Special Issue "Animal Parasitic Diseases"

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 May 2020.

Special Issue Editor

Prof. Dr. Francesca Mancianti
Website
Guest Editor
Department of Veterinary Science, University of Pisa, Viale delle Piagge 2, 56124 Pisa, Italy.
Interests: mycology; parasitology; natural products; essential oils; antifungal activity; antiparasitic activity
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Veterinary parasitology encompasses protozoology, mycology, helminthology, as well as entomology. The aetiological agents involved show very different pathogenetic features, depending on both the host physiopathologic status and the characteristics of the parasite. Veterinary practitioners, researchers and official veterinarians are frequently called upon to act as experts and deal with related parasitic diseases in different situations.

Parasites of veterinary interest are able to exert an economic impact, but they can affect animal welfare and human health, also. Economic losses occur not only when animals die, but also when they become unable to perform their regular work, or when they produce poor meat, milk, wool, hides, or eggs. Moreover, parasitic diseases and/or infections can negatively influence pets’ welfare and make affected subjects biological reservoirs for other animal species, domestic and/or wild. Eventually, zoonotic parasites can concern public health, following a direct contact with reservoir animals or the ingestion of animal products.  In this view, parasites affecting the so-called minor animal species raised for human consumption (fish and other fishing products) and for human food (bees) also represent a relevant field of study.

For all the above-mentioned reasons, all information about the parasites of veterinary interest is cutting edge topics.

This Special Issue is devoted to collect original papers and/or review papers dealing with aetiology, epidemiology, management, diagnosis and control of animal parasitic diseases.

Prof. Dr. Francesca Mancianti
Guest Editor

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Keywords

  • Animal parasitic diseases
  • Parasitic zoonoses
  • Epidemiology
  • Diagnosis
  • Control
  • Treatment
  • Helminthic
  • Arthropods
  • Protozoa
  • Fungi

Published Papers (10 papers)

