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Parasitic Diseases - Top 30 Publications

Dracunculiasis eradication: global surveillance summary, 2016.

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).

Announcement: World Malaria Day - April 25, 2017.

World Malaria Day is commemorated each year on April 25, the date in 2000 when leaders of 44 African nations met in Abuja, Nigeria, and committed their countries to reducing the number of malaria-related deaths. Approximately 90% of all malaria deaths occur in Africa (1). During the last 15 years, donors have collectively supported the procurement and distribution of billions of insecticide-treated bed nets and courses of artemisinin-based combination therapy globally. These improvements in malaria control are estimated to have saved an estimated 6.8 million lives, mostly among children aged <5 years. From 2010 to 2015, the World Health Organization (WHO) reported that the estimated number of malaria deaths worldwide declined by approximately 60%, including a 69% decline among children aged <5 years (1). This year, as in 2016, the theme of World Malaria Day is "End Malaria for Good," reflecting the increased interest in and commitment to eliminating malaria.

Immunocytochemistry Improving the Diagnosis of Trichomonas vaginalis Infections.

The aim of this study was to evaluate the immunocytochemistry (ICC) to diagnose trichomoniasis, particularly asymptomatic infections. By culture serial dilutions, ICC was able to detect 1 trophozoite/mL, while the culture was positive up to 100 trophozoites/mL. The ICC in vivo detection capability was assessed in vaginal secretions of mice experimentally infected and in vaginal swabs from asymptomatic HIV-positive pregnant women compared with culture. All vaginal secretion samples from mice were positive according to both methods. Swabs from fifty-five asymptomatic women were positive in four (7.27%) of them by culture. Beyond these four, another ten (25.45%) women were positive by immunocytochemistry, proving their higher sensitivity (p = 0.002), noticing 3.5 times more positives. ICC had better performance in both successive dilutions as in asymptomatic women, showing higher sensitivity and specificity. In this way, its facility of execution and cost-effectiveness support its practicality, as a routine procedure to diagnose trichomoniasis not only when the parasite load is lower but probably in all clinical scenarios.

What pre-Columbian mummies could teach us about South American leishmaniases?

A recent report on the taxonomic profile of the human gut microbiome in pre-Columbian mummies (Santiago-Rodriguez et al. 2016) gives for the first time evidence of the presence of Leishmania DNA (sequences similar to Leishmania donovani according to the authors) that can be reminiscent of visceral leishmaniasis during the pre-Columbian era. It is commonly assumed that Leishmania infantum, the etiological agent of American visceral leishmaniasis (AVL) was introduced into the New World by the Iberian conquest. This finding is really surprising and must be put into perspective with what is known from an AVL epidemiological and historical point of view. Beside L. infantum, there are other species that are occasionally reported to cause AVL in the New World. Among these, L. colombiensis is present in the region of pre-Columbian mummies studied. Other explanations for these findings include a more ancient introduction of a visceral species of Leishmania from the Old World or the existence of a yet unidentified endemic species causing visceral leishmaniasis in South America. Unfortunately, very few molecular data are known about this very long pre-Columbian period concerning the circulating species of Leishmania and their diversity in America.

Molecular characterization of Cryptosporidium and Giardia from the Tasmanian devil (Sarcophilus harrisii).

The Tasmanian devil (Sarcophilus harrisii) is a carnivorous marsupial found only in the wild in Tasmania, Australia. Tasmanian devils are classified as endangered and are currently threatened by devil facial tumour disease, a lethal transmissible cancer that has decimated the wild population in Tasmania. To prevent extinction of Tasmanian devils, conservation management was implemented in 2003 under the Save the Tasmanian Devil Program. This study aimed to assess if conservation management was altering the interactions between Tasmanian devils and their parasites. Molecular tools were used to investigate the prevalence and diversity of two protozoan parasites, Cryptosporidium and Giardia, in Tasmanian devils. A comparison of parasite prevalence between wild and captive Tasmanian devils showed that both Cryptosporidium and Giardia were significantly more prevalent in wild devils (p < 0.05); Cryptosporidium was identified in 37.9% of wild devils but only 10.7% of captive devils, while Giardia was identified in 24.1% of wild devils but only 0.82% of captive devils. Molecular analysis identified the presence of novel genotypes of both Cryptosporidium and Giardia. The novel Cryptosporidium genotype was 98.1% similar at the 18S rDNA to Cryptosporidium varanii (syn. C. saurophilum) with additional samples identified as C. fayeri, C. muris, and C. galli. Two novel Giardia genotypes, TD genotype 1 and TD genotype 2, were similar to G. duodenalis from dogs (94.4%) and a Giardia assemblage A isolate from humans (86.9%). Giardia duodenalis BIV, a zoonotic genotype of Giardia, was also identified in a single captive Tasmanian devil. These findings suggest that conservation management may be altering host-parasite interactions in the Tasmanian devil, and the presence of G. duodenalis BIV in a captive devil points to possible human-devil parasite transmission.

