Real-time PCR assay for detection and genotype differentiation of Giardia lamblia in stool specimens.
ABSTRACT: Real-time PCR, using dual-labeled fluorescent probes targeting the beta-giardin gene, was used to detect Giardia lamblia in human stool specimens and to discriminate between isolates from the two major genetic assemblages of G. lamblia infective to humans, assemblages A and B.
Project description:Background:Giardia lamblia is a pathogenic intestinal protozoan with high prevalence in developing countries, especially among children. Molecular characterization has revealed the existence of eight assemblages, with A and B being more commonly described in human infections. Despite its importance, to our knowledge this is the first published molecular analysis of G. lamblia assemblages in Angola. Methods:The present study aimed to identify the assemblages of G. lamblia in children with acute diarrhoea presenting at the Bengo General Hospital, Angola. A stool sample was collected and microscopy and immunochromatographic tests were used. DNA was extracted and assemblage determination was performed through amplification of the gene fragment ssu-rRNA (175 bp) and ?-giardin (511 bp) through polymerase chain reaction and DNA sequencing. Results:Of the 16 stool samples screened, 12 were successfully sequenced. Eleven isolates were assigned to assemblage B and one to assemblage A. Subassemblage determination was not possible for assemblage B, while the single isolate assigned to assemblage A was identified as belonging to subassemblage A3. Conclusion:This study provides information about G. lamblia assemblages in Bengo Province, Angola and may contribute as a first step in understanding the molecular epidemiology of this protozoan in the country. GenBank accession numbers for the ssur-RNA gene: MF479750, MF479751, MF479752, MF479753, MF479754, MF479755, MF479756, MF479757, MF479758, MF479759, MF479760, MF479761. GenBank accession numbers for the ?-giardin gene: MF565378, MF565379, MF565380, MF565381.
Project description:BACKGROUND: To date, eight assemblages of Giardia lamblia have been described, but only assemblages A and B are known to infect humans. Despite the fact that the genomic, biological, and clinical differences found between these two assemblages has raised the possibility that they may be considered different species, there is relatively limited information on their phenotypic differences. In the present study, we developed monoclonal antibodies against alpha-1 and beta giardin, two immunodominant proteins produced during G. lamblia infection, and studied their expression and localization in WB (assemblage A) and GS trophozoites (assemblage B). RESULTS: The polyclonal antibodies generated against WB trophozoites, particularly those recognizing intracellular proteins as well as the proteins present at the plasma membrane (variable-specific surface proteins), showed cross-reactivity with intracellular proteins in GS trophozoites. The use of monoclonal antibodies against beta giardin indicated ventral disc localization, particularly at the periphery in WB trophozoites. Interestingly, although beta giardin was also restricted to the ventral disc in GS trophozoites, the pattern of localization clearly differed in this assemblage. On the other hand, monoclonal antibodies against alpha-1 giardin showed plasma membrane localization in both assemblages with the bare area of GS trophozoites also being distinguished. Moreover, the same localization at the plasma membrane was observed in Portland-1 (Assemblage A) and in P15 (Assemblage E) trophozoites. CONCLUSIONS: We found differences in localization of the beta giardin protein between assemblages A and B, but the same pattern of localization of alpha-1 giardin in strains from Assemblages A, B and E. These findings reinforce the need for more studies based on phenotypic characteristics in order to disclose how far one assemblage is from the other.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Giardia lamblia, a protozoan pathogen causing diarrheal outbreaks, has characteristic cytoskeletal structures including eight flagella, a median body and a ventral disc. Gamma-giardin is a unique component protein of the cytoskeleton of this protozoan. RESULTS:Through comparative proteomic analysis between different stages of the cell cycle, G. lamblia γ-giardin (Glγ-giardin) was identified as an upregulated protein in the G2-phase. Increased Glγ-giardin expression in G2 was confirmed by western blot and real-time polymerase chain reaction analyses. Knockdown of this protein using a morpholino affected the formation of ventral discs, especially the microribbons of the discs, but exerted little effect on the binding ability of G. lamblia. The number of cells with four nuclei was increased in Glγ-giardin-knockdown cells. Expression of Glγ-giardin was decreased during encystation, in contrast with the G2-phase. CONCLUSIONS:Knockdown experiments demonstrated that Glγ-giardin is a component of the trilaminar structure of the ventral disc. Expression of Glγ-giardin is induced in the G2-phase prior to active cell division, whereas its expression decreases during encystation, a dormant stage of G. lamblia.
