Special Issue "Pathology and Parasitic Diseases of Animals"

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 June 2021.

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Stefania Perrucci
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Veterinary Sciences, University of Pisa, Italy
Interests: parasites (helminths, protozoa, arthropods); animals (domestic, wild, exotic); parasitic diseases; parasites and histopathological findings; interaction between parasites and host animals; parasites evasion strategies of host defense mechanisms; parasites and immunology
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
Dr. Livio Galosi
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
School of Biosciences and Veterinary Medicine of the University of Camerino, Italy
Interests: interaction between parasites and host; mutual immunopathological effects and some co-evolutionary benefits; cell-mediated immune response of the host and evolution/fate of parasitic disease; immune cells and parasitic spread; strategies of parasite adaptation to the host immunological mechanisms
Prof. Giacomo Rossi
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
School of Biosciences and Veterinary Medicine of the University of Camerino, Italy
Interests: interaction between parasites and host; mutual immunopathological effects and some co-evolutionary benefits; cell-mediated immune response of the host and evolution/fate of parasitic disease; immune cells and parasitic spread; strategies of parasite adaptation to the host immunological mechanisms

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Parasitic diseases are often the cause of growth delay, decrease of physical development and fertility, as well as of serious health problems and death in infected animals. In addition, several parasites may infect both animals and humans, raising public health concerns. The pathological changes that parasites may induce in their animal hosts are caused by a variety of pathogenic mechanisms, depending on the host/parasite relationships. In infected animal hosts, parasites may be responsible for lesions by toxic, obstructive, subtractive, traumatic, allergic, necrotic, inflammatory, and immunosuppressive pathogenic mechanisms. Parasites may also have the ability to cause tumors or tumor-like lesions in affected animals.

Histopathological features of parasitic diseases may play an important role in the diagnosis and knowledge of the severity and complications of parasitic diseases, by allowing the identification of the parasite species involved and the areas of pathological lesions, the detection of histopathological changes, particularly important for the differential diagnosis or to confirm the presumptive diagnosis of a parasitic disease or, again, by highlighting possible bacterial or viral complications and the outlook of treatment. Histopathological examination may also provide insights into the interactions between parasites and animal hosts and their impact on infected animals.

Immune-phenotipization of immune cells participating in the immune response of the animal against parasites is also very important to understand if the response is a positive or negative process for the host. Further, the recent paradigm that permits evaluating host M1 or M2 macrophage response is fundamental to have some provisional information regarding the possibility for the host of improving health conditions or not after parasite infection. 

The postgenomic era has generated unparalleled opportunities for creating and integrating systems biology data (i.e., organism‐ or cellular‐scale data produced through numerous ‐omics or systemwide technologies). This holistic approach is in direct contrast to conventional reductionist methods that ‘reduce’ systems into smaller, more tractable units. Systems‐based methods are particularly useful to study complex biological relationships that are: (1) open, with constant information exchange and a net flow of resources, and (2) stochastic, with spatial, temporal, and population heterogeneity. Host–parasite systems embody all of these defining characteristics. ‐Omics technologies are also much more efficient and economical when comparing the cumulative time, labor, and cost per gene to traditional reductionist strategies. 

This Special Issue is devoted to collecting original papers and/or review papers dealing with histopathological features of parasitic diseases, immunopathological studies of host–parasite immune-response characterization, and host–parasite systems. It is focused on parasitic diseases caused by different parasite pathogens of veterinary interest responsible for economic losses or that may negatively affect animal and human health and welfare. Parasites affecting vertebrate and invertebrate animal species used for human consumption (e.g., bred or caught fishes, mollusks, and crustaceans) and for producing food for human consumption (e.g., bees) or that can be the vectors or the hosts of important human and animal parasitic diseases (e.g., arthropod species responsible for malaria, Leishmania, Trypanosoma and other parasite transmission; snails involved in transmission of flukes) also represent a relevant field in this Special Issue.

