Prevalence, Pathology, and Alternative Control of Intestinal Parasites

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 July 2024 | Viewed by 3216

Special Issue Editors


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Departamento de Veterinária, Universidade Federal de Viçosa (UFV), Viçosa 36570-000, Brazil
Interests: Preventive Veterinary Medicine; biological control; chemical control of parasites; nematophagous fungi; predatory fungus; parasitic nematodes of animals; nematodes, helminths and nematode-trapping fungi
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

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Guest Editor
Department of Veterinary Medicine, Universidade Vila Velha, Vila Velha 29102-920, Brazil
Interests: biological control; nematophagous fungi; enzymes; nanotechnology; veterinary parasitology
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The damage caused by intestinal parasites is related to delays in production, the cost of prophylactic and curative treatments and, in extreme cases, the death of animals and humans. While in developed countries spending on control costs is significant, in developing countries, parasitic diseases cause losses by reducing production and restricting the breeding of animals with reduced susceptibility to parasitosis, but with low production performance. Humans suffer from various parasitic intestinal infections, which also limit their well-being and development and cause them to suffer from various parasitic zoonoses. The lack of this information can lead to the inappropriate use of anthelmintic treatments, related to the rapid development of resistance, which can translate into an increase in clinical cases and production losses. On the other hand, the world's human population is increasingly demanding healthier, residue-free food that has been produced in a way that preserves the environment. Intestinal parasitosis represents a global problem that has not only been attributed to financial losses but also to losses caused by damage to animal and human health. The collection of prevalence data is necessary with the use of biotechnological or customary tools, which are important to know the real reality of each location and can indicate whether the control measures adopted are effective or even whether the unprecedented report may indicate the growth of one of these agents. Pathological mechanisms and lesions caused by these agents can also indicate the various damages related to them. Among the advances for the control of helminthosis are biological control, vaccines, resistant breeds, nanotechnology, and even new phytotherapeutic anthelmintics. The aim of this Special Issue was to present the “Prevalence, Pathology, and Alternative Control of Intestinal Parasites” in domestic animals and the man. We therefore invite our colleagues to send in their work so that we can fulfil this objective.

Dr. Jackson Victor de Araújo
Prof. Dr. Fabio Ribeiro Braga
Guest Editors

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Keywords

  • parasitic diseases
  • helminthosis
  • zoonosis
  • endoparasithosis

Published Papers (4 papers)