Four human Plasmodium species quantification using droplet digital PCR.

Droplet digital polymerase chain reaction (ddPCR) is a partial PCR based on water-oil emulsion droplet technology. It is a highly sensitive method for detecting and delineating minor alleles from complex backgrounds and provides absolute quantification of DNA targets. The ddPCR technology has been applied for detection of many pathogens. Here the sensitive assay utilizing ddPCR for detection and quantification of Plasmodium species was investigated. The assay was developed for two levels of detection, genus specific for all Plasmodium species and for specific Plasmodium species detection. The ddPCR assay was developed based on primers and probes specific to the Plasmodium genus 18S rRNA gene. Using ddPCR for ultra-sensitive P. falciparum assessment, the lower level of detection from concentrated DNA obtained from a high volume (1 mL) blood sample was 11 parasites/mL. For species identification, in particular for samples with mixed infections, a duplex reaction was developed for detection and quantification P. falciparum/ P. vivax and P. malariae/ P. ovale. Amplification of each Plasmodium species in the duplex reaction showed equal sensitivity to singleplex single species detection. The duplex ddPCR assay had higher sensitivity to identify minor species in 32 subpatent parasitaemia samples from Cambodia, and performed better than real-time PCR. The ddPCR assay shows high sensitivity to assess very low parasitaemia of all human Plasmodium species. This provides a useful research tool for studying the role of the asymptomatic parasite reservoir for transmission in regions aiming for malaria elimination.

The range of the mange: Spatiotemporal patterns of sarcoptic mange in red foxes (Vulpes vulpes) as revealed by camera trapping.

Sarcoptic mange is a widely distributed disease that affects numerous mammalian species. We used camera traps to investigate the apparent prevalence and spatiotemporal dynamics of sarcoptic mange in a red fox population in southeastern Norway. We monitored red foxes for five years using 305 camera traps distributed across an 18000 km2 area. A total of 6581 fox events were examined to visually identify mange compatible lesions. We investigated factors associated with the occurrence of mange by using logistic models within a Bayesian framework, whereas the spatiotemporal dynamics of the disease were analysed with space-time scan statistics. The apparent prevalence of the disease fluctuated over the study period with a mean of 3.15% and credible interval [1.25, 6.37], and our best logistic model explaining the presence of red foxes with mange-compatible lesions included time since the beginning of the study and the interaction between distance to settlement and season as explanatory variables. The scan analyses detected several potential clusters of the disease that varied in persistence and size, and the locations in the cluster with the highest probability were closer to human settlements than the other survey locations. Our results indicate that red foxes in an advanced stage of the disease are most likely found closer to human settlements during periods of low wild prey availability (winter). We discuss different potential causes. Furthermore, the disease appears to follow a pattern of small localized outbreaks rather than sporadic isolated events.

Genetic and epigenetic changes in host ABCB1 influences malaria susceptibility to Plasmodium falciparum.

