Use of expressed sequence tags as an alternative approach for the identification of Taenia solium metacestode excretion/secretion proteins.
ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: Taenia solium taeniasis/cysticercosis is a zoonotic helminth infection mainly found in rural regions of Africa, Asia and Latin America. In endemic areas, diagnosis of cysticercosis largely depends on serology, but these methods have their drawbacks and require improvement. This implies better knowledge of the proteins secreted and excreted by the parasite. In a previous study, we used a custom protein database containing protein sequences from related helminths to identify T. solium metacestode excretion/secretion proteins. An alternative or complementary approach would be to use expressed sequence tags combined with BLAST and protein mapping to supercontigs of Echinococcus granulosus, a closely related cestode. In this study, we evaluate this approach and compare the results to those obtained in the previous study. FINDINGS: We report 297 proteins organized in 106 protein groups based on homology. Additional classification was done using Gene Ontology information on biological process and molecular function. Of the 106 protein groups, 58 groups were newly identified, while 48 groups confirmed previous findings. Blast2GO analysis revealed that the majority of the proteins were involved in catalytic activities and binding. CONCLUSIONS: In this study, we used translated expressed sequence tags combined with BLAST and mapping strategies to both confirm and complement previous research. Our findings are comparable to recent studies on other helminth genera like Echinococcus, Schistosoma and Clonorchis, indicating similarities between helminth excretion/secretion proteomes.
Project description:An increasing global focus on neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) has resulted in the set up of numerous control and elimination activities worldwide. This is partly true for Taenia solium taeniasis/cysticercosis, the most important foodborne parasitic infection. Despite substantial progress, adequate monitoring and surveillance (M&S) are required to sustain a status of control/elimination. This is often lacking, especially for T. solium. Therefore, the objective was to conduct a systematic literature review of the currently available M&S systems at the control/elimination stage of the four top-ranked helminth NTDs. Specifically, Taenia spp., Echinococcus spp., Schistosoma spp., and soil-transmitted helminths (STHs) were considered to determine if there are any similarities between their M&S systems and whether certain approaches can be adopted from each other. The systematic review demonstrated that rigorous M&S systems have been designed for the control/elimination stage of both STHs and schistosomiasis, particularly in China. On the other hand, a concept of M&S for Taenia spp. and Echinococcus spp. has not been fully developed yet, due to a lack of epidemiological data and the fact that many endemic countries are far away from reaching control/elimination. Moreover, accurate diagnostic tools for all four diseases are still imperfect, which complicates proper M&S. Finally, there is an urgent need to develop and harmonize/standardize M&S activities in order to reliably determine and compare the epidemiological situation worldwide.
Project description:OBJECTIVE:The zoonotic helminth Taenia solium is endemic in Zambia, causing human (taeniasis and (neuro)cysticercosis) and pig (porcine cysticercosis) diseases with high health, social and economic burdens. We aimed to evaluate the impact of a health educational program intended to lead to powerful and cumulative improvements in knowledge, attitudes and practices that decrease parasite transmission and disease occurrence. METHODS:Half-day health education workshops were conducted in three primary schools in the highly endemic Eastern Province of Zambia, using the computer-based T. solium educational program 'The Vicious Worm'. Questionnaires were administered before and after the educational component to determine the program's impact on knowledge uptake in primary school students. RESULTS:In total, 99 students participated: 38 males and 61 females, with a median age of 14 years (range 10-18 years). Baseline general knowledge of T. solium, including awareness of the different human and pig disease states, and disease diagnosis, treatment and prevention, was quite high (average score 62%) and consistent across all three study areas. Participants' knowledge had significantly increased after the educational component, particularly regarding parasite transmission and disease prevention. CONCLUSION:Preliminary assessment of 'The Vicious Worm' indicates it is an effective tool for the short-term T. solium education of primary school students in Zambia. Follow-up studies are planned to assess the longer term impact of the program on knowledge uptake in the study neighbourhoods. Inclusion of tailored 'The Vicious Worm' educational workshops should be considered in integrated cysticercosis control programs in endemic areas of sub-Saharan Africa.
