Special Issue "Current Scientific Advances in the Prevention, Diagnosis and Treatment of Parasitic Diseases"

A special issue of Journal of Clinical Medicine (ISSN 2077-0383). This special issue belongs to the section "Infectious Diseases".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 April 2022) | Viewed by 9872

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. Anna Bogucka-Kocka
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Guest Editor
Chair and Department of Biology with Genetics, Medical University of Lublin, Chodźki Str. 4a, 20-093 Lublin, Poland
Interests: genetics; parasitology; antiparasitic compounds; pathomechanisms of civilization diseases; genome, transcriptome, proteome, and microRNome analysis; diagnostic test development; drug development; drug research; research methodology; medical scientific interdisciplinary research
Dr. Beata Szostakowska
E-Mail Website1 Website2 Website3
Guest Editor
Department of Tropical Parasitology, Faculty of Health Sciences, Medical University of Gdańsk, Gdańsk, Poland
Interests: medical parasitology; diagnostics; molecular epidemiology; tropical parasites; emerging zoonoses; nematodes of the family Anisakidae—fish parasites that are potentially pathogenic in humans
Dr. Jacek Bogucki
E-Mail Website1 Website2
Guest Editor
Chair and Department of Organic Chemistry, Medical University of Lublin, Chodźki 4a (Collegium Pharmaceuticum), 20-093 Lublin, Poland
Interests: research methodology; data management; statistical analyzes; visualization of research results; management of databases related to genetics; medical scientific interdisciplinary research

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Parasitic diseases remain a serious public health problem. Invasions caused by various species of parasites are a threat to the health and life of millions of people around the world. The World Health Organization (WHO) ranks parasitic infestations among the six most harmful human infectious diseases. Humans can become infected with parasitic diseases via the alimentary tract, the skin, vertically, and by vectors, among others. In recent years, an increase in the incidence and number of deaths caused by parasitic diseases has been observed.

This is due to, inter alia, population migration and climate change. Tourism in its broadest sense and the changing climate are conducive to the spread of parasitic diseases so far characteristic only for tropical and subtropical regions. The overuse and irresponsible use of antiparasitic drugs is also a significant problem, which leads to a reduction in their effectiveness in the treatment of diseases caused by parasites.

Parasitic diseases are a growing challenge of modern medicine, and their control, diagnosis, and treatment require a great deal of effort and commitment from scientists and doctors of various specialties. This Special Issue aims to highlight the current scientific advances in the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of parasitic diseases in children and adults.

Prof. Dr. Anna Bogucka-Kocka
Dr. Beata Szostakowska
Dr. Jacek Bogucki
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • Emerging parasitic diseases
  • Environmental health
  • Risk factors
  • Parasitic zoonoses
  • New antiparasitic compounds
  • Drug resistance
  • (Anti-parasitic) vaccines
  • Modern diagnostic techniques
  • Diagnostic difficulties
  • Facultative pathogens
  • Current problems of medical parasitology

Published Papers (11 papers)

