229 results found
Raj E, Calvo-Urbano B, Heffernan C, et al., 2022, Systematic review to evaluate a potential association between helminth infection and physical stunting in children, PARASITES & VECTORS, Vol: 15, ISSN: 1756-3305
Adeyemo P, Leger E, Hollenberg E, et al., 2022, Estimating the financial impact of livestock schistosomiasis on traditional subsistence and transhumance farmers keeping cattle, sheep and goats in northern Senegal, PARASITES & VECTORS, Vol: 15, ISSN: 1756-3305
Platt RN, Le Clec'h W, Chevalier FD, et al., 2022, Genomic analysis of a parasite invasion: Colonization of the Americas by the blood fluke Schistosoma mansoni, MOLECULAR ECOLOGY, Vol: 31, Pages: 2242-2263, ISSN: 0962-1083
Behnke JM, Stewart A, Smales L, et al., 2022, Parasitic nematodes of the genus Syphacia Seurat, 1916 infecting Cricetidae in the British Isles: the enigmatic status of Syphacia nigeriana., Parasitology, Vol: 149, Pages: 76-94
Oxyurid nematodes (Syphacia spp.) from bank (Myodes glareolus) and field/common (Microtus spp.) voles, from disparate geographical sites in the British Isles, were examined morphologically and genetically. The genetic signatures of 118 new isolates are provided, based primarily on the rDNA internal transcribed spacers (ITS1-5.8S-ITS2) region and for representative isolates also on the small subunit 18S rDNA region and cytochrome c oxidase subunit 1 (cox-1) gene locus. Genetic data on worms recovered from Microtus spp. from the European mainland and from other rodent genera from the Palaearctic, North America and West Africa are also included. We test historical hypotheses indicating that S. nigeriana is a generalist species, infecting a range of different rodent genera. Our results establish that S. nigeriana is a parasite of both bank and field voles in the British Isles. An identical genotype was also recorded from Hubert's multimammate mouse (Mastomys huberti) from Senegal, but Mastomys spp. from West Africa were additionally parasitized by a related, although genetically distinct Syphacia species. We found no evidence for S. petrusewiczi in voles from the British Isles but isolates from Russia and North America were genetically distinct and formed their own separate deep branch in maximum likelihood molecular phylogenetic trees.
Walker M, Freitas LT, Halder JB, et al., 2022, Improving anthelmintic treatment for schistosomiasis and soil-transmitted helminthiases through sharing and reuse of individual participant data., Wellcome Open Res, Vol: 7, ISSN: 2398-502X
The Infectious Diseases Data Observatory (IDDO, https://www.iddo.org) has launched a clinical data platform for the collation, curation, standardisation and reuse of individual participant data (IPD) on treatments for two of the most globally important neglected tropical diseases (NTDs), schistosomiasis (SCH) and soil-transmitted helminthiases (STHs). This initiative aims to harness the power of data-sharing by facilitating collaborative joint analyses of pooled datasets to generate robust evidence on the efficacy and safety of anthelminthic treatment regimens. A crucial component of this endeavour has been the development of a Research Agenda to promote engagement with the SCH and STH research and disease control communities by highlighting key questions that could be tackled using data shared through the IDDO platform. Here, we give a contextual overview of the priority research themes articulated in the Research Agenda-a 'living' document hosted on the IDDO website-and describe the three-stage consultation process behind its development. We also discuss the sustainability and future directions of the platform, emphasising throughout the power and promise of ethical and equitable sharing and reuse of clinical data to support the elimination of NTDs.
Le Clec'h W, Chevalier FD, Mattos ACA, et al., 2021, Genetic analysis of praziquantel response in schistosome parasites implicates a transient receptor potential channel, SCIENCE TRANSLATIONAL MEDICINE, Vol: 13, ISSN: 1946-6234
Díaz AV, Walker M, Webster JP, 2021, Surveillance and control of SARS-CoV-2 in mustelids: An evolutionary perspective., Evolutionary Applications: evolutionary approaches to environmental, biomedical and socio-economic issues, Vol: 14, Pages: 2715-2725, ISSN: 1752-4563
The relevance of mustelids in SARS-CoV-2 transmission has become increasingly evident. Alongside experimental demonstration of airborne transmission among ferrets, the major animal model for human respiratory diseases, transmission of SARS-CoV-2 within- and/or between-commercial mink farms has occurred and continues to occur. The number of mink reared for the luxury fur trade is approximately 60.5 million, across 36 mustelid-farming countries. By July 2021, SARS-CoV-2 outbreaks have been reported in 12 of these countries, at 412 European and 20 North American mink farms. Reverse zoonotic transmission events (from humans to mink) have introduced the virus to farms with subsequent extensive mink-to-mink transmission as well as further zoonotic (mink-to-human) transmission events generating cases among both farm workers and the broader community. Overcrowded housing conditions inherent within intensive mink farms, often combined with poor sanitation and welfare, both guarantee spread of SARS-CoV-2 and facilitate opportunities for viral variants, thereby effectively representing biotic hubs for viral transmission and evolution of virulence. Adequate preventative, surveillance and control measures within the mink industry are imperative both for the control of the current global pandemic and to mitigate against future outbreaks.