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Open AccessArticle
Haemoproteus spp. and Leucocytozoon californicus Coinfection in a Merlin (Falco colombarius)
Pathogens 2020, 9(4), 263; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens9040263 - 04 Apr 2020
Abstract
The Leucocytozoon genus comprises numerous widely distributed parasites which have been less investigated than other avian hemoprotozoa. Their occurrence is common, with very variable prevalence values and pathogenicity degrees. Leucocytozoon species are characterized by a great taxonomic diversity, and infections are usually restricted [...] Read more.
The Leucocytozoon genus comprises numerous widely distributed parasites which have been less investigated than other avian hemoprotozoa. Their occurrence is common, with very variable prevalence values and pathogenicity degrees. Leucocytozoon species are characterized by a great taxonomic diversity, and infections are usually restricted to birds of the same family. In the present paper, a mixed hemosporidia infection by Leucocytozoon californicus and Haemoproteus sp. in an adult male merlin (Falco columbarius) which died during hospitalisation is reported, indicating, for the first time, a newly described avian host species. A molecular investigation was carried out through cytochrome b gene analysis, revealing a 100% match with L. californicus and Haemoproteus spp. A blood smear examination allowed us to detect Leucocytozoon fusiform mature gametocytes and different degrees of maturity of Haemoproteus gametocytes. Histopathology revealed foci of necrosis, hemorrhagic areas and extramedullary hematopoiesis in the liver, the presence of microthrombi in the heart and lung and scattered hemorrhages in the lung. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Animal Parasitic Diseases)
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Open AccessArticle
Molecular Typing, Antibiogram and PCR-RFLP Based Detection of Aeromonas hydrophila Complex Isolated from Oreochromis niloticus
Pathogens 2020, 9(3), 238; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens9030238 - 22 Mar 2020
Abstract
Motile Aeromonas septicemia is a common bacterial disease that affects Oreochromis niloticus and causes tremendous economic losses globally. In order to investigate the prevalence, molecular typing, antibiogram and the biodiversity of Aeromonas hydrophila complex, a total of 250 tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus) [...] Read more.
Motile Aeromonas septicemia is a common bacterial disease that affects Oreochromis niloticus and causes tremendous economic losses globally. In order to investigate the prevalence, molecular typing, antibiogram and the biodiversity of Aeromonas hydrophila complex, a total of 250 tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus) were collected randomly from 10 private tilapia farms (25 fish/farm) at El-Sharkia Governorate, Egypt. The collected fish were subjected to clinical and bacteriological examinations. The majority of infected fish displayed ulcerative necrosis, exophthalmia, and internal signs of hemorrhagic septicemia. The prevalence of A. hydrophia complex was 13.2%, where the liver was the most predominant affected organ (54.1%). Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) was used to verify the identification of A. hydrophila complex using one set of primers targeting gyrB as well as the detection of virulent genes (aerA, alt, and ahp). All isolates were positive for the gyrB-conserved gene and harbored aerA and alt virulence genes. However, none of those isolates were positive for the ahp gene. The antimicrobial sensitivity was carried out, where the recovered strains were completely sensitive to ciprofloxacin and highly resistant to amoxicillin. All retrieved strains showed the same phenotypic characteristics and were identical based on the restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP). Experimentally challenged fish presented a high mortality rate (76.67%) and showed typical signs as in naturally infected ones. In conclusion, the synergism of phenotypic and genotypic characterization is a valuable epidemiological tool for the diagnosis of A. hydrophila complex. RFLP is a fundamental tool for monitoring the biodiversity among all retrieved strains of A. hydrophia. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Animal Parasitic Diseases)
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Open AccessArticle
Tritrichomonas Foetus: A Study of Prevalence in Animal Hosts in Poland
Pathogens 2020, 9(3), 203; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens9030203 - 10 Mar 2020
Abstract
Tritrichomonas foetus is described as a pathogen of cattle and cats and also exhibits commensalism with pigs. In order to estimate the prevalence and determine the risk factors for parasite infection, specimens from animal hosts (cat, pigs, and cattle) from Poland were investigated. [...] Read more.
