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Journal: The Korean journal of parasitology


The 5th outbreak of trichinosis occurred in a mountainous area of North Vietnam in 2012, involving 24 patients among 27 people who consumed raw pork together. Six of these patients visited several hospitals in Hanoi for treatment. Similar clinical symptoms appeared in these patients within 5-8 days after eating infected raw pork, which consisted of fever, muscle pain, difficult moving, edema, difficult swallowing, and difficult breathing. ELISA revealed all (6/6) positive reactions against Trichinella spiralis antigen and all cases showed positive biopsy results for Trichinella sp. larvae in the muscle. The larvae detected in the patients were identified as T. spiralis (Vietnamese strain) by the molecular analysis of the mitochondrial cytochrome c oxidase subunit III (cox3) gene.

Concepts: Vietnamese language, Trichinella spiralis, Cytochrome c, Vietnam, Trichinosis, Hanoi, French Indochina, Cytochrome c oxidase subunit III


The prevalence of foodborne trematode (FBT) metacercariae was investigated in fish from 2 localities of northern Vietnam in 2004-2005. Freshwater fish (9 species) were collected from local markets in Hanoi City (n=76) and Nam Dinh Province (n=79), and were examined for FBT metacercariae using the artificial digestion technique. Adult flukes were obtained from hamsters experimentally infected with the metacercariae at day 8 post-infection. Three (Haplorchis pumilio, Centrocestus formosanus, and Procerovum varium) and 6 (Haplorchis taichui, H. pumilio, C. formosanus, P. varium, Stellantchasmus falcatus, and Heterophyopsis continua) species of FBT metacercariae were detected in the 2 regions, respectively. Overall, among the positive fish species, H. pumilio metacercariae were detected in 104 (80.0%) of 130 fish examined (metacercarial density per infected fish; 64.2). C. formosanus metacercariae were found in 37 (40.2%) of 92 fish (metacercarial density; 14.7). P. varium metacercariae were detected in 19 (63.3%) of 30 fish (Anabas testudineus and Mugil cephalus) (metacercarial density; 247.7). S. falcatus metacercariae were found in all 10 M. cephalus examined (metacercarial density; 84.4). H. continua metacercariae (2 in number) were detected in 1 fish of Coilia lindmani. Morphologic characteristics of the FBT metacercariae and their experimentally obtained adults were described. The results have demonstrated that various FBT species are prevalent in northen parts of Vietnam.

Concepts: Prevalence, Anabas testudineus, Freshwater fish, Vietnam, Hanoi, Nam Dinh Province, Red River Delta, Ngo Dinh Diem


It has been known that Arak, Salvadora persica, has a number of medicinal properties. We tried to investigate in vitro scolicidal effect of root extracts of this plant against protoscolices from hydatid cysts of Echinococcus granulosus. Protoscolices were aseptically collected from sheep livers containing hydatid cysts. S. persica root extract was used in 10, 30, and 50 mg/ml concentration for 10, 20, and 30 min. The viability of protoscolices was ascertained by 0.1% eosin staining. Scolicidal activity of S. persica extract at a concentration of 10 mg/ml was 36.3%, 50.3%, and 70.8% after 10, 20, and 30 min of exposure, respectively. The scolicidal effect of this extract at a concentration of 30 mg/ml was 52.9%, 86.7%, and 100% after 10, 20, and 30 min of exposure, respectively. S. persica extract at a concentration of 50 mg/ml, meanwhile, killed 81.4%, 100%, and 100% of protoscolices after 10, 20, and 30 min, respectively. Also, the cytotoxic potential of S. persica was assessed on human liver cells (HepG2) using trypan blue exclusion test. No cytotoxic effect was observed on HepG2 cell line. The present study confirmed for the first time that the ethanolic extract of S. persica has high scolicidal power in vitro. However, in vivo effect of this material remains to be studied for treatment of echinococcosis in humans and herbivorous animals.

Concepts: Liver, In vivo, Glycogen, Bile, In vitro, Peritoneum, Hepatocyte, Salvadora persica


The aim of this cross sectional case control study was to examine the serofrequency and serointensity of Toxoplasma gondii (Tg) IgG, IgM, and DNA among patients with schizophrenia. A total of 101 patients with schizophrenia and 55 healthy controls from Sungai Buloh Hospital, Selangor, Malaysia and University Malaya Medical Center (UMMC) were included in this study. The diagnosis of schizophrenia was made based on the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition (DSM-IV). The presence of Tg infection was examined using both indirect (ELISA) and direct (quantitative real-time PCR) detection methods by measuring Tg IgG and IgM and DNA, respectively. The serofrequency of Tg IgG antibodies (51.5%, 52/101) and DNA (32.67%, 33/101) among patients with schizophrenia was significantly higher than IgG (18.2%, 10/55) and DNA (3.64%, 2/55) of the controls (IgG, P=0.000, OD=4.8, CI=2.2-10.5; DNA, P=0.000, OD=12.9, CI=2.17-10.51). However, the Tg IgM antibody between patients with schizophrenia and controls was not significant (P>0.005). There was no significant difference (P>0.005) in both serointensity of Tg IgG and DNA between patients with schizophrenia and controls. These findings have further demonstrated the strong association between the active Tg infection and schizophrenia.

