- Molecular screening for bacterial pathogens in ticks (Ixodes ricinus) collected on migratory birds captured in northern Italy. [Journal Article]
- FPFolia Parasitol (Praha) 2018 Jun 15; 65
- Migratory birds have an important role in transporting ticks and associated tick-borne pathogens over long distances. In this study, 2,793 migratory birds were captured by nets in a ringing station, ...
Migratory birds have an important role in transporting ticks and associated tick-borne pathogens over long distances. In this study, 2,793 migratory birds were captured by nets in a ringing station, located in northern Italy, and checked for the presence of ticks. Two-hundred and fifty-one ticks were identified as nymphs and larvae of Ixodes ricinus (Linnaeus, 1758) and they were PCR-screened for the presence of bacteria belonging to Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato, Rickettsia spp., Francisella tularensis and Coxiella burnetii. Four species of Borrelia (B. garinii, B. afzelii, B. valaisiana and B. lusitaniae) and three species of Rickettsia (R. monacensis, R. helvetica and Candidatus Rickettsia mendelii) were detected in 74 (30%) and 25 (10%) respectively out of 251 ticks examined. Co-infection with Borrelia spp. and Rickettsia spp. in the same tick sample was encountered in 7 (7%) out of the 99 infected ticks. We report for the first time the presence of Candidatus Rickettsia mendelii in I. ricinus collected on birds in Italy. This study, besides confirming the role of birds in dispersal of I. ricinus, highlights an important route by which tick-borne pathogens might spread across different countries and from natural environments towards urbanised areas.
- Cloning, expression and characterisation of a cysteine protease from Trichinella spiralis. [Journal Article]
- FPFolia Parasitol (Praha) 2018 May 29; 65
- Cysteine protease is a superfamily of widespread proteolytic enzymes and plays a major role in larval invasion, migration, exsheathing, survival and immune evasion in parasites. In the present study,...
Cysteine protease is a superfamily of widespread proteolytic enzymes and plays a major role in larval invasion, migration, exsheathing, survival and immune evasion in parasites. In the present study, the gene coding cysteine proteinase of the nematode Trichinella spiralis (Owen, 1835) was cloned into pQE-80L and subsequently expressed in E. coli JM109. The rTsCP was purified and its antigenicity was identified by Western blot and ELISA. Using anti-rTsCP serum the native TsCP was identified in muscle larval crude proteins. The results of quantitative real-time PCR and immunofluorescence test demonstrated that the TsCP was expressed in all stages of T. spiralis and located mainly in cuticle, stichosome and reproductive organs. The immunisation of mice with rTsCP elicited Th2-predominant immune responses. Anti-rTsCP antibodies could partially inhibit the in vitro larval invasion of intestinal epithelial cells and kill the newborn larvae by an antibody-dependent cell-mediated dose-dependent cytotoxicity. The vaccinated mice exhibited a 54% reduction of adults and a 33% reduction of muscle larvae following challenge infection. The results suggested that the TsCP might be an indispensable protein in Trichinella invasion, development and survival of T. spiralis in hosts, and could be a potential vaccine target against infection.
- Horizontal transmission of the ectoparasite Gyrodactylus arcuatus (Monogenea: Gyrodactylidae) to the next generation of the three-spined stickleback Gasterosteus aculeatus. [Journal Article]
- FPFolia Parasitol (Praha) 2018 Apr 19; 65
- In the parthenogenetic monogeneans of the genus Gyrodactylus Nordmann, 1832, the genetic diversity within or between hosts is determined by the relative roles of lateral transmission and clonal propa...
