[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The aim of this study was to determine the seroprevalence of
infection in free-range chickens from Uberlândia, Minas Gerais state, Brazil, and characterize the genotypic and phenotypic features of two isolates of this parasite, considering the importance of these hosts in the epidemiology of toxoplasmosis. Serum samples from 108 free-range chickens were obtained from ten different districts, and submitted to the modified agglutination test (MAT) for the presence of anti-
antibodies, and brain and heart tissue samples from infected chickens were processed for mouse bioassay. An overall seroprevalence of 71·3% was found and antibody titres ranged from 16 to 4096. After confirmation of seropositivity by mouse bioassay, the determination of the
genotypes of two isolates was performed by PCR–RFLP, using primers for the following markers: SAG1, SAG2, SAG3, BTUB, GRA6, c22–8, c29–2, L358, PK1, new SAG2, Apico and CS3. These
isolates, designated TgChBrUD1and TgChBrUD2, were obtained from heart samples of free-range chickens. The TgChBrUD1 isolate belonged to ToxoDB PCR–RFLP genotype 11 and the TgChBrUD2 isolate belonged to ToxoDB PCR–RFLP genotype 6. Both isolates demonstrated high virulence in a rodent model, with the TgChBrUD1 isolate able to induce brain cysts, in accord with its pattern of multiplication rates in human fibroblast culture. Taken together, these results reveal high prevalence of
infection in free-range chickens throughout Uberlândia, indicating an important degree of oocyst environmental contamination and the existence of considerable risk for
transmission to humans by consumption of free-range chicken as a food source.
Full-text · Article · Jan 2016 · Epidemiology and Infection
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background:
Toxoplasmosis is a zoonosis caused by Toxoplasma gondii, an intracellular protozoan parasite able to infect a wide range of hosts, including humans. Congenital infection can cause severe damage to the fetus. Thus, it is important to detect antibodies against the parasite to confirm clinical manifestations. Considering that all immunoglobulin isotypes may be present in biological samples from newborns and their mothers, this study aimed to evaluate the ability to diagnose recent toxoplasmosis by using colostrum, as an alternative noninvasive way to obtain biological samples, as well as to determine correlation rates between antibodies from serum samples to detect IgG, IgM and IgA isotypes against T. gondii.
A total of 289 puerperal women from Clinical Hospital of Federal University of Uberlândia (mean age: 24.8 years, range: 14 - 43 years) took part in this study. Serum and colostrum samples from these patients were analyzed using ELISA and immunoblotting assays for soluble antigens from T. gondii.
ELISA immunoassays with serum samples showed reactivity in 47.0, 6.9 and 2.8 % of samples to anti-T. gondii IgG, IgM and IgA, respectively, in comparison with colostrum samples, which showed reactivity in 46.0, 7.9 and 2.8 % of samples to the same isotypes. Also, significant correlation rates of anti-T. gondii antibody levels between serum and colostrum samples were observed. Interestingly, reactivity to IgM and/or IgA in colostrum and/or serum confirmed clinical manifestations of congenital toxoplasmosis in three newborns. Immunoblotting assays showed that it is possible to detect IgG, IgM and IgA antibodies against various antigens of T. gondii in serum and colostrum samples. IgG antibodies in serum and colostrum samples recognized more antigenic fractions than IgM and IgA antibodies. Serum IgG detected more antigenic fractions than IgG antibodies present in the colostrum of the same patient. In contrast, specific IgA present in colostrum recognized a higher number of antigens than IgA present in serum samples of the same patient.
Overall, the results show that it is important to investigate the occurrence of congenital toxoplasmosis, even at puerperal period. Furthermore, this study demonstrates that T. gondii-specific IgG, IgM and IgA antibodies in serum and colostrum samples from puerperal women may be detected with a significant correlation, suggesting that colostrum may also be used as an alternative biological sample to efficiently diagnose recent human toxoplasmosis.