Multiple mechanisms such as genetic and epigenetic variations within a key gene may play a role in malarial susceptibility and response to anti-malarial drugs in the population. ABCB1 is one of the well-studied membrane transporter genes that code for the P-glycoprotein (an efflux protein) and whose effect on malaria disease predisposition and susceptibility to drugs remains to be understood. We studied the association of single nucleotide variations in human ABCB1 that influences its function in subjects with uncomplicated and complicated malaria caused by Plasmodium falciparum (Pf). Global DNA methylation and ABCB1 DNA promoter methylation levels were performed along with transcriptional response and protein expression in subjects with malaria and healthy controls. The rs2032582 locus was significantly associated with complicated and combined malaria groups when compared to controls (p < 0.05). Significant DNA methylation difference was noticed between case and control (p < 0.05). In addition, global DNA methylation levels of the host DNA were inversely proportional to parasitemia in individuals with Pf infection. Our study also revealed the correlation between ABCB1 DNA promoter methylation with rs1128503 and rs2032582 polymorphisms in malaria and was related to increased expression of ABCB1 protein levels in complicated malaria group (p < 0.05) when compared to uncomplicated malaria and control groups. The study provides evidence for multiple mechanisms that may regulate the role of host ABCB1 function to mediate aetiology of malaria susceptibility, prognosis and drug response. These may have clinical implications and therapeutic application for various malarial conditions.

The Interaction between HIV and Intestinal Helminth Parasites Coinfection with Nutrition among Adults in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa.

In South Africa few studies have examined the effects of the overlap of HIV and helminth infections on nutritional status. This cross-sectional study investigated the interaction between HIV and intestinal helminths coinfection with nutritional status among KwaZulu-Natal adults. Participants were recruited from a comprehensive primary health care clinic and stratified based on their HIV, stool parasitology, IgE, and IgG4 results into four groups: the uninfected, HIV infected, helminth infected, and HIV-helminth coinfected groups. The nutritional status was assessed using body mass index, 24-hour food recall, micro-, and macronutrient biochemical markers. Univariate and multivariate multinomial probit regression models were used to assess nutritional factors associated with singly and dually infected groups using the uninfected group as a reference category. Biochemically, the HIV-helminth coinfected group was associated with a significantly higher total protein, higher percentage of transferrin saturation, and significantly lower ferritin. There was no significant association between single or dual infections with HIV and helminths with micro- and macronutrient deficiency; however general obesity and low micronutrient intake patterns, which may indicate a general predisposition to micronutrient and protein-energy deficiency, were observed and may need further investigations.

Molecular surveillance of Plasmodium falciparum drug resistance in the Republic of Congo: four and nine years after the introduction of artemisinin-based combination therapy.

Resistance to anti-malarial drugs hinders efforts on malaria elimination and eradication. Following the global spread of chloroquine-resistant parasites, the Republic of Congo adopted artemisinin-based combination therapy (ACT) in 2006 as a first-line treatment for uncomplicated malaria. To assess the impacts after implementation of ACT, a molecular surveillance for anti-malarial drug resistance was conducted in Congo 4 and 9 years after the introduction of ACT.

Distinct parasite populations infect individuals identified through passive and active case detection in a region of declining malaria transmission in southern Zambia.

Substantial reductions in the burden of malaria have been documented in parts of sub-Saharan Africa, with elimination strategies and goals being formulated in some regions. Within this context, understanding the epidemiology of low-level malaria transmission is crucial to achieving and sustaining elimination. A 24 single-nucleotide-polymorphism Plasmodium falciparum molecular barcode was used to characterize parasite populations from infected individuals identified through passive and active case detection in an area approaching malaria elimination in southern Zambia.

Early outbreak detection by linking health advice line calls to water distribution areas retrospectively demonstrated in a large waterborne outbreak of cryptosporidiosis in Sweden.

In the winter and spring of 2011 a large outbreak of cryptosporidiosis occurred in Skellefteå municipality, Sweden. This study summarizes the outbreak investigation in terms of outbreak size, duration, clinical characteristics, possible source(s) and the potential for earlier detection using calls to a health advice line.

Occurrence of Leishmania infantum in the central nervous system of naturally infected dogs: Parasite load, viability, co-infections and histological alterations.