Prof. Stefania Perrucci
Dr. Livio Galosi
Prof. Giacomo Rossi
Guest Editors

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 1800 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

  • parasitic diseases
  • anatomo-histopathological features
  • immunophenotipization
  • immunopathology
  • cell-mediated response
  • parasite strategies
  • co-evolutionary benefits
  • host–parasite systems
  • macrophages
  • animals

Published Papers (8 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle
Dysregulation of Glycerophosphocholines in the Cutaneous Lesion Caused by Leishmania major in Experimental Murine Models
Pathogens 2021, 10(5), 593; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens10050593 - 13 May 2021
Viewed by 176
Abstract
Cutaneous leishmaniasis (CL) is the most common disease form caused by a Leishmania parasite infection and considered a neglected tropical disease (NTD), affecting 700,000 to 1.2 million new cases per year in the world. Leishmania major is one of several different species of [...] Read more.
Cutaneous leishmaniasis (CL) is the most common disease form caused by a Leishmania parasite infection and considered a neglected tropical disease (NTD), affecting 700,000 to 1.2 million new cases per year in the world. Leishmania major is one of several different species of the Leishmania genus that can cause CL. Current CL treatments are limited by adverse effects and rising resistance. Studying disease metabolism at the site of infection can provide knowledge of new targets for host-targeted drug development. In this study, tissue samples were collected from mice infected in the ear or footpad with L. major and analyzed by untargeted liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS). Significant differences in overall metabolite profiles were noted in the ear at the site of the lesion. Interestingly, lesion-adjacent, macroscopically healthy sites also showed alterations in specific metabolites, including selected glycerophosphocholines (PCs). Host-derived PCs in the lower m/z range (m/z 200–799) showed an increase with infection in the ear at the lesion site, while those in the higher m/z range (m/z 800–899) were decreased with infection at the lesion site. Overall, our results expanded our understanding of the mechanisms of CL pathogenesis through host metabolism and may lead to new curative measures against infection with Leishmania. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Pathology and Parasitic Diseases of Animals)
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Open AccessArticle
Exposure to Major Vector-Borne Diseases in Dogs Subjected to Different Preventative Regimens in Endemic Areas of Italy
Pathogens 2021, 10(5), 507; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens10050507 - 23 Apr 2021
Viewed by 325
Abstract
Vector-borne diseases (VBDs) are globally widespread arthropod-transmitted diseases with a significant impact on animal and human health. Many drivers have recently spurred the geographic spread of VBDs in dogs. This study has evaluated the exposure to most important VBDs in dogs under different [...] Read more.
Vector-borne diseases (VBDs) are globally widespread arthropod-transmitted diseases with a significant impact on animal and human health. Many drivers have recently spurred the geographic spread of VBDs in dogs. This study has evaluated the exposure to most important VBDs in dogs under different preventative treatments in different regions of Italy, i.e., Veneto, Friuli Venezia-Giulia, Umbria, Giglio Island (Tuscany), Abruzzo and Latium. Serological analyses were performed to detect antibodies against Leishmania infantum, Babesia canis, Anaplasma phagocytophilum/Anaplasma platys, Ehrlichia canis/Ehrlichia ewingii, Borrelia burgdorferi, Rickettsia conorii and the circulating antigen of Dirofilaria immitis. Dogs were categorized according to the treatment schedule usually received, and the association between seropositivity and possible risk factors was statistically evaluated. Overall, 124/242 (51.2%) dogs tested positive for at least one pathogen, while 34 (14.0%) were exposed to two or more pathogens. The most detected seropositivity was against R. conorii, followed by Anaplasma spp., L. infantum, B. canis, and the other pathogens under study. Significant statistical associations were found according to geographical provenance, history of tick infestation, lifestyle and inadequate prophylactic treatments. Random/irregular treatments have been identified as a clear risk factor. These results show that adequate prophylactic treatment protocols are overlooked by dog owners, despite the availability of several effective products, with possible implications in veterinary medicine and on public health. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Pathology and Parasitic Diseases of Animals)
