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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


Blastocystis is an enteric Straminopile in tropical, subtropical and developing countries. Metronidazole has been a chemotheraputic for blastocystosis. Failures in its regimens were reported and necessitate new studies searching for alternative therapeutic agents. Aim of current study is to investigate potential effects of Atorvastatin (AVA) compared to the conventional chemotherapeutic MTZ in experimentally Blastocystis-infected mice. Anti-Blastocystis efficacy of AVA was evaluated parasitologically, histopathologically and by transmission electron microscopy using MTZ (10 mg/kg) as a control. Therapeutic efficacy of AVA was apparently dose-dependent. Regimens of AVA (20 and 40 mg/kg) proved effective against Blastocystis infections with high reduction in Blastocystis shedding (93.4-97.9%) compared to MTZ (79.3%). The highest reductions (98.1% and 99.4%) were recorded in groups of combination treatments AVA 20-40 mg/kg and MTZ 10 mg/kg. Blastocystis was nearly eradicated by the 20th day post infection. Genotype analysis revealed that genotype I was most susceptible, genotype III was less. Histopathologic and ultrastructural studies revealed apoptotic changes in Blastocystis and significant improvement of intestinal histopathological changes more remarkable in combinational therapy groups. Thus, the present study offers AVA as a potential candidate for Blastocystis therapy combined with MTZ.


Cryptosporidium species is an important cause of gastrointestinal infections globally. This study aimed to shed light on its role in diarrheic immunocompetent patients in Beni-Suef, Egypt and to compare three diagnostic methods. Two hundred diarrheic patients, 37±16.8 year old, were enrolled. Stool samples were examined by light microscopy, using modified Ziehl-Neelsen stain (MZN) for Cryptosporidium spp. oocysts. Coproantigens were detected by sandwich ELISA. DNA molecular diagnosis was done by nested PCR. PCR yielded the highest detection rates (21.0%), compared to ELISA (12.5%) and MZN staining method (9.5%). The higher infection rates were in 20-40 year-old group, followed by 40-60 year-old. Association between epidemiologic factors was statistically not significant; positivity and gender, clinical manifestations, residence, source or water, or contact with animals. Cryptosporidiosis is an important enteric parasitic infection in Beni-Suef and PCR remains the gold standard for diagnosis.


To survey the prevalence of Sarcocystis infections, 210 heart samples were collected from Korean native cattle (Bos taurus coreanae) at an abattoir in Daejeon Metropolitan City, Republic of Korea. Sarcocysts were detected form 31 specimens (14.8%) and identified as Sarcocystis cruzi via transmission electron microscopy. The wall of S. cruzi has flattened protrusions that did not contain fibrils or microfilaments. The protrusions arose irregularly from the base, contained a fine granular substance, lacked internal microfilaments, and measured approximately 0.21-1.25 μm in length and 0.05-0.07 μm in width. Sequence analysis revealed 99.5% homology to S. cruzi. This is the first report on the prevalence of S. cruzi in native cattle from the Republic of Korea.


The cysts of Sarcocystis grueneri were detected and characterized from the cardiac muscles of the Korean water deer (Hydropotes inermis argyropus). Of the 38 heart muscle samples examined by light microscopy, 10 were found infected with the cysts of Sarcocystis sp. The cysts appeared oval to spherical shape and measured 110-380 μm in length and 90-170 μm in width. A phylogenetic tree of the 18S rRNA sequences (1.5 kb) revealed a close relationship of the infected cysts to genus Sarcocystis. The 18S rRNA sequence of the infected cysts showed 100% identity to S. grueneri and 97% to S. capracanis. Here, we first report the S. grueneri infections in the Korean water deer.


Due to the critical location and physiological activities of the retinal pigment epithelial (RPE) cell, it is constantly subjected to contact with various infectious agents and inflammatory mediators. However, little is known about the signaling events in RPE involved in Toxoplasma gondii infection and development. The aim of the study is to screen the host mRNA transcriptional change of 3 inflammation-related gene categories, PI3K/Akt pathway regulatory components, blood vessel development factors and ROS regulators, to prove that PI3K/Akt or mTOR signaling pathway play an essential role in regulating the selected inflammation-related genes. The selected genes include PH domain and leucine- rich-repeat protein phosphatases (PHLPP), casein kinase2 (CK2), vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), pigment epithelium-derived factor (PEDF), glutamate-cysteine ligase (GCL), glutathione S-transferase (GST), and NAD(P)H: quinone oxidoreductase (NQO1). Using reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) and quantitative real-time reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR), we found that T. gondii up-regulates PHLPP2, CK2β, VEGF, GCL, GST, and NQO1 gene expression levels, but down-regulates PHLPP1 and PEDF mRNA transcription levels. PI3K inhibition and mTOR inhibition by specific inhibitors showed that most of these host gene expression patterns were due to activation of PI3K/Akt or mTOR pathways with some exceptional cases. Taken together, our results reveal a new molecular mechanism of these gene expression change dependent on PI3K/Akt or mTOR pathways and highlight more systematical insight of how an intracellular T. gondii can manipulate host genes to avoid host defense.


This prospective study was aimed to detect acute and chronic ocular toxoplasmosis by comparison of anti-Toxoplasma gondii IgM and IgG antibody levels and IgG avidity test. One hundred and seventeen patients with ocular toxoplasmosis (OT) who referred to the Farabi Eye Hospital, Tehran, Iran were included in this study. Of the patients, 77 cases were positive for anti-T. gondii IgG, and 8 cases were positive for anti-T. gondii IgM. IgG avidity test revealed 11, 4, and 102 cases were low, intermediate, and high, respectively, and 6.8% and 9.4% of cases were positive for IgM and IgG avidity tests, respectively (P=0.632). Agreement (Kappa value) between paired tests IgG-IgM, IgG-IgG avidity, and IgM-IgG avidity was 0.080, 0.099, and 0.721, respectively (P<0.05). This study showed that conventional serologic tests (IgM and IgG levels) and IgG avidity correlate well each other and can be used to differentiate recent infections from old OT. It seems that reactivated old infections rather than recently acquired infections are majority of Iranian OT patients.