Concepts: Immune system, Glycoproteins, Immunology, Antibodies, Schizophrenia, Case-control study, Toxoplasma gondii, Malaysia


This article reviews Leptotrombidium deliense, including its discovery and nomenclature, morphological features and identification, life cycle, ecology, relationship with diseases, chromosomes and artificial cultivation. The first record of L. deliense was early in 1922 by Walch. Under the genus Leptotrombidium, there are many sibling species similar to L. deliense, which makes it difficult to differentiate L. deliense from another sibling chigger mites, for example, L. rubellum. The life cycle of the mite (L. deliense) includes 7 stages: egg, deutovum (or prelarva), larva, nymphochrysalis, nymph, imagochrysalis and adult. The mite has a wide geographical distribution with low host specificity, and it often appears in different regions and habitats and on many species of hosts. As a vector species of chigger mite, L. deliense is of great importance in transmitting scrub typhus (tsutsugamushi disease) in many parts of the world, especially in tropical regions of Southeast Asia. The seasonal fluctuation of the mite population varies in different geographical regions. The mite has been successfully cultured in the laboratory, facilitating research on its chromosomes, biochemistry and molecular biology.


Toxoplasma gondii is an apicomplexan zoonotic protozoan parasite that infects most species of warm-blooded animals, including humans. The heavy incidence and severe or lethal damage caused by T. gondii infection clearly indicate a need for the development of an effective vaccine. T. gondii GRA8 is a member of the dense granules protein family and is used as a marker of acute infection. In the present study, we evaluated the protective immunity induced by DNA vaccination based on a recombinant eukaryotic plasmid, pDsRed2-GRA8, against acute toxoplasmosis in mice. BALB/c mice were intramuscularly immunized with the pDsRed2-GRA8 plasmid and then challenged by infection with the highly virulent GFP-RH strain of T. gondii. The specific immune responses and protective efficacy against T. gondii of this vaccine were analyzed by measuring cytokine and serum antibody titers, splenocyte proliferation assays, and the survival times of mice after challenge. Our results showed that mice immunized with pDsRed2-GRA8 demonstrated specific humoral and cellular responses, induced higher IgG antibody titers with predominant IgG2a production; increased levels of IL-10, IL-12 (p70), IFN-γ, TNF-α, and splenocyte proliferation; and prolonged survival times compared to those of control mice. The present study showed that DNA immunization with pDsRed2-GRA8 induced humoral and cellular immune responses, and all immunized mice showed greater Th1-type immune responses and longer survival times than those of control mice. These results indicated that T. gondii GRA8 DNA immunization induces a partial protective effect against acute toxoplasmosis.


This study was conducted to investigate the prevalence of intestinal parasites among students from Goseonggun, Gangwon-do and Hadong-gun, Gyeongsangnam-do as typical low and high endemic counties. From May to July 2017, a total of 2,033 fecal samples were collected at 27 elementary, 10 junior high, and 8 high schools from 2 counties and examined by the Kato-Katz technique for egg-positive surveys (Collection rate: 37.02% [2,033/5,492]). Of the participants examined, 13 (0.64%) were found to harbor eggs of 3 parasitic species, Trichuris trichiura, Clonorchis sinensis and Metagonimus yokogawai. Based on the regional distribution, the egg-positive rate in Goseong-gun was 0% (0/550) and that in Hadong-gun was 0.88% (13/1,483). The positive rates for C. sinensis, M. yokogawai, and T. trichiura in Hadonggun were 0.20% (3/1,483), 0.61% (9/1,483), and 0.07% (1/1,483), respectively. The present survey showed that the prevalence of parasitic infection among students is currently very low even in remote, previously endemic areas, and the present status of parasitic diseases can be summarized as some transmission of fish/food-borne trematodes. Thus, it is necessary to carefully, continuously monitor the trematode infection status, particularly of C. sinensis and M. yokogawai.


