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The CXCR3 chemokine CXCL10 or IFN-γ inducible protein 10 (IP-10) has been identified as an important biomarker of cerebral malaria (CM) mortality in children. Studies in mouse malaria infection models have shown that CXCL10 blockade alleviates brain intravascular inflammation and protects infected mice from CM. Despite the key role that CXCL10 plays in the development of CM, the leucocytic sources of CXCL10 in response to human malaria are not known. Here we investigated CXCL10 responses to Plasmodium falciparum in peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs). We found that PBMCs from malaria-unexposed donors produce CXCL10 in response to P. falciparum and that this response is IFN-γ-dependent. Moreover, CD14+ monocytes were identified as the main leucocytic sources of CXCL10 in peripheral blood, suggesting an important role for innate immune responses in the activation of this pathway involved in the development of symptomatic malaria.
Malaria remains a major cause of mortality in African children, with no adjunctive treatments currently available to ameliorate the severe clinical forms of the disease. Rosetting, the adhesion of infected erythrocytes (IEs) to uninfected erythrocytes, is a parasite phenotype strongly associated with severe malaria, and hence is a potential therapeutic target. However, the molecular mechanisms of rosetting are complex and involve multiple distinct receptor–ligand interactions, with some similarities to the diverse pathways involved in P. falciparum erythrocyte invasion. This review summarizes the current understanding of the molecular interactions that lead to rosette formation, with a particular focus on host uninfected erythrocyte receptors including the A and B blood group trisaccharides, complement receptor one, heparan sulphate, glycophorin A and glycophorin C. There is strong evidence supporting blood group A trisaccharides as rosetting receptors, but evidence for other molecules is incomplete and requires further study. It is likely that additional host erythrocyte rosetting receptors remain to be discovered. A rosette-disrupting low anti-coagulant heparin derivative is being investigated as an adjunctive therapy for severe malaria, and further research into the receptor–ligand interactions underlying rosetting may reveal additional therapeutic approaches to reduce the unacceptably high mortality rate of severe malaria.
Trichomonas vaginalis is an anaerobic protist, responsible for the most prevalent non-viral sexually transmitted infection in humans. One of the most intriguing aspects of T. vaginalis pathobiology is the complex relationship with intracellular microbial symbionts: a group of dsRNA viruses belonging to family of Totiviridae (T. vaginalis virus), and eubacteria belonging to the Mycoplasma genus, in particular Mycoplasma hominis. Both microorganisms seem to strongly influence the lifestyle of T. vaginalis, suggesting a role of the symbiosis in the high variability of clinical presentation and sequelae during trichomoniasis. In the last few years many aspects of this unique symbiotic relationship have been investigated: M. hominis resides and replicates in the protozoan cell, and T. vaginalis is able to pass the bacterial infection to both mycoplasma-free protozoan isolates and human epithelial cells; M. hominis synergistically upregulates the proinflammatory response of human monocytes to T. vaginalis. Furthermore, the influence of M. hominis over T. vaginalis metabolism and physiology has been characterized. The identification of a novel species belonging to the class of Mollicutes (Candidatus Mycoplasma girerdii) exclusively associated to T. vaginalis opens new perspectives in the research of the complex series of events taking place in the multifaceted world of the vaginal microbiota, both under normal and pathological conditions.
Heat stress (HS) negatively affects milk production and has been associated with decreased immune function, and increased rate of intramammary infections (IMI). Research has shown that HS affects gene expression, cell cycle, and cell metabolism in bovine mammary epithelial cells (BMEC). Since BMEC are an initial target of mastitis pathogens, we studied adherence to and internalisation of S. uberis into HS-BMEC, as well as the effect that this interaction has on host cells by measuring HS-BMEC viability and membrane integrity. Results reported in this Research Communication showed that HS reduced cell viability and induced membrane damage. However, these pathological changes, as well as the rate of adherence and internalisation of S. uberis into BMEC, were augmented when S. uberis was cocultured with HS-BMEC. These results may help to understand the pathogenesis of S. uberis IMI as well as the increased susceptibility of mammary glands to IMI in cows subjected to HS.