Zoonotic visceral leishmaniasis is caused by the protozoan Leishmania infantum and little is known about the occurrence and pathogenesis of this parasite in the CNS. The aims of this study were to evaluate the occurrence, viability and load of L. infantum in the CNS, and to identify the neurological histological alterations associated with this protozoan and its co-infections in naturally infected dogs. Forty-eight Leishmania-seropositive dogs from which L. infantum was isolated after necropsy were examined. Cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) samples were analyzed by parasitological culture, quantitative real-time PCR (qPCR) and the rapid immunochromatographic Dual Path Platform test. Brain, spinal cord and spleen samples were submitted to parasitological culture, qPCR, and histological techniques. Additionally, anti-Toxoplasma gondii and anti-Ehrlichia canis antibodies in serum and distemper virus antigens in CSF were investigated. None of the dogs showed neurological signs. All dogs tested positive for L. infantum in the CNS. Viable forms of L. infantum were isolated from CSF, brain and spinal cord in 25% of the dogs. Anti-L. infantum antibodies were detected in CSF in 61% of 36 dogs. Inflammatory histological alterations were observed in the CNS of 31% of the animals; of these, 66% were seropositive for E. canis and/or T. gondii. Amastigote forms were associated with granulomatous non-suppurative encephalomyelitis in a dog without evidence of co-infections. The highest frequency of L. infantum DNA was observed in the brain (98%), followed by the spinal cord (96%), spleen (95%), and CSF (50%). The highest L. infantum load in CNS was found in the spinal cord. These results demonstrate that L. infantum can cross the blood-brain barrier, spread through CSF, and cause active infection in the entire CNS of dogs. Additionally, L. infantum can cause inflammation in the CNS that can lead to neurological signs with progression of the disease.

Leishmania major large RAB GTPase is highly immunogenic in individuals immune to cutaneous and visceral leishmaniasis.

We previously identified a Leishmania (L.) major large RAB GTPase (LmlRAB), a new atypical RAB GTPase protein. It is highly conserved in Leishmania species while displaying low level of homology with mammalian homologues. Leishmania small RAB GTPases proteins have been involved in regulation of exocytic and endocytic pathways whereas the role of large RAB GTPases proteins has not been characterized yet. We report here the immunogenicity of both recombinant rLmlRAB and rLmlRABC, in individuals with immunity against L. major or L. infantum.

Assessing environmental factors associated with regional schistosomiasis prevalence in Anhui Province, Peoples' Republic of China using a geographical detector method.

Schistosomiasis is a water-borne disease caused by trematode worms belonging to genus Schistosoma, which is prevalent most of the developing world. Transmission of the disease is usually associated with multiple biological characteristics and social factors but also factors can play a role. Few studies have assessed the exact and interactive influence of each factor promoting schistosomiasis transmission.

Travel and the emergence of high-level drug resistance in Plasmodium falciparum in southwest Uganda: results from a population-based study.

The I164L mutation on the dhfr gene confers high level resistance to sulfadoxine-pyrimethamine (SP) but it is rare in Africa except in a cluster of reports where prevalence >10% in highland areas of southwest Uganda and eastern Rwanda. The occurrence of the dhfr I164L mutation was investigated in community surveys in this area and examined the relationship to migration.

Cerebrospinal fluid and plasma β-endorphin levels in children with cerebral malaria.

Cerebral malaria (CM) is the most lethal form of malaria, yet its pathogenesis is not fully understood. Cytoadherence, sequestration, alterations in cytokine expression, inflammation, and microvascular obstruction are all hypothesized to be important in the aetio-pathogenesis of coma which characterizes cerebral malaria and the death which sometimes result. Beta (β)-endorphin has been postulated to be involved in the pathogenetic processes of inflammation and cytokine expression, although the exact role is unknown. The aim of this study was to determine the levels of β-endorphin in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) and plasma of children with CM and compare the levels of β-endorphin in the plasma of children with CM with that of apparently healthy age- and sex-matched controls at Ile-Ife, Nigeria.

Prospects for malaria control through manipulation of mosquito larval habitats and olfactory-mediated behavioural responses using plant-derived compounds.

Malaria presents an overwhelming public health challenge, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa where vector favourable conditions and poverty prevail, potentiating the disease burden. Behavioural variability of malaria vectors poses a great challenge to existing vector control programmes with insecticide resistance already acquired to nearly all available chemical compounds. Thus, approaches incorporating plant-derived compounds to manipulate semiochemical-mediated behaviours through disruption of mosquito olfactory sensory system have considerably gained interests to interrupt malaria transmission cycle. The combination of push-pull methods and larval control have the potential to reduce malaria vector populations, thus minimising the risk of contracting malaria especially in resource-constrained communities where access to synthetic insecticides is a challenge. In this review, we have compiled information regarding the current status of knowledge on manipulation of larval ecology and chemical-mediated behaviour of adult mosquitoes with plant-derived compounds for controlling mosquito populations. Further, an update on the current advancements in technologies to improve longevity and efficiency of these compounds for field applications has been provided.

