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PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases: New Articles



A Peer-Reviewed Open-Access Journal



Updated: 2018-04-21T21:24:48Z

 



(XML) SmSP2: A serine protease secreted by the blood fluke pathogen Schistosoma mansoni with anti-hemostatic properties

2018-04-20T21:00:00Z

by Adrian Leontovyč, Lenka Ulrychová, Anthony J. O’Donoghue, Jiří Vondrášek, Lucie Marešová, Martin Hubálek, Pavla Fajtová, Marta Chanová, Zhenze Jiang, Charles S. Craik, Conor R. Caffrey, Michael Mareš, Jan Dvořák, Martin Horn

Background

Serine proteases are important virulence factors for many pathogens. Recently, we discovered a group of trypsin-like serine proteases with domain organization unique to flatworm parasites and containing a thrombospondin type 1 repeat (TSR-1). These proteases are recognized as antigens during host infection and may prove useful as anthelminthic vaccines, however their molecular characteristics are under-studied. Here, we characterize the structural and proteolytic attributes of serine protease 2 (SmSP2) from Schistosoma mansoni, one of the major species responsible for the tropical infectious disease, schistosomiasis.

Methodology/Principal findings

SmSP2 comprises three domains: a histidine stretch, TSR-1 and a serine protease domain. The cleavage specificity of recombinant SmSP2 was determined using positional scanning and multiplex combinatorial libraries and the determinants of specificity were identified with 3D homology models, demonstrating a trypsin-like endopeptidase mode of action. SmSP2 displayed restricted proteolysis on protein substrates. It activated tissue plasminogen activator and plasminogen as key components of the fibrinolytic system, and released the vasoregulatory peptide, kinin, from kininogen. SmSP2 was detected in the surface tegument, esophageal glands and reproductive organs of the adult parasite by immunofluorescence microscopy, and in the excretory/secretory products by immunoblotting.

Conclusions/Significance

The data suggest that SmSP2 is secreted, functions at the host-parasite interface and contributes to the survival of the parasite by manipulating host vasodilatation and fibrinolysis. SmSP2 may be, therefore, a potential target for anti-schistosomal therapy.

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(XML) Morphophysiological changes in the splenic extracellular matrix of Leishmania infantum-naturally infected dogs is associated with alterations in lymphoid niches and the CD4+ T cell frequency in spleens

2018-04-20T21:00:00Z

by Aurea Virginia Andrade da Silva, Fabiano Borges Figueiredo, Rodrigo Caldas Menezes, Arthur Augusto Mendes-Junior, Luisa Helena Monteiro de Miranda, Elisa Cupolillo, Renato Porrozzi, Fernanda Nazaré Morgado

The spleen is one of the main affected organs in canine visceral leishmaniasis (CVL). Disorganization of the splenic white pulp (SWP) has been associated with immunosuppression and disease progression. This study aims to assess structural and cellular changes in the splenic extracellular matrix of dogs with CVL, correlating these changes with the parasite load and clinical signs. Splenic fragments were collected from 41 naturally infected animals for parasite load quantification by quantitative PCR, histopathological analysis and immunohistochemistry for CD3+, CD4+, and CD8+ T cells; CD21+ B cells; Ki-67+, IFN-γ+, and IL-10+ cells; and the MMP-9 and ADAM-10 enzymes. Laminin, collagen and fibronectin deposition were also evaluated. The animals were grouped according to the level of SWP organization. SWP disorganization was accompanied by a reduction in the quantity of lymphoid follicles/mm2 (p > 0.0001). Animals with moderate to intense SWP disorganization showed more clinical signs (p = 0.021), higher laminin (p = 0.045) and collagen deposition (p = 0.036), higher MMP-9 expression (p = 0.035) and lower numbers of CD4+ T cells (p = 0.027) in the spleen than the animals with organized SWP. These data suggest that splenic structure and function are drastically altered and compromised during CVL.(image)



(XML) Implications of current therapeutic restrictions for primaquine and tafenoquine in the radical cure of vivax malaria

2018-04-20T21:00:00Z

by James Watson, Walter R. J. Taylor, Germana Bancone, Cindy S. Chu, Podjanee Jittamala, Nicholas J. White

Background

The 8-aminoquinoline antimalarials, the only drugs which prevent relapse of vivax and ovale malaria (radical cure), cause dose-dependent oxidant haemolysis in individuals with glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PD) deficiency. Patients with <30% and <70% of normal G6PD activity are not given standard regimens of primaquine and tafenoquine, respectively. Both drugs are currently considered contraindicated in pregnant and lactating women.

Methods

Quantitative G6PD enzyme activity data from 5198 individuals were used to estimate the proportions of heterozygous females who would be ineligible for treatment at the 30% and 70% activity thresholds, and the relationship with the severity of the deficiency. This was used to construct a simple model relating allele frequency in males to the potential population coverage of tafenoquine and primaquine under current prescribing restrictions.

Findings

Independent of G6PD deficiency, the current pregnancy and lactation restrictions will exclude ~13% of females from radical cure treatment. This could be reduced to ~4% if 8-aminoquinolines can be prescribed to women breast-feeding infants older than 1 month. At a 30% activity threshold, approximately 8–19% of G6PD heterozygous women are ineligible for primaquine treatment; at a 70% threshold, 50–70% of heterozygous women and approximately 5% of G6PD wild type individuals are ineligible for tafenoquine treatment. Thus, overall in areas where the G6PDd allele frequency is >10% more than 15% of men and more than 25% of women would be unable to receive tafenoquine. In vivax malaria infected patients these proportions will be lowered by any protective effect against P. vivax conferred by G6PD deficiency.

Conclusion

If tafenoquine is deployed for radical cure, primaquine will still be needed to obtain high population coverage. Better radical cure antimalarial regimens are needed.

