Special Issue "Translational Research for Zoonotic Parasites: New Findings Toward Improved Diagnostics, Therapy and Prevention"

A special issue of Pathogens (ISSN 2076-0817).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 January 2021.

Special Issue Editor

Dr. Vito Colella
Website
Guest Editor
The University of Melbourne, Victoria 3010 Australia
Interests: Zoonoses; One Health; Parasitic Diseases; Epidemiology; Prevention

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Several factors, including social, demographic and economic transformation, and human-mediated environmental alteration, are influencing the (re-)emergence of zoonoses, posing new challenges in how we detect, treat, and prevent such diseases.

The rapid scientific development of next generation sequencing and omics techniques and the introduction of high-throughput methods have radically changed how we perform research. However, enhanced collaborations among researchers with different expertise are necessary to integrate such disparate breakthroughs into holistic practices.

As an example, the development of portable genome sequencing technology for the detection and sequencing of the Ebola virus during the recent outbreaks in West Africa has facilitated and accelerated the implementation of Ebola surveillance to prevent and monitor further outbreaks. The importance of these developments are further highlighted as we currently experience the progression of a novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) outbreak.

Translational research involves the multidisciplinary integration of fundamental, clinical, population, and policy-based research to expedite scientific discoveries with the aim of generating benefits at the patient and community levels, thereby eliminating the roadblock between bench findings and field applications.

The aim of this Special Issue, Translational Research for Zoonotic Parasites: New Findings of Improved Diagnostics, Therapy, and Prevention, is to explore the current research landscape and highlight recent findings that may impact how we detect and diagnose zoonotic parasites as well as how we treat and prevent the diseases they cause.

Submissions of either original research articles, including short communications and detailed case reports on challenging scenarios, or reviews summarizing different aspects of translational research for zoonotic parasites, are welcome. 

I look forward to your contributions.

Dr. Vito Colella
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Pathogens is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1400 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Translational research
  • Technologies
  • Zoonoses
  • One Health
  • Parasitic diseases
  • Diagnostics
  • Prevention

