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Parasitic Diseases - Top 30 Publications

Plasmodium falciparum Mortality in Africa between 1990 and 2015.

Plasmodium falciparum Mortality in Africa between 1990 and 2015.

Plasmodium falciparum Mortality in Africa between 1990 and 2015.

A Trial of Itraconazole or Amphotericin B for HIV-Associated Talaromycosis.

Talaromyces marneffei infection is a major cause of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-related death in South and Southeast Asia. Guidelines recommend initial treatment with amphotericin B deoxycholate, but this drug has substantial side effects, a high cost, and limited availability. Itraconazole is available in oral form, is associated with fewer unacceptable side effects than amphotericin, and is widely used in place of amphotericin; however, clinical trials comparing these two treatments are lacking.

The US President's Malaria Initiative and under-5 child mortality in sub-Saharan Africa: A difference-in-differences analysis.

Despite substantial financial contributions by the United States President's Malaria Initiative (PMI) since 2006, no studies have carefully assessed how this program may have affected important population-level health outcomes. We utilized multiple publicly available data sources to evaluate the association between introduction of PMI and child mortality rates in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA).

sourceR: Classification and source attribution of infectious agents among heterogeneous populations.

Zoonotic diseases are a major cause of morbidity, and productivity losses in both human and animal populations. Identifying the source of food-borne zoonoses (e.g. an animal reservoir or food product) is crucial for the identification and prioritisation of food safety interventions. For many zoonotic diseases it is difficult to attribute human cases to sources of infection because there is little epidemiological information on the cases. However, microbial strain typing allows zoonotic pathogens to be categorised, and the relative frequencies of the strain types among the sources and in human cases allows inference on the likely source of each infection. We introduce sourceR, an R package for quantitative source attribution, aimed at food-borne diseases. It implements a Bayesian model using strain-typed surveillance data from both human cases and source samples, capable of identifying important sources of infection. The model measures the force of infection from each source, allowing for varying survivability, pathogenicity and virulence of pathogen strains, and varying abilities of the sources to act as vehicles of infection. A Bayesian non-parametric (Dirichlet process) approach is used to cluster pathogen strain types by epidemiological behaviour, avoiding model overfitting and allowing detection of strain types associated with potentially high "virulence". sourceR is demonstrated using Campylobacter jejuni isolate data collected in New Zealand between 2005 and 2008. Chicken from a particular poultry supplier was identified as the major source of campylobacteriosis, which is qualitatively similar to results of previous studies using the same dataset. Additionally, the software identifies a cluster of 9 multilocus sequence types with abnormally high 'virulence' in humans. sourceR enables straightforward attribution of cases of zoonotic infection to putative sources of infection. As sourceR develops, we intend it to become an important and flexible resource for food-borne disease attribution studies.

Artichoke leaf extract protects liver of Schistosoma mansoni infected mice through modulation of hepatic stellate cells recruitment.

Schistosomiasis is the second most common human parasitic disease worldwide. It is responsible for 300000 deaths per year. Liver fibrosis is the main pathology of schistosomiasis and its complications are the major cause of death in infected cases. Unfortunately, the therapeutic dose of praziquantel (PZQ) - the main drug treatment - doesn't markedly affect fibrosis. In the present study, antiparasitic and hepatoprotective properties of artichoke leaf extract (ALE) were tested on mice experimentally infected with Schistosoma mansoni (S. mansoni) and were compared to PZQ. Four mice groups were infected with S. mansoni. The first three groups received ALE, ALE + PZQ and PZQ respectively. The 4th was the positive control and the 5th was the negative control group. Worm load, egg count, granuloma numbers and diameters were measured to assess ALE anti-schistoaomal properties. Masson's trichrome staining of fibrosis, immune staining of hepatic stellate cells (HSCs) and estimation of liver enzymes were done to assess its hepato-protective action. Although it had no significant effects on worm or tissue egg load and granuloma number, ALE caused significant reduction of granuloma diameter, improvement of liver functions and liver fibrosis. ALE caused statistically significant changes in HSCs distribution. It reduced granuloma size by increasing HSCs recruitment inside granuloma and limited liver fibrosis by their inhibition in the peri- and inter-granuloma liver tissue. It was concluded that despite failure of ALE to treat S. mansoni infection, it can limit liver damage caused by this parasite by modulating HSCs recruitment.

