Imperial College London

Joanne P. Webster

Faculty of MedicineSchool of Public Health

Visiting Professor
 
 
 
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Contact

 

joanne.webster Website

 
 
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Location

 

Medical SchoolSt Mary's Campus

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Summary

 

Publications

Publication Type
Year
to

213 results found

Yu Q-F, Zhang J-Y, Sun M-T, Gu M-M, Zou H-Y, Webster JP, Lu D-Bet al., 2021, In vivo praziquantel efficacy of Schistosoma japonicum over time: A systematic review and meta-analysis., Acta Trop, Vol: 222

Praziquantel (PZQ), the only choice of chemotherapy for schistosomiasis recommended by World Health Organization (WHO), has been widely used over 40 years. The long-term, and rapid expansion of, PZQ use for disease control across a large populations continues to raise concern regarding the potential for emergence and establishment of drug resistance. Recent research has also proposed that the long survival and low sensitivity of unpaired worms, derived from either incomplete treatment cure rates or single-sex schistosome infections within final hosts, could exacerbate the risk of PZQ resistance (PZQ-R) emerging. With the aim of assessing whether PZQ efficacy amongst S. japonicum may have changed over time in China, we performed a unique systematic review and meta-analyses on datasets which evaluated the efficacy of PZQ via laboratory assays of field S. japonicum isolates on experimental mice over time. Relevant published literatures from four electronic bibliographic databases and lists of article references were searched. Two indexes, d, a measure used in meta-analyses for worm burden difference between two groups, and r, a traditional measure for worm reduction percentage after treatment but without considering sample size were calculated for each study. A total of 25 papers including 127 experimental studies with eligible data on 2230 mice were retrieved. The pooled d (D) was 3.91 (3.56-4.25) and pooled r (R) was 54.52% (52.55%-56.52%). D significantly increased over time, whereas R non-significantly decreased; both estimates were significantly associated with the total drug dose. Such findings suggested no evidence of PZQ-R emergence S. japonicum to date. However, we consider the potential role of parasite origins, PZQ dosage, and single versus mixed gender infections of the results published to date, and the avenues now needed for further research.

Journal article

Berger DJ, Crellen T, Lamberton PHL, Allan F, Tracey A, Noonan JD, Kabatereine NB, Tukahebwa EM, Adriko M, Holroyd N, Webster JP, Berriman M, Cotton JAet al., 2021, Whole-genome sequencing of Schistosoma mansoni reveals extensive diversity with limited selection despite mass drug administration, NATURE COMMUNICATIONS, Vol: 12, ISSN: 2041-1723

Journal article

Neves MI, Gower CM, Webster JP, Walker Met al., 2021, Revisiting density-dependent fecundity in schistosomes using sibship reconstruction., PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases, Vol: 15, Pages: 1-16, ISSN: 1935-2727

The stability of parasite populations is regulated by density-dependent processes occurring at different stages of their life cycle. In dioecious helminth infections, density-dependent fecundity is one such regulatory process that describes the reduction in egg production by female worms in high worm burden within-host environments. In human schistosomiasis, the operation of density-dependent fecundity is equivocal and investigation is hampered by the inaccessibility of adult worms that are located intravascularly. Current understanding is almost exclusively limited to data collected from two human autopsy studies conducted over 40 years ago, with subsequent analyses having reached conflicting conclusions. Whether egg production is regulated in a density-dependent manner is key to predicting the effectiveness of interventions targeting the elimination of schistosomiasis and to the interpretation of parasitological data collected during monitoring and evaluation activities. Here, we revisit density-dependent fecundity in the two most globally important human Schistosoma spp. using a statistical modelling approach that combines molecular inference on the number of parents/adult worms in individual human hosts with parasitological egg count data from mainland Tanzania and Zanzibar. We find a non-proportional relationship between S. haematobium egg counts and inferred numbers of female worms, providing the first clear evidence of density-dependent fecundity in this schistosome species. We do not find robust evidence for density-dependent fecundity in S. mansoni because of high sensitivity to some modelling assumptions and the lower statistical power of the available data. We discuss the strengths and limitations of our model-based analytical approach and its potential for improving our understanding of density dependence in schistosomiasis and other human helminthiases earmarked for elimination.

