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  • Abate, Ebba, et al. (författare)
  • Asymptomatic Helminth Infection in Active Tuberculosis Is Associated with Increased Regulatory and Th-2 Responses and a Lower Sputum Smear Positivity
  • 2015
  • Ingår i: PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases. - : PUBLIC LIBRARY SCIENCE. - 1935-2727 .- 1935-2735. ; 9:8
  • Tidskriftsartikel (refereegranskat)abstract
    • Background The impact of intestinal helminth infection on the clinical presentation and immune response during active tuberculosis (TB) infection is not well characterized. Our aim was to investigate whether asymptomatic intestinal helminth infection alters the clinical signs and symptoms as well as the cell mediated immune responses in patients with active TB.Methodology Consecutive, newly diagnosed TB patients and healthy community controls (CCs) were recruited in North-west Ethiopia. TB-score, body mass index and stool samples were analyzed. Cells from HIV-negative TB patients (HIV-/TB) and from CCs were analyzed for regulatory T-cells (Tregs) and cytokine responses using flow cytometry and ELISPOT, respectively.Results A significantly higher ratio of helminth co-infection was observed in TB patients without HIV (Helm+/HIV-/TB) compared to HIV negative CCs, (40% (121/306) versus 28% (85/306), p = 0.003). Helm+/HIV-/TB patients showed significantly increased IL-5 secreting cells compared to Helm-/HIV-/TB (37 SFU (IQR:13-103) versus 2 SFU (1-50); p = 0.02, n = 30). Likewise, levels of absolute Tregs (9.4 (3.2-16.7) cells/mu l versus 2.4 (1.1-4.0) cells/mu l; p = 0.041) and IL-10 secreting cells (65 SFU (7-196) versus 1 SFU (0-31); p = 0.014) were significantly higher in Helm+/HIV-/TB patients compared to Helm-/HIV-/TB patients. In a multivariate analysis, a lower rate of sputum smear positivity for acid fast bacilli, lower body temperature, and eosinophilia were independently associated with helminth infection in TB patients.Conclusions Asymptomatic helminth infection is associated with increased regulatory T-cell and Th2-type responses and a lower rate of sputum smear positivity. Further studies are warranted to investigate the clinical and immunological impact of helminth infection in TB patients.
  • Abioye, Ajibola I., et al. (författare)
  • Maternal, placental and cord blood cytokines and the risk of adverse birth outcomes among pregnant women infected with Schistosoma japonicum in the Philippines
  • 2019
  • Ingår i: PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases. - : PUBLIC LIBRARY SCIENCE. - 1935-2727 .- 1935-2735. ; 13:6
  • Tidskriftsartikel (refereegranskat)abstract
    • Background The objectives of this study were to 1) evaluate the influence of treatment with praziquantel on the inflammatory milieu in maternal, placental, and cord blood, 2) assess the extent to which proinflammatory signatures in placental and cord blood impacts birth outcomes, and 3) evaluate the impact of other helminths on the inflammatory micro environment. Methods/Findings This was a secondary analysis of samples from 369 mother-infant pairs participating in a randomized controlled trial of praziquantel given at 12-16 weeks gestation. We performed regression analysis to address our study objectives. In maternal peripheral blood, the concentrations of CXCL8, and TNF receptor I and II decreased from 12 to 32 weeks gestation, while IL-13 increased. Praziquantel treatment did not significantly alter the trajectory of the concentration of any of the cytokines examined. Hookworm infection was associated with elevated placental IL-1, CXCL8 and IFN-gamma. The risk of small-for-gestational age increased with elevated IL-6, IL-10, and CXCL8 in cord blood. The risk of prematurity was increased when cord blood sTNFRI and placental IL-5 were elevated. Conclusions Our study suggests that fetal cytokines, which may be related to infectious disease exposures, contribute to poor intrauterine growth. Additionally, hookworm infection influences cytokine concentrations at the maternal-fetal interface. Clinical Trial Registry number and website ClinicalTrials.gov (NCT00486863). Author summary Schistosomiasis is one of the most prevalent parasitic tropical diseases, and it is primarily treated with the drug praziquantel. This study examined the effects of praziquantel treatment for schistosomiasis and the presence of geohelminth infections during pregnancy on cytokines in maternal, placental, and cord blood, and examined the effects of pro-inflammatory signatures at the maternal-fetal interface on perinatal outcomes. We analyzed the data of 369 mother-infant pairs obtained from a randomized controlled trial of praziquantel given at 12-16 weeks gestation. Praziquantel treatment did not significantly alter the trajectory of the concentration of any of the cytokines examined. Elevated levels of both Th1 and Th2 cytokines were associated with the risk of adverse perinatal outcomes (small-for-gestational age and prematurity). Hookworm coinfection at 12 weeks gestation was, however, related to elevated levels of certain cytokines in the placenta (IL-1, IL-5, CXCL8 and IFN-gamma).