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(XML) Progress in the pharmacological treatment of human cystic and alveolar echinococcosis: Compounds and therapeutic targets

2018-04-20T21:00:00Z

by Mar Siles-Lucas, Adriano Casulli, Roberto Cirilli, David Carmena

Human cystic and alveolar echinococcosis are helmintic zoonotic diseases caused by infections with the larval stages of the cestode parasites Echinococcus granulosus and E. multilocularis, respectively. Both diseases are progressive and chronic, and often fatal if left unattended for E. multilocularis. As a treatment approach, chemotherapy against these orphan and neglected diseases has been available for more than 40 years. However, drug options were limited to the benzimidazoles albendazole and mebendazole, the only chemical compounds currently licensed for treatment in humans. To compensate this therapeutic shortfall, new treatment alternatives are urgently needed, including the identification, development, and assessment of novel compound classes and drug targets. Here is presented a thorough overview of the range of compounds that have been tested against E. granulosus and E. multilocularis in recent years, including in vitro and in vivo data on their mode of action, dosage, administration regimen, therapeutic outcomes, and associated clinical symptoms. Drugs covered included albendazole, mebendazole, and other members of the benzimidazole family and their derivatives, including improved formulations and combined therapies with other biocidal agents. Chemically synthetized molecules previously known to be effective against other infectious and non-infectious conditions such as anti-virals, antibiotics, anti-parasites, anti-mycotics, and anti-neoplastics are addressed. In view of their increasing relevance, natural occurring compounds derived from plant and fungal extracts are also discussed. Special attention has been paid to the recent application of genomic science on drug discovery and clinical medicine, particularly through the identification of small inhibitor molecules tackling key metabolic enzymes or signalling pathways.(image)



(XML) A 2015 outbreak of flea-borne rickettsiosis in San Gabriel Valley, Los Angeles County, California

2018-04-20T21:00:00Z

by Kimberly Nelson, Alice N. Maina, Angela Brisco, Chelsea Foo, Curtis Croker, Van Ngo, Rachel Civen, Allen L. Richards, Kenn Fujioka, J. Wakoli Wekesa

Although flea-borne rickettsiosis is endemic in Los Angeles County, outbreaks are rare. In the spring of 2015 three human cases of flea-borne rickettsiosis among residents of a mobile home community (MHC) prompted an investigation. Fleas were ubiquitous in common areas due to presence of flea-infested opossums and overabundant outdoor cats and dogs. The MHC was summarily abated in June 2015, and within five months, flea control and removal of animals significantly reduced the flea population. Two additional epidemiologically-linked human cases of flea-borne rickettsiosis detected at the MHC were suspected to have occurred before control efforts began. Molecular testing of 106 individual and 85 pooled cat fleas, blood and ear tissue samples from three opossums and thirteen feral cats using PCR amplification and DNA sequencing detected rickettsial DNA in 18.8% of the fleas. Seventeen percent of these cat fleas tested positive for R. felis-specific DNA compared to under two (<2) percent for Candidatus R. senegalensis-specific DNA. In addition, serological testing of 13 cats using a group-specific IgG-ELISA detected antibodies against typhus group rickettsiae and spotted fever group rickettsiae in six (46.2%) and one (7.7%) cat, respectively. These results indicate that cats and their fleas may have played an active role in the epidemiology of the typhus group and/or spotted fever group rickettsial disease(s) in this outbreak.(image)



(XML) Vector competence of Italian Aedes albopictus populations for the chikungunya virus (E1-226V)

2018-04-19T21:00:00Z

by Francesco Severini, Daniela Boccolini, Claudia Fortuna, Marco Di Luca, Luciano Toma, Antonello Amendola, Eleonora Benedetti, Giada Minelli, Roberto Romi, Giulietta Venturi, Giovanni Rezza, Maria Elena Remoli

Background

Chikungunya virus (CHIKV) is an emerging arbovirus, belonging to the Togaviridae family, Alphavirus genus, transmitted by Aedes spp. mosquitoes. Since 2007, two different CHIKV stains (E1-226A and E1-226V) have been responsible for outbreaks in European countries, including Italy, sustained by Ae. albopictus mosquitoes.

Findings

In this study, we assessed the susceptibility to the CHIKV E1-226V, strain responsible for the Italian 2007 outbreak, of eight Ae. albopictus populations collected in Northern, Central, Southern, and Island Italy, by experimental infections. Vector competence was evaluated by estimating infection, dissemination, and transmission rates (IR, DR, TR), through detection of the virus in the bodies, legs plus wings, and saliva, respectively. Additionally, vertical transmission was evaluated by the detection of the virus in the offspring. The results of our study demonstrated that the Italian populations of Ae. albopictus tested were susceptible to CHIKV infection, and can disseminate the virus outside the midgut barrier with high values of IR and DR. Viral infectious RNA was detected in the saliva of three populations from Central, Southern, and Island Italy, also tested for TR and population transmission rate (PTR) values. No progeny of the first and second gonotrophic cycle were positive for CHIKV.

Conclusions

This study strongly confirms the role of Ae. albopictus as a potential CHIKV vector in Italy. This may represent a threat, especially considering both the high density of this species, which is widespread throughout the country, and the increasing number of cases of imported arbovirus.

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(XML) Nucleobases and corresponding nucleosides display potent antiviral activities against dengue virus possibly through viral lethal mutagenesis

2018-04-19T21:00:00Z

by Li Qiu, Steven E. Patterson, Laurent F. Bonnac, Robert J. Geraghty

Dengue virus affects millions of people worldwide each year. To date, there is no drug for the treatment of dengue-associated disease. Nucleosides are effective antivirals and work by inhibiting the accurate replication of the viral genome. Nucleobases offer a cheaper alternative to nucleosides for broad antiviral applications. Metabolic activation of nucleobases involves condensation with 5-phosphoribosyl-1-pyrophosphate to give the corresponding nucleoside-5’-monophosphate. This could provide an alternative to phosphorylation of a nucleoside, a step that is often rate limiting and inefficient in activation of nucleosides. We evaluated more than 30 nucleobases and corresponding nucleosides for their antiviral activity against dengue virus. Five nucleobases and two nucleosides were found to induce potent antiviral effects not previously described. Our studies further revealed that nucleobases were usually more active with a better tissue culture therapeutic index than their corresponding nucleosides. The development of viral lethal mutagenesis, an antiviral approach that takes into account the quasispecies behavior of RNA viruses, represents an exciting prospect not yet studied in the context of dengue replication. Passage of the virus in the presence of the nucleobase 3a (T-1105) and corresponding nucleoside 3b (T-1106), favipiravir derivatives, induced an increase in apparent mutations, indicating lethal mutagenesis as a possible antiviral mechanism. A more concerted and widespread screening of nucleobase libraries is a very promising approach to identify dengue virus inhibitors including those that may act as viral mutagens.(image)



(XML) Point-of-care tests for syphilis and yaws in a low-income setting – A qualitative study of healthcare worker and patient experiences

