Association of Anaplasma marginale strain superinfection with infection prevalence within tropical regions.
ABSTRACT: Strain superinfection occurs when a second strain infects a host already infected with and having mounted an immune response to a primary strain. The incidence of superinfection with Anaplasma marginale, a tick-borne rickettsial pathogen of domestic and wild ruminants, has been shown to be higher in tropical versus temperate regions. This has been attributed to the higher prevalence of infection, with consequent immunity against primary strains and thus greater selective pressure for superinfection with antigenically distinct strains. However an alternative explanation would be the differences in the transmitting vector, Dermacentor andersoni in the studied temperate regions and Rhipicephalus microplus in the studied tropical regions. To address this question, we examined two tropical populations sharing the same vector, R. microplus, but with significantly different infection prevalence. Using two separate markers, msp1? (one allele per genome) and msp2 (multiple alleles per genome), there were higher levels of multiple strain infections in the high infection prevalence as compared to the low prevalence population. The association of higher strain diversity with infection prevalence supports the hypothesis that high levels of infection prevalence and consequent population immunity is the predominant driver of strain superinfection.
Project description:Strain superinfection occurs when a second pathogen strain infects a host already infected with a primary strain. The selective pressures that drive strain divergence, which underlies superinfection, and allow penetration of a new strain into a host population are critical knowledge gaps relevant to shifts in infectious disease epidemiology. In regions of endemicity with a high prevalence of infection, broad population immunity develops against Anaplasma marginale, a highly antigenically variant rickettsial pathogen, and creates strong selective pressure for emergence of and superinfection with strains that differ in their Msp2 variant repertoires. The strains may emerge either by msp2 locus duplication and allelic divergence on an existing genomic background or by introduction of a strain with a different msp2 allelic repertoire on a distinct genomic background. To answer this question, we developed a multilocus typing assay based on high-throughput sequencing of non-msp2 target loci to distinguish among strains with different genomic backgrounds. The technical error level was statistically defined based on the percentage of perfect sequence matches of clones of each target locus and validated using experimental single strains and strain pairs. Testing of A. marginale-positive samples from tropical regions where A. marginale infection is endemic identified individual infections that contained unique alleles for all five targeted loci. The data revealed a highly significant difference in the number of strains per animal in the tropical regions compared to infections in temperate regions and strongly supported the hypothesis that transmission of genomically distinct A. marginale strains predominates in high-prevalence areas of endemicity.
Project description:Whether arthropod vectors retain competence for transmission of infectious agents in the long-term absence of vector-pathogen interaction is unknown. We addressed this question by quantifying the vector competence of two tick vectors, with mutually exclusive tropical- versus temperate-region distributions, for genetically distinct tropical- and temperate-region strains of the cattle pathogen Anaplasma marginale. The tropical cattle tick Boophilus microplus, which has been eradicated from the continental United States for over 60 years, was able to acquire and transmit the temperate St. Maries (Idaho) strain of A. marginale. Similarly, the temperate-region tick Dermacentor andersoni efficiently acquired and transmitted the Puerto Rico strain of A. marginale. There were no significant quantitative differences in infection rate or number of organisms per tick following feeding on cattle with persistent infections of either A. marginale strain. In contrast, the significantly enhanced replication of the Puerto Rico strain in the salivary gland of B. microplus at the time of transmission feeding is consistent with adaptation of a pathogen strain to its available vector. However, the transmission of both strains by B. microplus demonstrates that adaptation or continual interaction between the pathogen and vector is not required for retention of vector competence. Importantly, the results clearly show that reestablishment of acaricide-resistant B. microplus in the United States would be associated with A. marginale transmission.
Project description:Superinfection occurs when a second, genetically distinct pathogen strain infects a host that has already mounted an immune response to a primary strain. For antigenically variant pathogens, the primary strain itself expresses a broad diversity of variants over time. Thus, successful superinfection would require that the secondary strain express a unique set of variants. We tested this hypothesis under conditions of natural transmission in both temperate and tropical regions where, respectively, single-strain infections and strain superinfections of the tick-borne pathogen Anaplasma marginale predominate. Our conclusion that strain superinfection is associated with a significant increase in variant diversity is supported by progressive analysis of variant composition: (i) animals with naturally acquired superinfection had a statistically significantly greater number of unique variant sequences than animals either experimentally infected with single strains or infected with a single strain naturally, (ii) the greater number of unique sequences reflected a statistically significant increase in primary structural diversity in the superinfected animals, and (iii) the increase in primary structural diversity reflected increased combinations of the newly identified hypervariable microdomains. The role of population immunity in establishing temporal and spatial patterns of infection and disease has been well established. The results of the present study, which examined strain structure under conditions of natural transmission and population immunity, support that high levels of endemicity also drive pathogen divergence toward greater strain diversity.