  • Affognon, Hippolyte, et al. (författare)
  • Ethnic groups' knowledge, attitude and practices and Rift Valley fever exposure in Isiolo County of Kenya
  • 2017
  • Ingår i: PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases. - 1935-2727 .- 1935-2735. ; 11:3
  • Tidskriftsartikel (refereegranskat)abstract
    • Rift Valley fever (RVF) is an emerging mosquito-borne viral hemorrhagic fever in Africa and the Arabian Peninsula, affecting humans and livestock. For spread of infectious diseases, including RVF, knowledge, attitude and practices play an important role, and the understanding of the influence of behavior is crucial to improve prevention and control efforts. The objective of the study was to assess RVF exposure, in a multiethnic region in Kenya known to experience RVF outbreaks, from the behavior perspective. We investigated how communities in Isiolo County, Kenya were affected, in relation to their knowledge, attitude and practices, by the RVF outbreak of 2006/2007. A cross-sectional study was conducted involving 698 households selected randomly from three different ethnic communities. Data were collected using a structured questionnaire regarding knowledge, attitudes and practices that could affect the spread of RVF. In addition, information was collected from the communities regarding the number of humans and livestock affected during the RVF outbreak. This study found that better knowledge about a specific disease does not always translate to better practices to avoid exposure to the disease. However, the high knowledge, attitude and practice score measured as a single index of the Maasai community may explain why they were less affected, compared to other investigated communities (Borana and Turkana), by RVF during the 2006/2007 outbreak. We conclude that RVF exposure in Isiolo County, Kenya during the outbreak was likely determined by the behavioral differences of different resident community groups. We then recommend that strategies to combat RVF should take into consideration behavioral differences among communities.
  • Aira, Naomi, et al. (författare)
  • Species dependent impact of helminth-derived antigens on human macrophages infected with Mycobacterium tuberculosis: Direct effect on the innate anti-mycobacterial response
  • 2017
  • Ingår i: PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases. - : PUBLIC LIBRARY SCIENCE. - 1935-2727 .- 1935-2735. ; 11:3
  • Tidskriftsartikel (refereegranskat)abstract
    • Background In countries with a high prevalence of tuberculosis there is high coincident of helminth infections that might worsen disease outcome. While Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb) gives rise to a pro-inflammatory Th1 response, a Th2 response is typical of helminth infections. A strong Th2 response has been associated with decreased protection against tuberculosis. Principal findings We investigated the direct effect of helminth-derived antigens on human macrophages, hypothesizing that helminths would render macrophages less capable of controlling Mtb. Measuring cytokine output, macrophage surface markers with flow cytometry, and assessing bacterial replication and phagosomal maturation revealed that antigens from different species of helminth directly affect macrophage responses to Mtb. Antigens from the tapeworm Hymenolepis diminuta and the nematode Trichuris muris caused an anti-inflammatory response with M2-type polarization, reduced macrophage phagosome maturation and ability to activate T cells, along with increased Mtb burden, especially in T. muris exposed cells which also induced the highest IL-10 production upon co-infection. However, antigens from the trematode Schistosoma mansoni had the opposite effect causing a decrease in IL-10 production, M1-type polarization and increased control of Mtb. Conclusion We conclude that, independent of any adaptive immune response, infection with helminth parasites, in a species-specific manner can influence the outcome of tuberculosis by either enhancing or diminishing the bactericidal function of macrophages.
