7,217 research outputs found

    Environmental Epidemiology of Intestinal Schistosomiasis in Uganda: Population Dynamics of Biomphalaria (Gastropoda: Planorbidae) in Lake Albert and Lake Victoria with Observations on Natural Infections with Digenetic Trematodes

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    This study documented the population dynamics of Biomphalaria and associated natural infections with digenetic trematodes, along the shores of Lake Albert and Lake Victoria, recording local physicochemical factors. Over a two-and-a-half-year study period with monthly sampling, physicochemical factors were measured at 12 survey sites and all freshwater snails were collected. Retained Biomphalaria were subsequently monitored in laboratory aquaria for shedding trematode cercariae, which were classified as either human infective (Schistosoma mansoni) or nonhuman infective. The population dynamics of Biomphalaria differed by location and by lake and had positive relationship with pH (P < 0.001) in both lakes and negative relationship with conductivity (P = 0.04) in Lake Albert. Of the Biomphalaria collected in Lake Albert (N = 6,183), 8.9% were infected with digenetic trematodes of which 15.8% were shedding S. mansoni cercariae and 84.2% with nonhuman infective cercariae. In Lake Victoria, 2.1% of collected Biomphalaria (N = 13,172) were infected with digenetic trematodes with 13.9% shedding S. mansoni cercariae, 85.7% shedding nonhuman infective cercariae, and 0.4% of infected snails shedding both types of cercariae. Upon morphological identification, species of Biomphalaria infected included B. sudanica, B. pfeifferi, and B. stanleyi in Lake Albert and B. sudanica, B. pfeifferi, and B. choanomphala in Lake Victoria. The study found the physicochemical factors that influenced Biomphalaria population and infections. The number and extent of snails shedding S. mansoni cercariae illustrate the high risk of transmission within these lake settings. For better control of this disease, greater effort should be placed on reducing environmental contamination by improvement of local water sanitation and hygiene

    Glabralysins, potential New β-pore-forming toxin family members from the schistosomiasis vector snail biomphalaria glabrata

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    Biomphalaria glabrata is a freshwater Planorbidae snail. In its environment, this mollusk faces numerous microorganisms or pathogens, and has developed sophisticated innate immune mechanisms to survive. The mechanisms of recognition are quite well understood in Biomphalaria glabrata, but immune effectors have been seldom described. In this study, we analyzed a new family of potential immune effectors and characterized five new genes that were named Glabralysins. The five Glabralysin genes showed different genomic structures and the high degree of amino acid identity between the Glabralysins, and the presence of the conserved ETX/MTX2 domain, support the hypothesis that they are pore-forming toxins. In addition, tertiary structure prediction confirms that they are structurally related to a subset of Cry toxins from Bacillus thuringiensis, including Cry23, Cry45, and Cry51. Finally, we investigated their gene expression profiles in snail tissues and demonstrated a mosaic transcription. We highlight the specificity in Glabralysin expression following immune stimulation with bacteria, yeast or trematode parasites. Interestingly, one Glabralysin was found to be expressed in immune-specialized hemocytes, and two others were induced following parasite exposure

    The nuclear receptors of Biomphalaria glabrata and Lottia gigantea: Implications for developing new model organisms

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    © 2015 Kaur et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are creditedNuclear receptors (NRs) are transcription regulators involved in an array of diverse physiological functions including key roles in endocrine and metabolic function. The aim of this study was to identify nuclear receptors in the fully sequenced genome of the gastropod snail, Biomphalaria glabrata, intermediate host for Schistosoma mansoni and compare these to known vertebrate NRs, with a view to assessing the snail's potential as a invertebrate model organism for endocrine function, both as a prospective new test organism and to elucidate the fundamental genetic and mechanistic causes of disease. For comparative purposes, the genome of a second gastropod, the owl limpet, Lottia gigantea was also investigated for nuclear receptors. Thirty-nine and thirty-three putative NRs were identified from the B. glabrata and L. gigantea genomes respectively, based on the presence of a conserved DNA-binding domain and/or ligand-binding domain. Nuclear receptor transcript expression was confirmed and sequences were subjected to a comparative phylogenetic analysis, which demonstrated that these molluscs have representatives of all the major NR subfamilies (1-6). Many of the identified NRs are conserved between vertebrates and invertebrates, however differences exist, most notably, the absence of receptors of Group 3C, which includes some of the vertebrate endocrine hormone targets. The mollusc genomes also contain NR homologues that are present in insects and nematodes but not in vertebrates, such as Group 1J (HR48/DAF12/HR96). The identification of many shared receptors between humans and molluscs indicates the potential for molluscs as model organisms; however the absence of several steroid hormone receptors indicates snail endocrine systems are fundamentally different.The National Centre for the Replacement, Refinement and Reduction of Animals in Research, Grant Ref:G0900802 to CSJ, LRN, SJ & EJR [www.nc3rs.org.uk]