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Research

12 pages, 413 KiB  
Article
Echinococcus multilocularis and Other Intestinal Parasites of the Red Fox (Vulpes vulpes) from the Pomerania Region, Northern Poland
by Bogumiła Pilarczyk, Agnieszka Tomza-Marciniak, Renata Pilarczyk, Małgorzata Bąkowska, Izabella Rząd, Agata Stapf, Lidia Felska-Błaszczyk, Agnieszka Tylkowska and Beata Seremak
Pathogens 2024, 13(6), 490; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens13060490 - 8 Jun 2024
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Abstract
The aim of the study was to determine the species composition of the intestinal parasite fauna of foxes from the Pomerania region, with a particular emphasis on helminth species considered dangerous to humans, and to determine their prevalence and intensity of infection. In [...] Read more.
The aim of the study was to determine the species composition of the intestinal parasite fauna of foxes from the Pomerania region, with a particular emphasis on helminth species considered dangerous to humans, and to determine their prevalence and intensity of infection. In total, 165 digestive systems from foxes inhabiting the Pomeranian region were examined. The prevalence of intestinal parasites among the studied foxes was 61.8%. Our findings confirm that foxes in Pomerania carry various parasites, some of which pose a direct threat to human health. As such, constant monitoring of their infestation is essential. Particular attention should be paid to parasite species with potential for transmission to humans, such as Echinococcus multilocularis, Alaria alata and Toxocara canis, whose respective prevalence was found to be 10.9%, 17.6% and 28.5%. Full article
13 pages, 7308 KiB  
Article
The Phylogenetic Characterization of Balantioides coli Isolated in the Pavlova Culture Medium Supplemented with Coconut Water and Animal Serum
by Camila Souza Carvalho Class, Laís Lisboa Corrêa, Fabiana Batalha Knackfuss, Maria Regina Reis Amendoeira, Francisco Ponce Gordo and Alynne da Silva Barbosa
Pathogens 2024, 13(6), 476; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens13060476 - 4 Jun 2024
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Abstract
Balantioides coli is a ciliated protist that can cause dysentery in humans, pigs and nonhuman primates and may have the potential for zoonotic transmission. Its diagnosis is routinely performed through conventional parasitological techniques, and few studies have used culturing techniques to isolate it, [...] Read more.
Balantioides coli is a ciliated protist that can cause dysentery in humans, pigs and nonhuman primates and may have the potential for zoonotic transmission. Its diagnosis is routinely performed through conventional parasitological techniques, and few studies have used culturing techniques to isolate it, applying molecular tools for the characterization of this protozoan. Thus, the objective of this study was to confirm B. coli diagnosis using molecular tools and to characterize the genetic variants of this parasite isolated from pigs kept on family farms in Brazil using three different culture media that differed in the serum added. Fecal samples from pigs were inoculated in Pavlova medium plus coconut water (PC), fetal bovine serum (PB) and horse serum (PH). Of the 127 samples positive for forms compatible with the phylum Ciliophora, 31 were selected for isolation. The most successful medium for isolation was PB 19/31 (61.3%), followed by PH 18/31 (58.1%) and PC 11/31 (35.5%). Of the nucleotide sequences generated, 20 were classified as genetic variant type B0, two as A1 and 15 as A0. The results indicated that PC, despite having allowed the isolation of B. coli for a short period, was not an adequate medium for the maintenance of this parasite in vitro, therefore requiring improvement. Full article
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14 pages, 3703 KiB  
Article
Effect of Stevioside (Stevia rebaudiana) on Entamoeba histolytica Trophozoites
by Karla Jocelyn Ortega-Carballo, Karla Montserrat Gil-Becerril, Karla Berenice Acosta-Virgen, Sael Casas-Grajales, Pablo Muriel and Víctor Tsutsumi
Pathogens 2024, 13(5), 373; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens13050373 - 30 Apr 2024
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Abstract
Human amoebiasis still represents a major health problem worldwide. Metronidazole has been used as the most common drug to treat the disease; however, it is also known that the drug causes undesirable side effects. This has led to the search for new pharmacological [...] Read more.
Human amoebiasis still represents a major health problem worldwide. Metronidazole has been used as the most common drug to treat the disease; however, it is also known that the drug causes undesirable side effects. This has led to the search for new pharmacological alternatives which include phytochemical compounds with antiamoebic effects. We analyzed the amoebicidal activity of stevioside (STV), a diterpene glycoside present in Stevia rebaudiana, on trophozoites of E. histolytica. Different concentrations of STV were tested, and an inhibitory concentration of 50% of cell viability (IC50) was determined with an exposition of 9.53 mM for 24 h. Trophozoites exposed to STV showed morphological changes evidenced by the decrease in the basic structures related to the movement and adherence to the substrate, as well as ultrastructural features characterized by a loss of regularity on the cell membrane, an increase in cytoplasmic granularity, and an increase in apparent autophagic vacuoles. Also, the decrease in cysteine protease expression and the proteolytic activity of trophozoites to degrade the cell monolayer were analyzed. A histological analysis of hamster livers inoculated with trophozoites and treated with STV showed changes related to the granulomatous reaction of the liver parenchymal tissue. Our results constitute the first report related to the possible use of STV as a therapeutic alternative in amoebiasis. Full article
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14 pages, 2818 KiB  
Article
Extensive Countrywide Molecular Identification and High Genetic Diversity of Haemonchus spp. in Domestic Ruminants in Greece
by Konstantinos V. Arsenopoulos, Styliani Minoudi, Isaia Symeonidou, Alexandros Triantafyllidis, George C. Fthenakis and Elias Papadopoulos
Pathogens 2024, 13(3), 238; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens13030238 - 8 Mar 2024
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Abstract
The gastrointestinal nematode parasite Haemonchus spp. is one of the most pathogenic parasites of ruminants, due to its blood-sucking activity, which causes large economic losses in the ruminant industry. The latest epizootiological data recorded an increase in the infection, not only in Greece [...] Read more.
The gastrointestinal nematode parasite Haemonchus spp. is one of the most pathogenic parasites of ruminants, due to its blood-sucking activity, which causes large economic losses in the ruminant industry. The latest epizootiological data recorded an increase in the infection, not only in Greece but also in other countries, mainly attributed to climatic changes. The study of the population structure and the investigation of the phylogenetic relationships of Haemonchus spp. are essential for the understanding of its biology and epizootiology to implement appropriate control and prevention strategies. In addition, the molecular approach allows the determination of evolutionary relationships between different species of this parasite, the diverse hosts they infect, as well as the different geographic compartments from which they originate. Therefore, the aim of the present study was to identify the species of the sympatric populations of the genus Haemonchus, a nematode parasite infecting ruminants (sheep, goats, cattle, and buffaloes) from different regions of Greece (continental and insular) using molecular methods. At the same time, an attempt was made to identify the possible subpopulations of Haemonchus spp. in Greece, to investigate their phylogenetic relationships, as well as to determine the genetic diversity of each population. A total of 288 worms of the genus Haemonchus were processed using molecular methods; of these, 96 were collected from sheep, 96 from goats, 48 from cattle, and finally, 48 from buffaloes. A fragment of 321 base pairs of the second internal transcribed spacer (ITS2) sequence of nuclear DNA was amplified for species identification, and, after basic local alignment search tool (Blast) analysis, it was revealed that they belonged to H. contortus. A fragment of 820 base pairs of subunit 4 of the nicotinamide dehydrogenase (ND4) gene of mitochondrial DNA was amplified for genetic diversity analysis. The Greek mitochondrial ND4 sequences of H. contortus were classified into 140 haplotypes, and the values of the average nucleotide and haplotype diversity were lower compared to the respective values derived from Italy, Malaysia, the USA, and China. The phylogenetic analysis of the ND4 gene revealed a clear grouping of the Greek haplotypes when compared with Asian ones, and, at the same time, there was no profound grouping of the same haplotypes with regard to their different hosts and geographical origin within different regions of Greece. The aforementioned findings confirmed that H. contortus prevails in our country and can infect all species of ruminants, without geographical boundaries, when the right conditions (i.e., common grazing) are created. Full article
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Planned Papers