Project description:BACKGROUND: Cysticercosis and hydatidosis seriously affect human health and are responsible for considerable economic loss in animal husbandry in non-developed and developed countries. S3Pvac and EG95 are the only field trial-tested vaccine candidates against cysticercosis and hydatidosis, respectively. S3Pvac is composed of three peptides (KETc1, GK1 and KETc12), originally identified in a Taenia crassiceps cDNA library. S3Pvac synthetically and recombinantly expressed is effective against experimentally and naturally acquired cysticercosis. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: In this study, the homologous sequences of two of the S3Pvac peptides, GK1 and KETc1, were identified and further characterized in Taenia crassiceps WFU, Taenia solium, Taenia saginata, Echinococcus granulosus and Echinococcus multilocularis. Comparisons of the nucleotide and amino acid sequences coding for KETc1 and GK1 revealed significant homologies in these species. The predicted secondary structure of GK1 is almost identical between the species, while some differences were observed in the C terminal region of KETc1 according to 3D modeling. A KETc1 variant with a deletion of three C-terminal amino acids protected to the same extent against experimental murine cysticercosis as the entire peptide. On the contrary, immunization with the truncated GK1 failed to induce protection. Immunolocalization studies revealed the non stage-specificity of the two S3Pvac epitopes and their persistence in the larval tegument of all species and in Taenia adult tapeworms. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: These results indicate that GK1 and KETc1 may be considered candidates to be included in the formulation of a multivalent and multistage vaccine against these cestodiases because of their enhancing effects on other available vaccine candidates.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Taenia solium, T. asiatica and T. saginata tapeworms cause human taeniasis and are the origin of porcine and bovine cysticercosis. Furthermore, T. solium eggs can cause human cysticercosis, with neurocysticercosis being the most serious form of the disease. These helminth infections are neglected tropical diseases and are endemic in several countries in the Americas, Asia and Africa. As a result of globalization, migration in particular, the infections have been extending to non-endemic territories. Species-specific diagnosis of taeniasis is subject to drawbacks that could be resolved using molecular approaches. In the present study, conventional and real-time amplification protocols (cPCR and qPCR) based on the T. saginata HDP2 sequence were applied in the differential diagnosis of taeniasis (T. saginata, T. solium) in both fecal samples and proglottids expelled by patients. The HDP2 homolog in T. solium was cloned and characterized. RESULTS:Semi-nested cPCR and qPCR (Sn-HDP2 cPCR and Sn-HDP2 qPCR) amplified T. saginata and T. solium DNA, with an analytical sensitivity of 40 and 400 fg, respectively, and identically in both protocols. Eighteen taeniasis patients were diagnosed directly with T. saginata or T. solium, either from proglottids or fecal samples with/without eggs (detected using microscopy), based on the optimized Sn-HDP2 qPCR. After cloning, the T. solium HDP2 homolog sequence was confirmed to be a ribosomal sequence. The HDP2 fragment corresponded to a non-transcribed sequence/external transcribed repeat (NTS/ETS) of ribosomal DNA. Compared with the T. saginata HDP2 homolog, the T solium HDP2 sequence lacked the first 900 nt at the 5' end and showed nucleotide substitutions and small deletions. CONCLUSIONS:Sn-HDP2 cPCR and Sn-HDP2 qPCR were set up for the diagnosis of human taeniasis, using proglottids and fecal samples from affected patients. The new Sn-HDP2 qPCR protocol was the best option, as it directly differentiated T. saginata from T. solium. The diagnosis of an imported T. solium-taeniasis case and nine European T. saginata cases was relevant. Finally, the cloning and sequencing of the T. solium HDP2 fragment confirmed that HDP2 was part of a ribosomal unit.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Control and elimination of zoonotic diseases requires robust information about their effect on both human and livestock health in order to enable policy formulation and the allocation of resources. This study aimed to evaluate the cost-effectiveness of controlling Taenia solium taeniasis/cysticercosis in both humans and pigs, and soil-transmitted helminths (STH) in humans by integrating their control to on-going human and animal health control programmes in northern Lao People's Democratic Republic. METHOD:A cross-sectional study was carried out in 49 households, focusing on the prevalence of T. solium taenias/cysticercosis and soil transmitted helminths before and after a twelve month intervention. The village data was collected using a semi-structured questionnaire through a door-to-door survey. The village data was then projected to the wider northern Lao PDR population using stochastic modelling and cost-effectiveness ratio (after aggregating the net cost to capture both human and animal health parameters) and GDP per capita as a threshold, to determine the cost-effectiveness of the integrated control of T. solium taeniasis/ cysticercosis and STH, assuming linear scaling out of the intervention. The zoonotic DALY (zDALY) approach was also used as an alternative method of estimating the cost-effectiveness ratio of controlling T. solium taeniasis/cysticercosis in humans and pigs. FINDINGS:Using cost-effectiveness analysis after aggregating the net cost and control of T. solium taeniasis/cysticercosis alone as the base case, the study found that simultaneous control of T. solium taeniasis/cysticercosis in humans and pigs, STH in humans and Classical Swine Fever (CSF) in pigs was USD 14 per DALY averted and USD 234 per zDALY averted using zDALY method hence considered highly cost-effective whereas controlling T. solium taeniasis/cysticercosis without incorporating STH and CSF was the least cost-effective (USD 3,672 per DALY averted). Additionally, the cost-effectiveness of controlling T. solium taeniasis/cysticercosis in people and pigs using zDALY as an alternative method was USD 3,662 per zDALY averted which was quite close to our findings using the aggregate net cost method. CONCLUSION:The study showed that control of T. solium taeniasis/cysticercosis alone in humans and pigs is not cost-effective in northern Lao PDR whereas control of STH is. Consequently, integrating T. solium taeniasis/cysticercosis control with other cost-effective programmes such as STH and CSF markedly improved the cost-effectiveness of the intervention. This is especially important in low resource countries where control of zoonotic neglected tropical diseases could be integrated with the human and animal health sectors to optimize use of the limited resources. TRIAL REGISTRATION:Australia New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry (ANZCTR) ACTRN12614001067662.
