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PLoS neglected tropical diseases [journal]
- Prospective Study on the Incidence and Progression of Clinical Signs in Naïve Dogs Naturally Infected by Leishmania infantum. [Journal Article]
- PLoS Negl Trop Dis 2013 May; 7(5):e2225.
The incidence of clinical and clinicopathological signs associated with the progression of infection was evaluated prospectively in 329 naïve young dogs exposed to Leishmania infantum transmission and examined periodically during 22 months (M). The dogs were part of Leishmania vaccine investigations performed under natural conditions. Vaccinated groups were considered in the evaluation when the vaccine resulted non-protective and the appearance and progression of signs did not differ statistically from controls at each time point, otherwise only control groups were included. 115 beagles were part of 3 studies (A to C) performed in the same kennel; 214 owned dogs (29 breeds, 2.3% beagles) were included in a study (D) performed in 45 endemic sites. At M22 the prevalence of any Leishmania infection stage classified as subpatent, active asymptomatic, or symptomatic was 59.8% in studies A-C and 29.2% in study D. Despite different breed composition and infection incidence, the relative proportion of active infections and the progression and type of clinical and clinicopathological signs have been similar in both study sets. All asymptomatic active infections recorded have invariably progressed to full-blown disease, resulting in 56 sick dogs at M22. In these dogs, lymph nodes enlargement and weight loss - recorded from M12 - were the most common signs. Cutaneous signs were seen late (M18) and less frequently. Ocular signs appeared even later, being sporadically recorded at M22. Most clinicopathological alterations became evident from M12, although a few cases of thrombocytopenia or mild non-regenerative anemia were already observed at M6. Albumin/globulin inversions were recorded from M12 and urea/creatinine increase appeared mostly from M18. Altogether our findings indicate that any susceptible young dogs naturally infected by L. infantum present a common pattern of progression of signs during 2 years post infection, providing clues for medical and epidemiological applied aspects.
- Leishmania mexicana Infection Induces IgG to Parasite Surface Glycoinositol Phospholipids that Can Induce IL-10 in Mice and Humans. [Journal Article]
- PLoS Negl Trop Dis 2013 May; 7(5):e2224.
Infection with the intracellular protozoan parasite Leishmania mexicana causes chronic disease in C57BL/6 mice, in which cutaneous lesions persist for many months with high parasite burdens (10(7)-10(8) parasites). This chronic disease process requires host IL-10 and FcγRIII. When Leishmania amastigotes are released from cells, surface-bound IgG can induce IL-10 and suppress IL-12 production from macrophages. These changes decrease IFN-γ from T cells and nitric oxide production in infected cells, which are both required for Leishmania control. However, antibodies targets and the kinetics of antibody production are unknown. Several groups have been unsuccessful in identifying amastigote surface proteins that bind IgG. We now show that glycoinositol phospholipids (GIPLs) of L. mexicana are recognized by mouse IgG1 by 6 weeks of infection, with a rapid increase between 12 and 16 weeks, consistent with the timing of chronic disease in C57BL/6 mice vs. healing in FcγRIII-deficient mice. A single prominent spot on TLC is recognized by IgG, and the glycolipid is a glycosyl phosphatidylinositol containing a branched mannose structure. We show that the lipid structure of the GIPL (the sn-2 fatty acid) is required for antibody recognition. This GIPL is abundant in L. mexicana amastigotes, rare in stationary-phase promastigotes, and absent in L. major, consistent with a role for antibodies to GIPLs in chronic disease. A mouse monoclonal anti-GIPL IgG recognizes GIPLs on the parasite surface, and induces IL-10 from macrophages. The current work also extends this mouse analysis to humans, finding that L. mexicana-infected humans with localized and diffuse cutaneous leishmaniasis have antibodies that recognize GIPLs, can bind to the surface of amastigotes, and can induce IL-10 from human monocytes. Further characterization of the target glycolipids will have important implications for drug and vaccine development and will elucidate the poorly understood role of glycolipids in the immunology of infections.
