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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


The immune response against Trichinella spiralis at the intestinal level depends on the CD4+ T cells, which can both suppress or promote the inflammatory response through the synthesis of diverse cytokines. During the intestinal phase, the immune response is mixed (Th1/Th2) with the initial predominance of the Th1 response and the subsequent domination of Th2 response, which favor the development of intestinal pathology. In this context, the glucocorticoids (GC) are the pharmacotherapy for the intestinal inflammatory response in trichinellosis. However, its therapeutic use is limited, since studies have shown that treatment with GC suppresses the host immune system, favoring T. spiralis infection. In the search for novel pharmacological strategies that inhibit the Th1 immune response (proinflammatory) and assist the host against T. spiralis infection, recent studies showed that resiniferatoxin (RTX) had anti-inflammatory activity, which decreased the serum levels of IL-12, INF-γ, IL-1β, TNF-α, NO, and PGE2, as well the number of eosinophils in the blood, associated with decreased intestinal pathology and muscle parasite burden. These researches demonstrate that RTX is capable to inhibit the production of Th1 cytokines, contributing to the defense against T. spiralis infection, which places it as a new potential drug modulator of the immune response.

Concepts: Immune system, Inflammation, White blood cell, Antibody, Asthma, Infection, T helper cell, Interleukin


Cystoisospora is responsible for morbidity in immunocompromised patients. PCR is sensitive for diagnosing Cystoisospora; however, it needs reevaluation for differential molecular diagnosis of cystoisosporiasis. We aimed at evaluating melting curve analysis (MCA) after real-time PCR (qPCR) in diagnosis and genotyping of Cystoisospora as an alternative to conventional PCR. We included 293 diarrheic stool samples of patients attending the Department of Clinical Oncology and Nuclear Medicine of Cairo University Hospitals, Egypt. Samples were subjected to microscopy, nested PCR (nPCR), and qPCR targeting the internal transcribed spacer 2 region (ITS2) of the ribosomal RNA (r RNA) gene followed by melting temperatures (Tms) analysis and comparing the results to PCR-RFLP banding patterns. Using microscopy and ITS2-nPCR, 3.1% and 5.8% of cases were Cystoisospora positive, respectively, while 10.9% were positive using qPCR. Genotyping of Cystoisospora by qPCR-MCA revealed 2 genotypes. These genotypes matched with 2 distinct melting peaks with specified Tms at 85.8°C and 88.6°C, which indicated genetic variation among Cystoisospora isolates in Egypt. Genotype II proved to be more prevalent (65.6%). HIV-related Kaposi sarcoma and leukemic patients harbored both genotypes with a tendency to genotype II. Genotype I was more prevalent in lymphomas and mammary gland tumors while colorectal and hepatocellular tumors harbored genotype II suggesting that this genotype might be responsible for the development of cystoisosporiasis in immunocompromised patients. Direct reliable identification and differentiation of Cystoisospora species could be established using qPCR-Tms analysis which is useful for rapid detection and screening of Cystoisospora genotypes principally in high risk groups.

Concepts: DNA, Gene, Genetics, Cancer, Polymerase chain reaction, Molecular biology, Biology, Ribosomal RNA


Primary maternal infection with toxoplasmosis during pregnancy is frequently associated with transplacental transmission of the parasite to the fetus. This study was conducted to test the utility of PCR assay to detect recent infections with Toxoplasma in aborted women at various gestational ages who referred to Obstetrics and Gynecology Department of Alavi Hospital in Ardabil during 2014 and 2016. Two hundred women with a history of single or repeated abortion were investigated in this study. Blood samples were tested for specific anti-Toxoplasma IgM and IgG antibodies by ELISA. According to the results, 53.5% of the women under study were positive for anti-Toxoplasma antibodies: 4.0% of them had IgM, 43.0% had IgG, and 6.5% had both IgM and IgG. Subsequently, Nested-PCR analysis was used to detect T. gondii DNA in the placenta of subjects. In 10.5% of the women, the results were positive for 529 bp element of T. gondii. Among them, 5 (23.8%) cases were IgM positive, 1 (4.8%) case was IgG positive, and 11 (52.4%) were both IgM and IgG positive. In 4 (19.0%) patients, none of the antibodies were found to be positive. In total, 16 patients had positive results in both ELISA and PCR methods, and 174 cases had negative results for new infection. The findings of this study revealed that T. gondii might be one of the significant factors leading to abortion, and that the analysis of placenta can be important in order to achieve increased detection sensitivity.

