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Journal: Parasitology research


Lymphatic filariasis (LF) is a disabling and disfiguring disease resulting from a mosquito-borne parasitic infection. It is a major public health problem in many countries with a warm climate. Research and control activities have mainly focused on LF in rural areas where it also has its major impact. However, with rapid and unplanned growth of cities in the developing world, there is a need also to consider LF transmission and control in urban settings. Here, we review currently available knowledge on urban LF and the environmental and socio-economic basis for its occurrence. Among the three parasite species causing LF in humans, only Wuchereria bancrofti has been documented to have a significant potential for urban transmission. This is primarily because one of its vectors, Culex quinquefasciatus, thrives and proliferates excessively in crowded city areas with poor sanitary, sewerage and drainage facilities. For this reason, urban LF also often shows a marked focality in distribution, with most cases clustered in areas inhabited by the less privileged city populations. More knowledge on urban LF is needed, in particular on its socio-economic and human behavioural context, on the potential for transmission in regions where other LF vector species predominate, and on rapid methods for identification and mapping of risk areas, to provide a strong evidence base for its control.

Concepts: Malaria, Population, Anopheles, City, Vector, Diethylcarbamazine, Filariasis, Wuchereria bancrofti


Fasciola jacksoni (Cobbold, 1869) is a highly prevalent (18-62 %) species colonizing the liver (less frequently the lungs, kidneys, pericardia, and intestines) of Elephas maximus indicus and Elephas maximus maximus in the Indomalayan region, causing cirrhosis, hemorrhages, and connective tissue proliferation. The phylogenetic relationships of Fasciola jacksoni in relation to representative species of the superfamily Echinostomatoidea was assessed using four independent DNA regions. The analysis involved conserved (28S rDNA) and highly variable (ITS1, ITS2, and ND1) loci utilizing both mitochondrial (ND1) and nuclear (28S rDNA, ITS1, and ITS2) DNA. Although the analyses confirmed the monophyletic origin of the Fasciolidae family, all four analyzed regions suggested high similarity of Fasciola jacksoni to Fascioloides magna, member of a hitherto monotypic genus, parasitizing a variety of wild and domestic ruminants through the Holarctic. Supporting evidence stems also from the morphological similarities, host spectrum overlaps, and similarities in disease onset and progression. Fasciola jacksoni was reclassified to its genus in the nineteenth century by Cobbold based on the shared possession of dendriform system of gastric canals. However, Fascioloides magna (discovered later) shares this feature as well. Conversely, Fascioloides magna and Fasciola hepatica possess long median intestinal branches, whereas relatively shorter median intestinal branches are characteristic for Fasciola hepatica and Fasciola gigantica only. Both, Fascioloides magna and Fasciola hepatica, are also similar in their possession of small, but distinctive cephalic cone, while the larger one is typical for Fasciola hepatica and Fasciola gigantica. Reflecting the combined data, reclassification of Fasciola jacksoni as Fascioloides jacksoni comb. nov. is suggested.

Concepts: Species, Digenea, Phylogenetics, Fasciola hepatica, Fascioloides magna, Veterinary helminthology, Animal diseases, Fasciolidae


Attractive toxic sugar bait (active ingredient, 1 % boric acid) was evaluated against Aedes albopictus Skuse populations in the laboratory, semi-field trials, and field trials in residential communities in St. Augustine, Florida. Laboratory evaluations of boric acid sugar baits applied to the plant Pentas lanceolata (Rubiaceae) demonstrated 100 and 92 % mortality of A. albopictus at day 7 and 14, respectively. A semi-field study evaluating the bait application to the upperside or topside of leaves resulted in no significant difference on mortality (P > 0.05). Overall combined top and bottom boric acid sugar bait application mortality at day 7 was 95 % based on leaf bioassays. Field application of the boric acid sugar baits significantly (P < 0.05) decreased adult A. albopictus populations up to day 21 post-treatment compared to the pre-treatment population numbers. A significant reduction in oviposition was demonstrated both at day 7 and 14 post-application (P = 0.001) as monitored by ovitraps. Attractive toxic sugar bait application in tropical environments demonstrated efficacy, persistence, and feasibility in controlling A. albopictus populations.

Concepts: Evaluation, Population, Statistical significance, Mosquito, Aedes, Culicidae, World population, Asian tiger mosquito


The sensitivity of larval paralysis assay (LPA) and 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyl tetrazolium bromide-formazan (MTT-formazan) assay was compared to evaluate the anthelmintic activity of plant extracts. In this study, the methanolic extract of Azadirachta indica (neem) was evaluated for its activity against the infective-stage larvae (L(3)) of susceptible and resistant Haemonchus contortus strains using the two aforementioned assays. In both in vitro assays, the same serial concentrations of the extract were used, and the median lethal concentrations were determined to compare the sensitivity of both assays. The results revealed a significant difference (P < 0.05) in the sensitivity of the LPA and the MTT-formazan assay. The MTT-formazan assay is more feasible for practical applications because it measured the L(3) mortality more accurately than LPA. This study may help find a suitable assay for investigating the anthelmintic activity of plant extracts against trichostrongylid nematodes.