2018-04-19T21:00:00Z

by Michael Marks, Tommy Esau, Rowena Asugeni, Relmah Harrington, Jason Diau, Hilary Toloka, James Asugeni, Eimhin Ansbro, Anthony W. Solomon, David Maclaren, Michelle Redman-Maclaren, David C. W. Mabey

Introduction

The human treponematoses comprise venereal syphilis and the three non-venereal or endemic treponematoses yaws, bejel, and pinta. Serological assays remain the most common diagnostic method for all treponemal infections.Point-of-care tests (POCTs) for syphilis and yaws allow testing without further development of infrastructure in populations where routine laboratory facilities are not available. Alongside the test’s performance characteristics assessed through diagnostic evaluation, it is important to consider broader issues when rolling out a POCT. Experience with malaria POCT roll-out in sub-Saharan Africa has demonstrated that both healthcare worker and patient beliefs may play a major role in shaping the real-world use of POCTs. We conducted a qualitative study evaluating healthcare worker and patient perceptions of using a syphilis/yaws POCT in clinics in the East Malaita region of Malaita province in the Solomon Islands. Prior to the study serology was only routinely available at the local district hospital.

Methods

The POCT was deployed in the outpatient and ante-natal departments of a district hospital and four rural health clinics served by the hospital. Each site was provided with training and an SOP on the performance, interpretation and recording of results. Treatment for those testing positive was provided, in line with Solomon Islands Ministry of Health and Medical Services’ guidelines for syphilis and yaws respectively. Alongside the implementation of the POCT we facilitated semi-structured interviews with both nurses and patients to explore individuals’ experiences and beliefs in relation to use of the POCT.

Results and discussion

Four main themes emerged in the interviews: 1) training and ease of performing the test; 2) time taken and ability to fit the test into a clinical workflow; 3) perceived reliability and trustworthiness of the test; and 4) level of the health care system the test was most usefully deployed. Many healthcare workers related their experience with the POCT to their experience using similar tests for malaria. Although the test was considered to take a relatively long time to perform the benefits of improved access to testing were considered positive by most healthcare workers. Qualitative data is needed to help inform better training packages to support the implementation of POCT in low-resource settings.

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(XML) Rodent-borne diseases and their public health importance in Iran

2018-04-19T21:00:00Z

by Mohammad Hasan Rabiee, Ahmad Mahmoudi, Roohollah Siahsarvie, Boris Kryštufek, Ehsan Mostafavi

Background

Rodents are reservoirs and hosts for several zoonotic diseases such as plague, leptospirosis, and leishmaniasis. Rapid development of industry and agriculture, as well as climate change throughout the globe, has led to change or increase in occurrence of rodent-borne diseases. Considering the distribution of rodents throughout Iran, the aim of this review is to assess the risk of rodent-borne diseases in Iran.

Methodology/Principal finding

We searched Google Scholar, PubMed, Science Direct, Scientific Information Database (SID), and Magiran databases up to September 2016 to obtain articles reporting occurrence of rodent-borne diseases in Iran and extract information from them. Out of 70 known rodent-borne diseases, 34 were reported in Iran: 17 (50%) parasitic diseases, 13 (38%) bacterial diseases, and 4 (12%) viral diseases. Twenty-one out of 34 diseases were reported from both humans and rodents. Among the diseases reported in the rodents of Iran, plague, leishmaniasis, and hymenolepiasis were the most frequent. The most infected rodents were Rattus norvegicus (16 diseases), Mus musculus (14 diseases), Rattus rattus (13 diseases), Meriones persicus (7 diseases), Apodemus spp. (5 diseases), Tatera indica (4 diseases), Meriones libycus (3 diseases), Rhombomys opimus (3 diseases), Cricetulus migratorius (3 diseases), and Nesokia indica (2 diseases).

Conclusions/Significance

The results of this review indicate the importance of rodent-borne diseases in Iran. Considering notable diversity of rodents and their extensive distribution throughout the country, it is crucial to pay more attention to their role in spreading infectious diseases for better control of the diseases.

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(XML) Use of primaquine and glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase deficiency testing: Divergent policies and practices in malaria endemic countries

2018-04-19T21:00:00Z

by Judith Recht, Elizabeth A. Ashley, Nicholas J. White

Primaquine is the only available antimalarial drug that kills dormant liver stages of Plasmodium vivax and Plasmodium ovale malarias and therefore prevents their relapse (‘radical cure’). It is also the only generally available antimalarial that rapidly sterilises mature P. falciparum gametocytes. Radical cure requires extended courses of primaquine (usually 14 days; total dose 3.5–7 mg/kg), whereas transmissibility reduction in falciparum malaria requires a single dose (formerly 0.75 mg/kg, now a single low dose [SLD] of 0.25 mg/kg is recommended). The main adverse effect of primaquine is dose-dependent haemolysis in glucose 6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PD) deficiency, the most common human enzymopathy. X-linked mutations conferring varying degrees of G6PD deficiency are prevalent throughout malaria-endemic regions. Phenotypic screening tests usually detect <30% of normal G6PD activity, identifying nearly all male hemizygotes and female homozygotes and some heterozygotes. Unfortunately, G6PD deficiency screening is usually unavailable at point of care, and, as a consequence, radical cure is greatly underused. Both haemolytic risk (determined by the prevalence and severity of G6PD deficiency polymorphisms) and relapse rates vary, so there has been considerable uncertainty in both policies and practices related to G6PD deficiency testing and use of primaquine for radical cure. Review of available information on the prevalence and severity of G6PD variants together with countries’ policies for the use of primaquine and G6PD deficiency testing confirms a wide range of practices. There remains lack of consensus on the requirement for G6PD deficiency testing before prescribing primaquine radical cure regimens. Despite substantially lower haemolytic risks, implementation of SLD primaquine as a P. falciparum gametocytocide also varies. In Africa, a few countries have recently adopted SLD primaquine, yet many with areas of low seasonal transmission do not use primaquine as an antimalarial at all. Most countries that recommended the higher 0.75 mg/kg single primaquine dose for falciparum malaria (e.g., most countries in the Americas) have not changed their recommendation. Some vivax malaria–endemic countries where G6PD deficiency testing is generally unavailable have adopted the once-weekly radical cure regimen (0.75 mg/kg/week for 8 weeks), known to be safer in less severe G6PD deficiency variants. There is substantial room for improvement in radical cure policies and practices.(image)



(XML) Could violent conflict derail the London Declaration on NTDs?