Chagas disease is caused by infection with the insect-transmitted protozoan Trypanosoma cruzi, and is the most important parasitic infection in Latin America. The current drugs, benznidazole and nifurtimox, are characterized by limited efficacy and toxic side-effects, and treatment failures are frequently observed. The urgent need for new therapeutic approaches is being met by a combined effort from the academic and commercial sectors, together with major input from not-for-profit drug development consortia. With the disappointing outcomes of recent clinical trials against chronic Chagas disease, it has become clear that an incomplete understanding of parasite biology and disease pathogenesis is impacting negatively on the development of more effective drugs. In addition, technical issues, including difficulties in establishing parasitological cure in both human patients and animal models, have greatly complicated the assessment of drug efficacy. Here, we outline the major questions that need to be addressed and discuss technical innovations that can be exploited to accelerate the drug development pipeline.
Salmonellosis is a typical zoonotic disease that occurs frequently in poultry flocks. Many salmonella serovars have been found to be responsible for this disease. In this review besides, poultry as a carrier of Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium infection, various infectious routes, pathology, sources of infection are discussed as well as diagnostic measures and preventive strategies that aim at reducing the incidence of salmonellosis at the farm level. Among the different diseases occurring in poultry, those caused by the genus Salmonella is the most common, causing serious losses to the poultry industry in terms of mortality, reduced growth and loss of egg production. The diseases caused by S. enterica serovar Typhimurium have got public health significance, as well as being associated with food poisoning in humans. Salmonellosis in humans is mainly caused by S. typhimurium. The ability of this serovar to infect birds and contaminate eggs makes it a potent infection agent for humans. As S. typhimurium shows foodborne pathogenesis, it is important to comprehend how it can affect eggs and what strategies are needed to enhance control over infection.
Aspergillosis is an infectious, non-contagious fungal disease caused by species within the ubiquitous opportunistic saprophytic genus Aspergillus, in particular Aspergillus fumigatus. In poultry, infection by A. fumigatus may induce significant economic losses particularly in turkey production. A. fumigatus develops and sporulates easily in poor quality bedding or contaminated feedstuffs in indoor farm environments. Inadequate ventilation and dusty conditions increase the risk of bird exposure to aerosolised spores. The respiratory tract is the primary site for A. fumigatus colonisation, leading to severe respiratory distress and associated granulomatous airsacculitis and pneumonia. It infects the respiratory system of many kinds of birds, leading to a range of disease manifestations from acute to chronic infections. Acute cases are seen in young birds following inhalation of spores, causing high morbidity and mortality. The chronic form affects older birds and appears more sporadically. Treatments for infected poultry are non-existent; therefore, prevention is the only way to protect poultry. The mechanism of host-pathogen interaction, early diagnostic methods and antifungal treatment schedules need to be further studied in order to control this disease.
We performed a cross-sectional survey in humans to evaluate Lutzomyia longipalpis, i.e. sand fly vector, bite exposure association with Leishmania (Leishmania) infantum chagasi infection in Bujarú municipality, Northern Brazil, an endemic area for visceral leishmaniasis. In recruited individuals, which were stratified by sex and age, we measured L. (L.) i. chagasi parasitic loads with quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR), exposure to sand fly bites with an anti-saliva immunoglobulin G enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay and performed immunological diagnostic tests, in order to evaluate the association between exposure to sand fly bites, and infection. The prevalence increased from 11% when using immunological diagnostic tests to 28% when using qPCR, being around that value for all age classes, but children below 5 years (40%) and people over 60 years (15%). The association between PCR-based L. (L.) i. chagasi prevalence and saliva exposure was convex, reflecting the fact that at both high and low saliva exposure the PCR-based L. (L.) i. chagasi prevalence decreases. This scenario indicates that low sand fly exposure is likely associated with low parasite transmission, while high anti-saliva prevalence, i.e. a large sand fly bite exposure could be associated with anti-Leishmania protective immune mechanisms driven by vector saliva and/or increased parasite exposure.