Concepts: Parasites, Nematode, Nematodes, Annelid, Haemonchus contortus, Neem, Meliaceae, Azadirachta


The spread of organic farming and the development of resistance to anthelmintics by parasites, especially in small ruminants, have necessitated the search for alternative methods of nematode control. Biological control using nematophagous fungi is one option; however, few studies have been conducted with native strains. The present study was divided into two phases. In the first phase, we aimed to isolate, identify, and assess the in vitro predatory activity of nematophagous fungi that had been isolated on Trichostrongylidae third-instar larvae. In the second phase, the isolate with superior predatory activity in vitro was molecularly characterized, and its morphological plasticity was observed using scanning electron microscopy (SEM) on Haemonchus third-instar larvae. Of the 56 soil samples from different regions of Paraná State, Brazil, 57 fungal strains were recovered, of which four exhibited predatory activity. Two pure isolates were obtained: the CED and LIN strains. After demonstrating 96.35 % predatory activity for the CED strain, this strain was selected and characterized using molecular criteria by sequencing the rDNA internal transcribed spacer and was identified as Arthrobotrys conoides (GenBank ID: JN191309). Morphological patterns in this strain during the interaction between the fungus and the nematode were revealed by SEM, in which two extensions of the infection bulb that was used to pierce the nematode’s cuticle were clearly visible.

Concepts: Bacteria, Biology, Fungus, Scanning electron microscope, Organic farming, Paecilomyces, Mutualism, Nematophagous fungus


The present study was performed to explore the efficacy of the commercial anticoccidial vaccine (Coccivac B®) in broiler chickens using five field strains of Eimeria tenella that were isolated from five provinces in Egypt. This study also analyzed the ITS-1-rDNA sequence of these five strains and its corresponding sequence in the vaccine. In a floor pen experiment, 216 one-day-old commercial broiler chicks were classified into vaccinated and non-vaccinated groups. Each main group was classified into six subgroups. The chicks were challenged on the 28th day of age with 10(4) sporulated oocysts of one of the five field strains of E. tenella. Our results indicated that Coccivac B® produced variable degrees of protection in the birds infected with the five different strains of E. tenella. Aligning the ITS-1 sequences from the five strains with the ITS-1 sequence of E. tenella from the vaccine revealed 96 % sequence similarity with the Kafer El-Sheikh strain, 94 % with the Gharbia strain, 90 % with the Alexandria strain, and 78 % with the Matrouh and Behera strains. While interesting, these similarity values were not useful for predicting the protection conferred by the vaccine against the five field isolates. However, based on the data reported here, we can conclude that Coccivac B® produced variable degrees of protection in the birds infected with the five different strains of E. tenella.

Concepts: Vaccine, Apicomplexa, Sequence, Chicken, Protection, Egypt, Broiler, Eimeria tenella


Leishmania siamensis was firstly described as a causative agent of autochthonous visceral leishmaniasis in southern provinces of Thailand since 2008. The spread of leishmaniasis depends on the distribution of the vectors and reservoir hosts. Unfortunately, little is known about these vital factors. The objective of this study was to identify the distribution of sandfly species, their density, and their habitats in the affected areas of leishmaniasis, southern Thailand. A cross-sectional survey of sandflies was conducted in three provinces of southern Thailand where leishmaniasis cases were previously reported. The collection of sandflies was performed using CDC light traps for four consecutive months, from March to June 2009. A total of 2,698 sandflies were collected in the affected areas. Among 1,451 female sandflies, six species of genus Sergentomyia were identified, i.e., Sergentomyia gemmea, Sergentomyia iyengari, Sergentomyia barraudi, Sergentomyia indica, Sergentomyia silvatica, and Sergentomyia perturbans. S. gemmea (81.4 %) was the most predominant species in all areas. In addition, one species of the genus Phlebotomus, Phlebotomus argentipes, a known vector of leishmaniasis was also detected. The distribution of sandfly species in these leishmaniasis-affected areas was different from the previous studies in other areas of Thailand. Further studies are needed to proof whether these sandflies can be the natural vectors of leishmaniasis.