Full-text · Article · Dec 2015 · BMC Infectious Diseases
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Considering that interleukin 10 (IL10), transforming growth factor beta1 (TGFB1) and interferon gamma (IFNG) are involved in the susceptibility of BeWo trophoblast cells to Toxoplasma gondii infection, the aim of the present study was to investigate the effector mechanisms triggered by these cytokines in the control of T. gondii in BeWo cells. For this purpose, infected/uninfected BeWo cells were treated with IL10, TGFB1 (50 ng/mL) and IFNG (20 or 100 ng/mL) in order to verify the phosphorylation of signal transducers and activators of transcription (STAT)-1, STAT3 and Smad2, parasite intracellular proliferation, as well as the Th1/Th2/IL17A cytokine production. The treatment of BeWo cells with IL10 and TGFB1 favored T. gondii proliferation and these findings were associated with STAT3 and Smad2 phosphorylation, respectively (P < 0.05). Also, these cytokine treatments were able to down-modulate TNF alpha (TNFA) and IL6 production (P < 0.05). Low concentration of IFNG was unable to control T. gondii infection, but was able to trigger STAT1 phosphorylation and up-regulate IL6 and IL17A production, whereas a high concentration of IFNG was unable to activate STAT1, but down-modulated IL6 and TNFA and increased T. gondii proliferation (P < 0.05). IL10, TGFB1 and IFNG regulate a differential T. gondii proliferation in BeWo cells since they distinctly trigger intracellular signaling pathways and cytokine production, especially IL6 and TNFA. Our data open new windows to understand the mechanisms triggered by IL10, TGFB1 and IFNG at the maternal-fetal interface in the presence of T.gondii, contributing to recognizing the importance of these effector mechanisms involved in the vertical transmission of this parasite.
Copyright 2015 by The Society for the Study of Reproduction.
Preview · Article · Feb 2015 · Biology of Reproduction
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The heat shock protein of Toxoplasma gondii (TgHSP70) is a parasite virulence factor that is expressed during T. gondii stage conversion. To verify the effect of dexamethasone (DXM)-induced infection reactivation in the TgHSP70-specific humoral immune response and the presence of the protein in the mouse brain, we produced recombinant TgHSP70 and anti-TgHSP70 IgY antibodies to detect the protein, the specific antibody and levels of immune complexes (ICs) systemically, as well as the protein in the brain of resistant (BALB/c) and susceptible (C57BL/6) mice. It was observed higher TgHSP70-specific antibody titers in serum samples of BALB/c compared with C57BL/6 mice. However, the susceptible mice presented the highest levels of TgHSP70 systemically and no detection of specific ICs. The DXM treatment induced increased parasitism and lower inflammatory changes in the brain of C57BL/6, but did not interfere with the cerebral parasitism in BALB/c mice. Additionally, DXM treatment decreased the serological TgHSP70 concentration in both mouse lineages. C57BL/6 mice presented high expression of TgHSP70 in the brain with the progression of infection and under DXM treatment. Taken together, these data indicate that the TgHSP70 release into the bloodstream depends on the death of the parasites mediated by the host immune response, whereas the increased TgHSP70 expression in the brain depends on the multiplication rate of the parasite.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: There is a significant genetic diversity of Toxoplasma gondii in Brazil. Two parasite isolates were recently obtained from chickens in Uberlândia, Minas Gerais state, Brazil, namely, TgChBrUD1 and TgChBrUD2. In this study, we investigated Calomys callosus susceptibility to these atypical T. gondii strains. Male and female animals were intraperitoneally infected with tachyzoites and monitored to evaluate body weight change, morbidity, and mortality. Immunohistochemical assay and qPCR were performed to determine the parasitism in liver, spleen, and brain. Our data showed that TgChBrUD2-infected males died earlier than TgChBrUD1-infected males and 100 % of mortality was observed after 10 and 12 days of infection, respectively. Also, TgChBrUD1-infected females died earlier than TgChBrUD1-infected males and 100 % of mortality was observed after 9 and 12 days of infection, respectively. Both strains were able to induce a decrease in body weight of males, but only the TgChBrUD1 strain induced an increase in body weight of females. TgChBrUD2-infected females had significantly higher parasite load in both liver and spleen in comparison to TgChBrUD1-infected females, but no significant difference was found between genders or strains when males were infected. There was higher parasitism in the liver than the brain from both males and females infected with either strain. In conclusion, C. callosus specimens are susceptible to both T. gondii atypical strains with differences between males and females in severity of infection. These findings open new prospects for understanding different aspects of T. gondii infection, including reinfection and vertical transmission with these atypical strains when utilizing this experimental model.
