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The presence of helminths and protozoans in public squares and lawns of the city of Maringá, southern Brazil, during winter and summer was assessed in order to evaluate their seasonal fluctuations in relation to edaphic and climatic factors. Samples were collected from January 2003 through June 2004 in 90% (13) of all public squares covered by sand, and in 30% (4) of all lawns used as leisure areas. The samples were analysed quantitatively by modified centrifugal-flotation and sedimentation in water techniques, and qualitatively by a method based on positive larval thermo-hydrotropism. Meteorological data were recorded, and physical, chemical and structural characteristics of the soil were analysed. One hundred and thirty samples of sand from squares, 65 in summer and 65 in winter, and 40 samples of grass from lawns, 20 in each season, were collected. All samples from lawns, 62 (95.38%) from squares in winter and 45 (69.23%) in summer, contained protozoans and/or helminths. Eggs of Toxocara spp. were the most frequently observed parasites in both winter and summer in squares (P < 0.0001) and in lawns (P = 0.6142), being equally distributed among the different locations (P = 0.2038). Species diversity was lower in winter; fewer parasites were found in summer. This region, with a tropical climate and a mild winter dry season, has favourable edaphic and climatic conditions for soil contaminants to persist year-round. In addition, the high frequency of animals such as dogs and cats and the poor sanitary measures in force made it possible for zoonoses to be transmitted in the public spaces.
The factors that determine parasite assemblages among the clariid fishes of Lake Victoria, Tanzania were studied between August 2003 and February 2005. Six hundred and fifty-six fish belonging to seven species were necropsied and examined for parasites, from which 31 species of metazoan parasites were recorded. The community was dominated by the nematodes both in species and numbers. Most species were generalists with only two trematodes, Diplostomum mashonense and Tylodelphys species, being specialists of Clarias gariepinus. Ten species were considered core and predictable. Parasite species richness, number of individuals per host and Shannon–Wiener diversity indices were generally high. At the compound community level, a mean number of 7.8 parasites were shared among different species of fish and the maximum number of parasites species per fish at the infracommunity level was seven. Levels of similarity in parasite species richness at the component community level ranged from 29.6 to 61.5%. The study concludes that parasite communities in clariid fishes of Lake Victoria are structured by ecological factors. At the infracommunity level, host size, diet and vagility promoted a richer parasite community. At the compound level, two factors were crucial, namely the intermixing of the waters in the lake and the predominant and mobile C. gariepinus.
The influence of subclinical nematodosis on the kinetic disposition of albendazole was evaluated in goats following oral and intraruminal administration. The disposition curves of its metabolites indicated increased uptake of the drug in parasitized goats following intraruminal compared to oral dosing (P < 0.05). The midpoint for the pharmacologically active metabolite, albendazole sulphoxide, in the circulatory compartment was around 0.6 μg ml− 1 both in parasitized and naïve goats. The period of exposure to this concentration was around 14 h (oral route), 18 h (intraruminal route) and 16 h (oral route), 17 h (intraruminal route) in parasitized and naïve goats, respectively. As the duration of exposure of parasites to the toxic concentration of the anthelmintically active metabolite was prolonged, it could be assumed that intraruminal delivery of the drug would improve the efficacy of albendazole in parasitized goats.
Twenty extracts from plants from Sierra de Huautla Biosphere Reserve, Morelos, Mexico were evaluated against Haemonchus contortus infective larvae in an in vitro assay. The plant species evaluated were Bursera copallifera, B. grandifolia, Lippia graveolens, Passiflora mexicana, Prosopis laevigata, Randia echinocarpa and Urtica dioica. The plants were separated into their parts and macerated with different solvents (n-hexane, acetone, ethanol and methanol). An in vitro assay was used to evaluate the anthelmintic activity against unsheathed third stage H. contortus infective larvae. The experiment was carried out in 24-well cell culture plates at room temperature with three replicates per treatment and using a concentration of 20 mg ml− 1. Ten 5 μl aliquots were taken from the corresponding wells and deposited on a slide for microscopical observation at 24, 48, 72 and 96 h post-exposure. The evaluation criteria were based on the average numbers of live and/or dead larvae in the different treatments. Alive and dead larval numbers were statistically analysed through the ANOVA test (P>0.01). The Tukey test was used as a complementary tool to determine which treatment was different from the other treatments (P>0.05). The highest mortality was observed with P. laevigata hexanic extract from stem and leaves combined, which produced 51%, 81% and 86% larval mortality at 24, 48 and 72 h post-exposure, respectively. On the other hand, B. copallifera stem acetonic extract exhibited 18%, 59% and 66% nematicidal activity after 24, 48 and 72 h of exposure, respectively.