Avian metapneumovirus (aMPV) infections are an economical issue for the poultry industry worldwide, and have been associated with upper respiratory tract infections and reductions in egg production in various avian species. The aMPV causes turkey rhinotracheitis (TRT) and is associated with swollen head syndrome (SHS) in chickens, which is usually accompanied by secondary infections that increase mortality. It was first reported in 1978 in South Africa and since then, has been seen in most regions of the world. It has been classified into four subgroups called: A, B, C and D. TRT and SHS are characterised by tracheal rales, sneezing, swollen sinuses, swollen head, and nasal and ocular discharge. The aMPV can lead to a drop in egg production and/or an increase in egg abnormalities in both turkeys and hens. Chickens may have antibodies without exhibiting clinical signs. Transmission requires direct contact among birds and its spread over long distances is uncertain, but wild birds are postulated as probable links. The aMPV infections can be diagnosed by serology (ELISA) and molecular methods (PCR). Good biosecurity and immune interventions are effective and necessary aspects of the control program. Live vaccines predominantly control aMPV infection in poultry flocks, but vaccine virus can be found for extended periods after application that may lead to reversion.
Malaria remains one of the most devastating diseases. Cerebral malaria (CM) is a severe complication of Plasmodium falciparum infection resulting in high mortality and morbidity worldwide. Analysis of precise mechanisms of CM in humans is difficult for ethical reasons and animal models of CM have been employed to study malaria pathogenesis. Here, we describe a new experimental cerebral malaria (ECM) model with Plasmodium berghei ANKA infection in KunMing (KM) mice. KM mice developed ECM after blood-stage or sporozoites infection, and the development of ECM in KM mice has a dose-dependent relationship with sporozoites inoculums. Histopathological findings revealed important features associated with ECM, including accumulation of mononuclear cells and red blood cells in brain microvascular, and brain parenchymal haemorrhages. Blood–brain barrier (BBB) examination showed that BBB disruption was present in infected KM mice when displaying clinical signs of CM. In vivo bioluminescent imaging experiment indicated that parasitized red blood cells accumulated in most vital organs including heart, lung, spleen, kidney, liver and brain. The levels of inflammatory cytokines interferon-gamma, tumour necrosis factor-alpha, interleukin (IL)-17, IL-12, IL-6 and IL-10 were all remarkably increased in KM mice infected with P. berghei ANKA. This study indicates that P. berghei ANKA infection in KM mice can be used as ECM model to extend further research on genetic, pharmacological and vaccine studies of CM.
Trypanosomes are blood-borne parasites that can cause severe disease in both humans and animals, yet little is known of the pathogenicity and life-cycles of trypanosomes in native Australian mammals. Trypanosoma copemani is known to be infective to a variety of Australian marsupials and has recently been shown to be potentially zoonotic as it is resistant to normal human serum. In the present study, in vivo and in vitro examination of blood and cultures from Australian marsupials was conducted using light microscopy, immunofluorescence, scanning electron microscopy and fluorescence in situ hybridization. Promastigote, sphaeromastigote and amastigote life-cycle stages were detected in vivo and in vitro. Novel trypanosome-like stages were also detected both in vivo and in vitro representing an oval stage, an extremely thin stage, an adherent stage and a tiny round stage. The tiny round and adherent stages appeared to adhere to erythrocytes causing potential haematological damage with clinical effects similar to haemolytic anaemia. The present study shows for the first time that trypomastigotes are not the only life-cycle stages circulating within the blood stream of trypanosome infected Australian native marsupials and provides insights into possible pathogenic mechanisms of this potentially zoonotic trypanosome species.
Embryonal rhabdomyosarcoma is one of the major defined histologic variants of rhabdomyosarcoma that is mainly reported in children. The histologic appearance of this neoplastic entity recapitulates normal myogenesis. The tumor cells variably exhibit the different cellular phases of myogenesis ranging from undifferentiated mesenchymal cells to elongated myoblasts, multinucleated myotubes and differentiated muscle fibers. The carefully orchestrated embryonic signaling pathways that are involved in myogenesis, conceivably also result in the genesis of rhabdomyosarcoma; albeit as a corollary to an imbalance. We have attempted to review the pathogenesis of embryonal rhabdomyosarcoma in an endeavor to understand better, how closely it is linked to normal myogenesis in terms of its molecular dynamics and histologic presentation.