    Schistosomes and snails: A molecular encounter

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    Copyright © 2014 Knight, Arican-Goktas, Ittiprasert, Odoemelam, Miller and Bridger. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) or licensor are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.Copyright © 2014 Knight, Arican-Goktas, Ittiprasert, Odoemelam, Miller and Bridger. Biomphalaria glabrata snails play an integral role in the transmission of Schistosoma mansoni, the causative agent for human schistosomiasis in the Western hemisphere. For the past two decades, tremendous advances have been made in research aimed at elucidating the molecular basis of the snail/parasite interaction. The growing concern that there is no vaccine to prevent schistosomiasis and only one effective drug in existence provides the impetus to develop new control strategies based on eliminating schistosomes at the snail-stage of the life cycle. To elucidate why a given snail is not always compatible to each and every schistosome it encounters, B. glabrata that are either resistant or susceptible to a given strain of S. mansoni have been employed to track molecular mechanisms governing the snail/schistosome relationship. With such snails, genetic markers for resistance and susceptibility were identified. Additionally, differential gene expression studies have led to the identification of genes that underlie these phenotypes. Lately, the role of schistosomes in mediating non-random relocation of gene loci has been identified for the first time, making B. glabrata a model organism where chromatin regulation by changes in nuclear architecture, known as spatial epigenetics, orchestrated by a major human parasite can now be investigated. This review will highlight the progress that has been made in using molecular approaches to describe snail/schistosome compatibility issues. Uncovering the signaling networks triggered by schistosomes that provide the impulse to turn genes on and off in the snail host, thereby controlling the outcome of infection, could also yield new insights into anti-parasite mechanism(s) that operate in the human host as well.NIH-NIAID and the Malacological Society of London

    Transcriptional responses of Biomphalaria pfeifferi and Schistosoma mansoni following exposure to niclosamide, with evidence for a synergistic effect on snails following exposure to both stressors.

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    BackgroundSchistosomiasis is one of the world's most common NTDs. Successful control operations often target snail vectors with the molluscicide niclosamide. Little is known about how niclosamide affects snails, including for Biomphalaria pfeifferi, the most important vector for Schistosoma mansoni in Africa. We used Illumina technology to explore how field-derived B. pfeifferi, either uninfected or harboring cercariae-producing S. mansoni sporocysts, respond to a sublethal treatment of niclosamide. This study afforded the opportunity to determine if snails respond differently to biotic or abiotic stressors, and if they reserve unique responses for when presented with both stressors in combination. We also examined how sporocysts respond when their snail host is treated with niclosamide.Principal findingsCercariae-producing sporocysts within snails treated with niclosamide express ~68% of the genes in the S. mansoni genome, as compared to 66% expressed by intramolluscan stages of S. mansoni in snails not treated with niclosamide. Niclosamide does not disable sporocysts nor does it seem to provoke from them distinctive responses associated with detoxifying a xenobiotic. For uninfected B. pfeifferi, niclosamide treatment alone increases expression of several features not up-regulated in infected snails including particular cytochrome p450s and heat shock proteins, glutathione-S-transferases, antimicrobial factors like LBP/BPI and protease inhibitors, and also provokes strong down regulation of proteases. Exposure of infected snails to niclosamide resulted in numerous up-regulated responses associated with apoptosis along with down-regulated ribosomal and defense functions, indicative of a distinctive, compromised state not achieved with either stimulus alone.Conclusions/significanceThis study helps define the transcriptomic responses of an important and under-studied schistosome vector to S. mansoni sporocysts, to niclosamide, and to both in combination. It suggests the response of S. mansoni sporocysts to niclosamide is minimal and not reflective of a distinct repertoire of genes to handle xenobiotics while in the snail host. It also offers new insights for how niclosamide affects snails