(1)H-NMR analysis of feces: new possibilities in the helminthes infections research.

Analysis of the stool samples is an essential part of routine diagnostics of the helminthes infections. However, the standard methods such Kato and Kato-Katz utilize only a fraction of the information available. Here we present a method based on the nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy (NMR) which could be auxiliary to the standard procedures by evaluating the complex metabolic profiles (or phenotypes) of the samples.

The immunoregulatory effects of co-infection with Fasciola hepatica: From bovine tuberculosis to Johne's disease.

Fasciola hepatica (liver fluke) is a parasite prevalent in much of the world that causes the economically-important disease of fasciolosis in livestock. The threat that this disease poses extends beyond its direct effects due to the parasite's immunomodulatory effects. Research at this laboratory is focusing on whether this immunoregulation can, in animals infected with liver fluke, exert a bystander effect on concurrent infections in the host. It has already been established that F. hepatica infection reduces cell mediated immune responses to Mycobacterium bovis in cattle, and that the interaction between the two pathogens can be detected on an epidemiological scale. This review explores the immunological consequences of co-infection between F. hepatica and other bacterial infections. Arguments are presented suggesting that immunity of cattle to Mycobacterium avium subsp. paratuberculosis is also likely to be affected.

An intricate case of multidrug resistant Plasmodium falciparum isolate imported from Cambodia.

Imported cases of multidrug resistant Plasmodium falciparum and treatment failure with artemisinin-based regimens, although rare, have been described also in Western countries and their management is often challenging. This is also due to an inadequate knowledge and implementation of health prevention measures.

Examining the role of macrolides and host immunity in combatting filarial parasites.

Macrocyclic lactones (MLs), specifically the avermectins and milbemycins, are known for their effectiveness against a broad spectrum of disease-causing nematodes and arthropods in humans and animals. In most nematodes, drugs in this class induce paralysis, resulting in starvation, impaired ability to remain associated with their anatomical environment, and death of all life stages. Initially, this was also thought to be the ML mode of action against filarial nematodes, but researchers have not been able to validate these characteristic effects of immobilization/starvation of MLs in vitro, even at higher doses than are possible in vivo. Relatively recently, ML receptor sites exclusively located proximate to the excretory-secretory (ES) apparatus were identified in Brugia malayi microfilaria and an ML-induced suppression of secretory protein release by B. malayi microfilariae was demonstrated in vitro. It is hypothesized here that suppression of these ES proteins prevents the filarial worm from interfering with the host's complement cascade, reducing the ability of the parasite to evade the immune system. Live microfilariae and/or larvae, thus exposed, are attacked and presented to the host's innate immune mechanisms and are ultimately killed by the immune response, not the ML drug. These live, exposed filarial worms stimulate development of innate, cellular and humoral immune responses that when properly stimulated, are capable of clearing all larvae or microfilariae present in the host, regardless of their individual sensitivity to MLs. Additional research in this area can be expected to improve our understanding of the relationships among filarial worms, MLs, and the host immune system, which likely would have implications in filarial disease management in humans and animals.

Eurasian golden jackal as host of canine vector-borne protists.

Jackals are medium-sized canids from the wolf-like clade, exhibiting a unique combination of ancestral morphotypes, broad trophic niches, and close phylogenetic relationships with the wolf and dog. Thus, they represent a potential host of several pathogens with diverse transmission routes. Recently, populations of the Eurasian golden jackal Canis aureus have expanded into the Western Palaearctic, including most of Europe. The aim of our study was to examine Eurasian golden jackals from Romania, Czech Republic and Austria for a wide spectrum of vector-borne protists and to evaluate the role of this species as a reservoir of disease for domestic dogs and/or humans.

Influence of host factors and parasite biomass on the severity of imported Plasmodium falciparum malaria.

Imported malaria in France is characterized by various clinical manifestations observed in a heterogeneous population of patients such as travelers/expatriates and African migrants. In this population, host factors and parasite biomass associated with severe imported malaria are poorly known.

