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Concept: Mansonella

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The current antibody tests used for monitoring in lymphatic filariasis (LF) elimination programs suffer from poor specificity because of the considerable geographical overlap with other filarial infections such as Loa loa (Ll), Onchocerca volvulus (Ov), and Mansonella perstans (Mp).

Concepts: Nematodes, Parasitic diseases, Diethylcarbamazine, Filariasis, Wuchereria bancrofti, Insect-borne diseases, Loa loa filariasis, Mansonella

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Approximately 114 million people are infected with Mansonella perstans in large proportions of Africa. In contrast to other filariae that infect humans, M. perstans-infected individuals show no distinct pathology or specific clinical picture, indicating a well-tuned adaptation to the host. In addition, since M. perstans adult worms reside in serous cavities which are difficult to access, research has been hindered and there is a paucity of knowledge about the biology of M. perstans, especially the development of the different life stages as well as M. perstans-driven immune responses. Thus in this study, an in vitro culture system was developed which allows an in-depth analysis of M. perstans.

Concepts: Immune system, Inflammation, Infectious disease, Biology, Infection, Linguistics, Cultural studies, Mansonella

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We report 74 patients in Italy infected with Mansonella perstans nematodes, a poorly described filarial parasite. M. perstans nematodes should be included in the differential diagnosis for patients with eosinophilia from disease-endemic countries. Serologic analysis is useful for screening, and testing for microfilaremia in peripheral blood should be performed for parasite-positive patients.

Concepts: Immune system, Medical terms, Hematology, Medical diagnosis, Nematodes, Differential diagnosis, Mansonella

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The Neglected Tropical Disease onchocerciasis is a parasitic disease. Despite many control programmes by the World Health Organization (WHO), large communities in West and Central Africa are still affected. Besides logistic challenges during biannual mass drug administration, the lack of a robust, point-of-care diagnostic is limiting successful eradication of onchocerciasis. Towards the implementation of a non-invasive and point-of-care diagnostic, we have recently reported the discovery of the biomarker N-acetyltyramine-O-glucuronide (NATOG) in human urine samples using a metabolomics-mining approach. NATOG’s biomarker value was enhanced during an investigation in a rodent model. Herein, we further detail the specificity of NATOG in active onchocerciasis infections as well as the co-infecting parasites Loa loa and Mansonella perstans. Our results measured by liquid chromatography coupled with mass spectrometry (LC-MS) reveal elevated NATOG values in mono- and co-infection samples only in the presence of the nematode Onchocerca volvulus. Metabolic pathway investigation of l-tyrosine/tyramine in all investigated nematodes uncovered an important link between the endosymbiotic bacterium Wolbachia and O. volvulus for the biosynthesis of NATOG. Based on these extended studies, we suggest NATOG as a biomarker for tracking active onchocerciasis infections and provide a threshold concentration value of NATOG for future diagnostic tool development.

Concepts: Infectious disease, Parasites, Malaria, Nematodes, Filariasis, Neglected diseases, Onchocerciasis, Mansonella

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Filarial infections are tropical diseases caused by nematodes of the Onchocercidae family such as Mansonella perstans. The infective larvae (L3) are transmitted into the skin of vertebrate hosts by blood-feeding vectors. Many filarial species settle in the serous cavities including M. perstans in humans and L. sigmodontis, a well-established model of filariasis in mice. L. sigmodontis L3 migrate to the pleural cavity where they moult into L4 around day 9 and into male and female adult worms around day 30. Little is known of the early phase of the parasite life cycle, after the L3 is inoculated in the dermis by the vector and enters the afferent lymphatic vessels and before the moulting processes in the pleural cavity. Here we reveal a pulmonary phase associated with lung damage characterized by haemorrhages and granulomas suggesting L3 reach the lung via pulmonary capillaries and damage the endothelium and parenchyma by crossing them to enter the pleural cavity. This study also provides evidence for a transient inflammation in the lung characterized by a very early recruitment of neutrophils associated with high expression levels of S100A8 and S100A9 proteins.

