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Journal of Parasitology Research publishes papers in all areas of basic and applied parasitology, including host-parasite relationships, parasitic diseases, disease vectors, and the social and economic issues around the impact of parasites.
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Toxoplasmosis in Pregnant Women and HIV/AIDS Patients in Ethiopia: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis
Background. Although Toxoplasma gondii infection in immune-competent individuals is usually asymptomatic or causes a mild flu-like illness, it may become severe and can occasionally be fatal in immune-compromised people, such as AIDS patients or pregnant women. Method. Electronic English databases (Pubmed, Google Scholar, Science Direct, and Scopus), parasitology congresses, and theses of Ethiopian medical universities, were systematically searched (published or unpublished data). Full-length articles and abstracts were collected using keywords such as Toxoplasma gondii, Toxoplasmosis, pregnant women, HIV/AIDS, and Ethiopia. Results. Analysis of seroprevalence estimates was pooled using a random effects meta-analysis. Seventeen studies were included in the present systematic review and meta-analysis. One of these studies reported seroprevalence of T. gondii in HIV/AIDS patients and pregnant women. In this review, a total of 4,030 individuals were included and analyzed. The pooled prevalence of T. gondii in this review was 81.00% (95% CI = 69.10–89.78). Sub-group analysis showed that 2,557 pregnant women were evaluated. In pregnant women, the pooled sero-prevalence was 71.2 (95% CI = [51.9%, 87.1%]. In HIV/AIDS patients, 1,473 individuals were evaluated and the pooled seroprevalence was 88.45 (95% CI = 80.87%–94.31%). Conclusion. This systematic review and meta-analysis identified a high seroprevalence of Toxoplasma infection of 81% among immunocompromised patients. Scaling up prevention and control methods mainly strengthening educational efforts are necessary to avoid reactivation and to stop the spread of T. gondii infection.
Visceral Leishmaniasis in West Africa: Clinical Characteristics, Vectors, and Reservoirs
Visceral leishmaniasis (VL) is the most serious form of human leishmaniasis. VL is understudied in West Africa. The increasing number of patients at-risk, including persons living with HIV and other chronic immunosuppressive diseases, and likely underreporting of VL related to diagnostic challenges advocate for review of existing data to understand VL regional epidemiology. Our review aims to describe the clinical characteristics and epidemiology of Human VL (HVL) in West Africa. We conducted a literature search to identify peer-reviewed articles and grey literature sources using the search terms “Visceral leishmaniasis West Africa”, “Leishmania donovani West Africa”; and “Leishmania infantum West Africa”. Thirty published articles report HVL from seven countries, including The Gambia, Niger, Nigeria, Ivory Coast, Togo, Burkina Faso, and Guinea Bissau. Three countries report cases of Canine Visceral Leishmaniasis (CVL), including The Gambia, Senegal, and Burkina Faso. Niger, Nigeria, and Ivory Coast report the greatest number of HVL cases. As VL is present in West Africa, active surveillance, increased diagnostic capacity, and studies of vectors and reservoirs are essential to better understand VL epidemiology in the region.
Prevalence of Gastrointestinal Parasites in Local and Exotic Breeds of Chickens in Pankrono–Kumasi, Ghana
The world’s poultry population is on the ascendency as a result of the high demand for poultry product by consumers. In Africa, poultry meat is estimated to represent almost 25% of all meat, whereas in some areas it covers 100% of the animal protein available. The high demand for poultry products has led to an increase in poultry production in almost all African countries including Ghana, with the domestic chicken being the most kept. The sector has been reported to have recorded a drop in production, partly due to infection of birds by diseases, causing organisms including parasites. The study conducted was to investigate the prevalence of gastrointestinal parasites in local and exotic breeds of chickens in Pankrono–Kumasi in the Ashanti Region of Ghana. Two hundred (200) cloacae of slaughtered birds were collected from slaughtering units in the study area and the faecal samples were examined for the eggs/cysts of gastrointestinal parasites using the simple flotation technique and microscopy. Nematodes and cestodes were recovered in 131 (65.5%) of the samples examined with Ascaridia galli recorded as the most prevalent. Some of the nematodes include Ascaridia galli 65 (32.5%), Heterakis gallinarum 38 (19.0%), and Capillaria spp. 29 (14.5%). Some cestodes were Raillietina spp. 19(9.5%) and Choanotaenia infundibulum 5 (2.5%) with Prosthogonimus spp. 3 (1.5%) being the only trematode recovered. The local breeds recorded a percentage prevalence of 76.0%, making them the most susceptible breed to gastrointestinal parasites. The results obtained attest to the reason behind the reduction in poultry production. It is therefore recommended that farmers are educated on farm managerial practices that will reduce the risk of infection and help increase production to meet the demand of consumers.