The pathogenesis of bovine respiratory disease (BRD) is determined by a complex interaction of environmental, infectious, and host factors. Environment trends could impact feedlot cattle by increasing their level of stress. The polymicrobial nature of BRD produces synergies between infectious agents that can alter pathogenesis. However, the nature of the host response to these environmental and infectious challenges largely determines the characteristics of the progression and outcome of BRD.
Bovine besnoitiosis is caused by the cyst-forming apicomplexan parasite Besnoitia besnoiti. This disease progresses in two sequential phases: a febrile acute phase with oedemas and respiratory disorders, and a chronic phase characterized by the presence of subcutaneous tissue cysts and skin lesions. Serious consequences of the infection are poor body condition, sterility in bulls and eventual death. The role of host/parasite-dependent factors, which play a major role in the pathogenesis of the disease, is not yet fully elucidated. Isolate/strain virulence, parasite stage, dose and the route of parasite inoculation were studied under different experimental conditions, which make it difficult to compare the results. Data on host-dependent factors obtained from naturally infected cattle showed that (i) the seroprevalence of infection is similar in both sexes; (ii) seropositivity increases with age; (iii) both beef and dairy cattle are susceptible to the infection; and (iv) the cell-mediated immune response is likely to play a major role because a T cell response has been observed around several tissue cysts. Whether colostral antibodies are protective and to what extent the humoral immune response might reflect the disease/protection status require further research. Thus, a well-established experimental bovine model could help to clarify these important questions. The dynamics of B. besnoiti infection in cattle and available knowledge on relevant factors in the pathogenesis of the infection are reviewed in the present work.
The immune evasion gene family of malaria parasites encodes variant surface proteins that are expressed at the surface of infected erythrocytes and help the parasite in evading the host immune response by means of antigenic variation. The identification of Plasmodium vivax vir orthologous immune evasion gene family from primate malaria parasites would provide new insight into the evolution of virulence and pathogenesis. Three vir subfamilies viz. vir-B, vir-D and vir-G were successfully PCR amplified from primate malaria parasites, cloned and sequenced. DNA sequence analysis confirmed orthologues of vir-D subfamily in Plasmodium cynomolgi, Plasmodium simium, Plasmodium simiovale and Plasmodium fieldi. The identified vir-D orthologues are 1–9 distinct members of the immune evasion gene family which have 68–83% sequence identity with vir-D and 71·2–98·5% sequence identity within the members identified from primate malaria parasites. The absence of other vir subfamilies among primate malaria parasites reflects the limitations in the experimental approach. This study clearly identified the presence of vir-D like sequences in four species of Plasmodium infecting primates that would be useful in understanding the evolution of virulence in malaria parasites.
Plasmodium falciparum malaria is responsible for over 250 million clinical cases every year worldwide. Severe malaria cases might present with a range of disease syndromes including acute respiratory distress, metabolic acidosis, hypoglycaemia, renal failure, anaemia, pulmonary oedema, cerebral malaria (CM) and placental malaria (PM) in pregnant women. Two main determinants of severe malaria have been identified: sequestration of parasitized red blood cells and strong pro-inflammatory responses. Increasing evidence from human studies and malaria infection animal models revealed the presence of host leucocytes at the site of parasite sequestration in brain blood vessels as well as placental tissue in complicated malaria cases. These observations suggested that apart from secreting cytokines, leucocytes might also contribute to disease by migrating to the site of parasite sequestration thereby exacerbating organ-specific inflammation. This evidence attracted substantial interest in identifying trafficking pathways by which inflammatory leucocytes are recruited to target organs during severe malaria syndromes. Chemo-attractant cytokines or chemokines are the key regulators of leucocyte trafficking and their potential contribution to disease has recently received considerable attention. This review summarizes the main findings to date, investigating the role of chemokines in severe malaria and the implication of these responses for the induction of pathogenesis and immunity to infection.