Concepts: Leishmaniasis, Visceral leishmaniasis, Leishmania, Canine leishmaniasis, Phlebotomus, Lutzomyia, Surat Thani Province, Yala Province


Wild mullet (Mugil cephalus) with white cysts on their scales were obtained from Yeosu on the south coast of Korea in 2009. Cyst-like plasmodia consisted of a large number of mature myxosporean spores and numerous sporogonic stages. Spores were oval-shaped in their front view, tapering anteriorly to a blunt apex, and lenticular in their lateral view. They measured 7.0 μm (6.2-7.6) in length, 5.2 μm (4.0-6.2) in width, and 4.9 μm (3.8-6.0) in thickness. Polar capsules contained a polar filament with five to six turns and measured 3.5 μm (2.5-4.5) in length and 2.0 μm (1.6-2.3) in width. Nucleotide sequences of the 18S rRNA gene of the myxosporean parasites in our study showed 99.8 % identity with Myxobolus episquamalis Egusa, Maeno and Sorimachi, 1990 from mullet in Tunisia. These results suggest that the Myxobolus sp. found on the scales of wild mullet is M. episquamalis. In the histopathological examination, spores were observed not only in the plasmodia on the scales, but also in the intestine, pancreas, heart, kidney, stomach, gill, skin, spleen, and liver, suggesting the possibility of the coinfection by different Myxobolus species.

Concepts: DNA, Ribosomal RNA, Small intestine, Units of measurement, Height, Organs, Mugilidae, 18S ribosomal RNA


In spite of being a major vector for several domestic, medical, and veterinary pests, the control aspect of the common housefly, Musca domestica L. (Diptera: Muscidae) is often neglected. In the present study, the essential oil of Cymbopogon citratus and its major components were evaluated for control of housefly. The chemical composition analysis of C. citratus oil by gas chromatographic mass spectrometry (GC-MS) revealed citral (47 %) and 1,8-cineole (7.5 %) as principal components. The analysis of oil vapor by solid phase microextraction (SPME/GC-MS) showed increase in citral (74.9 %) and 1,8-cineole (8.6 %) content. Assay of oil against housefly larvae and pupae through contact toxicity assay showed lethal concentration (LC)(50) value of 0.41 μl/cm(2) and of percentage inhibition rate (PIR) of 77.3 %, respectively. Fumigation assay was comparatively more effective with LC(50) of 48.6 μl/L against housefly larvae, and a PIR value of 100 % against housefly pupae. The monoterpenes, citral, and 1,8-cineole, when assessed for their insecticidal activity against housefly larvae, showed LC(50) of 0.002 and 0.01 μl/cm(2) (contact toxicity assay) and LC(50) of 3.3 and 2.4 μl/L (fumigation assay). For pupicidal assay, both citral and 1,8-cineole had a PIR value of 100 %. High efficacy of citral and 1,8-cineole against housefly, established them to be an active insecticidal agent of C. citratus oil. The study demonstrates potentiality of C. citratus oil as an excellent insecticide for housefly control, and the results open up the opportunity of oil/monoterpenes being developed into an eco-friendly, economical, and acceptable product.

Concepts: Mass spectrometry, Insect, Chromatography, Efficacy, Muscidae, Housefly, Cymbopogon, Cymbopogon citratus


Theileriosis is an economically important hemoprotozoal disease with high morbidity and mortality in cattle. The present study reported the pathological features of a natural outbreak of tropical bovine theileriosis due to Theileria annulata in Fars Province, southern Iran. T. annulata was confirmed by the presence of T. annulata piroplasms in the blood smears and also by polymerase chain reaction test. On necropsy, pale mucous membranes and petechial and ecchymotic hemorrhages in the mucosal and serosal surfaces together with lymphadenopathy were observed. The liver was friable, yellowish, and larger than normal. Hemorrhages and punched-out ulcers were observed in the abomasal mucous membrane. Severe petechial hemorrhages were seen in the skin particularly in the hairless areas. Pulmonary edema and emphysema with petechial and ecchymotic hemorrhagic foci in the lungs were evident. The main histological changes were proliferation of lymphocytes in the lymph nodes and proliferation of macrophages, lymphocytes, and plasma cells in the spleen, Peyer’s patches, portal tracts of the liver, and interstitial tissue of the kidneys. The mucous membrane of the abomasum showed numerous multifocal areas of necrosis and ulceration, and the submucosal area and lamina propria adjacent to these lesions showed hyperemia and hemorrhages, with mononuclear cell infiltration. The skin showed multifocal necrotic changes, petechial and ecchymotic hemorrhages, and chronic dermatitis. The schizonts of Theileria were evident in the cytoplasm of the lymphocytes and macrophages of the lymph nodes, spleen, and skin. Molecular examination revealed that these animals were infected with T. annulata. The present study describes the clinicopathological findings of bovine tropical theileriosis in an unpredictable weather condition.

Concepts: Blood, Mucous membrane, Lymphatic system, Membrane biology, Mucus, Lamina propria, Muscularis mucosae