Tritrichomonas foetus is described as a pathogen of cattle and cats and also exhibits commensalism with pigs. In order to estimate the prevalence and determine the risk factors for parasite infection, specimens from animal hosts (cat, pigs, and cattle) from Poland were investigated. To our best knowledge, this is the first such study to examine samples from wild boars (Sus scrofa) for the presence of T. foetus. Data were collected from 117 cats, 172 pigs, 236 wild boars, and 180 cattle. The sensitivity of T. foetus identification was increased by using two molecular assays: PCR and loop-mediated isothermal amplification (LAMP). The prevalence of feline tritrichomonosis was 20.51%, and statistically significant differences were obtained between groups of animals regarding age, breed, number of cats, diarrhea, and place of living. Positive PCR and LAMP results for T. foetus were estimated for 16.28% of pigs, and the obtained data were significantly correlated with age. Conversely, no significant differences were observed concerning the farm size factor. In our survey, no cases of bovine tritrichomonosis were found, which is consistent with the data from the other countries of the European Union. Similarly, all wild boar samples were also T. foetus-negative according to LAMP and PCR. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Animal Parasitic Diseases)
Open AccessArticle
Myrrh Oil in Vitro Inhibitory Growth on Bovine and Equine Piroplasm Parasites and Babesia microti of Mice
Pathogens 2020, 9(3), 173; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens9030173 - 29 Feb 2020
Abstract
The present experimental study was conducted for the assessment of the efficacy of in vitro inhibition of myrrh oil on the propagation of Babesia bovis, B. divergens, B. bigemina, Theileria equi, and B. caballi and in vivo efficacy on B. microti in mice [...] Read more.
The present experimental study was conducted for the assessment of the efficacy of in vitro inhibition of myrrh oil on the propagation of Babesia bovis, B. divergens, B. bigemina, Theileria equi, and B. caballi and in vivo efficacy on B. microti in mice through fluorescence assay based on SYBR green I. The culture of B. divergens B. bovis and was used to evaluate the in vitro possible interaction between myrrh oil and other commercial compound, such as pyronaridine tetraphosphate (PYR), diminazene aceturate (DA), or luteolin. Nested-polymerase chain reaction protocol using primers of the small-subunit rRNA of B. microti was employed to detect any remnants of DNA for studied parasitic species either in blood or tissues. Results elucidated that; Myrrh oil significantly inhibit the growth at 1% of parasitic blood level for all bovine and equine piroplasm under the study. Parasitic regrowth was inhibited subsequently by viability test at 2 µg/mL for B. bigemina and B. bovis, and there was a significant improvement in the in vitro growth inhibition by myrrh oil when combined with DA, PYR, and luteolin. At the same time; mice treated with a combination of myrrh oil/DA showed a higher inhibition in emitted fluorescence signals than the group that challenged with 25 mg/kg of diminazene aceturate at 10 and 12 days post-infection. In conclusion, this study has recommended the myrrh oil to treat animal piroplasmosis, especially in combination with low doses of DA. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Animal Parasitic Diseases)
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Open AccessArticle
Characterization of Haemonchus contortus Excretory/Secretory Antigen (ES-15) and Its Modulatory Functions on Goat Immune Cells In Vitro
Pathogens 2020, 9(3), 162; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens9030162 - 27 Feb 2020
Abstract
Small size excretory/secretory (ES) antigens of the Haemonchus contortus parasite have intense interest among researchers for understanding the molecular basis of helminths immune regulation in term of control strategies. Immunomodulatory roles of H. contortus ES-15 kDa (HcES-15) on host immune cells during host–parasite [...] Read more.
Small size excretory/secretory (ES) antigens of the Haemonchus contortus parasite have intense interest among researchers for understanding the molecular basis of helminths immune regulation in term of control strategies. Immunomodulatory roles of H. contortus ES-15 kDa (HcES-15) on host immune cells during host–parasite interactions are unknown. In this study, the HcES-15 gene was cloned and expression of recombinant protein (rHcES-15) was induced by isopropyl-ß-d-thiogalactopyranoside (IPTG). Binding activity of rHcES-15 to goat peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) was confirmed by immunofluorescence assay (IFA) and immunohistochemical analysis showed that H. contortus 15 kDa protein localized in the outer and inner structure of the adult worm, clearly indicated as the parasite’s ES antigen. The immunoregulatory role on cytokines production, cell proliferation, cell migration, nitric oxide (NO) production, apoptosis, and phagocytosis were observed by co-incubation of rHcES-15 with goat PBMCs. The results showed that cytokines IL-4, IL-10, IL-17, the production of nitric oxide (NO), PBMCs apoptosis, and monocytes phagocytosis were all elevated after cells incubated with rHcES-15 at differential protein concentrations. We also found that IFN-γ, TGF-β1, cells proliferation and migration were significantly suppressed with the interaction of rHcES-15 protein. Our findings indicated that low molecular ES antigens of H. contortus possessed discrete immunoregulatory roles, which will help to understand the mechanisms involved in immune evasion by the parasite during host–parasite interactions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Animal Parasitic Diseases)