Journal article

Lu D-B, Yu Q-F, Zhang J-Y, Sun M-T, Gu M-M, Webster JP, Liang Y-Set al., 2021, Extended survival and reproductive potential of single-sex male and female Schistosoma japonicum within definitive hosts., Int J Parasitol

Schistosomiasis is caused by dioecious helminths of the genus Schistosoma. Recent work indicated that unpaired female and male schistosomes can survive within their definitive host for at least 1 year, although the viability or fertility of these worms after subsequent pairing remained untested. We performed two experiments on laboratory mice, one with female Schistosoma japonicum exposure first and male schistosomes second and another vice versa. After surviving as single-sex unpaired forms for up to 1 year, 58.5% of male and 70% of female schistosomes were able to mate and produce viable eggs. This highlights an additional biological challenge in achieving elimination of schistosomiasis.

Journal article

Mawa PA, Kincaid-Smith J, Tukahebwa EM, Webster JP, Wilson Set al., 2021, Schistosomiasis morbidity hotspots: roles of the human host, the parasite and their interface in the Development of severe morbidity, Frontiers in Immunology, Vol: 12, ISSN: 1664-3224

Schistosomiasis is the second most important human parasitic disease in terms of socioeconomic impact, causing great morbidity and mortality, predominantly across the African continent. For intestinal schistosomiasis, severe morbidity manifests as periportal fibrosis (PPF) in which large tracts of macro-fibrosis of the liver, visible by ultrasound, can occlude the main portal vein leading to portal hypertension (PHT), sequelae such as ascites and collateral vasculature, and ultimately fatalities. For urogenital schistosomiasis, severe morbidity manifests as pathology throughout the urinary system and genitals, and is a definitive cause of squamous cell bladder carcinoma. Preventative chemotherapy (PC) programmes, delivered through mass drug administration (MDA) of praziquantel (PZQ), have been at the forefront of schistosomiasis control programmes in sub-Saharan Africa since their commencement in Uganda in 2003. However, despite many successes, 'biological hotspots' (as distinct from 'operational hotspots') of both persistent high transmission and morbidity remain. In some areas, this failure to gain control of schistosomiasis has devastating consequences, with not only persistently high infection intensities, but both "subtle" and severe morbidity remaining prevalent. These hotspots highlight the requirement to revisit research into severe morbidity and its mechanisms, a topic that has been out of favor during times of PC implementation. Indeed, the focality and spatially-structured epidemiology of schistosomiasis, its transmission persistence and the morbidity induced, has long suggested that gene-environmental-interactions playing out at the host-parasite interface are crucial. Here we review evidence of potential unique parasite factors, host factors, and their gene-environmental interactions in terms of explaining differential morbidity profiles in the human host. We then take the situation of schistosomiasis mansoni within the Albertin

Journal article

Levecke B, Vlaminck J, Andriamaro L, Ame S, Belizario V, Degarege A, Engels D, Erko B, Garba AD, Kaatano GM, Mekonnen Z, Montresor A, Olliaro P, Pieri OS, Sacko M, Sam-Wobo SO, Tchuente LAT, Webster JP, Vercruysse Jet al., 2020, Evaluation of the therapeutic efficacy of praziquantel against schistosomes in seven countries with ongoing large-scale deworming programs, INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL FOR PARASITOLOGY-DRUGS AND DRUG RESISTANCE, Vol: 14, Pages: 183-187, ISSN: 2211-3207

Journal article

Milne G, Webster JP, Walker M, 2020, Toxoplasma gondii: An Underestimated Threat?, TRENDS IN PARASITOLOGY, Vol: 36, Pages: 959-969, ISSN: 1471-4922

Journal article

Namsanor J, Pitaksakulrat O, Kopolrat K, Kiatsopit N, Webster BL, Gower CM, Webster JP, Laha T, Saijuntha W, Laoprom N, Andrews RH, Petney TN, Blair D, Sithithaworn Pet al., 2020, Impact of geography and time on genetic clusters of Opisthorchis viverrini identified by microsatellite and mitochondrial DNA analysis, INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL FOR PARASITOLOGY, Vol: 50, Pages: 1133-1144, ISSN: 0020-7519