Project description:The cattle ticks, Boophilus spp., affect cattle production in tropical and subtropical regions of the world. Tick vaccines constitute a cost-effective and environmentally friendly alternative to tick control. The recombinant B. microplus Bm86 protective antigen has been shown to protect cattle against tick infestations. Recently, the gene coding for B. annulatus Bm86 ortholog, Ba86, was cloned and the recombinant protein was secreted and purified from the yeast Pichia pastoris.Recombinant Ba86 (Israel strain) was used to immunize cattle to test its efficacy for the control of B. annulatus (Mercedes, Texas, USA strain) and B. microplus (Susceptible, Mexico strain) infestations. Bm86 (Gavac and Mozambique strain) and adjuvant/saline were used as positive and negative controls, respectively. Vaccination with Ba86 reduced tick infestations (71% and 40%), weight (8% and 15%), oviposition (22% and 5%) and egg fertility (25% and 50%) for B. annulatus and B. microplus, respectively. The efficacy of both Ba86 and Bm86 was higher for B. annulatus than for B. microplus. The efficacy of Ba86 was higher for B. annulatus (83.0%) than for B. microplus (71.5%). The efficacy of Bm86 (Gavac; 85.2%) but not Bm86 (Mozambique strain; 70.4%) was higher than that of Ba86 (71.5%) on B. microplus. However, the efficacy of Bm86 (both Gavac and Mozambique strain; 99.6%) was higher than that of Ba86 (83.0%) on B. annulatus.These experiments showed the efficacy of recombinant Ba86 for the control of B. annulatus and B. microplus infestations in cattle and suggested that physiological differences between B. microplus and B. annulatus and those encoded in the sequence of Bm86 orthologs may be responsible for the differences in susceptibility of these tick species to Bm86 vaccines.
Project description:Climate-driven changes in biotic interactions can profoundly alter ecological communities, particularly when they impact foundation species. In marine systems, changes in herbivory and the consequent loss of dominant habitat forming species can result in dramatic community phase shifts, such as from coral to macroalgal dominance when tropical fish herbivory decreases, and from algal forests to 'barrens' when temperate urchin grazing increases. Here, we propose a novel phase-shift away from macroalgal dominance caused by tropical herbivores extending their range into temperate regions. We argue that this phase shift is facilitated by poleward-flowing boundary currents that are creating ocean warming hotspots around the globe, enabling the range expansion of tropical species and increasing their grazing rates in temperate areas. Overgrazing of temperate macroalgae by tropical herbivorous fishes has already occurred in Japan and the Mediterranean. Emerging evidence suggests similar phenomena are occurring in other temperate regions, with increasing occurrence of tropical fishes on temperate reefs.
Project description:The ability to cope with infection by a parasite is one of the major challenges for any host species and is a major driver of evolution. Parasite pressure differs between habitats. It is thought to be higher in tropical regions compared to temporal ones. We infected Drosophila melanogaster from two tropical (Malaysia and Zimbabwe) and two temperate populations (the Netherlands and North Carolina) with the generalist entomopathogenic fungus Beauveria bassiana to examine if adaptation to local parasite pressures led to differences in resistance. Contrary to previous findings we observed increased survival in temperate populations. This, however, is not due to increased resistance to infection per se, but rather the consequence of a higher general vigor of the temperate populations. We also assessed transcriptional response to infection within these flies eight and 24 hours after infection. Only few genes were induced at the earlier time point, most of which are involved in detoxification. In contrast, we identified more than 4,000 genes that changed their expression state after 24 hours. This response was generally conserved over all populations with only few genes being uniquely regulated in the temperate populations. We furthermore found that the American population was transcriptionally highly diverged from all other populations concerning basal levels of gene expression. This was particularly true for stress and immune response genes, which might be the genetic basis for their elevated vigor. mRNA profiles of whole Drosophila melanogaster adult males from an African, American, Asian and European population after infection with Beauveria bassiana. Samples include uninfected controls, 8h after infection and 24h after infection. 3 biological replicates each (2 in the case of American controls).
Project description:Investigating the incidence and prevalence of HIV-1 superinfection is challenging due to the complex dynamics of two infecting strains. The superinfecting strain can replace the initial strain, be transiently expressed, or persist along with the initial strain in distinct or in recombined forms. Various selective pressures influence these alternative scenarios in different HIV-1 coding regions. We hypothesized that the potency of the neutralizing antibody (NAb) response to autologous viruses would modulate viral dynamics in env following superinfection in a limited set of superinfection cases. HIV-1 env pyrosequencing data were generated from blood plasma collected from 7 individuals with evidence of superinfection. Viral variants within each patient were screened for recombination, and viral dynamics were evaluated using nucleotide diversity. NAb responses to autologous viruses were evaluated before and after superinfection. In 4 individuals, the superinfecting strain replaced the original strain. In 2 individuals, both initial and superinfecting strains continued to cocirculate. In the final individual, the surviving lineage was the product of interstrain recombination. NAb responses to autologous viruses that were detected within the first 2 years of HIV-1 infection were weak or absent for 6 of the 7 recently infected individuals at the time of and shortly following superinfection. These 6 individuals had detectable on-going viral replication of distinct superinfecting virus in the env coding region. In the remaining case, there was an early and strong autologous NAb response, which was associated with extensive recombination in env between initial and superinfecting strains. This extensive recombination made superinfection more difficult to identify and may explain why the detection of superinfection has typically been associated with low autologous NAb titers.