Borlase A, Rudge JW, Leger E, et al., 2021, Spillover, hybridization, and persistence in schistosome transmission dynamics at the human-animal interface, PROCEEDINGS OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCES OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Vol: 118, ISSN: 0027-8424
Lu D-B, Yu Q-F, Zhang J-Y, et al., 2021, Extended survival and reproductive potential of single-sex male and female Schistosoma japonicum within definitive hosts., Int J Parasitol, Vol: 51, Pages: 887-891
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.
Yu Q-F, Zhang J-Y, Sun M-T, et 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.
Fall CB, Lambert S, Leger E, et al., 2021, Hybridized zoonotic schistosoma infections result in hybridized morbidity profiles: a clinical morbidity study amongst co-infected human populations of Senegal, Microorganisms, Vol: 9, Pages: 1-18, ISSN: 2076-2607
Hybridization of infectious agents is a major emerging public and veterinary health concern at the interface of evolution, epidemiology, and control. Whilst evidence of the extent of hybridization amongst parasites is increasing, their impact on morbidity remains largely unknown. This may be predicted to be particularly pertinent where parasites of animals with contrasting pathogenicity viably hybridize with human parasites. Recent research has revealed that viable zoonotic hybrids between human urogenital Schistosoma haematobium with intestinal Schistosoma species of livestock, notably Schistosoma bovis, can be highly prevalent across Africa and beyond. Examining human populations in Senegal, we found increased hepatic but decreased urogenital morbidity, and reduced improvement following treatment with praziquantel, in those infected with zoonotic hybrids compared to non-hybrids. Our results have implications for effective monitoring and evaluation of control programmes, and demonstrate for the first time the potential impact of parasite hybridizations on host morbidity.
Berger DJ, Crellen T, Lamberton PHL, et 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
Neves MI, Gower CM, Webster JP, et 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.
Mawa PA, Kincaid-Smith J, Tukahebwa EM, et 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
Jones BP, Norman BF, Borrett HE, et al., 2021, Author Correction: Divergence across mitochondrial genomes of sympatric members of the Schistosoma indicum group and clues into the evolution of Schistosoma spindale., Sci Rep, Vol: 11
Levecke B, Vlaminck J, Andriamaro L, et 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
Milne G, Webster JP, Walker M, 2020, Toxoplasma gondii: An Underestimated Threat?, TRENDS IN PARASITOLOGY, Vol: 36, Pages: 959-969, ISSN: 1471-4922
Namsanor J, Pitaksakulrat O, Kopolrat K, et 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
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.
Easton A, Gao S, Lawton SP, et 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.
Milne G, Fujimoto C, Bean T, et 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
Zou H-Y, Yu Q-F, Qiu C, et 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
Léger E, Borlase A, Fall CB, et 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-
Webster JP, Neves MI, Webster BL, et 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
Analyses of the population genetic structure of schistosomes under the “Schistosomiasis Consortium for Operational Research and Evaluation” (SCORE) contrasting treatment pressure scenarios in Tanzania, Niger, and Zanzibar were performed to provide supplementary critical information with which to evaluate the impact of these large-scale control activities and guide how activities could be adjusted. We predicted that population genetic analyses would reveal information on a range of important parameters including, but not exclusive to, recruitment and transmission of genotypes, occurrence of hybridization events, differences in reproductive mode, and degrees of inbreeding, and hence, the evolutionary potential, and responses of parasite populations under contrasting treatment pressures. Key findings revealed that naturally high levels of gene flow and mixing of the parasite populations between neighboring sites were likely to dilute any effects imposed by the SCORE treatment arms. Furthermore, significant inherent differences in parasite fecundity were observed, independent of current treatment arm, but potentially of major impact in terms of maintaining high levels of ongoing transmission in persistent “biological hotspot” sites. Within Niger, naturally occurring Schistosoma haematobium/Schistosoma bovis viable hybrids were found to be abundant, often occurring in significantly higher proportions than that of single-species S. haematobium infections. By examining parasite population genetic structures across hosts, treatment regimens, and the spatial landscape, our results to date illustrate key transmission processes over and above that which could be achieved through standard parasitological monitoring of prevalence and intensity alone, as well as adding to our understanding of Schistosoma spp. life history strategies in general.
Catalano S, Léger E, Fall CB, et 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.
Pennance T, Allan F, Emery A, et 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
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
Jones BP, Norman BF, Borrett HE, et 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.
Faust CL, Crotti M, Moses A, et 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
Deol AK, Fleming FM, Calvo-Urbano B, et 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
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