Journal article

Milne G, Webster JP, Walker M, 2020, Towards improving interventions against toxoplasmosis by identifying routes of transmission using sporozoite-specific serological tools., Clinical Infectious Diseases, Vol: 71, Pages: e686-e693, ISSN: 1058-4838

BACKGROUND: Horizontal transmission of Toxoplasma gondii occurs primarily via ingestion of environmental oocysts or consumption of undercooked/raw meat containing cyst-stage bradyzoites. The relative importance of these two transmission routes remains unclear. Oocyst infection can be distinguished from bradyzoite infection by identification of IgG antibodies against T. gondii-embryogenesis-related protein (TgERP). These antibodies are, however, thought to persist for only 6-8 months in human sera, limiting the use of TgERP serology to only those patients recently exposed to T. gondii. Yet recent serological survey data indicate a more sustained persistence of anti-TgERP antibodies. Elucidating the duration of anti-TgERP IgG will help to determine whether TgERP serology has epidemiological utility for quantifying the relative importance of different routes of T. gondii transmission. METHODS: We developed a sero-catalytic mathematical model to capture the change in seroprevalence of non-stage-specific IgG and anti-TgERP IgG antibodies with human age. The model was fitted to published datasets collected in an endemic region of Brazil to estimate the duration of anti-TgERP IgG antibodies, accounting for variable age-force of infection profiles and uncertainty in the diagnostic performance of TgERP serology. RESULTS: We found that anti-TgERP IgG persists for substantially longer than previously recognised, with estimates ranging from 8.3 to 41.1 years. The Brazilian datasets were consistent with oocysts being the predominant transmission route in these settings. CONCLUSIONS: The longer than previously recognised duration of anti-TgERP antibodies indicates that anti-TgERP serology could be a useful tool for delineating T. gondii transmission routes in human populations. TgERP serology may therefore be an important epidemiological tool for informing the design of tailored, setting-specific public health information campaigns and interventions.

Journal article

Easton A, Gao S, Lawton SP, Bennuru S, Khan A, Dahlstrom E, Oliveira RG, Kepha S, Porcella SF, Webster J, Anderson R, Grigg ME, Davis RE, Wang J, Nutman TBet al., 2020, Molecular evidence of hybridization between pig and human Ascaris indicates an interbred species complex infecting humans, eLife, Vol: 9, ISSN: 2050-084X

Human ascariasis is a major neglected tropical disease caused by the nematode Ascaris lumbricoides. We report a 296 megabase (Mb) reference-quality genome comprised of 17,902 protein-coding genes derived from a single, representative Ascaris worm. An additional 68 worms were collected from 60 human hosts in Kenyan villages where pig husbandry is rare. Notably, the majority of these worms (63/68) possessed mitochondrial genomes that clustered closer to the pig parasite Ascaris suum than to A. lumbricoides. Comparative phylogenomic analyses identified over 11 million nuclear-encoded SNPs but just two distinct genetic types that had recombined across the genomes analyzed. The nuclear genomes had extensive heterozygosity, and all samples existed as genetic mosaics with either A. suum-like or A. lumbricoides-like inheritance patterns supporting a highly interbred Ascaris species genetic complex. As no barriers appear to exist for anthroponotic transmission of these 'hybrid' worms, a one-health approach to control the spread of human ascariasis will be necessary.

Journal article

Milne G, Fujimoto C, Bean T, Peters HJ, Hemmington M, Taylor C, Fowkes RC, Martineau HM, Hamilton CM, Walker M, Mitchell JA, Leger E, Priestnall SL, Webster JPet al., 2020, Infectious causation of abnormal host behavior: toxoplasma gondiiand Its potential association with dopey fox syndrome, Frontiers in Psychiatry, Vol: 11, Pages: 1-16, ISSN: 1664-0640

