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Journal: Parasitology

28

SUMMARY A new species of Microsporidia Microgemma carolinus n. sp. found in the marine teleost Trachinotus carolinus collected in Florianópolis, Brazil was described based on light, ultrastructural and phylogenetic studies. This parasite developed in the liver forming whitish xenomas that contained different developmental stages with monokaryotic nuclei. The periphery of the xenoma presented some vacuolization and possessed several small projections in the membrane. The mature spores, measuring 3·8±0·4 μm in length and 2·4±0·4 μm in width, were slightly pyriform to ellipsoidal and had rounded ends. The polaroplast was bipartite and the isofilar polar filament was coiled with 8 - 9 turns in a single or double row at the posterior end of the spore. The nucleus was voluminous and in a central position, measuring ∼0·9 μm in diameter. A large posterior vacuole appeared as a pale area, occupying about a third of the spore length. The SSU rRNA gene was sequenced and analysed using maximum parsimony, maximum likelihood and neighbour-joining methods. This study allowed us to conclude that this was a new species of the genus Microgemma, being the first description of this genus from among South America fauna.

Concepts: Archaea, RNA, Species, Ribosomal RNA, 16S ribosomal RNA, Brazil, Microsporidia, Carangidae

28

SUMMARY Although results from field surveys have linked parasites to oxidative stress in their fish hosts, direct evidence involving experimentally infected hosts is lacking. We evaluated the effects of experimental infections with larval trematodes on induction of oxidative stress in fathead minnows, Pimephales promelas. Juvenile fish were exposed in the laboratory to the larvae (cercariae) of 2 species of trematode: Ornithodiplostomum sp. that develops in the liver, and O. ptychocheilus that develops in the brain. For Ornithodiplostomum sp., lipid peroxidation concentration in liver tissue increased 5 days after exposure and remained higher than controls until the end of the experiment at 28 days. For O. ptychocheilus, liver lipid peroxidation concentration was higher than controls at 5 days, but not thereafter. Sustained elevation in lipid peroxidation concentration for the liver trematode may be explained by direct tissue damage caused by developing larvae in the liver, or by an immune response. These experimental results support those from field studies, indicating that the lipid peroxidation assay may be an effective biomonitor for parasite-induced oxidative stress in fish, and that the nature of the oxidative stress response is species and/or tissue specific.

Concepts: Antioxidant, Oxidative stress, Liver, Chemistry, Experiment, Trematoda, Pimephales, Fathead minnow

28

SUMMARY Host-parasite interactions generally involve communities of parasites. Within these communities, species will co-exist and/or interact with one another in a manner either benefiting the species involved or to the detriment of one or more of the species. At the level of helminth infracommunities, evidence for intra- and inter-specific competition includes numerical responses, i.e. those regulating helminth intensity of infection, and functional responses, i.e. where the presence of competitors modifies the realised niche of infrapopulations. The objectives of this study are to assess the numerical and functional responses of helminths in infracommunities from 3 rajid skates using general linear models. Despite a lack of numerical responses, functional responses to intra- and inter-specific interactions were observed. A positive correlation between the number of individuals in an infrapopulation and its niche breadth (functional response) was observed for the tapeworms Pseudanthobothrium spp. and Echeneibothrium spp., in all their respective hosts, and for the nematode Pseudanisakis sp. in the little skate. Evidence for inter-specific competition includes niche shifts in Pseudanthobothrium purtoni (ex little skate) and Pseudanisakis sp. (ex thorny skate) in the presence of Pseudanisakis sp. and the tapeworm Grillotia sp., respectively. These results are consistent with other studies in providing evidence for competition between helminths of skates.

