Special Issue "Advances in Parasitic Diseases"

A special issue of Pathogens (ISSN 2076-0817). This special issue belongs to the section "Parasitic Pathogens".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 15 September 2022 | Viewed by 5351

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. Anja Joachim
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Institute of Parasitology, University of Veterinary Medicine Vienna, Veterinaerplatz 1, A-1210 Wien, Austria
Interests: parasitology; epidemiology; host-parasite-interactions
Dr. Hans-Peter Fuehrer
E-Mail Website1 Website2
Guest Editor
Institute of Parasitology, Department of Pathobiology, University of Veterinary Medicine, Vienna, Austria
Interests: mosquitoes and mosquito borne diseases; vectors and vector borne diseases; Dirofilaria; Calodium hepaticum; xeno-monitoring
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Dr. Claudia Paredes-Esquivel
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Biology, University of the Balearic Islands | UIB, Palma, Spain
Interests: Angiostrongylus cantonensis; emerging parasitic diseases; molecular epidemiology of parasites and vectors

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Parasitic diseases constitute a major health burden in domestic animals and humans, but also in crop plants. Despite the considerable efforts of governmental and private bodies to develop and apply effective control measures for affected populations, considerable knowledge gaps and a lack of sustainable and economic control options still remain. However, advances in vaccine development and deeper insights into the dynamics of antiparasitic drug resistance and its prevention (or at least delay) have demonstrated progress in the combat of parasitic diseases. Global changes (including climate changes, landscape overuse and loss of biodiversity), however, appear to shift the development in the opposite direction, and the (re-)emergence of parasitic diseases threatens previous success. At the forefront, vector-borne and zoonotic parasites are of utmost concern. This Special Issue of Pathogens highlights the most recent advances in fundamental and applied research on parasitic diseases (in animals, humans and plants) with a focus on epidemiology, novel options for surveillance and control, and cutting-edge -omics analyses, which provide the basis for the development of effective long-term control.

Prof. Dr. Anja Joachim
Dr. Hans-Peter Fuehrer
Dr. Claudia Paredes-Esquivel
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • diagnosis
  • control
  • antiparasitic treatment
  • antiparasitic resistance
  • prevention
  • vaccines
  • sustainability

Published Papers (8 papers)

