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Parasitology research [journal]
- Antiparasitic treatment of cerebral cysticercosis: lessons and experiences from China. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Parasitol Res 2013 May 22.
Cysticercosis is a tropical disease caused by infection with the larval stage of the pork tapeworm, Taenia solium. Humans and pigs acquire cysticercosis by ingesting T. solium eggs shed in the feces of humans with taeniasis (i.e., infected with an adult intestinal tapeworm). Cerebral cysticercosis occurs when the cysts of T. solium develop within the central nervous system, and it is the primary cause of illness in T. solium infection. Currently, cerebral cysticercosis is endemic worldwide, and it is a leading cause of adult-onset epilepsy in developing countries. However, it is now increasingly detected in developed countries due to the immigration of T. solium carriers from the endemic areas. The antiparasitic treatment of cerebral cysticercosis remains controversial till now. In China, except a few cases who conform to the contraindicated criteria of antiparasitic therapy, most cerebral cysticercosis patients with symptoms and signs are given etiological treatment. This paper reviews the antiparasitic therapy of cerebral cysticercosis in China during the past several decades. Praziquantel treatment with different regimens has been used, and various efficacies are achieved. In the early stage, unsatisfactory therapeutic efficacy was achieved due to small doses and short treatment courses. Afterwards, the therapeutic efficacy became increasingly remarkable in both adults and children with the increases in dosage and courses. Albendazole also presents activity against cysticercosis with slow and moderate action, and it has been widely used in the treatment of the infection. The comparison between praziquantel and albendazole treatments showed that the immediate and short-term effects of albendazole treatment were better than those of praziquantel treatment, but similar mid- and long-term efficacies were observed following albendazole and praziquantel treatments. The combination of albendazole and praziquantel treatments can increase the therapeutic efficacy, and now, from the massive clinical practices, most of Chinese clinical specialists propose the combination therapy of albendazole and praziquantel for cerebral cysticercosis with simultaneous administration of steroids, especially in the first course. In addition, administration of praziquantel at a high dose can become a diagnostic treatment for suspected cerebral cysticercosis and serve as a supplement of the currently available diagnostic methods, such as diagnoses based on the clinical features, immunology, CT and MRI imaging, etc., in some atypical cerebral cysticercosis patients. Praziquantel and albendazole treatments have some adverse reactions, and to control these adverse effects, all the cerebral cysticercosis patients should be treated in hospital. According to the type of cerebral cysticercosis, especially for intracranial hypertension type and meningocephalitis type, the dosages of anti-cysticercus drugs need to follow a gradually increasing pattern. During the period of anti-cysticercosis treatments, steroids and/or dehydrating agents need be administered which can alleviate the intracranial hypertension and so on. Traditional Chinese medicines have been also used in the treatment of cerebral cysticercosis and achieve satisfactory outcomes. However, the compound prescription of traditional Chinese medicines is very complex, and the effective components are not fully clear. Some cerebral cysticercosis patients with very high intracranial tension could not receive antiparasitic treatment immediately, and surgical treatment is required. Chinese surgeons also achieve some successful experiences, but not all the cysticercus can be removed completely during the surgery. Therefore, antiparasitic drugs are still needed after the operation. The rehabilitative treatment is supplementary in the therapy of cerebral cysticercosis. In China, the rehabilitative treatment of cerebral cysticercosis is still at the initial stage. These lessons and experiences in China can be shared with medical staff and researchers from other countries where the disease is endemic.
- Treatment of Plasmodium chabaudi Parasites with Curcumin in Combination with Antimalarial Drugs: Drug Interactions and Implications on the Ubiquitin/Proteasome System. [Journal Article]
- J Parasitol Res 2013.:429736.
Antimalarial drug resistance remains a major obstacle in malaria control. Evidence from Southeast Asia shows that resistance to artemisinin combination therapy (ACT) is inevitable. Ethnopharmacological studies have confirmed the efficacy of curcumin against Plasmodium spp. Drug interaction assays between curcumin/piperine/chloroquine and curcumin/piperine/artemisinin combinations and the potential of drug treatment to interfere with the ubiquitin proteasome system (UPS) were analyzed. In vivo efficacy of curcumin was studied in BALB/c mice infected with Plasmodium chabaudi clones resistant to chloroquine and artemisinin, and drug interactions were analyzed by isobolograms. Subtherapeutic doses of curcumin, chloroquine, and artemisinin were administered to mice, and mRNA was collected following treatment for RT-PCR analysis of genes encoding deubiquitylating enzymes (DUBs). Curcumin was found be nontoxic in BALB/c mice. The combination of curcumin/chloroquine/piperine reduced parasitemia to 37% seven days after treatment versus the control group's 65%, and an additive interaction was revealed. Curcumin/piperine/artemisinin combination did not show a favorable drug interaction in this murine model of malaria. Treatment of mice with subtherapeutic doses of the drugs resulted in a transient increase in genes encoding DUBs indicating UPS interference. If curcumin is to join the arsenal of available antimalarial drugs, future studies exploring suitable drug partners would be of interest.
