and B. Group A was treated and Group B served as an untreated control group. Efficacy was determined by reduction in faecal egg counts. The results showed that, whilst compound alpha was very active against adult TCBZ-susceptible flukes, producing a 100% reduction in faecal egg counts, it only caused a 62.5% reduction in fluke burden against juvenile flukes. Moreover, compound alpha was not effective against any stage of infection with TCBZ-resistant F. hepatica in sheep. Data from the trial also revealed biological differences between the two isolates. Thus, Sligo flukes were smaller in size and produced fewer eggs than the Cullompton flukes and their cysts were less infective to sheep. However, they reached the bile ducts more quickly and their eggs appeared in the faeces >2 weeks earlier.
    Full-text · Article · Feb 2009 · Veterinary Parasitology
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