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Open AccessArticle
Automated Diagnosis of Canine Gastrointestinal Parasites Using Image Analysis
Pathogens 2020, 9(2), 139; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens9020139 - 20 Feb 2020
Abstract
Because canine intestinal parasites are considered cosmopolitan, they carry significant zoonotic potential to public health. These etiological agents are routinely diagnosed using microscopic examination commonly used because of its low cost, simple execution, and direct evidence. However, there are reports in the literature [...] Read more.
Because canine intestinal parasites are considered cosmopolitan, they carry significant zoonotic potential to public health. These etiological agents are routinely diagnosed using microscopic examination commonly used because of its low cost, simple execution, and direct evidence. However, there are reports in the literature on the poor performance of this test due to low to moderate sensitivity resulting from frequent errors, procedures and interpretation. Therefore, to improve the diagnostic efficiency of microscopic examination in veterinary medicine, we developed and evaluated a unique new protocol. This system was tested in a study involving four genera of highly prevalent canine intestinal parasites in an endemic region in São Paulo state, Brazil. Fecal samples from 104 animals were collected for this research. The new protocol had a significantly higher (p < 0.0001) number of positive cases on image data, including parasites and impurities, and was elaborate to test them with the TF-GII/Dog technique, with a moderate agreement and Kappa index of 0.7636. We concluded that the new Prototic Coproparasitological Test for Dogs (PC-Test Dog) allowed a better visualization of the parasitic structures and showed a favorable result for the diagnosis of intestinal parasites in dogs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Animal Parasitic Diseases)
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Open AccessArticle
Molecular Survey of Metastrongyloid Lungworms in Domestic Cats (Felis silvestris catus) from Romania: A Retrospective Study (2008–2011)
Pathogens 2020, 9(2), 80; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens9020080 - 26 Jan 2020
Abstract
Background: Lungworms are recognized as important agents in the pathology of the respiratory system in domestic cats. While Aelurostrongylus abstrusus is worldwide known and studied, Troglostrongylus brevior has gained the attention of the scientific community only in the last decade. The pathogenicity of [...] Read more.
Background: Lungworms are recognized as important agents in the pathology of the respiratory system in domestic cats. While Aelurostrongylus abstrusus is worldwide known and studied, Troglostrongylus brevior has gained the attention of the scientific community only in the last decade. The pathogenicity of this species seems to be higher than A. abstrusus, causing more severe clinical presentations and being potentially fatal, especially in young animals. Methods: In this study, 371 DNA isolates of faecal samples were tested by multiplex polymerase chain reaction for the presence of A. abstrusus, T. brevior, and Angiostrongylus chabaudi. Results: The results showed that 30.2% and 6.7% of the investigated domestic cats were positive for A. abstrusus and T. brevior respectively, stressing out the importance of these parasites as agents of respiratory conditions in domestic cats from Romania. None of the samples were positive for A. chabaudi. The age, the outdoor access, and the lack of deworming were identified as significant risk factors for infection with A. abstrusus. Conclusions: This paper represents the first report of T. brevior in domestic cats from Romania. Moreover, it presents the most northern localization in Europe of T. brevior. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Animal Parasitic Diseases)
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Open AccessArticle
Immunization of Goats with Recombinant Protein 14-3-3 Isoform 2(rHcftt-2) Induced Moderate Protection against Haemonchus contortus Challenge
Pathogens 2020, 9(1), 46; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens9010046 - 06 Jan 2020
Abstract
A previous study identified that isoform 2 (Hcftt-2) of the 14-3-3 protein of Haemonchus contortus (H. contortus) could suppress immune functions of goat peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) and might be a potential vaccine target, as neutralization of the protein function [...] Read more.