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Article
Rare Occurrence of Blastocystis in Pet Animals and Their Owners in the Pomeranian Voivodeship in Poland in the Light of Literature Data
J. Clin. Med. 2022, 11(11), 2975; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm11112975 - 25 May 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 450
Abstract
Blastocystis is an intestinal microeukaryote with ambiguous pathogenicity, commonly detected in human feces worldwide. It comprises at least 28 genetically diverse subtypes (STs), 12 of which also occur in a wide range of animal species, giving rise to suspicion of zoonotic transmission. To [...] Read more.
Blastocystis is an intestinal microeukaryote with ambiguous pathogenicity, commonly detected in human feces worldwide. It comprises at least 28 genetically diverse subtypes (STs), 12 of which also occur in a wide range of animal species, giving rise to suspicion of zoonotic transmission. To investigate this, we conducted a molecular study of 145 stool samples of pet animals, and 67 of their owners, living in an urban area in Poland. Blastocystis was detected in only three (2.1%) animal samples (of two bearded agamas and a leopard gecko), while all dogs, cats, and pet rodents were Blastocystis-negative. Blastocystis was also present in three (4.5%) owners of animals, but they were cat owners, not reptile owners, and the subtypes identified in them differed significantly from those of reptiles. Additionally, the frequency of Blastocystis in different groups of dogs (depending on how they were kept) was analyzed. This work is the first to find Blastocystis in pet reptiles, and we encourage further investigation of Blastocystis in this poorly examined group of animals, as well as continued study on the transmission of this microorganism between humans and animals. Full article
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Article
Infection of Raccoon Dogs (Nyctereutes procyonoides) from Northern Poland with Gastrointestinal Parasites as a Potential Threat to Human Health
J. Clin. Med. 2022, 11(5), 1277; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm11051277 - 26 Feb 2022
Viewed by 723
Abstract
The aim of the study was to determinate the prevalence and intensity of infection of raccoon dogs with internal parasites, with a particular emphasis on particular species of helminths known to be dangerous to humans. A total of 96 raccoon dogs were obtained [...] Read more.
The aim of the study was to determinate the prevalence and intensity of infection of raccoon dogs with internal parasites, with a particular emphasis on particular species of helminths known to be dangerous to humans. A total of 96 raccoon dogs were obtained from hunters from September 2018 to October 2021. The digestive tract was taken for examination. The parasitological examination was performed using the dissection methods. The extensity of infection with all internal parasites was 60.3%. The following parasites were found in the tested animals: Echinococcus multilocularis (in 10.42% of animals), Toxocara canis (18.75%), Alaria alata (25.0%), Taenia spp. (19.79%), Uncinaria stenocephala (27.08%), Mesocestoides spp. (54.17%) and Dipylidium caninum (6.25%). The highest mean intensity of infection was demonstrated by A. alata and E. multilocularis then by Mesocestoides spp. This study showed that the raccoon dog from northern Poland is a reservoir host of zoonotic pathogens, such as E. multilocularis, Toxocara canis and Alaria alata. Although the role of the racoon dog as a final host of the life cycle of E. multilocularis is considered of less importance than that of the red fox, this species may increase the risk of echinococcosis in humans, mainly due to its growing population in northern Poland. Full article
Article
Incidence of Tick-Borne Encephalitis during the COVID-19 Pandemic in Selected European Countries
J. Clin. Med. 2022, 11(3), 803; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm11030803 - 02 Feb 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 801
Abstract
Ixodes ricinus ticks are one of the most important vectors and reservoirs of infectious diseases in Europe, and tick-borne encephalitis (TBE) is one of the most dangerous human diseases transmitted by these vectors. The aim of the present study was to investigate the [...] Read more.
Ixodes ricinus ticks are one of the most important vectors and reservoirs of infectious diseases in Europe, and tick-borne encephalitis (TBE) is one of the most dangerous human diseases transmitted by these vectors. The aim of the present study was to investigate the TBE incidence in some European countries during the COVID-19 pandemic. To this end, we analyzed the data published by the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) and Eurostat on the number of reported TBE and COVID-19 cases in 2020 and TBE cases in 2015–2019 (reference period). Significant differences in the TBE incidence were found between the analyzed countries. The highest TBE incidence was found in Lithuania (25.45/100,000 inhabitants). A high TBE incidence was also observed in Central European countries. In 12 of the 23 analyzed countries, there was significant increase in TBE incidence during the COVID-19 pandemic during 2020 compared to 2015–2019. There was no correlation between the incidence of COVID-19 and TBE and between the availability of medical personnel and TBE incidence in the studied countries. In conclusion, Central Europe and the Baltic countries are areas with a high risk of TBE infection. Despite the COVID-19 pandemic and imposed restrictions, the incidence of TBE is increasing in more than half of the analyzed countries. Full article
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Article
Head Lice Infestation in Schoolchildren, in Poland—Is There a Chance for Change?
J. Clin. Med. 2022, 11(3), 783; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm11030783 - 31 Jan 2022
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Abstract
Pediculosis capitis is a current and neglected health issue worldwide. The lack of screening programs contributes to the marginalization of the problem and delays therapeutic measures. Our study aimed to analyze the occurrence of this parasitosis in primary schools in Poland and to [...] Read more.