The apicomplexan parasite Toxoplasma gondii, the causative agent of toxoplasmosis, can infect all warm-blooded animals. T. gondii can subtly alter host behaviors—either through manipulation to enhance transmission to the feline definitive host or as a side-effect, or “constraint,” of infection. In humans, T. gondii infection, either alone or in association with other co-infecting neurotropic agents, has been reliably associated with both subtle behavioral changes and, in some cases, severe neuropsychiatric disorders, including schizophrenia. Research on the potential impact of T. gondii on the behavior of other long-lived naturally infected hosts is lacking. Recent studies reported a large number of wild red foxes exhibiting a range of aberrant behavioral traits, subsequently classified as Dopey Fox Syndrome (DFS). Here we assessed the potential association between T. gondii and/or other neurotropic agents with DFS. Live, captive foxes within welfare centers were serologically tested for T. gondii and, if they died naturally, PCR-tested for vulpine circovirus (FoxCV). Post-mortem pseudo-control wild foxes, obtained from pest management companies, were PCR-tested for T. gondii, FoxCV, canine distemper virus (CDV), canine adenovirus type (CAV)-1 and CAV-2. We also assessed, using non-invasive assays, whether T. gondii–infected foxes showed subtle behavioral alterations as observed among infected rodent (and other) hosts, including altered activity, risk, and stress levels. All foxes tested negative for CAV, CDV, CHV, and DogCV. DFS was found to be associated with singular T. gondii infection (captives vs. pseudo-controls, 33.3% (3/9) vs. 6.8% (5/74)) and singular FoxCV infection (66.7% (6/9) vs. 11.1% (1/9)) and with T. gondii/FoxCV co-infection (33.3% (3/9) vs. 11.1% (1/9)). Overall, a higher proportion of captive foxes had signs of neuroinflammation compared to pseudo-controls (66.7% (4/6) vs. 11.1% (1/9)). Consistent with behavioral changes

Journal article

Zou H-Y, Yu Q-F, Qiu C, Webster JP, Lu D-Bet al., 2020, Meta-analyses of Schistosoma japonicum infections in wild rodents across China over time indicates a potential challenge to the 2030 elimination targets., PLoS Negl Trop Dis, Vol: 14

China once suffered greatly from schistosomiasis japonica, a major zoonotic disease. Nearly 70 years of multidisciplinary efforts have achieved great progress in disease control, with infections in both humans and bovines significantly reduced to very low levels. However, reaching for the target of complete interruption of transmission at the country level by 2030 still faces great challenges, with areas of ongoing endemicity and/or re-emergence within previously 'eliminated' regions. The objectives of this study were, by using meta-analytical methods, to estimate the overall prevalence of Schistosoma japonicum infections in abundant commensal rodent species in mainland China after the introduction of praziquantel for schistosomiasis treatment in humans and bovines in 1980s. In doing so we thereby aimed to further assess the role of wild rodents as potential reservoirs in ongoing schistosome transmission. Published studies on infection prevalence of S. japonicum in wild rodents in mainland China since 1980 were searched across five electronic bibliographic databases and lists of article references. Eligible studies were selected based on inclusion and exclusion criteria. Risks of within and across study biases, and the variations in prevalence estimates attributable to heterogeneities were assessed. The pooled infection prevalence and its 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were calculated with the Freeman-Tukey double arcsine transformation. We identified a total of 37 relevant articles involving 61 field studies which contained eligible data on 8,795 wild rodents across mainland China. The overall pooled infection prevalence was 3.86% (95% CI: 2.16-5.93%). No significant change in the overall pooled prevalence was observed between 1980-2003 (n = 23 studies) and 2004-current (n = 38 studies). However, whilst the estimated prevalence decreased over time in the marshland and lake regions, there was an apparent increase in prevalence within hilly and mountainous regions. A

Journal article

Léger E, Borlase A, Fall CB, Diouf ND, Diop SD, Yasenev L, Catalano S, Thiam CT, Ndiaye A, Emery A, Morrell A, Rabone M, Ndao M, Faye B, Rollinson D, Rudge JW, Sène M, Webster JPet al., 2020, Prevalence and distribution of schistosomiasis in human, livestock, and snail populations in northern Senegal: a One Health epidemiological study of a multi-host system., The Lancet Planetary Health, Vol: 4, Pages: e330-e342, ISSN: 2542-5196