2018-04-19T21:00:00Z

by Rebecca Y. Du, Jeffrey D. Stanaway, Peter J. Hotez

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(XML) Activation of host transient receptor potential (TRP) channels by praziquantel stereoisomers

2018-04-18T21:00:00Z

by Gihan S. Gunaratne, Nawal Yahya, Peter I. Dosa, Jonathan S. Marchant

The anthelmintic praziquantel (±PZQ) serves as a highly effective antischistosomal therapy. ±PZQ causes a rapid paralysis of adult schistosome worms and deleterious effects on the worm tegument. In addition to these activities against the parasite, ±PZQ also modulates host vascular tone in blood vessels where the adult worms reside. In resting mesenteric arteries ±PZQ causes a constriction of basal tone, an effect mediated by (R)-PZQ activation of endogenous serotoninergic G protein coupled receptors (GPCRs). Here, we demonstrate a novel vasodilatory action of ±PZQ in mesenteric vessels that are precontracted by high potassium-evoked depolarization, an effect previously reported to be associated with agonists of the transient receptor potential melastatin 8 channel (TRPM8). Pharmacological profiling a panel of 17 human TRPs demonstrated ±PZQ activity against a subset of human TRP channels. Several host TRP channels (hTRPA1, hTRPC3, hTRPC7) were activated by both (R)-PZQ and (S)-PZQ over a micromolar range whereas hTRPM8 showed stereoselective activation by (S)-PZQ. The relaxant effect of ±PZQ in mesenteric arteries was caused by (S)-PZQ, not (R)-PZQ, and mimicked by TRPM8 agonists. However, persistence of both (S)-PZQ and TRPM8 agonist evoked vessel relaxation in TRPM8 knockout tissue suggested that canonical TRPM8 does not mediate this (S)-PZQ effect. We conclude that (S)-PZQ is vasoactive over the micromolar range in mesenteric arteries although the molecular mediators of this effect remain to be identified. These data expand our knowledge of the polypharmacology and host vascular efficacy of this clinically important anthelmintic.(image)



(XML) Establishment of a mouse model for the complete mosquito-mediated transmission cycle of Zika virus

2018-04-18T21:00:00Z

by Yi-Ping Kuo, Kuen-Nan Tsai, Yin-Chiu Luo, Pei-Jung Chung, Yu-Wen Su, Yu Teng, Ming-Sian Wu, Yu-Feng Lin, Chao-Yang Lai, Tsung-Hsien Chuang, Shih-Syong Dai, Fan-Chen Tseng, Cheng-Han Hsieh, De-Jiun Tsai, Wan-Ting Tsai, Chun-Hong Chen, Guann-Yi Yu

Zika virus (ZIKV) is primarily transmitted by Aedes mosquitoes in the subgenus Stegomyia but can also be transmitted sexually and vertically in humans. STAT1 is an important downstream factor that mediates type I and II interferon signaling. In the current study, we showed that mice with STAT1 knockout (Stat1-/-) were highly susceptible to ZIKV infection. As low as 5 plaque-forming units of ZIKV could cause viremia and death in Stat1-/- mice. ZIKV replication was initially detected in the spleen but subsequently spread to the brain with concomitant reduction of the virus in the spleen in the infected mice. Furthermore, ZIKV could be transmitted from mosquitoes to Stat1-/- mice back to mosquitoes and then to naïve Stat1-/- mice. The 50% mosquito infectious dose of viremic Stat1-/- mouse blood was close to 810 focus-forming units (ffu)/ml. Our further studies indicated that the activation of macrophages and conventional dendritic cells were likely critical for the resolution of ZIKV infection. The newly developed mouse and mosquito transmission models for ZIKV infection will be useful for the evaluation of antiviral drugs targeting the virus, vector, and host.(image)



(XML) Similarities and differences between helminth parasites and cancer cell lines in shaping human monocytes: Insights into parallel mechanisms of immune evasion

2018-04-18T21:00:00Z

by Prakash Babu Narasimhan, Leor Akabas, Sameha Tariq, Naureen Huda, Sasisekhar Bennuru, Helen Sabzevari, Robert Hofmeister, Thomas B. Nutman, Roshanak Tolouei Semnani

A number of features at the host-parasite interface are reminiscent of those that are also observed at the host-tumor interface. Both cancer cells and parasites establish a tissue microenvironment that allows for immune evasion and may reflect functional alterations of various innate cells. Here, we investigated how the phenotype and function of human monocytes is altered by exposure to cancer cell lines and if these functional and phenotypic alterations parallel those induced by exposure to helminth parasites. Thus, human monocytes were exposed to three different cancer cell lines (breast, ovarian, or glioblastoma) or to live microfilariae (mf) of Brugia malayi–a causative agent of lymphatic filariasis. After 2 days of co-culture, monocytes exposed to cancer cell lines showed markedly upregulated expression of M1-associated (TNF-α, IL-1β), M2-associated (CCL13, CD206), Mreg-associated (IL-10, TGF-β), and angiogenesis associated (MMP9, VEGF) genes. Similar to cancer cell lines, but less dramatically, mf altered the mRNA expression of IL-1β, CCL13, and TGM2 and MMP9. When surface expression of the inhibitory ligands PDL1 and PDL2 was assessed, monocytes exposed to both cancer cell lines and to live mf significantly upregulated PDL1 and PDL2 expression. In contrast to exposure to mf, exposure to cancer cell lines increased the phagocytic ability of monocytes and reduced their ability to induce T cell proliferation and to expand Granzyme A+ CD8+ T cells. Our data suggest that despite the fact that helminth parasites and cancer cell lines are extraordinarily disparate, they share the ability to alter the phenotype of human monocytes.(image)



(XML) Genetic profiling of Mycobacterium bovis strains from slaughtered cattle in Eritrea

2018-04-17T21:00:00Z

by Michael Kahsay Ghebremariam, Tiny Hlokwe, Victor P. M. G. Rutten, Alberto Allepuz, Simeon Cadmus, Adrian Muwonge, Suelee Robbe-Austerman, Anita L. Michel

