Giardia lamblia miRNAs as a new diagnostic tool for human giardiasis
ABSTRACT: Giardia lamblia is one of most common agents causing persistent abdominal symptoms in developed and developing countries. There are several diagnostic methods for Giardia infection, but none are optimal. In this study our aim was to find a new method based on Giardia microRNA (miRNA) that would contribute to the currently available diagnostic methods of giardiasis. Profiling Giardia small RNAs by deep sequencing revealed that the previously reported putative miR5 and miR6 are expressed in several G. lamblia isolates. These miRNAs were later tested by PCR in duodenal biopsies from 8 patients with positive pathology for giardiasis, while gastric biopsies served as matched negative controls. Additionally, these miRNAs were evaluated in stool samples of patients with proven giardiasis. All 8 duodenal samples of patients with histologically proven G. lamblia infection were positive for Giardia miR5 with a mean Ct of 23.7. These results were superior to Ct levels of G. lamblia DNA, which were 26.3 (p=0.004). The miR6 results were close to negative. All 10 gastric biopsies were negative for miR5. Stool studies showed 90% specificity but only 50% sensitivity in diagnosing giardiasis using miR6. The results of miR5 in stool were even less accurate. In conclusion, miR5 testing for Giardia infection in duodenal biopsies, may be a breakthrough method for diagnosis of giardiasis. It seems to be superior to G. lamblia DNA in duodenal biopsies. It would be important to investigate the contribution of routine Giardia miRNA testing in duodenal biopsies and duodenal aspirates from patients with persistent abdominal symptoms. Overall design: For this part of the project, we profiled small RNA from Giardia lamblia trophozoites of 5 strains obtained from the BEI Resources
Project description:BACKGROUND:Giardia lamblia is a very common cause of gastrointestinal symptoms worldwide. There are several methods for the diagnosis of Giardia infection, however none are ideal. We aim to find a new, microRNA-based method that will improve the currently available diagnostic methods for giardiasis. METHODS:Deep-sequence profiling of Giardia small-RNA revealed that miR5 and miR6 are highly expressed in Giardia. These miRNAs were tested by qRT-PCR in duodenal biopsies of patients with giardiasis who were positive by microscopic pathological evaluation. The gastric biopsies of the same patients served as negative control tissues. Additionally, these miRNAs were evaluated in stool samples of patients with proven giardiasis. RESULTS:All histologically proven duodenal biopsies of patients with Giardia infection were positive for Giardia miR5, with a mean threshold cycle (Ct) of 23.7, as well as for Giardia DNA qPCR (16S-like gene, mean Ct 26.3). Gastric biopsies which were tested as a control all were negative. Stool evaluation of miR6 in patients with giardiasis showed 90% specificity but only 66% sensitivity, and a lower accuracy rate was obtained with miR5. CONCLUSION:Giardia miR5 testing in duodenal biopsies may be a new method for the diagnosis of giardiasis. It seems to be more sensitive when compared with testing for Giardia DNA by qPCR in duodenal biopsies. It will be important to investigate the contribution of routine Giardia miRNA testing in duodenal biopsies from patients with persistent abdominal symptoms.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Persisting low-grade inflammation is suggested to play a role in postinfectious functional gastrointestinal disorders (PI-FGIDs). The present study examined alterations in duodenal mucosal lymphocytes during and after Giardia gastroenteritis in patients who did, or did not, develop PI-FGIDs. METHODS:Duodenal mucosal intraepithelial lymphocytes (IELs) and lamina propria CD3, CD4, CD8, and CD20 lymphocytes were quantified in 28 patients with chronic giardiasis (CG), 66 patients with persistent abdominal symptoms after acute Giardia infection (PI-FGID), 19 recovered controls (RCs), and 16 healthy volunteers (HCs). Associations with illness duration, abdominal symptoms, and histology grade were assessed. RESULTS:Duodenal CD4 IELs were significantly elevated in CG, then decreased, followed by an upward trend after 1 year in both the PI-FGID and RC groups. Duodenal lamina propria crypt CD4 T cells were decreased in CG, and stayed low for about 14 months before normalizing in both the PI-FGID and RC groups. Lamina propria CD20 cells were persistently elevated in all 3 Giardia-exposed groups. Biopsies with microscopic inflammation showed increased lamina propria CD20 levels. CONCLUSIONS:Duodenal mucosal lymphocyte alterations were prolonged after Giardia infection, but similar in patients who developed PI-FGID and recovered asymptomatic controls.
Project description:Current methods to identify the etiology of diarrhea require laboratory facilities for storage of pathogens, which is often challenging in low-resource settings. This study evaluated the efficacy of a low-cost method for preserving stool specimens for the detection of parasitic enteropathogens using Whatman 903 protein saver cards (Sigma-Aldrich, St. Louis, MO). Stool samples known to be positive by multiplex real-time polymerase chain reaction for <i>Giardia lamblia</i>, <i>Cryptosporidium</i> spp., and <i>Entamoeba histolytica</i> parasites were preserved on 232 Whatman cards. DNA was then extracted from cards using Chelex and Qiagen extraction protocols, and tested for these parasites using multiplex real-time PCR. We included stool samples known to have a higher parasite load (cycle threshold [ct]-value < 30) and those with a lower parasite load (ct values 30-35). Sensitivities and specificities were determined using DNA extracted directly from whole stool samples using Qiagen kits (QIAGEN, Hilden, Germany). For whole stool samples with ct values < 30, preserved directly on Whatman 903 protein saver cards for <i>Giardia</i> analysis, the sensitivity was 100% for both Qiagen and Chelex DNA extraction. For <i>E. histolytica</i>, this was 100% for sensitivity for Qiagen and 80% for Chelex DNA extractions, and for <i>Cryptosporidium</i>, this was 80% for Qiagen and 50% for Chelex DNA extraction. The specificity was 100% for all parasites for all extraction procedures. Given the high sensitivity for stool samples with higher parasite loads, we recommend the use of the Whatman 903 protein saver card for preserving fecal specimens for the analysis of <i>Giardia</i> and <i>E. histolytica</i> using Qiagen DNA extractions in low-resource settings.