A previous study identified that isoform 2 (Hcftt-2) of the 14-3-3 protein of Haemonchus contortus (H. contortus) could suppress immune functions of goat peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) and might be a potential vaccine target, as neutralization of the protein function may enhance anti-parasite immunity. In this research, the recombinant Hcftt-2 was evaluated for its immunoprotective efficacy against H. contortus infection in goats. Five experimental goats were immunized twice with rHcftt-2 along with Freund’s adjuvant. The five immunized goats and five nonimmunized goats (adjuvant only) were challenged with 5000 L3-stage H. contortus larvae after 14 days of second immunization. Five nonimmunized and uninfected goats (adjuvant only) were set as the uninfected group. A significant increase in the serum immunoglobin G(IgG) and serum IgA levels were identified in the rHcftt-2 immunized animals. The mean eggs per gram in feces (EPG) and the worm burdens of rHcftt-2 immunized group were reduced by 26.46% (p < 0.05) and 32.33%, respectively. In brief, immunization of goats with rHcftt-2 induced moderate protection against H. contortus challenge. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Animal Parasitic Diseases)
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Open AccessArticle
Adhesion-Regulating Molecule from Haemonchus contortus: Potential Antigen for Diagnosis of Early Infection in Goats
Pathogens 2020, 9(1), 34; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens9010034 - 30 Dec 2019
Cited by 1
Abstract
Haemonchus contortus, a blood-sucking nematode of ruminants, causes large economic losses worldwide. Diagnosis of infection mainly depends on the evaluation of clinical signs and fecal examination. However, this has limitations for the diagnosis of early or light infections, where serological diagnosis seems [...] Read more.
Haemonchus contortus, a blood-sucking nematode of ruminants, causes large economic losses worldwide. Diagnosis of infection mainly depends on the evaluation of clinical signs and fecal examination. However, this has limitations for the diagnosis of early or light infections, where serological diagnosis seems to be more accurate and reliable. In this study, the recombinant H. contortus adhesion-regulating molecule protein (rHCADRM) was expressed and purified, and its diagnostic potential was evaluated. Serum samples from goats experimentally infected with H. contortus (n = 5) were collected at 0 (before infection, negative control), 7, 14, 21, 35, 49, 63, 85, and 103 days post-infection (DPI). The reactions between rHcADRM and goat serum were tested using Western blot (WB) analysis. The results show that rHcADRM can be recognized in the serum as early as 14 DPI, and the antibody against rHcADRM in infected goat could be maintained for over 89 days. No reaction was found between rHcADRM and antibodies against Trichinella spiralis, Fasciola hepatica, or Toxoplasma gondii. An indirect enzyme-linked immune sorbent assay (ELISA) was developed based on rHcADRM. The optimal coating antigen (279 ng of rHcADRM/well) and serum dilutions (1:50) were determined by checkerboard titration. A total of 64 serum samples, including 32 from H. contortus infection goats and 32 from helminth-free goats, were used to determine the positive (0.362) and negative (0.306) cut-off values for the ELISA. The results show this serological diagnosis method is highly sensitive (90.6%) and specific (93.75%). The coefficient of variation within run and between runs was less than 11%. To apply this indirect ELISA during field examination, 51 serum samples were randomly collected from goat farms and tested using this method. The result showed that 19.6% (10/51) of goats were infected with H. contortus, which was 100% consistent with the necropsy result, higher than that of fecal examination (15.7%, 8/51). These results indicate that rHcADRM could be a potential antigen for diagnosis of H. contortus infection in goats. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Animal Parasitic Diseases)
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Open AccessBrief Report
Quantification of Enterocytozoon hepatopenaei (EHP) in Penaeid Shrimps from Southeast Asia and Latin America Using TaqMan Probe-Based Quantitative PCR
Pathogens 2019, 8(4), 233; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens8040233 - 12 Nov 2019
Abstract
We developed a qPCR assay based on the β-tubulin gene sequence for the shrimp microsporidian parasite Enterocytozoon hepatopenaei (EHP). This assay reacted with the hepatopancreas (HP) of EHP-infected shrimps, and the highest copy numbers were found in HP and feces samples from [...] Read more.
We developed a qPCR assay based on the β-tubulin gene sequence for the shrimp microsporidian parasite Enterocytozoon hepatopenaei (EHP). This assay reacted with the hepatopancreas (HP) of EHP-infected shrimps, and the highest copy numbers were found in HP and feces samples from Southeast Asian countries (106–108 copies mg−1), while HP samples from Latin America, Artemia, and EHP-contaminated water showed lower amounts (101–103 copies mg−1 or mL−1 of water). No false positive was found with the normal shrimp genome, live feeds, or other parasitic diseases. This tool will facilitate the management of EHP infection in shrimp farms. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Animal Parasitic Diseases)
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