Mycobacterium bovis (M.bovis) is the main causative agent for bovine tuberculosis (BTB) and can also be the cause of zoonotic tuberculosis in humans. In view of its zoonotic nature, slaughterhouse surveillance, potentially resulting in total or partial condemnation of the carcasses and organs, is conducted routinely.Spoligotyping, VNTR profiling, and whole genome sequencing (WGS)ofM. bovis isolated from tissues with tuberculosis-like lesions collected from 14 cattle at Eritrea’s largest slaughterhouse in the capital Asmara, were conducted.The 14 M. bovisisolates were classified into three different spoligotype patterns (SB0120, SB0134 and SB0948) and six VNTR profiles. WGSresults matched those of the conventional genotyping methodsand further discriminatedthe six VNTR profiles into 14 strains.Furthermore, phylogenetic analysis of the M. bovisisolates suggests two independent introductions of BTB into Eritrea possibly evolving from a common ancestral strain in Europe.This molecular study revealed the most important strains of M. bovis in Eritrea and their (dis)similarities with the strains generally present in East Africa and Europe, as well as potential routes of introduction of M. bovis. Though the sample size is small, the current study provides important information as well as platform for future in-depth molecular studies on isolates from both the dairy and the traditional livestock sectors in Eritrea and the region. This study provides information onthe origin of some of the M. bovis strains in Eritrea, its genetic diversity, evolution and patterns of spread between dairy herds. Such information is essential in the development and implementation of future BTB control strategy for Eritrea.(image)



(XML) Body lice of homeless people reveal the presence of several emerging bacterial pathogens in northern Algeria

2018-04-17T21:00:00Z

by Meriem Louni, Nassima Mana, Idir Bitam, Mustapha Dahmani, Philippe Parola, Florence Fenollar, Didier Raoult, Oleg Mediannikov

Background

Human lice, Pediculus humanus, are obligate blood-sucking parasites. Body lice, Pediculus h. humanus, occur in two divergent mitochondrial clades (A and D) each exhibiting a particular geographic distribution. Currently, the body louse is recognized as the only vector for louse-borne diseases. In this study, we aimed to study the genetic diversity of body lice collected from homeless populations in three localities of northern Algeria, and to investigate louse-borne pathogens in these lice.

Methodology/Principal findings

In this study, 524 body lice specimens were collected from 44 homeless people in three localities: Algiers, Tizi Ouzou and Boumerdès located in northern Algeria. Duplex clade specific real-time PCRs (qPCR) and Cytochrome b (cytb) mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) analysis were performed in order to identify the mitochondrial clade. Screening of louse-borne pathogens bacteria was based on targeting specific genes for each pathogen using qPCR supplemented by sequencing. All body lice belong to clade A. Through amplification and sequencing of the cytb gene we confirmed the presence of three haplotypes: A5, A9 and A63, which is novel. The molecular investigation of the 524 body lice samples revealed the presence of four human pathogens: Bartonella quintana (13.35%), Coxiella burnetii (10.52%), Anaplasma phagocytophilum (0.76%) and Acinetobacter species (A. baumannii, A. johnsonii, A. berezeniae, A. nosocomialis and A. variabilis, in total 46.94%).

Conclusions/Significance

To the best of our knowledge, our study is the first to show the genetic diversity and presence of several emerging pathogenic bacteria in homeless’ body lice from Algeria. We also report for the first time, the presence of several species of Acinetobacter in human body lice. Our results highlight the fact that body lice may be suspected as being a much broader vector of several pathogenic agents than previously thought. Nevertheless, other studies are needed to encourage epidemiological investigations and surveys of louse-associated infections.

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(XML) Profiling extracellular vesicle release by the filarial nematode Brugia malayi reveals sex-specific differences in cargo and a sensitivity to ivermectin

2018-04-16T21:00:00Z

by Hiruni Harischandra, Wang Yuan, Hannah J. Loghry, Mostafa Zamanian, Michael J. Kimber

The filarial nematode Brugia malayi is an etiological agent of Lymphatic Filariasis. The capability of B. malayi and other parasitic nematodes to modulate host biology is recognized but the mechanisms by which such manipulation occurs are obscure. An emerging paradigm is the release of parasite-derived extracellular vesicles (EV) containing bioactive proteins and small RNA species that allow secretion of parasite effector molecules and their potential trafficking to host tissues. We have previously described EV release from the infectious L3 stage B. malayi and here we profile vesicle release across all intra-mammalian life cycle stages (microfilariae, L3, L4, adult male and female worms). Nanoparticle Tracking Analysis was used to quantify and size EVs revealing discrete vesicle populations and indicating a secretory process that is conserved across the life cycle. Brugia EVs are internalized by murine macrophages with no preference for life stage suggesting a uniform mechanism for effector molecule trafficking. Further, the use of chemical uptake inhibitors suggests all life stage EVs are internalized by phagocytosis. Proteomic profiling of adult male and female EVs using nano-scale LC-MS/MS described quantitative and qualitative differences in the adult EV proteome, helping define the biogenesis of Brugia EVs and revealing sexual dimorphic characteristics in immunomodulatory cargo. Finally, ivermectin was found to rapidly inhibit EV release by all Brugia life stages. Further this drug effect was also observed in the related filarial nematode, the canine heartworm Dirofilaria immitis but not in an ivermectin-unresponsive field isolate of that parasite, highlighting a potential mechanism of action for this drug and suggesting new screening platforms for anti-filarial drug development.(image)



(XML) In vitro assessment of cytotoxic activities of Lachesis muta muta snake venom

2018-04-16T21:00:00Z

by Stephanie Stransky, Fernanda Costal-Oliveira, Letícia Lopes-de-Souza, Clara Guerra-Duarte, Carlos Chávez-Olórtegui, Vania Maria Martin Braga

Envenomation by the bushmaster snake Lachesis muta muta is considered severe, characterized by local effects including necrosis, the main cause of permanent disability. However, cellular mechanisms related to cell death and tissue destruction, triggered by snake venoms, are poorly explored. The purpose of this study was to investigate the cytotoxic effect caused by L. m. muta venom in normal human keratinocytes and to identify the cellular processes involved in in cellulo envenomation. In order to investigate venom effect on different cell types, Alamar Blue assay was performed to quantify levels of cellular metabolism as a readout of cell viability. Apoptosis, necrosis and changes in mitochondrial membrane potential were evaluated by flow cytometry, while induction of autophagy was assessed by expression of GFP-LC3 and analyzed using fluorescence microscopy. The cytotoxic potential of the venom is shown by reduced cell viability in a concentration-dependent manner. It was also observed the sequential appearance of cells undergoing autophagy (by 6 hours), apoptosis and necrosis (12 and 24 hours). Morphologically, incubation with L. m. muta venom led to a significant cellular retraction and formation of cellular aggregates. These results indicate that L. m. muta venom is cytotoxic to normal human keratinocytes and other cell lines, and this toxicity involves the integration of distinct modes of cell death. Autophagy as a cell death mechanism, in addition to apoptosis and necrosis, can help to unravel cellular pathways and mechanisms triggered by the venom. Understanding the mechanisms that underlie cellular damage and tissue destruction will be useful in the development of alternative therapies against snakebites.(image)