Although hookworms are known to stimulate inflammatory responses in the intestinal mucosa of their hosts, there is little quantitative data on this aspect of infection. Here we report the results of experiments conducted in hamsters infected with Ancylostoma ceylanicum. Infection resulted in a marked increase in goblet cells in the intestinal mucosa, which was dependent on the number of adult worms present and was sustained as long as worms persisted (over 63 days) but returned to baseline levels within 7 days of the removal of worms by treatment with ivermectin. Increased mast cell responses were also recorded. Levels were again dependent on the intensity of worm burdens and lasted as long as 63 days after infection. When worms were eliminated, mast cell numbers took over 2 weeks to return to normal. Paneth cell numbers fell soon after infection, the degree of reduction being dependent on the worm burden. After clearance of worms, Paneth cell numbers returned to normal within a week, but then rebounded and numbers rose to higher levels than those in control naïve animals. The time course of the response was similar whether animals experienced a chronic low-intensity infection without loss of worms or a higher intensity infection during the course of which worm burdens were gradually reduced. Clearly, A. ceylanicum was able to induce a marked inflammatory response in its host's intestine which was sustained for over 9 weeks after infection, and which hamsters appeared able to tolerate well. Our data draw attention to the resilience of hookworms which, unlike many other nematodes, are able to survive for many weeks in a highly inflamed intestinal tract.
Extracts of Anisakis simplex third (L3) and fourth (L4) larval stages were assayed for protein content and activity and properties of α-amylase, glucoamylase and glycogen phosphorylase. Protein content in L4 was twice that in L3. SDS–PAGE applied to both larval stages revealed 22 protein fractions in each, including five stage-specific fractions in each larval stage. The L3 extracts contained three amylase isoenzymes: α1, α2 and α3; their molecular weights were 64, 29 and 21 kDa, respectively. Only one amylase isoenzyme (64 kDa) was found in the L4 extracts. Glycogen in L3 was found to be broken down mostly by hydrolysis because of low glycogen phosphorylase activity. The α-amylase activity in L4 was higher than that in L3 by half and the glycogen phosphorylase activity was ten times higher. In addition, the same enzymes isolated from L3 and L4 were found to differ in their properties. These differences could be manifestations of metabolic adaptations of A. simplex larvae to host switch from fish (L3) to mammals (L4), i.e. adaptations to a new habitat.
Between April 2003 and November 2006 a total of 198 nase Chondrostoma nasus (L.) were examined for parasites from seven river sites in Austria. The selected sites showed different levels of anthropogenic alterations in river morphology ranging from pristine areas, with minor anthropogenic alterations, to strongly physically altered rivers. A variety of parasites were recovered from the skin, gills, swimbladder and eyes, with Caryophyllaeus laticeps (Pallas) being identified as the only cestode species occurring in the intestine. This is the first record of this species in nase in Austria. Caryophyllaeus laticeps was confined to the first 20% of the intestine, even in heavily infected hosts. The occurrence of C. laticeps within the fish population seems to be correlated with the degree of anthropogenic changes of the nase's habitat. In rivers with a high degree of ecological integrity or in rivers that are only partially dammed, C. laticeps is either absent in C. nasus or occurs with low prevalence (5.6–20%) and low mean intensity values (1.0–4.0). Where anthropogenic factors have changed the entire river into a reservoir, and fish cannot escape, the prevalence of infection with C. laticeps increases from 46.2 to 78.2% and the mean intensity from 8.8 to 17.2.
A total of 488 stray cats, 212 adult and 29 juvenile females plus 235 adult and 12 juvenile males, were examined post-mortem during the winter and summer months of 2006 from five sites in the vicinity of Doha and its outskirts. Five helminths, comprising three nematode and two cestode species were identified and the majority of cats harboured two of these species. The most prevalent was the cestode Taenia taeniaeformis (75.8%), followed by the cestode Diplopylidium sp. (42.8%), and the nematodes Ancylostoma tubaeforme (17.0%), Physaloptera sp. (6.6%) and Toxocara cati (0.8%). All five species were found to be typically overdispersed in their distribution. Using univariate and multivariate analyses, the prevalence and abundance of infections were primarily influenced by host gender and season, with females tending to harbour higher levels of infection during the summer. No significant differences were found relative to site except in the case of Physaloptera sp. Using bivariate Pearson product moment correlations, significant positive co-occurrences were identified between Diplopylidium sp. and T. taeniaeformis and also between A. tubaeforme and T. taeniaeformis. The results are discussed in relation to the effect of environmental conditions on the intestinal helminth infracommunities and their possible interactions in stray cat populations from such a harsh and arid region as Qatar.
The qualitative and quantitative parameters of temporal distribution of Cucullanus tripapillatus and Cucullanus chrysophrydes in the intestine of Orthopristis ruber in the Caribbean Sea on the north of Margarita Island, Venezuela were analysed. A total of 540 fish were collected at random from the catch of commercial trawlers during 1982–83 and 1992–93. Both species of Cucullanus were found throughout the year; prevalence and mean intensity of C. tripapillatus were higher than that of C. chrysophrydes. A significant difference was found in infection between the two years of sampling. Female worms were more abundant than male in both years. Both species exhibited pronounced prevalence and maturity in September and March of each year, indicating seasonality. The patterns of occurrence of the two species of Cucullanus in O. ruber did not change in the 10-year interval but the host size and number of parasites declined, which may be due to over-exploitation of definitive fish hosts.
