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Parasitic Diseases - Top 30 Publications

Progress towards eliminating onchocerciasis in the WHO Region of the Americas: elimination of transmission in the north-east focus of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela.

Brief Report: HIV/HBV Coinfection is a Significant Risk Factor for Liver Fibrosis in Tanzanian HIV-Infected Adults.

In sub-Saharan Africa, the burden of liver disease associated with chronic hepatitis B virus (HBV) and HIV is unknown. We characterized liver disease using aspartate aminotransferase-to-platelet ratio index (APRI) and FIB-4 in patients with HIV, HBV, and HIV/HBV coinfection in Tanzania.

Global programme to eliminate lymphatic filariasis: progress report, 2016.

Summary of global update on preventive chemotherapy implementation in 2016: crossing the billion.

The cost-effectiveness of an eradication programme in the end game: Evidence from guinea worm disease.

Of the three diseases targeted for eradication by WHO, two are so-called Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs)-guinea worm disease (GWD) and yaws. The Guinea Worm Eradication Programme (GWEP) is in its final stages, with only 25 reported in 2016. However, global eradication still requires certification by WHO of the absence of transmission in all countries. We analyze the cost-effectiveness of the GWEP in the end game, when the number of cases is lower and the cost per case is higher than at any other time. Ours is the first economic evaluation of the GWEP since a World Bank study in 1997.

Regional initiatives for malaria elimination: Building and maintaining partnerships.

Andrew Lover and colleagues discuss regional malaria initiatives, the strengths and challenges.

Malaria elimination: report from the inaugural global forum of countries with potential to eliminate malaria by 2020.

Armenia, Maldives, Sri Lanka and Kyrgyzstan certified malaria-free.

Idiopathic CD4 lymphocytopenia: Pathogenesis, etiologies, clinical presentations and treatment strategies.

Idiopathic CD4 lymphocytopenia (ICL) is a rare condition characterized by an unexplained deficit of circulating CD4 T cells leading to increased risk of serious opportunistic infections. The pathogenesis, etiology, clinical presentation, and best treatment options remain unclear.

Risk factors of serious infections in patients with rheumatoid arthritis treated with tocilizumab in the French Registry REGATE.

Observational studies have already reported the risk of serious infections in RA treated with tocilizumab, but in limited samples. The aim of this study was to investigate the predictive risk factors for serious infections in the largest European registry of patients treated with tocilizumab for RA.

Significance of chronic toxoplasmosis in epidemiology of road traffic accidents in Russian Federation.

Studies carried out in Moscow residents have revealed that the prevalence of chronic toxoplasmosis is very close to those in countries of Eastern and Central Europe. Our findings also demonstrated a statistically significant relationship between the rate of traffic accidents and the seroprevalence of chronic toxoplasmosis in drivers who were held responsible for accidents. The latter was 2.37 times higher in drivers who were involved in road accidents compared with control groups. These results suggest that the consequences of chronic toxoplasmosis (particularly a slower reaction time and decreased concentration) might contribute to the peculiarities of the epidemiology of road traffic accidents in the Russian Federation and might interfere with the successful implementation of the Federal Programme named "Increase road traffic safety". Suggestions for how to address overcome this problem are discussed in this paper.

HIV and tuberculosis co-infection among migrants in Europe: A systematic review on the prevalence, incidence and mortality.

International human migration has been rapidly growing. Migrants coming from low and middle income countries continue to be considerably vulnerable and at higher risk for infectious diseases, namely HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus) and tuberculosis (TB). In Europe, the number of patients with HIV-TB co-infection has been increasing and migration could be one of the potential driving forces.

Evaluation of a new set of recombinant antigens for the serological diagnosis of human and canine visceral leishmaniasis.