(XML) The impact of school water, sanitation, and hygiene improvements on infectious disease using serum antibody detection

2018-04-16T21:00:00Z

by Anna N. Chard, Victoria Trinies, Delynn M. Moss, Howard H. Chang, Seydou Doumbia, Patrick J. Lammie, Matthew C. Freeman

Background

Evidence from recent studies assessing the impact of school water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) interventions on child health has been mixed. Self-reports of disease are subject to bias, and few WASH impact evaluations employ objective health measures to assess reductions in disease and exposure to pathogens. We utilized antibody responses from dried blood spots (DBS) to measure the impact of a school WASH intervention on infectious disease among pupils in Mali.

Methodology/Principal findings

We randomly selected 21 beneficiary primary schools and their 21 matched comparison schools participating in a matched-control trial of a comprehensive school-based WASH intervention in Mali. DBS were collected from 20 randomly selected pupils in each school (n = 807). We analyzed eluted IgG from the DBS using a Luminex multiplex bead assay to 28 antigens from 17 different pathogens. Factor analysis identified three distinct latent variables representing vector-transmitted disease (driven primarily by dengue), food/water-transmitted enteric disease (driven primarily by Escherichia coli and Vibrio cholerae), and person-to-person transmitted enteric disease (driven primarily by norovirus). Data were analyzed using a linear latent variable model. Antibody evidence of food/water-transmitted enteric disease (change in latent variable mean (β) = -0.24; 95% CI: -0.53, -0.13) and person-to-person transmitted enteric disease (β = -0.17; 95% CI: -0.42, -0.04) was lower among pupils attending beneficiary schools. There was no difference in antibody evidence of vector-transmitted disease (β = 0.11; 95% CI: -0.05, 0.33).

Conclusions/Significance

Evidence of enteric disease was lower among pupils attending schools benefitting from school WASH improvements than students attending comparison schools. These findings support results from the parent study, which also found reduced incidence of self-reported diarrhea among pupils of beneficiary schools. DBS collection was feasible in this resource-poor field setting and provided objective evidence of disease at a low cost per antigen analyzed, making it an effective measurement tool for the WASH field.

Trial registration

The trial was registered at ClinicalTrials.gov (NCT01787058)

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(XML) Replication-incompetent rabies virus vector harboring glycoprotein gene of lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus (LCMV) protects mice from LCMV challenge

2018-04-16T21:00:00Z

by Mutsuyo Takayama-Ito, Chang-Kweng Lim, Yukie Yamaguchi, Guillermo Posadas-Herrera, Hirofumi Kato, Itoe Iizuka, Md. Taimur Islam, Kinjiro Morimoto, Masayuki Saijo

Background

Lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus (LCMV) causes a variety of diseases, including asymptomatic infections, meningitis, and congenital infections in the fetus of infected mother. The development of a safe and effective vaccine against LCMV is imperative. This study aims to develop a new candidate vaccine against LCMV using a recombinant replication-incompetent rabies virus (RV) vector.

Methodology/Principal findings

In this study, we have generated a recombinant deficient RV expressing the LCMV glycoprotein precursor (GPC) (RVΔP-LCMV/GPC) which is lacking the RV-P gene. RVΔP-LCMV/GPC is able to propagate only in cells expressing the RV-P protein. In contrast, the LCMV-GPC can be expressed in general cells, which do not express RV-P protein. The ability of RVΔP-LCMV/GPC to protect mice from LCMV infection and induce cellular immunity was assessed. Mice inoculated intraperitoneally with RVΔP-LCMV/GPC showed higher survival rates (88.2%) than those inoculated with the parental recombinant RV-P gene-deficient RV (RVΔP) (7.7%) following a LCMV challenge. Neutralizing antibody (NAb) against LCMV was not induced, even in the sera of surviving mice. CD8+ T-cell depletion significantly reduced the survival rates of RVΔP-LCMV/GPC-inoculated mice after the LCMV challenge. These results suggest that CD8+ T cells play a major role in the observed protection against LCMV. In contrast, NAbs against RV were strongly induced in sera of mice inoculated with either RVΔP-LCMV/GPC or RVΔP. In safety tests, suckling mice inoculated intracerebrally with RVΔP-LCMV/GPC showed no symptoms.

Conclusions/Significance

These results show RVΔP-LCMV/GPC might be a promising candidate vaccine with dual efficacy, protecting against both RV and LCMV.

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(XML) The non-linear and lagged short-term relationship between rainfall and leptospirosis and the intermediate role of floods in the Philippines

2018-04-16T21:00:00Z

by Naohiko Matsushita, Chris Fook Sheng Ng, Yoonhee Kim, Motoi Suzuki, Nobuo Saito, Koya Ariyoshi, Eumelia P. Salva, Efren M. Dimaano, Jose B. Villarama, Winston S. Go, Masahiro Hashizume

Background

Leptospirosis is a worldwide bacterial zoonosis. Outbreaks of leptospirosis after heavy rainfall and flooding have been reported. However, few studies have formally quantified the effect of weather factors on leptospirosis incidence. We estimated the association between rainfall and leptospirosis cases in an urban setting in Manila, the Philippines, and examined the potential intermediate role of floods in this association.

