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A multimodality therapeutic application on Toxoplasma gondii encephalitis utilizing Spiramycin and 'de novo' Ferula asafetida in immunodeficient mice.

This study investigated a 'de Novo' medicinal herb, Ferula asafetida (FA), against toxoplasma encephalitis either alone or combined with spiramycin (SP). Female Swiss-Webster mice (n = 72) were divided into three batches. Batch-I received no DMS to serve as an immunocompetent control, batch-II was immune-suppressed with the DMS (0.25 mg/g/day) for 14 days pre-infection, whilst batch-III was immune-suppressed with the DMS on the same day of infection. All experimental mice were inoculated with Toxoplasma gondii ME49 cysts (n = 75). Each batch was split into four subgroups: Mono-SP, mono-FA, combined drug (SP + FA), or neither. Therapies were administered on day zero of infection in batches (I and II) and 35 days post-infection in batch (III). Treatments lasted for 14 days, and mice were sacrificed 60 days post-infection. Histopathological changes, cysts load, and CD4 and CD8 T-cells were counted in brain tissues. The cyst-load count in mice receiving SP + FA was significantly (p < .0001) the least compared to the mono treatments in all protocols. Interestingly, the combined therapy demolished the T-cell subsets to zero in immunocompetent and immunocompromised infected mice. In conclusion, F. asafetida might be a powerfully natural, safe vehicle of SP in the digestive system and/or across the brain-blood barrier to control toxoplasmosis even through immunodeficient conditions.

Biomarkers for the diagnosis, treatment follow‐up, and prediction of cardiac complications in Chagas disease in chronic phase: Recent advances

AbstractChagas disease is caused by the Trypanosoma cruzi parasite and is transmitted by infected triatomine bugs. This infection affects approximately 8 million people in the Americas, and due to globalisation and displacement, it is becoming increasingly common to find infected patients worldwide. Diagnosis of the disease in its acute form is relatively simple, as the parasite can be detected in peripheral blood smears, and symptoms are visible. However, in its chronic condition, the parasite is almost undetectable, and indirect tests are necessary to determine the presence of antibodies in infected patients. It is important to note that a single test is not enough to confirm the disease in this phase, as a second serological test should confirm the diagnosis. If the results are contradictory, a third test should be performed to confirm or discard the disease. Unfortunately, laboratories may not have access to all necessary tests in many rural areas where the disease is more frequent. Rapid tests to diagnose this disease present problems, such as significant variations in sensitivity and specificity in different countries. Therefore, searching for new biomarkers that allow for optimal correlation is essential. In this work, we have searched scientific literature from the last 10 years for mentions of novel biomarkers for diagnosis, treatment follow‐up, and prediction of cardiac complications in Chagas disease in its chronic phase.

The immunomodulatory effects of the C-type lectin protein of Toxocara canis on experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis.

Toxocara canis is a global zoonosis infection that can cause chronic and long-term toxocariasis in their paratenic host. The excretory-secretory (ES) products of T. canis larvae are considered to be responsible for the Th2 polarization and regulatory immune responses in toxocariasis. The C-type lectin family is one of the most prominent components of ES products of T. canis infective larvae. This study aimed to investigate the ameliorative effect of a T. canis C-type lectin recombinant protein (rCTL), on experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE) which is a T-cell-mediated autoimmune disease of the central nervous system. C57BL/6 mice were subcutaneously treated with 30 μg rCTL, three times at an interval of 1 week. EAE was induced by myelin oligodendrocyte glycoprotein 35-55 peptide (MOG35-55 peptide) immunization, and weight and clinical scores were evaluated. Real time polymerase chain reaction was performed to evaluate the expression levels of T-bet, Gata3, and Foxp3 in splenocytes. In addition, the levels of interleukin 4, interferon gamma, and tumour growth factor-β (TGF-β) were quantified by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay in splenocyte culture supernatants. The results indicated that the rCTL decreased clinical disability scores and delayed the onset of EAE. Furthermore, the data showed that rCTL treatment modulated the immune response, which was associated with upregulation of the mRNA expression of the Foxp3 gene and higher production of TGF-β in rCTL-treated mice. This study demonstrated that rCTL might be a potential agent to ameliorate EAE symptoms by stimulating anti-inflammatory responses.

Characteristics of peripheral lymphocyte subsets in patients with different stages of schistosomiasis japonica.