Current strategies for the control of zoonotic visceral leishmaniasis (VL) rely on its efficient diagnosis in both human and canine hosts. The most promising and cost effective approach is based on serologic assays with recombinant proteins. However, no single antigen has been found so far which can be effectively used to detect the disease in both dogs and humans. In previous works, we identified Leishmania infantum antigens with potential for the serodiagnosis of VL. Here, we aimed to expand the panel of the available antigens for VL diagnosis through another screening of a genomic expression library. Seven different protein-coding gene fragments were identified, five of which encoding proteins which have not been previously studied in Leishmania and rich in repetitive motifs. Poly-histidine tagged polypeptides were generated from six genes and evaluated for their potential for diagnosis of VL by ELISA (Enzyme Linked ImmunoSorbent Assay) with sera from infected humans and dogs. None of those was valid for the detection of human VL (26-52% sensitivity) although their performance was increased in the canine sera (48-91% sensitivity), with one polypeptide useful for the diagnosis of canine leishmaniasis. Next, we assayed a mixture of three antigens, found to be best for human or canine VL, among 13 identified through different screenings. This "Mix" resulted in similar levels of sensitivity for both human (84%) and canine (88%) sera. With improvements, this validates the use of multiple proteins, including antigens identified here, as components of a single system for the diagnosis of both forms of leishmaniasis.

Norwegian scabies in a patient treated with Tripterygium glycoside for rheumatoid arthritis.

We report an 80-year-old male patient with severe rheumatoid arthritis who was treated with tripterygium glycoside, an immunosuppressive agent made from the extract of a Chinese medicinal herb called Tripterygium wilfordii Hook F. The patient had no apparent skin lesions before the treatment, but he developed aggressive hyperkeratotic lesions with rapid progression after using tripterygium glycoside. He was repeatedly diagnosed with eczema, but treatment failed to achieve efficacy. Interestingly, a microscopic examination of the lesions revealed numerous scabies mites and eggs. Thus, we confirmed the diagnosis of Norwegian scabies infection. Treated with crotamiton 10% cream and 10% sulfur ointment for one month, the patient's clinical symptoms disappeared.

Epidemiological, clinical, diagnostic and economic features of an immigrant population of chronic schistosomiasis sufferers with long-term residence in a non-endemic country (North Metropolitan area of Barcelona, 2002-2016).

Schistosomiasis, one of the neglected tropical diseases (NTD) listed by the WHO, is an acute and chronic parasitic disease caused by blood flukes (trematode worms) of the genus Schistosoma. Complications of long-term infestation include liver cirrhosis, bladder tumors and kidney failure. The objective of this study was to carry out a clinical and epidemiological characterization of a schistosomiasis-diagnosed immigrant population with long-term residencein the EU as well as to evaluate the diagnostic methods available to date.

How much will it cost to eradicate lymphatic filariasis? An analysis of the financial and economic costs of intensified efforts against lymphatic filariasis.

Lymphatic filariasis (LF), a neglected tropical disease (NTD) preventable through mass drug administration (MDA), is one of six diseases deemed possibly eradicable. Previously we developed one LF elimination scenario, which assumes MDA scale-up to continue in all countries that have previously undertaken MDA. In contrast, our three previously developed eradication scenarios assume all LF endemic countries will undertake MDA at an average (eradication I), fast (eradication II), or instantaneous (eradication III) rate of scale-up. In this analysis we use a micro-costing model to project the financial and economic costs of each of these scenarios in order to provide evidence to decision makers about the investment required to eliminate and eradicate LF.

Efficacy of recommended drugs against soil transmitted helminths: systematic review and network meta-analysis.