In the parthenogenetic monogeneans of the genus Gyrodactylus Nordmann, 1832, the genetic diversity within or between hosts is determined by the relative roles of lateral transmission and clonal propagation. Clonality and limited transmission lead to high-amplitude metapopulation dynamics and strong genetic drift. In Baltic populations of the three-spined stickleback Gasterosteus aculeatus Linnaeus, the local mitochondrial diversity of Gyrodactylus arcuatus Bychowsky, 1933 is very high, and spatial differentiation weak. To understand the transmission dynamics in a single location, the transmission of the parasite from adults to next generation sticklebacks was investigated in a northern Baltic brackish water location. By sequencing 777 nt of cox1, as many as 38 separate mitochondrial haplotypes were identified. In August, the intensity of gyrodactylid infection on adult hosts was high, the haplotype diversity (h) was extreme and differentiation between fish was negligible (total h = 0.926, mean h = 0.938). In October, only 46% of the juvenile sticklebacks carried G. arcuatus. The number of parasites per young fish followed a Poisson distribution 0.92 ± 1.04 (mean ± SD) on October 2, and was clearly overdispersed 2.38 ± 5.00 on October 25. The total haplotype diversity of parasites on juveniles was nearly as high as in adults (h = 0.916), but the mean per fish was only h = 0.364 (FST = 0.60), due to low intensity of infection and rapid clonal propagation of early arrivals. The initial first come first served advantage of the first gyrodactylid colonisers will be lost during the host adulthood via continuous transmission. Nesting and polygamy are suggested as factors maintaining the high genetic diversity of the parasite population. The transmission dynamics and, consequently, the population structure of Baltic G. arcuatus is fundamentally different from that of G. salaris Malmberg, 1957, on the Baltic salmon Salmo salar Linnaeus.
- New records of philometrids (Nematoda: Philometridae) from marine fishes off Australia, including description of four new species and erection of Digitiphilometroides gen. n. [Journal Article]
- FPFolia Parasitol (Praha) 2018 Apr 16; 65
- The following six species of the Philometridae (Nematoda: Dracunculoidea) were recorded from marine fishes off the northern coast of Australia in 2015 and 2016: Philometra arafurensis sp. n. and Phil...
The following six species of the Philometridae (Nematoda: Dracunculoidea) were recorded from marine fishes off the northern coast of Australia in 2015 and 2016: Philometra arafurensis sp. n. and Philometra papillicaudata sp. n. from the ovary and the tissue behind the gills, respectively, of the emperor red snapper Lutjanus sebae (Cuvier); Philometra mawsonae sp. n. and Dentiphilometra malabarici sp. n. from the ovary and the tissue behind the gills, respectively, of the Malabar blood snapper Lutjanus malabaricus (Bloch et Schneider); Philometra sp. from the ovary of the goldbanded jobfish Pristipomoides multidens (Day) (Perciformes: all Lutjanidae); and Digitiphilometroides marinus (Moravec et de Buron, 2009) comb. n. from the body cavity of the cobia Rachycentron canadum (Linnaeus) (Perciformes: Rachycentridae). Digitiphilometroides gen. n. is established based on the presence of unique digital cuticular ornamentations on the female body. New gonad-infecting species, P. arafurensis and P. mawsonae, are characterised mainly by the length of spicules (252-264 µm and 351-435 µm, respectively) and the structure of the gubernaculum, whereas P. papillicaudata is characterised mainly by the body length (70 mm) of gravid female, extent of the oesophageal gland, size of caudal projections and the location in the host. Dentiphilometra malabarici differs from congeners mainly in the arrangement of circumoral teeth (in a single row), extent of the oesophageal gland and the absence of sclerotised teeth or protuberances on the oesophageal lobes in the mouth. Digitiphilometroides marinus has not previously been reported from fishes in Australian waters.
- Two new species of Hepatozoon (Apicomplexa: Hepatozoidae) parasitising species of Philothamnus (Ophidia: Colubridae) from South Africa. [Journal Article]
- FPFolia Parasitol (Praha) 2018 Apr 03; 65
- To date, only a few species of Hepatozoon Miller, 1908 have been described from amphibians and reptiles of South Africa, including two species from anuran hosts, three from saurians, one from cheloni...
To date, only a few species of Hepatozoon Miller, 1908 have been described from amphibians and reptiles of South Africa, including two species from anuran hosts, three from saurians, one from chelonians, and two from ophidians. Hepatozoon bitis (Fantham, 1925) and Hepatozoon refringens (Sambon et Seligmann, 1907), parasitising Bitis arientans (Merrem) and Pseudoaspis cana (Linnaeus), respectively, were described in the early 1900s and since then there have been no further species of Hepatozoon described from snakes in South Africa. Blood smears, used in peripheral blood haemogregarine stage morphometrics, and whole blood used in molecular characterisation of haemogregarines were collected from the caudal vein of six snakes of three species, namely Philothamnus hoplogaster (Günther), Philothamnus semivariegatus (Smith) and Philothamnus natalensis natalensis (Smith). For comparison, a comprehensive table summarising available information on species of Hepatozoon from African snakes is presented. Haemogregarines found infecting the snakes from the present study were morphologically and molecularly different from any previously described from Africa and are thus here described as Hepatozoon angeladaviesae sp. n. and Hepatozoon cecilhoarei sp. n. Both haemogregarine species were observed to cause considerable dehaemoglobinisation of the host cell, in case of infection with H. angeladaviesae resulting in a characteristic peripheral undulation of the host cell membrane and karyorrhexis. To the authors' knowledge, these are the first haemogregarines parasitising snakes of the genus Philothamnus Smith described using both morphological and molecular characteristics in Africa.