Project description:A randomized controlled field trial to evaluate the effectiveness of a single oral dose of 30 mg/kg of oxfendazole (OFZ) treatment for control of porcine cysticercosis was conducted in 4 rural villages of Angónia district, north-western Mozambique. Two hundred and sixteen piglets aged 4 months were selected and assigned randomly to OFZ treatment or control groups. Fifty-four piglets were treated at 4 months of age (T1), while another 54 piglets were treated at 9 months of age (T2) and these were matched with 108 control pigs from the same litters and raised under the same conditions. Baseline data were collected on the prevalence of porcine cysticercosis using antigen ELISA (Ag-ELISA), as well as knowledge and practices related to Taenia solium transmission based on questionnaire interviews and observations. All animals were followed and re-tested for porcine cysticercosis by Ag-ELISA at 9 and 12 months of age when the study was terminated. Overall prevalence at baseline was 5.1% with no significant difference between groups. At the end of the study, 66.7% of the controls were found positive, whereas 21.4% of the T1 and 9.1% of the T2 pigs were positive, respectively. Incidence rates of porcine cysticercosis were lower in treated pigs as compared to controls. Necropsy of 30 randomly selected animals revealed that viable cysts were present in none (0/8) of T2 pigs, 12.5% (1/8) of T1 pigs and 42.8% (6/14) of control pigs. There was a significant reduction in the risk of T. solium cysticercosis if pigs were treated with OFZ either at 4 months (OR = 0.14; 95% CI: 0.05-0.36) or at 9 months of age (OR = 0.05; 95% CI: 0.02-0.16). Strategic treatment of pigs in endemic areas should be further explored as a means to control T. solium cysticercosis/taeniosis.
Project description:Taenia solium and Taenia saginata are zoonotic parasites of public health importance. Data on their occurrence in humans and animals in western Europe are incomplete and fragmented. In this study, we aimed to update the current knowledge on the epidemiology of these parasites in this region.We conducted a systematic review of scientific and grey literature published from 1990 to 2015 on the epidemiology of T. saginata and T. solium in humans and animals. Additionally, data about disease occurrence were actively sought by contacting local experts in the different countries.Taeniosis cases were found in twelve out of eighteen countries in western Europe. No cases were identified in Iceland, Ireland, Luxembourg, Norway, Sweden and Switzerland. For Denmark, Netherlands, Portugal, Slovenia, Spain and the UK, annual taeniosis cases were reported and the number of detected cases per year ranged between 1 and 114. Detected prevalences ranged from 0.05 to 0.27%, whereas estimated prevalences ranged from 0.02 to 0.67%. Most taeniosis cases were reported as Taenia spp. or T. saginata, although T. solium was reported in Denmark, France, Italy, Spain, Slovenia, Portugal and the UK. Human cysticercosis cases were reported in all western European countries except for Iceland, with the highest number originating from Portugal and Spain. Most human cysticercosis cases were suspected to have acquired the infection outside western Europe. Cases of T. solium in pigs were found in Austria and Portugal, but only the two cases from Portugal were confirmed with molecular methods. Germany, Spain and Slovenia reported porcine cysticercosis, but made no Taenia species distinction. Bovine cysticercosis was detected in all countries except for Iceland, with a prevalence based on meat inspection of 0.0002-7.82%.Detection and reporting of taeniosis in western Europe should be improved. The existence of T. solium tapeworm carriers, of suspected autochthonous cases of human cysticercosis and the lack of confirmation of porcine cysticercosis cases deserve further attention. Suspected cases of T. solium in pigs should be confirmed by molecular methods. Both taeniosis and human cysticercosis should be notifiable and surveillance in animals should be improved.