No preview · Article · Apr 2014 · Parasitology Research
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Macrophage migration inhibitory factor (MIF) participates in the immune response to Toxoplasma gondii, triggers ERK1/2 and prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) activation, but there is limited information on these mechanisms in human trophoblast. The present study aimed to verify the role of MIF in the ERK1/2 phosphorylation and PGE2 production, as well as its effect on the susceptibility to T. gondii in BeWo cells.
BeWo cells were treated with increasing concentrations of recombinant MIF (rMIF) and/or T. gondii-soluble tachyzoite antigen (STAg) and analyzed for ERK1/2 phosphorylation and PGE2 production by Western blotting and ELISA, respectively. Cells were also treated with increasing concentrations of rMIF, rPGE2, or ERK1/2 inhibitor and tested for T. gondii proliferation. The supernatants of cells treated with rPGE2 were assayed for cytokine production by ELISA or CBA.
ERK1/2 phosphorylation and PGE2 production increased when the cells were treated with low MIF concentrations while the parasitism control occurred only at high MIF concentrations. STAg was unable to change ERK1/2 phosphorylation or PGE2 release. BeWo cells demonstrated increased T. gondii proliferation and reduced production of pro-inflammatory cytokines when treated with PGE2, while PD98059 diminished the parasite proliferation.
The intracellular mechanisms triggered by MIF are dose-dependent in BeWo cells, and PGE2 is an important factor for the persistence of T. gondii at the maternal fetal interface.
MIF was unable to control T. gondii infection in BeWo cells at low concentrations since ERK1/2 and PGE2 expression were activated, demonstrating a critical effect of these mediators favoring parasite proliferation.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: There have been no data on sublingual immunotherapy (SLIT) in Brazilian patients sensitized to house dust mites. This study aimed to evaluate the mucosal/systemic antibody response changes and clinical efficacy after SLIT using Dermatophagoides pteronyssinus (Dpt) allergens with or without bacterial extracts in mite-allergic Brazilian children.
Patients with allergic rhinitis and asthma were selected for a double-blind, placebo-controlled trial randomized to three groups: DPT (Dpt extract, n = 34), DPT+MRB (Dpt plus mixed respiratory bacterial extracts, n = 36), and Placebo (n = 32). Total symptom and medication scores for rhinitis/asthma, skin prick test (SPT) to Dpt, and measurements of Dpt-, Der p 1-, Der p 2-specific serum IgE, IgG4, IgG1, and specific salivary IgA were evaluated at baseline and after 12 and 18 months of treatment.
A significant long-term decline in total symptom/medication scores was observed only in active groups (DTP and DPT+MRB). There was no significant change in SPT results in all groups. SLIT using Dpt allergen alone induced increased levels of serum IgG4 to Dpt, Der p 1, and Der p 2, serum IgG1 and salivary IgA to Dpt and Der p 1. SLIT with Dpt plus bacterial extracts was able to decrease IgE levels, particularly to Der p 2, to increase salivary IgA levels to Der p 1, but had no changes on specific IgG4 and IgG1 levels.
All children undergoing SLIT showed clinical improvement, but a long-term reduction in symptom/medication scores with modulation of mucosal/systemic antibody responses were seen only in active groups (DPT and DPT+MRB).