  • Alam, M., et al. (författare)
  • Antigen-Specific Memory B-cell Responses to Enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli Infection in Bangladeshi Adults
  • 2014
  • Ingår i: PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases. - 1935-2727 .- 1935-2735. ; 8:4
  • Tidskriftsartikel (refereegranskat)abstract
    • Background: Multiple infections with diverse enterotoxigenic E. coli (ETEC) strains lead to broad spectrum protection against ETEC diarrhea. However, the precise mechanism of protection against ETEC infection is still unknown. Therefore, memory B cell responses and affinity maturation of antibodies to the specific ETEC antigens might be important to understand the mechanism of protection. Methodology: In this study, we investigated the heat labile toxin B subunit (LTB) and colonization factor antigens (CFA/I and CS6) specific IgA and IgG memory B cell responses in Bangladeshi adults (n = 52) who were infected with ETEC. We also investigated the avidity of IgA and IgG antibodies that developed after infection to these antigens. Principal Findings: Patients infected with ETEC expressing LT or LT+heat stable toxin (ST) and CFA/I group or CS6 colonization factors developed LTB, CFA/I or CS6 specific memory B cell responses at day 30 after infection. Similarly, these patients developed high avidity IgA and IgG antibodies to LTB, CFA/I or CS6 at day 7 that remained significantly elevated at day 30 when compared to the avidity of these specific antibodies at the acute stage of infection (day 2). The memory B cell responses, antibody avidity and other immune responses to CFA/I not only developed in patients infected with ETEC expressing CFA/I but also in those infected with ETEC expressing CFA/I cross-reacting epitopes. We also detected a significant positive correlation of LTB, CFA/I and CS6 specific memory B cell responses with the corresponding increase in antibody avidity. Conclusion: This study demonstrates that natural infection with ETEC induces memory B cells and high avidity antibodies to LTB and colonization factor CFA/I and CS6 antigens that could mediate anamnestic responses on re-exposure to ETEC and may help in understanding the requirements to design an effective vaccination strategies.
  • Alm, Erik, et al. (författare)
  • Universal Single-Probe RT-PCR Assay for Diagnosis of Dengue Virus Infections
  • 2014
  • Ingår i: PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases. - 1935-2727 .- 1935-2735. ; 8:12, s. e3416-
  • Tidskriftsartikel (refereegranskat)abstract
    • Background: Dengue is a mosquito-borne viral disease that has become more prevalent in the last few decades. Most patients are viremic when they present with symptoms, and early diagnosis of dengue is important in preventing severe clinical complications associated with this disease and also represents a key factor in differential diagnosis. Here, we designed and validated a hydrolysis-probe-based one-step real-time RT-PCR assay that targets the genomes of dengue virus serotypes 1-4. Methodology/Principal Findings: The primers and probe used in our RT-PCR assay were designed to target the 39 untranslated region of all complete genome sequences of dengue virus available in GenBank (n=3,305). Performance of the assay was evaluated using in vitro transcribed RNA, laboratory-adapted virus strains, external control panels, and clinical specimens. The linear dynamic range was found to be 10(4)-10(11) GCE/mL, and the detection limit was between 6.0x10(2) and 1.1x10(3) GCE/mL depending on target sequence. The assay did not cross-react with human RNA, nor did it produce false-positive results for other human pathogenic flaviviruses or clinically important etiological agents of febrile illnesses. We used clinical serum samples obtained from returning travelers with dengue-compatible symptomatology (n = 163) to evaluate the diagnostic relevance of our assay, and laboratory diagnosis performed by the RT-PCR assay had 100% positive agreement with diagnosis performed by NS1 antigen detection. In a retrospective evaluation including 60 archived serum samples collected from confirmed dengue cases 1-9 days after disease onset, the RT-PCR assay detected viral RNA up to 9 days after appearance of symptoms. Conclusions/Significance: The validation of the RT-PCR assay presented here indicates that this technique can be a reliable diagnostic tool, and hence we suggest that it be introduced as the method of choice during the first 5 days of dengue symptoms.