Mathematical algorithm for the automatic recognition of intestinal parasites.

Parasitic infections are generally diagnosed by professionals trained to recognize the morphological characteristics of the eggs in microscopic images of fecal smears. However, this laboratory diagnosis requires medical specialists which are lacking in many of the areas where these infections are most prevalent. In response to this public health issue, we developed a software based on pattern recognition analysis from microscopi digital images of fecal smears, capable of automatically recognizing and diagnosing common human intestinal parasites. To this end, we selected 229, 124, 217, and 229 objects from microscopic images of fecal smears positive for Taenia sp., Trichuris trichiura, Diphyllobothrium latum, and Fasciola hepatica, respectively. Representative photographs were selected by a parasitologist. We then implemented our algorithm in the open source program SCILAB. The algorithm processes the image by first converting to gray-scale, then applies a fourteen step filtering process, and produces a skeletonized and tri-colored image. The features extracted fall into two general categories: geometric characteristics and brightness descriptions. Individual characteristics were quantified and evaluated with a logistic regression to model their ability to correctly identify each parasite separately. Subsequently, all algorithms were evaluated for false positive cross reactivity with the other parasites studied, excepting Taenia sp. which shares very few morphological characteristics with the others. The principal result showed that our algorithm reached sensitivities between 99.10%-100% and specificities between 98.13%- 98.38% to detect each parasite separately. We did not find any cross-positivity in the algorithms for the three parasites evaluated. In conclusion, the results demonstrated the capacity of our computer algorithm to automatically recognize and diagnose Taenia sp., Trichuris trichiura, Diphyllobothrium latum, and Fasciola hepatica with a high sensitivity and specificity.

Diagnostic antigens for visceral leishmaniasis: clarification of nomenclatures.

Stimulated by the increasing recent use of 'K' or 'rK' nomenclature for antigens reported for visceral leishmaniasis (VL) diagnostic serology, we wished to give a chronological synopsis of their reporting and the potentially confusing terminology.

Nested-PCR assay for detection of Schistosoma japonicum infection in domestic animals.

Schistosomiasis japonica is a common zoonosis. Domestic animals are the primary source of infection and play an important role in disease transmission. The prevalence and infectivity of this disease in domestic animals in China have significantly decreased and, for this reason, diagnostics with a higher sensitivity have become increasingly necessary. It was reported that polymerase chain reaction (PCR)-based methods could be used to detect schistosome infection in humans and animals and presented a high sensitivity and specificity. The present study aimed to develop a PCR-based method for detection of Schistosoma japonicum infection in domestic animals.

First autochthonous cases of canine thelaziosis in Slovakia: a new affected area in Central Europe.

The spirurid nematode Thelazia callipaeda, also called the "Oriental eyeworm", is the causative agent of canine and human ocular thelaziosis. In the past few years it has started to spread across central Europe and new endemic areas have been established. The present study reports on the first four autochthonous cases of canine ocular thelaziosis in the territory of Slovakia, Central Europe.

The end of a dogma: the safety of doxycycline use in young children for malaria treatment.

Anti-malarial drug resistance to chloroquine and sulfadoxine-pyrimethamine has spread from Southeast Asia to Africa. Furthermore, the recent emergence of resistance to artemisinin-based combination therapy (ACT) in Southeast Asia highlights the need to identify new anti-malarial drugs. Doxycycline is recommended for malaria chemoprophylaxis for travel in endemic areas, or in combination with the use of quinine for malaria treatment when ACT is unavailable or when the treatment of severe malaria with artesunate fails. However, doxycycline is not used in young children under 8 years of age due to its contraindication due to the risk of yellow tooth discolouration and dental enamel hypoplasia. Doxycycline was developed after tetracycline and was labelled with the same side-effects as the earlier tetracyclines. However, recent studies report little or no effects of doxycycline on tooth staining or dental enamel hypoplasia in children under 8 years of age. In the United States, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have recommended the use of doxycycline for the treatment of acute and chronic Q fever and tick-borne rickettsial diseases in young children. It is time to rehabilitate doxycycline and to recommend it for malaria treatment in children under 8 years of age.