Full-text · Article · Dec 2013 · Pediatric Allergy and Immunology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Heme oxygenase-1 (HO-1) is an enzyme that catabolizes free heme, which induces an intense inflammatory response. The expression of HO-1 is induced by different stimuli, triggering an anti-inflammatory response during biological stress. It was previously verified that HO-1 is able to induce indoleamine 2,3-dioxygenase (IDO), an enzyme that is induced by IFN-gamma in Toxoplasma gondii infection. To verify the role of HO-1 during in vivo T. gondii infection, BALB/c and C57BL/6 mice were infected with the ME49 strain and treated with zinc protoporphyrin IX (ZnPPIX) or hemin, which inhibit or induce HO-1 activity, respectively. The results show that T. gondii infection induced high levels of HO-1 expression in the lung of BALB/c and C57BL6 mice. The animals treated with ZnPPIX presented higher parasitism in the lungs of both lineages of mice, whereas hemin treatment decreased the parasite replication in this organ and in the small intestine of infected C57BL/6 mice. Furthermore, C57BL/6 mice infected with T. gondii and treated with hemin showed higher levels of IDO expression in the lungs and small intestine than uninfected mice. In conclusion, our data suggest that HO-1 activity is involved in the control of T. gondii in the lungs of both mouse lineages, whereas the hemin, a HO-1 inducer, seems to be involved in the control of parasitism in the small intestine of C57BL/6 mice.
Full-text · Article · Oct 2013 · Veterinary Research
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Alterations of apoptosis are commonly associated with pregnancy complications and abortion. Modulation of apoptosis is a relevant feature of Toxoplasma gondii infection and it is related to parasite strain types. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the possible factors that are involved in the differential apoptosis of BeWo cells infected with distinct T. gondii strain types.
Human trophoblastic cells (BeWo cell line) were infected with RH or ME49 strains, the cytokine production was measured and the phosphorylation of anti-apoptotic ERK1/2 protein was analyzed. Also, cells were treated with different cytokines, infected with RH or ME49 strain, and analyzed for apoptosis index and Fas/CD95 death receptor expression.
ME49-infected BeWo cells exhibited a predominantly pro-inflammatory cytokine profile, whereas cells infected with RH strain had a higher production of anti-inflammatory cytokines. Also, the incidence of apoptosis was higher in ME49-infected cells, which have been treated with pro-inflammatory cytokines compared to cells infected with RH and treated with anti-inflammatory cytokines. Moreover, Fas/CD95 expression was higher in cells infected with either ME49 or RH strain and treated with pro-inflammatory cytokines compared to anti-inflammatory cytokine treatment. The phosphorylation of ERK1/2 protein increased after 24 h of infection only with the RH strain.
These results suggest that opposing mechanisms of interference in apoptosis of BeWo cells after infection with RH or ME49 strains of T. gondii can be associated with the differential cytokine profile secreted, the Fas/CD95 expression and the phosphorylated ERK1/2 expression.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: One of the purposes of specific immunotherapy (SIT) is to modulate humoral immune response against allergens with significant increases in allergen-specific IgG levels, commonly associated with blocking activity. The present study investigated in vitro blocking activity of allergen-specific IgG antibodies on IgE reactivity to Dermatophagoides pteronyssinus (Dpt) in sera from atopic patients. Dpt-specific IgG antibodies were purified by ammonium sulfate precipitation followed by protein-G affinity chromatography. Purity was checked by SDS-PAGE and immunoreactivity by slot-blot and immunoblot assays. The blocking activity was evaluated by inhibition ELISA. The electrophoretic profile of the ammonium sulfate precipitated fraction showed strongly stained bands in ligand fraction after chromatography, compatible with molecular weight of human whole IgG molecule. The purity degree was confirmed by detecting strong immunoreactivity to IgG, negligible to IgA, and no reactivity to IgE and IgM. Dpt-specific IgG fraction was capable of significantly reducing levels of IgE anti-Dpt, resulting in 35%-51% inhibition of IgE reactivity to Dpt in atopic patients sera. This study showed that allergen-specific IgG antibodies purified from mite-allergic patients sera block the IgE recognition of Dermatophagoides pteronyssinus antigens. This approach reinforces that intermittent measurement of serum allergen-specific IgG antibodies will be an important objective laboratorial parameter that will help specialists to follow their patients under SIT.
Full-text · Article · Aug 2013 · Clinical and Developmental Immunology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background
Toxoplasma gondii is an intracellular parasite that causes relevant clinical disease in humans and animals. Several studies have been performed in order to understand the interactions between proteins of the parasite and host cells. SAG2A is a 22 kDa protein that is mainly found in the surface of tachyzoites. In the present work, our aim was to correlate the predicted three-dimensional structure of this protein with the immune system of infected hosts.