Disseminated Rhinosporidiosis with Conjunctival Involvement in an Immunocompromised Patient.

Rhinosporidiosis is a granulomatous infection of mucocutaneous tissue caused by Rhinosporidium seeberi that most commonly occurs in the nasal cavity. Ocular rhinosporidiosis affects primarily the conjunctiva. Diagnosis of rhinosporidiosis is based on strong clinical suspicion and is confirmed by histopathological examination. We report a rare case of conjunctival rhinosporidiosis in an immunocompromised patient (human immunodeficiency virus) with disseminated cutaneous rhinosporidiosis. A 44-year-old male presented with a swelling in the right upper eyelid for 6 months. Excision biopsy of the ocular lesion showed multiple thick-walled, variable-sized sporangia containing endospores within the subepithelium suggestive of rhinosporidiosis. A multidrug regimen of systemic cycloserine, ketoconazole, and dapsone was administered to treat disseminated rhinosporidiosis, in addition to antiretroviral therapy. There was good response with reduction in the swellings.

Malaria Surveillance - United States, 2014.

Malaria in humans is caused by intraerythrocytic protozoa of the genus Plasmodium. These parasites are transmitted by the bite of an infective female Anopheles mosquito. The majority of malaria infections in the United States occur among persons who have traveled to regions with ongoing malaria transmission. However, malaria is occasionally acquired by persons who have not traveled out of the country through exposure to infected blood products, congenital transmission, laboratory exposure, or local mosquitoborne transmission. Malaria surveillance in the United States is conducted to identify episodes of local transmission and to guide prevention recommendations for travelers.

Hydatid cyst of the posterior fossa.

Hydatidosis is an endemic affection in Morocco. Cerebral echinococcosis is a relatively rare entity accounting for only 1-2% of all hydatid cysts in humans. hydatid cyst of the posterior fossa is a very uncommon site for the disease. We report the case of a 12 year-old child admitted for high intracranial pressure. Brain CT scan showed a posterior fossa cyst without enhancement after contrast medium injection. Operative finding revealed a hydatid cyst. The histological examination of the tissue sample confirmed the diagnosis. The patient was given albendazole post operatively. He feels well six months later.

Lipopolysaccharide-induced acute lung injury in mice chronically infected by Schistosoma mansoni.

We used a murine model of Schistosoma mansoni (SM) infection and lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-induced endotoxicity to investigate if these conditions can interact to modify the pathological manifestations typically observed in each condition. Swiss mice were randomized into four groups: SAL, uninfected; SM, infected; LPS, uninfected + LPS; and SM + LPS, infected + LPS. S. mansoni infection developed over 120 days, after which blood samples and lungs were collected, peritoneal leukocytes were isolated and cultivated for 6 and 24 h after LPS inoculation (1 mL/kg). Infected animals presented marked granulomatous inflammation. LPS exposure transiently modified the profile of leucocyte migration into the lung tissue and increased NO production by isolated leukocytes, without inducing any acute effect on the structure of schistosomiasis granulomas. Beyond modifying lung morphology, S. mansoni and LPS interacted to modulate the circulating levels of cytokines. S. mansoni infection restricted INF-γ upregulation 6 and 24 h after LPS administration. Conversely, 24 h after inoculation, LPS increased IL-2 and IL-5 levels. Our findings indicate that LPS impaired the lung microenvironment by acutely disrupting inflammatory homeostatic mechanisms that control lung schistosomiasis. As schistosomiasis develops as a chronic condition, long-term exposure to endotoxins could aggravate the granulomatous process, an issue that requires further investigation.