- New information on morphology and molecular data of camallanid nematodes parasitising Xenopus laevis (Anura: Pipidae) in South Africa. [Journal Article]
- FPFolia Parasitol (Praha) 2018 Mar 12; 65
- Three species of nematodes from the Camallanidae that are known to infect Xenopus laevis Daudin (Anura: Pipidae) were collected from several localities across South Africa. New data on morphology, pa...
Three species of nematodes from the Camallanidae that are known to infect Xenopus laevis Daudin (Anura: Pipidae) were collected from several localities across South Africa. New data on morphology, partial 28S and cox1 genes, infection levels and distribution are presented herein. The most common species, Batrachocamallanus slomei Southwell et Kirshner, 1937, from the stomach and less often oesophagus, was found in eight localities. Camallanus kaapstaadi Southwell et Kirshner, 1937, also from the oesophagus, was found in two localities and C. xenopodis Jackson et Tinsley, 1995, from the intestine, at a single locality. New localities for both C. kaapstaadi and C. xenopodis provide a geographical range extension. Males of C. xenopodis are described for the first time herein. The existence of a left spicule in the males of both the species of Camallanus Railliet and Henry, 1915 is confirmed and measurements are provided. Although C. xenopodis is distinguished from C. mazabukae Kung, 1948 in the present study, we suggest greater sampling effort in other African amphibians to confirm the species status of the latter taxon. Finally, the new molecular data showed distant relationships between collected species of Camallanus and species parasitising fish and freshwater turtles.
- High density of fox and cat faeces in kitchen gardens and resulting rodent exposure to Echinococcus multilocularis and Toxoplasma gondii. [Journal Article]
- FPFolia Parasitol (Praha) 2018 Mar 08; 65
- The faeces of the red fox, Vulpes vulpes (Linnaeus), and the domestic cat, Felis catus (Linnaeus), can be responsible for spreading eggs of Echinococcus multilocularis Leuckart, 1863 and oocysts of T...
The faeces of the red fox, Vulpes vulpes (Linnaeus), and the domestic cat, Felis catus (Linnaeus), can be responsible for spreading eggs of Echinococcus multilocularis Leuckart, 1863 and oocysts of Toxoplasma gondii (Nicolle et Manceaux, 1908) into the environment. The accidental ingestion of these eggs or oocysts, through consumption of raw fruits or vegetables grown in or in contact with contaminated soil, can lead to alveolar echinococcosis (AE) or toxoplasmosis in humans. The present study provides a quantitative assessment of the faecal deposition by foxes and cats in kitchen gardens where fruits and vegetables are grown and its consequences for zoonosis transmission. The density of definitive host faeces is considered as one of the main factors in infection risk for intermediate hosts. The density of fox and cat faeces, as well as the prevalence of both AE and toxoplasmosis in rodent populations (contaminated by ingestion of eggs or oocysts), were compared within and outside kitchen gardens. Our results showed that the mean density of fox faeces did not significantly differ between kitchen gardens and habitat edges (0.29 ± 0.04 faeces/m2 vs 0.22 ± 0.02 faeces/m2), the latter being known as an area of high fox faeceal densities. The density of cat faeces was significantly higher within the kitchen garden than outside (0.86 ± 0.22 faeces/m2 vs 0.04 ± 0.02 faeces/m2). The sampled kitchen gardens might therefore be considered as possible hotspots for both fox and cat defecation. Of the 130 rodents trapped, 14% were infected by at least one species of fox or cat intestinal parasite. These rodents were significantly more often infected when they were exposed to a kitchen garden. These results suggest that the deposit of fox and cat faeces in kitchen gardens would significantly impact the risk of human exposure to E. multilocularis and T. gondii. and should be prevented using effective means.