BACKGROUND: Schistosomiasis is a neglected tropical disease of global medical and veterinary importance. As efforts to eliminate schistosomiasis as a public health problem and interrupt transmission gather momentum, the potential zoonotic risk posed by livestock Schistosoma species via viable hybridisation in sub-Saharan Africa have been largely overlooked. We aimed to investigate the prevalence, distribution, and multi-host, multiparasite transmission cycle of Haematobium group schistosomiasis in Senegal, West Africa. METHODS: In this epidemiological study, we carried out systematic surveys in definitive hosts (humans, cattle, sheep, and goats) and snail intermediate hosts, in 2016-18, in two areas of Northern Senegal: Richard Toll and Lac de Guiers, where transmission is perennial; and Barkedji and Linguère, where transmission is seasonal. The occurrence and distribution of Schistosoma species and hybrids were assessed by molecular analyses of parasitological specimens obtained from the different hosts. Children in the study villages aged 5-17 years and enrolled in school were selected from school registers. Adults (aged 18-78 years) were self-selecting volunteers. Livestock from the study villages in both areas were also randomly sampled, as were post-mortem samples from local abattoirs. Additionally, five malacological surveys of snail intermediate hosts were carried out at each site in open water sources used by the communities and their animals. FINDINGS: In May to August, 2016, we surveyed 375 children and 20 adults from Richard Toll and Lac de Guiers, and 201 children and 107 adults from Barkedji and Linguère; in October, 2017, to January, 2018, we surveyed 386 children and 88 adults from Richard Toll and Lac de Guiers, and 323 children and 85 adults from Barkedji and Linguère. In Richard Toll and Lac de Guiers the prevalence of urogenital schistosomiasis in children was estimated to be 87% (95% CI 80-95) in 2016 and 88% (82-95) in 2017-

Journal article

Webster JP, Neves MI, Webster BL, Pennance T, Rabone M, Gouvras AN, Allan F, Walker M, Rollinson Det al., 2020, Parasite Population Genetic Contributions to the Schistosomiasis Consortium for Operational Research and Evaluation within Sub-Saharan Africa, AMERICAN JOURNAL OF TROPICAL MEDICINE AND HYGIENE, Vol: 103, Pages: 80-91, ISSN: 0002-9637

Journal article

Catalano S, Léger E, Fall CB, Borlase A, Diop SD, Berger D, Webster BL, Faye B, Diouf ND, Rollinson D, Sène M, Bâ K, Webster JPet al., 2020, Multihost transmission of Schistosoma mansoni in Senegal, 2015-2018., Emerging Infectious Diseases, Vol: 26, Pages: 1234-1242, ISSN: 1080-6040

In West Africa, Schistosoma spp. are capable of infecting multiple definitive hosts, a lifecycle feature that may complicate schistosomiasis control. We characterized the evolutionary relationships among multiple Schistosoma mansoni isolates collected from snails (intermediate hosts), humans (definitive hosts), and rodents (definitive hosts) in Senegal. On a local scale, diagnosis of S. mansoni infection ranged 3.8%-44.8% in school-aged children, 1.7%-52.6% in Mastomys huberti mice, and 1.8%-7.1% in Biomphalaria pfeifferi snails. Our phylogenetic framework confirmed the presence of multiple S. mansoni lineages that could infect both humans and rodents; divergence times of these lineages varied (0.13-0.02 million years ago). We propose that extensive movement of persons across West Africa might have contributed to the establishment of these various multihost S. mansoni clades. High S. mansoni prevalence in rodents at transmission sites frequented by humans further highlights the implications that alternative hosts could have on future public health interventions.

Journal article

Pennance T, Allan F, Emery A, Rabone M, Cable J, Garba AD, Hamidou AA, Webster JP, Rollinson D, Webster BLet al., 2020, Interactions between Schistosoma haematobium group species and their Bulinus spp. intermediate hosts along the Niger River Valley, PARASITES & VECTORS, Vol: 13, ISSN: 1756-3305

Journal article

Deol AK, French MD, Webster JP, 2020, Schistosomiasis and the Global Goals Reply, NEW ENGLAND JOURNAL OF MEDICINE, Vol: 382, Pages: 1576-1576, ISSN: 0028-4793

Journal article

Jones BP, Norman BF, Borrett HE, Attwood SW, Mondal MMH, Walker AJ, Webster JP, Jayanthe Rajapakse PRV, Lawton SPet al., 2020, Divergence across mitochondrial genomes of sympatric members of the Schistosoma indicum group and clues into the evolution of Schistosoma spindale, Scientific Reports, Vol: 10, ISSN: 2045-2322