Dracunculiasis eradication: global surveillance summary, 2016.

Peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-γ-mediated polarization of macrophages in Neospora caninum infection.

Neospora caninum is an apicomplexan parasite closely related Toxoplasma gondii, which causes neurological disease and abortion in multiple animal species. Macrophage polarization plays an important role in host immune responses to parasites infection, such as Toxoplasma gondii, Leishmania, Trypanosoma cruzi. However, the dynamics of macrophage polarization, as well as the possible mechanism that regulate macrophage polarization, during N. caninum infection remains unclear.

Construction of Lactococcus lactis expressing secreted and anchored Eimeria tenella 3-1E protein and comparison of protective immunity against homologous challenge.

Two novel plasmids pTX8048-SP-Δ3-1E and pTX8048-SP-NAΔ3-1E-CWA were constructed. The plasmids were respectively electrotransformed into L. lactis NZ9000 to generate strain of L. lactis/pTX8048-SP-Δ3-1E in which 3-1E protein was expressed in secretion, and L. lactis/pTX8048-SP-NAΔ3-1E-CWA on which 3-1E protein was covalently anchored to the surface of bacteria cells. The expression of target proteins were examined by Western blot. The live lactococci expressing secreted 3-1E protein, anchored 3-1E protein, and cytoplasmic 3-1E protein was administered orally to chickens respectively, and the protective immunity and efficacy were compared by animal experiment. The results showed oral immunization to chickens with recombinant lactococci expressing anchored 3-1E protein elicited high 3-1E-specific serum IgG, increased high proportion of CD4(+) and CD8α(+) cells in spleen, alleviated average lesion score in cecum, decreased the oocyst output per chicken compared to lactococci expressing cytoplasmic or secreted 3-1E protein. Taken together, these findings indicated the surface anchored Eimeria protein displayed by L. lacits can induce protective immunity and partial protection against homologous infection.

Capacity and readiness of civil society organisations to implement community case management of malaria in Kenya.

Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) contribute to achieving development goals through advocacy, social mobilisation and provision of health services. CSO programming is a key component of Global Fund (GF) grants; however, CSOs face technical and governance capacity challenges in grant utilisation leading to missed opportunities for improving health at community level. Amref Health Africa was appointed Principal Recipient of a GF grant aimed at scaling up community case management of malaria through CSOs as sub-recipients in western Kenya. To identify potential risks and strengthen grant management, Amref Health Africa and the Ministry of Health conducted a capacity needs assessment to determine the capacity of CSOs to effectively utilise grants.

Using Molecular Characterization to Support Investigations of Aquatic Facility-Associated Outbreaks of Cryptosporidiosis - Alabama, Arizona, and Ohio, 2016.

Cryptosporidiosis is a nationally notifiable gastrointestinal illness caused by parasitic protozoa of the genus Cryptosporidium, which can cause profuse, watery diarrhea that can last up to 2-3 weeks in immunocompetent patients and can lead to life-threatening wasting and malabsorption in immunocompromised patients. Fecal-oral transmission of Cryptosporidium oocysts, the parasite's infectious life stage, occurs via ingestion of contaminated recreational water, drinking water, or food, or following contact with infected persons or animals, particularly preweaned bovine calves (1). The typical incubation period is 2-10 days. Since 2004, the annual incidence of nationally notified cryptosporidiosis has risen approximately threefold in the United States (1). Cryptosporidium also has emerged as the leading etiology of nationally notified recreational water-associated outbreaks, particularly those associated with aquatic facilities (i.e., physical places that contain one or more aquatic venues [e.g., pools] and support infrastructure) (2). As of February 24, 2017, a total of 13 (54%) of 24 states reporting provisional data detected at least 32 aquatic facility-associated cryptosporidiosis outbreaks in 2016. In comparison, 20 such outbreaks were voluntarily reported to CDC via the National Outbreak Reporting System for 2011, 16 for 2012, 13 for 2013, and 16 for 2014. This report highlights cryptosporidiosis outbreaks associated with aquatic facilities in three states (Alabama, Arizona, and Ohio) in 2016. This report also illustrates the use of CryptoNet, the first U.S. molecularly based surveillance system for a parasitic disease, to further elucidate Cryptosporidium chains of transmission and cryptosporidiosis epidemiology. CryptoNet data can be used to optimize evidence-based prevention strategies. Not swimming when ill with diarrhea is key to preventing and controlling aquatic facility-associated cryptosporidiosis outbreaks (https://www.cdc.gov/healthywater/swimming/swimmers/steps-healthy-swimming.html).