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Research

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Article
Oral and Intragastric: New Routes of Infection by Leishmania braziliensis and Leishmania infantum?
Pathogens 2022, 11(6), 688; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens11060688 - 16 Jun 2022
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Abstract
Although Leishmania transmission in nature is associated with the bite of an infected sandfly vector, other possible transmission routes are speculated to occur, such as the oral route. We evaluated the possibility of infection by this route in golden hamsters (Mesocricetus auratus [...] Read more.
Although Leishmania transmission in nature is associated with the bite of an infected sandfly vector, other possible transmission routes are speculated to occur, such as the oral route. We evaluated the possibility of infection by this route in golden hamsters (Mesocricetus auratus) using Leishmania braziliensis (Lb) and Leishmania infantum (Li). Hamsters were exposed to experimental oral or intragastrical infection with axenic promastigotes, besides oral ingestion of a suspension of cultivated macrophages infected with amastigotes, lesion-fed Lutzomyia longipalpis, skin lesion or infective spleen fragment. The parasite’s isolation, besides a positive PCR and IFAT, confirmed the intragastric infection by promastigote parasites. The oral ingestion of macrophages infected with L. braziliensis amastigotes was also infective. These results confirmed that Leishmania parasites could infect mammals by the intragastric route through the ingestion of promastigote forms (what can happen after a sandfly ingestion) and by the oral ingestion of infected macrophages (what can happen in nature in a predator–prey interaction). The better understanding of these alternative routes is essential to understand their transmission dynamics in nature. As far as we know, this is the first time that oral and intragastric Leishmania transmission has been experimentally demonstrated, constituting new infection routes, at least for L. infantum and L. braziliensis. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Parasitic Diseases)
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Article
Genetic Diversity and Haplotype Analysis of Cattle Hydatid Cyst Isolates Using Mitochondrial Markers in Turkey
Pathogens 2022, 11(5), 519; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens11050519 - 28 Apr 2022
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Abstract
Echinococcus granulosus sensu lato (s.l.) causes cystic echinococcosis in ungulates and humans. The current study was designed to find the genetic diversity and haplotypic profiles of hydatid cysts from the lungs of cattle in three provinces in eastern Turkey. Individual cyst isolates (n [...] Read more.
Echinococcus granulosus sensu lato (s.l.) causes cystic echinococcosis in ungulates and humans. The current study was designed to find the genetic diversity and haplotypic profiles of hydatid cysts from the lungs of cattle in three provinces in eastern Turkey. Individual cyst isolates (n = 60) were collected from infected cattle lungs after slaughter and then samples were stored in ethanol (70%) until further use. From each isolate, total gDNA was extracted from the cysts’ germinal layers. A partial (875 bp) mt-CO1 gene was amplified by PCR and sequenced unidirectionally. The final size of the trimmed sequences was 530 bp for 60 sequences. Sequence and haplotype analyses were performed, followed by phylogenetic analyses. According to BLAST searches, all sequences were detected as E. granulosus s.s. (G1 and G3 strains). Forty-nine point mutations were identified. In addition, five conserved fragments were detected in all sequences. The haplotype analysis diagram showed E. granulosus s.s. haplotypes organized in a star-like configuration. The haplotypes were characterized by 1–17 mutations compared with the fundamental focal haplotype. Thirty-three haplotypes were determined in 60 samples of which 17 (28.3%) belonged to the main haplotype (Hap_06). The mt-CO1 sequences revealed 49 polymorphic sites, 34.5% (20/49) of which were informative according to parsimony analysis. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Parasitic Diseases)
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Article
Serological Assays for Alveolar and Cystic Echinococcosis—A Comparative Multi-Test Study in Switzerland and Kyrgyzstan
Pathogens 2022, 11(5), 518; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens11050518 - 27 Apr 2022
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Abstract
Both alveolar (AE) and cystic echinococcosis (CE) are lacking pathognomonic clinical signs; consequently imaging technologies and serology remain the main pillars for diagnosis. The present study included 100 confirmed treatment-naïve AE and 64 CE patients that were diagnosed in Switzerland or Kyrgyzstan. Overall, [...] Read more.
Both alveolar (AE) and cystic echinococcosis (CE) are lacking pathognomonic clinical signs; consequently imaging technologies and serology remain the main pillars for diagnosis. The present study included 100 confirmed treatment-naïve AE and 64 CE patients that were diagnosed in Switzerland or Kyrgyzstan. Overall, 10 native Echinococcus spp. antigens, 3 recombinant antigens, and 4 commercial assays were comparatively evaluated. All native E. multilocularis antigens were produced in duplicates with a European and a Kyrgyz isolate and showed identical test values for the diagnosis of AE and CE. Native antigens and three commercial tests showed high diagnostic sensitivities (Se: 86–96%) and specificities (Sp: 96–99%) for the diagnosis of AE and CE in Swiss patients. In Kyrgyz patients, values of sensitivities and specificities were 10–20% lower as compared to the Swiss patients’ findings. For the sero-diagnosis of AE in Kyrgyzstan, a test-combination of an E. multilocularis protoscolex antigen and the recombinant antigen Em95 appears to be the most suitable test strategy (Se: 98%, Sp: 87%). For the diagnosis of CE in both countries, test performances were hampered by major cross-reactions with AE patients and other parasitic diseases as well as by limited diagnostic sensitivities (93% in Switzerland and 76% in Kyrgyzstan, respectively). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Parasitic Diseases)
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Article
Vector Surveillance and Pathogen Detection in the Working Areas of Military Working Dogs in Eastern Austria
Pathogens 2022, 11(5), 506; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens11050506 - 24 Apr 2022
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Abstract
Vector-borne diseases play a major role in human and veterinary medicine worldwide. A previous study detected asymptomatic vector-borne pathogens in military working dogs stationed at a military base in eastern Austria, and a follow-up survey of potential arthropod vectors was conducted in spring [...] Read more.
Vector-borne diseases play a major role in human and veterinary medicine worldwide. A previous study detected asymptomatic vector-borne pathogens in military working dogs stationed at a military base in eastern Austria, and a follow-up survey of potential arthropod vectors was conducted in spring 2019 and 2020 in the vicinity of the base to evaluate the presence of vectors and their carrier status for a range of canine and zoonotic pathogens. A total of 1324 ticks (nymphs and adults of Ixodes ricinus, comprising 92.9% of the collected specimens, and adults of Haemaphysalis inermis, a tick previously only rarely described in Austria, Haemaphysalis concinna, and Dermacentor reticulatus) were collected by flagging. In 44.1% (125/284) of all pools (n = 284), one infectious agent was found; in 27.8% (79/284) and in 1.1% (3/284), two and three different agents, respectively, could be identified. Overall, 72.9% of the pools contained at least one pathogen (Borrelia spp., Rickettsia spp., Bartonella spp., and Babesia microti). Borrelia mijamotoi, B. lustinaniae, and B. microti were previously only described in single cases in Austria. Mosquitoes were collected with BG-Sentinel traps monthly during the summer of 2019. A total of 71 individuals from 11 species were collected. No filarioid DNA was detected in the mosquito sample pools, although Dirofilaria repens had been present in the dogs from the military site. In conclusion, vector surveillance should be combined with the surveillance of an exposed population whenever possible to estimate the infection risks for dogs and their handlers. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Parasitic Diseases)
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Communication
Eprinomectin and Moxidectin Resistance of Trichostrongyloids on a Goat Farm in Austria
Pathogens 2022, 11(5), 498; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens11050498 - 21 Apr 2022
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Abstract
Anthelmintic resistance (AR) of trichostrongyloids is widespread in Europe, but there is no up-to-date information on the spread of AR in caprine parasites in Austria. Eprinomectin (EPR) is currently the only anthelmintic drug of the macrocyclic lactones registered for goats in Europe. The [...] Read more.
Anthelmintic resistance (AR) of trichostrongyloids is widespread in Europe, but there is no up-to-date information on the spread of AR in caprine parasites in Austria. Eprinomectin (EPR) is currently the only anthelmintic drug of the macrocyclic lactones registered for goats in Europe. The aim of the present study was to gather information regarding the efficacy of anthelmintics against trichostrongyloids on a dairy goat farm in Austria with reported treatment failure of macrocyclic lactones and to determine the presence of different trichostrongyloid genera. Faecal egg count reduction tests (FECRT) using Mini-FLOTAC were performed with eprinomectin (EPR) and moxidectin (MOX). Egg count reduction, calculated with the R package egg-Counts, was 44% for EPR and 86% for MOX, confirming AR of trichostrongyloids for both compounds. The most frequently detected genus in larval cultures was Haemonchus, followed by Trichostrongylus. This is the first report of MOX resistance in caprine trichostrongyloids in Europe. Failure of EPR and MOX to control trichostrongyloid infections is a severe threat to dairy goat farming, since other compounds must not be applied in goats used for milk production. Haemonchus contortus is one of the most pathogenic parasites of small ruminants and can quickly develop AR. Thus, immediate action should be taken to slow the further spread of AR in this and other roundworm species of ruminants in Austria. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Parasitic Diseases)
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Article
Absence of Polymorphisms in Codons 167, 198 and 200 of All Seven β-Tubulin Isotypes of Benzimidazole Susceptible and Resistant Parascaris spp. Specimens from Australia
Pathogens 2022, 11(5), 490; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens11050490 - 20 Apr 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 564
Abstract
Benzimidazoles resistance is widespread in strongyle parasitic nematodes and associated with polym orphisms in the codons 167, 198 and 200 of isotype 1 β-tubulin (tbb-1). In ascarids, benzimidazole (BZ) resistance has rarely been reported and in none of these cases were any of [...] Read more.
Benzimidazoles resistance is widespread in strongyle parasitic nematodes and associated with polym orphisms in the codons 167, 198 and 200 of isotype 1 β-tubulin (tbb-1). In ascarids, benzimidazole (BZ) resistance has rarely been reported and in none of these cases were any of these polymorphisms detected. Here, available genome and transcriptome data from WormBase ParaSite were used to compare the complete β-tubulin reservoirs of Parascaris univalens, Ascaris suum and Ascaris lumbricoides. Adult Parascaris spp. specimens collected in Australia from horses after BZ treatment (susceptible, n = 13) or surviving BZ treatment and collected after ivermectin treatment (resistant, n = 10) were genotyped regarding codons 167, 198 and 200 using Sanger sequencing. Phylogenetic analyses clearly showed that there are no one-to-one ascarid orthologs of strongyle tbb-1 genes. In the reference genomes, as well as phenotypically susceptible and resistant Parascaris spp. from Australia, six out of seven β-tubulin genes showed a BZ-susceptible genotype (F167, E198, F200). The only exception were the testis-specific β-tubulin D genes from all three ascarid species that encode tyrosine at codon 200. This was observed independently of the BZ-susceptibility phenotype of Parascaris spp. These data suggest that different mechanisms lead to BZ resistance in ascarid and strongyle nematodes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Parasitic Diseases)
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Review