Schistosoma spindale and Schistosoma indicum are ruminant-infecting trematodes of the Schistosoma indicum group that are widespread across Southeast Asia. Though neglected, these parasites can cause major pathology and mortality to livestock leading to significant welfare and socio-economic issues, predominantly amongst poor subsistence farmers and their families. Here we used mitogenomic analysis to determine the relationships between these two sympatric species of schistosome and to characterise S. spindale diversity in order to identify possible cryptic speciation. The mitochondrial genomes of S. spindale and S. indicum were assembled and genetic analyses revealed high levels of diversity within the S. indicum group. Evidence of functional changes in mitochondrial genes indicated adaptation to environmental change associated with speciation events in S. spindale around 2.5 million years ago. We discuss our results in terms of their theoretical and applied implications.

Journal article

Faust CL, Crotti M, Moses A, Oguttu D, Wamboko A, Adriko M, Adekanle EK, Kabatereine N, Tukahebwa EM, Norton AJ, Gower CM, Webster JP, Lamberton PHLet al., 2019, Two-year longitudinal survey reveals high genetic diversity of Schistosoma mansoni with adult worms surviving praziquantel treatment at the start of mass drug administration in Uganda, PARASITES & VECTORS, Vol: 12, ISSN: 1756-3305

Journal article

Deol AK, Fleming FM, Calvo-Urbano B, Walker M, Bucumi V, Gnandou I, Tukahebwa EM, Jemu S, Mwingira UJ, Alkohlani A, Traore M, Ruberanziza E, Toure S, Basanez M-G, French MD, Webster JPet al., 2019, Schistosomiasis — assessing progress toward the 2020 and 2025 global goals, New England Journal of Medicine, Vol: 381, Pages: 2519-2528, ISSN: 0028-4793

BackgroundWith the vision of “a world free of schistosomiasis,” the World Health Organization (WHO) set ambitious goals of control of this debilitating disease and its elimination as a public health problem by 2020 and 2025, respectively. As these milestones become imminent, and if programs are to succeed, it is important to evaluate the WHO programmatic guidelines empirically.MethodsWe collated and analyzed multiyear cross-sectional data from nine national schistosomiasis control programs (in eight countries in sub-Saharan Africa and in Yemen). Data were analyzed according to schistosome species (Schistosoma mansoni or S. haematobium), number of treatment rounds, overall prevalence, and prevalence of heavy-intensity infection. Disease control was defined as a prevalence of heavy-intensity infection of less than 5% aggregated across sentinel sites, and the elimination target was defined as a prevalence of heavy-intensity infection of less than 1% in all sentinel sites. Heavy-intensity infection was defined as at least 400 eggs per gram of feces for S. mansoni infection or as more than 50 eggs per 10 ml of urine for S. haematobium infection.ResultsAll but one country program (Niger) reached the disease-control target by two treatment rounds or less, which is earlier than projected by current WHO guidelines (5 to 10 years). Programs in areas with low endemicity levels at baseline were more likely to reach both the control and elimination targets than were programs in areas with moderate and high endemicity levels at baseline, although the elimination target was reached only for S. mansoni infection (in Burkina Faso, Burundi, and Rwanda within three treatment rounds). Intracountry variation was evident in the relationships between overall prevalence and heavy-intensity infection (stratified according to treatment rounds), a finding that highlights the challenges of using one metric to define control or elimination across all epidemiologic settings.Conclusio

Journal article

Wood CL, Sokolow SH, Jones IJ, Chamberlin AJ, Lafferty KD, Kuris AM, Jocque M, Hopkins S, Adams G, Buck JC, Lund AJ, Garcia-Vedrenne AE, Fiorenza E, Rohr JR, Allan F, Webster B, Rabone M, Webster JP, Bandagny L, Ndione R, Senghor S, Schacht A-M, Jouanard N, Riveau G, De Leo GAet al., 2019, Precision mapping of snail habitat provides a powerful indicator of human schistosomiasis transmission, PROCEEDINGS OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCES OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Vol: 116, Pages: 23182-23191, ISSN: 0027-8424