Cyst Viability and Economic Significance of Hydatidosis in Southern Ethiopia
Hydatidosis is cystic parasitosis caused by a larval stage of Echinococcus granulosus with immense economic and public health significance. A cross-sectional study was conducted from November 2016 to April 2017 in the city municipal abattoir of Southern Ethiopia with the aim of determining prevalence and cyst fertility and estimating financial losses associated with organ condemnation. The visceral organs of about 400 cattle were examined for hydatid cysts after slaughter. Postmortem examination, cyst characterization, and direct financial loss estimations were carried out. From the total 400 cattle examined, 208 (52%) were found positive for hydatid cyst infection in one or more of their organs. A total of about 395 hydatid cysts were collected from different organs of the infected cattle. Anatomical distribution of the cysts indicated that around 245 (62.03 %) were found in lung, 91 (23.04%) in liver, 26 (6.58%) in heart, 21 (5.32%) in spleen, and 12(3.04%) in kidney. From the total 395 cysts collected, 166 (42.03%) were found fertile and 229 (57.97%) nonfertile. From the total fertile cysts, 70 (42.17%) were found to be viable and 96 (57.83%) nonviable. Furthermore, from the total nonfertile cysts, 204 (89.08%) and 25 (10.91%) were sterile and calcified, respectively. Distribution of cyst calcification was higher in liver and fertility rate was higher in the cysts of lungs. The statistical analysis showed that the prevalence of hydatidosis was found to be significantly associated with age of the studied animals (P<0.05). However, there was no significant association (P>0.05) between the prevalence of bovine hydatidosis and other risk factors such as sex, breed, body condition, and origin of animals. The annual financial loss calculated from organ condemnation was estimated about 58,114.62 USD. This study revealed that hydatidosis is a highly prevalent disease in the study area with a huge economic losses. Therefore, there is a need for immediate intervention by breaking the life cycle of the parasite to alleviate its economic impact and zoonotic risks to humans.
Antimalarial Efficacy and Toxicological Assessment of Extracts of Some Ghanaian Medicinal Plants
The economic costs associated with morbidity and mortality due to malaria and malaria associated complications in many sub-Saharan countries and other malaria endemic regions of the world are huge. Reports of emergence of parasite resistance to current malaria drugs have complicated malaria treatment and require the development of new therapeutic agents. The folkloric use of medicinal plants for the management of malaria is well documented. This work evaluated the antiplasmodial activities and toxicity of some medicinal plants used to treat malaria and malaria-like symptoms in Ghana. Plant extracts were obtained by cold maceration in 70% ethanol. Antiplasmodial efficacies were assessed in vitro against 3 strains of Plasmodium falciparum strains (FCM, W2, and CAM06) and in vivo via the 4-day suppressive test in Plasmodium berghei infected mice. Cytotoxicity and acute toxicity were assessed in mammalian cells and mice, respectively. All extracts were active against at least one of the Plasmodium falciparum strains in in vitro evaluations with IC50’s in the range of 4–116 μg/mL, whereas Bidens pilosa extracts, with a chemosuppression rate of 75%, was the most active plant in the in vivo experiments. All plant extracts displayed very weak to no cytotoxicity against the mammalian cell line used and exhibited very good selectivity towards the Plasmodium parasites. Syzygium guineense and Parinari congensis extracts were the most toxic in the acute toxicity tests. Altogether, the results indicate that the medicinal plants do possess impressive antiplasmodial properties and provide scientific basis for their use in traditional herbal medicine.
Characterization of the Buccula, Rostrum, Stridulatory Sulcus, Scutellum, and External Female Genitalia of Triatoma carcavalloi (Jurberg, Rocha & Lent, 1998), Triatoma circummaculata (Stål, 1859), and Triatoma rubrovaria (Blanchard, 1843) (Hemiptera, Reduviidae, Triatominae)
In Brazil, Triatoma rubrovaria (Blanchard, 1843) is the most important species in epidemiological terms in the State of Rio Grande do Sul, due to its wide geographical distribution in this state, followed by T. carcavalloi (Jurberg, Rocha & Lent, 1998) and T. circummaculata (Stål, 1859). Structural analysis of the ventral region of the head (rostrum and buccula), thorax (stridulatorium sulcus and scutellum), and external female genitalia of adults of T. rubrovaria, T. carcavalloi, and T. circummaculata is described here. Scutellum, head, rostrum, and part of the thorax (prosternum) containing the stridulatory sulcus, in both male and female, and the sixth abdominal segment of the female, containing the external genitalia, were processed for scanning electron microscopy studies as routine. Morphological differences in the analyzed structures for all the three Triatoma species studied were detected under scanning electron microscopy. This study confirms the grouping of the T. rubrovaria, T. carcavalloi, and T. circummaculata in ‘T. rubrovaria subcomplex’ by their morphological similarities.