Published Papers (4 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle
Barcoding of the Genus Culicoides (Diptera: Ceratopogonidae) in Austria–An Update of the Species Inventory Including the First Records of Three Species in Austria
Pathogens 2020, 9(5), 406; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens9050406 - 23 May 2020
Abstract
Ceratopogonidae are small nematoceran Diptera with a worldwide distribution, consisting of more than 5400 described species, divided into 125 genera. The genus Culicoides is known to comprise hematophagous vectors of medical and veterinary importance. Diseases transmitted by Culicoides spp. Such as African horse [...] Read more.
Ceratopogonidae are small nematoceran Diptera with a worldwide distribution, consisting of more than 5400 described species, divided into 125 genera. The genus Culicoides is known to comprise hematophagous vectors of medical and veterinary importance. Diseases transmitted by Culicoides spp. Such as African horse sickness virus, Bluetongue virus, equine encephalitis virus (Reoviridae) and Schmallenberg virus (Bunyaviridae) affect large parts of Europe and are strongly linked to the spread and abundance of its vectors. However, Culicoides surveillance measures are not implemented regularly nor in the whole of Austria. In this study, 142 morphologically identified individuals were chosen for molecular analyses (barcoding) of the mitochondrial cytochrome c oxidase subunit I gene (mt COI). Molecular analyses mostly supported previous morphologic identification. Mismatches between results of molecular and morphologic analysis revealed three new Culicoides species in Austria, Culicoides gornostaevae Mirzaeva, 1984, which is a member of the Obsoletus group, C. griseidorsum Kieffer, 1918 and C. pallidicornis Kieffer, 1919 as well as possible cryptic species. We present here the first Austrian barcodes of the mt COI region of 26 Culicoides species and conclude that barcoding is a reliable tool with which to support morphologic analysis, especially with regard to the difficult to identify females of the medically and economically important genus Culicoides. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Opportunistic Mapping of Strongyloides stercoralis and Hookworm in Dogs in Remote Australian Communities
Pathogens 2020, 9(5), 398; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens9050398 - 21 May 2020
Abstract
Both Strongyloides stercoralis and hookworms are common soil-transmitted helminths in remote Australian communities. In addition to infecting humans, S. stercoralis and some species of hookworms infect canids and therefore present both environmental and zoonotic sources of transmission to humans. Currently, there is [...] Read more.
Both Strongyloides stercoralis and hookworms are common soil-transmitted helminths in remote Australian communities. In addition to infecting humans, S. stercoralis and some species of hookworms infect canids and therefore present both environmental and zoonotic sources of transmission to humans. Currently, there is limited information available on the prevalence of hookworms and S. stercoralis infections in dogs living in communities across the Northern Territory in Australia. In this study, 274 dog faecal samples and 11 faecal samples of unknown origin were collected from the environment and directly from animals across 27 remote communities in Northern and Central Australia. Samples were examined using real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) analysis for the presence of S. stercoralis and four hookworm species: Ancylostoma caninum, Ancylostoma ceylanicum, Ancylostoma braziliense and Uncinaria stenocephala. The prevalence of S. stercoralis in dogs was found to be 21.9% (60/274). A. caninum was the only hookworm detected in the dog samples, with a prevalence of 31.4% (86/274). This study provides an insight into the prevalence of S. stercoralis and hookworms in dogs and informs future intervention and prevention strategies aimed at controlling these parasites in both dogs and humans. A “One Health” approach is crucial for the prevention of these diseases in Australia. Full article
Open AccessArticle
A Host-Specific Blocking Primer Combined with Optimal DNA Extraction Improves the Detection Capability of a Metabarcoding Protocol for Canine Vector-Borne Bacteria
Pathogens 2020, 9(4), 258; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens9040258 - 01 Apr 2020
Abstract
Bacterial canine vector-borne diseases are responsible for some of the most life-threatening conditions of dogs in the tropics and are typically poorly researched with some presenting a zoonotic risk to cohabiting people. Next-generation sequencing based methodologies have been demonstrated to accurately characterise a [...] Read more.
Bacterial canine vector-borne diseases are responsible for some of the most life-threatening conditions of dogs in the tropics and are typically poorly researched with some presenting a zoonotic risk to cohabiting people. Next-generation sequencing based methodologies have been demonstrated to accurately characterise a diverse range of vector-borne bacteria in dogs, whilst also proving to be more sensitive than conventional PCR techniques. We report two improvements to a previously developed metabarcoding tool that increased the sensitivity and diversity of vector-borne bacteria detected from canine blood. Firstly, we developed and tested a canine-specific blocking primer that prevents cross-reactivity of bacterial primer amplification on abundant canine mitochondrial sequences. Use of our blocking primer increased the number of canine vector-borne infections detected (five more Ehrlichia canis and three more Anaplasma platys infections) and increased the diversity of bacterial sequences found. Secondly, the DNA extraction kit employed can have a significant effect on the bacterial community characterised. Therefore, we compared four different DNA extraction kits finding the Qiagen DNeasy Blood and Tissue Kit to be superior for detection of blood-borne bacteria, identifying nine more A. platys, two more E. canis, one more Mycoplasma haemocanis infection and more putative bacterial pathogens than the lowest performing kit. Full article
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Review

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Open AccessReview
Mosquito-Borne Diseases Emergence/Resurgence and How to Effectively Control It Biologically
Pathogens 2020, 9(4), 310; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens9040310 - 23 Apr 2020
Abstract
Deadly pathogens and parasites are transmitted by vectors and the mosquito is considered the most threatening vector in public health, transmitting these pathogens to humans and animals. We are currently witnessing the emergence/resurgence in new regions/populations of the most important mosquito-borne diseases, such [...] Read more.
Deadly pathogens and parasites are transmitted by vectors and the mosquito is considered the most threatening vector in public health, transmitting these pathogens to humans and animals. We are currently witnessing the emergence/resurgence in new regions/populations of the most important mosquito-borne diseases, such as arboviruses and malaria. This resurgence may be the consequence of numerous complex parameters, but the major cause remains the mismanagement of insecticide use and the emergence of resistance. Biological control programmes have rendered promising results but several highly effective techniques, such as genetic manipulation, remain insufficiently considered as a control mechanism. Currently, new strategies based on attractive toxic sugar baits and new agents, such as Wolbachia and Asaia, are being intensively studied for potential use as alternatives to chemicals. Research into new insecticides, Insect Growth Regulators, and repellent compounds is pressing, and the improvement of biological strategies may provide key solutions to prevent outbreaks, decrease the danger to at-risk populations, and mitigate resistance. Full article
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