Journal article

Mutombo N, Landoure A, Man WY, Fenwick A, Dembele R, Sacko M, Keita AD, Traore MS, Webster JP, McLaws M-Let al., 2019, The association between child Schistosoma spp. infections and morbidity in an irrigated rice region in Mali: A localized study, ACTA TROPICA, Vol: 199, ISSN: 0001-706X

Journal article

Chevalier FD, Le Clec'h W, McDew-White M, Menon V, Guzman MA, Holloway SP, Cao X, Taylor AB, Kinung'hi S, Gouvras AN, Webster BL, Webster JP, Emery AM, Rollinson D, Garba Djirmay A, Al Mashikhi KM, Al Yafae S, Idris MA, Mone H, Mouahid G, Hart PJ, LoVerde PT, Anderson TJCet al., 2019, Oxamniquine resistance alleles are widespread in Old World Schistosoma mansoni and predate drug deployment, PLOS PATHOGENS, Vol: 15, ISSN: 1553-7366

Journal article

Platt RN, McDew-White M, Le Clec'h W, Chevalier F, Allan F, Emery AM, Garba A, Hamidou AA, Ame SM, Webster JP, Rollinson D, Webster BL, Anderson TJCet al., 2019, Ancient Hybridization and Adaptive Introgression of an Invadolysin Gene in Schistosome Parasites, MOLECULAR BIOLOGY AND EVOLUTION, Vol: 36, Pages: 2127-2142, ISSN: 0737-4038

Journal article

Doyle SR, Sankaranarayanan G, Allan F, Berger D, Jimenez Castro PD, Collins JB, Crellen T, Duque-Correa MA, Ellis P, Jaleta TG, Laing R, Maitland K, McCarthy C, Moundai T, Softley B, Thiele E, Ouakou PT, Tushabe JV, Webster JP, Weiss AJ, Lok J, Devaney E, Kaplan RM, Cotton JA, Berriman M, Holroyd Net al., 2019, Evaluation of DNA Extraction Methods on Individual Helminth Egg and Larval Stages for Whole-Genome Sequencing, FRONTIERS IN GENETICS, Vol: 10

Journal article

Neves MI, Webster JP, Walker M, 2019, Estimating helminth burdens using sibship reconstruction., Parasit Vectors, Vol: 12

BACKGROUND: Sibship reconstruction is a form of parentage analysis that can be used to identify the number of helminth parental genotypes infecting individual hosts using genetic data on only their offspring. This has the potential to be used for estimating individual worm burdens when adult parasites are otherwise inaccessible, the case for many of the most globally important human helminthiases and neglected tropical diseases. Yet methods of inferring worm burdens from sibship reconstruction data on numbers of unique parental genotypes are lacking, limiting the method's scope of application. RESULTS: We developed a novel statistical method for estimating female worm burdens from data on the number of unique female parental genotypes derived from sibship reconstruction. We illustrate the approach using genotypic data on Schistosoma mansoni (miracidial) offspring collected from schoolchildren in Tanzania. We show how the bias and precision of worm burden estimates critically depends on the number of sampled offspring and we discuss strategies for obtaining sufficient sample sizes and for incorporating judiciously formulated prior information to improve the accuracy of estimates. CONCLUSIONS: This work provides a novel approach for estimating individual-level worm burdens using genetic data on helminth offspring. This represents a step towards a wider scope of application of parentage analysis techniques. We discuss how the method could be used to assist in the interpretation of monitoring and evaluation data collected during mass drug administration programmes targeting human helminthiases and to help resolve outstanding questions on key population biological processes that govern the transmission dynamics of these neglected tropical diseases.