Pediculosis capitis is a current and neglected health issue worldwide. The lack of screening programs contributes to the marginalization of the problem and delays therapeutic measures. Our study aimed to analyze the occurrence of this parasitosis in primary schools in Poland and to determine factors contributing to the persistence of its foci. The research tools were two questionnaires: one for primary school children and the other for school managers. While children answered questions about the epidemiology of pediculosis capitis and expressed their opinion on the hygienic condition of infested persons, the school directors were asked about the occurrence of head lice in schools, preventive measures, and institutions supporting schools in combating the infestation. The survey covered the period 2014–2018. Pediculosis capitis was reported in 87.5% of the schools. The greatest number of cases was reported in the group of 6–9 year-olds (68%). Among 4970 children, 16.7% had no knowledge of head lice; however, 57.1% wanted to increase their awareness of the problem. Campaigns on lice were conducted mainly as a result of emerging pediculosis capitis cases, and most schools could not rely on institutional support. Screening programs and preventive educational campaigns should be part of pediculosis capitis control in Poland. Full article
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Article
Resistance to Antimalarial Monotherapy Is Cyclic
J. Clin. Med. 2022, 11(3), 781; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm11030781 - 31 Jan 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 860
Abstract
Malaria is a prevalent parasitic disease that is estimated to kill between one and two million people—mostly children—every year. Here, we query PubMed for malaria drug resistance and plot the yearly citations of 14 common antimalarials. Remarkably, most antimalarial drugs display cyclic resistance [...] Read more.
Malaria is a prevalent parasitic disease that is estimated to kill between one and two million people—mostly children—every year. Here, we query PubMed for malaria drug resistance and plot the yearly citations of 14 common antimalarials. Remarkably, most antimalarial drugs display cyclic resistance patterns, rising and falling over four decades. The antimalarial drugs that exhibit cyclic resistance are quinine, chloroquine, mefloquine, amodiaquine, artesunate, artemether, sulfadoxine, doxycycline, halofantrine, piperaquine, pyrimethamine, atovaquone, artemisinin, and dihydroartemisinin. Exceptionally, the resistance of the two latter drugs can also correlate with a linear rise. Our predicted antimalarial drug resistance is consistent with clinical data reported by the Worldwide Antimalarial Resistance Network (WWARN) and validates our methodology. Notably, the cyclical resistance suggests that most antimalarial drugs are sustainable in the end. Furthermore, cyclic resistance is clinically relevant and discourages routine monotherapy, in particular, while resistance is on the rise. Finally, cyclic resistance encourages the combination of antimalarial drugs at distinct phases of resistance. Full article
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Article
Seronegative Infection with Toxoplasma gondii in Asymptomatic Human Immunodeficiency Virus Type 1 (HIV-1)-Infected Patients and in Blood Donors
J. Clin. Med. 2022, 11(3), 638; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm11030638 - 27 Jan 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 610
Abstract
Background: Toxoplasmosis is a common opportunistic infection in AIDS patients. The routine diagnostics is based on serologic testing and IgG avidity index, but it may have limited utility in immunodeficient patients; thus, it is recommendable to detect T. gondii DNA in subjects with [...] Read more.
Background: Toxoplasmosis is a common opportunistic infection in AIDS patients. The routine diagnostics is based on serologic testing and IgG avidity index, but it may have limited utility in immunodeficient patients; thus, it is recommendable to detect T. gondii DNA in subjects with advanced HIV disease. The results of the studies published so far focused on patients with clinical symptoms of toxoplasmosis. Our study encompassed a group of HIV-infected subjects on cART therapy, without immunological disturbances and clinical symptoms of T. gondii infection. Methods: The study was retrospective, and samples were collected between 2013 and 2016. We evaluate the prevalence of serological (IgM, IgG, and avidity IgG) and molecular (DNA) T. gondii infection markers in asymptomatic HIV-infected patients and the control group using serologic (ELISA) and quantitative (real-time PCR) molecular testing. Results: Of 152 HIV-infected in routine follow-up tested for T. gondii IgM and IgG, 6 (3.9%) and 50 (32.9%) were positive, respectively. Of 168 serum samples from blood donors, 1 (0.6%) and 49 (29.2%) were IgM+ and IgG+ positive, respectively. IgM seroprevalence in HIV-infected patients was significantly higher than in blood donors. T. gondii DNA (genotype II) was identified in 47 (30.9%) HIV-infected patients, with 13 (8.6%) IgMIgG samples. In blood donors, T. gondii DNA was present in 15 (8.9%) IgMIgG. Conclusions: In both groups, T. gondii DNA was detectable in seronegative subjects, implying the need to supplement the routine serological testing via the molecular method. It can help the accurate monitoring of the reactivation of infection in asymptomatic HIV-infected persons, and the quick introduction of specific therapy, in blood donors, would be of high importance for safe blood donations. Full article
Article
Analysis of a Trichinellosis Outbreak in Poland after Consumption of Sausage Made of Wild Boar Meat
J. Clin. Med. 2022, 11(3), 485; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm11030485 - 18 Jan 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1024
Abstract
An outbreak of trichinellosis due to the consumption of sausage made from wild boar meat unexamined for the presence of Trichinella spp. was reported in Poland in December 2020. The outbreak affected eight people. Examination of the sausages made of wild boar meat [...] Read more.