Concepts: Intestinal parasite, Barndoor skate

28

SUMMARYPhylogeography of parasites and microbes is a recent field. Phylogeographic studies have been performed mostly to test three major hypotheses that are not mutually exclusive on the origins and distributions of human parasites and microbes: (1) the “out of Africa” pattern where parasites are supposed to have followed the dispersal and expansion of modern humans in and out of Africa, (2) the “domestication” pattern where parasites were captured in the domestication centres and dispersed through them and (3) the “globalization” pattern, in relation to historical and more recent trade routes. With some exceptions, such studies of human protozoans, helminths and ectoparasites are quite limited. The conclusion emphasizes the need to acquire more phylogeographic data in non-Occidental countries, and particularly in Asia where all the animal domestications took place.

Concepts: Human, Bacteria, Africa, Fungus, Intestinal parasite, Parasitism, Human evolution, Prehistory

28

SUMMARY Physical habitat structure can influence the distribution and abundance of organisms. In rivers, stream drift, a common process originating from the unidirectional water flow, favours the displacement and downstream dispersion of invertebrates. This process could also generate a gradient in infection levels, leading to decreasing numbers of parasites per host as one moves upstream from the river mouth. We tested this hypothesis using 4 trematode species infecting the fish Gobiomorphus breviceps in the Manuherikia River (New Zealand). We analysed the abundance of each trematode infrapopulation as a function of distance from the river junction and fish size by generalized linear models. Our results supported the existence of a longitudinal gradient in trematode abundance along the river with a decreasing downstream-to-upstream continuum. This applied to 3 out of the 4 trematode species studied, suggesting that this might be a common pattern in river populations. Thus, the unidirectional river flow and a major process like drift in lotic systems, that influences the dynamics and distribution of invertebrate hosts, can also affect trematodes. Host properties like habitat preference, and parasite traits, particularly those related to transmission mode can influence the strength of the observed gradient, as may other environmental and biotic factors.

Concepts: Immune system, Bacteria, Biology, Ecology, River, Stream, Flatworm, Trematoda

27

SUMMARY The present study was designated to ascertain the anthelmintic activity of the rhizomes of Paris polyphylla and to isolate and characterize the active constituents. The methanol extract from rhizomes of P. polyphylla showed significant anthelmintic activity against Dactylogyrus intermedius with the median effective concentration (EC50) 22·5 mg L-1. Based on this finding, the methanol extract was fractionated by silica gel column chromatography in a bioassay-guided fractionation yielding 2 bioactive compounds, the structures of these compounds were elucidated as formosanin C and polyphyllin VII. The in vivo tests revealed that formosanin C and polyphyllin VII were significantly effective against D. intermedius with EC50 values of 0·6 and 1·2 mg L-1, respectively. The acute toxicities (LC50) of formosanin C and polyphyllin VII for grass carp were 2·8 and 2·9 mg L-1, respectively. The overall results provide important information for the potential application of formosanin C and polyphyllin VII in the therapy of serious infection caused by D. intermedius.

Concepts: Ethanol, Chemical equilibrium, Chromatography, High performance liquid chromatography, Column chromatography, Thin layer chromatography, Silica gel, Fractionation

27

SUMMARY Identification of high-risk regions of schistosomiasis is important for rational resource allocation and effective control strategies. We conducted the first study to apply the newly developed method of adaptive kernel density estimation (KDE)-based spatial relative risk function (sRRF) to detect the high-risk regions of schistosomiasis in the Guichi region of China and compared it with the fixed KDE-based sRRF. We found that the adaptive KDE-based sRRF had a better ability to depict the heterogeneity of risk regions, but was more sensitive to altering the user-defined smoothing parameters. Specifically, the impact of bandwidths on the estimated risk value and risk significance (P value) was higher for the adaptive KDE-based sRRF, but lower on the estimated risk variation standard error (s.e.) compared with the fixed KDE-based sRRF. Based on this application the adaptive and fixed KDE-based sRRF have their respective advantages and disadvantages and the joint application of the two approaches can warrant the best possible identification of high-risk subregions of diseases.