Objective To evaluate efficacies of anthelmintic drugs against soil transmitted helminths in terms of cure rates and egg reduction rates.Design Systematic review and network meta-analysis.Data Sources PubMed, ISI Web of Science, Embase, ScienceDirect, the Cochrane Central Register of Clinical Trials, and the World Health Organization library database from 1960 until 31 December 2016.Study selection Randomised controlled trials evaluating the efficacy of a single dose regimen of albendazole, mebendazole, levamisole, and pyrantel pamoate against Ascaris lumbricoides, hookworm (Necator americanus and Ancylostoma duodenale) and Trichuris trichiura. The primary outcomes included cure rates analysed by network meta-analysis with mixed logistic regression models and egg reduction rates with mixed linear models.Results 55 and 46 randomised controlled trials were included in the analysis of cure rates and egg reduction rates, respectively. All drugs were highly efficacious against A lumbricoides Albendazole showed the highest efficacy against hookworm infections with a cure rate of 79.5% (95% confidence interval 71.5% to 85.6%) and an egg reduction rate of 89.6% (81.9% to 97.3%). All drugs had low efficacy against T trichiura, with mebendazole showing the highest cure rate of 42.1% (25.9% to 60.2%) and egg reduction rate of 66.0% (54.6% to 77.3%). Estimates for the years 1995 and 2015 showed significant reductions in efficacy of albendazole against T trichiura: by 2015 the egg reduction rates fell from 72.6% (53.7% to 91.5%) to 43.4% (23.5% to 63.3%; P=0.049) and the cure rates fell from 38.6% (26.2% to 52.7%) to 16.4 (7.7% to 31.3%; P=0.027).Conclusions All four currently recommended drugs show limitations in their efficacy profile. While only albendazole showed good efficacy against hookworm infection, all drugs had low efficacy against T trichiura The decrease in efficacy of albendazole against T trichiura over the past two decades is of concern. The findings indicate the need for strengthening efforts to develop new drug treatments, with a particular focus on drugs against T trichiura.

Visceral leishmaniasis and HIV/AIDS in Brazil: Are we aware enough?

The urbanization of visceral leishmaniasis (VL) and the concurrent movement of the HIV infection to rural areas in Brazil are possible mechanisms associated with an increased number of Leishmania/HIV coinfected people. This study aimed to describe the clinical and epidemiological profile of VL/HIV coinfected patients and compare this profile to non-coinfected VL patients.

Complicated malaria in children and adults from three settings of the Colombian Pacific Coast: A prospective study.

Complicated malaria remains an important public health problem, particularly in endemic settings where access to health services is limited and consequently malaria fatal outcomes occur. Few publications describing the clinical course and outcomes of complicated malaria in Latin America are found in the literature. This prospective study approached the clinical and laboratory characteristics of hospitalized patients with complicated malaria in different endemic areas of the Colombian Pacific Coast with the aim to provide epidemiological knowledge and guide to further reducing malaria severity and mortality.

Variations in the quality of malaria-specific antibodies with transmission intensity in a seasonal malaria transmission area of Northern Ghana.

Plasmodium falciparum induced antibodies are key components of anti-malarial immunity in malaria endemic areas, but their antigen targets can be polymorphic. Induction of a high proportion of strain-specific antibodies will limit the recognition of a broad diversity of parasite strains by these responses. There are indications that circulating parasite diversity varies with malaria transmission intensity, and this may affect the specificity of elicited anti-malarial antibodies. This study therefore assessed the effect of varying malaria transmission patterns on the specificity of elicited antibody responses and to identify possible antibody correlates of naturally acquired immunity to malaria in children in an area of Ghana with seasonal malaria transmission.

Quantitative multiplexed proteomics of Taenia solium cysts obtained from the skeletal muscle and central nervous system of pigs.