Project description:Though giardiasis is an important public health problem in Ghana, several aspects of its epidemiology, particularly the molecular epidemiology has not been investigated adequately. This could be a major hindrance to effective surveillance and control of giardiasis in the country. The study was carried out to determine the prevalence, risk factors and genotypes of Giardia lamblia infecting children at a paediatric hospital in Ghana.A total of 485 patients including 365 diarrhoea and 120 non-diarrhoea children were enrolled into the study. Stool samples were collected and analysed for parasite presence using microscopy, ELISA and PCR. Positive samples were subsequently characterized into assemblages by PCR-RFLP, and further confirmed with sequencing of the glutamate dehydrogenase (gdh) gene. Epidemiological data on demographic, clinical and behavioral features of the study subjects were also collected.Prevalence of G. lamblia infections in diarrhoea and non-diarrhoea children were 5.8% and 5% respectively (P>0.5). Sequence data confirmed Giardia lamblia assemblage B as the predominant genotype in both diarrhoea and non-diarrhoea cases. There was no significant association of G. lamblia infection with any of the epidemiological variables investigated.Our findings suggest that assemblage B could be the predominant genotype causing giardiasis in children. Increased public health education focusing on good sanitary practices, particularly among mothers and children, could decrease the risk of G. lamblia infection.
Project description:Giardia lamblia is a leading protozoan cause of diarrheal disease worldwide, yet preventive medical strategies are not available. A crude veterinary vaccine has been licensed for cats and dogs, but no defined human vaccine is available. We tested the vaccine potential of three conserved antigens previously identified in human and murine giardiasis, ?1-giardin, ?-enolase, and ornithine carbamoyl transferase, in a murine model of G. lamblia infection. Live recombinant attenuated Salmonella enterica Serovar Typhimurium vaccine strains were constructed that stably expressed each antigen, maintained colonization capacity, and sustained total attenuation in the host. Oral administration of the vaccine strains induced antigen-specific serum IgG, particularly IgG(2A), and mucosal IgA for ?1-giardin and ?-enolase, but not for ornithine carbamoyl transferase. Immunization with the ?1-giardin vaccine induced significant protection against subsequent G. lamblia challenge, which was further enhanced by boosting with cholera toxin or sublingual ?1-giardin administration. The ?-enolase vaccine afforded no protection. Analysis of ?1-giardin from divergent assemblage A and B isolates of G. lamblia revealed >97% amino acid sequence conservation and immunological cross-reactivity, further supporting the potential utility of this antigen in vaccine development. Together. These results indicate that ?1-giardin is a suitable candidate antigen for a vaccine against giardiasis.
Project description:Giardia lamblia is an intestinal protozoan subdivided into eight assemblages, labeled alphabetically from A to H. Assemblages A, B, and E infect humans and can have a sympatric circulation. We investigated the assemblage recirculation in children living within a high prevalence area of Giardia infection. One hundred and ninety-four children were evaluated and 85 tested positive for Giardia by PCR. These infected individuals were recruited, treated with metronidazole and then reexamined for infections at 20 and 40 days after treatment that included PCR and the genotyping was performed by sequencing beta-giardin and glutamate dehydrogenase gene targets. Giardia assemblages A (n = 43), B (n = 21), E (n = 17), and A/E (n = 4) were identified in infected children. Assemblage A was found in all reoccurrences of infection, including four that had been infected by assemblages B and E. Since both persistence and reinfection could account for the results, the level of nucleotide homology was determined before and after treatment. Most suggested that reinfections were by the same strain, but four presented a distinct genotypic profile. The results suggest that the differences in the genotypic profiles were due to reinfections, which appear to occur with frequency in high Giardia burden areas and soon after the end of therapy. It is not yet possible to define whether the recurrent cases were related to parasite resistance. However, the evidence of rapid reinfections and ready availability of treatment raises the potential for creating resistant strains. This highlights the need to address how Giardia burden is maintained within high prevalence areas.
Project description:Giardia lamblia and Cryptosporidium species belong to a complex group of pathogens that cause diseases hampering development and socioeconomic improvements in the developing countries. Both pathogens are recognized as significant causes of diarrhea and nutritional disorders. However, further studies are needed to clarify the role of parasitic infections, especially asymptomatic infections in malnutrition and stunting. We developed a high-throughput multiplex quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) method for G. lamblia and Cryptosporidium spp. detection in stool samples. The sensitivity and specificity of the method were ensured by analyzing confirmed positive samples acquired from diagnostics laboratories and participating in an external quality control round. Its capability to detect asymptomatic G. lamblia and Cryptosporidium spp. infections was confirmed by analyzing stool samples collected from 44 asymptomatic 6-month-old infants living in an endemic region in Malawi. Of these, five samples were found to be positive for G. lamblia and two for Cryptosporidium spp. In conclusion, the developed method is suitable for large-scale studies evaluating the occurrence of G. lamblia and Cryptosporidium spp. in endemic regions and for clinical diagnostics of these infections.