- Tapeworm chromosomes: their value in systematics with instructions for cytogenetic study. [Journal Article]
- FPFolia Parasitol (Praha) 2018 Feb 23; 65
- The history and value of cytogenetic features for addressing questions of the evolution and systematics of tapeworms (Cestoda) are briefly reviewed along with instructions for collecting karyological...
The history and value of cytogenetic features for addressing questions of the evolution and systematics of tapeworms (Cestoda) are briefly reviewed along with instructions for collecting karyological data. As a supplement to worm morphology, chromosome number and morphology have been helpful in determining the systematic status of some genera in the Diphyllobothriidae and species in the Bothriocephallidea. In addition, many new techniques for chromosome analysis have been recently applied in morphological and molecular studies of invertebrates, including tapeworms. Methods of molecular karyology, fluorescence in situ hybridisation, and chromosomal location of satellite DNA, microsatellites or histone genes may also provide useful data to inference of taxonomic relationships and for revealing trends or general lines of chromosome evolution. However, as karyological data are available only for few tapeworms, they are seldom an integral part of evolutionary and taxonomic studies of cestodes. A primary reason for this lack of karyological data may lie in general difficulties in working with tapeworm chromosomes. To address these problems, herein we present a well-tested, step-by-step illustrated guide on the fixation of tapeworm material and preparation of their chromosomes for cytogenetic studies. The technique requires standard glassware, few reagents and simple equipment such as needles; it can also be used on other neodermatan flatworms.
- Description and phylogenetic position of a new species of Rhabdias Stiles et Hassall, 1905 (Nematoda: Rhabdiasidae) from the banded rubber frog, Phrynomantis bifasciatus (Smith) (Amphibia: Microhylidae), in South Africa. [Journal Article]
- FPFolia Parasitol (Praha) 2017 Dec 13; 64
- The lung-dwelling nematode Rhabdias engelbrechti sp. n. was found in five of eight examined banded rubber frogs in Limpopo Province, South Africa. The species is differentiated from species of Rhabdi...
The lung-dwelling nematode Rhabdias engelbrechti sp. n. was found in five of eight examined banded rubber frogs in Limpopo Province, South Africa. The species is differentiated from species of Rhabdias Stiles et Hassall, 1905 occurring in the Afrotropical Realm based on the presence of a globular cuticular inflation at the anterior end, the buccal capsule walls being distinctly divided into anterior and posterior parts, the buccal capsule size (6-9 μm × 16-18 μm), and the body length (3.8-6.1 mm). Rhabdias engelbrechti is the tenth species of the genus found in Afrotropical anurans. Our molecular phylogenetic analysis based on the complete sequences of the ITS region and partial sequences of large subunit (28S) gene of the nuclear ribosomal RNA demonstrates that the new species is more closely related to the Eurasian species Rhabdias bufonis (Schrank, 1788) than to two other species from sub-Saharan Africa represented in the tree. In addition, partial sequences of the mitochondrial protein coding cox1 and ribosomal 12S genes of the new species have shown significant differences from all previously published sequences of these genes from African species of Rhabdias.
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- Stray cats are more frequently infected with zoonotic protists than pet cats. [Journal Article]
- FPFolia Parasitol (Praha) 2017 Dec 06; 64
- Faecal samples were collected from cats kept as pets (n = 120) and stray cats (n = 135) in Central Europe (Czech Republic, Poland and Slovakia) and screened for the presence of Cryptosporidium spp., ...
Faecal samples were collected from cats kept as pets (n = 120) and stray cats (n = 135) in Central Europe (Czech Republic, Poland and Slovakia) and screened for the presence of Cryptosporidium spp., Giardia intestinalis (Kunstler, 1882), Encephalitozoon spp. and Enterocytozoon bieneusi Desportes, Le Charpentier, Galian, Bernard, Cochand-Priollet, Lavergne, Ravisse et Modigliani, 1985 by PCR analysis of the small-subunit of rRNA (Cryptosporidium spp. and G. intestinalis) and ITS (microsporidia) genes. Sequence analysis of targeted genes revealed the presence of C. felis Iseki, 1979, G. intestinalis assemblage F, E. cuniculi Levaditi, Nicolau et Schoen, 1923 genotype II, and E. bieneusi genotype D. There was no correlation between the occurrence of detected parasites and sex, presence of diarrhoea or drug treatment (drug containing pyrantel and praziquantel). Compared to pet cats (7%), stray cats (30%) were statistically more frequently infected with protist parasites and overall may present a greater risk to human health.