  • Ansell, Brendan R. E., et al. (författare)
  • Time-Dependent Transcriptional Changes in Axenic Giardia duodenalis Trophozoites
  • 2015
  • Ingår i: PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases. - 1935-2727 .- 1935-2735. ; 9:12
  • Tidskriftsartikel (refereegranskat)abstract
    • Giardia duodenalis is the most common gastrointestinal protozoan parasite of humans and a significant contributor to the global burden of both diarrheal disease and post-infectious chronic disorders. Although G. duodenalis can be cultured axenically, significant gaps exist in our understanding of the molecular biology and metabolism of this pathogen. The present study employed RNA sequencing to characterize the mRNA transcriptome of G. duodenalis trophozoites in axenic culture, at log (48 h of growth), stationary (60 h), and declining (96 h) growth phases. Using similar to 400-times coverage of the transcriptome, we identified 754 differentially transcribed genes (DTGs), mainly representing two large DTG groups: 438 that were down-regulated in the declining phase relative to log and stationary phases, and 281 that were up-regulated. Differential transcription of prominent antioxidant and glycolytic enzymes implicated oxygen tension as a key factor influencing the transcriptional program of axenic trophozoites. Systematic bioinformatic characterization of numerous DTGs encoding hypothetical proteins of unknown function was achieved using structural homology searching. This powerful approach greatly informed the differential transcription analysis and revealed putative novel antioxidant-coding genes, and the presence of a nearcomplete two-component-like signaling system that may link cytosolic redox or metabolite sensing to the observed transcriptional changes. Motif searching applied to promoter regions of the two large DTG groups identified different putative transcription factor-binding motifs that may underpin global transcriptional regulation. This study provides new insights into the drivers and potential mediators of transcriptional variation in axenic G. duodenalis and provides context for static transcriptional studies.
  • Bewket, Gezahegn, et al. (författare)
  • Helminth species specific expansion and increased TNF-alpha production of non-classical monocytes during active tuberculosis
  • 2021
  • Ingår i: PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases. - : PUBLIC LIBRARY SCIENCE. - 1935-2727 .- 1935-2735. ; 15:3
  • Tidskriftsartikel (refereegranskat)abstract
    • Author summary Monocytes are important cells for the early innate immune response and play an integral part during inflammation and infection. Classical monocytes, the dominant monocyte subset during homeostasis and health, have been linked to efficient TB protection. Intermediate or non-classical monocytes have instead been associated with uncontrolled inflammation (TNF-alpha), cell death, and poor protection against Mycobacterium tuberculosis. In areas endemic for intestinal helminths, the immunoregulatory effects of monocytes may affect development or progression of TB disease. The role of monocyte subsets during helminth/TB coinfection have not been studied. In Gondar, Ethiopia, we show that in patients with helminth infection, a helminth species dependent expansion of non-classical monocytes is triggered, where Ascaris and hookworm had the strongest effect in coinfected pulmonary TB-patients. The increase in non-classical monocytes was mainly detected in coinfected patients with a low-to-intermediate disease severity. Only coinfection with helminths and TB induced an increased TNF-alpha response in monocytes. Thus, we found a helminth species-specific dysregulation of monocyte subset distribution and functionality in coinfected TB-patients which could affect TB pathogenesis. Both Mycobacterium tuberculosis infection and helminths may affect innate immune mechanisms such as differential effects on monocytes towards the non-classical and intermediate subsets that favor bacterial persistence. Our aim, was to investigate helminth species specific effects on the frequency and functional activity of monocyte subsets in patients with active tuberculosis and healthy subjects. HIV-negative patients with active pulmonary tuberculosis (PTB) and community controls (CCs) in Gondar, Ethiopia were screened for helminth infection by stool microscopy. Flow cytometric analysis of peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) and ex vivo stimulation with purified protein derivative (PPD) and helminth antigens were used to characterize the distribution of monocyte subsets and their function. A total of 74 PTB patients and 57 CCs with and without helminth infection were included. Non-classical monocytes were increased in PTB patients with Ascaris and hookworm infection but not in Schistosoma-infected patients. Ascaris had the strongest effect in increasing the frequency of non-classical monocytes in both PTB patients and CCs, whereas PTB without helminth infection did not affect the frequency of monocyte subsets. There was a helminth specific increase in the frequency of TNF-alpha producing non-classical monocytes in hookworm infected PTB patients, both with and without PPD-stimulation. Low-to-intermediate TB disease severity associated with increased frequency of non-classical monocytes only for helminth-positive PTB patients, and the frequency of TNF-alpha producing monocytes were significantly higher in intermediate and non-classical monocytes of helminth positive PTB patients with an intermediate disease score. Helminth infection affected the frequency of monocyte subsets and function both in TB patients and controls which was helminth species dependent in TB patients. The clinical role of this potential immunomodulatory effect needs further study and may affect the response and protection to tuberculosis in areas where helminth infections are endemic.