- A cluster randomized study of the safety of integrated treatment of trachoma and lymphatic filariasis in children and adults in sikasso, mali. [Journal Article]
- PLoS Negl Trop Dis 2013 May; 7(5):e2221.
Neglected tropical diseases are co-endemic in many areas of the world, including sub Saharan Africa. Currently lymphatic filariasis (albendazole/ivermectin) and trachoma (azithromycin) are treated separately. Consequently, financial and logistical benefit can be gained from integration of preventive chemotherapy programs in such areas. METHODOLOGYFINDINGS: 4 villages in two co-endemic districts (Kolondièba and Bougouni) of Sikasso, Mali, were randomly assigned to coadministered treatment (ivermectin/albendazole/azithromycin) or standard therapy (ivermectin/albendazole with azithromycin 1 week later). These villages had previously undergone 4 annual MDA campaigns with ivermectin/albendazole and 2 with azithromycin. One village was randomly assigned to each treatment arm in each district. There were 7515 eligible individuals in the 4 villages, 3011(40.1%) of whom participated in the study. No serious adverse events occurred, and the majority of adverse events were mild in intensity (mainly headache, abdominal pain, diarrhoea and "other signs/symptoms"). The median time to the onset of the first event, of any type, was later (8 days) in the two standard treatment villages than in the co-administration villages. Overall the number of subjects reporting any event was similar in the co-administration group compared to the standard treatment group [18.7% (281/1501) vs. 15.8% (239/1510)]. However, the event frequency was higher in the coadministration group (30.4%) than in the standard treatment group (11.0%) in Kolondièba, while the opposite was observed in Bougouni (7.1% and 20.9% respectively). Additionally, the overall frequency of adverse events in the co-administration group (18.7%) was comparable to or lower than published frequencies for ivermectin+albendazole alone.These data suggest that co-administration of ivermectin+albendazole and azithromycin is safe; however the small number of villages studied and the large differences between them resulted in an inability to calculate a meaningful overall estimate of the difference in adverse event rates between the regimens. Further work is therefore needed before co-administration can be definitively recommended.ClinicalTrials.gov; NCT01586169.
- Is pregnancy associated with severe dengue? A review of data from the rio de janeiro surveillance information system. [Journal Article]
- PLoS Negl Trop Dis 2013 May; 7(5):e2217.
Dengue is a reportable disease in Brazil; however, pregnancy has been included in the application form of the Brazilian notification information system only after 2006. To estimate the severity of maternal dengue infection, the available data that were compiled from January 2007 to December 2008 by the official surveillance information system of the city of Rio de Janeiro were reviewed.During the study period, 151,604 cases of suspected dengue infection were reported. Five hundred sixty-one women in their reproductive age (15-49 years) presented with dengue infection; 99 (18.1%) pregnant and 447 (81.9%) non-pregnant women were analyzed. Dengue cases were categorized using the 1997 WHO classification system, and DHF/DSS were considered severe disease. The Mann-Whitney test was used to compare maternal age, according to gestational period, and severity of disease. A chi-square test was utilized to evaluate the differences in the proportion of dengue severity between pregnant and non-pregnant women. Univariate analysis was performed to compare outcome variables (severe dengue and non-severe dengue) and explanatory variables (pregnancy, gestational age and trimester) using the Wald test. A multivariate analysis was performed to assess the independence of statistically significant variables in the univariate analysis. A p-value<0.05 was considered statistically significant. A higher percentage of severe dengue infection among pregnant women was found, p = 0.0001. Final analysis demonstrated that pregnant women are 3.4 times more prone to developing severe dengue (OR: 3.38; CI: 2.10-5.42). Mortality among pregnant women was superior to non-pregnant women.Pregnant women have an increased risk of developing severe dengue infection and dying of dengue.
- Incidence of Rabies in Humans and Domestic Animals and People's Awareness in North Gondar Zone, Ethiopia. [Journal Article]
- PLoS Negl Trop Dis 2013 May; 7(5):e2216.