Project description:Reports of HIV-1 superinfection (re-infection) have demonstrated that the immune response generated against one strain of HIV-1 does not always protect against other strains. However, studies to determine the incidence of HIV-1 superinfection have yielded conflicting results. Furthermore, few studies have attempted to identify superinfection cases occurring more than a year after initial infection, a time when HIV-1-specific immune responses would be most likely to have developed. We screened a cohort of high-risk Kenyan women for HIV-1 superinfection by comparing partial gag and envelope sequences over a 5-y period beginning at primary infection. Among 36 individuals, we detected seven cases of superinfection, including cases in which both viruses belonged to the same HIV-1 subtype, subtype A. In five of these cases, the superinfecting strain was detected in only one of the two genome regions examined, suggesting that recombination frequently occurs following HIV-1 superinfection. In addition, we found that superinfection occurred throughout the course of the first infection: during acute infection in two cases, between 1-2 y after infection in three cases, and as late as 5 y after infection in two cases. Our results indicate that superinfection commonly occurs after the immune response against the initial infection has had time to develop and mature. Implications from HIV-1 superinfection cases, in which natural re-exposure leads to re-infection, will need to be considered in developing strategies for eliciting protective immunity to HIV-1.
Project description:High diversity in tropical compared to temperate regions has long intrigued ecologists, especially for highly speciose taxa like terrestrial arthropods in tropical rainforests. Previous studies showed that arthropod herbivores account for much tropical diversity, yet differences in the diversity of predatory arthropods between tropical and temperate systems have not been properly quantified. Here, we present the first standardized tropical-temperate forest quantification of spider diversities, a dominant and mega-diverse taxon of generalist predators. Spider assemblages were collected using a spatially replicated protocol including two standardized sampling methods (vegetation sweep netting and beating). Fieldwork took place between 2010 and 2015 in metropolitan (Brittany) and overseas (French Guiana) French territories. We found no significant difference in functional diversity based on hunting guilds between temperate and tropical forests, while species richness was 13-82 times higher in tropical versus temperate forests. Evenness was also higher, with tropical assemblages up to 55 times more even than assemblages in temperate forests. These differences in diversity far surpass previous estimates and exceed tropical-temperate ratios for herbivorous taxa.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Babesia bigemina and B. bovis are two economically important hemoparasites affecting both cattle and buffaloes involved in dairy and beef production. In Colombia, although some parasitological and serological studies suggest an endemicity of these pathogens in areas under 1000 m, little is known about its molecular prevalence in different host. The objective of this study was to estimate the prevalence and molecular traits of these parasites in cattle and buffaloes from two Colombian regions. METHODS:Between 2014 and 2016, a three-point longitudinal survey was designed in farms from Caribbean and Orinoquia regions to evaluate the molecular prevalence of B. bigemina and B. bovis using a nested PCR (n-PCR) targeting hypothetical protein (hyp) and rhoptry-associated protein (RAP-1) genes, respectively. A total of 1432 cattle, 152 buffalo and 1439 Rhipicephalus microplus samples were analyzed. Moreover, phylogenetic relationship of isolates was analyzed using the 18S rRNA gene. RESULTS:A molecular prevalence of 31.6% (24.2% for B. bigemina and 14.4% for B. bovis), 23.6% (6.5% for B. bigemina and 17.7% for B. bovis) and 4.3% (3.5% for B. bigemina and 1.0% for B. bovis) was observed in cattle, buffaloes and Rhipicephalus microplus, respectively. Higher values of infection were observed during the wet season and late wet season; nevertheless, other variables such as age, production type, sex, breed and babesiosis control were also significantly associated with infection. Prevalence analysis showed that B. bovis infection was higher in cattle that coexist with buffaloes, when compared to those which did not. For each species, phylogenetic analyses revealed a high genetic diversity of isolates without clusters related to the isolation source. CONCLUSIONS:To our knowledge, this is the first longitudinal survey that evaluates through molecular methods, the infection of B. bigemina and B. bovis in two important livestock regions from Colombia. This study reveals that the prevalence of infection by Babesia spp., in cattle and buffaloes are modulated by seasonal variations, host factors and vector traits. Our results provide new insights on the epidemiological aspects of infection of Babesia spp., in cattle and buffaloes, which must be taken into consideration when babesiosis control programs are implemented in the study area.