Concepts: Immune system, Pregnancy, Fetus, Apicomplexa, Toxoplasmosis, Toxoplasma gondii


IL-12 and IL-23 are closely related in structure, and have been shown to play crucial roles in regulation of immune responses. However, little is known about the regulation of these cytokines in T cells. Here, we investigated the roles of PI3K and MAPK pathways in IL-12 and IL-23 production in human Jurkat T cells in response to Toxoplasma gondii and LPS. IL-12 and IL-23 production was significantly increased in T cells after stimulation with T. gondii or LPS. T. gondii and LPS increased the phosphorylation of AKT, ERK1/2, p38 MAPK, and JNK1/2 in T cells from 10 min post-stimulation, and peaked at 30-60 min. Inhibition of the PI3K pathway reduced IL-12 and IL-23 production in T. gondii-infected cells, but increased in LPS-stimulated cells. IL-12 and IL-23 production was significantly reduced by ERK1/2 and p38 MAPK inhibitors in T. gondii- and LPS-stimulated cells, but not in cells treated with a JNK1/2 inhibitor. Collectively, IL-12 and IL-23 production was positively regulated by PI3K and JNK1/2 in T. gondii-infected Jurkat cells, but negatively regulated in LPS-stimulated cells. And ERK1/2 and p38 MAPK positively regulated IL-12 and IL-23 production in Jurkat T cells. These data indicate that T. gondii and LPS induced IL-12 and IL-23 production in Jurkat T cells through the regulation of the PI3K and MAPK pathways; however, the mechanism underlying the stimulation of IL-12 and IL-23 production by T. gondii in Jurkat T cells is different from that of LPS.

Concepts: Toxoplasmosis, Toxoplasma gondii


Plasmodium lactate dehydrogenase (pLDH) is a strong target antigen for the determination of infection with Plasmodium species specifically. However, a more effective antibody is needed because of the low sensitivity of the current antibody in many immunological diagnostic assays. In this study, recombinant Plasmodium vivax LDH (PvLDH) was experimentally constructed and expressed as a native antigen to develop an effective P. vivax-specific monoclonal antibody (mAb). Two mAbs (2CF5 and 1G10) were tested using ELISA and immunofluorescence assays (IFA), as both demonstrated reactivity against pLDH antigen. Of the 2 antibodies, 2CF5 was not able to detect P. falciparum, suggesting that it might possess P. vivax-specificity. The detection limit for a pair of 2 mAbs-linked sandwich ELISA was 31.3 ng/ml of the recombinant antigen. The P. vivax-specific performance of mAbs-linked ELISA was confirmed by in vitro-cultured P. falciparum and P. vivax-infected patient blood samples. In conclusion, the 2 new antibodies possessed the potential to detect P. vivax and will be useful in immunoassay.

Concepts: Immune system, Antibody, Plasmodium falciparum, Plasmodium, Monoclonal antibodies, Immunology, ELISA, Immunohistochemistry


A survey was performed to investigate the infection status of zoonotic trematode (ZT) metacercariae in fish from a local market in Yangon City, Myanmar. A total of 264 fish (12 species) were collected through 4 times from December 2013 to June 2015. All collected fish were transferred to our laboratory on ice and examined by the artificial digestion method. More than 7 species of ZT metacercariae, i.e., Haplorchis taichui, H. pumilio, H. yokogawai, Centrocestus spp., Stellantchasmus falcatus, Pygidiopsis cambodiensis, and Procerovum sp. were detected. Metacercariae of H. taichui were collected in 58 (42.3%) out of 137 fish (5 species), and their average density was 42.9 per fish infected. Metacercariae of H. pumilio were detected in 96 (49.0%) out of 196 fish (9 species), and their average density was 23.6 per fish infected. H. yokogawai metacercariae were found in 40 (50.0%) out of 80 fish (5 species), and Centrocestus spp. metacercariae in 91 (50.8%) out of 179 fish (8 species), and their densities were 306 and 25.8 per fish infected, respectively. Metacercariae of S. falcatus and P. cambodiensis were detected only in mullets, Chelon macrolepis. A total of 280 Procerovum sp. metacercariae were found in 6 out of 12 climbing perch, Anabas testudineus. Morphological characteristics of adult flukes recovered from experimental animals were described. It has been first confirmed that fish from Yangon, Myanmar are commonly infected with various species of ZT metacercariae.

Concepts: Density, Water, Anabas testudineus, Relative density, Perciformes, Yangon