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Open AccessArticle
Pathology of Urinary Bladder in Pearsonema spp. Infected Wildlife from Central Italy
Pathogens 2021, 10(4), 474; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens10040474 - 14 Apr 2021
Viewed by 297
Abstract
The genus Pearsonema, in the nematode family Capillariidae, includes several species that parasitize the urinary bladders of wild and domestic carnivores. The infection has been reported worldwide from several wildlife species, including canids, mustelids, and felids, but the pathological aspects have [...] Read more.
The genus Pearsonema, in the nematode family Capillariidae, includes several species that parasitize the urinary bladders of wild and domestic carnivores. The infection has been reported worldwide from several wildlife species, including canids, mustelids, and felids, but the pathological aspects have seldom been investigated. In order to assess the presence and severity of the lesions in Pearsonema-infected wildlife, we performed a parasitological and pathological examination of urinary bladders from 72 animals, belonging to the families Canidae (red fox Vulpes vulpes, n = 28, and wolf Canis lupus, n = 29) and Mustelidae (beech marten Martes foina, n = 3; pine marten Martes martes, n = 2; and European badger Meles meles, n = 10). A greater prevalence of infection for canids (64.91%; 95% confidence interval (95% CI), 52.52–77.30%) than for mustelids (13.33%) (p < 0.001) was recorded. The prevalence of infection in red foxes was 75.0% (95% CI, 58.96–91.04%), in accordance with other reports from European countries, supporting the role of this species as a reservoir for infection. Eosinophilic cystitis was observed in 34 out of the 72 examined animals (47.22%). The influence of Pearsonema sp. infection on the occurrence of eosinophilic cystitis was statistically significant in wolves (p < 0.01), which were also affected by more severe histological lesions compared to foxes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Pathology and Parasitic Diseases of Animals)
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Open AccessArticle
Toxocara canis and Toxocara cati Somatic and Excretory-Secretory Antigens Are Recognised by C-Type Lectin Receptors
Pathogens 2021, 10(3), 321; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens10030321 - 09 Mar 2021
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Abstract
Toxocara canis and Toxocara cati, the worldwide occurring intestinal roundworms of canids and felids, represent an important public health threat due to various disease manifestations in humans. Host recognition of pathogens is mediated by pattern recognition receptors (PRRs). Myeloid C-type lectin receptors [...] Read more.
Toxocara canis and Toxocara cati, the worldwide occurring intestinal roundworms of canids and felids, represent an important public health threat due to various disease manifestations in humans. Host recognition of pathogens is mediated by pattern recognition receptors (PRRs). Myeloid C-type lectin receptors (CLRs) are PRRs and recognise carbohydrate structures of various pathogens. As Toxocara excretory-secretory products (TES) are predominantly composed of glycoconjugates, they represent suitable targets for CLRs. However, the range of host-derived CLRs recognising Toxocara spp. is still unknown. Using a CLR-hFc fusion protein library, T. canis and T. cati L3 somatic antigens (TSOM) were bound by a variety of CLRs in enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA), while their TES products interacted with macrophage galactose-type lectin-1 (MGL-1). Two prominent candidate CLRs, MGL-1 and macrophage C-type lectin (MCL), were selected for further binding studies. Immunofluorescence microscopy revealed binding of MGL-1 to the oral aperture of L3. Immunoblot experiments identified distinct protein fractions representing potential ligands for MGL-1 and MCL. To evaluate how these interactions influence the host immune response, bone marrow-derived dendritic cell (BMDC) assays were performed, showing MCL-dependent T. cati-mediated cytokine production. In conclusion, MGL-1 and MCL are promising candidates for immune modulation during Toxocara infection, deserving further investigation in the future. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Pathology and Parasitic Diseases of Animals)