Project description:Porcine cysticercosis is a neglected and underestimated disease caused by metacestode stage of the tapeworm, Taenia solium (T. solium). Pigs are the intermediate hosts of T. solium while human are the only known definitive host. The disease has an economic consequence because the affected farmers lose 50?100 percent of the value of pigs if they are infected. Lack of affordable, easy to use, sensitive, and specific molecular diagnostic tools for detection of infections at the farm level hinders the control of porcine cysticercosis in endemic areas. A number of DNA based diagnostic assays for the detection of T. solium infections in pigs have been developed and evaluated but none is applicable at low-resource areas where this disease is an endemic. This review focuses mainly on DNA based diagnostic methods, their sensitivity, specificity, and utilization at low-resource areas. We summarized data from 65 studies on the current DNA-detection based diagnostic techniques for T. solium cysticercosis in porcine, published in English between the years 2000–2018, identified through PubMed search engine. Of the different polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assays developed for identification of T. solium, the most sensitive (97?100%) and specific (100%) one is nested PCR. One study utilized loop-mediated isothermal amplification (LAMP) as a diagnostic tool for the detection of T. solium infections though its field use was never determined. Recombinase polymerase amplification (RPA) has been evaluated as a diagnostic tool for a variety of diseases, but has never been exploited for the diagnosis of cysticercosis/taeniasis. In conclusion, several molecular methods have been developed and evaluated in lab settings. However, there is need to validate these methods as a diagnostic tool to diagnose porcine cysticercosis in low-resource areas.
Project description:BACKGROUND: Taenia solium cysticercosis is an important zoonosis in many developing countries. Human neurocysticercosis is recognised as an important cause of epilepsy in regions where the parasite occurs. However, it is largely underreported and there is a lack of data about the disease burden. Because a body of information on human and porcine cysticercosis in Cameroon is becoming available, the present study was undertaken to calculate the impact of this neglected zoonosis. METHODS: Both the cost and Disability Adjusted Life Year (DALY) estimations were applied. All necessary parameters were collected and imported in R software. Different distributions were used according to the type of information available for each of the parameters. FINDINGS: Based on a prevalence of epilepsy of 3.6%, the number of people with neurocysticercosis-associated epilepsy was estimated at 50,326 (95% CR 37,299-65,924), representing 1.0% of the local population, whereas the number of pigs diagnosed with cysticercosis was estimated at 15,961 (95% CR 12,320-20,044), which corresponds to 5.6% of the local pig population. The total annual costs due to T. solium cysticercosis in West Cameroon were estimated at 10,255,202 Euro (95% CR 6,889,048-14,754,044), of which 4.7% were due to losses in pig husbandry and 95.3% to direct and indirect losses caused by human cysticercosis. The monetary burden per case of cysticercosis amounts to 194 Euro (95% CR 147-253). The average number of DALYs lost was 9.0 per thousand persons per year (95% CR 2.8-20.4). INTERPRETATION: This study provides an estimation of the costs due to T. solium cysticercosis using country-specific parameters and including the human as well as the animal burden of the zoonotic disease. A comparison with a study in South Africa indicates that the cost of inactivity, influenced by salaries, plays a predominant role in the monetary burden of T. solium cysticercosis. Therefore, knowing the salary levels and the prevalence of the disease might allow a rapid indication of the total cost of T. solium cysticercosis in a country. Ascertaining this finding with additional studies in cysticercosis-endemic countries could eventually allow the estimation of the global disease burden of cysticercosis. The estimated number of DALYs lost due to the disease was higher than estimates already available for some other neglected tropical diseases. The total estimated cost and number of DALYs lost probably underestimate the real values because the estimations have been based on epilepsy as the only symptom of cysticercosis.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Due to the relative short life span and the limited spatial movement, porcine cysticercosis is an excellent indicator of current local active transmission. The aim of this study was to map at province-level, the occurrence of T. solium and T. asiatica in pigs and areas at risk of transmission to pigs in East and Southeast Asia, based on the density of extensive pig production systems and confirmed reports of porcine cysticercosis. METHODS:This study covered East and Southeast Asia, which consist of the following countries: Brunei, Cambodia, China, East Timor, Indonesia, Japan, Laos, Malaysia, Mongolia, Myanmar, North Korea, Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Thailand and Vietnam. Literature searches were carried out to identify current epidemiological data on the occurrence of porcine cysticercosis caused by T. solium and T. asiatica infections. Modelled densities of pigs in extensive production systems were mapped and compared to available data on porcine cysticercosis. RESULTS:Porcine cysticercosis was confirmed to be present during the period 2000 to 2018 in eight out of the 16 countries included in this study. Taenia solium porcine cysticercosis was confirmed from all eight countries, whereas only one country (Laos) could confirm the presence of T. asiatica porcine cysticercosis. Province-level occurrence was identified in five countries (Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Myanmar, and Vietnam) across 19 provinces. Smallholder pig keeping is believed to be widely distributed throughout the region, with greater densities predicted to occur in areas of China, Myanmar, Philippines and Vietnam. CONCLUSIONS:The discrepancies between countries reporting taeniosis and the occurrence of porcine cysticercosis, both for T. solium and T. asiatica, suggests that both parasites are underreported. More epidemiological surveys are needed to determine the societal burden of both parasites. This study highlights a straightforward approach to determine areas at risk of porcine cysticercosis in the absence of prevalence data.