- Fifteen years of annual mass treatment of onchocerciasis with ivermectin have not interrupted transmission in the west region of cameroon. [Journal Article]
- J Parasitol Res 2013.:420928.
We followed up the 1996 baseline parasitological and entomological studies on onchocerciasis transmission in eleven health districts in West Region, Cameroon. Annual mass ivermectin treatment had been provided for 15 years. Follow-up assessments which took place in 2005, 2006, and 2011 consisted of skin snips for microfilariae (mf) and palpation examinations for nodules. Follow-up Simulium vector dissections for larval infection rates were done from 2011 to 2012. mf prevalence in adults dropped from 68.7% to 11.4%, and nodule prevalence dropped from 65.9% to 12.1%. The decrease of mf prevalence in children from 29.2% to 8.9% was evidence that transmission was still continuing. mf rates in the follow-up assessments among adults and in children levelled out after a sharp reduction from baseline levels. Only three health districts out of 11 were close to interruption of transmission. Evidence of continuing transmission was also observed in two out of three fly collection sites that had infective rates of 0.19% and 0.18% and ATP of 70 (Foumbot) and 300 (Massangam), respectively. Therefore, halting of annual mass treatment with ivermectin cannot be done after 15 years as it might escalate the risk of transmission recrudescence.
- Prevalence and Level of Antibodies Anti-Plasmodium spp. in Travellers with Clinical History of Imported Malaria. [Journal Article]
- J Parasitol Res 2013.:247273.
In this study, we show that 40.29% of travellers with a possible history of malaria exposure were positive for anti-Plasmodium spp. antibodies, while these individuals were negative by microscopy. The antibody test described here is useful to elucidate malaria exposure in microscopy-negative travellers from endemic countries.
- Anthelmintic efficacy of Santalum album (Santalaceae) against monogenean infections in goldfish. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Parasitol Res 2013 May 21.
Dactylogyrus spp. and Gyrodactylus spp. are helminth ectoparasites that are a significant threat to the aquaculture industry. Existing treatments could cause the threats of anthelmintic resistance, risk of residues, environmental contamination, and toxicity to fish. Importantly, there is no report on a treatment against these two parasites. This study explored the possibility of using the extracts of Santalum album to treat Dactylogyrus sp. and Gyrodactylus sp. infections in goldfish. Results showed that among the four extracts (chloroform, methanol, ethyl acetate, and water) of S. album, the chloroform extract is the most effective and 40 mg/L is a safe and the lowest effective dosage. In addition, we found that Gyrodactylus elegans is more sensitive than Dactylogyrus intermedius when exposed to the extract of the medicinal plant. Finally, it is substantiated that bath treatment with long duration and multiple administrations could eliminate a greater proportion of monogenean infections. These findings show the potential for the development of effective and safe therapy to treat Dactylogyrus sp. and Gyrodactylus sp. infections of fishes.
- Molecular identification of Theileria and Babesia in sheep and goats in the Black Sea Region in Turkey. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Parasitol Res 2013 May 21.
This study was carried out to investigate presence and distribution of Theileria and Babesia species via microscopic examination and reverse line blotting (RLB) techniques in sheep and goats in the Black Sea region of Turkey. For this purpose, 1,128 blood samples (869 sheep and 259 goats) were collected by active surveillance from sheep and goats in different provinces of various cities in the region in the years 2010 and 2011. Smears were prepared from the blood samples, stained with Giemsa, and examined under the light microscope for Theileria and Babesia piroplasms. The genomic DNAs were extracted from blood samples. The length of 360-430-bp fragment in the variable V4 region of 18S SSU rRNA gene of Theileria and Babesia species was amplified using the gDNAs. The polymerase chain reaction products were hybridized to the membrane-connected species-specific probes. A total of 38 animals (3.37 %) including 34 sheep (3.91 %) and 4 goats (1.54 %) were found to be positive for Theileria spp. piroplasms in microscopic examination of smears while Babesia spp. piroplasm could not detected. Infection rates were 34.64 % in sheep, 10.04 % in goats, and totally 28.99 % for Theileria ovis while 0.58 % in sheep and totally 0.44 % for Babesia ovis. However, Theileria sp. OT3 was detected in 2.65 % of sheep and 2.04 % of all animals; besides Theileria sp., MK had 0.58 % prevalence in sheep and 0.77 % in goats, with a total 0.62 % with RLB. Although T. ovis and Theileria sp. MK were determined in both sheep and goats, B. ovis and Theileria sp. OT3 were observed only in the sheep. These results provide the first detailed molecular data for sheep and goat theileriosis and babesiosis in the region.