Methods/Principal findings

Relationships between rainfall and the weekly number of hospital admissions due to leptospirosis from 2001 to 2012 were analyzed using a distributed lag non-linear model in a quasi-Poisson regression framework, controlling for seasonally varying factors other than rainfall. The role of floods on the rainfall–leptospirosis relationship was examined using an indicator. We reported relative risks (RRs) by rainfall category based on the flood warning system in the country. The risk of post-rainfall leptospirosis peaked at a lag of 2 weeks (using 0 cm/week rainfall as the reference) with RRs of 1.30 (95% confidence interval: 0.99–1.70), 1.53 (1.12–2.09), 2.45 (1.80–3.33), 4.61 (3.30–6.43), and 13.77 (9.10–20.82) for light, moderate, heavy, intense and torrential rainfall (at 2, 5, 16, 32 and 63 cm/week), respectively. After adjusting for floods, RRs (at a lag of 2 weeks) decreased at higher rainfall levels suggesting that flood is on the causal pathway between rainfall and leptospirosis.

Conclusions

Rainfall was strongly associated with increased hospital admission for leptospirosis at a lag of 2 weeks, and this association was explained in part by floods.

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(XML) Correction: PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases 2017 Reviewer and Editorial Board Thank You

2018-04-13T21:00:00Z

by The PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases Staff

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(XML) Sialome diversity of ticks revealed by RNAseq of single tick salivary glands

2018-04-13T21:00:00Z

by Jan Perner, Sára Kropáčková, Petr Kopáček, José M. C. Ribeiro

Ticks salivate while feeding on their hosts. Saliva helps blood feeding through host anti-hemostatic and immunomodulatory components. Previous transcriptomic and proteomic studies revealed the complexity of tick saliva, comprising hundreds of polypeptides grouped in several multi-genic families such as lipocalins, Kunitz-domain containing peptides, metalloproteases, basic tail secreted proteins, and several other families uniquely found in ticks. These studies also revealed that the composition of saliva changes with time; expression of transcripts from the same family wax and wane as a function of feeding time. Here, we examined whether host immune factors could influence sialome switching by comparing sialomes of ticks fed naturally on a rabbit, to ticks artificially fed on defibrinated blood depleted of immune components. Previous studies were based on transcriptomes derived from pools of several individuals. To get an insight into the uniqueness of tick sialomes, we performed transcriptomic analyses of single salivary glands dissected from individual adult female I. ricinus ticks. Multivariate analysis identified 1,279 contigs differentially expressed as a function of time and/or feeding mode. Cluster analysis of these contigs revealed nine clusters of differentially expressed genes, four of which appeared consistently across several replicates, but five clusters were idiosyncratic, pointing to the uniqueness of sialomes in individual ticks. The disclosure of tick quantum sialomes reveals the unique salivary composition produced by individual ticks as they switch their sialomes throughout the blood meal, a possible mechanism of immune evasion.(image)



(XML) Insulin receptor knockdown blocks filarial parasite development and alters egg production in the southern house mosquito, Culex quinquefasciatus

2018-04-12T21:00:00Z

by Andrew Bradley Nuss, Mark R. Brown, Upadhyayula Suryanarayana Murty, Monika Gulia-Nuss

Lymphatic filariasis, commonly known as elephantiasis, is a painful and profoundly disfiguring disease. Wuchreria bancrofti (Wb) is responsible for >90% of infections and the remainder are caused by Brugia spp. Mosquitoes of the genera Culex (in urban and semi-urban areas), Anopheles (in rural areas of Africa and elsewhere), and Aedes (in Pacific islands) are the major vectors of W. bancrofti. A preventive chemotherapy called mass drug administration (MDA), including albendazole with ivermectin or diethylcarbamazine citrate (DEC) is used in endemic areas. Vector control strategies such as residual insecticide spraying and long-lasting insecticidal nets are supplemental to the core strategy of MDA to enhance elimination efforts. However, increasing insecticide resistance in mosquitoes and drug resistance in parasite limit the effectiveness of existing interventions, and new measures are needed for mosquito population control and disruption of mosquito-parasite interactions to reduce transmission. Mosquito insulin signaling regulates nutrient metabolism and has been implicated in reduced prevalence and intensity of malaria parasite, Plasmodium falciparum, infection in mosquitoes. Currently no data are available to assess how insulin signaling in mosquitoes affects the development of multi-cellular parasites, such as filarial nematodes. Here, we show that insulin receptor knockdown in blood fed C. quinquefasciatus, the major vector of Wb in India, completely blocks the development of filarial nematode parasite to the infective L3 stage, and results in decreased ecdysteroid production and trypsin activity leading to fewer mosquito eggs. These data indicate that a functional mosquito insulin receptor (IR) is necessary for filarial parasite development and mosquito reproduction. Therefore, insulin signaling may represent a new target for the development of vector control or parasite blocking strategies.(image)



(XML) Serosurveillance of Coxiellosis (Q-fever) and Brucellosis in goats in selected provinces of Lao People’s Democratic Republic

2018-04-12T21:00:00Z

by Rebekah J. L. Burns, Bounlom Douangngeun, Watthana Theppangna, Syseng Khounsy, Mavuto Mukaka, Paul W. Selleck, Eric Hansson, Matthew D. Wegner, Peter A. Windsor, Stuart D. Blacksell

Goat raising is a growing industry in Lao People’s Democratic Republic, with minimal disease investigation to date especially zoonoses. This study determined the proportional seropositivity of two zoonotic diseases: Q fever (causative agent Coxiella burnetii) and Brucellosis (Brucella species) in goats across five provinces (Vientiane Capital, Xayaboury, Xiengkhuang, Savannakhet and Attapeu). A total of 1458 goat serum samples were tested using commercial indirect ELISA for both pathogens, plus Rose Bengal agglutination test for Brucellosis. Overall individual seropositivity of C. burnetii was 4.1% and Brucella spp. was 1.4%. A multiple logistic regression model identified that province (Vientiane Capital, p = 0.05), breed (introduced Boer mixed breed, p = 0.006) and age (goats ≥3 years old, p = 0.014) were significant risk factors for C. burnetii seropositivity. The results of the survey indicated that province (Vientiane Capital, p<0.001), breed (introduced Boer mixed breed, p<0.001), production system (commercial, p<0.001), age (adult, p = 0.004), and farm size (large, 0.001) were all significant risk factors seropositivity for Brucella spp. It was concluded that Lao goats have been exposed to both C. burnetii and Brucella spp. however the risk of clinical disease has not yet been determined and there is an urgent need to determine human health risks and economic losses caused by Q fever and Brucellosis.(image)



(XML) Gene target selection for loop-mediated isothermal amplification for rapid discrimination of Treponema pallidum subspecies