Experimental infections of Lymnaea columella with Fasciola hepatica were carried out to determine the influence of shell size on the infection rate and on the outcome of rediae and cercariae. Snails were divided into seven groups according to shell size: 2–4 mm, 5–6 mm, 7–8 mm, 9–10 mm, 11–12 mm, 13–14 mm and 15 mm or more. One hundred snails in each group were infected by using four miracidia for each snail. Snails with larger shell size showed a lower infection rate, the groups presenting the highest (79%) and lowest (2%) proportions of positives being those of 5–6 mm and 15 mm or more, respectively. Cercariae were present in 21% of them at 31 days post-infection, and cercarial shedding was observed 61 days post-infection. It was concluded that there is a non-linear negative association between shell size and infection rate.
The development of Fasciola hepatica from two species of definitive hosts, i.e. cattle (Bos taurus) and a marmoset (Callithrix penicillata) in the snail Lymnaea columella was determined based on the production of rediae and cercariae and snail survival rate. More rediae and cercariae at 60–74 days post-infection were produced by snails infected by cattle-derived miracidia (cattle group) than by those infected by marmoset-derived miracidia (marmoset group). Among the L. columella parasitized by the marmoset group, the survival rate and the percentage of positive snails were higher than among those parasitized by the cattle group. Eggs of F. hepatica released in cattle faeces were significantly bigger than those released in marmoset faeces. Miracidia originating from parasites that completed their development in cattle were more efficient in infecting the intermediate host. These results suggest that vertebrate-host origin influences the eggs produced by the parasite and the infection rates in the snail host L. columella.
Erythrograms determined from whole blood analyses and serum analyses for aspartate aminotransferase (AST), γ-glutamyl transpeptidase (GGT) and alkaline phosphatase (ALP) activities, and iron concentration, were used in infected and uninfected cattle to determine the type of anaemia and degree of hepatic damage caused by Fasciola hepatica. Blood samples from 86 infected and 30 uninfected cattle were taken at slaughter. Haematological analyses revealed decreased levels of packed cell volume (PCV), haemoglobin concentration, mean corpuscular haemoglobin (MCH) and mean corpuscular haemoglobin concentration (MCHC) in infected compared with uninfected cattle (P < 0.05). A decrease in the concentration of serum iron was also observed in infected cattle compared with uninfected cattle (P < 0.05). Significant increases in AST, GGT and ALP activities were observed in cattle infected with F. hepatica when compared with uninfected cattle (P < 0.05). It was concluded that the anaemia observed in cattle infected with F. hepatica is a normocytic, hypochromic anaemia and the most important aetiology of the anaemia is the chronic blood loss due to the blood-sucking activity of the adult flukes and leakage of blood from the bile duct to the intestine, which results in iron deficiency. The increased activities of serum enzymes indicated chronic hepatic and bile duct injuries associated with chronic infection with F. hepatica.
An epidemiological study of gastrointestinal helminths of dogs (Canis familiaris) in two veterinary clinics in Ibadan, Nigeria, was conducted between January 2001 and December 2002. Faecal samples collected from 959 dogs were processed by modified Kato–Katz technique and then examined for helminth eggs. The results of the study showed that 237 (24.7%) of the dogs examined were infected with different types of helminths. The prevalences for the various helminth eggs observed were: Toxocara canis 9.0%, Ancylostoma spp. 17.9%, Toxascaris leonina 0.6%, Trichuris vulpis 0.5%, Uncinaria stenocephala 0.4% and Dipylidium caninum 0.2%. The faecal egg intensities, determined as mean egg count/gram of faeces ( ± SEM), were: T. canis 462.0 ± 100.5, Ancylostoma spp. 54.1 ± 8.6, T. leonina 0.8 ± 0.4, T. vulpis 0.1 ± 0.0, U. stenocephala 1.0 ± 0.7 and D. caninum 0.2 ± 0.1. Host age was found to be a significant factor with respect to the prevalence and intensity of T. canis and Ancylostoma spp. There was no significant difference in the prevalence of intestinal helminth parasites between male (27.0%) and female (22.5%) dogs (P>0.05). The prevalence of helminth parasites was significantly higher (P < 0.05) in the local breed (African shepherd) (41.2%) than in Alsatian dogs (16.2%) or in other exotic breeds (21.0%). Single parasite infections (85.7%) were more common than mixed infections (3.5%).
This study used Balb/c mice to examine the longevity of Echinostoma caproni. Five mice each exposed to 75 encysted metacercariae (cysts) were necropsied at 23 weeks postinfection (PI) (160 days PI). Two of the 5 were infected with a total of 33 worms; 23 in one mouse and 10 in the other. Body and organ area measurements showed that these worms were robust and normal in appearance. No signs of atrophy of any of the genital structures were observed. The mean ± SE of eggs/uterus per worm (n = 10) was 243 ± 6. This strain of mouse will be suitable to study the effect of long-term survival on the host–parasite relationship of E. caproni in Balb/c mice.