Comparison of artemether-lumefantrine and chloroquine with and without primaquine for the treatment of Plasmodium vivax infection in Ethiopia: A randomized controlled trial.

Recent efforts in malaria control have resulted in great gains in reducing the burden of Plasmodium falciparum, but P. vivax has been more refractory. Its ability to form dormant liver stages confounds control and elimination efforts. To compare the efficacy and safety of primaquine regimens for radical cure, we undertook a randomized controlled trial in Ethiopia.

Epidemiological modeling of Trypanosoma cruzi: Low stercorarian transmission and failure of host adaptive immunity explain the frequency of mixed infections in humans.

People living in areas with active vector-borne transmission of Chagas disease have multiple contacts with its causative agent, Trypanosoma cruzi. Reinfections by T. cruzi are possible at least in animal models leading to lower or even hardly detectable parasitaemia. In humans, although reinfections are thought to have major public health implications by increasing the risk of chronic manifestations of the disease, there is little quantitative knowledge about their frequency and the timing of parasite re-inoculation in the course of the disease. Here, we implemented stochastic agent-based models i) to estimate the rate of re-inoculation in humans and ii) to assess how frequent are reinfections during the acute and chronic stages of the disease according to alternative hypotheses on the adaptive immune response following a primary infection. By using a hybrid genetic algorithm, the models were fitted to epidemiological data of Argentinean rural villages where mixed infections by different genotypes of T. cruzi reach 56% in humans. To explain this percentage, the best model predicted 0.032 (0.008-0.042) annual reinfections per individual with 98.4% of them occurring in the chronic phase. In addition, the parasite escapes to the adaptive immune response mounted after the primary infection in at least 20% of the events of re-inoculation. With these low annual rates, the risks of reinfection during the typically long chronic stage of the disease stand around 14% (4%-18%) and 60% (21%-70%) after 5 and 30 years, with most individuals being re-infected 1-3 times overall. These low rates are better explained by the weak efficiency of the stercorarian mode of transmission than a highly efficient adaptive immune response. Those estimates are of particular interest for vaccine development and for our understanding of the higher risk of chronic disease manifestations suffered by infected people living in endemic areas.

ANTHELMINTIC EFFECTS OF DRIED GROUND BANANA PLANT LEAVES (MUSA SPP.) FED TO SHEEP ARTIFICIALLY INFECTED WITH HAEMONCHUS CONTORTUS AND TRICHOSTRONGYLUS COLUBRIFORMIS.

Helminths is a endoparasites that cause the major losses for profitable sheep production in Brazil. The increased development of resistant strains of endoparasites have enforced the search for sustainable alternatives. The aim of this paper was to provide information about endoparasites control with banana leaves in infected sheep as alternative control strategies and see its viability.

Epidemiology of Cryptosporidium in Pediatric Diarrheal Illnesses.

Cryptosporidium spp. is a zoonotic infection, now being recognized as a significant cause of diarrhea in both immunocompetent and immunocompromised hosts. However, there still exist significant knowledge gaps in its estimated global burden, epidemiology, diagnosis and management.

7-Substituted 2-Nitro-5,6-dihydroimidazo2,1-b1,3oxazines: Novel Antitubercular Agents Lead to a New Preclinical Candidate for Visceral Leishmaniasis.