  • Bowman, Leigh, et al. (författare)
  • A comparison of Zika and dengue outbreaks using national surveillance data in the Dominican Republic
  • 2018
  • Ingår i: PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases. - : Public Library Science. - 1935-2727 .- 1935-2735. ; 12:11
  • Tidskriftsartikel (refereegranskat)abstract
    • BACKGROUND: Aedes-borne arboviruses continue to precipitate epidemics worldwide. In Dominican Republic, the appearance of Zika virus cases that closely followed a large dengue epidemic provided an opportunity to study the different transmission drivers behind these two flaviviruses. Retrospective datasets were used to collect information on the populations at risk and descriptive statistics were used to describe the outbreaks on a national scale.METHODOLOGY/ PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Expectedly, box plots showed that 75% of dengue was reported in those aged <20 years while Zika infections were more widely dispersed among the population. Dengue attack rates were marginally higher among males at 25.9 per 10,000 population vs. 21.5 per 10,000 population for females. Zika infections appeared to be highly clustered among females (73.8% (95% CI 72.6%, 75.0%; p<0.05)); age-adjusted Zika attack rates among females were 7.64 per 10,000 population compared with 2.72 per 10,000 population among males. R0 calculations stratified by sex also showed a significantly higher metric among females: 1.84 (1.82, 1.87; p<0.05) when compared to males at 1.72 (1.69, 1.75; p<0.05). However, GBS attack rates stratified by sex revealed slightly higher risk in males vs. females, at 0.62 and 0.57 per 10,000 population respectively.CONCLUSIONS/ SIGNIFICANCE: Evidence suggests little impact of existing dengue immunity on reported attack rates of Zika at the population level. Confounding of R0 and incident risk calculations by sex-specific over-reporting can alter the reliability of epidemiological metrics, which could be addressed using associated proxy syndromes or conditions to explore seemingly sex-skewed incidence. The findings indicate that community awareness campaigns, through influencing short-term health seeking behaviour, remain the most plausible mechanism behind increased reporting among women of reproductive age, although biological susceptibility cannot yet be ruled out. Media campaigns and screening are therefore recommended for women of reproductive age during Zika outbreaks. Future research should focus on clinical Zika outcomes among dengue seropositive individuals.
  • Bray, Daniel (författare)
  • Multi-modal Analysis of Courtship Behaviour in the Old World Leishmaniasis Vector Phlebotomus argentipes
  • 2014
  • Ingår i: PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases. - : Public Library of Science. - 1935-2727 .- 1935-2735. ; 8
  • Tidskriftsartikel (refereegranskat)abstract
    • Background: The sand fly Phlebotomus argentipes is arguably the most important vector of leishmaniasis worldwide. As there is no vaccine against the parasites that cause leishmaniasis, disease prevention focuses on control of the insect vector. Understanding reproductive behaviour will be essential to controlling populations of P. argentipes, and developing new strategies for reducing leishmaniasis transmission. Through statistical analysis of male-female interactions, this study provides a detailed description of P. argentipes courtship, and behaviours critical to mating success are highlighted. The potential for a role of cuticular hydrocarbons in P. argentipes courtship is also investigated, by comparing chemicals extracted from the surface of male and female flies.Principal Findings: P. argentipes courtship shared many similarities with that of both Phlebotomus papatasi and the New World leishmaniasis vector Lutzomyia longipalpis. Male wing-flapping while approaching the female during courtship predicted mating success, and touching between males and females was a common and frequent occurrence. Both sexes were able to reject a potential partner. Significant differences were found in the profile of chemicals extracted from the surface of males and females. Results of GC analysis indicate that female extracts contained a number of peaks with relatively short retention times not present in males. Extracts from males had higher peaks for chemicals with relatively long retention times.Conclusions: The importance of male approach flapping suggests that production of audio signals through wing beating, or dispersal of sex pheromones, are important to mating in this species. Frequent touching as a means of communication, and the differences in the chemical profiles extracted from males and females, may also indicate a role for cuticular hydrocarbons in P. argentipes courtship. Comparing characteristics of successful and unsuccessful mates could aid in identifying the modality of signals involved in P. argentipes courtship, and their potential for use in developing new strategies for vector control.
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