An outbreak of trichinellosis due to the consumption of sausage made from wild boar meat unexamined for the presence of Trichinella spp. was reported in Poland in December 2020. The outbreak affected eight people. Examination of the sausages made of wild boar meat collected during epidemiological investigation indicated a high level of Trichinella spp. Larvae per gram (>30 lpg) and therefore the threat of an infection in humans after consumption of such product was significant. Over the years, the main source of trichinellosis in Poland has been wild boar meat, and the majority of trichinellosis cases were related to the consumption of traditional raw meat products such as Polish sausage. Taking this into account, there is the need for better education of consumers in the Trichinella spp. endemic regions and among cultures consuming traditional raw meat products. Full article
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Article
Results of Proficiency Testing for Trichinella in Poland, 2015–2019
J. Clin. Med. 2021, 10(22), 5389; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm10225389 - 18 Nov 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 641
Abstract
Trichinellosis is a zoonotic meat-borne disease caused by the nematodes of the genus Trichinella. Meat containing live Trichinella larvae is a source of infection. The examination of meat for Trichinella was introduced in 1869, but the digestion method for this did not [...] Read more.
Trichinellosis is a zoonotic meat-borne disease caused by the nematodes of the genus Trichinella. Meat containing live Trichinella larvae is a source of infection. The examination of meat for Trichinella was introduced in 1869, but the digestion method for this did not appear in Poland until the late 1970s. Nowadays, the meat of all food animals susceptible to Trichinella spp. is examined in the frame of official post mortem control with the digestion method. The majority of laboratories in Poland meet the requirements of the ISO/IEC 17025 Standard (352 field laboratories). Laboratory personnel participate in quality control programs. This paper presents the results of proficiency tests (PTs) organized within 2015–2019 in Poland. Over this period, the laboratories examined 7580 samples (contamination levels: zero, one, three, and five larvae). Each laboratory was provided with a set of samples (one negative and three positive). Over 95% of the samples were considered correct in qualitative assessments, though the results of the quantitative evaluations were slightly lower, with 89% of samples being considered correct. Based on a sample evaluation, 88% of laboratories passed the PT comparison. A slight decrease was observed in the examination of samples spiked with five larvae, and great progress was achieved in samples containing three larvae. Low levels of sample contamination are sought after in laboratories but may make evaluations difficult. For this reason, we must consider increasing the number of larvae added to the samples in the next PTs. Full article
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Article
Eye Tracking—An Innovative Tool in Medical Parasitology
J. Clin. Med. 2021, 10(13), 2989; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm10132989 - 04 Jul 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1385
Abstract
The innovative Eye Movement Modelling Examples (EMMEs) method can be used in medicine as an educational training tool for the assessment and verification of students and professionals. Our work was intended to analyse the possibility of using eye tracking tools to verify the [...] Read more.
The innovative Eye Movement Modelling Examples (EMMEs) method can be used in medicine as an educational training tool for the assessment and verification of students and professionals. Our work was intended to analyse the possibility of using eye tracking tools to verify the skills and training of people engaged in laboratory medicine on the example of parasitological diagnostics. Professionally active laboratory diagnosticians working in a multi-profile laboratory (non-parasitological) (n = 16), laboratory diagnosticians no longer working in this profession (n = 10), and medical analyst students (n = 56), participated in the study. The studied group analysed microscopic images of parasitological preparations made with the cellSens Dimension Software (Olympus) system. Eye activity parameters were obtained using a stationary, video-based eye tracker Tobii TX300 which has a 3-ms temporal resolution. Eye movement activity parameters were analysed along with time parameters. The results of our studies have shown that the eye tracking method is a valuable tool for the analysis of parasitological preparations. Detailed quantitative and qualitative analysis confirmed that the EMMEs method may facilitate learning of the correct microscopic image scanning path. The analysis of the results of our studies allows us to conclude that the EMMEs method may be a valuable tool in the preparation of teaching materials in virtual microscopy. These teaching materials generated with the use of eye tracking, prepared by experienced professionals in the field of laboratory medicine, can be used during various training, simulations and courses in medical parasitology and contribute to the verification of education results, professional skills, and elimination of errors in parasitological diagnostics. Full article
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Reply to van der Pluijm et al. Comment on “Weitzman et al. Resistance to Antimalarial Monotherapy Is Cyclic. J. Clin. Med. 2022, 11, 781”
J. Clin. Med. 2022, 11(11), 2972; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm11112972 - 25 May 2022
Viewed by 279
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Thank you for the opportunity to respond to comments gracefully raised by van der Pluijm et al. [...] Full article
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Comment on Weitzman et al. Resistance to Antimalarial Monotherapy Is Cyclic. J. Clin. Med. 2022, 11, 781
J. Clin. Med. 2022, 11(10), 2934; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm11102934 - 23 May 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 496
Abstract
Weitzman et al. used PubMed text mining to determine the trends of antimalarial resistance over the last 40 years [...] Full article
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