- Monogenoideans (Platyhelminthes) from the gill lamellae of the spotted sea trout, Cynoscion nebulosus (Perciformes, Sciaenidae), from the western coast of the Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico, with redescription of Diplectanum bilobatus Hargis 1955 (Diplectanidae). [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Parasitol Res 2013 May 18.
The gill lamellae ectoparasites of the spotted sea trout, Cynoscion nebulosus (Sciaenidae), in the western coast of the Yucatán Peninsula, Mexico, revealed three species of Monogenoidea: Cynoscionicola heteracantha (Manter 1938) Price, 1962 (Microcotylidae); Choricotyle cynoscioni (MacCallum, 1917) Llewellyn, 1941 (Diclidophoridae); and Diplectanum bilobatus Hargis, 1955 (Diplectanidae). Brief comments about the current taxonomic status as well as supplemental observations of all these monogenoids originally described and/or reported from the same host fish species found in the USA are provided. New illustrations, prevalence and mean intensity of infection, as well morphological and biometric data based on new specimens are shown. C. heteracantha and C. cynoscioni collected in this study represent the second and first records of the species of these genera for the Atlantic coast of Mexico. The specimens of D. bilobatus are provisionally retained within Diplectanum until an emendation of the genus and a formal revision of all named species of this monogenoidean genus are undertaken.
- Influence of food substrates on the development of the blowflies Calliphora vicina and Calliphora vomitoria (Diptera, Calliphoridae). [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Parasitol Res 2013 May 17.
The blowflies Calliphora vicina and Calliphora vomitoria are among the first colonizers of human remains in Europe. Laboratory development studies with immature stages of these blowflies for postmortem interval (PMI) calculations are generally performed on different media such as processed food substrates or liver of various animals. The question arises whether these media per se influence the development of larvae and thus PMI calculations? In this systematic approach, the effects of an assortment of food substrates on the development of the larvae were analyzed. C. vomitoria showed much better growth on processed substrates such as beef, pork, turkey, and mixed minced meats than on unprocessed substrates such as beef and pork liver and turkey steak. Beef liver even impeded full development of the species and resulted in death of all individuals. C. vomitoria was therefore categorized as a specialist. Even though mixed minced meat yielded low pupariation rates for C. vicina, the species showed, otherwise, comparable growth rates on all substrates tested and was thus considered to be a generalist. These findings emphasize the importance of parameters besides temperature on the development rates of forensically important fly larvae.
- Activity assessment of Tunisian olive leaf extracts against the trophozoite stage of Acanthamoeba. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Parasitol Res 2013 May 17.
The olive tree (Olea europaea, Oleaceae) has historically provided huge economic and nutritional benefits to the Mediterranean basin. In fact, olive leaf extracts have also been used by native people of this area in folk medicine to treat fever and other diseases such as malaria. Recently, several studies have focused on the extraction of high-added-value compounds from olive leaves. However, no previous studies have been developed in order to evaluate the activity of these extracts against Acanthamoeba. In the present work, olive leaf extracts from five different Tunisian varieties of olive trees (Chemlali Tataouine, Zarrazi, Toffehi, Dhokkar, and Limouni) were obtained by using three different solvents, and their activity against the trophozoite stage of Acanthamoeba castellanii Neff was screened. The IC50/96 h (50 % parasite growth inhibition) was chosen as the appropriate and comparable data to give as previously described. It could be observed that the amoebicidal activity was dose dependent. Trophozoite growth was inhibited by all the tested extracts with IC50 ranging from 8.234 ± 1.703 μg/ml for the alcoholic mixture of the Dhokkar extract to 33.661 ± 1.398 μg/ml for the methanolic extract of the Toffehi variety. The activity in fact was affected especially by the tested variety and not by the solvent extraction, the Dhokkar variety being the most active one as mentioned above.
- Protein kinases of Toxoplasma gondii: functions and drug targets. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Parasitol Res 2013 May 17.
Toxoplasma gondii is an important opportunistic parasite that infects almost all warm-blooded animals, causing congenital neurological and ocular diseases, especially in immunocompromised humans. The available therapeutic drugs are hypersensitive and toxic, and no vaccine is available to block the transmission of this parasite. Safer and more effective drugs are thus urgently needed to treat toxoplasmosis. Protein kinases (PKs) play crucial roles in the proliferation, differentiation, and pathogenesis of T. gondii. T. gondii calcium-dependent protein kinase 1 and cGMP-dependent protein kinase are associated with cell invasion; mitogen-activated protein kinase 1 and cAMP-dependent protein kinase are involved in stress response and conversion from tachyzoite to bradyzoite; casein kinase 1 and cdc2 cyclin-dependent kinase control cell cycle. Rhoptry kinases, the T. gondii-specific PKs, are involved in host manipulation. Because of their difference in structure and function from that of mammalian PKs, T. gondii PKs are promising drug targets. In this review, we describe the functions of T. gondii protein kinases and their inhibitors as potential drugs against T. gondii.