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Open AccessArticle
An Unusual Case of Mixed Respiratory Capillariosis in a Dog
Pathogens 2021, 10(2), 117; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens10020117 - 23 Jan 2021
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Abstract
Nematodes belonging to the genus Capillaria infect a range of domestic and wild animals. Capillaria aerophila and Capillaria boehmi cause respiratory parasitoses in dogs and wild carnivores, e.g., foxes and mustelids, although they are often overlooked in canine clinical practice. The present report [...] Read more.
Nematodes belonging to the genus Capillaria infect a range of domestic and wild animals. Capillaria aerophila and Capillaria boehmi cause respiratory parasitoses in dogs and wild carnivores, e.g., foxes and mustelids, although they are often overlooked in canine clinical practice. The present report describes an unusual case of a severe and mixed infection by C. aerophila and C. boehmi in a privately housed dog that showed acute and life-threatening respiratory and neurological signs. Clinic-pathologic and epizootiological implications are described and discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Pathology and Parasitic Diseases of Animals)
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Open AccessArticle
Drug Resistance in Filarial Parasites Does Not Affect Mosquito Vectorial Capacity
Pathogens 2021, 10(1), 2; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens10010002 - 22 Dec 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 567
Abstract
Parasite drug resistance presents a major obstacle to controlling and eliminating vector-borne diseases affecting humans and animals. While vector-borne disease dynamics are affected by factors related to parasite, vertebrate host and vector, research on drug resistance in filarial parasites has primarily focused on [...] Read more.
Parasite drug resistance presents a major obstacle to controlling and eliminating vector-borne diseases affecting humans and animals. While vector-borne disease dynamics are affected by factors related to parasite, vertebrate host and vector, research on drug resistance in filarial parasites has primarily focused on the parasite and vertebrate host, rather than the mosquito. However, we expect that the physiological costs associated with drug resistance would reduce the fitness of drug-resistant vs. drug-susceptible parasites in the mosquito wherein parasites are not exposed to drugs. Here we test this hypothesis using four isolates of the dog heartworm (Dirofilaria immitis)—two drug susceptible and two drug resistant—and two vectors—the yellow fever mosquito (Aedes aegypti) and the Asian tiger mosquito (Ae. albopictus)—as our model system. Our data indicated that while vector species had a significant effect on vectorial capacity, there was no significant difference in the vectorial capacity of mosquitoes infected with drug-resistant vs. drug-susceptible parasites. Consequently, contrary to expectations, our data indicate that drug resistance in D. immitis does not appear to reduce the transmission efficiency of these parasites, and thus the spread of drug-resistant parasites in the vertebrate population is unlikely to be mitigated by reduced fitness in the mosquito vector. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Pathology and Parasitic Diseases of Animals)
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Open AccessSystematic Review
Skin Lesions in Feline Leishmaniosis: A Systematic Review
Pathogens 2021, 10(4), 472; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens10040472 - 13 Apr 2021
Viewed by 434
Abstract
Feline leishmaniosis (FeL) is increasingly reported throughout the world and skin lesions predominate in the clinical picture. There are, however, few evidence-based data on cutaneous feline leishmaniosis and directions are strongly needed for a better management of the disease. In this study, we [...] Read more.