BACKGROUND:Rabies is a zoonotic disease that has been prevalent in humans and animals for centuries in Ethiopia and it is often dealt with using traditional practices. There is lack of accurate quantitative information on rabies both in humans and animals in Ethiopia and little is known about the awareness of the people about the disease. In this study, we estimated the incidence of rabies in humans and domestic animals, and assessed the people's awareness about the disease in North Gondar zone, Ethiopia.
PRINCIPAL FINDINGS:The incidence of rabies in humans and domestic animals was prospectively followed up for one year period based on clinical observation. A questionnaire was also administered to 120 randomly selected dog owners and 5 traditional healers to assess the knowledge and practices about the disease. We found an annual estimated rabies incidence of 2.33 cases per 100,000 in humans, 412.83 cases per 100,000 in dogs, 19.89 cases per 100,000 in cattle, 67.68 cases per 100,000 in equines, and 14.45 cases per 100,000 in goats. Dog bite was the source of infection for all fatal rabies cases. Ninety eight percent of the questionnaire respondents were familiar with rabies and mentioned dog bite as a means of transmission. But discordant with current scientific knowledge, 84% and 32% of the respondents respectively mentioned any type of contact (irrespective of skin condition) with saliva, and inhalation as a means of transmission of rabies. Eighty four percent of the respondents relied on traditional healers for management of rabies.
CONCLUSIONS:The study shows high canine rabies burden, and lack of sufficient awareness about the disease and high reliance on traditional treatment that interfere with timely post exposure management. Vaccination of dogs, proper post exposure management, and increasing the awareness of the community are suggested to reduce the disease burden.
- Strongyloides stercoralis: A Plea for Action. [Journal Article]
- PLoS Negl Trop Dis 2013 May; 7(5):e2214.
- Bayesian geostatistical modeling of leishmaniasis incidence in Brazil. [Journal Article]
- PLoS Negl Trop Dis 2013 May; 7(5):e2213.
Leishmaniasis is endemic in 98 countries with an estimated 350 million people at risk and approximately 2 million cases annually. Brazil is one of the most severely affected countries.We applied Bayesian geostatistical negative binomial models to analyze reported incidence data of cutaneous and visceral leishmaniasis in Brazil covering a 10-year period (2001-2010). Particular emphasis was placed on spatial and temporal patterns. The models were fitted using integrated nested Laplace approximations to perform fast approximate Bayesian inference. Bayesian variable selection was employed to determine the most important climatic, environmental, and socioeconomic predictors of cutaneous and visceral leishmaniasis.For both types of leishmaniasis, precipitation and socioeconomic proxies were identified as important risk factors. The predicted number of cases in 2010 were 30,189 (standard deviation [SD]: 7,676) for cutaneous leishmaniasis and 4,889 (SD: 288) for visceral leishmaniasis. Our risk maps predicted the highest numbers of infected people in the states of Minas Gerais and Pará for visceral and cutaneous leishmaniasis, respectively. CONCLUSIONSSIGNIFICANCE: Our spatially explicit, high-resolution incidence maps identified priority areas where leishmaniasis control efforts should be targeted with the ultimate goal to reduce disease incidence.
- Post-Exposure Therapeutic Efficacy of COX-2 Inhibition against Burkholderia pseudomallei. [Journal Article]
- PLoS Negl Trop Dis 2013 May; 7(5):e2212.