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Review
Calomys callosus: An Experimental Animal Model Applied to Parasitic Diseases Investigations of Public Health Concern
Pathogens 2022, 11(3), 369; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens11030369 - 17 Mar 2022
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Abstract
The appearance and spread of parasitic diseases around the world aroused the interest of the scientific community to discover new animal models for improving the quality and specificity of surveys. Calomys callosus is a rodent native to South America, an easy handling model, [...] Read more.
The appearance and spread of parasitic diseases around the world aroused the interest of the scientific community to discover new animal models for improving the quality and specificity of surveys. Calomys callosus is a rodent native to South America, an easy handling model, with satisfactory longevity and reproducibility. C. callosus is susceptible to toxoplasmosis and can be used as experimental model for the study the pathogenesis, treatment, vertical transmission, and ocular toxoplasmosis. C. callosus can also be used to study cutaneous and visceral leishmaniasis, as the animals present cutaneous lesions, as well as parasites in the organs. C. callosus has epidemiological importance in Chagas disease, and since it is a Trypanosoma cruzi natural host in which rodents show high parasitemia and lethality, they are also effective as a model of congenital transmission. In the study of schistosomiasis, Schistosoma mansoni was proven to be a C. callosus natural host; thus, this rodent is a great model for fibrosis, hepatic granulomatous reaction, and celloma associated with lymphomyeloid tissue (CALT) during S. mansoni infection. In this review, we summarize the leading studies of parasitic diseases that used C. callosus as a rodent experimental model, describing the main uses and characteristics that led them to be considered an effective model. Full article
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Other