In human and porcine cysticercosis caused by the tapeworm Taenia solium, the larval stage (cysts) can infest several tissues including the central nervous system (CNS) and the skeletal muscles (SM). The cyst's proteomics changes associated with the tissue localization in the host tissues have been poorly studied. Quantitative multiplexed proteomics has the power to evaluate global proteome changes in response to different conditions. Here, using a TMT-multiplexed strategy we identified and quantified over 4,200 proteins in cysts obtained from the SM and CNS of pigs, of which 891 were host proteins. To our knowledge, this is the most extensive intermixing of host and parasite proteins reported for tapeworm infections.Several antigens in cysticercosis, i.e., GP50, paramyosin and a calcium-binding protein were enriched in skeletal muscle cysts. Our results suggested the occurrence of tissue-enriched antigen that could be useful in the improvement of the immunodiagnosis for cysticercosis. Using several algorithms for epitope detection, we selected 42 highly antigenic proteins enriched for each tissue localization of the cysts. Taking into account the fold changes and the antigen/epitope contents, we selected 10 proteins and produced synthetic peptides from the best epitopes. Nine peptides were recognized by serum antibodies of cysticercotic pigs, suggesting that those peptides are antigens. Mixtures of peptides derived from SM and CNS cysts yielded better results than mixtures of peptides derived from a single tissue location, however the identification of the 'optimal' tissue-enriched antigens remains to be discovered. Through machine learning technologies, we determined that a reliable immunodiagnostic test for porcine cysticercosis required at least five different antigenic determinants.

Control of visceral leishmaniasis in Somalia: achievements in a challenging scenario, 2013–2015.

Global leishmaniasis update, 2006–2015: a turning point in leishmaniasis surveillance.

The Global Threat of Animal Influenza Viruses of Zoonotic Concern: Then and Now.

Animal influenza viruses can reassort or mutate to infect and spread sustainably among people and cause a devastating worldwide pandemic. Since the first evidence of human infection with an animal influenza virus, in 1958, 16 different novel, zoonotic influenza A virus subtype groups in 29 countries, Taiwan, and Hong Kong have caused human infections, with differing severity and frequency. The frequency of novel influenza virus detection is increasing, and human infections with influenza A(H5N1) and A(H7N9) viruses are now annual seasonal occurrences in Asia. The study of the epidemiology and virology of animal influenza viruses is key to understanding pandemic risk and informing preparedness. This supplement brings together select recent articles that look at the risk of emergence and transmission of and approaches to prevent novel influenza virus infections.

Placental but Not Peripheral Plasmodium falciparum Infection During Pregnancy Is Associated With Increased Risk of Malaria in Infancy.

Pregnancy-associated Plasmodium falciparum infection impacts the health of mothers and newborns, but little is known about the effects of these infections on infant susceptibility to malaria. We followed 473 mother-infant pairs during pregnancy and through 2 years of age. We observed that children born to mothers with placental malaria, but not those born to mothers with peripheral infection without evidence of placental sequestration, had increased risk of malaria during the first year of life compared with children born to mothers with no malaria during pregnancy. Malaria infections with placental sequestration have long-lasting impact on infant susceptibility to malaria infection.

Insights Into Onchocerca volvulus Population Biology Through Multilocus Immunophenotyping.

We have developed a serologically based immunophenotyping approach to study Onchocerca volvulus (Ov) population diversity. Using genomic sequence data and polymerase chain reaction-based genotyping, we identified nonsynonymous single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in the genes of 16 major immunogenic Ov proteins: Ov-CHI-1/Ov-CHI-2, Ov16, Ov-FAR-1, Ov-CPI-1, Ov-B20, Ov-ASP-1, Ov-TMY-1, OvSOD1, OvGST1, Ov-CAL-1, M3/M4, Ov-RAL-1, Ov-RAL-2, Ov-ALT-1, Ov-FBA-1, and Ov-B8. We assessed the immunoreactivity of onchocerciasis patient sera (n = 152) from the Americas, West Africa, Central Africa, and East Africa against peptides derived from 10 of these proteins containing SNPs. Statistically significant variation in immunoreactivity among the regions was seen in SNP-containing peptides derived from 8 of 10 proteins tested: OVOC1192(1-15), OVOC9988(28-42), OVOC9225(320-334), OVOC7453(22-36), OVOC11517(14-28), OVOC3177(283-297), OVOC7911(594-608), and OVOC12628(174-188). Our data show that differences in immunoreactivity to variant antigenic peptides may be used to characterize Ov populations, thereby elucidating features of Ov population biology previously inaccessible because of the limited availability of parasite material.