Concepts: Statistics, Non-parametric statistics, Histogram, Subregion, Density estimation, Kernel density estimation, Kernel, Mean integrated squared error

27

SUMMARY The aim of this study was to evaluate the anti-trypanosomal effect of treatment with 3'-deoxyadenosine (cordycepin) combined with deoxycoformycin (pentostatin: inhibitor of the enzyme adenosine deaminase) in vitro by using mice experimentally infected with Trypanosoma evansi. In vitro, a dose-dependent trypanocidal effect of cordycepin was observed against the parasite. In the in vivo trials, the two drugs were used individually and in combination of different doses. The drugs when used individually had no curative effect on infected mice. However, the combination of cordycepin (2 mg kg-1) and pentostatin (2 mg kg-1) was 100% effective in the T. evansi-infected groups. There was an increase in levels of some biochemical parameters, especially on liver enzymes, which were accompanied by histological lesions in the liver and kidneys. Based on these results we conclude that treatment using the combination of 3'-deoxyadenosine with deoxycoformycin has a curative effect on mice infected with T. evansi. However, the therapeutic protocol tested led to liver and kidney damage, manifested by hepatotoxicity and nephrotoxicity.

Concepts: Glucose, Liver, In vivo, In vitro, Adenosine deaminase, Trypanosoma, Euglenozoa, Trypanosoma evansi

27

SUMMARY The range of hosts used by a parasite is influenced by macro-evolutionary processes (host switching, host-parasite co-evolution), as well as ‘encounter filters’ and ‘compatibility filters’ at the micro-evolutionary level driven by host/parasite ecology and physiology. Host specialization is hypothesized to result in trade-offs with aspects of parasite life history (e.g. reproductive output), but these have not been well studied. We used previously published data to create models examining general relationships among host specificity and important aspects of life history and reproduction for nematodes parasitizing animals. Our results indicate no general trade-off between host specificity and the average pre-patent period (time to first reproduction), female size, egg size, or fecundity of these nematodes. However, female size was positively related to egg size, fecundity, and pre-patent period. Host compatibility may thus not be the primary determinant of specificity in these parasitic nematodes if there are few apparent trade-offs with reproduction, but rather, the encounter opportunities for new host species at the micro-evolutionary level, and other processes at the macro-evolutionary level (i.e. phylogeny). Because host specificity is recognized as a key factor determining the spread of parasitic diseases understanding factors limiting host use are essential to predict future changes in parasite range and occurrence.

Concepts: Reproduction, Life, Nematode, Symbiosis, Prediction, Parasitism, Reproductive system, Parthenogenesis

27

SUMMARY Heliciculture is an excellent alternative to obtain edible snails but its viability is seriously threatened by pathogens. A parasitological survey was conducted in 3 mixed system-based heliciculture farms in Galicia (NW Spain), with the species Tetrahymena rostrata, Tetrahymena limacis, Tetratrichomonas limacis, Cryptobia helicogenae, Brachylaima aspersae (metacercariae and sporocysts), Alloionema appendiculatum, Nemhelix bakeri, and Riccardoella limacum being commonly found infecting Helix aspersa aspersa (petit-gris) snails. With the exception of C. helicogenae, N. bakeri, and B. aspersae sporocysts, all species were also detected in Helix aspersa maxima (gros-gris) snails, although generally with lower parameters. Most monoxenous infections, and consequently multiple parasitism, exhibited a rising trend during the first 2 months of intensive mating, with tendencies being slowed down or even reversed during the third month as a result of accumulated mortality and a sampling-derived reduction in host density. No parasites were vertically transmitted and infections were initially acquired from invading gastropod and micromammal reservoirs during fattening. Finally, artificial hibernation reduced significantly the prevalence of most species. These results confirm the importance of parasites in heliciculture and emphasize the need to prevent the entry of wild reservoirs into the farms and to rapidly remove the carcasses of dead snails from the reproduction units and fattening pens.

Concepts: Immune system, Disease, Bacteria, Symbiosis, Parasitism, Snail, Helix aspersa, Heliciculture