Feline leishmaniosis (FeL) is increasingly reported throughout the world and skin lesions predominate in the clinical picture. There are, however, few evidence-based data on cutaneous feline leishmaniosis and directions are strongly needed for a better management of the disease. In this study, we systematically reviewed what is currently known about the clinical dermatological presentation of FeL through analysis of the literature and, further, by adding unpublished cases managed by Italian veterinary dermatologists. Sixty-six feline cases of cutaneous leishmaniosis published in 33 articles between 1990 and 2020 met the inclusion criteria and were analyzed. Six unpublished cases of cutaneous FeL managed by Italian dermatologists were also reviewed. The majority of cases were reported from South America, followed by Europe and North America. Nodules were the most frequently reported clinical signs and the presence of Leishmania in lesioned skin was assessed mainly by cytology. A total of six Leishmania species have been identified as being responsible for skin lesions. Coinfections by FIV or FeLV were reported in 12.1% and 9.1% of the cases, respectively. Clinical data including treatment have been analyzed and discussed to provide directives for proper management of the disease for which cats may also serve as domestic reservoirs for human infections. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Pathology and Parasitic Diseases of Animals)
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Open AccessCase Report
Severe Concomitant Physaloptera sp., Dirofilaria immitis, Toxocara cati, Dipylidium caninum, Ancylostoma sp. and Taenia taeniaeformis Infection in a Cat
Pathogens 2021, 10(2), 109; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens10020109 - 22 Jan 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 337
Abstract
Here we describe an unusual and severe mixed parasitic infection in a cat that died during routine surgery. Gastric Physaloptera sp., cardiac Dirofilaria immitis, and intestinal Toxocara cati, Dipylidium caninum, Ancylostoma sp. and Taenia taeniaeformis were observed. Histologic lesions included [...] Read more.
Here we describe an unusual and severe mixed parasitic infection in a cat that died during routine surgery. Gastric Physaloptera sp., cardiac Dirofilaria immitis, and intestinal Toxocara cati, Dipylidium caninum, Ancylostoma sp. and Taenia taeniaeformis were observed. Histologic lesions included chronic proliferative pulmonary endarteritis, mild increase of mucosal intestinal white cells, and terminal aspiration of gastric content. The severe dirofilariasis may have contributed to this patient death during anesthesia. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Pathology and Parasitic Diseases of Animals)
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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: Impact of Subclinical Infection of Haemoproteus columbae in Farmed Domestic Pigeons from the Central Java (Yogyakarta), Indonesia, with Special Reference to Actual Hemogram Changes
Authors: Imron Rosyadi*,†, Siti Isrina Salasia Oktavia†, Bayanzul Argamjav*, Hiroshi Sato*
Affiliation: Laboratory of Parasitology, Joint Graduate School of Veterinary Medicine, Yamaguchi University, 1677-1 Yoshida, Yamaguchi 753-8511, Japan
Abstract: Pigeon malaria caused by Haemoproteus columbae (Apicomplexa: Haemosporida: Haemoproteidae) is common in the rock doves (Columba livia) worldwide, although little information of the disease is available for pigeons and doves in Indonesia. Blood samples of 35 farmed domestic pigeons (C. livia f. domestica) at four localities in Yogyakarta Special Region, Central Java, Indonesia, were collected during a period from March to June of 2016, and hemoprotozoan infection and hemograms were individually analyzed. Microscopic examination of blood smears detected 62.5%–100% prevalence of H. columbae at four localities (n=8–10 for each locality), and 3.0%–5.6% erythrocytes were parasitized with young and mature gametocytes, suggesting that all infected pigeons were in a chronic phase of infection with repeated recurrences and/or reinfections. Nucleotide sequencing of mitochondrial cytochrome b gene (cytb) for hemosporidian species barcoding demonstrated distribution of four cosmopolitan cytb haplotypes of H. columbae (mainly HAECOL1, accompanied with COLIV03, COQUI05, and CXNEA02 according to the MalAvi database). Hemogram analyses (packed cell volume, erythrocyte counts, mean corpuscular volume, mean corpuscular hemoglobin concentration, plasma protein and fibrinogen) of 20 parasitized pigeons and five non-infected individuals demonstrated significant macrocytic hypochromic anemia with hypoproteinemia and hyperfibrinogenemia in infected pigeons. This study discloses profound impact of avian long-lasting subclinical malaria caused by H. columbae on health and productivity of farmed domestic pigeons exposed constantly with its vectors, Pseudolychia canariensis.

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