Within a backup program for the clinical investigational agent pretomanid (PA-824), scaffold hopping from delamanid inspired the discovery of a novel class of potent antitubercular agents that unexpectedly possessed notable utility against the kinetoplastid disease visceral leishmaniasis (VL). Following the identification of delamanid analogue DNDI-VL-2098 as a VL preclinical candidate, this structurally related 7-substituted 2-nitro-5,6-dihydroimidazo[2,1-b][1,3]oxazine class was further explored, seeking efficacious backup compounds with improved solubility and safety. Commencing with a biphenyl lead, bioisosteres formed by replacing one phenyl by pyridine or pyrimidine showed improved solubility and potency, whereas more hydrophilic side chains reduced VL activity. In a Leishmania donovani mouse model, two racemic phenylpyridines (71 and 93) were superior, with the former providing >99% inhibition at 12.5 mg/kg (b.i.d., orally) in the Leishmania infantum hamster model. Overall, the 7R enantiomer of 71 (79) displayed more optimal efficacy, pharmacokinetics, and safety, leading to its selection as the preferred development candidate.

Changes of cecal microflora in chickens following Eimeria tenella challenge and regulating effect of coated sodium butyrate.

Eimeria tenella, one of the most important parasitic protozoa in the genus Eimeria, is responsible for chicken caecal coccidiosis resulting in huge economic losses to poultry industry. The present study investigated the changes in caecal microflora of E. tenella-infected chickens and the regulating effect of coated sodium butyrate, a potential alternative to antibiotics. Using high-throughput sequencing of 16S rRNA V3-V4 region of bacteria we found significant changes in caecal microflora of E. tenella-infected chickens indicated by an increase of Firmicutes (mainly Ruminococcaceae, Lachnospiraceae and vadin BB60) and Proteobacteria (mainly Enterobacteriaceae) and a decrease of Bacteroidetes (predominantly Bacteroidaceae). Inclusion of coated sodium butyrate in the diet of chickens per se had no significant effect on caecal microflora of normal healthy chickens but significantly prevented the increase in Firmicute abundance and decrease of Bacteroidetes abundance in E. tenella-infected birds. No significant changes to caecal microflora were observed at the phylum level between control and E. tenella-infected birds given coated sodium butyrate. In conclusion, our results show that coated sodium butyrate can balance the disorders of cecal microflora caused by E. tenella; thus, it can be a useful supplement for the control of avian coccidiosis.

Free-living amoebae isolated in the Central African Republic: epidemiological and molecular aspects.

Among the many species of free-living amoebae infecting humans, only Naegleria fowleri, a few species of Acanthamoeba, Balamuthia mandrillaris recently Sappinia diploïdea and Paravahlkampfia Francina are responsible for human diseases especially deadly encephalitis outside of Acanthamoeba keratitis related. In the Central African Republic (CAR), no studies have previously been conducted about free amoebae and no suspicious cases of encephalitis or amoebic keratitis was reported even though the ecosystem supported the proliferation of these microorganisms. The objective of this study was to identify free-living amoebae present in CAR and to define the molecular characteristic. Bathing sites and cerebrospinal fluid from patients died of bacterial meningitis untagged were explored by culture and PCR and the amplicons were sequenced which allowed to characterize the species found. Only species of the genus Tetramitus, namely T. Entericus, T. waccamawensis and T.sp similar to those already described in the world and not pathogenic for humans were found in bathing sites, the cerebrospinal fluid meanwhile remained negative. Although no pathogen species such as Naegleria fowleri or species of Acanthamoeba have been isolated, this study worth pursuing because this investigation was very limited in space because of the insecurity in the country.

Knowledge, attitudes and perceptions regarding lymphatic filariasis: study on systematic noncompliance with mass drug administration.