To accomplish our goals, we performed in silico analysis of the amino acid sequence of SAG2A, correlating the predictions with in vitro stimulation of antigen presenting cells and serological assays.
Structure modeling predicts that SAG2A protein possesses an unfolded C-terminal end, which varies its conformation within distinct strain types of T. gondii. This structure within the protein shelters a known B-cell immunodominant epitope, which presents low identity with its closest phyllogenetically related protein, an orthologue predicted in Neospora caninum. In agreement with the in silico observations, sera of known T. gondii infected mice and goats recognized recombinant SAG2A, whereas no serological cross-reactivity was observed with samples from N. caninum animals. Additionally, the C-terminal end of the protein was able to down-modulate pro-inflammatory responses of activated macrophages and dendritic cells.
Altogether, we demonstrate herein that recombinant SAG2A protein from T. gondii is immunologically relevant in the host-parasite interface and may be targeted in therapeutic and diagnostic procedures designed against the infection.
Full-text · Article · Jun 2013 · Parasites & Vectors
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: INTRODUCTION: Toxoplasma gondii is an intracellular parasite that causes severe disease when the infection occurs during pregnancy. Trophoblast cells constitute an important maternal-fetal barrier, with monocytes concentrating around them. Thus, interactions between trophoblasts and monocytes are important for maintaining a successful pregnancy, especially in cases of infection. This study aimed to evaluate the role of trophoblast cells (BeWo line) on monocyte (THP-1 line) activity in the presence or absence of T. gondii infection. METHODS: THP-1 cells were stimulated with supernatants of BeWo cells, previously infected or not with T. gondii, and then infected with parasites. The supernatant of both cells were collected and analyzed for cytokine production and T. gondii proliferation in THP-1 cells was determined. RESULTS: The results showed that after infection, the pattern of cytokines secreted by THP-1 and BeWo cells was characterized as a pro-inflammatory profile. Furthermore, supernatant of BeWo cells infected or not, was able to change the cytokine profile secreted by infected THP-1 cells, and this supernatant became THP-1 cells more able to control T. gondii proliferation than those that had not been stimulated. DISCUSSION: This effect was associated with secretion of interleukin (IL)-6 by the THP-1 cells and soluble factors secreted by BeWo cells, such as IL-6 and MIF. CONCLUSION: Together, these results suggest that trophoblast cells are able to modulate monocyte activity, resulting in the control of T. gondii infection and subsequent maintenance of pregnancy.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Vaccination is an important control measure for neosporosis that is caused by a coccidian parasite, Neospora caninum, leading to abortion and reproductive disorders in cattle and serious economic impacts worldwide. A D-galactose-binding lectin from Synadenium carinatum latex (ScLL) was recently described by our group with potential immunostimulatory and adjuvant effects in the leishmaniasis model. In this study, we evaluated the adjuvant effect of ScLL in immunization of mice against neosporosis. First, we investigated in vitro cytokine production by dendritic cells stimulated with Neospora lysate antigen (NLA), ScLL or both. Each treatment induced TNF-, IL-6, IL-10 and IL-12 production in a dose-dependent manner, with a synergistic effect of NLA plus ScLL. Next, four groups of C57BL/6 mice were immunized with NLA+ScLL, NLA, ScLL or PBS. The kinetics of antibody response showed a predominance of IgG and IgG1 for the NLA+ScLL group, whereas the IgG2a response was similar between the NLA+ScLL and NLA groups. Ex vivo cytokine production by mouse spleen cells showed the highest IFN-/IL-10 ratio in the presence of NLA stimulation for mice immunized with NLA+ScLL and the lowest for those immunized with ScLL alone. After parasite challenge, mice immunized with NLA+ScLL or ScLL alone presented higher survival rates (70-80%) and lower brain parasite burden as compared to the PBS group, but with no significant changes in morbidity and inflammation scores. In conclusion, ScLL combined with NLA was able to change the cytokine profile induced by the antigen or lectin alone for a Th1-biased immune response, resulting in high protection of mice challenged with the parasite, but with a low degree of inflammation. Both features may be important to prevent congenital neosporosis, since protection and low inflammatory response are necessary events to guide towards a successful pregnancy.
Full-text · Article · Oct 2012 · Veterinary Research