Project description:A Giardia-specific protein family denominated as alpha-giardins, represents the major protein component, besides tubulin, of the cytoskeleton of the human pathogenic parasite Giardia lamblia. One of its members, alpha19-giardin, carries an N-terminal sequence extension of MGCXXS, which in many proteins serves as a target for dual lipid conjugation: myristoylation at the glycine residue after removal of the methionine and palmitoylation at the cysteine residue. As the first experimental evidence of a lipid modification, we found alpha19-giardin to be associated with the membrane fraction of disrupted trophozoites. After heterologous coexpression of alpha19-giardin with giardial N-myristoyltransferase (NMT) in Escherichia coli, we found the protein in a myristoylated form. Additionally, after heterologous expression together with the palmitoyl transferase Pfa3 in Saccharomyces cerevisiae, alpha19-giardin associates with the membrane of the main vacuole. Immunocytochemical colocalization studies on wild-type Giardia trophozoites with tubulin provide evidence that alpha19-giardin exclusively localizes to the ventral pair of the giardial flagella. A mutant in which the putatively myristoylated N-terminal glycine residue was replaced by alanine lost this specific localization. Our findings suggest that the dual lipidation of alpha19-giardin is responsible for its specific flagellar localization.
Project description:Background:This study is the first phylogenetic genotype analysis of Giardia lamblia in Iran. The main objective was to determine genotyping and identify the sub-assemblages of Giardia lamblia isolates involved in the transmission of giardiasis in Fars Province, south of Iran, in 2012. Methods:Forty G. lamblia isolates were collected from the patient's fecal samples with gastrointestinal discomfort referred to the health centers and hospitals in Shiraz, Fars Province, south of Iran. Purification of G. lamblia cysts from fecal samples and DNA extraction were performed using monolayer of sucrose density gradient and Phenol-Chloroform-Isoamylalcohol (PCI) respectively. Semi-nested PCR and sequence analysis were then performed using the primers (GDHeF, GDHiF, and GDHiR) which amplified a 432-bp fragment of Giardia glutamate dehydrogenase (gdh) gene. Phylogenetic analysis was carried out using a neighbor-joining tree composed of the nucleotide sequences of G. lamblia isolates obtained in this study and the known sequences isolates published in GenBank. Results:G. lamblia sub-assemblage AII was the most prevalent genotype with 80% of the cases and 20% of the cases belong to sub-assemblage BIII and BIV based on the DNA sequence of the gdh. G. lamblia isolates at Fars Province were widely distributed within assemblage A cluster (sub-assemblage AII) and the remaining isolates were dispersed throughout the assemblage B cluster (sub-assemblage BIII and BIV). Conclusion:PCR Sequencing and phylogenetic analysis was a proper molecular method for genotyping and discriminating of the of G. lamblia sub-assemblages in fecal samples, using the glutamate dehydrogenase gene that suggests a human contamination origin of giardiasis.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Giardia lamblia is one of the most common infectious protozoans in human that may cause diarrhea in travelers. Searching for antigens that induced effectively protective immunity has become a key point in the development of vaccine against giardiasis. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS:Mice vaccinated with G. lamblia trophozozite-specific α1-giardin DNA vaccine delivered orally by attenuated Salmonella typhimurium SL7027 elicited 74.2% trophozoite reduction, but only 28% reduction in cyst shedding compared with PBS buffer control. Oral vaccination with Salmonella-delivered cyst-specific CWP2 DNA produced 89% reduction in cysts shedding in feces of vaccinated mice. Significantly, the mice vaccinated with Salmonella-delivered bivalent α1-giardin and CWP2 DNA vaccines produced significant reduction in both trophozoite (79%) and cyst (93%) in feces of vaccinated mice. This parasite reduction is associated with the strong local mucosal IgA secretion and the IgG2a-dominant systemic immune responses in vaccinated mice. CONCLUSIONS:The results demonstrate that bivalent vaccines targeting α1-giardin and CWP2 can protect mice against the colonization of Giardia trophozoite and block the transformation of cyst in host at the same time, and can be used to prevent Giardia infection and block the transmission of giardiasis.