Declining Transmission and Immunity to Malaria and Emerging Artemisinin Resistance in Thailand: A Longitudinal Study.

Reductions in malaria transmission decrease naturally acquired immunity, which may influence the emergence of Plasmodium falciparum artemisinin-resistant phenotypes and genotypes over time.

High-Sensitivity Assays for Plasmodium falciparum Infection by Immuno-Polymerase Chain Reaction Detection of PfIDEh and PfLDH Antigens.

Rapid diagnostic tests based on Plasmodium falciparum histidine-rich protein II (PfHRP-II) and P. falciparum lactate dehydrogenase (PfLDH) antigens are widely deployed for detection of P. falciparum infection; however, these tests often miss cases of low-level parasitemia, and PfHRP-II tests can give false-negative results when P. falciparum strains do not express this antigen.

Gene Expression Analysis Reveals Genes Common to Cerebral Malaria and Neurodegenerative Disorders.

Cerebral malaria, a reversible encephalopathy affecting young children, is a medical emergency requiring urgent clinical assessment and treatment. We performed a whole-transcriptomic analysis of blood samples from Malian children with cerebral or uncomplicated malaria. We focused on transcripts from pathways for which dysfunction has been associated with neurodegenerative disorders. We found that SNCA, SIAH2, UBB, HSPA1A, TUBB2A, and PINK1 were upregulated (fold-increases, ≥2.6), whereas UBD and PSMC5 were downregulated (fold-decreases, ≤4.39) in children with cerebral malaria, compared with those with uncomplicated malaria. These findings provide the first evidence for pathogenic mechanisms common to human cerebral malaria and neurodegenerative disorders.

Evaluation of the pharmacokinetic-pharmacodynamic relationship of praziquantel in the Schistosoma mansoni mouse model.

After more than 40 years of use, Praziquantel (PZQ) still remains the drug of choice for the treatment of intestinal and urogenital schistosomiasis. Its anti-parasitic activity resides primarily in the (R)-enantiomer. Hitherto neither the molecular target nor the pharmacokinetic-pharmacodynamic relationship have been fully elucidated. Here we investigated the efficacy and pharmacokinetics of PZQ in the Schistosoma mansoni mouse model to determine the key factors that drive its efficacy. Dose-response studies with racemic PZQ with or without addition of an irreversible pan-cytochrome P450 (CYP) inhibitor, 1-aminobenzotriazole (ABT), were performed. In addition, efficacy of PZQ in the presence of the CYP inducer, dexamethasone (DEX), was determined. Plasma samples were obtained by tail vein bleeding at 4 time points. The (R)-PZQ levels were determined using a LC-MS/MS method. Non-compartmental pharmacokinetic analysis was performed using PKsolver. In addition, experiments using an enhanced in vitro assay were conducted. We found that the use of ABT increased (R)-PZQ plasma exposures in the systemic circulation by ~10 to 20 fold but the latter were not predictive of efficacy. The use of DEX decreased plasma exposures of (R)-PZQ in the systemic circulation by ~10 fold without reducing efficacy. We extrapolated the (R)-PZQ concentrations in mouse portal vein / mesenteric veins from the systemic exposures and found that a free exposure of (R)-PZQ of ~ 20 μM*h in the portal vein was needed to obtain a worm burden reduction >60%. It is suggested that the high (R)-PZQ concentrations available before the hepatic first pass metabolism drive the efficacy against S. mansoni adult worms residing in the mesenteric veins. It is then possible that the current dosing regimen of 40 mg/kg in preventive chemotherapy programs may provide suboptimal concentrations in low-weight patients such as children, due to smaller total amounts of drug administered, and may consequently result in lower cure rates.