Concepts: Inflammation, Blood vessel, Lymphatic system, Skin, Nematodes, Filariasis, Pleurisy, Mansonella

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We obtained ribosomal and mitochondrial DNA sequences from residents of Amazonas state, Brazil, with Mansonella parasitemias. Phylogenetic analysis of these sequences confirm that M. ozzardi and M. perstans parasites occur in sympatry and reveal the close relationship between M. perstans in Africa and Brazil, providing insights into the parasite’s New World origins.

Concepts: DNA, Bacteria, Mitochondrion, Africa, Atlantic Ocean, World, New World, Mansonella

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Mansonellosis was first reported in Ghana by Awadzi in the 1990s. Co-infections of Mansonella perstans have also been reported in a small cohort of patients with Buruli ulcer and their contacts. However, no study has assessed the exact prevalence of the disease in a larger study population. This study therefore aimed to find out the prevalence of M. perstans infection in some districts in Ghana and to determine the diversity of Culicoides that could be potential vectors for transmission.

Concepts: Epidemiology, Disease, Infectious disease, Demography, Infectious diseases, Mansonella, Emo, Mansonella perstans

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Mansonellosis remains one of the most neglected of tropical diseases and its current distribution in the entire forest block of southern Cameroon is unknown. In order to address this issue, we have surveyed the distribution of Mansonella perstans in different bioecological zones and in addition, elucidated the influence of multiple rounds of ivermectin (IVM) based mass drug administration (MDA).

Concepts: Biodiversity, Biology, Ecology, Ecosystem, Mansonella, Southern Cameroons

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The study of the interactions among parasites within their hosts is crucial to the understanding of epidemiology of disease and for the design of effective control strategies. We have conducted an assessment of infections withLoa loa,Mansonella perstans,Wuchereria bancrofti, andPlasmodium falciparumin eastern Cameroon using highly sensitive and specific quantitative polymerase chain reaction using archived dried whole blood spots. The resident population (N= 1,085) was parasitized withM. perstans(76%),L. loa(39%), andP. falciparum(33%), but not withW. bancrofti Compared with single infections (40.1%), coinfection was more common (48.8%): 21.0% hadL. loa-M. perstans(Ll(+)/Mp(+)/Pf(-)), 2.7% hadL. loa-P. falciparum(Ll(+)/Pf(+)/Mp(-)), 15.1% hadM. perstans-P. falciparum(Mp(+)/Pf(+)/Ll(-)), and 10.0% hadL. loa-M. perstans-P. falciparum(Ll(+)/Mp(+)/Pf(+)). Interestingly, those with all three infections (Ll(+)/Mp(+)/Pf(+)) had significantly higherL. loamicrofilaria (mf) counts than either single Ll(+)(P= 0.004) or double Ll(+)/Mp(+)(P= 0.024) infected individuals. Of those infected withL. loa, the mean estimated counts ofL. loamf varied based on location and were positively correlated with estimated intensities ofM. perstansmf. Finally, at a community level, heavyL. loainfections were concentrated in a few individuals whereby they were likely the major reservoir for infection.

Concepts: DNA, Disease, Infectious disease, Polymerase chain reaction, Infection, Transmission and infection of H5N1, DNA polymerase, Mansonella

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Large parts of African and American countries are colonized by Mansonella, a very common but poorly described filarial nematode. Bloodsucking flies of the genus Culicoides are suspected to be the vector of Mansonella perstans, but no study in Senegal has confirmed that Culicoides can transmit the parasite. Designed specific real-time quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) can be used to identify microfilaria in stained blood smears. This study was performed in July and December 2010 in the southeastern Senegal, which is known to be endemic for M. perstans. We analyzed 297 blood smears from febrile and afebrile resident people by qPCR. The global prevalence of M. perstans was approximately 14.5% in both febrile and afebrile individuals. The age group of > 30 years had the highest prevalence (22.0%). No Culicoides among 1,159 studied specimens was positive for M. perstans and its vector in Senegal still requires identification.

Concepts: Infectious disease, Polymerase chain reaction, Malaria, Real-time polymerase chain reaction, Nematodes, Filariasis, Thermus aquaticus, Mansonella