Immune cells are important for the development of schistosomiasis japonica and are also critical for the treatment of schistosomiasis. The immune cells in the peripheral blood help assess the immune state. The peripheral lymphocytes in schistosomiasis mansoni were well studied; however, immune cells in patients with different stages of schistosomiasis japonica are not well analysed. Here, we performed a preliminary study to explore characteristics of peripheral lymphocyte subsets in patients with different stages of schistosomiasis japonica. 135 patients with Schistosoma japonicum infection and 25 healthy volunteers were included in this study, including 84 patients with chronic S. japonicum infection and 51 patients with advanced S. japonicum infection. Flow cytometry analysis was performed to evaluate peripheral lymphocytes including T cells, B cells, and natural killer (NK) cells. Blood routine and liver function test data were analysed. Ultrasound examination was used to access liver fibrosis according to the World Health Organization standard about ultrasound in schistosomiasis. Demographic data analysis suggested there was no difference in age and gender in patients with S. japonicum infection and health control group. Liver function tests showed that patients with advanced schistosomiasis had a higher incidence of liver function abnormality and blood lipid than those with chronic schistosomiasis. Blood routine results reflected that haemoglobin, red blood cells, platelets, as well as lymphocytes in the advanced group were significantly less than that in the chronic group. Furthermore, flow cytometry analysis indicated that the percentage of CD4+ T cells was lower in the advanced group, but the percentage of CD19+ B cells was higher in the advanced group. In addition, the number of CD3+ T cells, CD3+ CD4+ T cells, CD3+ CD8+ T cells, and NK cells was less in the advanced group when compared with those in the chronic group. In addition, there was a correlation between the decrease in CD4+ T cells and more severe fibrosis on ultrasound images. Our results indicated that the immune state in the peripheral is different in different stages of S. japonicum infection. Lymphocyte subset analysis has potential to facilitate differential diagnosis of different stages of schistosomiasis japonica and even to be a prognostic factor.

Dot-ELISA based on recombinant Hypodermin C of Przhevalskiana silenus for field diagnosis of goat warble fly infestation.

Goat warble fly infestation (GWFI) is an economically important myiasis caused by larvae of Przhevalskiana silenus (Diptera, Oestridae), prevalent in countries of the Mediterranean Basin and Indian subcontinent. GWFI is characterized by the presence of subcutaneous warbles at the lumbar and sacral region of dorsum in the infested animal. The early larval instars (L1 and L2) remain inaccessible to physical detection due to their small size and subcutaneous presence thus causing hindrance in the diagnosis. The objective of present study was to develop a field applicable early diagnostic intervention for GWFI monitoring and prophylactic management for effective control of the disease. Recombinant Hypodermin C (rHyC) antigen of P. silenus was expressed in Escherichia coli. The purified protein was used for optimizing dot-ELISA in a checkerboard titration using goat warble fly infested serum as known positive. The optimized assay was further tested for lower temperature (18°C) and incubation time (30 min). The optimized assay was assessed for inter-rater reliability and field samples. The optimized conditions require 188 ng of protein/dot, 1:800 dilution of serum sample, 1:4000 dilution of anti-goat IgG conjugate and 5% skim milk powder in phosphate buffer saline as blocking buffer. The assay was found to have a diagnostic sensitivity and specificity of 97.3% and 95.8%, respectively. The inter-rater reliability of dot ELISA with rHyC indirect ELISA was found to be almost perfect with a Cohen's kappa index of 0.973. Further testing at ambient temperature (18°C) and shorter incubation steps (30 min) supported suitability of the assay for field diagnosis of GWFI. The present study provides the first report of a sensitive and specific dot-ELISA for early diagnosis of GWFI which is rapid and cost effective. The test may provide an effective field applicable tool for sustainable control of GWFI.

Dogs with canine visceral leishmaniasis have a boost of extracellular vesicles and miR-21-5p up-expression.

This retrospective cohort study analysed extracellular vesicles (EVs) and microRNAs (miRNAs) excreted in canine sera from dogs with canine visceral leishmaniasis (CanVL). A total of 56 canine sera were divided into Group I (28, from healthy dogs) and Group II (28, from the same dogs, but already with CanVL). CanVL was determined by clinical and laboratory diagnoses. Canine sera were ultra-centrifuged to recover EVs (Can-EVs). Analyses by transmission electron microscopy, nanoparticle tracking analysis (NTA), sodium dodecyl sulfate-poli-acrylammide gel eletroforesis (SDS-PAGE) and, Immunoblot confirmed the presence of (i) microvesicles/exosomes and (ii) the tetraspanins CD63 and CD9. EVs secreted by Leishmania (Leishmania) infantum-EVs were reactive against sera from dogs with CanVL (performed by ELISA and Immunoblot). NTA analyses exhibited that concentrations of Can-EVs from dogs with CanVL (7.78 × 1010 Can-EVs/mL) were higher (p < .0001) than the non-infected dogs (mean: 1.47 × 1010 Can-EVs/mL). These results suggested that concentrations of Can-EVs were able to distinguish dogs with CanVL from healthy dogs. The relative expressions of 11 miRNAs species (miR-21-5p, miR-146a-5p, miR-125b-5p, miR-144-3p, miR-194-5p, miR-346, miR-29c-3p, miR-155-5p, miR-24-3p, miR-181a-5p, and miR-9-5p) were estimated in purified miRNAs of 30 canine sera. Dogs with CanVL up-expressed miR-21-5p and miR-146a-5p when compared with healthy dogs. The other miRNA species were poorly or not expressed in canine sera. In conclusion, this study suggests that CanVL induces changes in size and concentration of Can-EVs, as well as, the up-expression of miR-21-5p and miR-146a-5p in infected dogs.