The aim of this study was to investigate the epidemiological characteristics, antigenic profile, perceptions, attitudes and practices of individuals who have been systematically non-compliant in mass drug administration (MDA) campaigns targeting lymphatic filariasis, in the municipality of Olinda, State of Pernambuco, Northeastern Brazil. A pretested questionnaire was used to obtain information on socioenvironmental demographics, perceptions of lymphatic filariasis and MDA, and reasons for systematic noncompliance with treatment. A rapid immunochromatographic test (ICT) was performed during the survey to screen for filariasis. It was found that the survey subjects knew about filariasis and MDA. Filariasis was identified as a disease (86.2%) and 74.4% associated it with the presence of swelling in the legs. About 80% knew about MDA, and the main source of information was healthcare workers (68.3%). For men the main reasons for systematic noncompliance with MDA were that "the individual had not received the medication" (p=0.03) and for women "the individual either feared experiencing adverse reactions". According to the ICT, the prevalence of lymphatic filariasis was 2%. The most important causes of systematic noncompliance were not receiving the drug and fear of side-effects. For successful implementation of MDA programs, good planning, educational campaigns promoting the benefits of MDA, adoption of measures to minimize the impact of adverse effects and improvement of drug distribution logistics are needed.

Detection of Leishmania infantum DNA in conjunctival swabs of cats by quantitative real-time PCR.

Although some studies have investigated the potential role of cats as a reservoir for Leishmania, their role in the epidemiology of visceral leishmaniasis (VL) is still poorly understood. Molecular diagnostic techniques are an important tool in VL diagnosis, and PCR shows high sensitivity and specificity for Leishmania spp. detection. Quantitative real-time PCR (qPCR) is a method that permits quantitative analysis of a large number of samples, resulting in more sensitive, accurate, and reproducible measurements of specific DNA present in the sample. This study compared real-time PCR (qPCR) and conventional PCR (cPCR) for detection of Leishmania spp. in blood and conjunctival swab (CS) samples of healthy cats from a non-endemic area in the state of São Paulo, Brazil. Of all CS samples, 1.85% (2/108) were positive for Leishmania spp. by both cPCR as qPCR (kappa index = 1), indicating excellent agreement between the two methods. The DNA from the two CS-cPCR- and CS-qPCR-positive samples was further tested with a PCR test amplifying the Leishmania spp. discriminative rRNA internal transcribed spacer 1 (ITS 1), of which one sample generated a 300-350-bp DNA fragment whose size varies according to the Leishmania species. Following sequencing, the fragment showed 100% similarity to a GenBank L. infantum sequence obtained from a cat in Italy. In conclusion, the association of qPCR and CS proved to be effective for detection of Leishmania in cats. Conjunctival swab samples were shown to be a practical and better alternative to blood samples and may be useful in the diagnosis and studies of feline leishmaniasis.

Modified dot-ELISA for diagnosis of human trichinellosis.

This study aimed to modify Dot-Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (dot-ELISA) for the diagnosis of human trichinellosis and to compare its performance with indirect ELISA and Western-blot assay (EITB). A total of 175 human serum samples were enrolled in the study. Indirect ELISA was used for the primary diagnosis. EITB versus fractionated 1st larval stage excretory-secretory antigens (TL-1 ESA) revealed three specific protein fractions at MW of 45, 50, and 55 kDa (kDa). Dot-ELISA was performed in two ways. In the first one, sera were dotted on the separated three specific protein fractions, while in the second one the three fractions were eluted, concentrated at one pooled antigen that used in classic dot-ELISA. Both types of dot-ELISA proved absolute (100%) sensitivity and specificity in comparison with the gold standard EITB reaction. While sensitivity of ELISA was 100% and its specificity was 79.5%. The fraction at 45 kDa was the most sensitive one. The use of the pooled antigen improved the test results. The described dot-ELISA is an easy applicable diagnostic tool gathering the benefits of both ELISA and EITB.

Aryl thiosemicarbazones: In vitro and immunomodulatory activities against L. amazonensis.