The infection status of Centrocestus armatus metacercariae (CaMc) was broadly surveyed in freshwater fishes from major river systems in the Republic of Korea (Korea) during 2008-2017. A total of 14,977 fishes was caught and examined by the artificial digestion method. CaMc were detected in 3,818 (97.1%) (2,114 Z. platypus: 96.1% and 1,704 Z. temminckii: 98.4%) out of 3,932 Zacco spp. examined and their density was 1,867 (2,109 in Z. platypus and 1,567 in Z. temminckii) per fish infected. The prevalences with CaMc were high, 93.7-100%, in Zacco spp. from all surveyed areas. However, their densities were more or less different by the surveyed areas and fish species. They were most high in Nakdong-gang in Gyeongsangnam-do (4,201 in average), and followed by Geum-gang (2,343), Nakdong-gang in Gyeongsangbuk-do (1,623), Han-gang (1,564), Tamjin-gang and Yeongsan-gang (1,540), streams in the east coast (1,028), Seomjin-gang (488) and Mangyeong-gang (170). In another species of rasborinid fish, Opsariichthys uncirostris amurensis, CaMc were detected in 222 (74.8%) out of 297 ones examined and their density was 278 (1-4,480) per fish infected. CaMc were also detected in total 41 fish species except for the rasborinid fish, Z. platypus, Z. temminckii and O. uncirostris amurensis. Conclusively, it was confirmed that among the 3 species of rasborinid fish, Z. platypus and Z. temminckii are highly prevalent and O. uncirostris amurensis is moderately prevalent with CaMc. Additionally, we could know that variety of fish species act as the second intermediate hosts of C. armatus in Korea.


To grasp the infection status of Metagonimus spp. metacercariae (MsMc), the freshwater fishes were surveyed from Seomjin-gang (river) and Tamjin-gang in the Republic of Korea. Total 1,604 fishes from 7 local sites of Seomjin-gang and 1,649 fishes from 2 sites of Tamjin-gang were examined for 6 years (2012-2017) by the artificial digestion method. MsMc were detected in fishes from 7 sites, i.e., Osucheon in Imsil-gun (36.3% fish in 6 spp.), Seomjin-gang in Sunchanggun (49.8% in 18 spp.), Songdaecheon in Namwon-si (64.5% in 8 spp.), Seomjin-gang in Gokseong-gun (72.4% in 14 spp.) and in Gurye-gun (78.8% in 17 spp.), Hoengcheon (75.9% in 11 spp.) and Namsancheon (58.9% in 7 spp.) in Hadong-gun. Their average densities were 4.2, 86.8, 39.9, 43.1, 246.5, 173.6 and 67.5 per fish infected respectively. Prevalence with MsMc in rasborinid fish from Seomjin-gang was 89.2% and their intensity was 73.6 per fish infected. Endemicities of MsMc in rasborinid fish from Seomjin-gang were significantly higher in fishes from the lower reaches (prevalence: 98.7%; density: 137) rather than in fishes from the middle (93.5%; 38) and upper (72.4%; 13) reaches. MsMc were also detected in 56.1% and 66.4% fishes from 2 surveyed areas, i.e., the middle reaches in Jangheung-gun and the lower reaches in Gangjin-gun, of Tamjin-gang, and their densities were 147 and 121 per fish infected. In susceptible fishes from Tamjin-gang, the prevalence was 84.1% and density was 227 per fish infected. By the present study, it was confirmed that MsMc is highly prevalent in the fishes from Seomjin-gang and Tamjin-gang in Korea.


The taxonomy of Spirometra species has been controversial despite the medical and veterinary importance. Currently, only a few Spirometra species are considered valid species in the genus Spirometra. In the present study, the distribution of Spirometra species obtained from animals in Korea were identified by molecular analysis of the mitochondrial cytochrome c oxidase I (cox1) gene. A total of 28 Spirometra species specimens were analyzed. These were all collected between 1973 and 2008 in the Republic of Korea. Mitochondrial cox1 sequences were examined for a total of 28 specimens comprising 14 S. decipiens and 14 S. ranarum. The difference in partial cox1 sequences (316 bp) between S. erinaceieuropaei (KJ599680) and S. ranarum (this study) was 9.3%, while that between S. decipiens (KJ599679) and S. ranarum (this study) was 2.2%. Genetic analyses identified 2 Spirometra species in animals such as cat, leopard cat, dog, duck and snake in Korea as S. decipiens and S. ranarum. S. decipiens and S. ranarum were present in Gyeongnam Province (P), Jeonnam P, Gangwon P, Chungbuk P, and Seoul. S. decipiens was found in tadpoles, snakes, ducks, cats, leopard cats and dogs, while S. ranarum was found in cats and dogs. The ratio of S. decipiens:S. ranarum calculated from the molecular data was 14:14 (or 1:1). These results indicate that S. decipiens and S. ranarum are sympatrically distributed in Korea.