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Case Report
Hymenolepis diminuta Infection in a Romanian Child from an Urban Area
Pathogens 2022, 11(3), 322; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens11030322 - 07 Mar 2022
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Abstract
Hymenolepis diminuta is primarily a rodent parasite that is ubiquitously distributed worldwide, but with only a few cases described as human infections. We report a case of Hymenolepis diminuta infection in a 15-month-old child, living in an urban setting, with no previous medical [...] Read more.
Hymenolepis diminuta is primarily a rodent parasite that is ubiquitously distributed worldwide, but with only a few cases described as human infections. We report a case of Hymenolepis diminuta infection in a 15-month-old child, living in an urban setting, with no previous medical history. The patient presented with two episodes of seizures, and complaints of abdominal pain, vomiting, and diarrhea, with no apparent history of rodent contact. Furthermore, the patient’s gastrointestinal symptoms were linked to the emission of suspected tapeworm proglottids in the feces. After excluding other possible etiologies, a diagnosis of Hymenolepis diminuta infection was made, based on the examination of characteristic eggs in a concentrated stool specimen. The infant was successfully treated with praziquantel and fully recovered. After two weeks, the stool sample was free of Hymenolepis diminuta eggs. The clinical follow-up over the next 3 years was normal. Hymenolepis diminuta is rarely found in humans, and, when present, the infection is frequently asymptomatic. Abdominal pain, irritability, itching, eosinophilia, and seizures have also been reported. In this paper, we report, for the first time in the literature, an infection with Hymenolepis diminuta in a Romanian infant who had atypical neurological presentation, with full recovery, without subsequent neurological sequelae. Full article
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