2018-04-12T21:00:00Z

by Sascha Knauf, Simone Lüert, David Šmajs, Michal Strouhal, Idrissa S. Chuma, Sieghard Frischmann, Mohammed Bakheit

We show proof of concept for gene targets (polA, tprL, and TP_0619) that can be used in loop-mediated isothermal amplification (LAMP) assays to rapidly differentiate infection with any of the three Treponema pallidum subspecies (pallidum (TPA), pertenue (TPE), and endemicum (TEN)) and which are known to infect humans and nonhuman primates (NHPs). Four TPA, six human, and two NHP TPE strains, as well as two human TEN strains were used to establish and validate the LAMP assays. All three LAMP assays were highly specific for the target DNA. Amplification was rapid (5–15 min) and within a range of 10E+6 to 10E+2 of target DNA molecules. Performance in NHP clinical samples was similar to the one seen in human TPE strains. The newly designed LAMP assays provide proof of concept for a diagnostic tool that enhances yaws clinical diagnosis. It is highly specific for the target DNA and does not require expensive laboratory equipment. Test results can potentially be interpreted with the naked eye, which makes it suitable for the use in remote clinical settings.(image)



(XML) Bacterial and protozoal pathogens found in ticks collected from humans in Corum province of Turkey

2018-04-12T21:00:00Z

by Djursun Karasartova, Ayse Semra Gureser, Tuncay Gokce, Bekir Celebi, Derya Yapar, Adem Keskin, Selim Celik, Yasemin Ece, Ali Kemal Erenler, Selma Usluca, Kosta Y. Mumcuoglu, Aysegul Taylan-Ozkan

Background

Tick-borne diseases are increasing all over the word, including Turkey. The aim of this study was to determine the bacterial and protozoan vector-borne pathogens in ticks infesting humans in the Corum province of Turkey.

Methodology/Principal findings

From March to November 2014 a total of 322 ticks were collected from patients who attended the local hospitals with tick bites. Ticks were screened by real time-PCR and PCR, and obtained amplicons were sequenced. The dedected tick was belonging to the genus Hyalomma, Haemaphysalis, Rhipicephalus, Dermacentor and Ixodes. A total of 17 microorganism species were identified in ticks. The most prevalent Rickettsia spp. were: R. aeschlimannii (19.5%), R. slovaca (4.5%), R. raoultii (2.2%), R. hoogstraalii (1.9%), R. sibirica subsp. mongolitimonae (1.2%), R. monacensis (0.31%), and Rickettsia spp. (1.2%). In addition, the following pathogens were identified: Borrelia afzelii (0.31%), Anaplasma spp. (0.31%), Ehrlichia spp. (0.93%), Babesia microti (0.93%), Babesia ovis (0.31%), Babesia occultans (3.4%), Theileria spp. (1.6%), Hepatozoon felis (0.31%), Hepatozoon canis (0.31%), and Hemolivia mauritanica (2.1%). All samples were negative for Francisella tularensis, Coxiella burnetii, Bartonella spp., Toxoplasma gondii and Leishmania spp.

Conclusions/Significance

Ticks in Corum carry a large variety of human and zoonotic pathogens that were detected not only in known vectors, but showed a wider vector diversity. There is an increase in the prevalence of ticks infected with the spotted fever group and lymphangitis-associated rickettsiosis, while Ehrlichia spp. and Anaplasma spp. were reported for the first time from this region. B. microti was detected for the first time in Hyalomma marginatum infesting humans. The detection of B. occultans, B. ovis, Hepatozoon spp., Theileria spp. and Hemolivia mauritanica indicate the importance of these ticks as vectors of pathogens of veterinary importance, therefore patients with a tick infestation should be followed for a variety of pathogens with medical importance.

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(XML) Development of the multi-epitope chimeric antigen rqTSA-25 from Taenia saginata for serological diagnosis of bovine cysticercosis

2018-04-12T21:00:00Z

by Rafaella P. M. Guimarães-Peixoto, Paulo S. A. Pinto, Marcus R. Santos, Tiago J. Zilch, Paula F. Apolinário, Abelardo Silva Júnior

Bovine cysticercosis is a worldwide distributed zoonosis caused by the larval form of Taenia saginata present in bovine muscles. The diagnosis is based on the postmortem inspection at slaughterhouses and consists of the macroscopic visualization of lesions caused by cysticercosis in muscle sites. However, parasitized animals can pass unnoticed during sanitary inspection. Thus, the objective of this study was to characterize and evaluate the performance of different peptides from different regions of T. saginata for the cysticercosis diagnosis using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. We generated and evaluated a new recombinant protein chimera derived from the fusion of different peptides. We selected three distinct regions of T. saginata and predicted six peptides with antigenic potential (EP2–EP7). These peptides were analyzed individually and selected for generating a new chimeric recombinant protein. The new protein was termed rqTSA-25, and its performance rates were: 93.3% sensitivity (confidence interval (CI) = 76–98%), 95.3% specificity (CI = 82–99%), 93% positive predictive value (CI = 76–98%), 95% negative predictive value (CI = 82–99%), and 95% accuracy. In the immunoblot, this protein showed no false positive or false negative reaction. Thus, the use of rqTSA-25 is recommended for the diagnosis of bovine cysticercosis.(image)



(XML) Decision support for evidence-based integration of disease control: A proof of concept for malaria and schistosomiasis

2018-04-12T21:00:00Z

by Claire J. Standley, Ellie Graeden, Justin Kerr, Erin M. Sorrell, Rebecca Katz

Author summary

Designing and implementing effective programs for infectious disease control requires complex decision-making, informed by an understanding of the diseases, the types of disease interventions and control measures available, and the disease-relevant characteristics of the local community. Though disease modeling frameworks have been developed to address these questions and support decision-making, the complexity of current models presents a significant barrier to on-the-ground end users. The picture is further complicated when considering approaches for integration of different disease control programs, where co-infection dynamics, treatment interactions, and other variables must also be taken into account. Here, we describe the development of an application available on the internet with a simple user interface, to support on-the-ground decision-making for integrating disease control, given local conditions and practical constraints. The model upon which the tool is built provides predictive analysis for the effectiveness of integration of schistosomiasis and malaria control, two diseases with extensive geographical and epidemiological overlap. This proof-of-concept method and tool demonstrate significant progress in effectively translating the best available scientific models to support pragmatic decision-making on the ground, with the potential to significantly increase the impact and cost-effectiveness of disease control.

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