    Differential spatial repositioning of activated genes in Biomphalaria glabrata snails infected with Schistosoma mansoni

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    Copyright @ 2014 Arican-Goktas et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.This article has been made available through the Brunel Open Access Publishing Fund.Schistosomiasis is an infectious disease infecting mammals as the definitive host and fresh water snails as the intermediate host. Understanding the molecular and biochemical relationship between the causative schistosome parasite and its hosts will be key to understanding and ultimately treating and/or eradicating the disease. There is increasing evidence that pathogens that have co-evolved with their hosts can manipulate their hosts' behaviour at various levels to augment an infection. Bacteria, for example, can induce beneficial chromatin remodelling of the host genome. We have previously shown in vitro that Biomphalaria glabrata embryonic cells co-cultured with schistosome miracidia display genes changing their nuclear location and becoming up-regulated. This also happens in vivo in live intact snails, where early exposure to miracidia also elicits non-random repositioning of genes. We reveal differences in the nuclear repositioning between the response of parasite susceptible snails as compared to resistant snails and with normal or live, attenuated parasites. Interestingly, the stress response gene heat shock protein (Hsp) 70 is only repositioned and then up-regulated in susceptible snails with the normal parasite. This movement and change in gene expression seems to be controlled by the parasite. Other differences in the behaviour of genes support the view that some genes are responding to tissue damage, for example the ferritin genes move and are up-regulated whether the snails are either susceptible or resistant and upon exposure to either normal or attenuated parasite. This is the first time host genome reorganisation has been seen in a parasitic host and only the second time for any pathogen. We believe that the parasite elicits a spatio-epigenetic reorganisation of the host genome to induce favourable gene expression for itself and this might represent a fundamental mechanism present in the human host infected with schistosome cercariae as well as in other host-pathogen relationships.NIH and Sandler Borroughs Wellcome Travel Fellowshi

    Cercariae (Digenea: Strigeidae, Diplostomidae) in Biomphalaria straminea (Planorbidae) from a rice field in Northeastern Argentina

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    The rice fields can provide habitats for many species of aquatic invertebrates, as insects, molluscs, crustaceans; and vertebrates, as fish, amphibians, reptiles and birds, which may act as hosts in the life cycles of digenean parasites. In this context, the goal of the present study was to describe the cercariae found in Biomphalaria straminea from a rice field in Northeastern Argentina. This freshwater snail inhabits a wide variety of environments, favoring shallow, temporary and standing or slow-flowing freshwater bodies. For this study, snails were collected from the cultivated parcels and irrigated channels during the flooding periods (from the time of sowing to soon after harvesting of the rice) between December 2010 and May 2011 and December 2011 and April 2012, in a rice field from Corrientes province, one of the main rice producers of Argentina. A total of 5 510 snails were examined of which 26 were infected with three different larval trematodes belonging to Strigeidae, Furcocercaria V (0.40 %) and Furcocercaria XX (0.04 %), and Diplostomidae, Furcocercaria XIX (0.04 %). Furcocercaria XX and Furcocercaria XIX were present in one rice cultivation cycle, while Furcocercaria V was present in both rice cultivation cycles. The prevalence of the different furcocercariae was somewhat higher in the second rice cultivation cycle. The cercariae described are new records for Argentina that added to 53 cercariae previously reported for Biomphalaria spp. in different aquatic environments of country. The study of the digenean larval in rice fields is important because contribute to the knowledge of the biodiversity of these environments.Fil: Fernández, María Virginia. Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas. Centro Científico Tecnológico Conicet - Nordeste. Centro de Ecología Aplicada del Litoral. Universidad Nacional del Nordeste. Centro de Ecología Aplicada del Litoral; ArgentinaFil: Hamann, Mónika Inés. Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas. Centro Científico Tecnológico Conicet - Nordeste. Centro de Ecología Aplicada del Litoral. Universidad Nacional del Nordeste. Centro de Ecología Aplicada del Litoral; Argentin
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