Journal article

Catalano S, Symeou A, Marsh KJ, Borlase A, Leger E, Fall CB, Sene M, Diouf ND, Ianniello D, Cringoli G, Rinaldi L, Ba K, Webster JPet al., 2019, Mini-FLOTAC as an alternative, non-invasive diagnostic tool for Schistosoma mansoni and other trematode infections in wildlife reservoirs, PARASITES & VECTORS, Vol: 12, ISSN: 1756-3305

Journal article

Vince L, Gower CM, Binetou-Fall C, Leger E, Borlase AM, Waldman L, Sene-Wade CM, Diouf ND, Jackson E, Webster JPet al., 2019, TOWARDS A ONE-HEALTH COST-EFFECTIVENESS EVALUATION OF SCHISTOSOMAISIS CONTROL IN AFRICA, Publisher: OXFORD UNIV PRESS, Pages: S21-S21, ISSN: 0035-9203

Conference paper

Qiu C, Lu D-B, Deng Y, Zou H-Y, Liang Y-S, Webster JPet al., 2019, Population genetics of Oncomelania hupensis snails, intermediate hosts of Schistosoma japonium, from emerging, re-emerging or established habitats within China., Acta Trop, Vol: 197

Schistosomiasis remains one of the world's most significant neglected tropical diseases, second only to malaria in terms of socioeconomic impact. In 2014, China proposed the goal of schistosomiasis japonicum elimination by 2025. However, one major challenge is the widely distributed, and in certain cases potentially increasing, habitats of Oncomelania hupensis, the snail intermediate hosts of S. japonicum. Therefore, an understanding of population genetics of O. hupensis in new or re-emerged habitats, together with that of the established habitats with snail persistence, would be valuable in controlling and predicting the future transmission dynamics of schistosomiasis in China. Using nine microsatellite loci, we conducted population genetic analyses of snails sampled from one habitat where snails were detected for the first time, one (previously eliminated) habitat with re-emerged snails, and one habitat with established snail persistence. Results showed lower diversities, in terms of number of observed alleles per locus (Na), number of effective alleles per locus (NeA), observed (Ho) and expected heterozygosity (He), in snails from new or re-emerged snail habitats than from the habitat with snail persistence. The smallest effective population size was inferred in the re-emerged snail habitat, but the largest was in the new habitat rather than in the habitat with snail persistence. No bottleneck effects were detected in new or re-merged habitats. No or low sub-structure was inferred in new and persistent snail habitats. Snails from the three sites were clearly separated and low gene flow was estimated between sites. We propose that snails at the new habitat may have been introduced through immigration, whereas snails at the re-emerged habitat may be the consequence of those few snails remaining subsequently expanding through reproduction. We discuss our results in terms of their theoretical and applied implications.

Journal article

Catalano S, Nadler SA, Fall CB, Marsh KJ, Leger E, Sene M, Priestnall SL, Wood CL, Diouf ND, Ba K, Webster JPet al., 2019, Plagiorchis sp. in small mammals of Senegal and the potential emergence of a zoonotic trematodiasis, International Journal for Parasitology: Parasites and Wildlife, Vol: 8, Pages: 164-170, ISSN: 2213-2244

Trematodes of the genus Plagiorchis have a wide geographical distribution and can exploit a variety of hosts. The occurrence and zoonotic potential of Plagiorchis spp. have been characterised across several countries in Asia; in contrast, information on Plagiorchis parasites in Africa remains anecdotal. We isolated a previously undescribed Plagiorchis species from the biliary tract and small intestine of 201 out of 427 small mammals collected in the region of Lake Guiers, Senegal, with local prevalence ranging from 38.6% to 77.0%. Conversely, Plagiorchis isolates were not observed in the 244 small mammals sampled in and around the town of Richard Toll, Senegal. Molecular phylogenetics of the internal transcribed spacer region, nuclear ribosomal DNA, and of the cytochrome c oxidase subunit 1 gene, mitochondrial DNA, supported the monophyly and multi-host spectrum of this newly discovered West African Plagiorchis species. Sequencing of individual cercariae shed by Radix natalensis (Gastropoda: Lymnaeidae) suggested that these freshwater snails may act as suitable first intermediate hosts. Phylogenetic analysis yielded a highly resolved topology indicating two different clades, one composed by Plagiorchis spp. infecting rodents, insectivores, and birds, while the other included parasites of bats. Our findings showed the low host specificity and high prevalence of the isolated Plagiorchis sp. in the Lake Guiers region, with Hubert's multimammate mice (Mastomys huberti) appearing to play a primary role in the epidemiology of this parasite. The results raise concern about the zoonotic potential of Plagiorchis sp. in local communities of the Lake Guiers region, and highlight food-borne trematodiases and their link to land-use change as a neglected public health issue in regions of West Africa.

Journal article

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