Leishmaniasis is an infection caused by different species of Leishmania genus. Currently, there is no vaccine available for Leishmania infections in humans and conventional treatments are limited due to side effects. Therefore, the development of new antileishmanial drugs is an urgent need. In present study, we evaluated the cytotoxicity in host cells, leishmanicidal activity and immunomodulatory potential of seven aryl thiosemicarbazones. Host cell cytotoxicity was determined in peritoneal macrophages of BALB/c mouse, antiparasitic activity was determined against promastigotes and amastigotes of WHOM/00LTB 0016 strain of L. amazonensis. Nitric oxide (NO) production, interleukin (IL)-12, IL-10 and TNF-alpha secretion were measured in the supernatant of uninfected and infected macrophage cultures. It was observed that aryl thiosemicarbazones presented in vitro antiparasitic activity against both extracellular and intracellular forms of L. amazonensis. However, unlike Amphotericin B, these compounds displayed low cytotoxicity towards host cells. In addition to observed antiparasitic activity, compounds exhibited modulatory properties in the secretion of cytokines and nitrite content from uninfected stimulated and L. amazonensis-infected macrophages. In conclusion, we demonstrated the in vitro antiparasitic activity against L. amazonensis for aryl thiosemicarbazones, which is possible achieved by Th1 cytokine profile modulation. These findings are potential useful for drug development against cutaneous leishmaniasis.

Intravitreal cysticercosis with full thickness macular hole: management outcome and intraoperative optical coherence tomography features.

Ocular cysticercosis is a serious condition with a potential for complete vision loss if left untreated. Intravitreal cysticercosis is the most common ocular form of cysticercosis and is associated with retinal detachment, retinal traction, subretinal scarring and vitritis. To the best of our knowledge, there is no report of the occurrence of a live intravitreal cysticercosis with a full thickness macular hole (FTMH) in the literature. We here report a case of live intravitreal cysticercosis with a FTMH along with its management and intraoperative optical coherence tomography features of the live cysticercus.

Optimization of the Helmintex method for schistosomiasis diagnosis.

A diagnostic test that is reliable, sensitive, and applicable in the field is extremely important in epidemiological surveys, during medical treatment for schistosomiasis, and for the control and elimination of schistosomiasis. The Helmintex (HTX) method is based on the use of magnetic beads to trap eggs in a magnetic field. This technique is highly sensitive, but the screening of fecal samples consumes lots of time, thus delaying the results, especially in field studies. The objective of this work was to determine the effects of incorporation of the detergent Tween-20 into the method in an attempt to decrease the final pellet volume produced by the HTX method as well as the use of ninhydrin to stain the Schistosoma mansoni eggs. We showed that these modifications reduced the final volume of the fecal sediment produced in the last step of the HTX method by up to 69% and decreased the screening time to an average of 10.1 min per sample. The use of Tween 20 and ninhydrin led to a high percentage of egg recovery (27.2%). The data obtained herein demonstrate that the addition of detergent and the use of ninhydrin to the HTX process can optimize the screening step and also improve egg recovery, thus justifying the insertion of these steps into the HTX method.

Comparison of methods for detecting asymptomatic malaria infections in the China-Myanmar border area.

Sensitive methods for detecting asymptomatic malaria infections are essential for identifying potential transmission reservoirs and obtaining an accurate assessment of malaria epidemiology in low-endemicity areas aiming to eliminate malaria. PCR techniques to detect parasite nucleic acids (DNA or RNA) are among the most commonly used molecular methods. However, most of these methods are of low throughput and cannot be used for large-scale molecular epidemiological studies. A recently developed capture and ligation probe-PCR (CLIP-PCR) is claimed to have the sensitivity of molecular techniques and the high throughput capacity needed for screening purposes. This study aimed to compare several molecular methods for detecting asymptomatic and submicroscopic Plasmodium infections in healthy residents of a malaria-hypoendemic region in Southeast Asia, where malaria elimination is in sight.