Burkholderia pseudomallei is a Gram-negative, facultative intracellular bacillus and the etiologic agent of melioidosis, a severe disease in Southeast Asia and Northern Australia. Like other multidrug-resistant pathogens, the inherent antibiotic resistance of B. pseudomallei impedes treatment and highlights the need for alternative therapeutic strategies that can circumvent antimicrobial resistance mechanisms. In this work, we demonstrate that host prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) production plays a regulatory role in the pathogenesis of B. pseudomallei. PGE2 promotes B. pseudomallei intracellular survival within macrophages and bacterial virulence in a mouse model of pneumonic melioidosis. PGE2-mediated immunosuppression of macrophage bactericidal effector functions is associated with increased arginase 2 (Arg2) expression and decreased nitric oxide (NO) production. Treatment with a commercially-available COX-2 inhibitor suppresses the growth of B. pseudomallei in macrophages and affords significant protection against rapidly lethal pneumonic melioidosis when administered post-exposure to B. pseudomallei-infected mice. COX-2 inhibition may represent a novel immunotherapeutic strategy to control infection with B. pseudomallei and other intracellular pathogens.
- A Real-Time ITS1-PCR Based Method in the Diagnosis and Species Identification of Leishmania Parasite from Human and Dog Clinical Samples in Turkey. [Journal Article]
- PLoS Negl Trop Dis 2013 May; 7(5):e2205.
Human visceral leishmaniasis (VL) caused by L. infantum and cutaneous leishmaniasis (CL) caused by L. tropica and L. infantum have been reported in Turkey. L. infantum is also responsible for canine leishmaniasis (CanL) and it is widely common in the country. The main aim of the present study was to design a real-time PCR method based on the internal transcribed spacer 1 (ITS1) region in the diagnosis of all clinical forms of leishmaniasis in Mediterranean, and to identify the species directly from clinical samples. Totally, 315 clinical specimens, human/canine visceral (blood, bone marrow, lymph node) and cutaneous (lesion aspiration) samples, and 51 Turkish Leishmania isolates typed by isoenzymatic method were included in the study. For optimization, DNA samples of the 34 strains were amplified by conventional ITS1-PCR and then sequenced for designing the primers and probes, allowing the species identification. Following the validation with the isolates, the test was applied on clinical samples and melting temperatures were used for genotyping. A group of PCR products were further sequenced for confirmation and assigning the inter- and intraspecies heterogeneity. The diagnosis of leishmaniasis is successfully achieved by the new real-time PCR method, and the test identified 80.43% of human and canine VL samples as L.infantum and 6.52% as L.tropica; 52.46% of CL samples as L. infantum and 26.90% as L. tropica. In 13.04% of visceral and 20.62% of cutaneous samples, two peaks were observed. Hovewer, the higher peak was found to be concordant with the sequencing results in 96.96%, in terms of species identification. The real-time ITS1 PCR assay clearly identified the leishmanial species in 81.58% of all clinical samples. Genotypic variations of Leishmania parasites in Turkey within species and intraspecies were observed, and L. tropica is also found as causative agent of human and canine VL in Turkey.
- IRES-driven Expression of the Capsid Protein of the Venezuelan Equine Encephalitis Virus TC-83 Vaccine Strain Increases Its Attenuation and Safety. [Journal Article]
- PLoS Negl Trop Dis 2013 May; 7(5):e2197.
The live-attenuated TC-83 strain is the only licensed veterinary vaccine available to protect equids against Venezuelan equine encephalitis virus (VEEV) and to protect humans indirectly by preventing equine amplification. However, TC-83 is reactogenic due to its reliance on only two attenuating point mutations and has infected mosquitoes following equine vaccination. To increase its stability and safety, a recombinant TC-83 was previously engineered by placing the expression of the viral structural proteins under the control of the Internal Ribosome Entry Site (IRES) of encephalomyocarditis virus (EMCV), which drives translation inefficiently in insect cells. However, this vaccine candidate was poorly immunogenic. Here we describe a second generation of the recombinant TC-83 in which the subgenomic promoter is maintained and only the capsid protein gene is translated from the IRES. This VEEV/IRES/C vaccine candidate did not infect mosquitoes, was stable in its attenuation phenotype after serial murine passages, and was more attenuated in newborn mice but still as protective as TC-83 against VEEV challenge. Thus, by using the IRES to modulate TC-83 capsid protein expression, we generated a vaccine candidate that combines efficient immunogenicity and efficacy with lower virulence and a reduced potential for spread in nature.