We aimed to determine: (1) whether mean platelet volume was elevated in patients with sudden sensorineural hearing loss, compared with healthy controls; and (2) whether mean platelet volume level was related to hearing loss severity.
Materials and methods:
The study included 31 patients with sudden sensorineural hearing loss and 31 age- and sex-matched, healthy controls. Peripheral venous blood samples were taken from subjects and mean platelet volume and levels of glucose, total cholesterol, high-density lipoprotein, low-density lipoprotein and triglyceride were measured.
Mean platelet volume was significantly greater in the sudden sensorineural hearing loss group compared with the control group. However, there was no significant correlation between mean platelet volume level and hearing loss severity.
Mean platelet volume, a determinant of platelet activation, is elevated in patients with sudden sensorineural hearing loss. To our knowledge, this is the first report investigating mean platelet volume levels in such patients. Our findings indirectly support the hypothesis of vascular impairment as a pathogenetic factor in sudden sensorineural hearing loss.
Infection by Xanthomonas axonopodis pv. manihotis (Xam) of the perennial rangeland weed leafy spurge was tested to see whether Xam might serve a potential biological control agent for this invasive weed. Although leafy spurge was susceptible to Xam infection, it recovered within 21 d after inoculation (DAI). Microarray resources available for leafy spurge allowed us to follow the physiological and signaling pathways that were altered as leafy spurge was infected and then recovered from Xam infection. The first physiological effect of Xam infection was a down-regulation of photosynthetic processes within 1 DAI. By 7 DAI, numerous processes associated with well-documented pathogenesis responses of plants were observed. Although some pathogenesis responses were still detectable at 21 DAI, other processes associated with meristem development were noted. Ontological analysis of potential signaling systems indicated jasmonic acid plays a significant role in the recovery processes.
β-Aminobutyric acid (BABA) is known to induce resistance to microbial pathogens, nematodes and insects in several host plant/pest systems. The present study was undertaken to determine whether a similar effect of BABA occurred against the Asian citrus psyllid, Diaphorina citri Kuwayama, in citrus. A 25 mM drench application of BABA significantly reduced the number of eggs/plant as compared with a water control, whereas 200 and 100 mM applications of BABA reduced the numbers of nymphs/plant and adults/plants, respectively. A 5 mM foliar application of BABA significantly reduced the number of adults but not eggs or nymphs when compared with a water control treatment. In addition, leaf-dip bioassays using various concentrations (25–500 mM) of BABA indicated no direct toxic effect on 2nd and 5th instar nymphs or adult D. citri. BABA-treated plants were characterized by significantly lower levels of iron, magnesium, phosphorus, sodium, sulfur and zinc as compared with control plants. The expression level of the PR-2 gene (β-1,3-glucanase) in BABA-treated plants that were also damaged by D. citri adult feeding was significantly higher than in plants exposed to BABA, D. citri feeding alone or control plants. Our results indicate the potential for using BABA as a systemic acquired resistance management tool for D. citri.
The pathogenesis of cholesteatoma remains unclear, despite several theories. Alterations in the density of mast cells positive for cluster of differentiation 117 protein (also known as CD117) can be critical to cholesteatoma formation, due to the effect on keratinocyte growth factor production. This study aimed to investigate the potential role of these mast cells in cholesteatoma pathogenesis.
The number and density of mast cells positive for cluster of differentiation 117 protein were immunohistochemically analysed in 52 patients: 22 with chronic otitis media alone (group one), 25 with chronic otitis media with cholesteatoma (group two) and five controls.
The number of these mast cells was much higher in group two (in cholesteatoma matrix tissue) than in group one (in chronic otitis media granulation tissue) or the controls (in normal post-auricular skin). The density of these mast cells was significantly greater in group two than in group one or the controls (p < 0.05). The number and density of these mast cells was much greater in group one than in controls (p < 0.01).
Mast cells positive for cluster of differentiation 117 protein could play a role in cholesteatoma formation. Further investigation of the role of these mast cells in cholesteatoma may suggest new ways of addressing this disorder, and may enable the development of targeted treatments.