Project description: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:The parasitic causes of diarrhea have historically been identified by use of microscopy; however, the use of this technique does not allow one to distinguish between subspecies or genotypes of parasites. Our objective was to determine, by use of modern diagnostic methods, the proportion of diarrhea cases in Bangladesh attributable to Cryptosporidium hominis, Cryptosporidium parvum, Entamoeba histolytica, and Giardia lamblia assemblages A and B.A prospective case-control study was performed involving 3646 case patients (both children and adults) who presented with diarrhea to the Dhaka hospital of the International Centre for Diarrhoeal Disease Research, Bangladesh, and 2575 control subjects with asymptomatic infection. Parasitic infection was detected by use of a stool parasite antigen test, and the parasite load and the species and/or genotypes were determined by use of polymerase chain reaction (PCR).Cryptosporidium species and E. histolytica were more prevalent in patients with acute diarrhea than in healthy control subjects, for all ages (2.1% vs. 1.4%; P = .039) and, specifically, for those 0-12 months of age (2.2% vs. 0.4%; P = .009). G. lamblia assemblage A was also more prevalent in case patients with diarrhea than in healthy control subjects (20% vs. 5%; P = .001). For case patients with diarrhea, the parasite load in feces, as measured by quantitative real-time PCR cycle threshold, was not higher that that for control subjects with asymptomatic infection. Case patients with diarrhea and cryptosporidiosis were less likely to have abdominal pain, compared with control subjects (15% vs. 37%; P = .001); case patients with amebiasis more likely to have visible blood in stool, compared with control subjects (8% vs. 1.6%; P = .001); and case patients with giardiasis more likely to be dehydrated, compared with control subjects (81% vs. 71%; P = .001).E. histolytica, C. hominis, C. parvum, and G. lamblia assemblage A infections are important causes of diarrheal illness in Bangladesh.
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 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:Entamoeba histolytica, Giardia lamblia, and Cryptosporidium are three of the most important diarrhea-causing parasitic protozoa. For many years, microscopic examination of stool samples has been considered to be the "gold standard" for diagnosis of E. histolytica, G. lamblia, and C. parvum infections. Recently, more specific and sensitive alternative methods (PCR, enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, and direct fluorescent-antibody assay) have been introduced for all three of these parasitic infections. However, the incorporation in a routine diagnostic laboratory of these parasite-specific methods for diagnosis of each of the respective infections is time-consuming and increases the costs of a stool examination. Therefore, a multiplex real-time PCR assay was developed for the simultaneous detection of E. histolytica, G. lamblia, and C. parvum in stool samples. The multiplex PCR also included an internal control to determine efficiency of the PCR and detect inhibition in the sample. The assay was performed on species-specific DNA controls and a range of well-defined stool samples, and it achieved 100 percent specificity and sensitivity. The use of this assay in a diagnostic laboratory would provide sensitive and specific diagnosis of the main parasitic diarrheal infections and could improve patient management and infection control.
Project description:Cryptosporidium parvum and Giardia lamblia are zoonotic enteric protozoa of significant health concern where sanitation, hygiene, and water supplies are inadequate. We examined 85 stool samples from diarrhea patients, 111 pooled fecal samples by species across seven domestic animal types, and water from tube wells (N = 207) and ponds (N = 94) across 60 villages in coastal Odisha, India, for Cryptosporidium oocysts and Giardia cysts to measure occurrence, concentration/shedding, and environmental loading rates. Oocysts/cysts were detected in 12% of diarrhea patients. Detection ranged from 0% to 35% for Cryptosporidium and 0% to 67% for Giardia across animal hosts. Animal loading estimates indicate the greatest contributors of environmental oocysts/cysts in the study region are cattle. Ponds were contaminated with both protozoa (oocysts: 37%, cysts: 74%), as were tube wells (oocysts: 10%, cysts: 14%). Future research should address the public health concern highlighted from these findings and investigate the role of domestic animals in diarrheal disease transmission in this and similar settings.
Project description:Short introns occur in numerous protist lineages, but there are no reports of intervening sequences in the protists Giardia lamblia and Trichomonas vaginalis, which may represent the deepest known branches in the eukaryotic line of descent. We have discovered a 35-bp spliceosomal intron in a gene encoding a putative [2Fe-2S] ferredoxin of G. lamblia. The Giardia intron contains a canonical splice site at its 3' end (AG), a noncanonical splice site at its 5' end (CT), and a branch point sequence that fits the yeast consensus sequence of TACTAAC except for the first nucleotide (AACTAAC). We have also identified several G. lamblia genes with spliceosomal peptides, including homologues of eukaryote-specific spliceosomal peptides (Prp8 and Prp11), several DExH-box RNA-helicases that have homologues in eubacteria, but serve essential functions in the splicing of introns in eukaryotes, and 11 predicted archaebacteria-like Sm and like-Sm core peptides, which coat small nuclear RNAs. Phylogenetic analyses show the Giardia Sm core peptides are the products of multiple, ancestral gene duplications followed by divergence, but they retain strong similarity to Sm and like-Sm peptides of other eukaryotes. Although we have documented only a single intron in Giardia, it likely has other introns and fully functional, spliceosomal machinery. If introns were added during eukaryotic evolution (the introns-late hypothesis), then these results push back the date of this event before the branching of G. lamblia.