The below list represents only planned manuscripts. Some of these manuscripts have not been received by the Editorial Office yet. Papers submitted to MDPI journals are subject to peer-review.

Title: Helminthophagous fungi versus human intestinal parasites
Authors: Jackson Victor de Araújo; Júlia dos Santos Fonseca; Beatriz Bacelar Barbosa; Helbert Ananias Valverde; Huarrisson Azevedo Santos; Fabio Ribeiro Braga
Affiliation: Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, Federal Rural University of Rio de Janeiro - UFRRJ, Sero-pédica-RJ, 23890-000, Brazil
Abstract: Zoonoses caused by helminths continue to be a global problem for public health. Helminths affect Humans and posing a significant zoonotic risk. The widespread use of anthelmintics to treat gastrointestinal helminth infections is common. However, these chemical products generate residues that can have adverse effects on human and environmental health. In addition to the challenge of parasite resistance to treatment, there is an urgent need to explore and discuss complementary and sustainable methods of controlling helminthiases. In this context, nematophagous or helminthophagous fungi have emerged as a potential tool for the control of environmental forms of helminths. The purpose of this review is to emphasize the importance of these fungi in the control of free-living forms of helminth parasites in human by highlighting the research that has been conducted for this purpose. Experiments demonstrated the efficacy of fungi like Pochonia chlamydosporia, Arthrobotrys sp, Paecylomices sp, Monacrosporium sp and Mucor circinelloides in trapping and reducing helminth infective forms. These findings, along with soil contamination studies, suggest the feasibility of using helminthophagous fungi as a sustainable and effective strategy for environmental control. The current literature supports the potential of these fungi as an environmentally friendly solution for managing helminthiasis and public welfare.

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